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Old 10-27-09, 10:11 PM   #1
daveprozac
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Surly LHT And....

Hello all. Well, I decided to sell my road bike and get a touring bike. I bought my road bike prematurely and have since realized it is more important to get myself to and from the grocery store in any weather than to race the weather. Surly LHT's seem to be the frame of choice so I am guessing I can't go wrong with that; please let me know if you feel otherwise. When it comes to racks, fenders, and bags what would you recommend?
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Old 10-29-09, 07:59 PM   #2
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i ride a surly cross check for my distance riding and im in love i cant imagine what riding a LHT would be like. Anyway i use a Jannd rack ( http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FREXP ), and Axiom panniers ( http://www.axiomgear.com/products/ge...ers/champlain/ ) check out the rest of those sites i like their stuff. but everyones got brands they like these are just some ideas
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Old 10-29-09, 08:01 PM   #3
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The LHT is hands down the most respected touring bike from all sides. One of the best steel frames for touring and the add on options for racks, bottle cages is incredible. I saw MANY of these on tour. Though I though my GIant handled just well.
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Old 10-29-09, 09:46 PM   #4
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I would get the surly nice racks
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Old 10-29-09, 11:36 PM   #5
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I have an LHT, and several road bikes one of which is a Surly, the other a racing bike. For anything other than actual race training and racing, the LHT is my go to bike for everything, touring of course, grocery getting, bad weather commutes to work, everything. If you told me I could have only one bike the rest of my life it would be my LHT.
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Old 10-30-09, 12:21 AM   #6
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I'd skip the Surly Nice Rack in the rear. Tubus makes a far better product for the rear. I like the Nice Rack on the front though (rarely do heavy duty *front* touring racks have a platform). Nice Racks also have a ton more hardware/complication than something as simply straightforward as the Cargo.

Rear Nice Rack vs Tubus Cargo:
Surly -
Weight: 1,110g
Load Limit: 80lb
Cost: ~$122USD + shipping or tax

Tubus -
Weight: 630g
Load Limit: 90lb
Cost: $110USD with free shipping

On top of that, you can buy it from one of the most pleasant people to deal with, Wayne, from thetouringstore.com (and get free shipping).

Last edited by blaise_f; 10-30-09 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 10-30-09, 12:25 AM   #7
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IMHO - the LHT gets a lot of good ink. I don't own one, but was going to. When I was in the market
for a touring bike, a LHT was just about the first touring style bike I looked at and rode. [I
have a CrossCheck that I've been very happy with and used it for some light touring with a
Delta rack in the rear and small Lone Peak panniers- but wanted "a real touring bike"] For a
couple months, when ever I traveled somewhere - if I saw a bike shop, I would stop to see if
they actually had a touring bike in stock in my size. Eventually I had evaluated four touring
bikes. I finally choose another well respected touring bike because it fit me better, I liked
the way it handled - some how it was a more satisfying ride. The bike I got is not the one I
expected to own, my point is - don't be fixed on a LHT until after trying some other bikes.
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Old 10-30-09, 04:27 AM   #8
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The Surly Nice Front Rack weighs and costs a lot and the platform places a load high on the front wheel. having a platform on the front is nice but decide if the platform is really necessary.
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Old 10-30-09, 05:05 AM   #9
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for going to the grocery store THIS is the bike. Fenders, racks, heck yeah.

http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../indbikes.html

The LHT is good for going a bit longer than the store. Regarding your snooty touring bike get a rear rack with lower level horizontals. It makes all the difference for attaching/removing panniers while still having a rack bag on top. I've got a $45 Topeak Super something on a LHT. The Axiom that looks like a Tubus copy with a useless narrow rack is actually pretty good if you're only using panniers. I used regular flat ss straps to attach it on a Cross Check and not the rods/connectors that stick below and impede installation of fenders.

Front rack is all your personal preference. I like the Tubus Tara and also have an OMM. If you have a 26" wheeled bike you can mount the OMM on the top eyelets without going through the axle.

Ortlieb front Packers are good for groceries, easy to remove and install. I don't want to carry more than four of those can carry. It's worth lining the bags for longevity, re-usable grocery bags or something.

Whatever bags you got it's worth looping a bungie from the bottom to the top over the panniers as it helps stabilize them. Just make sure it can never get undone and get caught in the wheels.
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Old 10-30-09, 05:23 AM   #10
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The only bad press you're likely to find on the LHT is about the brakes and also about the tires that come on a complete. The real beauty in the LHT is that it is extreamly customizable to fit pretty much what ever your needs are. Also the frame is good enough to where you don't feel like your putting pearls on a swine by using higher end accessories like Tubus racks or Honjo fenders. Another point is that no matter what you want to add to the bike, chances are it has what ever you need to mount what ever you want. (with the exception of disc brakes)

Enjoy
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Old 10-30-09, 05:34 AM   #11
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The only bad press you're likely to find on the LHT is about the brakes and also about the tires that come on a complete.

Enjoy

I got these IRDs, made a worthwhile difference


http://www.bikeman.com/store/merchant.mvc?
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Old 10-30-09, 05:46 AM   #12
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I got these IRDs, made a worthwhile difference


http://www.bikeman.com/store/merchant.mvc?
Link just goes to their home page..
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Old 10-30-09, 07:53 AM   #13
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oops, anywho it's IRD cantilevers
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Old 10-30-09, 12:12 PM   #14
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You really can't go wrong with a LHT, especially if you just buy the frame and build it from the ground up. There are a lot of options for this bike, and it has been very well received.

For me, however, disc brakes are a requirement for my commute (heavy loads, lots of rain, steep descents) so I bought a Kona Sutra, which I reviewed in detail here. The Kona has been a great bike so far, and I am very happy with it.
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Old 10-30-09, 12:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveprozac View Post
Hello all. Well, I decided to sell my road bike and get a touring bike. I bought my road bike prematurely and have since realized it is more important to get myself to and from the grocery store in any weather than to race the weather. Surly LHT's seem to be the frame of choice so I am guessing I can't go wrong with that; please let me know if you feel otherwise. When it comes to racks, fenders, and bags what would you recommend?
Moo! Moo! Just following the herd*

LHT's are good bikes and they are a pretty good value but there are others out there that are of the same quality but cost a little more. A Cannondale T2 is a very good touring bike, especially if you are on the heavier side. Stiff without a load, nice and smooth with one. One of the advantages of the Cannondale is that it comes with a lifetime warranty whereas the LHT is only for 5 years.

The Rocky Mountain Sherpa is worth a look, too.

Bags and racks? Tubus and Ortlieb if money is no object.


*"That's a joke, son, a flag-waver! You're built too low. The fast ones go over your head. Ya got a hole in your glove. I keep pitchin' 'em and you keep missin' 'em! Ya gotta keep your eye on the ball! Eye. Ball. Eyeball! I almost had a gag, son--a joke, that is!" - Foghorn Leghorn
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Old 10-30-09, 12:34 PM   #16
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Only a couple of things annoyed me about the 56cm LHT I had briefly: First, the spoke holder brazeons on the chainstay got in the way of mounting my Greenfield rear kickstand. That's my favorite kickstand, so it was a bit of a bummer. The other gotcha for me was the toe overlap (with 40mm fires and fenders, admittedly). Some people don't care about toe overlap, and most people have no idea what I'm talking about with the Greenfield, so this is probably moot for most. But I just wanted to bring it up in case there are other weirdos like me out there. The new 2010 LHTs come with a 26" wheel option in all sizes, so if I was getting the 56cm again, I would probably get 26" wheels to avoid toe overlap. In that case I might also just cut off the spoke holder (or get a framebuilder to remove it properly). The paint job on the LHT can be a little spotty in places - I had two rough spots underneath the seat stays which looked like they were where the frame had been supported while being painted, or something. But this isn't a top-end trophy bike, it's a work horse, so I didn't care much.

The thing that struck me about the LHT was that the top tube seems to be relatively long. I went to the bike shop thinking I would be on a 58cm or even 60cm, but ended up with a 56cm because I just felt way too stretched out on the 58. So test rides are important - find a shop on Surly's website dealer list that has three pirates; that means they tend to carry a selection of sizes of these bikes in stock. For me that was North Central Cyclery in IL near Chicago. Tobie is a really good guy, very patient and helpful.

http://www.surlybikes.com/dealers/dealer_locator/
http://www.surlybikes.com/dealers/dealer_list/

Hmmm - actually, they seem to have redesigned their website and done away with the "three pirates" thing. This makes it more difficult... no, impossible, to browse for those dealers that are more likely to have the bikes in stock. I found their old website more friendly and fast to navigate... I really liked their page with the road signs for each state. Why do most website redesigns seem to end up slower and more crappy? Oh well.

Neil
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Old 10-30-09, 12:41 PM   #17
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Just got back from my first tour. 2200 miles with the Surly LHT. Besides flats, my only problem along the way was replaceing the chain. This bike will not fail you its built like a tank but rides very well. The only mod's were; I added a B-17 brooks saddle(takes a very long time to break in), pedal cages, mountain man rack, and for bags I went with the T-42 arkel's.<<Very good as well. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-30-09, 05:52 PM   #18
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Do you want to tour or do you want a good general purpose utility bike?

Like cyccommute said, there are a number of good entry level touring bikes. I'll put in a plug for the Novara Randonee from REI, if you get one during a 15% or 20% off sale you get a pretty good entry level touring bike at a reasonable price with a lifetime warranty. In over 3000 miles of commuting on mine I have yet to have any mechanical issues or needed to have the wheels trued. YMMV.
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Old 10-31-09, 12:12 PM   #19
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I am a smaller rider and did not want to be stuck with 26" wheels, so the LHT was never a consideration for me. Went with a Trek 520 frame set for my build. Great bike and have found myself riding it more than my regular roadie.
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Old 10-31-09, 06:09 PM   #20
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I am a smaller rider and did not want to be stuck with 26" wheels, so the LHT was never a consideration for me. Went with a Trek 520 frame set for my build. Great bike and have found myself riding it more than my regular roadie.
The 26" wheel option is a great option! So good, in fact, that they are offering it for the larger frame bikes. 26" wheels are inherently stronger.
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Old 10-31-09, 08:47 PM   #21
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The 26" wheel option is a great option! So good, in fact, that they are offering it for the larger frame bikes. 26" wheels are inherently stronger.
There is not an option for 54cm frames. It's 26" and that is it. If you prefer 26" wheels then I guess there is no problem. However, if you prefer 700c wheels then the LHT is not for you.
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