Surly LHT vs. Surly CC vs. Jamis Aurora vs. Jamis Satellite
I am turning 30 next year, and have already started making plans to "celebrate" by planning a few weekend tours, RAGBRAI, and potentially another week-long ride. Along with the planning comes the purchase of a new bike. Most of the riding will be light touring, but I would like to option to load up if need be. Any reviews, opinions, experiences with the LHT, CC, Aurora, or Satellite, or any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!!
You will do just fine with any of those bikes. In my not quite humble opinion you could use the following as a rough guide for optimization:
LHT = heavily loaded touring
Surly CC = light touring, long distance, occasional dirt or gravel, general purpose use; will have to upgrade the gearing though
Aurora = pretty much the same, probably won't have to modify the gearing as much as the CC
Satellite = primarily for use as a road bike, probably also need to tweak the gearing a bit
I'd strongly recommend a trailer if you go for the Satellite. The geometry isn't really made for touring, so it might handle a little weird or have heel strike if you stick panniers on it.
I've got a LHT and CC. The descriptions are accurate, loaded touring or bike for general use that can be used for touring. They're both excellent. If you see yourself riding most of the time with a set of panniers on the bike, doing beer and grocery runs as well as touring it's the LHT. If you ride most of the time unloaded and like maneuvering through tight sections the CC does this better but it's perfectly capable of carrying panniers and gear. It pretty much gets down to your dedicated use for the bike. For some reason I can ride hands free easier with the CC than the LHT.
I've toured fully loaded on my Cross Check. The handling was precarious at first, but I got used to it pretty fast. I now tour with aerobars without problems. I am not able to ride handless with front panniers on the Cross Check. I'm not sure whether this is due to the front end geometry. Maybe someone with a real touring bike can chime in.
The LHT is the best bike I have owned. Great for long, loaded rides, or just a 20 mile spin after work. It's not the fastest bike out there, but she's comfortable and smooth. I'd worry about loading up a CC with panniers. I've seen them get knocked off due to the short chainstays.
Originally Posted by cheers7557
I was critical of the chainstay length on the CCfor touring but the 16.7" measurment is at the front of the dropouts, the issue of short chainstays is more an issue for weight imbalance cantilevering the panniers far beyond the rear axle. Moving the rear wheel to the back of the dropouts is about 17.75"( measured it) which with the less bb drop than the LHT puts the rear wheel a bit further back. That's a problem with comparing chainstay measurments on a bike with vertical drop-outs,LHT, and horizontal dropouts, CC. I aways thought chainstay measurments were to the middle of the dropout on horizontals but Surly is doing it at the front so it's 16.7+ 1"
Originally Posted by 50 Mission Cap
For comparison a Bruce Gordon BLT has a 17.7 chainstay. A 700C Thorn Club Tour has 17.5" chainstays.
I've been using the CC with rear panniers shopping around town and am very pleased with how it handles weight. It handles better than a custom touring bike I had in the early 80's. True, the LHT is in it's own league for heavy loads, it's beyond smooth, it's a bus with air shocks. It's not just chainstay length, the larger top tube diameter and beefier forks make a difference. The flip side of it is that for unladen riding where maneuverability and hopping bumps is desired the CC has more to offer.
Last edited by LeeG; 11-23-09 at 02:39 PM.