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Old 02-04-11, 10:00 AM   #1
episodic
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Hi, need thoughts on two bikes.

Hi I want a touring bike - here is why.

- I like long distance rides on weekends.
- I'm a heavier guy (245 lbs).
- I'm tired of my POC $300.00 bike.

I've narrowed down to two that my LBS can get.

Surly LHT - my problem is that I need a 54 frame - they only make 26 inch wheels for the 54 - instead of the 700c - my LBS guy says I may not like that.


Marin Four Corners - has seemingly identical components as the LHT minus the frame alloy and the choice of hub. The advantage is that it has 700c wheels in my size.

http://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...serialnum=1855

The marin seems to be a new offering - and I don't know alot about Marin's in general.

It has a shorter clearance it seems for panniers - but mostly I am all about 50-60 mile one day trips.

Thanks for thoughts.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by episodic View Post
Hi I want a touring bike - here is why.

I've narrowed down to two that my LBS can get.

Surly LHT - my problem is that I need a 54 frame - they only make 26 inch wheels for the 54 - instead of the 700c - my LBS guy says I may not like that.
First, I think it's a great idea to work with your LBS. Will they work with you? For instance, are you locked into buying whichever bike you choose after you give them the go-ahead, or will they let you back out if you hate it? Will they order the complete bike for you, then let you switch cranks or (at least) stems for no/low cost? If not, mail order might save you some money, but you'll probably still need to work with an LBS on set-up.

I don't think 26" wheels are a big deal. I used to, but there's a relative plethora of touring or at least heavily loaded-capable slick tires available today that were darned hard to find 10-15 years ago. Given your apparent height, I don't think toe overlap is a likely problem (and I don't normally think it's a big deal on the road, anyways), but a slightly smaller wheel is likely to help if you have big feet. So if that's the only thing keeping you from picking the LHT, fuggedaboutit! FWIW, I like the blue this year -- looks much more civilized for stops than the light mud color.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:47 AM   #3
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26 will be better for your frame size.

there is no difference, other than being better proportions for a smaller bike, and building a stronger wheel. you will also have less toe-wheel overlap.

the LHT is a better frame than the marin. no questions about it.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:13 AM   #4
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Hi I want a touring bike - here is why.

- I like long distance rides on weekends.
- I'm a heavier guy (245 lbs).
- I'm tired of my POC $300.00 bike.

...- but mostly I am all about 50-60 mile one day trips.
I don't see any of the above as a reason to get a touring bike. Not that there's anything wrong with a tourer, but if you're thinking that your weight limits your choices, consider that there are a number of 6' 6" 240# all muscle riders on sport/race bikes.

Most any bike that can take 25 - 32mm tires with 32+ spoke wheels should suit you, but maybe avoid carbon for now. Have you considered a cross style bike?
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Old 02-04-11, 11:21 AM   #5
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I don't see any of the above as a reason to get a touring bike. Not that there's anything wrong with a tourer, but if you're thinking that your weight limits your choices, consider that there are a number of 6' 6" 240# all muscle riders on sport/race bikes.

Most any bike that can take 25 - 32mm tires with 32+ spoke wheels should suit you, but maybe avoid carbon for now. Have you considered a cross style bike?
Well my desire to go touring comes from a city flat bar bike that has had continual spoke/hub problems since I've had it. Everytime I go 30 miles on it a spoke breaks. LBS finally said that we need to replace tire/hub - however, I don't want to put anymore money into it. I just want a tank of a bike that will be strong and have quality parts for long rides. I got rid of my car and bike full time now (lost 90lbs so far). I don't care about speed - just want to ride. I also have a fixie I've been riding in town, but 40 miles rides with it are a bear.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:24 AM   #6
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I have a 54 LHT w/26 in wheels and love it. Get the bike that fits and don't worry about wheel size. The wheel size is selected my the mfr. to better fit the frame. There are many choices in tires, and if for some reason you total trash a tire in the middle of no-where, there most likely will be a WalMart, even in no-where, and they will have some type of 26in tire that you could use. In fact 26 in wheels are so much in demand, that Surly changed things around and offers 26 in wheels on all sizes of the LHT.


But really, the most important thing is your fit on the bike.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:40 AM   #7
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Touring bikes are good for hard core touring. If you are planning to take off with your gear loaded in panniers, they are a very good choice. If you are just concerned about your weight, you could probably do just fine with a nice high quality road bike. Before I lost 100 lbs I was 345 and riding an old Jack Taylor Marathon frame with 700x28c tires and touring on a custom frame and 700x37c tires.
If you really want a touring bike, here is my quick read on these two:
With the Marin, I see a couple of potential issues. They might not be issues for you.
Fork rake is 45mm. For touring with a full touring kit, I would want to rebend it to about 64-65mm to give a trail value of approximately 45mm.
Chainstays are a little short at 435mm. If you feet are small, your panniers have bevels and are mounted far enough to the rear, you won’t hit your feet.
Long Haul Trucker would also need to be rebent. Chainstays are long, though.
Top tubes and seat tube length and angle are a function of your size and preferences.
26” tires are probably preferred for rougher conditions, like dirt and gravel. 700c often roll better on pavement, but good 26” tires are available. As has been said, that hasn’t always been the case.
Both look like very reasonable candidates. You must balance what you see as your needs and preferences. It could finally come down to a matter of price.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:08 PM   #8
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]
With the Marin, I see a couple of potential issues. They might not be issues for you.
Fork rake is 45mm. For touring with a full touring kit, I would want to rebend it to about 64-65mm to give a trail value of approximately 45mm.
Chainstays are a little short at 435mm. If you feet are small, your panniers have bevels and are mounted far enough to the rear, you won’t hit your feet.
Long Haul Trucker would also need to be rebent. Chainstays are long, though.
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you can guess trail based on fork rake??? (PS: no you cant.)

LHT fork needs "rebending" ???

what rubbish.


and why on earth would someone who got rid of their car want a comfortable, fender-able bike that can carry things when they could have an uncomfortable bike that cannot?


get the trucker, youll be happy. its probably the best bike for the money on the market right now (no I dont have one, but its a solid and proven bike.)
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Old 02-04-11, 12:10 PM   #9
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OP, get the LHT.
You will be happy with it.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:20 PM   #10
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you can guess trail based on fork rake??? (PS: no you cant.)

LHT fork needs "rebending" ???

what rubbish.


and why on earth would someone who got rid of their car want a comfortable, fender-able bike that can carry things when they could have an uncomfortable bike that cannot?


get the trucker, youll be happy. its probably the best bike for the money on the market right now (no I dont have one, but its a solid and proven bike.)
If you know what tires you are planning to use, you certainly can.

Trail = (R*cosH – F)/sinH
∆ H = arcsin [(old length - new length)/(wheel base)]
Where:
H is the head angle
F is fork offset
R is wheel radius
T is trail
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Old 02-04-11, 12:31 PM   #11
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A 26 -1.5" tire will roll nicely , 36 spoke wheels , after the bike shop mechanics
finish the hand truing and tensioning as part of their set up prep , will be pretty strong.

design of trail is sorted out OK, adequate, dont get too geeky over that .

Surly a QBP brand is much better distributed than Marin Brand.
that will have a sales territory , if dealer even wants to bother with that bike brand company.
No local Marin dealer ? drop that one off the list.

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-04-11 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:40 PM   #12
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Component mix is pretty similar across both bikes.

Marin looks like it has a unicrown fork. That's a tick against it in my opinion.

Marin comes equipped with cantilever brakes, but is set up to accept disc brakes should you care to upgrade. That's a tick in favor of the Marin in my opinion.

Flip a coin.

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Old 02-04-11, 01:13 PM   #13
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If you think touring will be in your future, go with the LHT for the longer chainstays.

A minor consideration would be resale value should that ever come up. The LHT is likely to resist depreciation better than the Marin.
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Old 02-04-11, 02:00 PM   #14
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26" wheels with 1.5" slicks can be plenty fast if you are fast and in 36spokes with those rims it's ridiculously strong for regular use. Also when it comes to acceleration the 1.5" tire weighs a smidge less than equivalent 38mm tires which can make for quicker acceleration. I've got a 56cm LHT with 26" wheels and had one with 700c wheels. Not sure about the 54cm one but I prefer how the 56cm one handles with the 26"tires over the 700c version. Even with it's long chainstays the 26" LHT handles as nice as the Cross-Check for low speed handling and high speed maneuverability.

The Marin looks like a nice bike and if I was buying from a shop based on your limited experience I'd want to test ride them both. Don't discount the 26" tires, for folks used to road bikes, skinny tires and road racing it's not something one would consider but for enjoyable riding there really is no difference, that's between the ears. I used to be skinny and fast, owned a bike shop and road a lot. I'm middled aged and fat, ride mostly 10miles a day and get passed by the young skinny guys on road bikes and have no problem keeping up with the fat old fit guys on road bikes. While your riding does't exactly specify the need for a touring bike your weight makes the LHT attractive.
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Old 02-04-11, 02:18 PM   #15
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I got rid of my car and bike full time now (lost 90lbs so far). I don't care about speed - just want to ride. I also have a fixie I've been riding in town, but 40 miles rides with it are a bear.
Going carless I'd be inclined to get the LHT for it's ability to be a load carrying truck when needed.
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Old 02-04-11, 02:27 PM   #16
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Consider a Trek 520?

I agree with rogerstg above, you don't really need to get a tour bike unless you are planning to carry bags on it. Any road bike with strong wheels should do. Don't forget, tour bikes also usually have some other features that might make them less fun as road bikes, such as:
bar end shifters
really heavy wheels
really low gears

If you're limited to certain brands, you might also consider the Surly Cross Check or Pacer.

Congrats on your weight loss, by the way. That's impressive.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:15 PM   #17
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26" wheels with 1.5" slicks can be plenty fast if you are fast and in 36spokes with those rims it's ridiculously strong for regular use. Also when it comes to acceleration the 1.5" tire weighs a smidge less than equivalent 38mm tires which can make for quicker acceleration. I've got a 56cm LHT with 26" wheels and had one with 700c wheels. Not sure about the 54cm one but I prefer how the 56cm one handles with the 26"tires over the 700c version. Even with it's long chainstays the 26" LHT handles as nice as the Cross-Check for low speed handling and high speed maneuverability.
LeeG can you post a pic of your 56cm LHT with 26" wheels? Thanks
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Old 02-04-11, 06:41 PM   #18
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LeeG can you post a pic of your 56cm LHT with 26" wheels? Thanks
ok, I'll have to learn how to do that. Imagine a black 56cm LHT, black SKS fenders, drop bars, bar ends, 10cm velo Orange stem with 17degree rise, seat 1" above bars, Tubus Cargo rear rack with lower rails brazed on, XT hubs with 36hole Rhynolite rear rim and 32 hole Velocity Dyad front rim on SON dyno hub, OMM Sherpa front rack, two PB Superflash off Cargo rack, LightOn! headlamp and tailamps, 26,36,46 Sugino crank with 12-28 8spd cassette. Top tube of the frame is wrapped with black cloth tape as is the right chainstay. Pretty much black all around. ah, and big 2" diameter Crane brass bell and Jandd frame bag for holding lock and whatever. Right now it has Nokia studded tires but other times other tires.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:01 PM   #19
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I've heard nothing but good things about the LHT.
I think it is an excellent choice if you are going car-free.
Get a rear rack and buy some panniers so you can grocery shop with it.
Another feature is that fenders will fit. These are a nice extra for rainy days.

Remember "fit" of a bike is the main criteria for bike selection. If a 54 is still too big for you, check out Marinoni. They make a touring bike called the Tourismo and I believe will make a smaller frames as a special order. The Tourismo comes with 700c wheels. You get to choose among 4 groups of parts ranging from relatively low quality to above average. And you get to choose frame and graphics colours from a pallet of colours.

We have two stores in Victoria that deal with Marinoni. If you don't have a local distributor, check if a complete bike can be ordered over the internet.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by episodic View Post
Hi I want a touring bike - here is why.

- I like long distance rides on weekends.
- I'm a heavier guy (245 lbs).
- I'm tired of my POC $300.00 bike.

I've narrowed down to two that my LBS can get.

Surly LHT - my problem is that I need a 54 frame - they only make 26 inch wheels for the 54 - instead of the 700c - my LBS guy says I may not like that.


Marin Four Corners - has seemingly identical components as the LHT minus the frame alloy and the choice of hub. The advantage is that it has 700c wheels in my size.

http://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...serialnum=1855

The marin seems to be a new offering - and I don't know alot about Marin's in general.

It has a shorter clearance it seems for panniers - but mostly I am all about 50-60 mile one day trips.

Thanks for thoughts.
You can read a previous (heated) debate about the Marin here. I won't open the can of worms again on the bike.

However, I will address the 26" wheel vs the 700C wheel for touring bikes. If you have the choice, go with the 26" wheel. It is inherently stronger and provides for (slightly) lower gearing. If I could, I'd much rather have a 26" wheel for touring than a 700C. You lose a little on the top end but you can make that up with gearing. And you can find suitably narrow tires for the 26" wheel. Basically, it has lots of advantages and few disadvantages. Don't let the 26" wheel be the limiting factor on your choice.

I also much prefer the 26" wheel for mountain biking over the 29er...which is just a repackaged 700C wheel.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:45 PM   #21
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Let's separate this out...

the problem has nothing to do with the frame you have. You don't like the wheels.
I used to have wheel problems. You get better wheels, problem solved. You don't like the handlebars,
get ones you do like. I like drop bars, but there are a others you can try as well, like the Titec H bar.

Big guys simply do not need touring frames. Unless you want to tour, of course.

So let's discuss options.

It breaks down into a few rough groups. Racing/Sport/Recreation/Touring

It used to be most riders had bikes in the Sport category. My first road bike is an example, the schwinn varsity.

They are like touring bikes, but a lot more fun and much quicker. They will also take panniers (most of them, anyway) and are ideal for long weekend rides.


Some examples would be my Gunnar Sport, Surly Pacer,Salsa Casseroll, and a bunch of others.

As far as the 26 versus 700 debate goes... my new bike is a 650b.
I just don't care (between those two, I am a 650b fanatic).

You can put a large tire on a 26 and that makes the wheel taller. You don't
want a super heavy tire (which most large 26 inch tires are) but it can be done.
The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme comes in a 26x2.0 at 565 grams.

Which is heavy, but not hideous.

So where does this leave things?

First, take your time. Marry in haste, repent at leisure...

Second, research your options, I mentioned a few bikes, but you never know
what will strike your fancy. Test ride a bunch of bikes. Get out of the saddle
and give it a good thrashing.

Third, find the bike you love. Then buy it.
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Old 02-04-11, 09:35 PM   #22
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I think the LHT is a good choice. The 26" wheels are not a negative. In fact, with your frame size and your weight, I think they make the most sense. If you never take the LHT touring it might not be the best choice. But if you should, it's a great choice. If you tour a little and ride it around home the rest of the time, it's okay. It's not light. It would be great if you wanted to put on panniers to take it shopping. I've ridden mine on centuries, day rides, etc. It's fine. Not great, but fine. For loaded touring, I do consider it great (among other great tourers.)

I suggest you try a tour. (This is the touring forum, after all.) If you decide you love it, you'll definitely want a touring bike, and the LHT is a good one.
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Old 02-05-11, 05:38 AM   #23
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Nashar touring fork $49.00
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes//Produc...2_511246_-1___
Nashbar touring frame $99.00
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes//Produc...2_511239_-1___
Shimano Deore LX trekking (touring) groupset (crankset, rear derailleur, front derailleur, shifters, brake levers, brakes, cassette, chain) as low as 271.21 euro (depending on which options you choose); with shipping to North America (means you don't pay European VAT tax) is $368.33 US dollars (the exchange rate fluctuates)
http://www.bike24.com/p29129.html
WTB Freedom Ryder 23 rims 36 hole $18.45 (times two = $36.90) (I put the link here from eBikestop for people who want to order from Canada, shipping for large items is cheaper from eBikestop last time I ordered)
http://www.ebikestop.com/freedom_ryd...rim-RM2241.php
Shimano Tiagra rear hub 36 hole $27.89
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=414678
Shimano Tiagra front hub 36 hole $19.84
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=407883
(I haven't chosen that yet, you can look below why)
Velox rim strip $1.83 (times two = $3.66)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=432533
Dimension spoke protector $3.00
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=419815
Sunlite wheel reflectors $2.49
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=5777
DT Swiss Champion 14g (2.0mm) spokes
for rear wheel
(I measured both hub and rim and used two sizing calculators for that rim and rear hub and chose 287mm and 289mm spokes, 18 of each length)
287mm $0.43 (times 18 = $7.74)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=32422
289mm $0.51 (times 18 = $9.18)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=32640
for front wheel using this calculator http://lenni.info/edd/ says it's 290mm both sides
290mm $0.51 (times 36 = $18.36)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=32638
DT Swiss Champion 12mm, 2.0mm brass nipples $0.26 (times 72 = $18.72)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=32619
Dimension chainstay protector clear $5.95
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=501118
Origin8 classique sport seatpost 27.2mm x 300mm silver $26.08
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=509738
Origin8 seatpost clamp 31.8mm gold $5.99
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=431892
Origin8 headset spacers 1-1/8" (ten x 10mm) silver $6.20
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=431892
Origin8 headset threadless 1-1/8" gold $31.99
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=431753
Origin8 stem threadless 1-1/8" 25.4mm silver $21.99
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=431946
Origin8 handlebars 625mm long 25.4mm clamp 40mm high silver $19.80
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=431636
Black Ops platform pedals clear $14.99
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=432203
WTB Freedom Relax saddle light brown $36.98
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=433923
Dimension hand-stiched leather grips light brown $14.88
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=408543
Continental tubes 700x28-47mm Presta $6.26 (times two = $12.52) (or the thicker Michelin tubes)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=424089
Continental TourRide tires 700x37mm $26.96 (times two = $53.92) (or Michelin Tracker tires) (you can also get these in cream color with reflective strips from bikexperts.com in Germany if you ask them)
http://www.amazon.com/Continental-To.../dp/B0013DZGVG
Well, here the total without the shipping cost for amazon.com, niagaracycle and eBikestop and cost of assembly is $915.40
Sunlite bottle cages $1.99 (times two if you want $3.98)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=12697
Sunlite Tec HD tourer rack $24.99 (these were actually all silver when they arrived)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=430988
Axiom Rainrunner trekk reflex 700c fenders $54.00
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=426889
Avenir Softside City panniers $42.56
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=507460
Trek Lime bell $7.99 (you can click on additional views to see the 8 colors, I would choose white)
http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...ProductID=1439
Civia two leg kickstand $27.00 (right now I'm not sure what the top plate model means yet)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=710999
Halo hex key skewers $15.00
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=12529
Cateye Strada cycling computer CD-RD100 $21.51 (this one is the black on sale but I've seen the white on sale before)
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=13708
The total at this point would be $1112.43
Kryptonite Kryptolock Value Series 2 (make sure to grease the mechanism inside) $32.16
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=30504
Giro Hex helmet $67.95 (depends on size, color)
http://www.amazon.com/Giro-Mountain-...6885571&sr=8-2
Dimension eyeglass mirror $10.50
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=411405
Fox Racing gloves $21.95
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=702678
Bellwether rain jacket $119.99
http://www.amazon.com/Bellwether-201...888369&sr=1-44
Bellwether AquaNo pants $60.39
http://www.amazon.com/Bellwether-Aqu...6895452&sr=8-3
The total at this point would be $1425.37
If you chose to go with a dynamo front hub and front and rear dynamo lights, this could be a choice
Busch&Muller D'Toplight Plus rear dynamo light 17 euro
http://www.bike-x-perts.com/en/produ...ucts_id/133927
Busch&Muller Lumotec Lyt Plus 25 lux front light for dynamo hub 24 euro
http://www.bike-x-perts.com/en/produ...ucts_id/359500
(you could also choose the IQ Cyo 60 lux front light but that's 64 euro)
http://www.bike-x-perts.com/en/produ...ucts_id/359497
Shimano DH-3N72 dynamo hub 58 euro (actually, I wanted to choose the Deore LX model for this message but the spoke calculator did not include this one, I can only measure it once I order it)
http://www.bike-x-perts.com/en/produ...ucts_id/242167
(The spokes for this would be 283mm both sides with the WTB Freedom Ryder 23 rim)
DT Swiss Champion 283mm spokes $0.49 each (times 36 = $17.64)
http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=92390
So, if you chose a dynamo hub 58 euro, front light 24 euro, rear light 17 euro (plus the 283mm spokes minus the 290mm spokes and Tiagra front hub), it would be $1539.26 without the shipping from bikexperts
I'm a little surprised I did all this work. But, please tell me if I missed any bike parts.
You can always use the frame sizing calculator at ColoradoCyclists.

Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 02-05-11 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 02-07-11, 02:22 PM   #24
keithinalaska
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Get the LHT. I bought a Cannondale T2, which I love, over the LHT but it was a toss up. Lots of people are riding and touring on the LHT because it is such a good bike.
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Old 02-09-11, 09:09 AM   #25
irwin7638
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I like the Surly LHT also, the 26" wheels will probably prove to be more durable under your weight also.

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