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Old 09-11-11, 06:18 PM   #1
goalieMN
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Long Haul Trucker 58cm or 60cm - which wheel size???

So, I am pretty set on a Surly Long Haul Trucker for my next bike. The local bike store has a 60cm used one in black that has some extra top-bar Salsa brakes installed, as well as a little rack on the front and an Axiom rack that looks pretty sturdy on the rear. I could save a several hundred buying the used bike, and I like it after riding it, but I was thinking that 26" wheels would be nicer for my touring bike, as that is what I have on my commuter. Less sizes of tubes and tires to keep around at home, and I could use my Surly's wheels on the commuter eventually when/if I buy some "nice" touring wheels in the future.

So, if the money really wasn't a big issue, what do you guys think? I really don't want to end up regretting getting the used one with 700cc wheels, but I don't really know that I would regret it.

Oh, and if I buy new, I could get the bike in blue instead of black, but that really isn't a big deal to me either.
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Old 09-11-11, 06:43 PM   #2
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what is the price diff between the two? who cares if you have to pickup a couple extra 700c tubes, not that big of a deal
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Old 09-11-11, 06:51 PM   #3
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what is the price diff between the two? who cares if you have to pickup a couple extra 700c tubes, not that big of a deal
$300 difference between used and new.

The tubes are not that big of a deal, but my commuter is a 26" wheeled bike, and, as I said, it would be nice to keep it the same, so I can roll my Surly wheels over to the commuter if I get new wheels for the LHT......
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Old 09-11-11, 07:00 PM   #4
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sounds like you need a new commuter to me! each bike should have their own extra set of wheels. the $300 you save will allow you to pay for one of those extra sets of wheels. BTW, why worry about extra wheels for the commuter, you can just commute on the surly if you have to. and if you really want a 2nd set of wheels for the LHT, the $300 you save will pay for a 2nd set of wheels so buy the used one.
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Old 09-11-11, 07:28 PM   #5
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sounds like you need a new commuter to me! each bike should have their own extra set of wheels. the $300 you save will allow you to pay for one of those extra sets of wheels. BTW, why worry about extra wheels for the commuter, you can just commute on the surly if you have to. and if you really want a 2nd set of wheels for the LHT, the $300 you save will pay for a 2nd set of wheels so buy the used one.
Because I am in Minnesota and I have "winter" wheels and "summer" wheels for any bike I ride year round.......

I think you might be right about just going with the used one though. I don't really see any downside to the 700cc tires, especially on pavement.
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Old 09-11-11, 07:38 PM   #6
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I bought a 700c 56cm LHT as my do all touring/commuter bike with a Kona Ute as the big hauler. After awhile I just never warmed up to the Ute and decided to try a 26" LHT as my big hauler and to see if there was a difference between it and the 700c LHT. Turns out the 26" LHT is a much nicer handling bike, more responsive and easier to ride hands off. If you desire bigger tires and more responsive handling I'd suggest the 26" wheel version, but I"m making the assumption that what occured at my frame size applies to yours.
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Old 09-11-11, 08:07 PM   #7
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As you really seem to want bikes with matching wheel sizes, then that's what you should shoot for. You'll quickly forget about the $300, but will be reminded daily that you've got bikes with different wheel sizes, which you really don't want.
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Old 09-11-11, 08:17 PM   #8
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I bought a 700c 56cm LHT as my do all touring/commuter bike with a Kona Ute as the big hauler. After awhile I just never warmed up to the Ute and decided to try a 26" LHT as my big hauler and to see if there was a difference between it and the 700c LHT. Turns out the 26" LHT is a much nicer handling bike, more responsive and easier to ride hands off. If you desire bigger tires and more responsive handling I'd suggest the 26" wheel version, but I"m making the assumption that what occured at my frame size applies to yours.
That's cool info. I'd like to add though that even if you're right, I noticed I can go up hills on a bike with 700c wheels without even getting up from my seat. It seems a tad more difficult with 26 inch wheels, unless my perception is incorrect.
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Old 09-11-11, 09:09 PM   #9
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That's cool info. I'd like to add though that even if you're right, I noticed I can go up hills on a bike with 700c wheels without even getting up from my seat. It seems a tad more difficult with 26 inch wheels, unless my perception is incorrect.
Plug some numbers into Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator. May not change your 'perception,' but will shed light on theoretical reality.
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Old 09-11-11, 09:29 PM   #10
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The only reason I can think of to go with 700c wheels is the ride may be a bit smoother, but with 26" wheels at a lower pressure I think the ride would be just fine as well. I'll be going with 26" wheels on my LHT
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Old 09-11-11, 10:04 PM   #11
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this topic makes me wonder how it would be interesting for someone to use the same bike (like in this case, a LHT) to see given a same frame size, how the ride is diff between 26 adn 700s (yes, I know, so many variables, wheelset, tires, pressures)

the general take on 26n vs 700s are the factors of 26s being stronger for the size, availability of parts, tires, etc more in other countries, and for having more room on a frame as teh tires and wheels are smaller. For N America, Europe, the 700 isnt a problem. You might have more choice of diff types of tires (specifically narrow ones) with 700s, but I could be wrong on that (going from my looking at new tires on my 26 wheels, roadish tires in 1.5 and less wide)
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Old 09-13-11, 09:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
I bought a 700c 56cm LHT as my do all touring/commuter bike with a Kona Ute as the big hauler. After awhile I just never warmed up to the Ute and decided to try a 26" LHT as my big hauler and to see if there was a difference between it and the 700c LHT. Turns out the 26" LHT is a much nicer handling bike, more responsive and easier to ride hands off. If you desire bigger tires and more responsive handling I'd suggest the 26" wheel version, but I"m making the assumption that what occured at my frame size applies to yours.
I decided during a tour on a gravel rails to trails route that I wanted a wider tire than the 700cX37 tires on my LHT (58cm) for gravel. I bought the LHT frame and fork before they sold complete bikes, so I had built that up with the components that I wanted. I bought a used Thorn Sherpa frame and built it up with heavy duty 26in wheels. I used nearly identical components on the Thorn as on the LHT, the drive train between the two bikes is identical, the only significant differences were rims and tires, the Thorn has 26X2.0 tires.

Quite frankly, the LHT is my go-to bike when I will be on pavement and my Thorn is my go-to non-pavement bike.

I don't plan to tour outside North America so I am not going to get into the argument about which tire size is more readily available in Outer Mongolia, to me the question of 700c versus 26in is simply whether or not I will be on pavement or gravel.

I also have a second set of 700c wheels that were too cheap for me to pass up, I put some 120 psig smooth tread supple casing fast training tires on those wheels. When I want to go fast, I swap wheels. In other words, I see no advantage to your proposal to minimize tire inventory, as I enjoy having a variety of tires.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:41 PM   #13
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I just bought a 62cm Trucker with 26" wheels (I've had it for 5 days, got about 100 miles on it so far). It's a goofy-looking bastard, but I'm glad I went with the 26" wheels. They don't feel unstable at all with the frame's geometry, yet maintain a nice quality of nimbleness. I think they are better suited to gravel, which I ride half of the time. The wheels are strong, relatively light, and make a large bike feel a little more compact. I'm running 1.5" Paselas, but if I want to throw my 2.0" Marathon Extremes on, I honestly think the bike could handle just about anything... I'm also glad I can swap tires with my Big Dummy. So, my vote is for 26" wheels.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:18 PM   #14
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Well, I am going to take the used one with 700cc wheels for a longish test-ride. If I love it, I am not going to worry about the wheel size, and I can spend the extra money on nicer panniers etc..... If I don't love it, then I can get one with the 26 inch wheels.
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Old 09-13-11, 11:01 PM   #15
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Domestic paved road tours or "3rd world" southern hemisphere un paved roads planned?
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Old 09-14-11, 10:38 AM   #16
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Domestic paved road tours or "3rd world" southern hemisphere un paved roads planned?
^^^ This
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Old 09-14-11, 12:02 PM   #17
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Mostly domestic, and if I go "3rd world" I would be able to buy another bike for such an expedition. I am actually really hoping that I love the used one with the 700cc wheels. I could have the bike and panniers/handlebar bag for what I was planning on spending for the bike alone.
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Old 09-14-11, 12:22 PM   #18
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The difference isn't really that great. I bought a 700c 60cm LHT, and I went through the same back and forth before choosing. I eventually chose based on looks.
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Old 09-14-11, 03:21 PM   #19
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I am actually really hoping that I love the used one with the 700cc wheels. I could have the bike and panniers/handlebar bag for what I was planning on spending for the bike alone.
and that is nothing to shake a stick at. If it is pretty unlikely that you would ever go somewhere off the western beat and track, heck, why not get a set of panniers and hbag for the same amount of money? Only you can decide that, but its certainly a sound reason to go that dirction.
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Old 09-14-11, 03:35 PM   #20
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When did Surly begin offering a choice in wheel size?

Only difference I see is the 26 inch tire choices are limited in road treads, and the 27" are limited in offroad tread. But not enough to make much of a difference.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:58 AM   #21
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When did Surly begin offering a choice in wheel size?
A couple years ago, they extended the option of 26" wheels into their larger sizes.

But wait, the title of this thread mentions size questions as well. Does the 60cm even fit? How tall are you? I prefer and ride the 26" wheels myself, but fellow LHT riders on 700c versions like theirs too and coast a little more than me. It sounds like you prefer 26", and $300 will be completely forgotten eight years later when you are still riding the bike.
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Old 09-15-11, 12:20 PM   #22
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Well, after doing a long test ride and adjusting the saddle a little and the stem, I bought the used one with the 700cc wheels.

One thing I found odd was that lots of people seem to think you need to size down the frame with the LHT, but the 60cm fit me perfect once tweaked except for the possible replacement of the handle bars with something 2-4cm wider. I do have pretty long arms though. Well, really long arms. Standover height is just fine, as the "boys" don't touch the bar, let alone my actual pelvis.....

I just cannot get over how comfy the upright position is when riding, and I really like the bar-end shifters.

The bike came with an Axiom rack that I am going to use for now, and one of those little front racks that can support huge Rando handlebar bags (stainless, I think it's from Rivendell or velo orange) that I will leave on above a lowrider front rack.

I was also unsure about the Salsa cyclocross top-bar brakes. I am now VERY sure that they will be staying. I love them

It also has a leather Velo-Orange saddle (sprung model) that is pretty comfy for me the way I adjusted it. I was set on finally trying a Brooks, and I still might someday, but not until after I give the saddle a chance to prove itself to me. I think that it may be staying a lot longer than the stock saddle on a new LHT would have.

So, any suggestions for a lowrider front rack and front panniers????
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Old 09-15-11, 12:56 PM   #23
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goalieMN, Glad you like it, pics?

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Old 09-15-11, 01:17 PM   #24
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....700cc wheels.
Just one "c", not two. 700c.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:27 PM   #25
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I had a 350cc with two wheels, raced it against 550 and 750cc bikes. Was fun.
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