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Old 12-05-11, 07:25 AM   #1
georgiaman
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Bike of a lifetime with a budget

In the next year I am going to be moving to New Orleans to start seminary. After that my wife and I will be moving to either Honduras, India, or Germany to start mission work. I'm going to be selling my car in a few months to pay for a bike and the mission work.

I need opinions on which bike to buy that will meet the following criteria:
-26 in wheels
-steel frame
-last me like 30 years
-budget $1000-$1500
-have eyelets for racks and fenders
-be able to take road and non-technical singletrack
(pretty much a steel expedition touring bike)

I'm leaning towards a 62 cm Surly LHT with 26in wheels, but I have thought about a Surly Troll, Salsa Fargo (has 29in wheels), fixing up an old 90's steel MTB, or fixing up my Jamis commuter 1(has 700c wheels and too small of frame). I'm open to drop bars or trekking bars, but prefer drop handlebars. I want the bike to do everything okay. This is pretty much the bike of a lifetime with a budget.

What would you do?
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Old 12-05-11, 07:41 AM   #2
wahoonc
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Surly or find an MTB.... Also to me a Big Dummy or Kona Ute wouldn't be out of the question. 26" wheels and steel are givens.

Aaron

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Old 12-05-11, 07:50 AM   #3
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I've been reading quite a bit about steel frames and apparently those frames last forever if you can take care of it. It's rusts though, that's the downside but it can be taken care of if you know how. I bet some steel frame guys in the forums will list more upsides and downsides than I can.
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Old 12-05-11, 08:19 AM   #4
aroundoz
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You might want to consider a Thorn Sherpa as well. Better tubing, internal rust treatment, and a lifetime warranty on the frame although this is probably meaningless to someone who doesn't live in or close to the UK. But it's nice to know it's there and that they have the confidence in their frame to provide this kind of warranty. Their frames usually do a better job of accommodating a person's riding preference since they come in varying TT lengths. Having said that, the frame alone, with duty etc..., will cost almost double of that of a Surly and might put you over your limit for a complete build.

If you get the LHT, buy a can of framesaver, rust inhibitor, or engine fogging oil, treat the inside thoroughly and you will be good to go. If you get the complete build, consider upgrading the wheels or at least having the stock ones thoroughly re-tensioned after a few rides.
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Old 12-05-11, 08:21 AM   #5
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Have the frame treated with Frame Saver every few years if you want it to last that long.

BTW...How tall are you? I am 6' 2" with a relatively short inseam and ride a 60cm LHT. I could probably get away with a 58cm.
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Old 12-05-11, 09:20 AM   #6
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First, welcome, I used to live on campus at Seminary in N.O., have since moved out into the country. I think you will enjoy your stay there!

Second, I have a 26" wheel LHT, if you're interested, I can arrange for you to ride it and see what you think. I live about an hour outside of N.O. It's a very solid bike, very durable and fun to ride, but it's not fast... so don't think roadie group rides (I do them on it anyway). But it would definitely serve you well.

Fargo, Troll, or LHT... any of those bikes will work great for dirt road touring. I'm partial to the LHT because I wanted something with a more road-bike geometry, but they're all good.

FYI, I have a 54cm, but I've got massive headset spacers on it..
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Old 12-05-11, 09:43 AM   #7
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The Surly Troll is a worthy contender:

http://whileoutriding.com/

I've been commuting on a Troll for 9 months, and really like its versatility.
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Old 12-05-11, 09:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Have the frame treated with Frame Saver every few years if you want it to last that long.

BTW...How tall are you? I am 6' 2" with a relatively short inseam and ride a 60cm LHT. I could probably get away with a 58cm.
Yeah, I'm 6'2" with a 33 inseam. I was really wondering what size to get. I can't seem to find a store anywhere around here with Surly in-stock.
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Old 12-05-11, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkyStickman View Post
First, welcome, I used to live on campus at Seminary in N.O., have since moved out into the country. I think you will enjoy your stay there!

Second, I have a 26" wheel LHT, if you're interested, I can arrange for you to ride it and see what you think. I live about an hour outside of N.O. It's a very solid bike, very durable and fun to ride, but it's not fast... so don't think roadie group rides (I do them on it anyway). But it would definitely serve you well.

Fargo, Troll, or LHT... any of those bikes will work great for dirt road touring. I'm partial to the LHT because I wanted something with a more road-bike geometry, but they're all good.

FYI, I have a 54cm, but I've got massive headset spacers on it..
Hey, thanks for the offer to test ride. I'm not yet in New Orleans, still in Georgia, but hopefully will be moving out there within a year. I've seen your pics of your LHT and it really made me want one.
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Old 12-05-11, 10:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by georgiaman View Post
Hey, thanks for the offer to test ride. I'm not yet in New Orleans, still in Georgia, but hopefully will be moving out there within a year. I've seen your pics of your LHT and it really made me want one.
Thanks, man! I had fun building it. I used to live in Georgia (did a part-time ministry position there) near Vidalia and Soperton. Small world, eh? If you're thinking about building one from scratch, let me know, I can help you spec stuff out that will work. The complete bike is very nice, though, if you like bar-end shifters.
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Old 12-05-11, 10:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
The Surly Troll is a worthy contender:

http://whileoutriding.com/

I've been commuting on a Troll for 9 months, and really like its versatility.
Sorry for being off topic but that is a fantastic journal. Lots of excellent photos and just enough words to tell the story. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:59 AM   #12
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for spare tires . #1 around the world is 26" 559, #2 is 20" 406.

My most recent purchase , a Bike Friday with The 406 wheel
is now getting the most used.. and flying often in quest of heathens
to convert is easier.. as they pack into a normal sized suitcase.

Quote:
... my wife and I will be moving...
so you need 2 bikes, for 1500, right?


Quote:
What would you do?
the starting point , was mentioning starting Seminary, and the rest of it
is a projection from there .

there is needs for people to do other things to help undo the ill effects
of Empire and Capitalism, other than the Church,
one of the creators of that empire itself.

Medical School ,in Cuba, might be a better path.

and if accepted, will not require a hundred thousand in debt to start.

and now, back to talking about Bike parts..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-05-11 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 12-05-11, 12:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by georgiaman View Post
Yeah, I'm 6'2" with a 33 inseam. I was really wondering what size to get. I can't seem to find a store anywhere around here with Surly in-stock.
Mine LHT is a 700c. Assuming the clearance is the same on the 26" (the measurements should be on their site), I think the 62cm might be too large for you. My inseam is about 34". I have about 1.5-1.75 inches of clearance. I went with the 60cm because I like the way it fits "up top."
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