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  1. #1
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    please comment Surly LHT build

    Hi,

    I am going to get a Surly LHT and would like your comments on these specs that my LBS came up with. I asked for :

    1) Something with low gearing that can climb everything.
    2) Butterfly/ trekking bars
    3) durability over weight savings / performance.

    What do you think? What would you change? If I were to add about 200$ worth of components, where would you put them?
    I'm considering the following changes:
    1) Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires instead of Marathon Plus (+0$)
    2) V-brakes instead of canti (+20$)
    3) Brooks B17 saddle (+100$)
    4) Power Grips pedals (+55$)
    .... Tiagra front derailleur? Better hubs?

    Here's the part list. Thanks for helping!

    Frame Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Fork Surly
    Headset Ritchey Logic Comp
    Bar Tape Easton Gel Cork - 2 packs to build up thickness
    Stem Some stem is sitting here : )
    Handlebars Dimension Butterfly Trekking bar
    Brakes Tektro Oryx
    Brake Levers Shimano BL550
    Seatpost EVO 2 Bolt Micro Adjust
    Saddle Stock WTB SST (Basic but cheap)
    Shifters Dura Ace Bar End Shifters
    Shifter Mounts Paul Thumbies
    Crankset Deore MTB Triple w/ External BB
    Chain KMC X.9
    Cassette SRAM PG950 11 x 34
    Front Derailleur Shimano Sora Triple
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore Long Cage
    Hubs Shimano Deore 36h
    Rims Mavic A319 - silver 36h
    Spokes Sapim Leader Stainless
    Tires Schwalbe Marathon Plus Smartguard 700 x 35
    Tubes Kenda
    Pedals not included

    Complete Bike $CAD 1 280,00 w/o tax

  2. #2
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    I also built up an LHT for the same purpose, but with a flat bar with bar ends. Parts list is the first post in this thread: http://wereldfietser.nl/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14163 , pictures of the result are a bit further in the thread: http://wereldfietser.nl/phpbb/viewto...131775#p131775.
    And a shot during a short trip to France:


    Changes I'd make to your build:

    Crankset: Sugino XD with square taper BB (Shimano BB-UN55); the square taper should last longer than an external BB (will replace the cranks I have now with the Sugino once they're worn)
    Rims: Exal SP19 or Rigida Sputnik 36h
    Front derailleur: Deore, or is there a good reason for Sora?
    26" LHT: 26" wheels are more robust than 28" versions and will allow you to mount wider tyres which are more robust too and offer more cushioning protecting the rest of your bike and yourself against vibrations

    I'd also add a Tubus Cargo rear rack.

    I second the v-brakes and Brooks. I choose to get LX instead of Deore hubs on my build, but am not sure how big the difference is. New XT hubs would be less ideal than LX for serious touring (oversized Alu hub instead of steel, smaller bearings).

  3. #3
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    I've been riding with Schwalbe XR on the rear and Supreme on the front of a 700C Cross-Check, nice set up for crashing through things and sticking on the road. Don't get the B17 but to each his own. I had an extra set of pannier rails mounts brazed 2" lower on a Tubus Cargo for the LHT.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    I had an extra set of pannier rails mounts brazed 2" lower on a Tubus Cargo for the LHT.
    Did you have the Cargo laying around or is there a reason for not buying the Tubus Logo instead, which has those extra rails by default?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasse View Post
    I also built up an LHT for the same purpose, but with a flat bar with bar ends. Parts list is the first post in this thread: http://wereldfietser.nl/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14163 , pictures of the result are a bit further in the thread: http://wereldfietser.nl/phpbb/viewto...131775#p131775.
    And a shot during a short trip to France:


    Changes I'd make to your build:

    Crankset: Sugino XD with square taper BB (Shimano BB-UN55); the square taper should last longer than an external BB (will replace the cranks I have now with the Sugino once they're worn)
    Rims: Exal SP19 or Rigida Sputnik 36h
    Front derailleur: Deore, or is there a good reason for Sora?
    26" LHT: 26" wheels are more robust than 28" versions and will allow you to mount wider tyres which are more robust too and offer more cushioning protecting the rest of your bike and yourself against vibrations

    I'd also add a Tubus Cargo rear rack.

    I second the v-brakes and Brooks. I choose to get LX instead of Deore hubs on my build, but am not sure how big the difference is. New XT hubs would be less ideal than LX for serious touring (oversized Alu hub instead of steel, smaller bearings).
    Hi Lasse,

    Thanks for the reply. I am definitely going for two tubus racks, as I will be carrying both my gear and my girlfriend's. My LBS can't get them though, so I didnt list them here.

    Front derailleur: I remember asking why not deore, but I forgot the LBS answer. I'll try again. Going with 2 mountain bike derailleurs would make sense.

    Hubs: My LBS (they told me that if they do one thing right it's the wheels) also told me that the XT wouldnt be more durable than the Deore. I'll ask them about those rims.

    Crankset: I'll ask, and see what price difference that would make.

    26" vs 700c: I would also tend to get a 26", but my girlfriend's bike is a 700c and I'd rather only carry one type of spare tires/tubes. Also, the 700c frame is on clearance.

    Cheers!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    I've been riding with Schwalbe XR on the rear and Supreme on the front of a 700C Cross-Check, nice set up for crashing through things and sticking on the road. Don't get the B17 but to each his own. I had an extra set of pannier rails mounts brazed 2" lower on a Tubus Cargo for the LHT.
    thanks!

  7. #7
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    Depending on where you will be riding, fenders may be a nice addition.

    I also suggest giving careful consideration to the gearing (see calculator below). How much variation in cadence can you tolerate? An 11-34 cassette has some big jumps which may make it impossible to find a comfortable gear. It also may be wider than you need. At the top end, pedaling at 90 rpm puts you at nearly 30 mph which is much faster than most tourist go (unless coasting downhill, in which case you are using the brakes, not the pedals). At the low end, pedaling at 60 rpm puts you at nearly 3 mph, which may be so slow you can't keep the bike upright.

    I use a 12-27 on my bike, but might switch to a 13-30 when the cassette wears out.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasse View Post
    Did you have the Cargo laying around or is there a reason for not buying the Tubus Logo instead, which has those extra rails by default?
    Yes, I had it after getting used to a Topeak rack that had lower rails so for the heck of it I paid a guy $75 to braze on some CroMo lower rails. The Logo is too narrow.

  9. #9
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    "...I will be carrying both my gear and my girlfriend's...."

    Carrying all her gear, unless there is a special need or reason, is a bad idea.
    When I've toured in a small group, I've carried the tent, stove, and pots and pans, but that is the limit.

    Pulling your weight adds a certain authenticity to self propelled trips. It also provides a deeper satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2432 View Post
    Depending on where you will be riding, fenders may be a nice addition.

    I also suggest giving careful consideration to the gearing (see calculator below). How much variation in cadence can you tolerate? An 11-34 cassette has some big jumps which may make it impossible to find a comfortable gear. It also may be wider than you need. At the top end, pedaling at 90 rpm puts you at nearly 30 mph which is much faster than most tourist go (unless coasting downhill, in which case you are using the brakes, not the pedals). At the low end, pedaling at 60 rpm puts you at nearly 3 mph, which may be so slow you can't keep the bike upright.

    I use a 12-27 on my bike, but might switch to a 13-30 when the cassette wears out.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Paul
    I agree that there are some larger gaps in an 11-34 cassette. Consider instead one of the custom cassettes made by Harris Cyclery (13-34). Or you can have your bike shop make a custom cassette without the larger gaps, see toward the bottom of this link for an explanation: http://sheldonbrown.com/k9.shtml. I was able to have a 12-26 SRAM (12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-26) turned into a much more useful (for me) 13-34 by replacing the original 12-13-14 cogs with a single first position 13, and then adding a 30 and a 34 on the other side: 13-15-17-19-21-23-26-30-34. Or you could turn a 12-25 cassette into a close range 13-32 (12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25 turns into 13-15-17-19-21-23-25-28-32).

    I wouldn't say that the low gear is too low. In fact, I think that the low gear with a 32 or 34 rear cog still might be welcome -- at 90 rpm, there's no problem staying upright with that low gear. My low gear is around 21 gear inches, and there are times when an even lower gear would be nice.

    Is your projected crankset a 22-32-44?

    As for carrying your girlfriend's gear, there's no way for me to know whether that's a good idea or bad idea because I don't know her personality, I don't know her strength, and I don't know if her bike is even set up to carry much. All I can say that my wife does appreciate it when I carry the majority of the load, but it's also true that she usually likes to carry part of the load. So do whatever works for the two of you!

    I agree with the B-17, they work well for me anyway.

  11. #11
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    1) Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires instead of Marathon Plus (+0$); I don't have experience with the Mondials, but can assure you that the M-Plus's will get you anywhere you need to go for a lot of years and with no flats (but aren't intended for off-road use). These tires standup very well even to heavy tandem touring with a total weight of 500 pounds.

    2) V-brakes instead of canti (+20$)
    Stick with Cantilevers and use KoolStops pads (take two spare sets). These will serve you much better over the years than the fad v-brakes. In a few more years the disk brakes will have reached maturity an then I will recommend a few of them, but for now you need solid reliable brakes that will work for you all tour long so it is Canti's with Koolstops. But don't start the tour if you haven't yet gained experience with tuning the (whatever type) brakes, replacing the pads, adjusting cables, and confirming that you have the tools needed in your kit.

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