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  1. #1
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    Long Haul Trucker Deluxe

    I am a Long haul truck driver and I like to cycle when i get the chance to. I am looking at getting a LHT deluxe because i would be able to break it down into 2 smaller pieces and that would help in saving room in my truck. Does any one have experience with this frame good or bad? I had considered a folding bike but i really would rather have a full sized frame. Also does anyone know about what the frame cost?
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
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    I think that breaking down a bike with S&S couplers might be more trouble than it is worth if you are going to be riding the bike much. I don't have experience with them , but I am sure others will chime in. It is my impression that those are meant more for the occasional travel than constantly breaking the bike down to put in a vehicle. If you like the LHT Deluxe, you might also look for a Ritchey Breakaway as it is a lighter frame/fork. You might even find one used on C-list. I see the LHT Deluxe frames for $999 on the web.
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  3. #3
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    There's a wealth of info on the SS couplers elsewhere - likewise on the LHT bike, the two together are not a unique item, and it is a good value if that's what you want.

    How often you are riding might decide how well this will work. If you build the frame wisely (leaving lots of cable housing) you can break the frame in half in one minute or less. Just keep the coupler ends clean maybe with a plastic grocery bag tied on each end. If you're doing this daily or more, I don't think the SS coupler idea is gonna be great. Those exposed threaded areas and using the spanner wrench daily or more isn't going to hold up over a long time.

    For your specific application, it may not be clear how just taking the wheels off a normal bike wouldnt get it into a small enough space as it seems like the cabins on those big trucks are quite big. You still have the other messy bits and depth of the frame halves, it seems that long spaces would be easier to find in the cabin that deep spaces (two halves).

  4. #4
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    Test ride some folders. You might be surprised how well some handle. Try different ones since each has different properties. I'd also recommend to disassemble and assemble a SS coupler bike at a bike store so you will have first hand experience of how much is involved doing so.
    One man's adventure is somebody else's boring life. These are my adventures: http://adventurelaus.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Another vote to at least look at folders. I have a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, and it feels just like a regular bike to ride -- I did a century on it a couple of years back, and am using it on a 2-day, 160-mile charity ride next month. It's only when I look down and see the silly little wheels that I realise it's a folder. It is not a quick fold like the Brompton or the Tikit, but it does a quick partial fold, which would take less space in a cab.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member ijsbrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    I had considered a folding bike but i really would rather have a full sized frame.
    I have a Dahon Candenza on loan, which is a folding bike, but one with 26 inch wheels. And it has a frame that suits any kind of gearing or brake preferences.

    This couple used that kind of bike on a trip to India -- afraid that their bicycles would be stolen otherwise. So they needed something that could be taken into hotel rooms easily, without occupying all the space.

    So, there are folders out there that can do the job you would require better than a bike with an S&S couplers.

  7. #7
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    A complete bike with S&S couplers will start around $2,000. Coincidentally, that seems to be the price of most of the Bike Friday's web page.

    Gotta ask what you'll be doing with it as far as breakdown. If I just split the S&S frame and uncouple the cables, I can be ready to go inside 5 minutes. OTOH, a complete build or breakdown takes me an hour. The decoupled halves are still rather bulky, much larger than the (already big) suitcase the completely disassembled bike packs in.

  8. #8
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Another vote for a folding bike.

    Between the smaller wheels and faster fold, it'll be much more compact and convenient than a coupled 26"-wheeled bike.

    The LHT Deluxe usually runs $1000, plus it's frame-only so you'll have to pay a premium for a shop to assemble the bike for you. Something like the Xootr Swift, which is a very solid bike, is $750.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    If I just split the S&S frame and uncouple the cables, I can be ready to go inside 5 minutes. OTOH, a complete build or breakdown takes me an hour. The decoupled halves are still rather bulky, much larger than the (already big) suitcase the completely disassembled bike packs in.
    Same experience here with my normal size S&S bike. I think it should be OK in a truck cabin but it's definitely not the most space-saving bike with a basic decoupling. I would remove the front and rear wheel to create even more space. It will take you more about 10 mins. to assemble it that way. If you do the full breakdown (inside the case), it might take you at least an hour to put it back together. This is useful if you intend to store it long-term or if you're flying somewhere. If I were a truck driver I would definitely look into a folder for the occasional ride and pure convenience. For appearance purposes, I guess a truck driver might look better riding a normal size bike back to his truck. At least in the U.S., some people still view folders almost as clown bikes. This view is changing as folders are being quickly adopted in large metro areas.

  10. #10
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I rebuilt my LHT with a DeLuxe frame that I purchased this passed fall. The upgrade cost me about $550 net, and that included some replacement parts. I resold extra parts including the used frame. My first tour with it starts in June. I'm not flying with it, but do expect to use the breakdown feature for land travel, when/if necessary. It takes a minute to disassemble (in half) and a few to carefully assemble. I love the concept, but real payback may take a while. As the others have pointed out, I'm not sure if I'd like to disassemble/assemble every ride.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Be sure to look at the space where you want to carry it before deciding. I bought a folding bike to put in the deck locker of my sailboat. Funny thing is that while it didn't fit in it's folded state without taking off the pedals, a regular bike fit right in by just removing the front wheel. The long narrow hatch opening didn't let the width of the folder work.

    I think that I can pack or unpack my regular bike in a soft case quicker than most coupled bikes can be packed and unpacked. With the wheels, pedals, and handlebar off it fits in a nice easy to handle package. I use the softcase from Performance, but if you want to spend more the Tardis Ground Effect bag is nicer.

    BTW, don't assume that all folders ride well. I have found that most small wheeled folders are really poor riding bikes. My Dahon Helios is ok to ride to the store or other short errands, but the tall flexy stem arrangement is so noodley as to suck the joy out of riding for me. Reportedly Bike Friday's do not suffer from this ailment, but I would definitely try before buying.

  12. #12
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    I am a Long haul truck driver and I like to cycle when i get the chance to. I am looking at getting a LHT deluxe because i would be able to break it down into 2 smaller pieces and that would help in saving room in my truck. Does any one have experience with this frame good or bad? I had considered a folding bike but i really would rather have a full sized frame. Also does anyone know about what the frame cost?
    A compact frame with 26'' wheels does well for me when putting it in the back of a car. Just removing the front wheel, and occasionally lowering the seatpost (both of these are easy, fast, quick-release operations), makes for a package that is small enough for most of the situations I usually run into.

    Some kind of quick-release system for the bars could be used as well, but I haven't found it necessary. Turning them is sufficient.

    If you read enough reviews of the small-wheel folders, you will find people admitting that the ride is compromised in some ways. Even the Swift, which is one of the better riding, gets these reviews (there is a very long Swift thread over on the folding bike forum).

    26'' folders are another option. Dahon and Montague are among the companies making them. [The Montagues I have ridden (their higher end steel models, no longer made, but possibly available through sources like craigslist.com) handled at least as well as most other 26'' bikes, and had very good touring geometry, including the long chainstays. The newer models are aluminum, and you can find reviews on the web.]

  13. #13
    eternalvoyage
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    You might be surprised by how compact the package can be when you remove the front wheel and lower (or remove, which is also a very simple operation) the seatpost, with 26'' wheels and a compact frame.

    (You might even be able to construct a quick-removal system for the fork and bars; but it just seems unnecessary for most situations. Even without that, the package is pretty manageable. And there is something about a non-folding, one-piece frame that is simpler, cleaner, less hingey, and more integral and appealing. And the operations mentioned become very quick and natural, once you've gotten a little practice.)

  14. #14
    eternalvoyage
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    You can also install folding pedals on such a bike, which might help in some situations.

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