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  1. #1
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    Surly Long Haul Trucker, what size for women?

    Hey.
    I am new in touring and have decided to go for a Surly Long Haul Trucker as my bike for a 2 month biking tour this summer. Now, my problem is what size to choose.
    My hight is 168 cm (5''6) and my pubic bone hight is 80 cm (31,5'').
    I already own a Bianchi via Nirone C2C in a size 55 cm which I found to be a bit to big for me.
    Does anybody have some insight into Surly sizes?

    Experiences are much appreciated!

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the Surly Website?

    "Size" is seat tube from BB to top of the seat tube.. You need to learn Standover
    and Top tube.. for reach .. to fork axis [changing stem extensions is an adjustment point]

    No Surly Direct internet sales.. so pick a bike shop you like doing Business with..

    Drop by the Shop that you would order the bike from . and spend some time in person,
    Its slow season in the North , Good timing..


    Abundant shops have a QBP account.
    though the Billing from QBP is 30 days net so Many may not have them on the floor on Spec.

    Out were I am the LBS has the account, But the inventory is Trek, in particular,
    Redline Felt and others , because the revolving credit account with the distributors ,
    allows them to be on the floor for a while before the bill comes due,
    to pay the bank from sales ..

    then you can have a look at the book and discuss the options

    take the PBH number and decide how close to physical contact
    with the tube you can stand..over
    by straddling what bikes they have and compare with Surly's data grid.

    and Note: how far to reach increases with size..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-07-13 at 01:35 PM.

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    I found the sizing for Surly LHT and CrossCheck was the same as the road bike I had but I have long arms and am comfortable with long top tubes. In your case you'll be looking at 26" wheels as they are on bikes 54cm and smaller. The 54cm LHT has a 55cm effective top tube which is 5mm longer than your Bianchi. If your objection to your Bianchi is top tube length then the 52cm LHT would make sense. If your problem with the Bianchi is stand over height I suggest measuring it's stand over height then comparing it to Surlys measurements on their website. Something worth mentioning is that Surleys stand over heights are measured with 1.25" tires which means if you put on 1.75" tires the top tube will be higher. My 56cm LHT with 1.75" tires sat noticeably higher than the 56cm LHT with 700x32mm tires.
    WAG you'll be a good fit on the 52cm LHT.

    Just checked Surlys site, the tires they measure stand over height with are smaller than the tires that come on the bike. I'd add .25" to their measurement.
    Last edited by LeeG; 01-07-13 at 02:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    It's pretty impossible to say based upon height alone. For example: I'm 6' tall and ride a 58cm Trucker. My girlfriend is 5'8" and also rides a 58cm Trucker (with a slightly shorter stem).

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    With most riders and most modern frames with sloping top tubes, pubic bone height is really not the place to start measuring, regardless of what certain people who sell certain bikes say about it. It takes into account standover height, which isn't usually a problem if the bike fits otherwise (especially with sloping top tubes), and indirectly seat height, but not handlebar height or top tube length.
    The argument for going by PBH is that if you get the biggest size you can stand over, you can get your bars up high compared to your saddle, essentially because your saddle will be close to the bottom. But with a lot of frames, that means your bars will be a lot farther away than you want.

    It's better to figure out where your points of contact with the bike need to be to put your body in a comfortable position, then look at the specs to see which size will best accomplish that. The first thing to look at is effective top tube length, since that's the least adjustable parameter. You said your Bianchi is a bit too big; most of the time that means that the reach is too long or the handlebars are too high or both. (Sometimes it also means that the cranks are too long, but a 55cm likely came with the same 170mm cranks that smaller sizes come with, so I doubt it's that)

    Keep in mind that the reach to the handlebars is also affected by the stem length, and that stems can be swapped out. So you could get the same reach on a frame with a 55cm top tube and a 100mm stem as with a 56cm top tube and a 90mm stem, although most road frames will tend to handle kind of weird with stems shorter than maybe 80mm or longer than maybe 110.

    Looking at those numbers should narrow it down for you pretty quickly, but if you find yourself deciding between sizes, keep in mind that a smaller frame will end up with the bars lower than a larger frame. If you calculate that your saddle is likely to be on the higher side for the frame size, that means a greater drop to the handlebars than if you calculate that your saddle is likely to be on the lower side. You can measure the saddle height on your existing bike and compare the numbers with the LHT specs.

    Also keep in mind that the LHT, being designed as a touring bike, has a higher head tube (i.e, handlebars don't go down as low) than many road frames. Many people prefer handlebars roughly level with the saddle or even higher for touring, but not everyone and you are the best judge of your own preferences.

    I don't know whether you're planning on building up the frame yourself, picking all the parts and having the shop build it up for you, or ordering a complete bike. But whatever the case, check with the shop first to make sure that they will be willing to swap out the stem for you and leave the steerer tube uncut until you decide where you want the handlebars.

    So anyway, the short version of that is, read the specs and compare the numbers with measurements taken from the bike you have.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coluber42 View Post


    make sure that they will be willing to swap out the stem for you and leave the steerer tube uncut until you decide where you want the handlebars.

    So anyway, the short version of that is, read the specs and compare the numbers with measurements taken from the bike you have.
    1+

    A df touring bike can take lots of riding to dial in just right. Get as close as you can up front, then ride and tweak, ride and tweak.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Quote Originally Posted by isaolofsson View Post
    my pubic bone hight is 80 cm
    You probably will best fit a 52cm Surly LHT or DT (Disc Trucker, has same geometry as LHT).

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    For what it's worth, I'm 5'6" and my stock 52cm LHT fits perfectly.

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    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    For what it's worth, I'm 5'6" and my stock 52cm LHT fits perfectly.
    It has more to do with your PBH than your height, Louis.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Those who are leggy for their height. end up stretched out far on a men's frame design.



    I am better at putting real people on bikes on the floor, customer, right there..

    enjoy the theorizing..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-08-13 at 10:48 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Those who are leggy for their height. end up stretched out far on a men's frame design.


    That does tend to be true.... but people's needs and preferences also vary significantly. My significant other is about a half-inch shorter than me, but has a much shorter inseam (and longer torso - if we are both sitting down, he is taller). Needless to say, we are very close in bike sizes and can switch back and forth easily. However, he actually likes his saddle HIGHER than I do, because he tends to pedal with his toes pointed down and I tend to pedal with my feet level. He prefers to sit more upright and I prefer to stretch out a bit more, so he prefers a slightly shorter reach than I do. I also keep my handlebars slightly lower than he does, although that at least does make sense because I have longer arms.
    The differences in our preferences are fairly small - we can trade bikes for moderate distances. But for any long distance, we have both spent a fair amount of time figuring out what works for us, and the differences are not necessarily what you would expect given only our heights and PBH's.
    IMHO, measuring a bike you already have that is a known quantity as a starting point is a much better approach.

    That said, a 52 will probably work, although you could probably also get away with a 50 or a 54, depending on stem length, your preferences for handlebar height, and whether you care about standover.

  12. #12
    Seņor Wences jwbnyc's Avatar
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    With a 54cm effective top tube, I'd expect the 52cm LHT to be a tad too long for you. Look at the 50cm instead.
    Last edited by jwbnyc; 01-08-13 at 09:24 PM.

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    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isaolofsson View Post
    Hey.
    I am new in touring and have decided to go for a Surly Long Haul Trucker as my bike for a 2 month biking tour this summer. Now, my problem is what size to choose.
    My hight is 168 cm (5''6) and my pubic bone hight is 80 cm (31,5'').
    I already own a Bianchi via Nirone C2C in a size 55 cm which I found to be a bit to big for me.
    Does anybody have some insight into Surly sizes?

    Experiences are much appreciated!
    I am your height. I ride a 49-50cm.

  14. #14
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    Thanks a lot for all the great replies!
    Living in Copenhagen, the nearest store dealing Surly bikes is a 1000 km north of here, in the middle of Sweden, so your help is very much appreciated.
    I compared the measurements from my Bianchi with those from the Surly LHT, and decided to order the 52 cm delux frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isaolofsson View Post
    Thanks a lot for all the great replies!
    Living in Copenhagen, the nearest store dealing Surly bikes is a 1000 km north of here, in the middle of Sweden, so your help is very much appreciated.
    I compared the measurements from my Bianchi with those from the Surly LHT, and decided to order the 52 cm delux frame.
    Congratulations and happy riding.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by isaolofsson View Post
    Thanks a lot for all the great replies!
    Living in Copenhagen, the nearest store dealing Surly bikes is a 1000 km north of here, in the middle of Sweden, so your help is very much appreciated.
    I compared the measurements from my Bianchi with those from the Surly LHT, and decided to order the 52 cm delux frame.
    I know it has been quite a while since you posted this but I was wondering how that size worked out for you? I am similar measurements and debating 50 or 52...

  17. #17
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langstervision View Post
    I know it has been quite a while since you posted this but I was wondering how that size worked out for you? I am similar measurements and debating 50 or 52...
    The 50cm and 52cm have the same reach, the result is both sizes will use the same length stem. For this case I would look closely at the stack (headtube height), exposed seatpost and standover height. Then choose the size that is best for you.
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  18. #18
    Senior Member Vintage_Cyclist's Avatar
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    There's a Surly Long Haul Trucker & Cross-Check Owners Group on Google that maintains a Surly LHT Size Spreadsheet of bike sizes chosen by different sized riders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    The 50cm and 52cm have the same reach, the result is both sizes will use the same length stem. For this case I would look closely at the stack (headtube height), exposed seatpost and standover height. Then choose the size that is best for you.
    Thanks for the comment! I put together a spreadsheet (gridlines didn't show up) of my well-fitting road bike (Orbea) and the 50 and 52 LHT. I am not worried about STL because I noticed my saddle is really jacked up. Until your post I was really mostly worried about TTL because I do have back issues so I am concerned about being strung out. But it looks like the reaches are similar? Based on these numbers it doesn't look like there would be much clearance with the 52" if my pubic bone height is 31" (like half an inch)? I also see the HTLs look a lot different - but I don't really know what that means for me? Sorry I am totally clueless with sizing. Also I am only used to road and track bikes which are totally different positions. And this is definitely for long distance touring. What do you think comparing these numbers?
    Orbea (53) LHT (50) LHT (52)
    STL 460 500 520
    TTL 525 525.4 535
    ETTL 530 540
    HTA 72 71 71
    STA 74.5 74 73.5
    SOH 756.1 774.5
    HTL 140 144 163
    Stack 544 532.3 550.3
    Reach 371 374.5 374.6

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the post! I looked at the spreadsheet and saw a lot of people my height went with the 50. Of course there are overlappers with both sizes. I think am on the cusp unfortunately. I'll keep trolling the owners groups

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    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langstervision View Post
    ...I also see the HTLs look a lot different - but I don't really know what that means for me?...
    Not much. Both sizes use the same fork, the steerer tubes are the same length, the difference is how many spacers you'll need to have the same final stack height. So if you're on the fence and worried about stand-over, get the smaller frame and add 20mm of spacers to get the same stem height.
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  22. #22
    Senior Member Vintage_Cyclist's Avatar
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    Another note: The LHT only comes with 26 inch wheels for frame sizes smaller than 56cm. Being a smaller wheel, the stand-over height would be less than the same size frame with a 700c wheel. This might make a difference of about 5cm (w/o accounting for tire differences).

  23. #23
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Our 5'6" daughter's LHT is a 50 cm, and it seems to fit her well. Her legs are a little on the long side in proportion to her torso. The standover height is good, but not excessive. We seemed to have obtained a pretty good fit, and she has put in some long miles with no complaints. She has been running 26" x 1.25 tires for touring.

    However, it is not a stock bike. The drive train is a 9 spd. 44/32/22 crankset with an 11-34 rear cassette.

    Tell the shop not to cut your steerer tube. Depending on where you dial in your bar height, you may not even want/need to have it cut. I still have not got around to cutting the one on my LHT It has only been 4 years since I finished putting it together


    Bar height/stem size adjusted for a lillte more upright riding position.


    Last edited by Doug64; 02-23-15 at 10:57 PM.

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    Have you considered the Soma Saga? I have longerish legs and found the Saga fit me better. It should be in the same price range and is available as a complete bike. I'm 5'8" and ride the 54cm 26" Version. I had a 52cm LHT before but found the geometry and size was off for me. I much prefer the Saga over the LHT

  25. #25
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist7579818
    Another note: The LHT only comes with 26 inch wheels for frame sizes smaller than 56cm. Being a smaller wheel, the stand-over height would be less than the same size frame with a 700c wheel. This might make a difference of about 5cm (w/o accounting for tire differences).
    If you look at the geometry tables, this isn't the case. Surly has matched the 26" and 700c frames exactly, same reach, stack and standover.
    Last edited by Mr IGH; 02-24-15 at 07:50 AM.
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

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