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  1. #1
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    Long Haul Trucker question

    I'm posting this here because you guys probably are the best source of information about this bike on the forum.

    I'm looking to buy a new frame (currently riding a Trek Multitrack) for the all-new components I'm currently running or planning to buy. The bike will be largely recreational on multi-use bike paths and possibly some casual (ie, not fast) road rides with a local group. I'll never commute and I have no plans to do any type of touring. However, my current weight is 400 lbs so the oversized, thicker tubing of the LHT appeals to me.

    My primary concern is whether the LHT will feel too sluggish for me. I know the weight difference isn't really a factor but the really low bottom-bracket and the long chainstays are new to me and I only have a theoretical understanding of how they will affect the ride. I'm thinking that given the head-tube angle and the rake (72 degrees and 45 mm) of the fork on the LHT, it may actually feel more "lively" than my Multitrack (71.5 degrees and 40mm).

    I've read a lot of comments about the sluggishness of the bike but I suspect most of those are coming from dedicated road guys who are used to really racey geometry.

    I don't ride at a casual pace but instead, prefer to push myself and I really like a lot of curves, twists and small ups-and-downs in the terrain I ride. I'll be running it with rise MTB bars and MTB components.

    I guess I'm looking for some comfirmation that I wouldn't be buying a bike that is only good for riding in a long straight line while being comfortable.

    I appreciate any input you guys might have.

    I will note that I considered a Cross Check and in absolute terms, it might be the best choice but it isn't that much different than my current bike and I really want a new one!
    Last edited by corwin1968; 03-28-13 at 05:38 PM.
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NCbiker's Avatar
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    I don't really consider my LHT "slugish", I prefer to think of it as stable. It feels really solid and while it's not what some would call responsive, it's still a bicycle and quite maneuverable. I use mine as a commuter and loaded tourer, which is what it does best. Loaded it feels like a locomotive on rails. It's not a get out of the saddle rock and roller, in fact when you get up out of the saddle it kind of tells you to set back down. The Crosscheck is a little quicker and more responsive, but I still prefer the trucker for general riding. Your best bet would be to see if you can find one to test ride.
    __o
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  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Oregon Coast people tour on Road Bikes Too .. tow a BoB trailer and the bike can stay stripped down light.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    I guess I'm looking for some comfirmation that I wouldn't be buying a bike that is only good for riding in a long straight line while being comfortable.
    I don't understand. Is that what you think touring cyclists do?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    I don't think sweating the geometry is really relevant. You need a bike that will be stable under your weight, and unless you go custom that means a touring bike. Doesn't have to a LHT, but generally touring bikes share similar geo.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Only way you have say in geometry is the frame is being custom made for you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I don't understand. Is that what you think touring cyclists do?
    It's more related to comments I've seen, from other riders, on the LHT. Comments like "it's a boat", "it take half a state to turn around", "comfortable but not sporty", etc....
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It's more related to comments I've seen, from other riders, on the LHT. Comments like "it's a boat", "it take half a state to turn around", "comfortable but not sporty", etc....
    Go test ride more Bikes at Bike Shops, form your Own Opinion.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-22-13 at 12:29 PM.

  9. #9
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    My LHT handles pretty well loaded or unloaded. If the bike is slower because of it's weight or geometry I would think that would primarily affect acceleration and climbing but for recreational riding this shouldn't matter too much. Note that the stock tires are on the heavy side (rotational weight) and there are much lighter tires available with similar flat protection. Bottom line, you need to test ride the bike and see how you like it after the fit is key. Below is a link that has some interesting comments about the weight and speed of the LHT.

    http://blog.adventurecycling.org/200...l-trucker.html

  10. #10
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    I weight all of 165 and don't feel the bike is sluggish. There are bikes that feel quicker though. It is my main ride though and i like it. It seems to get quicker as I ride it more, and slower when I slack off and not ride much. Something tells me that isn't the bike's fault. Generally speaking, as far as the weight of a tire, or other component goes, the rider's weight is usually the biggest factor, so knocking off a alf a pound here or there on the bike won't matter much.

    Your questions regarding geometry do matter of course in how a bike handles and in quickness to a point. For an all around ride I like my LHT and you probably would too. If you have the chance to ride one before buying that would be great. It is a strong frame so it should suit your needs well, although I am sure there are others that would as well.

    The long chainstays are great if you want to add bags.

    Have you looked at a Cross Check? They have shorter chainstays. I believe the frame is a strong as LHT, but I may be wrong. I went on Surly's website and looked at both but I'm not completely familiar with the Crosscheck. The frame tubing may not be as thick as the LHT though. It is very popular though and has a bit more sporty geometry compared to the LHT.

    No matter what you get, just make sure it fits you and you like it.

    Phil

  11. #11
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    Since you are going to build up the frame with your own parts, focus on the tires and wheels. At 400lbs, you'll need some heavier duty wheels and wider tires. These two things together tend to make a bike feel more sluggish. They take a bit more effort to get to speed and are softer, meaning they won't role as fast or lively as some 23's pumped up to 120psi on light wheels. I have Vitorias on my touring bike, and they have a good feel, but they are 35's and are a bit sluggish. When I was at 300lbs, I was riding Mavic Ksyrium wheels with 23's. I didn't worry as I talked to the Mavic rep at the Tour of CA and he said no problem. Not sure if they will do 400, but it might be worth checking into if you want to go that way.

  12. #12
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    Wheels were the first thing I upgraded and I'm running 40-spoke touring hubs laced to Velocity Dyad rims with DTSwiss spokes. Surprisingly, they weigh about the same as the stock 36 spoke wheels that came on the bike but I know they are MUCH better built. I'm running 32mm Vittoria Ranonneur Hyper tires and love them. I may go 35mm or 38mm when these wear out but I won't likely switch brand/model. I just bought a set of 40 Duremes and don't really care for them. They are more comfortable but make the bike feel very sluggish to me.

    I've bought all the minor components (saddle, seatpost, stem, handlebars, grips, pedals, V-brakes) and plan to buy the Deore 9-speed Trekking crankset (48-36-26, I believe) and trigger shifters. I'm currently running a 9-speed 11-28 cassette but plan to change to a 9-speed 12-27 to tighten up my gear jumps.

    I will definately look for opportunities to test ride an LHT. They are rare and I did get about 2 minutes on one a year ago but we were in a hurry, it wasn't on my shopping list, I remember nothing about it other than thinking the bar-ends were in a very inconvenient place. I run MTB bars so that ride wouldn't even be really fair comparison to the end result of my build.
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

  13. #13
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    You might consider the Cross Check as it is similar to the LHT in build but slightly sportier and might handle a touch quicker and sounds to me more what you're after.

  14. #14
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Look into a Cross Check.

  15. #15
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    corwin1968, An expedition level touring bike, like the LHT and others, is possibly only second to a utility bike for wheelbase length, not including tandems of course. Compared to a Multitrack, and I found several different versions online, there doesn't appear a big difference in that regard. The touring bike's geometry will be slightly more lax, but again not a major difference. If you're planning a build using flat bars or treking bars the LHT is a good choice as it is reputed to have a bit longer top tube than most touring bikes (maybe size dependent).

    Handling characteristics are relative to what different style of frames are to be compared. My daughter's CX frame handles a bit quicker than my T frame, but slower than my road race frames, for example. A heavier wheelset and tire combination on the T bike also dulls responsiveness.

    All in all I've used my touring bike for many much enjoyed rides not related to touring.

    Brad

  16. #16
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    Have you asked your question here?
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...00-lb-91-kg%29

    I weigh 175 pounds but weighed about 205 to 210 about two years ago. Even when I put 60 pounds of camping gear on my LHT at my former weight, I am quite sure that it did not handle anything like it would for someone that is 400 pounds. So, I really can't answer your questions on handling. I think you need to ask some people that are on the heavy side for their opinions.

    700c or 26 inch, you did not specify. I would suggest 26 inch if you are seeking an opinion on wheel size. That allows wider tires and you likely would be using at least a 40mm wide tire. The Schwalbe Dureme or regular Marathon tires in several different widths would probably be a good tire for your weight. And you would want a robust rim.

  17. #17
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    I have an LHT and it is a great bike and I am sure you will like the bike as it is a stable comfy ride and not intended to feel zippy. I also ride a Vassago Fisticuff and really like it. It is a beefed up reynolds frame that takes discs, canti's or vbrakes and can also be configured SS or geared. The fisti "feels" faster and I actually am a bit quicker on it but that is prob due to bike config. I got my frame for a steal of a deal but think it is worth the asking price. The are back on sale mid year....that's the only problem. http://www.vassagocycles.com/fisticuff/
    Last edited by iforgotmename; 01-21-13 at 11:11 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    I will note that I considered a Cross Check and in absolute terms, it might be the best choice but it isn't that much different than my current bike and I really want a new one!
    If you have a bike that you think resembles a cross check, and your desired ride quality seems to match better with a cross check, what makes you want to get a long haul trucker?

    I have an LHT, and I love it, but it sounds like you want something lively, and I feel like my Trucker's best quality is its stability. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an LHT to someone who wanted a touring-style bike, but I don't see anything in your description that makes it sound like that's what you want.

  19. #19
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    I believe the January issue of Bicycling had a report on riders that have successfully lost weight. (I read it at a newspaper stand in early January while waiting in the airport) I am not sure that your goal is to slim down or not.. but it was interesting reading. Most started off with heavier bicycles and as they lost weight and gained more of in interest in cycling.. they all got sportier bicycles. Maybe you should buy a lightly used LHT or cross frame and up grade when the time is needed. Buying used and reselling.. you don't lose that much money.

    BTW, I have a LHT with 26 inch wheel with Marathon 2.0 tires and I generally like it. I have set it up with fenders, dynamo hub, and Nitto trekking bars. I use it to mostly commute. I use a pannier that has a change of clothes.. a few stuff for work and my laptop. It is set up to be upright and comfortable. It is not the quickest... and I am not tempted to race anyone with it. In the past I have used an old Cannondale racing.. with a messenger bag bike to commute. That was faster... but I felt more beat up after each ride. My commute is over an hour each way and I don't feel tired at all.. I have taken it on one small loaded tour last year and I plan on more.

    BTW.. I have had my LHT with drops, mtb straight bars and a Nitto trekking bars and I like the the trekking bars the best.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    It's more related to comments I've seen, from other riders, on the LHT. Comments like "it's a boat", "it take half a state to turn around", "comfortable but not sporty", etc....
    All true, as that is the way it is designed. But it's certainly good for more than riding in a long, straight line.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    It's more related to comments I've seen, from other riders, on the LHT. Comments like "it's a boat", "it take half a state to turn around", "comfortable but not sporty", etc....
    You'll only notice the "half a state to turn around" if you're riding in a crit, or turning around on a narrow lane because that interesting looking road turned into a dead end. The first is probably not applicable for OP at current weight, the second wouldn't have been so interesting without the stable ride and wider tires to seduce you into riding down that lane in the first place.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    I have an LHT, and I love it, but it sounds like you want something lively, and I feel like my Trucker's best quality is its stability. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an LHT to someone who wanted a touring-style bike, but I don't see anything in your description that makes it sound like that's what you want.
    Well put.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    If you have a bike that you think resembles a cross check, and your desired ride quality seems to match better with a cross check, what makes you want to get a long haul trucker?

    I have an LHT, and I love it, but it sounds like you want something lively, and I feel like my Trucker's best quality is its stability. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an LHT to someone who wanted a touring-style bike, but I don't see anything in your description that makes it sound like that's what you want.
    So, it appears that my initial concerns may be well grounded. I do prefer a nimble bike so maybe I'm trying to figure out where, on a scale of 1-10, the LHT falls with 10 being a full-on road racing bike and a 5 being a Cross Check or my Multitrack. Would the LHT be a 4 or would it be a 1? I guess I'm looking for the magnitude of difference.

    I will also admit that a big part of this is simply me wanting a new frame. I've been riding the same make and model for most of the past 18 years yet I'm ambivalent about buying a frame (Cross Check) that is essentially the same as what I already have. Quite a conundrum I've got here.
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

  24. #24
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    So, it appears that my initial concerns may be well grounded. I do prefer a nimble bike so maybe I'm trying to figure out where, on a scale of 1-10, the LHT falls with 10 being a full-on road racing bike and a 5 being a Cross Check or my Multitrack. Would the LHT be a 4 or would it be a 1? I guess I'm looking for the magnitude of difference.

    I will also admit that a big part of this is simply me wanting a new frame. I've been riding the same make and model for most of the past 18 years yet I'm ambivalent about buying a frame (Cross Check) that is essentially the same as what I already have. Quite a conundrum I've got here.
    What do you have now?

  25. #25
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    I have a 1995 Trek Multitrack. Comparing the Geometry charts, all of the measurements are within 1/2 cm or 1/2 degree of the same size CrossCheck frame. I'm assuming that 1/2 cm or 1/2 degree isn't going to make a significant difference in feel.

    My Trek (Cross Check)

    Seat tube 73 degrees (72.5)
    Head tube 71.5 degrees (72)
    Fork rake 40 mm (44mm)
    bb drp 60 mm (66mm)
    chainstays 43 cm (42.5cm)
    Top tube 57 cm (57cm)

    My bike has a slighly longer wheelbase (1030 vs 1020) and a shorter seat-tube (53.5 vs 56). I also realize the steeper head tube angle and longer fork rake of the CC will give it a "sportier" front-end but I'm actually running a 50mm rake after-market fork which again, puts them right there in the same trail range.

    To add to the mix, I've thought about buying a Crosscheck fork and I do plan to get my bike powdercoated if I keep it. That adds $200 to the final cost and for $200 more I could just buy a whole new frameset. On the other hand, I like the idea of having something a little more unique.
    Last edited by corwin1968; 01-22-13 at 12:03 PM.
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

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