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How far would you drive to purchase your dream bike?

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How far would you drive to purchase your dream bike?

Old 11-14-19, 08:11 AM
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Jeremiesmith77
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How far would you drive to purchase your dream bike?

I’ve been searching the used market for a 62 CM surly long haul trucker in good condition for about two years with very little success. This week, I noticed one posted that I just have to have and I’m driving about 10 hours round-trip to pick it up. This made me wonder, how far would you drive to pick up the bike you really wanted?





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Old 11-14-19, 08:37 AM
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Some years back when I was really into the car scene, I drove a straight-thru, turnaround-style to Lemoore CA-- a 540 mile round trip-- just for some free car parts. For my dream bike? I don't know if I'd have a concrete limit.

But for a 10 hour drive, the price on that bike had better be amazing. I easily took home a few hundred dollars in free parts-- the guy I was driving to had recently totaled his car, texted me and said, "Drive up here and you can have whatever you want."

It started to snow coming over the Grapevine on the way home (which is not a thing that happens here) and I missed a Sig-Alert inducing accident on the 5 freeway by less than 10 minutes. Could have been a MUCH longer day.
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Old 11-14-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremiesmith77 View Post
Iíve been searching the used market for a 62 CM surly long haul trucker in good condition for about two years with very little success. This week, I noticed one posted that I just have to have and Iím driving about 10 hours round-trip to pick it up. This made me wonder, how far would you drive to pick up the bike you really wanted?
DO IT! make it a fun road trip.

Longest drive for me was 2 hours to a bike store for my Jamis Renegade, steel frame. Like you I could find a Clydesdale sized bike in steel anywhere locally.

I would have driven further for sure if needed.
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Old 11-14-19, 08:44 AM
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Do it, make it an overnight and enjoy the sights.
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Old 11-14-19, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremiesmith77 View Post
I’ve been searching the used market for a 62 CM surly long haul trucker in good condition for about two years with very little success. This week, I noticed one posted that I just have to have and I’m driving about 10 hours round-trip to pick it up. This made me wonder, how far would you drive to pick up the bike you really wanted?
I've driven 1K miles in one direction, 2K total for the trip to pick up a bike. It's not that I didn't trust the seller, it's that I didn't want to have the bike shipped and risk damage to something I had been seeking for years. For the right bike, I'd drive anywhere in the lower 48 to pick it up.

Anytime I have to start my truck and go some distance, I check CL ahead of time along the route. I've more than made my money back on travel by coordinating CL buys on the way to and from. If you're gonna be an addict, be good at it

Last edited by nomadmax; 11-14-19 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 11-14-19, 09:39 AM
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You are putting yourself in a terrible negotiation position with your time investment.

10 hours, may be 600 miles or more. At over 50ct per mile, more if you have a truck or van, you are in over $300 plus your time. And the bike nay be vaporware or broken. Better buy a new one. Unless you can combine that trip with something else.
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Old 11-14-19, 11:26 AM
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Go for it, it will be fun 5 hours one way is nothing it took me close to that to get to work once due to an accident.

I recently drove 650 miles one way for a dog trial and failed For a dream bike there would be no limit. Make the trip into a mini vacation and have fun if you worry about gas mileage etc you can't afford it. its a hobby they are always money pits.
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Old 11-14-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremiesmith77 View Post
Iíve been searching the used market for a 62 CM surly long haul trucker in good condition for about two years with very little success. This week, I noticed one posted that I just have to have and Iím driving about 10 hours round-trip to pick it up. This made me wonder, how far would you drive to pick up the bike you really wanted?
Round trip? that's nothing...I would do a 24hr round trip drive and make two days of it. Congrats on locating your dream bike!
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Old 11-14-19, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
You are putting yourself in a terrible negotiation position with your time investment.

10 hours, may be 600 miles or more. At over 50ct per mile, more if you have a truck or van, you are in over $300 plus your time. And the bike nay be vaporware or broken. Better buy a new one. Unless you can combine that trip with something else.
+1. Relatively speaking, it's not that expensive a bike. Imagine getting it home only to find it has a latent defect. Another 10 hrs. to return it? Or maybe no returns, then he's out the money and time investment and still has no "dream bike."

Another thing that has me scratching my head is the amount of time spent looking. Two years? Wonder how many hours that took up. To me, time has value. If I wanted something that badly and it was available to me new I wouldn't spend wait 2 years trying to find a relative needle in a haystack.

BTW...OP: How tall are you that you think you need a 62cm LHT? I am 6' 2" and ride a 60cm LHT. I could probably ride a 58cm.
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Old 11-14-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
You are putting yourself in a terrible negotiation position with your time investment.

10 hours, may be 600 miles or more. At over 50ct per mile, more if you have a truck or van, you are in over $300 plus your time. And the bike nay be vaporware or broken. Better buy a new one. Unless you can combine that trip with something else.
I see your point and appreciate you taking the time to share it. This used bike is less than 1/2 the cost of a new one and I like the idea of having a used bike that is still in great condition rather than getting a new one just because... this seems like a silly act of consumption to me. I will be driving a car with good fuel economy (maybe $100-125 in gas costs), and the really big frames are hard to come by in good used condition.
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Old 11-14-19, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1. Relatively speaking, it's not that expensive a bike. Imagine getting it home only to find it has a latent defect. Another 10 hrs. to return it? Or maybe no returns, then he's out the money and time investment and still has no "dream bike."

Another thing that has me scratching my head is the amount of time spent looking. Two years? Wonder how many hours that took up. To me, time has value. If I wanted something that badly and it was available to me new I wouldn't spend wait 2 years trying to find a relative needle in a haystack.

BTW...OP: How tall are you that you think you need a 62cm LHT? I am 6' 2" and ride a 60cm LHT. I could probably ride a 58cm.
I am not sure what latent defect would come up later that I would not notice on the initial inspection and test ride. Perhaps you can offer some inspection tips?

The need for a thorough inspection is why I would not buy a bike sight unseen and have it shipped. I had a google alert setup to notify me when a bike of this description was posted so it was not like I was scouring ads daily for two years. Also, I am 6' 5" and am confident that this is the appropriate size for me. I have ridden a too small bike before and it really is no fun.
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Old 11-14-19, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I've driven 1K miles in one direction, 2K total for the trip to pick up a bike. It's not that I didn't trust the seller, it's that I didn't want to have the bike shipped and risk damage to something I had been seeking for years. For the right bike, I'd drive anywhere in the lower 48 to pick it up.

Anytime I have to start my truck and go some distance, I check CL ahead of time along the route. I've more than made my money back on travel by coordinating CL buys on the way to and from. If you're gonna be an addict, be good at it
This is the affirmative nudge I was looking for! I knew I wasn't the only crazy person!
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Old 11-14-19, 04:31 PM
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ditch the thud buster and get some nice 38-45c tires for that rig. With be allot more plush and not power robbing pedal bobbing from the buster.
https://surlybikes.com/blog/tire_cle...ur_surly_frame


For me, 90min each way is about my limit for getting a new/used bike. Deal or rarity has a factor in the overall equation. but I'm in San Diego so if population ratio goes past LA, i don't think it's really worth it.

Congrats on the new bike
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Old 11-14-19, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
ditch the thud buster
Iíve never even seen one of those things before. I figured I would be taking it off with the saddle in exchange for a trusted Brooks saddle. I kind of worried that the thud buster contraption couldnít even handle my weight... 300 LB.
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Old 11-14-19, 05:01 PM
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it's a 2 decade old tech gimmick for a softer ride by using polyurethane bushing under your butt. They soften the ride with the truss design, but you get pedal bob robbing power to the pedals on every stroke. And the polyurethane wears down overtime.

Good thing is the LHT can take some fat tires, with the gravel bike trend, most tire brands only made up to 32c tires a decade ago, now they are making up to 48-50cx700 tires in different tread patterns from slick to gravel high rollers

If you plan to ride just paved roads, get a slick version of 40-45c tires and you can run the PSI way lower than say 28s that may be on the bike now = softer feeling ride and less road buzz plus lower roller resistance.

some good reads
https://granfondo-cycling.com/the-best-gravel-tire/

https://www.jensonusa.com/Surly-Extr...rial-700C-Tire

https://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-511-139-re-fuse

https://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-576-139-velocita-ar
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Old 11-14-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
it's a 2 decade old tech gimmick for a softer ride by using polyurethane bushing under your butt. They soften the ride with the truss design, but you get pedal bob robbing power to the pedals on every stroke. And the polyurethane wears down overtime.

Good thing is the LHT can take some fat tires, with the gravel bike trend, most tire brands only made up to 32c tires a decade ago, now they are making up to 48-50cx700 tires in different tread patterns from slick to gravel high rollers

If you plan to ride just paved roads, get a slick version of 40-45c tires and you can run the PSI way lower than say 28s that may be on the bike now = softer feeling ride and less road buzz plus lower roller resistance.

some good reads
https://granfondo-cycling.com/the-best-gravel-tire/

https://www.jensonusa.com/Surly-Extr...rial-700C-Tire

https://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-511-139-re-fuse

https://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-576-139-velocita-ar
It currently has size 40 Schwalbe marathon tires, I run 35 Schwalbe marathons on my current bike and they are bombproof. I may try something a little lighter, but I think those are pretty terrific tires for my purposes. However, I appreciate the links and will check them out.

Last edited by Jeremiesmith77; 11-14-19 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 11-14-19, 06:12 PM
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Ehhh

10 hours round trip is a decent amount of miles. It'd have to be something rare or a screaming deal.

But, make it a road trip and go grab it if you want! Let us know what you decide!
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Old 11-14-19, 06:15 PM
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I bought my last two Colnagos from Mike Perry in the UK. I would have flown across the Pond to get them.
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Old 11-14-19, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeremiesmith77 View Post
I see your point and appreciate you taking the time to share it. This used bike is less than 1/2 the cost of a new one and I like the idea of having a used bike that is still in great condition rather than getting a new one just because... this seems like a silly act of consumption to me. I will be driving a car with good fuel economy (maybe $100-125 in gas costs), and the really big frames are hard to come by in good used condition.
There is wear, depreciation etc. and the federal rate is over 50ct/mile for a reason. Obviously it is your decision. I share the sentiment, but I'm less willing to sacrifice so much to do the same. Good luck and ride on.
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Old 11-15-19, 01:09 AM
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No dream bike. After 23 years of consistent riding, I don't even care what color my bike is ha ha! s long as the drive train is clean and smooth, who cares!

I've had several different bikes over the years and though 1 may be a bit better than the other, never enough to make a big difference. 5 minutes on the bike, I would have no idea which bike I'm on.
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Old 11-15-19, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremiesmith77 View Post
I am not sure what latent defect would come up later that I would not notice on the initial inspection and test ride. Perhaps you can offer some inspection tips?
All sorts of things you cannot see or feel from a test ride. Internal things, like in the BB and tubing itself. You might not be able to tell if the cables need replacing. Wheels could be weak from improper tensioning during their lives. Are the rim braking surfaces convex from wear? When you lift up the rear of the bike by the saddle and spin the rear wheel can you feel vibration, suggesting a crunchy rear hub? Drivetrain wear? I can see several areas of rust on the chain, and there is rust in one of the brake shoe bolts. How old is the frame? I had a '08 trucker in that color that was stolen. Surly changes the available colors every few years.

If I were buying my "dream bike" I would buy it new and from someone who can answer for any issues, especially if I am going to be using a bike like that for its intended purpose: Loaded touring. But that's me.

BTW...Are you planning to do any loaded touring? If not, and as many owners will tell you, the LHT is not a dream to ride "naked." I both tour and commute on mine. It's heavy, although this particular build (It's obviously not stock) may make that less of an issue. It's slow, due in part to its relaxed geometry. It doesn't corner worth a damn. Also, this particular build appears to have 32H wheels. At 300 lbs. with gear, that might not be such a good idea. And the gearing is not suitable for a full load on hilly terrain unless you are a monster.

Last edited by indyfabz; 11-17-19 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 11-15-19, 11:19 AM
  #22  
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I already have my dream bike. I've had it for 35 years. No need to drive any time or distance.
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Old 11-15-19, 03:00 PM
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There has been, for a while, a moratorium on bringing in any new bikes to my house. But I scan through Kijiji occasionally to see what is for sale in my province, which shows me stuff for sale up to 18 hours away (one way). I doubt I would go that far, even though I would get a trip through my hometown out of it.

The larger cities closer to me are ~2, 4 and ~6 hours away. I would consider driving that far if a cool bike came up at an amazing price. If I had permission.
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Old 11-15-19, 04:37 PM
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I live on the East coast and flew out to the West coast to pick-up two of my dream bikes and I still have them both after 26 years.
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Old 11-17-19, 03:38 AM
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90 minutes one way specifically for a bike has been my farthest. Although, we did add a stop in Vegas on a road trip for one, that was about 4 hours extra.

Those bikes were from the 90's though, not models that are still being sold new.

I like the blue of that LHT.
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