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Long Haul Trucker

Old 08-14-08, 09:36 PM
  #1  
jamesd416
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Long Haul Trucker

Ok, I've ready basically every thread about the LHT but I have one question.

Why should I not buy this bike? I love the geometry, ride, braze-ons, steel, price..what is not to like?

I'm being serious...
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Old 08-14-08, 09:40 PM
  #2  
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The only downside that other people have pointed out to me it that it's heavy. When I was on a three day charity ride people kept saying how I was "tough" and "not making it easy" by riding such a big heavy bike.

Of course, I'm used to riding it loaded so having it near-empty for that ride made it seem easy, and it's geared for climbing so a lot of the people saying "poor kid having to haul that big heavy bike" were cheering me on as I passed them on the cilmbs.
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Old 08-14-08, 09:41 PM
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What kind of riding are you going to do? It appears to be a great commuter, tourer, and all-a-rounder. If this is what you are planning to use it for I'd say go for it. If you want to go as fast as possible or go cyclocross, I think there are better bikes.
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Old 08-14-08, 09:41 PM
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It's heavy. It's a bit slow. The bits and pieces are good but
mostly not what you'd pick if you were picking them yourself.

But getting a lighter frame and building it up will more than
double the price.

Btw, my standard advice is to try a bunch of bikes and to buy the one you love.
You used the L word...
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Old 08-14-08, 10:19 PM
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If I rode a light-weight bike like I ride my BLT I'd break two or three a year. Having a tourer with tandem grade tubing saves me a lot of $$$$.
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Old 08-14-08, 10:37 PM
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I can tell you why I didn't. Basically I knew I wanted brifters and preferred disc brakes. I went with the Trek Portland and am very pleased. But that's me... If the Portland didn't exist, I would have bought the LHT.
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Old 08-14-08, 10:54 PM
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Take a look at the Novara Randonee also, if you have an REI near you.

-Barry-
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Old 08-14-08, 10:57 PM
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One reason I didn't go for this bike is that the frame sized 54cm and smaller had 26" wheels. I have a nice road bike and it has 700c wheels. I wanted to be able to swap wheels between the two bikes. Also, I preferred the brifters to the bar-end shifters. I went with a Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:29 AM
  #9  
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hmmm

Originally Posted by jamesd416 View Post
Ok, I've ready basically every thread about the LHT but I have one question.

Why should I not buy this bike? I love the geometry, ride, braze-ons, steel, price..what is not to like?

I'm being serious...
You should not buy it if you want a high bottom bracket designed frame for cyclocross. Or..... if you don't want a sturdy, all around bike, that will take a load or a heavy rider and that you will be able to ride till you don't want to ride anymore.
One other reason not to buy a Long Haul Trucker would be is if you are of the 'weight weenie' mindset and can't appreciate the incredible value in the stock components and the ultimate versatility of the entire package. Finally, the Long Haul Trucker is a bike that you can ride and find more uses for as you age and is probably the one bike that can adapt to many uses. So....if you don't want that kind of a versatile machine, get a Uber lightweight bike with 23cm tires, tall gearing, no fender or rack mounts and keep in the the garage except on sunny days.
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Old 08-15-08, 03:38 AM
  #10  
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If you don't want versatility, durability, reliability, load-carrying capacity, all day comfort, great handling that is still confidence inspiring as the surface deteriorates all the way down to single track, and of course toughness, then don't buy a LHT.

I have a nice fast lowracer recumbent, a C'dale CAAD9 with 10 speed Dura-Ace + some nice carbon fiber upgrades, and an assortment of other bikes. If I had to choose only one and let the rest go it wouldn't even be a choice, it would automatically be the LHT.


I don't understand how some here criticize her for weight/speed. I have stripped my LHT down to bare bones 'roadie' configuration and knocked out a sub 5 hour century on plenty of occasions. I'd like to see anyone do that on a light road bike, then bolt on the rack/panniers, fenders, lights, and 3 bottle cages to resume all-weather commuting & utility duties which includes towing home a trailer with 80lb+ of groceries once a week.
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Old 08-15-08, 05:18 AM
  #11  
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I like the bike, but I don't like bar-end shifters. If I liked the bar-end shifters, I would have bought the LHT.
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Old 08-15-08, 05:22 AM
  #12  
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Absolutely the most BORING bicycle ever made.
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Old 08-15-08, 05:45 AM
  #13  
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I bought one last fall and it is by far my favorite bike! I tour on it, commute on it, raced a cyclocross race on it(I don't recommend doing that!), went on roadie group rides with it and was able to keep up no problem. I bought some of the Kelly Take-offs and put those on there, basically a poor mans STI shifter, but they are so nice! I out studded tires on it and rode it all winter here in Wisconsin, there isn't muchthis bike can't do.
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Old 08-15-08, 06:01 AM
  #14  
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I love my Surly LHT. My carbon road bike has seen very little usage since I bought the LHT about a month ago. I bought it for a combination of commuting and loaded touring. It is a heavier bike, and I felt the additional weight riding it to work the first few day, but I don't really go any slower. And I'm much more confident that I won't have near as many flats as with my road bike, as I have some Schwalbe Marathon tires (again, heavy) on my LHT. And the panniers are much nicer than the backpack and messenger bags I had used when commuting on my road bike.

Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
One reason I didn't go for this bike is that the frame sized 54cm and smaller had 26" wheels. I have a nice road bike and it has 700c wheels. I wanted to be able to swap wheels between the two bikes. Also, I preferred the brifters to the bar-end shifters. I went with a Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30.
At first, I was concerned over the 26" tires. I was close to fitting a 56 cm frame on the LHT which would have meant 700c tires, but I would have had to shorten the stem more than I wanted. I really am enjoying the 26" tires; they're a little fatter, still just as fast, can be purchased in any Xmart store in the US or even overseas, etc. I can't swap tires with my 700c road bike, but the bigger tires won't fit on the road bike frame anyways, and who would want 23cm tires on a Surly LHT?

I did have to get accustomed to the bar end shifters. I have STIs on my road bike, and XT shifters on my mountain bike. With the bar ends, I have to move my hands a bit to shift, so I probably don't shift as often as I do with my road bike. But that's still not a problem, and I've had enough problems with my STI shifters to know that they sometimes break, get finicky, and eventually wear out. I'm enjoying the bar ends, but they are different, so I can understand how some would choose other types.

I especially like the gearing that comes on the LHT complete. Others I looked at came with road bike cranksets, so the gear-inches were somewhat higher in the lowest gear. I have a really steep climb on the way home from work. I bring my laptop and accessories home on Friday in one of the rear panniers, which adds about 13 lbs to the normal commuting weight. The lower gears are nice to have on a hot afternoon ride home, and I'm sure the same will be true once I am able to start doing some loaded touring up in the mountains (my favorite destination).

Good luck with your decision, but the Surly LHT is a fine choice. I looked at this one, the Trek 520, the Fuji Touring, the Windsor Tourist, as well as several frame-only options. I'm very happy that I chose the Surly LHT.

I admit that if I had thought I would never do any loaded touring, I might have looked for a lighter bike; maybe the Surly Crosscheck or Salsa Casseroll or Soma Smoothie. I would have bought the CC as a complete bike, but probably would have built up the Salsa or Soma.
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Old 08-15-08, 06:50 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by AdrianFly View Post
Absolutely the most BORING bicycle ever made.
I *like* boring. I want the ride to be exciting, and the bike to be trivially boring. Boring means nothing broke and nothing unexpected happened. I *like* that.
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Old 08-15-08, 07:07 AM
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To give you my real answer, besides not having enough money saved yet, there are no Surly shops close by. When I get the money I am going to try talking my LBS in to becoming one.
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Old 08-15-08, 07:32 AM
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I am thinking of getting a LHT to be my one bike. Right now I am riding a old rigid Raleigh mountain bike with rack, fenders, trekking bar and a set of Marathon tires. It is a bit heavy, but suits the riding that I do.

The drive train was somewhat worn when I got it and it was going to be a quick flip, not a keeper. Well a crash of the Nashbar road bike that I was using changed all of that and it became my daily riding bike. For a year now, I have been thinking that it was a short term bike, so I didn't really keep an eye on how things were wearing, or how many miles I was putting on it. So, now about 1500 miles later....

The cassette is shot, the chain is shot, the rear wheel recently broke two spokes (I don't do any really pounding riding -- well except for the moonscape strips we consider roads in these parts) and is has a really low end original crank with stamped steel/welded chain rings.

I have been flipping bikes over the past 20 months and have built up enough of a bank to cover the cost of a LHT. So I am trying to decide on spending less money, but not an insignificant amount considering the bike only cost me $45, on the old bike, or a moderate/large amount on a new LHT? If you were in my shoes, what would you do?
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Old 08-15-08, 07:36 AM
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any bike shop worth its' salt is a surly 'dealer'. Surly is a QBP spinoff.

The LHT is a great bike.

"Absolutely the most BORING bicycle ever made."



a bike isn't 'boring' - boring people make for boring bikes.

My LHT is most assuredly NOT a boring bike!

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Old 08-15-08, 07:41 AM
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What is QBP?
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Old 08-15-08, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by late View Post
It's heavy. It's a bit slow.
I think that's BS. Fast and slow is way more about the rider than the bike. If you weigh 180 lbs, and your rack, fenders, water, gear, etc. weighs 20 lbs (my crap weighs a lot more than that!) a bike that starts out at 24 pounds ends up being only 1% heavier than a bike that starts out at 20 pounds. How much is that going to slow you down? Very, very little. Unless you're doing a TON of climbing and very little descending most of your drag is aero anyhow. And once you get the bike up to speed on the flats the weight has almost nothing to do with it except for perhaps an infinitesimal increase in rolling resistance.

So we're talking about perhaps a few seconds over a 20 mile commute. I agree that Marco Pantani would have been unlikely to switch his bike out for an LHT at the bottom of le Alpe d'Huez, but how much of a hurry are you in to get to work?!?

Last edited by GV27; 08-15-08 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 08-15-08, 07:54 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Podolak View Post
What is QBP?
QBP is one of the largest bike parts distributors in the country. Most bike shops have an account with them, and thus can get anything in their catalogue. Since Surly is part of QBP, their stuff is of course in the catalogue... so damn near every shop in the country can get their stuff.

Now that doesn't mean that all shops will be helpful about doing a special order... but they *can* do one.
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Old 08-15-08, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Podolak View Post
What is QBP?
QBP is a bicycle and parts distributor. I believe the largest in America. Dunno about Performance, Nashbar, etc. but pretty much every LBS has a tight relationship with QBP.
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Old 08-15-08, 08:01 AM
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Ah thank you. My LBS is pretty accommodating, I fix their computers.
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Old 08-15-08, 08:18 AM
  #24  
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No mounts for disc brakes. This is probably not a serious limitation in most applications.
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Old 08-15-08, 08:30 AM
  #25  
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I am thinking of getting a LHT to be my one bike. Right now I am riding a old rigid Raleigh mountain bike with rack, fenders, trekking bar and a set of Marathon tires. It is a bit heavy, but suits the riding that I do.

The drive train was somewhat worn when I got it and it was going to be a quick flip, not a keeper. Well a crash of the Nashbar road bike that I was using changed all of that and it became my daily riding bike. For a year now, I have been thinking that it was a short term bike, so I didn't really keep an eye on how things were wearing, or how many miles I was putting on it. So, now about 1500 miles later....

The cassette is shot, the chain is shot, the rear wheel recently broke two spokes (I don't do any really pounding riding -- well except for the moonscape strips we consider roads in these parts) and is has a really low end original crank with stamped steel/welded chain rings.

I have been flipping bikes over the past 20 months and have built up enough of a bank to cover the cost of a LHT. So I am trying to decide on spending less money, but not an insignificant amount considering the bike only cost me $45, on the old bike, or a moderate/large amount on a new LHT? If you were in my shoes, what would you do?
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