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New Bike LHT

Old 10-12-08, 01:38 PM
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clg
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New Bike LHT

I'm all but convinced that I want to buy a Surly long haul trucker for my commuter bike. My problem is this; I prefer a flat bar but the bike comes with drop type handle bar. It may be that I'd like it once I got used to it but I prefer a more upright posture while riding and probably would prefer index shifters over friction but is it really worth the extra cost to build the bike up from a frame just to do that or just buy the complete bike and then if later I still want a flat bar change it then? I know many of you are riding the LHT and some of you may feel as I do about the handle bar issue and I'd like to hear from you. Also I'm thinking of getting a 58 cm frame; I'm 6'1 with a 34.5 inseam which seems to be the correct size as I understand it, your thoughts on the size too please. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-08, 01:50 PM
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It would be much more economical to buy the complete and swap the bars later if you choose to do so. The cost of building an LHT with the same components as the complete would end up being considerably more than the actual complete. Personally I'm a drop bar fan but it would be easy to put a flat bar on the LHT. As far as sizing goes you'll probably get all kinds of recommendations on what other people THINK you should be riding but the only way to really know what will work for you is to get out and test ride some different sizes - either at your lbs or through your local cycling community.
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Old 10-12-08, 02:06 PM
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hey cig- i've to an LHT and i put moustache bars on it which i like. i too prefer a more upright position. be sure that the steer tube is long enough for you. they're all cut to the same length which means it wasn't tall enough for me. i bought the complete bike btw- had to replace the fork before it was even out of the shop... it's still not tall enough. are you getting the bike from a LBS? if so, they'll probably swap the drops for something else for no cost.

i'm 6'1" with a 33" inseam. i've got a 58. it's about right for me, the seat is about 6" from the top ube. you could probably go with a 60 if you wanted. be sure to look into the steer tube though!
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Old 10-12-08, 03:04 PM
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The LHT has a very upright riding position as it is. If you are thinking it is going to be anything like a roadbike, don't sweat it. It is quite comfortable. I would suggest taking it as is, and then making changes after you figure out whether they really are necessary. Besides, if you can stomach the drops, they give you a lot more options for riding positions which = greater saddle comfort for longer rides. Finally, the barcons are great. The front is friction, the rear friction or indexed. They are not quite as efficient as brifters, but far more durable and easier to fix on the fly.
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Old 10-12-08, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by roseskunk View Post
hey cig- i've to an LHT and i put moustache bars on it which i like. i too prefer a more upright position. be sure that the steer tube is long enough for you. they're all cut to the same length which means it wasn't tall enough for me. i bought the complete bike btw- had to replace the fork before it was even out of the shop... it's still not tall enough. are you getting the bike from a LBS? if so, they'll probably swap the drops for something else for no cost.

i'm 6'1" with a 33" inseam. i've got a 58. it's about right for me, the seat is about 6" from the top ube. you could probably go with a 60 if you wanted. be sure to look into the steer tube though!
this is why i think the LHT (and many other bikes) should have a quill stem.
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Old 10-12-08, 03:57 PM
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I have the 54cm LHT, and the drop bars are very comfortable. On my road bike, I hardly ever ride in the drops. On my LHT, I'm probably in the drops 80% of the time or more. It's just comfortable with the bars about level with the seat.

BTW, the rear barcon shifter on the complete is indexed (which can be adjusted to friction only), while the front shifter is only friction mode.
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Old 10-12-08, 04:00 PM
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charles vail
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drops

Originally Posted by clg View Post
I'm all but convinced that I want to buy a Surly long haul trucker for my commuter bike. My problem is this; I prefer a flat bar but the bike comes with drop type handle bar. It may be that I'd like it once I got used to it but I prefer a more upright posture while riding and probably would prefer index shifters over friction but is it really worth the extra cost to build the bike up from a frame just to do that or just buy the complete bike and then if later I still want a flat bar change it then? I know many of you are riding the LHT and some of you may feel as I do about the handle bar issue and I'd like to hear from you. Also I'm thinking of getting a 58 cm frame; I'm 6'1 with a 34.5 inseam which seems to be the correct size as I understand it, your thoughts on the size too please. Thanks.
There won't be any difference in the height of a drop bar and a flat bar unless the flat bar has a rise in it. When riding on the hoods or the top of a drop bar, it will be as high as a flat bar at the grips. If you request a complete bike with an uncut steer tube from your local shop, you can get the bars level with or slightly above the saddle height. If not, a slightly steeper stem will get the bars higher. My own LHT has an uncut steer tube and a 90mm Salsa stem and a Rivendell noodle bar and my bars are fully 1.5 inches higher than the saddle. I ride a 58cm and have a 87 cm pubic bone to floor measurement in bare feet. You may need a 60cm as I am only 5'11" and I ride a 58cm comfortably although I do not like a high seat post sticking out of the frame. I have no problem standing over the top tube since the LHT has a lower bottom bracket than most road bikes, it gives you more stand over for a given size. My opinion is for your height........get a stock 60cm with an uncut steer tube for maximum height since you can always have it cut down later. Ride the drop bars for at least 500 miles. Flat bars do not give many options for your hand position. On long rides you want options.
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Old 10-12-08, 04:01 PM
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If you like the brakes up top, just add cyclocross brakes. I have
Tiagra brifters with Ritchey oversize drops and a Ritchey adjustable stem on my LHT.
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Old 10-12-08, 04:12 PM
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bike fit has a lot more to do with top tube length than seat tube length. You can do an online rough fit at competitive cyclist (I think) that might help you get sized up better.

Give the drops a try. You can easily ride on the tops all day if you want. It is pretty cheap to go to a flat bar as you can get shifters and brake levers, and a bar on the cheap.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:04 PM
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Wow, thanks a lot for all the great advise! Much of what you have said I was considering based on the research I have been doing. I think I'll stick with the drops and see how I like them. As far as size I did do the fit computations and it looks as though I can go with a larger frame; I'll see what the shop says. Thanks again.
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Old 10-13-08, 07:30 AM
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My situation was similar to the OP's. I had been riding a flat-bar hybrid for years, and wanted an LHT but didn't know how I would like the riding position.

I absolutely love my LHT, and ended up flipping the stem to get an even less upright style.

My advice is go with the stock complete LHT, ride it, and love it. No new parts are necessary.
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Old 10-13-08, 10:16 AM
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I would go with the larger size if you are going to use flat or riser bars. I'm the same height as you but with a slightly longer inseam. I have a 58cm Cross-Chek that is currently built up with riser bars. I've changed to a longer stem to get enough reach, but I would have liked a longer top tube for riser bars. Yes as Charles Vail said, the tops of drop bars & flat bars will be the same. But, the reach to the drops versus the tops & flat bars will be quite different. I want to eventually buy a LHT, but a frame & fork only so I can set it up exactly the way I want it for fit.
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Old 10-13-08, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by d2create View Post
this is why i think the LHT (and many other bikes) should have a quill stem.
Here, here! It's so frustrating not being able to adjust the bars up and down! You save a good solid ounce of weight though so I guess it's worth tha sacrifice......
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Old 10-13-08, 11:48 AM
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Try to get the bars up as high as you can, your LBS can help you with that. I like mine slightly higher then seat level.

If you still don't like the drops, Moustache bars might be good too. you can keep the same levers and shifters as well, so it'll be pretty cheap.

I don't mind the shifters on the LHT. The back one is indexed, and works flawlessly. the front one is friction, which I prefer, since you often need to fine tune it
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Old 10-13-08, 12:52 PM
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I've ridden flat bars my whole life, and thought that's what I wanted.
I bought my hybrid, and although I like it a lot, my wrists are killing me after 25 mile trips.

There's an old touring bike lying around in my garage with drop bars, so I tried it a few times. Once I got used to drop bars, I liked them a lot. To the point of regretting my stubbornness about getting a flat bar.

I think you can save yourself a lot of headache by getting the LHT with the drops and trying it out for atleast a week or so before converting it. I'm sure you'll warm up to them.
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Old 10-13-08, 01:54 PM
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Paul Thumbies

I have a long-term plan to just just as you suggest. I already have 2 road bikes with drop bars and my LHT will be my all-arounder for everyday commuting, shopping, laying rubber, carting kids around, and a mixture of road and dirt. Here's my plan:

1. Replace the stem with a MTB-sized one (25.4 mm).
2. Install On-One Mary bars - I'm running these now on my Bridgestoen MB-1 and digging them.
3. Install Paul Thumbies - definitely check these out if you're not familiar, they mount the barcons that come on the LHT.
4. Wrap the grip sections (longer than typical MTB grips will allow you to use).
5. Ride

To me, this is the ideal do-most/have fun/practical bike. I will also put a custom porteur rack on the front, another reason to NOT use drop bars for me. I just wish the LHT came with discs. A KM/LHT cross-breed is really what I'm after.
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