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...This close to pullling the trigger...

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...This close to pullling the trigger...

Old 06-12-10, 12:59 AM
  #1  
cradduck
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...This close to pullling the trigger...

...on buying a Surly LHT.

After severe tantrums (my daughter is the best at them and taught me well), promises of sacrifice, and commitments to visiting the in-laws my wife finally gave me the go ahead for the purchase of a Surly LHT complete.

I have been doing my research for months and everything I have read keeps pointing me back to the LHT but I wanted to make sure there were not any unchecked angles. I checked the Cross-Check but I think I like the more upright positioning and options on the LHT. I checked the Raleigh Clubman but there were just a few things in the setup that I didn't really care for.

Are there any other bikes I should give my attention to before purchasing the LHT?

My budget is right around $1200 out the door. That includes the bike and any easy changes that still allow me to commute the very next day....things like a better saddle and such.

90% of the time in the saddle will be daily commuting. Range is anywhere from 5-40 miles depending on the route I want to take.

7% of the time will be touring, overnight to five days in length. I have plans to do a ride the coast of California but that is on hold till 2012 and till I can find someone to ride with me.

2% of the time will be grocery runs (most of the time these are combined into the commute).

1% of the time will be spent trying to look cool to attractive women in bikinis and hoping they might find copious amounts of back hair a turn-on.
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Old 06-12-10, 01:43 AM
  #2  
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I would never buy a dedicated touring bike for the usage you describe.

To answer your question, I recommend looking at a club bike, a rando bike, or a cross bike.
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Old 06-12-10, 02:00 AM
  #3  
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I was looking at LHT's today at my LBS.

I think they would make a GREAT commuter, and they're known as one of the best touring bikes ever made.

I think you're on the right track. Get one and post some pics!
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Old 06-12-10, 02:04 AM
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I just sold mine. I miss looking at it more than riding it. Just wasn't my riding style, it's a little dead in the steering department. The ride isn't bad, though.

-Gene-
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Old 06-12-10, 02:08 AM
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They're not meant to handle like a road racer...

That is one good looking LHT you got rid of, though.
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Old 06-12-10, 02:14 AM
  #6  
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I would recommend this rack:

https://www.topeak.com/products/Racks...larRack_w_o_sp

and an MTX trunk bag (I have this bag: https://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/MTXTrunkBagEX with an Explorer rack).
This would be a wonderful set up for commuting.

Throw some panniers on for touring (and maybe a front rack w/ panniers) and you're good to go.
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Old 06-12-10, 07:39 AM
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for a bike that will be used 90% for commuting, I would generally suggest something with internal gears, disc or roller brakes, and maybe a belt drive instead of a chain. but if you are in sunny CA you can probably get away with a more standard bike. good luck

+1 on the suggestion for the Topeak rack and trunk bag. I have this same setup and LOVE it
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Old 06-12-10, 08:01 AM
  #8  
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I am also very close to pulling the trigger on the same thing.

However, I have to go to Singapore to get it. Importing it to China by post takes forever, and I am likely to get hit with a large customs charge. The local bike shops cant get them.

I am going to KL for holidays in July, and will pop down to Singapore just befoe I go. The bike shop has promised they can get me and the bike to the airport, so I will buy a connecting ticket, and just fly in one hop.

z
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Old 06-12-10, 08:43 AM
  #9  
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It seems like you've done a good job of narrowing it down to IHMO a really solid choice for you. At this point just do it. Don't over think it too much. I'm in year 5 on my cross check as a daily commuter (custom build, and seasonal changes) I love it dearly. It's not super repsonsive or flashy. But as a daily rider its just plain awesome every day, day after day. I think you'll find the LHT will be that way too. I know several LHT owners and they love them.
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Old 06-12-10, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by frpax View Post
They're not meant to handle like a road racer...

That is one good looking LHT you got rid of, though.
I knew it wasn't gonna handle like a road bike, but it just always imagined it being more fun to ride than it was for me. Ah well, it's over now.
Thanks for the compliment on it, I put a lot of effort into making it a beautiful bike.
-Gene-
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Old 06-12-10, 08:55 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by frpax View Post
That is one good looking LHT you got rid of, though.
Yeah but I still don't think it would make the OP look cool to attractive women in bikinis.
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Old 06-12-10, 10:49 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Yeah but I still don't think it would make the OP look cool to attractive women in bikinis.
For me, no bike ever made could do that. Perhaps if I owned a Ferrari...
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Old 06-12-10, 12:32 PM
  #13  
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As far as dedicated touring rigs go the Kona Sutra goes it fits your budget and comes with racks and fenders so you can save some money on accessories.
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Old 06-12-10, 12:38 PM
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I'd never buy a LHT, i'd go for the cross-check myself, but if you like it...

I'd actually get a karate monkey, just because I have a commuter bike.
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Old 06-12-10, 01:51 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by cradduck View Post
90% of the time in the saddle will be daily commuting. Range is anywhere from 5-40 miles depending on the route I want to take.

7% of the time will be touring, overnight to five days in length. I have plans to do a ride the coast of California but that is on hold till 2012 and till I can find someone to ride with me.

2% of the time will be grocery runs (most of the time these are combined into the commute).

1% of the time will be spent trying to look cool to attractive women in bikinis and hoping they might find copious amounts of back hair a turn-on.
As a happy LHT pilot I can confidently say that the LHT will be ideal for 99% of your riding.
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Old 06-12-10, 05:13 PM
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I would have gotten one this spring but the budget wasn't there. I bought the Windsor from BD and am very happy with it. I still would have gotten the LHT if I could have. If thats the bike you want the by all means get it. I think its a terrific bike and as a touring bike its got all the berries you need and it would make a great commuter IMHO Commuting and touring is all about comfort and the LHT is about as comfortable as it gets. If you have hills on your commute you can spec it out to handle them and then you should be ready to tour also. I say GET IT and be sure to post every detail so some of us unwashed masses can drool over it.
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Old 06-12-10, 05:52 PM
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Somebody else said, if that is the bike you want, than get it!! We only passing this way one time!!

BTW, glad to know I am not that only one that has to get the "ok" from the wifee!!
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Old 06-12-10, 06:11 PM
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I wouldn't think twice about picking up a LHT for even just commuting.
I have a cross-check and it's great for light touring, but I couldn't load it up like i could a LHT.
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Old 06-12-10, 06:31 PM
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At $1200 I'd buy a Trek 520. If for no other reason than I cant buy into the LHT/Brooks saddle lemming herd and IMHO the Trek rides better than the LHT. I find the LHT just uninspiring... like driving grandpas 1977 Buick LeSabre. CrossCheck I could live with if I didn't already have a cross bike I love.
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Old 06-12-10, 06:45 PM
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Cross-Check makes a lot more sense than the LHT for the purpose you describe. I've got both, had a 700C LHT and moved all the parts over to a 26" wheeled version of the LHT. The Cross-Check is a what I'd suggest for riding that involves more handling/acceleration criteria.

Posture can be set up to your preferences for either bike. In fact the seat angle is a smidge less on the CrossCheck.
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Old 06-12-10, 07:31 PM
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I have the LHT myself and love it. Its just smooth. However if you are unsure ride the 520, Aurora, CC, Tricross, etc. Basically any Touring or Tri bike you can get your hands on.
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Old 06-13-10, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by exile View Post
I have the LHT myself and love it. Its just smooth. However if you are unsure ride the 520, Aurora, CC, Tricross, etc. Basically any Touring or Tri bike you can get your hands on.
Just, FYI, "Tri" bike means TT bike, as in, used in triathlons or time trials. I think you mean cyclocross bike.
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Old 06-13-10, 04:06 PM
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If you got no problem building up your own bike, take a look at the Nashbar Touring frame. I just finished mine and I love it!
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Old 06-13-10, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
Cross-Check makes a lot more sense than the LHT for the purpose you describe.
Nonsense. The LHT has better street manners.

As for handling, the LHT is not as zippy, but it's silly to say that it's somehow less suited for commuting as a result. It still handles like a bike, not a truck.
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Old 06-13-10, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
Cross-Check makes a lot more sense than the LHT for the purpose you describe. .
Respectfully disagree. I rode both, hard, for an extended time on commutes and errands and the LHT was better *for me*. The cross-check had (as cross bikes do) a higher bottom bracket that I didn't need and unnecessarily raised the center of gravity. Also had steering geometry that created TONS and TONS of toe interference with the front fender. And yes, I consider full, super-long, wide fenders to be essential for a daily rider. Also, the LHT has longer chainstays for carrying panniers. On my commute, I needed decent sized ones. I carry a biggish laptop, lunch, clothes. Not that the cross-check couldn't do that, but it couldn't do it with as much room for error on heel strike.

So I bought the LHT. And no, I didn't buy into the whole Brooks thing. It's not a club I joined, it's just a bike.
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