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Surly Long Haul Trucker conversion to "comfort" bike

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Surly Long Haul Trucker conversion to "comfort" bike

Old 06-12-17, 07:20 AM
  #26  
Cyclist759
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
In general, trigger shifters are designed to be mounted "perpendicular" to you, on a straight bar (or one with a very small sweep). The further you rotate a trigger shifter from that intended position, the harder it will become to use. You can understand that if you went all that way back to a "parallel" bar (like with the townie bars above), a trigger shifter would be more or less unusable. Anywhere in the middle will depend on YOUR individual thumb/finger dexterity. For me, personally, a trigger shifter is not usable past about 25 or 30 degrees of sweep (meaning I'd have to use a different shifter for an H-bar or Metropolis bar. But, everybody is different -- it works for @Clyde1820 and it might work for you, too.

On something like a Metropolis bar, I'd probably prefer Sram Gripshift or an indexed thumb shifter.
That makes sense (and is easy to visualize); thanks very much, hokiefyd. I like trigger shifters, so will keep the sweep in mind if I go that way. Will check out those other shifters, too.

It does seem like there are as many bars/saddles/setups as there are riders. Eventually I'll just have to choose one and hope it works. I've already doubled the cost of my Surly with all my mods, and I'm not anywhere near done yet!!
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Old 06-12-17, 11:14 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by velocipedia View Post
Oh, I'd love to see pix of your setup, if you don't mind...would help me visualize, and I could show my bike guy as well.
I don't do digital pics, so can't upload one of my rig.

But, here's the idea. FSA Metropolis bar, Ergon GC1 Cork grips, trigger shifters (though not the exact style I've got): click.


Originally Posted by velocipedia View Post
I see what you're saying about those shifters not working as well on extremely swept-back bars. And when I'm tackling hills, I'm not sure how easy it would be to stand and pedal vs. more moderate bars. Possibly why Dutch-style bikes/bars are best used on flatter terrain?
The Metropolis bars are a nice middle ground, with moderate sweep but not so severe that trigger shifters are made difficult. They're relatively easy to lean out on, if standing up and riding harder. Though, keep in mind that the Metropolis bars are not designed as MTB bars that can take monstrous abuse. They're seemingly tough, but I wouldn't want to begin treating them like a top-notch MTB bar to test the limits.
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Old 06-12-17, 11:58 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
I don't do digital pics, so can't upload one of my rig.

But, here's the idea. FSA Metropolis bar, Ergon GC1 Cork grips, trigger shifters (though not the exact style I've got): click.

The Metropolis bars are a nice middle ground, with moderate sweep but not so severe that trigger shifters are made difficult. They're relatively easy to lean out on, if standing up and riding harder. Though, keep in mind that the Metropolis bars are not designed as MTB bars that can take monstrous abuse. They're seemingly tough, but I wouldn't want to begin treating them like a top-notch MTB bar to test the limits.

Oh, yeah, that's a reasonable sweep that I think I can handle. And if bars like this can work with Shimano rapid-fire 9-speed shifters, I might have found the sweet spot.

And no worries about abuse; I'm a lightweight! But we have tons of huge hills, so I'll have to power up if the granny gear won't do it for me.

This forum is just awesome...many thanks to all of you for taking the time to help me out!!
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Old 06-18-17, 06:08 PM
  #29  
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I switched to Surly Open Bar and replaced the brake levers, shifters, and derailleurs. The problem I have now is I have too much weight on my butt and knee over pedal seems off. I'm going to try a flat bar on it soon.



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Old 06-18-17, 06:50 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Gibbygoo View Post
I switched to Surly Open Bar and replaced the brake levers, shifters, and derailleurs. The problem I have now is I have too much weight on my butt and knee over pedal seems off. I'm going to try a flat bar on it soon.


Lovely colour on your Disc Trucker there.


Considering your Brook saddle has springs, I'm surprised that angle doesn't give you grief.
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Old 06-18-17, 07:07 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Lovely colour on your Disc Trucker there.


Considering your Brook saddle has springs, I'm surprised that angle doesn't give you grief.
I did adjust the saddle down some I think. I felt like I was sliding forward if it's level. The springs in the Brooks saddles I have do not give ever.
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Old 06-18-17, 07:52 PM
  #32  
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Great-looking bike, Gibbygoo! Thanks for posting. Please post back when you switch out the bar.

I bought four different bars online (Nitto Nordeast, Metropolis clone, a couple other Origin8 riser bars) to try out. I've also changed the saddle and tires, which have made the ride a little more comfortable.

I've test-ridden the Trek Verve and Specialized Roll (liked them both), and there are several more on my list...but I don't know if they'd be any better than my Surly once she's transformed. It seems that she should be more comfortable than the Verve because she's steel, but perhaps the geometries are very different.

One thing I've learned: I will never again buy a bike that isn't 95% right for me off the bat!
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Old 06-18-17, 09:31 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by velocipedia View Post
One thing I've learned: I will never again buy a bike that isn't 95% right for me off the bat!
Do such bikes exist?


I just expect to change saddles, peddles, & handgrips at a minimum, then possibly stems and/or handlebars.
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Old 06-18-17, 11:18 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Do such bikes exist?


I just expect to change saddles, peddles, & handgrips at a minimum, then possibly stems and/or handlebars.
Ha! Well, one can dream....

Actually, I've already switched saddles and bars (twice), then shifters, pedals, and stem. And now I'm looking at new bar, shifters, stem, and brakes. This has been an expensive rehab! But I see what you're saying. Few bikes are perfect out of the gate. I just wonder how much more I'll spend before I give up. The Verve and Roll weren't perfect, but they were comfortable. I've had more fun test-riding bikes than using my own. I don't know if it's worth it to keep going. I've come to hate drop bars, so I can't tell if the rest of the bike will work for me or if it will feel just as uncomfortable with an upright bar. I would be really frustrated if that were the outcome.
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Old 06-19-17, 07:41 PM
  #35  
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I run BMX bars on my specialized hardrock and they are comfortable and I sit upright.

Also I run kenda KWEST tires. they were cheap and seem to work great. Ive logged probably 500 miles on them so far. no complaints
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Old 06-19-17, 07:54 PM
  #36  
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oh, and that seems to be situation for me too. My initial purchase of my bike was $30 on craigslist.

Listed are the mods ive done to it:
$30 bmx bars
$20 quill stem
$15 shifter/brake cable kit
$10 hand grips
$40 bmx style fork
$50 dynamo hub
$30 rim
$30 spokes
$50 labor to build wheel
$110 shimano deore 2 hollowtech 2 crankset
$20 chain
$20 left hand side 3 speed shifter
$20 shimano 7 speed cassette
$20 park tool bottom bracket tool for hollowtech 2
$40 Dynamo LED light 2.4W 6V

I think thats it. So I spent $505 on my bike that I initially bought for $30 for a grand total of right around $535. Its a really unique bike though with a lot of nice parts. Ive never seen a bike like it at a store and it rides smooth and is solid as a rock.

Oh one more thing, the tires, I bought kenda kwests and spent 30 on the pair and a couple misc. tubes since Ive had it in the last year.

So yes your point is about all the upgrades costing a lot is very true. but I also agree that the perfect bike is never at the store.

Plus it is just plain fun looking up parts, buying them, and building the bike as you go.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:26 PM
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One thing that ive found out is that i like the older 7 speed components because it is very inexpensive to replace
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Old 06-20-17, 06:57 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by worry View Post
One thing that ive found out is that i like the older 7 speed components because it is very inexpensive to replace
I stick to 7/8 speed drivetrains also. Cost to maintain is low, as you point out, but they're also completely interchangeable with each other. I have 8 bikes in the family (mostly 7 speed; one is 8 speed) and it's nice to be able to swap chains around if I need one in a pinch, or swap wheels from one bike to another to see if I might like that tire better on one bike vs. another. Freewheels and cassettes can be moved around with near 100% compatibility.

9 speed and above starts to get into narrower chains with different cog spacing, and cost goes up and stuff starts to become less compatible with other types of drivetrains.
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Old 06-20-17, 09:57 PM
  #39  
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I am so impressed with folks who can work on their bikes, build them up, swap components, do things themselves. Saves tons of money and I'm sure it's fun. How great to get a bike on CL for cheap and build it to your specs or own a stable of bikes and know enough to keep to certain parameters so they're easy to service and maintain. That's awesome. I'm doing it the much less fun and much more expensive way. (I like your way better.)
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Old 06-21-17, 05:41 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by velocipedia View Post
I am so impressed with folks who can work on their bikes, build them up, swap components, do things themselves. Saves tons of money and I'm sure it's fun. How great to get a bike on CL for cheap and build it to your specs or own a stable of bikes and know enough to keep to certain parameters so they're easy to service and maintain. That's awesome. I'm doing it the much less fun and much more expensive way. (I like your way better.)
Nobody started out knowing everything about fixing bikes, the knowledge came from reading, asking questions, trial and error, the internet, etc. There are always inexpensive bikes around and they are the best ones to learn the mechanics from. Even if the bike turns out to be a bust, at least you got to practice taking it apart to see how it worked. If you keep at it, you will learn to sort the good from the bad, accumulate some spare parts, and learn some new mechanical skills. Then, when a sleeper deal comes along, you will be ready to pounce.
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Old 06-23-17, 01:50 PM
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You're right! It's a tradeoff, but once I settle on a bike, I'm going to at least learn to do basic repairs, then take it from there.
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Old 06-30-17, 05:43 PM
  #42  
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Hi! So I just ordered six bars (!!!) from Amazon, different rises, sweeps, and widths: Nitto Nordeast; Origin8 Space O.R. II, Pro Rise All Mtn, CityClassic; and a couple others. Of those, I should gave an idea what direction to go in.

I've already figured on Shimano 3x9 rapid-fire shifters (Alivio or Deore), canti brake levers, and Ergon grips (GP1 and GC1, also from Amazon). Do these components make sense for my Surly LHT as an all-rounder—street, path, light trail?

I went out for a short ride today, and already my hands started getting numb with my Nitto Noodle bar, so I'm eager to get the conversion done. Can any decent bike mechanic do this conversion or do I need someone who specializes in Surly (or touring) bikes? One shop I called that sells Surly frames said an Altus shifter would be fine, that Deore was overkill for me. He said Altus was one step below Deore (I thought Alivio and Acera were between Altus and Deore), and that the Altus is a road shifter, not mountain. I guess I'm getting confused and want to be sure I work with the right mechanics. (I know just enough to get me into trouble!)

Anyway, any input you might have would be very helpful! Thanks!!!
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Old 06-30-17, 07:24 PM
  #43  
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Components sound fine. With the standard canti brake levers, you'll need to stay with the cantilever brakes or go with Mini-Vs. Any bike mechanic will be able to do this work for you. Altus probably will be fine, but you're right in that it's not just one step below Deore -- it's at least three. Altus is a mountain groupset.

Good luck!
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Old 06-30-17, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Components sound fine. With the standard canti brake levers, you'll need to stay with the cantilever brakes or go with Mini-Vs. Any bike mechanic will be able to do this work for you. Altus probably will be fine, but you're right in that it's not just one step below Deore -- it's at least three. Altus is a mountain groupset.

Good luck!
Oh, awesome...thanks again, hokiefyd! I was thinking of replacing the canti's with V-brakes, but I'd rather spend $$ only on what I really need right now, and I think the canti's are fine for the time being. I'm not even sure I need V-brakes...I've just read a lot of posts saying they're superior to canti's, and mine are pretty mediocre, but it could be the Tektro brake pads. I wonder if replacing them with Kool-Stops would make a difference.

I appreciate your clarifying mountain vs. road shifters and hierarchy...it seems prices are much lower now for 9-speed, and I could get a decent set of Deore shifters for $55.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your help through this process! If it all works out, I'll post pix.

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Old 07-01-17, 05:12 AM
  #45  
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I've tried to like cantilevers in the past, and believe a lot of the problem people have with cantilever brakes is improper setup (myself included). It's apparently quite easy to not get them right. Whatever the reason, V brakes are generally fool-proof in terms of set-up, so the average hack like me can get good braking out of the box. I understand that cantilever brakes can be as good as V brakes with a professional setup. I've never paid for such. Kool-Stop pads for your cantilever brakes could help quite a bit.
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Old 07-01-17, 08:06 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I've tried to like cantilevers in the past, and believe a lot of the problem people have with cantilever brakes is improper setup (myself included). It's apparently quite easy to not get them right. Whatever the reason, V brakes are generally fool-proof in terms of set-up, so the average hack like me can get good braking out of the box. I understand that cantilever brakes can be as good as V brakes with a professional setup. I've never paid for such. Kool-Stop pads for your cantilever brakes could help quite a bit.
Okay, good to know. Since these brakes came with my Surly, and I bought her from Harris Cyclery in MA (home of Sheldon Brown), I trust their setup expertise. But since I've read that folks seem to hate the stock pads, I'll try the Kool-Stops before I ditch the canti's.

Many, many thanks, hokiefyd, for all your input, ideas, and answers to my questions. I love learning about this stuff, so your time and effort are truly appreciated!!
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Old 07-13-17, 02:20 PM
  #47  
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Before and after

So here she is, first round of drops-to-uprights complete. Not sure these are the bars I'm staying with, but I'm trying these and the Origin8 CitiClassic bar for more upright comfort.

Here's what was switched:

1. Nitto Noodle bar to Origin8 Off-Road Space Bar II
2. Cinelli bar tape to Ergon G4 grips
3. Tiagra STI 9sp w/Cane Creek cross levers to Deore 9sp rapid-fire shifters w/Tektro Eclipse MT 2.1 MTB universal brake levers
4. Brooks B17 honey saddle to Women's Selle Royal Avenue Classic gel saddle
5. Panaracer Pasela gumwall 1.5" tires to Innova 1.95" hybrid tires

I also had my LBS cut my seat tube down a couple inches and remove the derailleur guard (dork disk?); and he kept the cables long to accommodate a different bar if I switch out. Once I decide, he'll shorten them up.

First impressions: She looks okay, but isn't nearly as pretty as she was. I studied hundreds of touring bikes and fashioned her after the ones I liked best. Unfortunately, drops ended up not working for me, and the saddle was torture. No good if you can't ride!

But she's much more comfortable to ride now. The tires go a long way toward cushioning the bumps, the bar gets me more upright (though I might want a shorter/riser stem to get even more so), and the grips feel so much better than thin tape, especially to help numbness.

I'll ride for a few days, then try the CitiClassic bar. It supposedly has a 35% sweep, but looks more like 60-70%. Trigger shifters might feel weird on that bar, but we'll see. I hope the Space Bar works. I nearly bought a silver chromoly Mary bar for about $50, but someone scooped it up first. I dunno, the black is kinda cool. The GP4's are a bit long and get caught on things, but it's nice to have another couple hand positions. Maybe GP3's instead.

I miss my beautiful "before" bike, but there's nothing like an upright, swept-back bar for comfort!

So here's before and after. Not doing the after shots justice...it's cold and rainy today!
Attached Images
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Surly A.jpg (99.7 KB, 255 views)
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Surly C.jpg (100.7 KB, 254 views)
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IMG_0284.jpg (95.0 KB, 235 views)
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IMG_0286.jpg (94.7 KB, 236 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_0285.jpg (91.1 KB, 234 views)

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Old 07-13-17, 02:24 PM
  #48  
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nice fricken whip man. im jealus
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Old 07-13-17, 05:25 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by worry View Post
nice fricken whip man. im jealus
Worry, you made my day.
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Old 07-13-17, 06:51 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by velocipedia View Post
So here she is, first round of drops-to-uprights complete. Not sure these are the bars I'm staying with, but I'm trying these and the Origin8 CitiClassic bar for more upright comfort.

Here's what was switched:

1. Nitto Noodle bar to Origin8 Off-Road Space Bar II
2. Cinelli bar tape to Ergon G4 grips
3. Tiagra STI 9sp w/Cane Creek cross levers to Deore 9sp rapid-fire shifters w/Tektro Eclipse MT 2.1 MTB universal brake levers
4. Brooks B17 honey saddle to Women's Selle Royal Avenue Classic gel saddle
5. Panaracer Pasela gumwall 1.5" tires to Innova 1.95" hybrid tires

I also had my LBS cut my seat tube down a couple inches and remove the derailleur guard (dork disk?); and he kept the cables long to accommodate a different bar if I switch out. Once I decide, he'll shorten them up.

First impressions: She looks okay, but isn't nearly as pretty as she was. I studied hundreds of touring bikes and fashioned her after the ones I liked best. Unfortunately, drops ended up not working for me, and the saddle was torture. No good if you can't ride!

But she's much more comfortable to ride now. The tires go a long way toward cushioning the bumps, the bar gets me more upright (though I might want a shorter/riser stem to get even more so), and the grips feel so much better than thin tape, especially to help numbness.

I'll ride for a few days, then try the CitiClassic bar. It supposedly has a 35% sweep, but looks more like 60-70%. Trigger shifters might feel weird on that bar, but we'll see. I hope the Space Bar works. I nearly bought a silver chromoly Mary bar for about $50, but someone scooped it up first. I dunno, the black is kinda cool. The GP4's are a bit long and get caught on things, but it's nice to have another couple hand positions. Maybe GP3's instead.

I miss my beautiful "before" bike, but there's nothing like an upright, swept-back bar for comfort!

So here's before and after. Not doing the after shots justice...it's cold and rainy today!

Some interesting changes for sure, but I like what you have been doing.


With your Brooks saddle there, did you try riding it with the nose not quite so upright?
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