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Surly LHT vs AC Space Horse

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Surly LHT vs AC Space Horse

Old 06-27-15, 06:30 AM
  #1  
allencb
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Surly LHT vs AC Space Horse

I'm posting in touring because this forum seems to have the most traffic about these two bikes.

Anyway.

I'm a longtime LHT owner (2008 Utility Blue). I bought the frame with visions of bike-mounted camping trips, centuries, and many long rides. I managed plenty of the later two, but never did much touring (one overnight camping trip is it). I also engaged in the occasional gravel ride. While the bike rides reasonably well unloaded, it has always felt too long in the cockpit. It feels ponderous when I want to just go for a ride. Having recently discovered the AC Space Horse, this seems like a good upgrade without going full CX or Roadie. There are a lot of good reviews of the Space Horse out there, but what I can't seem to find is a direct comparison between the LHT and Space Horse from someone who has owned both. My plan is to buy the frame and swap all components over to it (may need a new rear wheel if the triangle won't accept the 135mm XT hub).

Besides ride quality, I'd also like to know more about the differences in weight. My LHT, with a mix of decent parts and a Brooks saddle, weighs in at 25.4lbs (no racks or bags, just a ride-able bike). With the same components, what would the Space Horse weigh? AC's frame weight numbers actually put it at the same weight or more than my LHT (assuming Surly's published numbers are accurate). That seems wrong.

Are the bikes different enough to warrant a $600 purchase?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 06-27-15, 08:54 PM
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I have never heard of a space horse, curiosity got to me so I did a google search. Looks like the chainstays are shorter, but if you are not going to use panniers, that probably is not a bad thing.

If you get it and swap over the parts, you might want to get a new headset so you can sell the LHT frame with headset installed. That simplifies things for the new owner which might increase its value.

Looks like the space horse probably has less fork trail, but amount would depend on size frame.

Space horse takes two bottle cages, not three from looking at the photo.

Since I only looked at it because of curiosity, I have no other comments. Sorry.
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Old 06-28-15, 05:41 AM
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The weight you quote for your LHT sounds really low. Most folks put their LHT at 30 pounds or more. Of course frame size and component choices are major factors in determining overall weight. Did you outfit yours pretty light? For it to come in at 25.4 pounds it would seem to me that it would have to almost be outfitted closer to a road bike than a heavy touring bike. The fact that you chose a Brooks makes me think that you probably weren't too aggressively trimming weight in component selection. If you didn't pick pretty light components, I'd double check that weight.

As far as comparing the ride between the two... I haven't ridden the space horse, but being designed for carrying heavy loads, the LHT is a tank and rides like one IMO. Is the change worth it? That depends on what you want. Some people like the the tank like LHT ride even when not carrying a load.

Personally for the kind of use you describe, I'd probably choose an endurance road bike if not a regular road bike. But that is me. I'd find that much more pleasant for the centuries and general riding. If willing to pack really light, like full on minimalist, you can even do long (multi-week or multi month) tours, camping and cooking, with a road bike. One can certainly suffice for centuries and general recreational riding. It wouldn't be my first choice for gravel grinding, but you can even manage a bit of that on one if you want to.
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Old 06-28-15, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by allencb View Post
Besides ride quality, I'd also like to know more about the differences in weight...AC's frame weight numbers actually put it at the same weight or more than my LHT (assuming Surly's published numbers are accurate). That seems wrong.

Are the bikes different enough to warrant a $600 purchase?

Thanks,
Chris
Since the Space Horse is designed by the same company/engineers and weighs more than the LHT, I think you have your answer. QBP frames are designed to survive the warrenty and as a result are heavy and ride stiff. If you're looking for lighter and better ride, why not consider a road frame such as the Soma ES? It'll handle 32mm tyres and light cargo loads but weighs more than a pound less than your LHT.
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Old 06-28-15, 06:39 AM
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I only have a couple of weeks on it, but I built up a New Albion Privateer frameset and am surprised at how well it rides vs. the Lemond Buenos Aires that donated the parts for the build. Stable but not sluggish is how I would describe it. Definitely worth a look.
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Old 06-29-15, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The weight you quote for your LHT sounds really low. Most folks put their LHT at 30 pounds or more. Of course frame size and component choices are major factors in determining overall weight. Did you outfit yours pretty light? For it to come in at 25.4 pounds it would seem to me that it would have to almost be outfitted closer to a road bike than a heavy touring bike. The fact that you chose a Brooks makes me think that you probably weren't too aggressively trimming weight in component selection. If you didn't pick pretty light components, I'd double check that weight.
I weighed it multiple times with a digital bow scale (registers peak weight and locks it in). My build was not touring specific, but not selected for weight (Deore XT hubs, LX rear derailleur, Dura-Ace front, Sugino cranks, CR18 rims, Pasella TG folding tires, Nitto bars, VO stem, Brooks saddle, etc). The weight doesn't include racks, bags, etc, just the bike.

Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Personally for the kind of use you describe, I'd probably choose an endurance road bike if not a regular road bike. But that is me. I'd find that much more pleasant for the centuries and general riding. If willing to pack really light, like full on minimalist, you can even do long (multi-week or multi month) tours, camping and cooking, with a road bike. One can certainly suffice for centuries and general recreational riding. It wouldn't be my first choice for gravel grinding, but you can even manage a bit of that on one if you want to.
I have been looking at those sorts of bikes as well, but they all seem to have too long a reach or TT for me.

Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Since the Space Horse is designed by the same company/engineers and weighs more than the LHT, I think you have your answer. QBP frames are designed to survive the warrenty and as a result are heavy and ride stiff. If you're looking for lighter and better ride, why not consider a road frame such as the Soma ES? It'll handle 32mm tyres and light cargo loads but weighs more than a pound less than your LHT.
The Soma's TT and/or Reach is too long for my tastes. To get the reach I want, I'd have to go with a very small frame, increasing saddle-to-bar drop. That's what attracted me to the Space Horse. It has a shorter reach than a lot of other frames.

Chris
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Old 06-29-15, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SRFS1 View Post
I only have a couple of weeks on it, but I built up a New Albion Privateer frameset and am surprised at how well it rides vs. the Lemond Buenos Aires that donated the parts for the build. Stable but not sluggish is how I would describe it. Definitely worth a look.
I looked at it. It appears to be between the LHT and Space Horse. Weight it roughly the same.

Chris
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Old 06-30-15, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by allencb View Post
I weighed it multiple times with a digital bow scale (registers peak weight and locks it in). My build was not touring specific, but not selected for weight (Deore XT hubs, LX rear derailleur, Dura-Ace front, Sugino cranks, CR18 rims, Pasella TG folding tires, Nitto bars, VO stem, Brooks saddle, etc). The weight doesn't include racks, bags, etc, just the bike.
I usually include racks, empty water bottles, and a seat wedge with tools in the bike weight. That probably accounts for much of the difference. Also some of the LHT weights folks have posted include some pretty heavy outfitting sometimes including double stems, kick stands, and so on.


Originally Posted by allencb View Post
I have been looking at those sorts of bikes as well, but they all seem to have too long a reach or TT for me.

The Soma's TT and/or Reach is too long for my tastes. To get the reach I want, I'd have to go with a very small frame, increasing saddle-to-bar drop. That's what attracted me to the Space Horse. It has a shorter reach than a lot of other frames.
That probably makes sense if you like the bars fairly high. I pick a bike with the right top tube length and with many frames it is a smaller frame than a lot of folks would pick based on stand over height, but I like my bars 3-4" below the saddle so it isn't a problem for me. I actually like the resulting smaller frame.
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