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Looking to buy a Surly LHT

Old 01-09-16, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
Any chance you can afford a better bicycle?
Any chance you could post a pic of your awesome tour bike?

Here's mine and I did get what I paid for - a bike I have actually ridden.



OP, the LHT is a good bike but expensive in the sense that it sells for near retail even when used. But the fact that they do so speaks to their value as touring bikes. If that doesn't work out and you want used you could look at older Trek series bikes like the 520.

In all you are looking for some basic features such as a comfortable riding posture, longer chain stays for panniers, overall strength, reasonable quality drive train with gearing low enough for hills while under load. That's what the LHT offers and why it's popular. Personally I like mtb's from the late 80's or early 90's because they also offer many of those features at a fraction of the cost. The money I save in purchasing can be spent upgrading what needs to be done, which sometimes is very little. Swapping knobbies for road tires increases speed dramatically, they usually have attachment points for racks, most are low geared, have cantilever brakes, wheels are usually 36 spoke and strong and flat bars are easy to swap out for drops or trekking bars.

Sometimes people with only a theoretical knowledge of touring can get caught up in what they read and believe they need all those things in order to tour. Truth is people travel on all sorts of bikes successfully, even little teeny wheeled folding bikes and single speeds. Of course, on the internet or for the fabulously wealthy, money is no object but for many of us it is. To my mind, there is a break even point at which investing in a more expensive bike will not result in that much more of a better ride. At some point a bike is a bike is a bike and the determining factor becomes the rider. The more unsure you are abut the rider though, the more you subconsciously depend on the details of the bike. If someone couldn't tour on a bike the quality of a LHT I wouldn't question the equipment so much...
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Old 01-09-16, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethan294
Im preparing for a cross country trip this summer.(oregon to NY). Ive decided i want to purchase a Surly Long Haul Trucker around 60 cm, give or take. I dont want to purchase a brand new one unless i cant find one used that is still in good condition.

If anyone has a LHT or knows someone who might want to sell theirs please hollar at me. I live on Long Island NY.
I do not know how much you know about bikes or specifically the LHT. Just a few points.

The LHT is sold as a complete bike or as a frame & fork. People that buy the frame & fork likely have a mix of components that is far from typical. During the first two or three years, the LHT was sold only as a frame & fork, so virtually all early ones could be considered custom.

The LHT has been made for a bit over a decade. Every few years they make significant changes to the components and they have made a few revisions to the frame design.

My point is that there are a lot of different versions of the LHT out there. If you do not know much about bikes, try to find a friend that is knowledgeable to assist you when you find a good candidate.
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Old 01-09-16, 07:53 AM
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Here's mine and I did get what I paid for - a bike I have actually ridden.




To my mind, there is a break even point at which investing in a more expensive bike will not result in that much more of a better ride.

A wire basket, silly handle bar, and a saddle way out of adjustment?? It's better than what I ride to the grocery store on.
And very much yes! a $10K bicycle is not twice as good as a $5K bicycle. But a $1.5K vs $3K bicycle? pretty much a lot better. IMHO
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Old 01-09-16, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethan294
Im preparing for a cross country trip this summer.(oregon to NY). Ive decided i want to purchase a Surly Long Haul Trucker around 60 cm, give or take. I dont want to purchase a brand new one unless i cant find one used that is still in good condition.
How tall are you? I am 6'2" and have a 60cm LHT. I have a relatively short inseam (32" for pants) and there is not a whole lot of standover clearance, but enough that I am not banging the jewels. I could probably ride a 58cm and be o.k., but I like the extra room "up top" the 60cm affords. Just trying to give you an idea of sizing.

BTW...Ignore the inane responses. Yes You can get a better bike, but the LHT is fine. I even take mine off road fully loaded.
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Old 01-09-16, 09:51 AM
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I love my Surly LHT 26in 52cm 2008
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Old 01-09-16, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
How tall are you? I am 6'2" and have a 60cm LHT. I have a relatively short inseam (32" for pants)
I ride a 52cm 26in Surly LHT and I am 5ft9in tall and my inseam is 31in and 52cm hit my nuts
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Old 01-09-16, 10:52 AM
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Hey, thanks for the sizing refrence. I'm 6'2" with a 34 inseam. (Long legs,short torso). Im thinking 60 would be ideal because i had an old 60cm road bike. My goal is to have enough hieght so my stance on the bike isnt crowded, and i'd like all the nut sack clearance i can get.
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Old 01-09-16, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
Low guality steel, low guality componants. Look at Co-Motion for example. And many others. You get what you pay for.
Gee, mine has carried a heavy load for 4 years and it has given me zero issues. By the way, the XT group that came on mine, is the same group that lasted 25+ years with no issues on my old Mt Rainier mountain bike. I finally had to replace the rear derailleur a few years ago, at 25 years old, but the rest, hubs, bearings, etc. are still perfect, at 31 years old. I am perfectly satisfied with the bike and components.

The rims have taken a beating and are still in true. I have yet to break a spoke, despite often carrying 80+ pounds, bike/load. When I bought the bike, I had my shop de-tension and hand tension the spokes. I recommend that with any machine built wheel.

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Old 01-09-16, 11:01 AM
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No used ones on Ebay/craig's list? You may just have to spend a bit more and get a new one ..

A LBS with a QBP small parts account can order them .. they come Pre Paid or 30 day net, to shops.

so if there is not a market demand (other than you) the incentive to buy on Spec for floor stock is not there.

just ask @ your favorite bike shop.


LHT is coming across the Pacific in a big container ship, Co-Motion is made in Oregon.
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Old 01-09-16, 11:54 AM
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You put it very well. I couldnt agree more with you about the break even point. I will check out the trek 520. I get a good feeling in my gut about the LHT, but as a second, im reading into the trek.
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Old 01-09-16, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethan294
You put it very well. I couldnt agree more with you about the break even point. I will check out the trek 520. I get a good feeling in my gut about the LHT, but as a second, im reading into the trek.
Also take a good hard look at the REI novara randonnee if you want to save some bucks; it runs $1200, less on sale. It has very good specs and REI knows a thing or two about touring bikes (and touring gear) as well.
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Old 01-09-16, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
Low guality steel, low guality componants. Look at Co-Motion for example. And many others. You get what you pay for.
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Old 01-09-16, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
A wire basket, silly handle bar, and a saddle way out of adjustment?? It's better than what I ride to the grocery store on.
And very much yes! a $10K bicycle is not twice as good as a $5K bicycle. But a $1.5K vs $3K bicycle? pretty much a lot better. IMHO
Yes! And it actually gets ridden in real life by a real human being. Still waiting for a picture of yours since you have such a low opinion of others. I'm always up for learning something new. Here's a video while you are searching internet images for a suitable picture:


Ethan, you can't really go wrong with the LHT if you buy one for a reasonable price because you will have a fairly good return on investment once/if you are finished with it and want to move on. As others have said, there is also a large fan base for LHT's so you will have a good source of info as you select and tweak your ride. The other choices would be good to consider if you couldn't get into one at your price point before the trip. Better to tour on something than to not tour so to speak.

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Old 01-09-16, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethan294
Hey, thanks for the sizing refrence. I'm 6'2" with a 34 inseam. (Long legs,short torso). Im thinking 60 would be ideal because i had an old 60cm road bike. My goal is to have enough hieght so my stance on the bike isnt crowded, and i'd like all the nut sack clearance i can get.
Try a 58 cm, if you can. I have a 34" inseam and am 6'. The reach is a real stretch for me on a 58 cm, even with a shorter stem.

Originally Posted by Happy Feet
...................... Here's a video while you are searching internet images for a suitable picture:
Very nice. You live in a great part of the Provence.

A little OT.

A couple of years ago my wife and I rode across BC, and stopped at a cafe in Agassiz (we were on riding Highway7) for lunch. When we went to pay our bill we had a pleasant surprise. The server said the local motorcyclist that we had been talking to during lunch had already paid it! We asked her to see that he got one of our "Angels of the Road" cards.

We've given a lot of these out in Canada. Probably, more per mile than anywhere else .

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Old 01-09-16, 12:55 PM
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What a great idea about the cards!!! Hope you don't mind if I steal it.

And to return the compliment, I spend a bit of time in Oregon (mostly around Smith Rock) and found it to be a really pleasant part of the US. The scenery is spectacular and the people were very friendly and laid back. I plan to return (soon I hope) to dive Crater Lake, which has the clearest water in the continental US. I have to drag a friend along though because they don't allow solo diving there.

Anyway, enough of the negative stuff from me concerning SQ. I just think that if you are going to say something, back it up by some experience. I don't claim to know everything by a long shot but if I say I prefer 80's to 90's mtb's it's because I actually ride 80-90mtb's. If I say they work well for touring it's because I've actually toured with them. Otherwise, the touring forum could just be a big linking site to online retailers who have their own glowing press kit reviews.

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Old 01-09-16, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
I'm always up for learning something new. Here's a video while you are searching internet images for a suitable picture.
First, sweet bar tape! Second, what bars are those- Scott at2? GT Backwoods?
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Old 01-09-16, 01:16 PM
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[MENTION=156952]Doug64[/MENTION]. That is an awsome idea and i hope you wont mind me stealing it! Very cool!
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Old 01-09-16, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
Any chance you can afford a better bicycle?
This is really poor advice, if you can call it advice, to someone just getting into touring.

Starting out with a more expensive bike when you are not even sure touring is going to be your "thing" may not be the best way to start. It is analogous to buying buying an Orvis $400 fly rod when a $100 rod from your local sporting goods store will get you started; and it may be the rod you stay with for a long time- at least until you figure out just what really works for you.

Buying a LHT as an introduction into touring is a very good approach. It is a good solid, well designed touring bike, holds its value, and may well be the bike to stick with even as you become more serious about touring. IMO, when you buy a bike, you are buying the frame. Everything else can be changed, and often is, regardless of the price.

This one came before Surly sold complete bikes.


It turned out OK
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Old 01-09-16, 01:31 PM
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I'm considering parting out my 61cm Civia Bryant. I spent a lot of time thinking about a LHT but went with the Civia due to its versatility. Has swappable dropouts so you can run horizontal or vertical, frame break so you can run chain or belt, steel, disc brakes or road among other things. I'm looking to get a recumbent so have thought about unloading it. Willing to sell just the frame..
.
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Old 01-09-16, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet

Anyway, enough of the negative stuff from me concerning SQ. I just think that if you are going to say something, back it up by some experience. I don't claim to know everything by a long shot but if I say I prefer 80's to 90's mtb's it's because I actually ride 80-90mtb's. If I say they work well for touring it's because I've actually toured with them. Otherwise, the touring forum could just be a big linking site to online retailers who have their own glowing press kit reviews.
Yeah, I know. I just have a hard time not responding to BS. I already broke my New Year's resolution

Another idea (not original) that has worked well for us:


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Old 01-09-16, 02:12 PM
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Doug, Me too...

mstateglfr, I don't know what brand of bars they are but they are a cross between flats with bar ends and full trekking. The mech at my local LBS gave them to me for free. The bar tape is doubled over the original rubber cushioning to give a little extra padding. It was old stock and the owner of the shop reminisced about how they were all the rage years ago... the bar tape that is. The seat is different btw than the above pic. I took the plunge and bought a Brooks because of the reviews I have read about them. Too soon to tell but so far it is as comfortable as my others so that bodes well. It's a B5N which is the poor cousin to the B17 and more lightly built but it also isn't that heavy - on par with the synthetic ones; though I suspect the leather (also thinned) will not last as long.

A good entry point for me and if I like it I'll splurge on a B17 when it goes.
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Old 01-09-16, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethan294
Hey, thanks for the sizing refrence. I'm 6'2" with a 34 inseam. (Long legs,short torso). Im thinking 60 would be ideal because i had an old 60cm road bike. My goal is to have enough hieght so my stance on the bike isnt crowded, and i'd like all the nut sack clearance i can get.
I am 6'2" with proportions similar to you. I don't know my inseam but I wear 32 jeans and they are a bit shorter than what most people wear. So if anything my torso is slightly longer than yours. My pro fit put me on a 58 LHT. I don't feel crowded on the bike at all. I have full clearance while standing over the top tube.

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Old 01-09-16, 04:36 PM
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They look just like the Scott at2 and GT Backwoods bars. I have some Backwoods that implies off an early 90s rigid MTB and my wife has some at2 bars on a Scott mtb from the 90s.
They are fantastic versatile bars and it looks like yours are the same design.
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Old 01-09-16, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethan294
Hey, thanks for the sizing refrence. I'm 6'2" with a 34 inseam. (Long legs,short torso). Im thinking 60 would be ideal because i had an old 60cm road bike. My goal is to have enough hieght so my stance on the bike isnt crowded, and i'd like all the nut sack clearance i can get.
I am the same height and inseam as you are. If you do get an LHT I would be interested to know if you think the TT length is problematic. I am unable to "try before I buy" due to limited availability at my LBS.
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Old 01-09-16, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
I just did a quick count on CL Portland, OR, and there were at least 10 LHT's listed. However, most were only a couple hundred dollars below the new price.

I picked up 2 LHT's at very good prices for our daughters. I had to be patient and lucky; I was looking for a 50 cm and a 42cm frame. The 42 cm bike was the lucky one, a 2014, like-new bike, for $500. I'd been looking for a couple of years for that particular bike; small sizes are not that common.

If you have the time, and know what you are looking for, a used bike can be a real bargain. However, I don't think I'd buy a bike unseen.

I've noticed same. For a few hundred more you can get a new bike.
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