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Looking to buy a Surly LHT

Old 01-09-16, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
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.
+1. Just looked it up and has nice rims, detailers, etc. The Kona Sutra is similar, at $1,399, but has racks and fenders too.
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Old 01-09-16, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethan294
...Ive decided i want to purchase a Surly Long Haul Trucker around 60 cm, give or take... I'm 6'2" with a 34 inseam...
Originally Posted by timdow
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.
Here's some actual fit data for LHT:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...GQ/edit#gid=23

A few years back I took this data, removed outliers (mostly and logically in the 42 and 62cm frame sizes) and applied linear regression to determine my best fit on a LHT. I also looked at various fit formulas and found fit guidance from Rivendell to be close to that obtained from the LHT database.



If you can determine your barefoot Pubic Bone Height (PBH) in centimeters, then you can closely approximate the best LHT frame size using this regression equation:

LHT frame size (cm) = 0.667xPBH(cm) - 1.054

R^2 for this equation is 0.76.

Note this equation is very close to an old bike sizing formula which approximates frame size as 2/3 of PBH.

Using the LHT equation above, my PBH of 83.5cm yields a LHT frame size of 54.64cm.

I bought a 56cm Surly Disc Trucker, which is geometrically identical to the LHT for a given size. I got a 56 over a 54 size as I prefer the greater stack height provided by the taller frame. Also I suspect people tend to buy bikes a bit too small, as in the case of the LHT data.

I have to use a shorter stem due to reach, not because the data/equation is wrong, but because of a health issue I must bias my bike fit to a more upright posture than normally adopted by bicyclists (even touring bicyclists). One day I may have to transition to a recumbent LWB or trike.
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Old 01-09-16, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333
Here's some actual fit data for LHT:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...GQ/edit#gid=23

A few years back I took this data, removed outliers (mostly and logically in the 42 and 62cm frame sizes) and applied linear regression to determine my best fit on a LHT. I also looked at various fit formulas and found fit guidance from Rivendell to be close to that obtained from the LHT database.



If you can determine your barefoot Pubic Bone Height (PBH) in centimeters, then you can closely approximate the best LHT frame size using this regression equation:

LHT frame size (cm) = 0.667xPBH(cm) - 1.054

R^2 for this equation is 0.76.

Note this equation is very close to an old bike sizing formula which approximates frame size as 2/3 of PBH.

Using the LHT equation above, my PBH of 83.5cm yields a LHT frame size of 54.64cm.

I bought a 56cm Surly Disc Trucker, which is geometrically identical to the LHT for a given size. I got a 56 over a 54 size as I prefer the greater stack height provided by the taller frame. Also I suspect people tend to buy bikes a bit too small, as in the case of the LHT data.

I have to use a shorter stem due to reach, not because the data/equation is wrong, but because of a health issue I must bias my bike fit to a more upright posture than normally adopted by bicyclists (even touring bicyclists). One day I may have to transition to a recumbent LWB or trike.
Thanks good to know about the 2/3 or PBH... I had always heard the one that Greg LeMond made famous... seat height = inseam (same a PBH?) X .883.

Then once you get the ideal frame size, how do you calculate the proper TT length?
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Old 01-09-16, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc
+1. Just looked it up and has nice rims, detailers, etc. The Kona Sutra is similar, at $1,399, but has racks and fenders too.

I wonder who makes REI Novora bicycles? Does anybody know?
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Old 01-09-16, 10:57 PM
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This is a 54cm LHT complete with the 26" wheels (your only option). I'm 5' 10" pants about 31-32" inseam, my PBH is about 81cm I think. It has exactly 60mm of spacers underneath the short stem I put on it. It has a setback seatpost, Thomson. I did get to try out a 56 but thought it was too big. I cropped the first picture out of a fairly wide shot. The second pic will give you an idea of seat height in relation to the handlebars which are about 2" higher than the seat. I think most bike shops would have put me on the 56 just by looking at these pictures but the 54 seems perfect with good standover. I feel pretty good after riding 50-60 miles...tired but no problems with the bike fit.

I had to purchase another longer fork to get that many spacers on it.

I wouldn't want to be bent over any further than I am in the picture and I would never get rid of the dropbars...on the hoods 90% of the time and seems comfortable & natural compared to the mountain bike flat/straight bars which made my fingers/hands numb often.

Hope to do some longer days next year.





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Old 01-09-16, 11:26 PM
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jonc123 has a good point. If you buy a new LHT, you can specify an uncut steerer tube. They come from the manufacturer uncut. This will give you a lot of bar height flexibility.
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Old 01-10-16, 12:27 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
I wonder who makes REI Novora bicycles? Does anybody know?
What's it matter, it's just another cheap tubes cheap component bike, right?

Seriously though, it's made in China, Taipei, or Taiwan. The manufacturer has facilities in those locations.
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Old 01-10-16, 08:06 AM
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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.
It is common for LHT buyers to put on a shorter stem. Sizing also takes into account reach, or how far your handlebars and brake levers are from the saddle. So, when you start checking bikes, keep in mind the option of changing stems. My niece is several inches shorter than me but she takes the same size bike as me when measured by seattube length, but she has a much shorter reach so she needs a much shorter top tube and/or stem.

Some bike shops and some owners cut the steerer tube. You can make a steerer tube shorter, but it is not easy to make it longer (unless you buy the extender), so keep in mind the steerer tube length when you go shopping.

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Old 01-10-16, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jonc123
This is a 54cm LHT complete with the 26" wheels (your only option). I'm 5' 10" pants about 31-32" inseam, my PBH is about 81cm I think. It has exactly 60mm of spacers underneath the short stem I put on it. It has a setback seatpost, Thomson. I did get to try out a 56 but thought it was too big. I cropped the first picture out of a fairly wide shot. The second pic will give you an idea of seat height in relation to the handlebars which are about 2" higher than the seat. I think most bike shops would have put me on the 56 just by looking at these pictures but the 54 seems perfect with good standover. I feel pretty good after riding 50-60 miles...tired but no problems with the bike fit.

I had to purchase another longer fork to get that many spacers on it.

I wouldn't want to be bent over any further than I am in the picture and I would never get rid of the dropbars...on the hoods 90% of the time and seems comfortable & natural compared to the mountain bike flat/straight bars which made my fingers/hands numb often.

Hope to do some longer days next year.






I am using a Surly LHT 26in 52cm 2008 I am 5ft9in tall and my pant inseam 31-32 but I wear 30in inseam pants
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Old 01-10-16, 10:47 AM
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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.
With that said, a 58 may be better suited for you. As I mentioned before, more of my eight comes from my upper body. I had to shorten the stem on my 60cm a bit.
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Old 01-10-16, 12:18 PM
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You get the short end of the stick with the 54cm LHT, It comes with a 300mm steerer. If you jump up one size to the 56cm, It comes with a 350mm steerer. The extra steerer I ordered was 100.00 even, brand new. I liked the idea of ordering the fork instead of using one of the adapter/extension thingys. My wifes 50cm even had more steerer tube than mine due to the geometry, hers was 300mm also.

For spending that hundred bucks, I had them cut it a little longer and I have 20mm on top of the stem for what reason I have no idea. Had to get my $$ worth.

I like the bike enough to stick with it. I don't see how any bike would be an upgrade for me outside of a fully customized Made In USA frame/bike which I cannot afford. My only advice would be to do whatever you can to try the bike out first before buying even if it inloved some driving time to do it. For a bit I was looking at a Surly Troll and was unsure of sizing and was prepared to get on the phone and find the shops with the sizes I wanted within a certain distance from me.

You can only research this stuff so much, at some point you gotta plunk yor cash down and get a bike. You'll never really know if you made a right choice until you've got hundreds of miles on it anyway (in my opinion). You'll also have a tougher time if coming from other handlebars besides dropbars. They took a while to grow on me; I wouldn't have anything else now.
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Old 01-10-16, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Biketouringhobo
I ride a 52cm 26in Surly LHT and I am 5ft9in tall and my inseam is 31in and 52cm hit my nuts
They say standover isn't the most important dimension. With my 54cm, I have enough standover to be comfortable. I know, the bike is to be ridden instead of standing over. I find myself standing over the bike all the time, eating, drinking, resting, reading maps, waiting at stoplights and another dozen things. For me, standover is important. Ground isn't always level and I don't ever have to worry about being comfortable. Riding the bike is one small aspect of touring for me. It's a lot of little things that add up to a fun trip and make it worthwhile.
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Old 01-10-16, 01:00 PM
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I had a girlfriend a bunch of years ago who was about 2" taller than me. but our leg length close to a few mm. She had an extra long torso.
So stand over ht. is the most important thing. Longer arms, torso can be adjusted with stem length etc. Seat tube length can not be adjusted.
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Old 01-10-16, 01:03 PM
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Agreed re: stand over height. It can be indicative of fit but not the best aspect to judge it. Rivendell has a good article regarding bike fit, talking about pubic bone height, etc.

Learn About Bikes with Rivendell Bicycle Works
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Old 01-10-16, 01:06 PM
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For accuracy, pretty sure you meant top tube height - but the idea stands.
Seat tube length can be adjusted by a seat post.

As some of us get a little older we may actually start looking at top tube height in a different light. Some riders prefer the feel of a more relaxed top tube like that on a hybrid or mtb, or even a step through mixte design. Once you start going there, top tube height does not become a determining factor at all. It all depends on the type of bike you like which is also influenced by any postural considerations you may have. Same goes for drops vs flats vs trekking bars.

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Old 01-10-16, 08:01 PM
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Seat tube length is measures from the middle of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube top tube junction, thus called seat tube length. Seat post length has nothing to do with it. But now a days with all the sloping top tubes I guess it can get confusing.
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Old 01-10-16, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
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...

I was looking at Lynskeys website today. 1/2 the price I expected them to be. $2K-$5K for a nice Ti bicycle? real sweet. So for less than twice the price of a LHT I can be riding a Ti frame with Shimano 105 equipment. 3x with Durace and high end wheels. Tubus racks too.
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Old 01-10-16, 08:39 PM
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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.
Ethan, good luck with your search. The LHT is a fine bike as are many others. How you use what you get matters more than what you get.

Last edited by LeeG; 01-11-16 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 01-10-16, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
I was looking at Lynskeys website today. 1/2 the price I expected them to be. $2K-$5K for a nice Ti bicycle? real sweet. So for less than twice the price of a LHT I can be riding a Ti frame with Shimano 105 equipment. 3x with Durace and high end wheels. Tubus racks too.
43cm chainstays.
room to fit 30mm max tires.
24 spoke wheels.
a 105 ROAD DOUBLE group. Not compact, but a 53/39 crank which means an 11-28 cassette.

To each their own and all, but that doesnt seem like a good option for someone interested in an LHT. Mentioning this Lynskey in a conversation concerning traditional loaded touring is like someone talking about Cricket during a discussion about the Dodgers. Both are sports and use a ball which is hit, but they arent even close to the same, much less similar.

Seriously, look at those wheels- 24 spoke? and a traditional road groupset?



The Lynskey Viale is a really nice looking bike. If I ever had $2300 just sitting around and wanted a new endurance bike, this would certainly be something I would look at...before passing since I dont think I could bring myself to spend that much money when great options(for me) are much less. But I am genuinely surprised anyone would consider the Lynskey to be a consideration during a discussion about LHTs. Did you look at the bike's spec's before posting?
Ha, I just saw that you could pay another $250 for the mid-tier wheelset to get 28spokes. Perfect.
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Old 01-10-16, 11:00 PM
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Actually you could buy the Linskey Backroads frame for 2 grand (no fork) which is their frame designed for self supported touring and it will handle much larger tires but, you've got well over three thousand in it before you're done. But I know what you meant.
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Old 01-10-16, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
I was looking at Lynskeys website today. 1/2 the price I expected them to be. $2K-$5K for a nice Ti bicycle? real sweet. So for less than twice the price of a LHT I can be riding a Ti frame with Shimano 105 equipment. 3x with Durace and high end wheels. Tubus racks too.
Lynskey Viale is a good value but is a rando bike. Ti is great material for touring frames but I haven't seen any Ti production drop-bar/559 mm wheel tourers unfortunately. I'd like to see reasonably-priced aluminum loaded tourers that are light but don't break the bank.
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Old 01-10-16, 11:57 PM
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I'm not too interested in what people "could" do. If I had a million dollars I could ride a bike made out of gold.

Forums work well when people post what they do. In that way they share their experience and can also describe the conditions they operate in. It also keeps things real. Most, not all, people have to operate within certain parameters like availability or budgets and have to balance what they want with what they can actually afford, along with actual tour costs and day to day expenses. That's why what we do is better than what we could do because it addresses some of those real world compromises.

I know you are feeling like people are giving you a hard time lately, and that you really just want to participate in the forum like everyone else, but you have to realize how grating it can be to have you post criticisms of peoples choices when you haven't ridden a mile in their shoes, so to speak. LHT's and bikes with silly baskets may not appeal to you personally yet but they are actually being ridden on tours by forum members.

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Old 01-11-16, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
This is not very helpful. The OP is looking to buy a good touring bike used without breaking the bank and you suggest that he (or she) should spend more money.



The Surly LHT is a very fine touring bike. There is nothing a more expensive bike will do other than cost more money.

If the OP wants to save some money, the REI novara randonnee is a fine touring bike. The fuji touring is even less expensive and a decent bike.

If it were my money, I'd opt for the randonee (great wheels and good parts) but the Surly is a fine bike as well.

Used Surlys don't come up often and they hold their value. Just keep that in mind as you look for a bike.
This ^^^. I am also in the market for a touring bike and am jumping back and forth between the Surly LHT and the Randonee, but really leaning towards the Randonee. The Randonne compares well to the Surly and is hard to beat for the price, especially with when the REI 20% discount comes up and for those who are, as I am an REI member, the annual dividends really makes it a real bargain.
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Old 01-11-16, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
I've built custom on a LHT frameset this past Fall. Finding components for the LHT is not that difficult. If you'd like a detailed list of components, pm me.

[I've researched touring bikes quite a bit and came to the conclusion that the LHT is one of the better touring bike on the market and possibly the best as far as quality / price is concerned. You'll find extremely favourable reviews on most sites. See roadbike review, cycling about, pedalshift or Tom Allen]
2nded.

There's nothing non-standard about an LHT from a touring bike perspective. Mine was built up from a frame. Because I had some time before it had to be ready (and it sounds like you do, too) and some specific, non-standard plans for my build, I made a list of components I wanted and spent some time waiting for deals, looking for 2nd hand items, or just buying individual items from whoever had the best deal. Some items I bought cheaply just to get rolling and upgraded them later. Some items, like my cheap, Bulletproof cranks, proved functional enough that I never bothered to upgrade them. In fact there's still a no-name, used set of V-brakes on there that came out of some dusty drawer in the bike co-op. I was always going to upgrade them "someday" but they continued to work, so it seemed unnecessary.

Absolutely keep an eye out for a good deal on a complete bike. But if you have time, you might be able to do just as well looking for pieces.

And since we're sharing sizing info: I can't recall my PBH, but my pant inseam is 32. I went with a 58 LHT because it was the tallest one I could stand over, and I like a bigger bike. I also don't run drop bars, so I found myself running a pretty long stem to get my Albatross bars at a comfortable reach. I'm 5'10" so I could easily believe you'd be a size up from me, but I've also found that many people with measurements similar to mine ride a size lower than me. I suspect my size worked out so well because I don't use drop bars.
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Old 01-11-16, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes1
The Randonne compares well to the Surly and is hard to beat for the price, especially with when the REI 20% discount comes up and for those who are, as I am an REI member, the annual dividends really makes it a real bargain.
You can pay for it with your 2015 dividend but you won't earn anything for the purchase if you take advantage of the 20% discount.
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