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New Surly Disc Trucker vs. Co-Motion Pangea

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New Surly Disc Trucker vs. Co-Motion Pangea

Old 10-03-16, 06:04 AM
  #51  
Pukeskywalker
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Originally Posted by OutSpokyn1 View Post
Funny thing is I want the new Disc Trucker, even though I keep hearing how great the Co-Motion is. The used bike is in good shape from the pictures I've seen, has some paint scratches and chips. I am going to see it and test ride it next week.

It is set up pretty nice:
Wheelset: Shimano XT hubs on Sun Ryhno Lite rims
Skewers: Shimano XT
Tires: New WTB Slickasaurus 26x1.1 road tires (bike will accept really wide tires if you want, even up to MTB tires)
Brakes: Avid SD-7 V-brakes
Brake levers: Cane Creek for drop bars
Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR M971, long cage
Front derailleur: Shimano XT M761
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace bar-end, 9-speed, indexed w/friction override
Cassette: Shimano XT M770 11-34 9-speed
Chain: SRAM, 9-speed (recent, maybe 100 miles on it)
Crankset: Race Face Deus, 24/34/46 rings, 170mm arms
Headset: Chris King 1-1/8", black threadless

No racks included, priced at $1800, new SDT is about $1300

I have a lot of those co-motion parts on my bikes: hubs, rims, levers, v-brakes.

The Cane Creeks + SD7 are a great combination. My SD7s are the "sl" version. With the kool stop pads I have on there, they are the best brakes I've ever used. I only have brief disc experience with BB7 brakes, which I thought were finicky to get aligned, even though people used to said they were the BEST mechanical disc brake before TRP Spyres came along

The Rhyno lite rims are heavy. I have the XL version. But they aren't much heavier than my 700c A719 touring rims, and they can fit tires up to and beyond 2.0" wide. The slickasaurus tires you have included there probably aren't very good. I got a set of 26x2.0" Marathon Supremes from bike-discount.de for $55. Great deal on awesome tires.

Last edited by Pukeskywalker; 10-03-16 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 10-03-16, 06:09 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
Oh no! V-brakes are dangerous, LHTs are poorly made. What's next? Should we talk about the merits of helmets or whether it's a good idea to ride with a handgun?
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Old 10-03-16, 08:29 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
...this is flat-out un-American and a total credibility destroyer when you're talking to a bunch of Americans. We believe that things made in the USA are inherently better, and someone from some outpost in Finland who has already demonstrated that they have no idea what they are talking about will never convince us that's not true.
Dont say 'we' as if you are speaking for everyone. Its presumptuous and inaccurate. Its one of the very reasons why Americans are, at times, scoffed at by other cultures.
I do not believe things made in the USA are inherently better because such a stance then ignores actual testing. Things made in the USA can be better made, sure. But goods arent inherently better just because they are made stateside. That is a woefully inaccurate position to have.


Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I think America is by far the best country in the world, and every other country is inferior. Most Americans feel the same way. Sorry. That’s just the way we are.
I grew up very close to where you live, and I know your view is not held by many in your area, much less the entire country. Its as if you are being a caricature of a jingoistic flag wavin gun carrying American.


I absolutely love 80s road bikes made in Japan. The history of the Japanese bicycle industry is fascinating and the quality they achieved along with the value they provided was simply excellent. Trek and Cannondale were making great bikes stateside at that time, but for me a Trek as a company just isnt inspiring or moving. Cannondale 80s(and 90s) bikes are excellent, but again they just dont have the appeal.
Give me an '88 Trek 520, '88 Cannondale ST1000, or '88 Miyata 1000 and Ill go for the Miyata first.
Does such an appeal make me un-American? That'd be hilarious if so.


Recently I bought a Black Mountain Cycles monstercross frame to build up. The frame and fork cost $490. New frame/forks cost $595. These are designed in the US and made in Taiwan in relatively small batches each 12-15 months.
They offer a made in the USA frameset for $1700.
So it costs $1100 more for the frame to be built in the USA.
You get True Temper tubing instead of lightweight cromoly. You get hidden bottle bosses instead of shown bosses. You get less tire clearance. You get disc brakes instead of canti/v brake.


To me, that isnt worth $1100 more. The tubing is, per the designer, the same weight and quality. The ride is, per the designer, the same. But hey, according to you the Falconer frame is better since it was made in the USA. Link is here---though some info is N/a due to age of posting.Differences... - Black Mountain Cycles




That was a really long way to say- get over yourself. US made isnt inherently better or worse.
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Old 10-03-16, 09:00 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Aside from discs stopping quicker & easier in the wet? BB7's on DT also work nicer in the dry vs cantis on prev Randonée.
All true, and yet, there is still nothing wrong with Cantis or v-brakes.
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Old 10-03-16, 09:01 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
Oh no! V-brakes are dangerous, LHTs are poorly made. What's next? Should we talk about the merits of helmets or whether it's a good idea to ride with a handgun?
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Old 10-03-16, 11:15 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
That was a really long way to say- get over yourself. US made isnt inherently better or worse.
Thank you for your constructive feedback. I took it a little too far over the top with that post. I'm over myself now and will try to do a better job of reigning it in.

I am surprised that as an American you don't think that America is the best country in the world. I thought that was a nearly universally held belief among Americans. I won't be so quick to generalize now that I know that at least some Americans think other countries are better than America.

Regarding the quality of American manufacturing, if one believes in the efficiency of global markets, which I do, it follows that if investors are paying a ~3x premium for US labor vs. Taiwan, they better have a premium product, at least in some subjective way, to command the premium price they need to generate market returns on those investments. So yes, US manufactured products are by definition better than similar products manufactured in Taiwan. They have to be because they are going to be a lot more expensive.

I too buy a lot of stuff that is manufactured in Taiwan, but I don't delude myself into believing that it is just as good as US manufactured premium products. I'm just too cheap to pay the premium prices for those things.
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Old 10-03-16, 11:58 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Regarding the quality of American manufacturing, if one believes in the efficiency of global markets, which I do, it follows that if investors are paying a ~3x premium for US labor vs. Taiwan, they better have a premium product, at least in some subjective way, to command the premium price they need to generate market returns on those investments. So yes, US manufactured products are by definition better than similar products manufactured in Taiwan. They have to be because they are going to be a lot more expensive.
Yes, products can be better subjectively when made in the US. Often times, that subjective 'betterness' is the good feeling some get from buying American because it supports US workers. The product isnt objectively any better, but its still purchased because of an emotional appeal.

For a white tshirt, I could buy a Hanes white tshirt made in Bangladesh(hypothetical) for $2.88 or a made in the USA Royalapparel white tshirt for $15. Is the $15 really 5x better than the Hanes? I would lean towards no, as the Hanes is a well known brand name and the expectation is there will be a high enough level of quality control to ensure the shirt wont fall apart shortly after purchase.

For a bike, I could buy a $1700 frame made in the USA, or an identically quality frame made in Taiwan for $600. Almost 3x more for the same quality, per the owner of the company. The US frame is not better per the company.



If someone buys the US made frame, they are doing it because they like the idea of having a unique frame, they want to support US jobs, or both. They arent buying the frame because it is of a higher quality since, you know, its clearly states the quality of tubing and finish are equal.

Ill clarify that the US frames cost that much because the financial break even point is so much higher. The high pricepoint isnt for higher quality, its because labor and materials cost more in the US. That doesnt make the product better, it just makes it cost more.
Now if you add in really talented workers, then yes perhaps that higher pricepoint becomes justified since you are buying a product made by skilled work and there will be less errors or better finish. But having seen what a $600(for me $500) frame from Taiwan looks like, I cant think of wanting anything more. Its finished extremely well and the welds are clean.


Emotion is an interesting decision maker. By its nature, it is rarely logical and all too often needs justification.
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Old 10-03-16, 12:22 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post

I am surprised that as an American you don't think that America is the best country in the world. I thought that was a nearly universally held belief among Americans. I won't be so quick to generalize now that I know that at least some Americans think other countries are better than America.
The problem here is that it's rather difficult to measure 'best' in terms of nations. There are quite a few different qualifiers, on some of which the US is on top in positive way, some of which the US is on the top in a negative way and some of which the US is in the bottom of. It depends what you're looking for. However it's likely a good idea to look at 'best place to live' indexes from various sources. I did a quick check and many had no US cities. There were some Canadian though.

Regarding the quality of American manufacturing, if one believes in the efficiency of global markets, which I do, it follows that if investors are paying a ~3x premium for US labor vs. Taiwan, they better have a premium product, at least in some subjective way, to command the premium price they need to generate market returns on those investments. So yes, US manufactured products are by definition better than similar products manufactured in Taiwan. They have to be because they are going to be a lot more expensive.
The advantages of manufacturing locally in a western nation depend heavily on what you're making. Some stuff requires a higher degree of education and professionalism to achieve a good enough result.

Custom builds on anything is one where building locally is imperative as ordering custom frames overseas is for many builders insurmountably difficult and also cranking out customs in a mass production facility where the process is optimized for certain size brackets would possibly be a bad idea. This is of course what CoMotion does, they offer custom frame sizes which they can build inhouse at demand.

High end cars usually demand a slightly higher skill workforce as the engines are many times build by hand instead of machine. Also the finishing on many European higher end cars is made by hand. Makes the end result neater and more bling overall. Although can't see why a machine couldn't do as good a job of it...

Then there are supply chain things if you use other than generic parts for whatever you're making. It may as well be that the supply of said custom orders is local in which case it's smarter to put the factory near the supply place to drop costs in shipping as well as create flexibility in manufacturing times for variable demand.

And then there's of course artisinal stuff which usually has custom options and features but is also usually mostly pure bling and not much function over the generic product.
It needs to be said that CoMotion is also quite artisinal and they do offer a huge amount of various special features such as the S&S couplers etc. If that is what one needs then of course the CoMo makes sense.

But as I've mentioned before is that putting together a durable, functional steel bike frame is not difficult. It does not require extensive craftmanship, although a master artisan can make the joints nicer looking than what can be found in mass produced bikes (although as I already mentioned, my LHT has some really nice welds). They won't be any more functional though as there's only so much strenght a weld has and between a really nice weld and a stunning weld the durability difference is indeed small, if it is even there. Special frame features may offer some better functionality, and CoMotion does offer some of those (like the pangea chainstays).

So what I'm saying here is that a CoMo is a really nice option if any of the options they offer is required in any particular build one may want. But if one does not want/need any of the special features, then it's really just another bike like any other. May have some nicer parts (if that's required is up to the user) but the frame is still a chromo frame built for touring (as we're talking about touring bikes here)

What I don't know however is, do they build their own wheels by hand? Because that's a biggie and with their prices it is definitely expected (if I could guess I'd say they do build them by hand, but I'm not sure)
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Old 10-03-16, 12:23 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
How many of the commenters here have ridden both a Pangea and a LHT (I have, and they both are very good, but definitely ride differently)? For that matter, how many have even ridden (or even seen in person) a Pangea or other Co-Motion bike?
Actually, I live about 45 minute from their shop in Eugene, OR. I have taken the opportunity to watch their bikes being built when my wife's frame was being built. I have been in there quite often. I can't compare it to the fabrication of frames in Taiwan, but the Co- Motion folks are rear craftspeople.

I'd like to pass on a couple examples of Co-Motion"s customer service:

When I brought my wife's frame home from the Co-Motion Shop, and started building it up, I had her check the standover height after I was able to put the wheels on it. I thought it was a little tight, and was concerned about it. We took the bike into their shop, and Dwan, one of the owners, remeasured my wife, and the bike. He thought it was going to be a good fit. We were planning on leaving on a short tour in about two weeks, and planned on using her old touring bike. However, Dwan told me to go ahead and finish the build, and take the Co-Motion instead. He said,"If she does not like it, we will build her a new frame when she gets back." That bike is a little over 5 years old, and it just turned over 17,000 miles on it a couple of weeks ago. I'd be afraid to ask her what she would do if she had to choose between me or her bike

When coming back from a tour, her bike was damaged during shipping. The right rear cantilever boss was bent and showed a small crack where it joined the chainstay. I did not notice this until I was cleaning up her bike a few days later and getting it ready for a 2-month European tour. This was on a Saturday, and we were flying out Thursday. I called the Co-Motion shop Monday morning, and was told to bring it in. I had it down there within 45 minutes. They told me that they may have to remove the paint to check the cantilever post damage. I told them to do whatever they needed to do, and starting prepping my wife's other touring bike for the upcoming tour. Tuesday morning I got a call to come and pick up her bike. The shop had replaced the Cantilever post. They said they did not have time to get it painted (the whole rear triangle)before we were leaving, but would paint it when we got home. I slapped on a coat of primer, and off we went. It got painted on our return.

I'm not going to have those kinds of experiences with my LHT. My wife has been trying to persuade me to get a Co-Motion for quite awhile. She says "I deserve it." I appreciate her feelings, but so far I've been able to resist the temptation. But who knows! My point is: sometimes you do get what you pay for.

I should have done a better inspection of her bike based on the poor condition of the shipping box. It took a lot of force to bend that canti post.



Co-Motion's brazing and finishing are pretty amazing. This is my shop getting ready for a temporary coat of primer.

Last edited by Doug64; 10-03-16 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 10-03-16, 02:02 PM
  #60  
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Old 10-03-16, 02:41 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
It's hard for me to get anywhere now. Having to worry about the welds of my LHT getting ready to come apart any minute, I found myself drowning my sorrows at a brewery (Firetrucker) up in Iowa many miles from home Saturday. I had to help out my fellow Surly owners by having a couple extra beers. A few of the bikes in the rack were Surly bikes. The sorrow. I can see why they were all at the bar with money in hand. The tears were flowing.





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Old 10-03-16, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post

What I don't know however is, do they build their own wheels by hand? Because that's a biggie and with their prices it is definitely expected (if I could guess I'd say they do build them by hand, but I'm not sure)
I have not checked lately but a few years ago I bought a set of their handbuilt wheels that they had on sale for my cx bike. It was about the time everyone was going more toward disc brakes. It was a set built on DT 36 spoke sealed bearing hubs, DT DB spokes with Velocity Dyad rims. A really nice set of wheels. I also needed a black Dyad rim for my LHT, and I could not find one anywhere. We happened to be in the Co-Motion shop, and I mentioned it to one of the guys. They ended up selling me one of their black dyad rims. From the price I paid, I believe it was at their cost.
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Old 10-03-16, 03:10 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
if one does not want/need any of the special features, then it's really just another bike like any other
This is not quite true. Co-Motion use larger diameter tubing than bikes like the LHT. I don't have the numbers at my fingertips, but I have owned both Co-Motion (not the Pangea, but the 700C Americano and now the 29er Divide) and I also had a LHT briefly back in 2007 (700C) and ridden the 26" version. The bikes ride differently. The forks are different, the LHT uses tapered forks (at least in the rim brake version, not sure about the disc trucker). The Co-Motion just seems like a stronger, more beefy bike all round to me. It's built like a tank, in fact Co-Motion got their start making tandems and then decided to apply their knowledge in that area to making single bikes. So that's how the Americano was born, it's basically a single tandem. Many of the frame aspects are actually the same used on their tandems, e.g. the chainstays are huge, and it has a tandem width rear triangle (145mm), which means the rear wheel actually doesn't need to be dished at all, which makes it much stronger as a result (since one side of the spokes doesn't need to be at a different tension). The Pangea doesn't have that, I think I remember asking why and they told me that the 26" wheel is already strong enough (due to the smaller hoop) that the dishing doesn't really make much difference to the strength, and also I guess there's the benefit of sticking with a more standard hub width (for ease of replacement). But it does still have the oversized chainstays, which contributes a lot to the strength and stiffness of the frame - something to be valued in a touring frame. The forks also shouldn't go without mention - the forks on the LHT are noticeably thinner.

I think it's also true that one of the benefits of going with a company like Co-Motion is that if you get them to build the bike for you, then they can make it specifically tuned to your body parameters. This can make a difference, e.g. for me, I think one of the things I noticed was that Dwan made the bike with a slightly shorter top tube than I'd usually find in an off-the-shelf bike for my size. So maybe I have a shorter torso or shorter arms relative to the rest of my body, or whatever, but bottom line is that these bikes are the first I've ever ridden that actually fit me properly. So that's obviously a benefit, which you won't be getting if you are buying the bike second hand. Fit is one of the most important things in a bike, if not the most important, at least for those of us who happen to not fit into the "average" size ranges that most bikes are made for.

That said, though, I think it would be a mistake to just lump a Co-Motion in with "all the other bikes" like LHT simply because they kinda look the same and are made of steel. The steel itself is different (Reynolds 725) and also as I said above they do tend to use larger diameter, tandem-grade tubing in many places, which probably helps the strength and rigidity of the frame when you put loads on it. I remember when I went up to Eugene back in 2009 or so to test ride a Co-Motion Americano, I took some panniers with me that I had loaded up with textbooks. So, they were pretty heavy, probably more heavy than a regular touring load would be. I took the bike out of town a bit and to a large hill, where I tried standing up on the pedals as I climbed. I was very surprised to find that the bike did NOT flex at all, even with that load and my own 200+ lbs body cranking away. Most bikes flex like a wet noodle when you do that with a touring load. So I was most impressed. Those bikes are tanks, but they don't FEEL like tanks, that's the strange thing - it still felt nimble and "normal", even loaded up. Like it was built to take that load, and liked it. I was sold.

If anyone is interested, I wrote up my visit to their factory as an article that goes through some of their processes and has some pics of the place where the magic happens.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/co-motion-visit

I should add that while Co-Motion is an advertiser on crazyguyonabike (my site), the ad was simply put up there as a casual trade in return for giving me a discount on the bike they made for me. I have no arrangement with them to promote their bikes or otherwise "talk them up", everything I say is coming from me and is my honest opinion. I don't shill, anyone who knows me will be able to confirm that.

One last thing, if the bike has S&S couplings, that is a big deal. It's very useful. I had it on my first Americano, and I decided not to do it on the latest Divide, for some reason I can't quite remember now (something about having a gut aversion to splitting the frame in two, I think). But here's something a lot of people don't take into account with S&S: It's not just about airline travel. It's also about being able to get the bike into regular size cars. I found that it was very useful to be able to take the bike down to two pieces, very quickly, by simply undoing the quick-connect cables and the couplings it was only a few minutes of work. Very nice to be able to fit it in the back seat of a regular size sedan, or even compact rental car. Also, when Co-Motion builds one of their bikes with S&S, they don't simply cut the frame in two at that spot. They actually use double butted tubing that gets thicker at the cut point, so that the coupling is stronger. The bike is literally stronger with the coupling than without. And it's why they don't like to retrofit S&S on bikes that weren't made for it, because the tubing won't have that aspect to it.

They really take a lot of care in making the bike as strong as it can be, and it shows in every aspect of it. Sure, there are lots of bikes that LOOK the same, but they are not all the same. The LHT is a fine budget touring bike, and it'll definitely do the job for you, no question. But the Co-Motion is a cut above, also no question about that in my mind, and while you might not know if you've never ridden one, you would notice the difference if you have ridden lots of different touring bikes, as I have. I'll just finish by saying that anyone on crazyguyonabike around 2007-2012 would remember Neil's quest for the perfect touring bike. You'd also notice that I became noticeably more quiet about all that after I got the Americano. That's because the quest was over - I'd found my bike. The only reason I upgraded to the Divide was because I have a thing for larger 29er size tires, but otherwise they are the same bike, with some tweaks to fit the larger clearance. Fantastic bikes, all of them.

What I don't know however is, do they build their own wheels by hand? Because that's a biggie and with their prices it is definitely expected (if I could guess I'd say they do build them by hand, but I'm not sure)
Yes, they hand-build their wheels. Mine have been rock solid true since I got them, no adjustments needed.

Neil

Last edited by NeilGunton; 10-03-16 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-03-16, 03:11 PM
  #64  
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My wife has a LHT and as we tour on our Co-motion Mocha copilot tandem, the LHT just gets used for commuting. The frame and fork are incredibly heavy and although I'm sure it is well built it's just not in the same class as Co-motion construction. I think the LHT is made from drainpipe whereas the Co-motion is built from high quality steel. There's no doubt that the LHT makes a good touring bike but given the choice the Co-motion is the better buy.
Parts and wheels can always be upgraded but the frame is the heart and soul of the bike.
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Old 10-03-16, 03:20 PM
  #65  
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Neil, the wheels that came with our Mocha lasted for 14,000kms before the rims looked a bit thin and were replaced which is really good for a tandem. That 14,000 was mostly touring fully loaded with a rolling weight of between 180-190 kgs with a fair few mountain passes included in the riding. On a half-bike the wheels would last a lot longer
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Old 10-03-16, 03:31 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by jonc123 View Post
I found myself drowning my sorrows at a brewery (Firetrucker) up in Iowa many miles from home Saturday.
Hey, I work maybe a mile from Firetrucker and thats the launch point/end point for a bunch of regional chairty and event rides since its right at the start of the Trestle trail. Im guessing you visited Flat Tire in Madrid and hit up the Trestle bridge?
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Old 10-03-16, 03:33 PM
  #67  
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jonc123 It's hard for me to get anywhere now. Having to worry about the welds of my LHT getting ready to come apart any minute, I found myself drowning my sorrows at a brewery (Firetrucker) up in Iowa many miles from home Saturday. I had to help out my fellow Surly owners by having a couple extra beers. A few of the bikes in the rack were Surly bikes. The sorrow. I can see why they were all at the bar with money in hand. The tears were flowing.

That is too bad. I also took my LHT out Saturday and we had a great time once I lightened up a little




Actually, we were at the grand opening of a new stretch of US Hwy 20 near the Oregon Coast. This new 5-mile stretch of road replaces a narrow, winding, shoulderless section of HWY 20 near Eddyville. This infamous section often left riders looking for other routes when heading east from the coast. The new section of road is 2.5 miles up and 2.5 miles down, but has a great shoulder. It is also a pretty impressive example of engineering, and environmental safeguards. The other alternative for heading east from the coast is to stay on the old road because there should be a lot less traffic on that 10 mile section once the new section of road is put into service. A great place to start a Trans Am. Saturday, it was only open to bike and pedestrians.

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Old 10-03-16, 05:00 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
That is too bad. I also took my LHT out Saturday and we had a great time once I lightened up a little
I was sitting here staring at that first picture; and said "my isn't that strange". An outhouse on the shoulder and someone pushing a bike in the hammer lane.

Looks like you had fun.
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Old 10-03-16, 05:05 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Hey, I work maybe a mile from Firetrucker and thats the launch point/end point for a bunch of regional chairty and event rides since its right at the start of the Trestle trail. Im guessing you visited Flat Tire in Madrid and hit up the Trestle bridge?
I did stop at Flat Tire. Bartender was nice but a bit strange. I purchased two Flat Tire stickers and before she would give them to me she had to know where I was going to stick them. I kind of just looked at her for a second scratching my head. I told her one was for my wife and I have a trashcan that I am working on covering with stickers. I guess that satisfied her. Neat spot. I left Flat Tire too early, headed to the campground in Woodward and waited for dark to ride back out to the bridge. I'm not usually impressed with stuff like that, but I was. It was a strange thing with all the people hanging out on the bridge.

Ankeny I really liked. Has a smalltown feel even though it's right by Des Moines.

I'll go ahead and put the picture of the Trestle Bridge again (it's in the bicycle friendly places thread too).


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Old 10-03-16, 06:14 PM
  #70  
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Wow, I wasn't familiar. Like!
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Old 10-03-16, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Wow, I wasn't familiar. Like!
It's a big tourist attraction...I am told people come from all over the world to see it.


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Old 10-03-16, 09:29 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
It's hard to argue with Batman.
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Old 10-03-16, 10:43 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
Oh no! V-brakes are dangerous, LHTs are poorly made. What's next? Should we talk about the merits of helmets or whether it's a good idea to ride with a handgun?
On loaded Blue Ridge descents thru 100% humidity & fog the Rando's canti brakes were simply awful, much worse than in regular rain. I actually had to use a truck run-off ramp before the stop light at the bottom of the mountain. Sure felt pretty dangerous.

All of Co-Motions new touring bikes have discs standard

Co-Motion Cycles | bikes-grid-touring
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Old 10-04-16, 12:47 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
This is not quite true. Co-Motion use larger diameter tubing than bikes like the LHT. I don't have the numbers at my fingertips, but I have owned both Co-Motion (not the Pangea, but the 700C Americano and now the 29er Divide) and I also had a LHT briefly back in 2007 (700C) and ridden the 26" version. The bikes ride differently. The forks are different, the LHT uses tapered forks (at least in the rim brake version, not sure about the disc trucker). The Co-Motion just seems like a stronger, more beefy bike all round to me. It's built like a tank, in fact Co-Motion got their start making tandems and then decided to apply their knowledge in that area to making single bikes. So that's how the Americano was born, it's basically a single tandem. Many of the frame aspects are actually the same used on their tandems, e.g. the chainstays are huge, and it has a tandem width rear triangle (145mm), which means the rear wheel actually doesn't need to be dished at all, which makes it much stronger as a result (since one side of the spokes doesn't need to be at a different tension). The Pangea doesn't have that, I think I remember asking why and they told me that the 26" wheel is already strong enough (due to the smaller hoop) that the dishing doesn't really make much difference to the strength, and also I guess there's the benefit of sticking with a more standard hub width (for ease of replacement). But it does still have the oversized chainstays, which contributes a lot to the strength and stiffness of the frame - something to be valued in a touring frame. The forks also shouldn't go without mention - the forks on the LHT are noticeably thinner.
It would seem CoMotion uses ultra oversize tubing whereas Surly LHT and DT use oversize tubing. For heavy touring that is a benefit and probably for that reason Salsa has come out with the Marrakesh which is supposedly made with their speced tandem grade tubing. Not sure about the tube diameters on that either.
There comes a point however where a lot of stiffness may become too stiff. A loaded bike usually needs different parameters from a bike that's ridden unloaded and that is what the CoMotion does. However I'm a bit sceptical about their unloaded ride qualities if the frames are indeed so overbuilt. The LHT works really nicely completely unloaded for at least my size (240lbs)
The tapered forks and chainstays also improve the ride quality. As they say in CF bike marketing, vertical compliance is the shiznizzle.

That said, though, I think it would be a mistake to just lump a Co-Motion in with "all the other bikes" like LHT simply because they kinda look the same and are made of steel. The steel itself is different (Reynolds 725) and also as I said above they do tend to use larger diameter, tandem-grade tubing in many places, which probably helps the strength and rigidity of the frame when you put loads on it. I remember when I went up to Eugene back in 2009 or so to test ride a Co-Motion Americano, I took some panniers with me that I had loaded up with textbooks. So, they were pretty heavy, probably more heavy than a regular touring load would be. I took the bike out of town a bit and to a large hill, where I tried standing up on the pedals as I climbed. I was very surprised to find that the bike did NOT flex at all, even with that load and my own 200+ lbs body cranking away. Most bikes flex like a wet noodle when you do that with a touring load. So I was most impressed. Those bikes are tanks, but they don't FEEL like tanks, that's the strange thing - it still felt nimble and "normal", even loaded up. Like it was built to take that load, and liked it. I was sold.
Firstly about the steel.
CoMotion uses 4130 Chromoly which is also heat treated. They use tube diameters and butting specced by them but likely the tubes are mostly double butted. The heat treating gives about 20-30% more tensile strength to areas not affected by welding heat but in these butt thicknesses and tube diameters we're talking here the middle of the tube is not usually the likely break point.

Surly uses 4130 Chromoly which is not heat treated. They use tube diameters and butting specced by them but likely the tubes are mostly double butted. This repetition is not meant to be snarky. I just thought it would be waste of time to put the same thing there in different words.

The difference in the steel used isn't all that great but of course designs vary as CoMotion has taken the Ultra oversize road whereas Surly uses oversize.

Secondly my own experiences about the LHT don't support a conclusion that I would personally need any more stiffness out of a touring bike. Cranking up the austrian Alps with 330lbs full system weight with me 240lbs putting the power through the pedals often standing up showed me no noticeable flex (even though it is there with every frame no matter how stiff they are, it's just about whether you notice it or not). Going down hills upto 50mph showed no wobbles whatsoever and I felt supremely confident on the bike.
I've had flexy frames in the past and the LHT certainly is not one of them.

They really take a lot of care in making the bike as strong as it can be, and it shows in every aspect of it. Sure, there are lots of bikes that LOOK the same, but they are not all the same. The LHT is a fine budget touring bike, and it'll definitely do the job for you, no question. But the Co-Motion is a cut above, also no question about that in my mind, and while you might not know if you've never ridden one, you would notice the difference if you have ridden lots of different touring bikes, as I have. I'll just finish by saying that anyone on crazyguyonabike around 2007-2012 would remember Neil's quest for the perfect touring bike. You'd also notice that I became noticeably more quiet about all that after I got the Americano. That's because the quest was over - I'd found my bike. The only reason I upgraded to the Divide was because I have a thing for larger 29er size tires, but otherwise they are the same bike, with some tweaks to fit the larger clearance. Fantastic bikes, all of them.
I just kinda fail to see what I for example would benefit from a CoMotion (aside from the custom geo, that's neat and I'd totally get that). The LHT works perfectly as is. If I were to consider updates it would be in the region of better drive train, like a Rohloff but I just don't see how the frame could get any better, especially when talking Chromoly. The ride quality is fantastic both loaded and unloaded. If I were to go stiffer I'm pretty sure the unloaded ride quality would suffer.

Originally Posted by geoffs View Post
My wife has a LHT and as we tour on our Co-motion Mocha copilot tandem, the LHT just gets used for commuting. The frame and fork are incredibly heavy and although I'm sure it is well built it's just not in the same class as Co-motion construction. I think the LHT is made from drainpipe whereas the Co-motion is built from high quality steel. There's no doubt that the LHT makes a good touring bike but given the choice the Co-motion is the better buy.
Parts and wheels can always be upgraded but the frame is the heart and soul of the bike.
Same steel grade, CoMotion is heat treated while Surly is not. Chemical composition is identical though.
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Old 10-04-16, 05:22 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
It's hard to argue with Batman.
Batman doesn't tour. I do.
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