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LHT on GDMBR?

Old 09-02-18, 12:30 PM
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LHT on GDMBR?

Greetings,
I'm riding the GDMBR with the van supported ACA tour summer of 2019. I generally ride a Surly LHT with 26 inch wheels and am wondering if this is sufficient for the GDMBR. I'm considering buying a decent mountain bike if I have to but would prefer to save the cash if my LHT is up to the task. I did have some arthritic cramping in my hands when I rode the Northern Tier last summer so I will spend the cake if I have to. Thank you in advance for any advice you may provide.
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Old 09-02-18, 01:15 PM
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a friend of mine rode the divide trail last summer 2017 on a Troll, and used 2.5in tires. I havent done this ride myself, but it seems to me the most limiting issue is the max tire width the trucker can take, not to mention hand positions that will help with rougher riding, I presume your bike has drops and bar end shifters? Not ideal for rough riding nor shifting in rough stuff.
You should easily be able to find a heck of a lot of info from people who have done this route, with ideal tire suggestions, widths etc, and the majority of types of bikes used, as well as good info on trail conditions.
I know my friend said that the vast majority was fine, and that the 2.5 E.T's he used worked fine, surly tires if you havent heard of them.
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Old 09-02-18, 01:52 PM
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Andrew Sufficool documented his 2012 GDMBR tour on an LHT here on YouTube:

and CGOAB here:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=10717

Not ideal to use an LHT, but totally doable - especially if you can fit the widest tires possible, as mentioned above. But I would really want to hit the southern stretch in the dry season if using skinny tires.
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Old 09-02-18, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JimHilly57
Greetings,
I'm riding the GDMBR with the van supported ACA tour summer of 2019. I generally ride a Surly LHT with 26 inch wheels and am wondering if this is sufficient for the GDMBR. I'm considering buying a decent mountain bike if I have to but would prefer to save the cash if my LHT is up to the task. I did have some arthritic cramping in my hands when I rode the Northern Tier last summer so I will spend the cake if I have to. Thank you in advance for any advice you may provide.
The USA portion of GDMBR has been done on a recumbent tricycle, so I don't see why you can't do it on a LHT, or even a unicycle if you are so inclined (I couldn't find the unicycle tour link I was thinking of, and the LHT link was random). Doing it unloaded/supported should make it much easier regardless of chosen Xcycle.

Last edited by seeker333; 09-02-18 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 09-02-18, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JimHilly57
Greetings,
I'm riding the GDMBR with the van supported ACA tour summer of 2019. I generally ride a Surly LHT with 26 inch wheels and am wondering if this is sufficient for the GDMBR. I'm considering buying a decent mountain bike if I have to but would prefer to save the cash if my LHT is up to the task. I did have some arthritic cramping in my hands when I rode the Northern Tier last summer so I will spend the cake if I have to. Thank you in advance for any advice you may provide.
LHT should be fine. I just did the ACA self-contained GDMBR ride from Banff to Whitefish on an Atlantis with 50mm tires and wouldn’t hesitate an instant to use same setup for more of the route. The leader was on a Surly disk trucker and he had just come up from New Mexico on GDMBR only to turn right around and lead us back down. The tire range in our group was from 38mm up to maybe 4” on a fat bike. We were a group of 13 and I never had the sense that any rider’s bike was a particular advantage or disadvantage for being able to enjoy the ride although the person with the 38’s did wish he had wider tires. Ironically, however, he was usually one of the first into camp each afternoon. There were plenty of Surlys on the route. Go for it! I had a blast. Oh, and I did it with drop bars, 3x friction bar end shifters and cantilever brakes and would not hestitate to do so again.

Last edited by L134; 09-02-18 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Additional info
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Old 09-02-18, 03:06 PM
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seems to me that no matter what others say, given that you have had hand issues, you will need to spend time riding on gravel and whatnot this fall to see what bar setup works for you. Taking into account day after day of riding on rougher surfaces and being realistic about how your arthritis is and will be with a lot of rougher surface riding.
Isnt the trucker max tire width 45 or 50, no fenders?
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Old 09-02-18, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
seems to me that no matter what others say, given that you have had hand issues, you will need to spend time riding on gravel and whatnot this fall to see what bar setup works for you. Taking into account day after day of riding on rougher surfaces and being realistic about how your arthritis is and will be with a lot of rougher surface riding.
Isnt the trucker max tire width 45 or 50, no fenders?
26x2.1"/53mm with fenders

https://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_ha...ame_highlights

https://surlybikes.com/blog/tire_cle...ur_surly_frame
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Old 09-02-18, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333
T.....(I couldn't find the unicycle tour link I was thinking of, and the LHT link was random). Doing it unloaded/supported should make it much easier regardless of chosen Xcycle.
I'll help out...

Unicycle Great Divide...
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Old 09-02-18, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JimHilly57
I did have some arthritic cramping in my hands when I rode the Northern Tier last summer
Sounds like front suspension would be worthwhile. And maybe hydraulic disc brakes.
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Old 09-02-18, 05:52 PM
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well there you go.

still comes back to if this fellow is comfortable riding a maybe drop bar , bar end shifting bike on rough terrain, up shifting and downshifting a gazillion times from the drops, for a few thousand kms.

on 2.1 inch tires.
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Old 09-03-18, 09:29 AM
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Why not ask the very helpful people at ACA?
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Old 09-03-18, 09:55 AM
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might as well ask directly, Jim have you ridden your bike on gravel, and other rough stuff before? Do you have any experience on riding on diff surfaces?

bottom line is that a given riders bike handling skills are not something that can be quantified with a black and white answer on an online forum, and one person riding on a given surface compared to another rider on the same surface can have vastly diff views of what is hard or sketchy or tiring.
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Old 09-03-18, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Why not ask the very helpful people at ACA?

Indeed. And here is what our ACA tour leader sent our group:

“Bikes


The marketing of “bikepacking” has grown like crazy wildfire in the past few years. While there are bicycles that are targeted as ideal for The Great Divide, keep in mind that folks have been successfully riding The Divide and other magnificent off-road trails for a lot longer than bikepacking-specific gear has been around. While off-road mountain bikes or “29ers” or “plus bikes” would be great for the ride, there is no need to run out and buy a new bicycle; a standard touring bike will work just fine.

Also, for those of you who embrace fenders, unembrace them for this trip. The roads can get quite muddy with rain, and the mud will jam up your fenders. (Photo proof of muddy hell attached.)

I will be riding my steel Surly Long Haul Trucker...sporting 2” Marathon Mondial tires.”

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Old 09-03-18, 11:20 AM
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Jim, here is the link to a fellow who in his late 60s, has done a ton of long distance touring, including the divide ride unsupported.
He puts down a ton of info, which was a great help to my friend who did part of the ride two summers ago, but it would still be useful for you to read about trail road conditions and whatnot.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=18096&v=17e

Just one of many many divide ride trip reports, but it may be of help to you about questions and to see some photos throughout the trip.
One thing to take from it, in his part about his tires etc, he does make it clear about how after 3000miles into new mexico, it becomes serious thorn country, and switching to sealant saved him.
I'm sure this is a common theme in what youve been told and read, but it would seem its worth the change.

good reading and good prep for next year.
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