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Surly Disc Trucker - Unloaded (feel)

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Surly Disc Trucker - Unloaded (feel)

Old 01-30-22, 01:28 PM
  #1  
Noonievut
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Surly Disc Trucker - Unloaded (feel)

I had another thread here about rim brake touring bike, though Iím now considering disc brake bike, not for touring (other than 2-3 day credit card tours) but for general purpose (wider tires than my road bike that I would ride on paved and gravel roads, rail trails, etc.).

How does a disc trucker ride unloaded?

How would it compare to a cross check re: handling?

note - I can get a 2019 version, which I believe is before they were updated.

Thanks
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Old 01-30-22, 02:25 PM
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phughes
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
I had another thread here about rim brake touring bike, though Iím now considering disc brake bike, not for touring (other than 2-3 day credit card tours) but for general purpose (wider tires than my road bike that I would ride on paved and gravel roads, rail trails, etc.).

How does a disc trucker ride unloaded?

How would it compare to a cross check re: handling?

note - I can get a 2019 version, which I believe is before they were updated.

Thanks
I ride an old style LHT, and I have no issues with it unloaded. I have a 56 in the 26 inch wheel version, which helps make it a bit more nimble than the 700 wheel version though. I will not feel as nimble as the Cross Check though, but it will be a "better" touring bike due to the longer chainstays.
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Old 01-30-22, 02:58 PM
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I ride a 2012 LHT disc model, 26" wheels. No problems riding unloaded. Rock steady. Can't give you a comparison with any other bike though.
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Old 01-30-22, 04:03 PM
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It will ride like a bus...... stable, straight ahead, with little vibration and no sense of adventure as it is so predictable.
Not good or bad, just my experience
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Old 01-30-22, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
It will ride like a bus...... stable, straight ahead, with little vibration and no sense of adventure as it is so predictable.
Not good or bad, just my experience
That sounds about right based on my breif experience with riding one. Not my cup of tea even for loaded touring, but may be what some are looking for. I like a more sporty ride myself.
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Old 01-30-22, 04:40 PM
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I have the one of

the first Disk Truckers ... when they came out in baby blue. It rides great loaded and I also enjoy riding it unloaded. I have left it overseas for 4 years and only this past Christmas I had the chance to ride it again for a few days. Loved it.
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Old 01-31-22, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
It will ride like a bus...... stable, straight ahead, with little vibration and no sense of adventure as it is so predictable.
Not good or bad, just my experience
Iíve ridden one loaded and unloaded since 2008. Current one is 2011 model. 60cm, 700c. I agree.
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Old 01-31-22, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
It will ride like a bus...... stable, straight ahead, with little vibration and no sense of adventure as it is so predictable.
Not good or bad, just my experience
reading riding characteristic opinions on the interwebs is a real crapshoot, going from my experience with friends of mine that have completely different views of what is "twitchy"----but I would say that the take on robows description that I read a number of times convinced me enough to get a surly troll.
I wanted a more quick steering bike as a base platform. The troll is more of a mountain bike ish sort of design, so to be able to take wide mtb tires and be nimblish, was a draw for me.

just realize that all this blah blah is just that, you'll have no idea how you like a LHT, and heck, even tire choice on a LHT will make it ride slightly differently.
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Old 01-31-22, 08:28 AM
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I remember reading a review of the LHT in which they said it wasn't the best ride when unloaded. Obviously very stable and capable but kind of stiff, but that it really shines under loaded touring scenarios. A Cross-Check might give you a more responsive, livelier ride for everyday use.
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Old 01-31-22, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
reading riding characteristic opinions on the interwebs is a real crapshoot, going from my experience with friends of mine that have completely different views of what is "twitchy"----but I would say that the take on robows description that I read a number of times convinced me enough to get a surly troll.
I wanted a more quick steering bike as a base platform. The troll is more of a mountain bike ish sort of design, so to be able to take wide mtb tires and be nimblish, was a draw for me.

just realize that all this blah blah is just that, you'll have no idea how you like a LHT, and heck, even tire choice on a LHT will make it ride slightly differently.
So true. All of that maybe should be read as ride one yourself because your opinion won't be mine or someone else's. One guy's steady steady luxury ride is another's boring truck like ride. The very qualities that I hated in my touring bike and are the reason I no longer have it are what others love and buy them for (and mine was one with shortish stays and less truck like handling than the trucker models). Ride one if at all possible to see what you think.

The funny thing for me was that I really didn't mind the handling on mine until I had toured a few thousand loaded miles and rode it unloaded. I was looking forward to the unloaded handling and it still felt like a slug to me. After that I never rode it unless it was on a loaded tour. I started packing lighter and lighter and eventually stopped riding it at all when the load was real light. With a real light load of camping and cooking gear I was happier with a sportier bike even when loaded.
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Old 02-03-22, 04:52 PM
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I have a 2020 Disc Trucker, 54cm, stock 26"X 46mm ET tires. I love it loaded and unloaded. I've ridden on hard pan, gravel roads and pavement. It handles each situation comfortably. I also have an Orbea carbon fiber road bike. One is not like the other, but the Surley is beyond comfortable to ride, it just won't have the snap, unless you're on the gravel, then it's pretty responsive.
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Old 02-03-22, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Slasharoo View Post
I have a 2020 Disc Trucker, 54cm, stock 26"X 46mm ET tires. I love it loaded and unloaded. I've ridden on hard pan, gravel roads and pavement. It handles each situation comfortably. I also have an Orbea carbon fiber road bike. One is not like the other, but the Surley is beyond comfortable to ride, it just won't have the snap, unless you're on the gravel, then it's pretty responsive.
Good for this fellow to see a positive take on the bike.
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Old 02-04-22, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Slasharoo View Post
I have a 2020 Disc Trucker, 54cm, stock 26"X 46mm ET tires. I love it loaded and unloaded. I've ridden on hard pan, gravel roads and pavement. It handles each situation comfortably. I also have an Orbea carbon fiber road bike. One is not like the other, but the Surley is beyond comfortable to ride, it just won't have the snap, unless you're on the gravel, then it's pretty responsive.
Pretty much my take as well. I love the ride of my LHT, a 56 with 26 inch wheels. I do believe the 26 inch wheels makes a difference over the 700s. I have ridden both, and the 26 inch wheel version seemed to be a bit more responsive to me, and rode better overall. I do like the feel of 700 wheels generally speaking, but my preference is 26 inch for a bike like the LHT.
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Old 02-05-22, 08:35 AM
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I have a 60cm rim brake 26" wheeled version. I would say that it is a lot of fun loaded or unloaded. How much fun will depend on what you expect and want. If you are a young weight weenie that likes to race, get a different bike. If you want one bike that will do anything most reasonable adults would want to do on a bike, then it will fit the bill. I have used mine commuting and on gravel with a change of tires. With some knobby 2.2's it makes a fairly decent trail bike. I own MTB's and race bikes also. The LHT is a long way from being as fun up and down hills as my 18lb Lemond, but if I could only have one then the LHT would be it.
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Old 02-05-22, 08:42 AM
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If you are not looking to ride it loaded, I certainly wouldn't be considering it, even if that is the only option you have at the moment.
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Old 02-06-22, 11:11 PM
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The LHT is comfortable. That's all I can say. I wouldn't expect it to be nimble
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Old 02-07-22, 08:11 AM
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I think it should be said that if you aren't already a nimble cyclist then no bike will feel nimble. In fact, if you are more on the slow and clumsy side of things, then you will feel more confident on a more comfortable and stable type bike.
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Old 02-07-22, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
I think it should be said that if you aren't already a nimble cyclist then no bike will feel nimble. In fact, if you are more on the slow and clumsy side of things, then you will feel more confident on a more comfortable and stable type bike.
Certainly it comes down to just liking how you feel on a given bike, and only riding it will let you know- actually riding multiple bikes and getting back to back impressions is the real deal.
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Old 02-07-22, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Certainly it comes down to just liking how you feel on a given bike, and only riding it will let you know- actually riding multiple bikes and getting back to back impressions is the real deal.
Yes! I got into cycling for the first time at 50 years old. In two years, I lost 160 lbs. and changed bikes about as often as pants size. I went cycling wild but never spent more than $550 cash on any bike I had. I have currently ride about 8 different bikes. I've modified too small MTB frames with upright bars and extra long seat posts and rode hundreds of miles on $50 bikes.

My point is that now I have settled into specific type bikes for whatever type riding I will be doing. I never would have known what kind of bikes I like if I hadn't tried out so many. I figure how much fun I could have with a $200 bike VS how much other entertainment value that $200 would bring and the bike wins every time. Sadly, used pickings have been dry but deals are still to be had if you are quick to contact the seller and affirm the deal.
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Old 02-21-22, 05:50 PM
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Not sure what the OP decided yet, if anything.

My main touring bike is a 2014 Disk Trucker with 700c wheels. I ride it loaded and unloaded. Though, when ever I ride I have at least my handlebar bag so I am not riding it completely "unloaded". I also have a few tweaks to the set up - racks front/rear, high bar (lots of spacers on the steer tube) with a dummy bar underneath.

I don't have much desire for a sporty/maneuverable bike. To that point the Disk Trucker is a fine bike to ride for me for the kind of riding I do. I did a long tour (between 2-3 weeks combined both "halves") heavily loaded the Fall of '20. It took some tweaking with where weight was to get the bike to ride OK. I would think that is a function of the amount of stuff I carried on the bike, not necessarily the bike itself. That having been said - once the weight distribution was dialed in it rode fine. There is definitely a difference between loaded and unloaded handling. When going from loaded to unloaded (on tour if you stop for a couple days and jump on the bike for a quick jaunt to a store or something without any gear) the bike can be really hard to ride. That may be, again, just a function of the load I had. The weight on the front impacts the steering resistance so once you get used to the steering resistance and handling of the bike with a load then your muscle memory will make it difficult to ride = bike is overly "twitchy" until you re-train your muscle memory.
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