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Updated LHT Picture

Old 12-17-05, 10:25 AM
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Updated LHT Picture

I have finished off the LHT and have taken her on the maiden voyage (end to end of the Katy Trail in Missouri-- www.bikekatytrail.com ). I am currently using a trailer, so there are no racks or panniers. Here is a picture sans the trailer.






Judging by most of the posts I read on here, it seems like the trailer pullers are quite the minority. I have probably asked before, but what are some your thoughts on the trailer vs. pannier decision?

I can see where having less moving parts (things to break down) is better. Less things for a car to hit. What else?
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Old 12-17-05, 10:29 AM
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Speaking of new LHT photos, the Surly website now has pictures of the new colors. (The black cherry pearl is just a tiny swatch in one of the photos, though.)

Sorry about the hijack.
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Old 12-17-05, 10:42 AM
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I think most people go for panniers because it is one less thing to take on the train/bus/airplane. Also I think people tend to over pack with the extra room a trailer provides. I'm planning my first tour with my girlfriend and decided to go with a trailer out of a almost entirely economic standpoint, a trailer is $300 while two sets of racks/panniers could easily be $500.
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Old 12-17-05, 10:45 AM
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I have been noticing that panniers aren't cheap. I have had the trailer for a couple years. I am thinking of selling it to offset the panniers. Decisions, decisions.
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Old 12-17-05, 11:19 AM
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I have been building up a 52cm LHT for my girlfriend this X-Mas. Like yours, she too wanted flat bars (not "those curly things"). Your bike looks good! I hope hers will look just as nice. I'll post pictures when complete.

(On a side note, I talked her into getting the sage green and not waiting to see the new colors. I know she wouldn't like the blue but the Black Cherry Pearl could have tempted her. I've got a metallic red Volpe and I didn't want our bikes to look too much alike. This is her first bike since being a kid. I'm more nervous than her and she's pretty nervous!)

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Old 12-17-05, 11:43 AM
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I'd love to build something like your bike! Are your components a secret, or would you mind sharing?
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Old 12-17-05, 12:29 PM
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The only stance I take in the panniers/trailer debate is that it's 99% based on personal preference. You choose what you like, and tend to rationalize it later.

I haven't toured with a trailer -- though I have used one around town with kids. I like the feeling of stability that loaded panniers give my touring bike. It's like riding on rails. Putting on panniers for the first time every spring takes a day or less of getting used to, because the bike handles differently. But after those first few hours, it feels like riding a gyroscope.

My racks and panniers cost out at less than $80. My wife's, too. They aren't top of the line (REI and Nashbar brands), but they have never failed us in over 20,000 combined miles of loaded touring. If I were headed to the Silk Road or Patagonia, I'd spring for the $500 range. If you're not headed to the hinterlands, the "$300 vs $500" comparison isn't legit.

My next rationalization: A trailer adds complexity to the maintenance/repair list. At a minimum, you'd want to add a spare tire and tube to your load. In case of a failure, finding parts can be a problem. And as others said, it makes maneuvering and traveling tougher. And I'd expect increased rolling resistance and some problems in sidewinds.

The undisputed benefit is that a trailer takes much of the load off the rear wheel. But unless you weigh upwards of 250 lbs to begin with, a well-built wheel won't have problems with a pannier load. For me, going with panniers is another reason to build bullet-proof wheels, which I love to do.

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Old 12-17-05, 12:38 PM
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I'm trying to figure out how you got racks and panniers for $80. REI's cheapest panniers are $75 (and don't look nearly big enough) and a cheap but decent rack is at least $50. Thats $130 x 2 = $260....about the cost of a burley nomad. If you got some of this stuff for killer deals, let me know, I'd love to pick up a set!
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Old 12-17-05, 01:24 PM
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The specs are not a secret. I built it up with the following.

Shimano XT rear derailleur and cassette (12x34)
Ultegra front Derailleur
Ultegra Octalink Triple Crank and bottom bracket
Shimano XT shifters
Avid brake levers
Cane Creek S-3 headset
Thomson seatpost
Salsa Moto flat bar
Ritchey comp stem
Wheels are Delgado rims with Shimano XTR hubs (32 spoke)

I believe that is about it. I am sure I am forgetting something. I also put some new grips on there that I found. I tried them on a 3 day, 240 mile ride and they were pretty comfortable. I believe they were call Ergons or something like that.



It rides very well. It is a 62cm so it has 700cc wheels. I am 6'4" and about 200 lbs.
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Old 12-17-05, 04:21 PM
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I have a Cannondale T2000 that I converted to flat bars because of a bad back problem. I also have a recumbent bike that I tour on. I have used panniers, a BOB trailer, and currently use a Burley Nomad. All three have good and bad points. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. For me, I like the trailer and continue to use it but that would not stop me from using panniers for a specific trip. The two wheel trailer is my preference because it takes most of the weight off the bike, but like I said, it does have draw backs too. I struggled with the pannier vs. trailer issue and made my decision based on what worked for me. Good luck!
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Old 12-17-05, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BLM
I believe that is about it. I am sure I am forgetting something.
Perhaps bar ends for your flat bars for climbing? Very nice build, BTW...
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Old 12-17-05, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed
Speaking of new LHT photos, the Surly website now has pictures of the new colors. (The black cherry pearl is just a tiny swatch in one of the photos, though.)

Sorry about the hijack.
I am disappointed... I thought that Black Cherry Pearl would be a darker and richer color. I have always been ambivalent about the sage green. I am now ambivalent about all of the LHT colors.
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Old 03-12-06, 10:41 PM
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SURLY LHT UPDATE

I have just finished installing a front and rear, Surly Nice Rack on my LHT. I am about set. I need some new pedals and I am still toying with the seat. I have some Ritchey WCS bar ends, but just haven't installed them yet.

Here is an updated picture (disregard the dirt):



No it is time to start looking for some panniers and probably a new tent. Nice weather is closing in....
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Old 03-13-06, 10:22 AM
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I have an LHT (42cm) and I think I will be pulling a Bob trailer with it.

I've also been using mine for day rides and recently took the Jandd Expedition rack and Blackburn Mtn front rack off it to lighten it up a bit. I have a basic Delta rack on the back now for rack trunk or small panniers.
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Old 03-13-06, 10:25 AM
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I like that flat bar look. It is amazing what a versitile bike the LHT is.
As far as the trailer vs. pannier debate; it is definately a personal decision. As a large rider, I decided to go with a trailer. My bike was already having to support my 260lb frame; I figured the addtion of 60+ pounds of gear was asking a bit much out of the frame.

I purchased a Burley Nomad trailer. Works great. The trailer holds up to 100lbs, which allows me to carry the majority of both mine and my wifes gear.

I used to own a Bob Yak. It was also a good trailer; the Yak would be my choice if I was touring on rough, non-paved roads.

A good place to buy trailers is:biketrailers.com
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Old 03-13-06, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BLM
Here is an updated picture (disregard the dirt):
Cool! How'd you train it to sit up and beg at the table like that?



-- Mark
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Old 03-15-06, 05:32 PM
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It followed the lead of my cats I guess. That and I have beat it a couple times with the BFH for acting up.
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