Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Thoughts on my Surly Long Haul Trucker and Nice Racks

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Thoughts on my Surly Long Haul Trucker and Nice Racks

Old 11-20-07, 06:05 PM
  #1  
fantom1 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Middle of the desert
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thoughts on my Surly Long Haul Trucker and Nice Racks

So, after a long delay, I finally got the LHT. The racks and panniers had been waiting a while. I thought I would write up my impressions of both of them in case anyone was considering them (it was a tough choice for me, even with a bunch of research).

First the bike:
I got it through my LBS so they assembled it. It's rock solid. Very stable and rides like a Cadillac. It's quite heavy, but the geometry makes it an able climber. I haven't been on it for any long loaded days yet, but I feel confident it's up to the job. For the price of the complete bike I think it would be near impossible to beat.

Now about the racks, which were much more of a confusing decision than the actual bike. I was pretty torn between the Nitto and Surly racks. In the end, I decided to save the $ and get the Surlys (Nittos=$135 each, while Surlys WERE $88 each).

On first getting them, I was pleasantly surprised that the racks themselves weren't all that heavy; however the racks with the hardware together weigh a ton. The welds are just ok and truth be told are of a much lower quality than I was expecting. There is some splatter, pock marks, etc. That said, everything is still very sturdy and structurally I have no doubts about them, they're just not that cosmetically nice.

After assembling them, I'm pretty disapointed at Surly's engineers. There is soooo much un-needed weight and steel involved in the attachment of the racks to the bike. The bolts are all much longer than needed as well. I would have thought most of the hardware to be uneccessary when attaching Surly racks to a Surly bike, but sadly this wasn't the case. It took quite a bit of pounding with a mallet to get some of the pieces into place as well.

Once everything was on the bike they feel super solid, but given the mostly uneccessary complication and weight I think I would have payed the extra $ for the Nittos. And now that the Surly's are almost as expensive as the Nittos, I definitely would.

All said and done, I can't wait to really put it through the paces!
fantom1 is offline  
Old 11-20-07, 09:44 PM
  #2  
sprintcarblue
dillyshotback
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: M&M@MN
Posts: 631

Bikes: '02 Barcode, Le Tour IV, Hoffman E.P.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Longer bolts may not necessarily be a bad thing. If your racks are rated for 110lbs, and it's fully loaded, more thread contact area will give you more hold.
sprintcarblue is offline  
Old 11-20-07, 10:15 PM
  #3  
KonradNYC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 221

Bikes: Surly Pacer, Trek 520 & gaspipe fixed gear beater

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have the Surly front & rear Nice Racks on my Trek 520. Got'em for $88 bucks each as well. All the welds are pretty smooth, no pock marks or bubbles. Installing the rear rack is straight forward...absolutely no complaints. It's rock solid. The front rack comes with a lot of hardware, but you don't need to use it all! Installing the front rack was a bit more difficult, but I don't know why you needed to pound stuff with a mallet. I didn't have any significant issues mounting mine.
KonradNYC is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 07:35 AM
  #4  
bigfo
human
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Dodgeville, WI
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Like KonradNYC said, the rear rack is no problem getting on, mine is on a LHT. The front rack took awhile to get everything together, alot of shims and such. It took me about an hour to get the front one on, but it's rock solid and everything went together fine, no beating involved.
bigfo is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 07:45 AM
  #5  
DukeArcher 
Senior Member
 
DukeArcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 603

Bikes: Thorn Nomad S+S, Trek 520 - 2007 (out on loan), and a crap Repco MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Can both of you slam some pics up?
__________________
Sparsely updated blog
DukeArcher is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 08:08 AM
  #6  
hockey
Senior Member
 
hockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tichborne, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 322

Bikes: Trek 5200, Giant Rainier, Devinci Destination,Motobecane CF, Bike Friday family tandem, Bike Friday NWT

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
"It's quite heavy, but the geometry makes it an able climber. " To what extent will we go to justify our purchases? Nothing personal but all of this LHT talk is a bit overwhelming. There are plenty of quality choices out there other than the 3 big ones!!
Hockey
hockey is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 11:37 AM
  #7  
fantom1 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Middle of the desert
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Huh, maybe I just got a bum rear rack. Oh well, I suppose an extra lb or two isn't going to hurt my large butt.
fantom1 is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 11:46 AM
  #8  
Speedo
Senior Member
 
Speedo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 1,998

Bikes: Univega Gran Turismo, Guerciotti, Bridgestone MB2, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Serotta Ti

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by hockey View Post
To what extent will we go to justify our purchases? Nothing personal but all of this LHT talk is a bit overwhelming. There are plenty of quality choices out there other than the 3 big ones!!
Hockey
Yeah? I suppose that next you'll be telling us that there's no Santa Claus!

Speedo

Last edited by Speedo; 11-21-07 at 01:29 PM.
Speedo is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 12:28 PM
  #9  
badger_biker 
Senior Member
 
badger_biker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Rural Western Wisconsin
Posts: 1,427

Bikes: 10 vintage touring machines

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 32 Posts
Interesting about the fit issues.
I'm thinking or replacing my blackburn lowriders on my '83 Specialized Expedition with a platform front rack and finding it hard to decide between Surly Nice and Jandd Extreme, especially when no one in the area stocks them so I can see them first hand.

I hope there are more posts on ease of fit and problems encountered. Is there still a lot of hardware required if you have the mid fork bolt through brazeons?
badger_biker is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 12:38 PM
  #10  
jaypee
succumbs to errata
 
jaypee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: WI
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fantom1 View Post
There is soooo much un-needed weight and steel involved in the attachment of the racks to the bike. The bolts are all much longer than needed as well.
If the bolts are too long and the racks are going to stay installed on that particular bike, get a Dremel too with a cutoff wheel and go to town. I had no fit issues whatsoever with mine and couldn't be happier.

Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
Interesting about the fit issues.
I'm thinking or replacing my blackburn lowriders on my '83 Specialized Expedition with a platform front rack and finding it hard to decide between Surly Nice and Jandd Extreme, especially when no one in the area stocks them so I can see them first hand.
Where in Western Wisco are you? You can check mine out if you're close enough...

I'm a huge fan of the Surly racks. Sure they're built with a lot of overkill, but the folks at Surly believe in making things work and their racks reflect this. Lots of extra hardware to make sure they can fit on pretty much anything. I'm excited by the fact that I could install them on a Pugsley were I to buy one.

I like versatility.
jaypee is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 12:44 PM
  #11  
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 5,264

Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by hockey View Post
"It's quite heavy, but the geometry makes it an able climber. " To what extent will we go to justify our purchases? Nothing personal but all of this LHT talk is a bit overwhelming. There are plenty of quality choices out there other than the 3 big ones!!
Hockey
I don't find the LHT to be particularly heavy for a touring bike and mine climbs really well, but I'm going say that's due to the engine!...
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 01:02 PM
  #12  
NoReg
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
The welds on the surly front rack I saw were OK. Nearly bought it. They use a procees of tube deformation to get the fit they need, along with minor coping, seems like a good approach on a bylateral frame, the fancy two legged shopping carts at the local grocery use the same approach. Anyway, this really isn't the price range where the weld aesthetics are a reasonable criterion.
NoReg is offline  
Old 11-21-07, 10:36 PM
  #13  
tacomee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Surly racks are OK... they are heavy and the quality isn't any better than cheaper racks. Tubus racks are better made, but cost a lot more. Both racks are really strong, but there are still mounted with allen bolts, so the racks still can sway under heavy loads and shear off under stess, so I'm so sure steel racks are really an upgrade over the alu ones.
tacomee is offline  
Old 11-22-07, 10:56 PM
  #14  
jwbnyc
Señor Wences
 
jwbnyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Okay, just installed a set of Surlys with no fit issues on an LHT.

Having said that: the goal with these seems to have been to allow installation on just about any bike.

This leads to a certain amount of complication. There are a lot of little bits and pieces that need to be attended to, calculations to be made, adjustments here and there, and yes; a mallet and a level will come in handy.

Once they are on they are pretty dang solid. I'm quite happy with them all in all.

It would be nice if some of the stuff that could be pre-installed was taken care of, and the instruction piccies could be better, especially at the price they are going for now, but overall: not bad.

One thing: there is a lot of hardware involved in getting these things on the bike, and keeping them on the bike. That equates to a lot of checking of nuts and bolts every now and again.

Just to re-iterate: you don't just slap these on the bike. There is some serious installation going on.

You do end up with level strong racks in the end.
jwbnyc is offline  
Old 11-23-07, 03:57 PM
  #15  
fantom1 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Middle of the desert
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ya, my gripe was just that you would think Surly would design the rack primarily for their bikes, then include parts to make it fit on other bikes.
fantom1 is offline  
Old 11-24-07, 05:15 PM
  #16  
HardyWeinberg
GATC
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
Posts: 8,728
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 463 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
Surly racks are OK... they are heavy and the quality isn't any better than cheaper racks. Tubus racks are better made, but cost a lot more.
You must have caught an odd shopping window, tubus cargo tops out around 70% the current price of a surly rack. I didn't hit the $88 low of 'unregulated' surlys, but I did get one for below current list, apparently a price being much more tightly regulated now.

Originally Posted by jwbnyc View Post
It would be nice if some of the stuff that could be pre-installed was taken care of, and the instruction piccies could be better, especially at the price they are going for now, but overall: not bad.
Holy cow, the documentation is utter crap. At the price, and the market size *, you'd think they could do better. It's like it's English run through babelfish to some other language and then back to English (considering, again, that they'll probably sell 5 outside the US, never mind off NA).

Either way, I really like my tubus rack on my LHT, and surly rack on my mtn bike, but I'm totally only scouring ebay for used surly racks in the future.


*meaning they probably know all their customers by 1st name anyway
HardyWeinberg is offline  
Old 11-25-07, 08:46 AM
  #17  
Lolly Pop
Senior Member
 
Lolly Pop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Norn'Iron
Posts: 1,399

Bikes: Gardin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No mallet required here. I found the front rack quite straightforward to fit.

Maybe that's cause I'm a girl.
Lolly Pop is offline  
Old 11-27-07, 10:07 PM
  #18  
jaypee
succumbs to errata
 
jaypee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: WI
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Lolly Pop View Post
Maybe that's cause I'm a girl.
Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhh.. hahahahah.

I'll take a bunch of pics tomorrow showing the details of all the spacers and hardware you have to mess with to achieve a proper fit. It took me approximately 3 beers (45 minutes or so) to get everything set up.
jaypee is offline  
Old 11-28-07, 01:25 PM
  #19  
fishigator
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i agree that there is way too much hardware for the front rack. i also think there should be a section in the directions that say: "if you are mounting this rack to your long haul trucker, skip to this section and use these hardware items." i was just staring at all of these unnecessary pieces wondering where to start. but here is my lht on it's first order of duty once i figured it out.
fishigator is offline  
Old 11-28-07, 02:16 PM
  #20  
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 5,264

Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I put a Surly Nice front rack on my Thorn Sherpa yesterday.



I read through the instructions once and then just went ahead and installed the rack the way it made sense to me. Took me about an hour from start to finish.



I ended up not using any of the spacers Surly provided even though by their calculations I should have used several. When I finished up I had loads of extra hardware for my spares bin.

The rack looks good and fits well on this bike. I noticed one imperfection in a non-critical weld. Not a huge deal, but Surly could certainly use someone doing full time QC on their products.
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline  
Old 11-28-07, 02:41 PM
  #21  
NeezyDeezy
Senior Member
 
NeezyDeezy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 880
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
jesus that's a lot of bolts
NeezyDeezy is offline  
Old 12-01-07, 02:06 AM
  #22  
Sholto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 50

Bikes: Mongoose Randonneur, Giant boulder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've just removed the Nice racks from my LHT.
They are rated for a much greater load than I need, they're heavy, and they are not particulary stiff. I'm new to loaded touring and these are the only fornt racks I've ever used. I was disappointed to find they sometimes get a shimmy going, a sort of wobble where the whole front end oscilates back and forth.

I tried to fit a borrowed Tubus Duo front rack but coudn't get everything to line up. The braod fillet around the lower mount on the rack interferes with the lug? on the end of the fork. Has anyone been able to fit one of these?

Agree the LHT climbs very nicely, I've no idea why.
Sholto is offline  
Old 05-03-10, 07:57 PM
  #23  
Meatblaster9000
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi I am Chris, I was wondering where you bought your surly racks for 88$? Thanks
Meatblaster9000 is offline  
Old 05-03-10, 08:22 PM
  #24  
KDC1956
Senior Member
 
KDC1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 671

Bikes: Surly LHT 52cm Nice Bicycle I think.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a 2009 model Surly LHT and put on both Surly Nice Racks the rear one was easy to install but the front one took me about two hours to install but after I got it all done it looks real nice.As one said the racks them self are not heavy its all the hard wear that's adds the weight to them but I would not use any other racks on my LHT.And my Surly LHT is the Olive Green with olive green fenders to match it.The fenders are PB.I got them at amazon.com
KDC1956 is offline  
Old 05-03-10, 08:25 PM
  #25  
kayakdiver
ah.... sure.
 
kayakdiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Whidbey Island WA
Posts: 4,107

Bikes: Specialized.... schwinn..... enough to fill my needs..

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Meatblaster9000 View Post
Hi I am Chris, I was wondering where you bought your surly racks for 88$? Thanks
You do realize that this is a 3 year old thread?
kayakdiver is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.