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

Please Help Me Modify My Surly LHT

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.

Please Help Me Modify My Surly LHT

Reply

Old 03-17-08, 05:44 PM
  #1  
jhunt012
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Please Help Me Modify My Surly LHT

I bought a Surly LHT about 2 years ago with the idea that I wanted a versatile bike that I could one day use for a bike tour. Well...I am hoping this summer will be that time. I want to bike the East Coast (USA) from Bar Harbor, ME to Savannah, GA. I am trying to figure out what I need to do to my LHT to get it ready for the tour.

Here are my questions/concerns:

Can I do the tour with my Shimano 105 crankset? It is a triple 30-39-50. My cassette is a shimano XT 11-34. If you don't feel this will provide me with a low enough gear...what would be the easiest/cheapest fix?

I have 105 sti lever/shifters with XT V-Brakes (I had to use a "travel agent" to make them compatible). Is this combo suitable?

I have a Blackburn Expedition Rack. I plan to buy the Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Panniers. Is the blackburn rack suitable? (I know I will need to buy a front rack and front panniers as well)

I want to be well prepared, but can't really afford to change out a ton of stuff that I already have.

I REALLY appreciate your time in helping me decide what I NEED to do. Thanks.

-Jim
jhunt012 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 06:01 PM
  #2  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,202
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
The Blackburn EX-1 is a nice rack. I use a cheap lowrider clone for a front rack. Nashbar and Performance both have one, both are cheap, light, and sturdy. The Performance one is just a bit nicer in my opinion.

You might get by with the 30T on the front, but I would rather have a 26 or even a 25. How small does your 105 crank accept? If you decide to swap it out and it has a square taper BB the Sugino XD600 (46-36-26) is nice at about $80. If your 105 is hollowtech you either need a hollowtech crank or a new BB.

The levers and brakes are nice and should work fine. FWIW: STI is my first choice. Some will differ.
staehpj1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 06:29 PM
  #3  
gregw
Senior Member
 
gregw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The Blackburn EX-1 is a nice rack. I use a cheap lowrider clone for a front rack. Nashbar and Performance both have one, both are cheap, light, and sturdy. The Performance one is just a bit nicer in my opinion.

You might get by with the 30T on the front, but I would rather have a 26 or even a 25. How small does your 105 crank accept? If you decide to swap it out and it has a square taper BB the Sugino XD600 (46-36-26) is nice at about $80. If your 105 is hollowtech you either need a hollowtech crank or a new BB.

The levers and brakes are nice and should work fine. FWIW: STI is my first choice. Some will differ.

I agree with staehpj1, the only thing I would change is chainrings. Unfortunately I don't think 105's are available in low gear rings. I have 22/32/44 and think it's perfect for me, but I travel heavy and in very hilly areas, you will need to judge for yourself. But for loaded touring always error to the lower gear side.
gregw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 06:44 PM
  #4  
late
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 8,525
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6919 Post(s)
If you are just riding up the coast, you might get away with the crank you have.
I would put on some really good tires. I suggest routing away from the coast in a couple places in Maine. Near the border you can go inland a bit. And Rte 1 just north of Camden is dangerous. There is a little detour up Rte 52 to Youngtown Rd that will take you to Lincolnville. The road is better there. I have some other suggestions for Maine, depending on what your plans are. One is you really should eat at Moody's in Waldoboro. If you like pie, try their walnut cream pie.

http://www.moodysdiner.com/
late is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 06:50 PM
  #5  
gregw
Senior Member
 
gregw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by late View Post
If you are just riding up the coast, you might get away with the crank you have.
I would put on some really good tires. I suggest routing away from the coast in a couple places in Maine. Near the border you can go inland a bit. And Rte 1 just north of Camden is dangerous. There is a little detour up Rte 52 to Youngtown Rd that will take you to Lincolnville. The road is better there. I have some other suggestions for Maine, depending on what your plans are. One is you really should eat at Moody's in Waldoboro. If you like pie, try their walnut cream pie.

http://www.moodysdiner.com/
Mmmmm Pie!
gregw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 06:51 PM
  #6  
jhunt012
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The Blackburn EX-1 is a nice rack. I use a cheap lowrider clone for a front rack. Nashbar and Performance both have one, both are cheap, light, and sturdy. The Performance one is just a bit nicer in my opinion.

You might get by with the 30T on the front, but I would rather have a 26 or even a 25. How small does your 105 crank accept? If you decide to swap it out and it has a square taper BB the Sugino XD600 (46-36-26) is nice at about $80. If your 105 is hollowtech you either need a hollowtech crank or a new BB.

The levers and brakes are nice and should work fine. FWIW: STI is my first choice. Some will differ.
So for about $100 I could get the Sugino Crankset and a new BB. Sounds like that would be worth it.
jhunt012 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 06:59 PM
  #7  
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jhunt012 View Post
Can I do the tour with my Shimano 105 crankset? It is a triple 30-39-50....
I agree with the consensus, I'd try to go lower if you can.


Originally Posted by jhunt012
I have 105 sti lever/shifters with XT V-Brakes (I had to use a "travel agent" to make them compatible). Is this combo suitable?
Sure, as long as it works. Just have it thoroughly checked before the big tour.

In fact, in case it isn't obvious, get a tune-up first. Have them check the drivetrain for wear, it's possible they may need to replace your chainrings anyway, for example, if they're worn.

I don't think you'll have to swap out much. But it's better to do any work BEFORE you go on tour than in the middle of it...
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 11:00 PM
  #8  
xiaodidi
Senior Member
 
xiaodidi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get a lowrider rack and hit the road, man.

30 front 34 rear - good enough for almost anything.

Do you have a 54 LHT or bigger ??? This is important because the 30-34 would be even better with the 26 wheels.
xiaodidi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-08, 11:25 PM
  #9  
vosyer
WATERFORD22
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 509

Bikes: Bilenky, Co-Motion, 1969 Paramount, Waterford Adventure Cycle, Waterford rs 22, 1980 Davidson etc.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We'l I think some of you guys are leading him a touch a stray - not sure what exactly the bolt pattern is for the bottom ring is, but it can be switched out to a at least a 26, because I did it on two of my Ultegra triples. One is now 50,39,26 the other is 50,42,26 - not the best but adequate with a 34 on the back
vosyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 03:27 AM
  #10  
foamy
Senior Member
 
foamy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 772

Bikes: Trek 630 Jamis Quest Bilenky Tourlite and various others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
East Coast tour? Your 30 toother should be fine with your 11-34 rear. If there's no mountains you have no need of of anything smaller. Everything else sounds fine. Pack 'n go!
foamy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 04:36 AM
  #11  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,202
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Originally Posted by foamy View Post
East Coast tour? Your 30 toother should be fine with your 11-34 rear. If there's no mountains you have no need of of anything smaller. Everything else sounds fine. Pack 'n go!
Can anyone who has ridden this route comment? I am unsure how hilly it is, but AC makes it sound like the north half of the east coast route is pretty hilly. My experience is that you don't need real mountains to get steep grades and in fact the Rockies required low gearing less than some of the hills here in the east. Many of the climbs in the rockies while long are 5-7% grades and some of the hills here while relatively short are 20%.
staehpj1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 04:52 AM
  #12  
jhunt012
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by xiaodidi View Post
Get a lowrider rack and hit the road, man.

30 front 34 rear - good enough for almost anything.

Do you have a 54 LHT or bigger ??? This is important because the 30-34 would be even better with the 26 wheels.
Mine is a 58, so I have the bigger wheels. I know this gearing thing has been discussed to death in other discussions, but I really appreciate everyone who has given me feedback. Maybe some folks who have ridden the East Coast can chime in regarding how hilly it is.

Thanks again!
jhunt012 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 04:55 AM
  #13  
gregw
Senior Member
 
gregw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Can anyone who has ridden this route comment? I am unsure how hilly it is, but AC makes it sound like the north half of the east coast route is pretty hilly. My experience is that you don't need real mountains to get steep grades and in fact the Rockies required low gearing less than some of the hills here in the east. Many of the climbs in the rockies while long are 5-7% grades and some of the hills here while relatively short are 20%.
Your exactly right! The Rocky Mountains are a piece of cake in the big scheme of things, long and gradual, not steep. It's also easy to stop and rest or take pictures on a mountain climb, but you don't stop in the middle of a steep hill. The short steep hills on the east coast are tough, so unless you don't mind walking up several hills a day, get lower gears.

Why are folks so reluctant to get lower gears? It's not like you need the highest gears very often, if ever. On the Transam I used my lowest gears countless times and never used my highest gear.
gregw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 05:16 AM
  #14  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,202
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gregw View Post
Your exactly right! The Rocky Mountains are a piece of cake in the big scheme of things, long and gradual, not steep. It's also easy to stop and rest or take pictures on a mountain climb, but you don't stop in the middle of a steep hill. The short steep hills on the east coast are tough, so unless you don't mind walking up several hills a day, get lower gears.

Why are folks so reluctant to get lower gears? It's not like you need the highest gears very often, if ever. On the Transam I used my lowest gears countless times and never used my highest gear.
Yes, but I guess walking up a hill might be a bit more tolerable than walking for miles on a mountain. Still who wants to walk at all unless they have to.

FWIW: I used my highest gear (26-32 at the time) a lot on the TA and would have used higher. I like to pedal down hills, some of the time I like to mash a bigger gear, and we rode pace line a good bit. When my daughter is on the front I need big gears to keep up because sometimes she really hammers. So I guess I used higher gears than some people normally would have.

All that said it isn't such a big problem when you run out or gearing on the high end. When you run out on the low end it is.
staehpj1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 05:25 AM
  #15  
gregw
Senior Member
 
gregw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
staehpr1 wrote " I like to pedal down hills" Your sick man, sick!!!
gregw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 05:35 AM
  #16  
Nigeyy
Senior Member
 
Nigeyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Speaking from experience, you can get low gear rings. I think I put on a 24 or 26 teeth Salsa brand small ring on a 105 crank with no problems, even keeping the original two other chainrings and front 105 derailleur on. It was only slightly more sensitive upshifting, but once you got used to it, it was no problem (put it this way, if you bought the bike like this, you probably wouldn't even give it a second thought).


I'd very much recommend doing this (or at least getting a lower gear another way) -I think the chainring was about $20, so this is a very cheap modification you can make yourself to give you that low gear. Coupled with your rear cassette, a 26 teeth small ring should give you a good bailout gear, which I believe you'll need at some point unless you are touring very lightly or are very strong.

Originally Posted by gregw View Post
I agree with staehpj1, the only thing I would change is chainrings. Unfortunately I don't think 105's are available in low gear rings. I have 22/32/44 and think it's perfect for me, but I travel heavy and in very hilly areas, you will need to judge for yourself. But for loaded touring always error to the lower gear side.
Nigeyy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 05:51 AM
  #17  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,202
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
I checked and yes it looks like the current 105 triple takes a 74bcd inner ring so you can go to a 26 or 24.
staehpj1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 05:56 AM
  #18  
Nigeyy
Senior Member
 
Nigeyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here you go:

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Chainring.aspx

Seems to be a good price too.
Nigeyy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 06:02 AM
  #19  
gregw
Senior Member
 
gregw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I checked and yes it looks like the current 105 triple takes a 74bcd inner ring so you can go to a 26 or 24.
There you go, no need to change cranks, just rings or ring. When I changed to lower gears, I did all three rings, but you probably can get away with just one. Do some practicing in your middle ring (or the one you use most often) and see how you like it. I found that a lower middle ring was also nice. Of course this is very subjective.
gregw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 06:07 AM
  #20  
jhunt012
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Awesome!

Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I checked and yes it looks like the current 105 triple takes a 74bcd inner ring so you can go to a 26 or 24.
Thanks for looking into this, it would be perfect. My 105's are about 2 years old, so i'll check into that. I do a good bit of "regular" road riding on this bike (even did a triathlon on it) and I never use the small ring for this stuff. So just changing out the small ring would really simplify things for me. I could keep the big gears for group rides, and have the low gear for touring. Thanks for the suggestion!
jhunt012 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 06:10 AM
  #21  
Nigeyy
Senior Member
 
Nigeyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll second that; if you can afford it, go with a smaller middle and outer ring as well to bring the gearing closer. I did manage with just replacing the inner chainring, but there's no doubt it would have been nicer to have had smaller chainrings all round. On the 105 crank I had, I don't think I used my original outer ring more than once or twice on a tour -granted changing all the chainrings is not absolutely necessary, just nice to have.

On the other hand, once you've paid for 3 chainrings, you'll probably be paying more than the price of just one new Sugino XD300 crank (perhaps even with a bb) that would have all the gearing you need......

Cheap way: get just one small chainring
More expensive: replace all chainrings or get a new crankset

Originally Posted by gregw View Post
There you go, no need to change cranks, just rings or ring. When I changed to lower gears, I did all three rings, but you probably can get away with just one. Do some practicing in your middle ring (or the one you use most often) and see how you like it. I found that a lower middle ring was also nice. Of course this is very subjective.
Nigeyy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 07:32 AM
  #22  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 20,581

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1972 Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
You might get by with the 30T on the front, but I would rather have a 26 or even a 25. How small does your 105 crank accept? If you decide to swap it out and it has a square taper BB the Sugino XD600 (46-36-26) is nice at about $80. If your 105 is hollowtech you either need a hollowtech crank or a new BB.

The levers and brakes are nice and should work fine. FWIW: STI is my first choice. Some will differ.
The crank rings only come in even numbers (30, 28, 26, 24). Other then that you are correct. An inner ring of 26 or 24 will work fine and is cheaper than a new crank and bottom bracket.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 07:55 AM
  #23  
n4zou
Scott
 
n4zou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,393

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Don't forget to add a dynamo. Here is a circuit so you can power a headlight or power/recharge devices like cell phones and GPS units that can be plugged into a USB connector.



Here's how it works. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=390107
n4zou is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 08:00 AM
  #24  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 20,581

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1972 Post(s)
Originally Posted by n4zou View Post
Don't forget to add a dynamo.
Always with the dynamo Personally, I prefer to go caveman and leave the scary sparky magic stuff at home
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-08, 08:07 AM
  #25  
Staggerwing
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
What do you weigh? Are you CC touring, or carrying all of your stuff and camping? Relative to the preceding questions, what is your wheel build? If your all up (you, the bike and stuff) weight is over 200 lbs, which is likely (figuring 30 lbs for the bike, suitably outfitted + 40 lbs stuff + you), you want at least 36 spoke wheels, properly hand tensioned and trued. You might even consider a 40 spoke rear.

Might even consider the option of a trailer, and towing, versus carrying everything.
Staggerwing is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service