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Help With Configuring LHT

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Help With Configuring LHT

Old 02-10-09, 05:48 PM
  #1  
vja4Him
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Help With Configuring LHT

I've decided to go with the LHT. Found a shop that will do a professional fit. I'd like to get some advice on exactly how to upgrade some components. I want to add a second stem. Still waiting to hear back from the shop if they will do that ...

I would really like to have at least 36 spokes, since I will be carrying (and sometimes pulling) lots of extra weight. What wheel/hubs should I upgrade to? What about upgrading the derailer, cassette, and chain? And what extra cost am I looking at here for all the upgrades?
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Old 02-10-09, 06:31 PM
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Other than a saddle and better tires, don't upgrade anything. Stronger wheels who be nice, but the stock ones are OK.

Racks and panniers can set you $500, so I'd do that and leave the stock bike, a darn good bike vout of the box, alone.
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Old 02-10-09, 06:37 PM
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We have an LHT and a Cannondale Touring here. I do maintenance on both.

Save the upgrade $$$ for a pump, patch kit and tool kit, fenders, bags, pedals and shoes and helmet.

When (or if) something wears out, decide then if you felt you got your money's worth out of it, or if spending more $$ for an upgrade replacement would be worth it.

There's nothing on the LHT that 'needs' upgrading. If the bike shop puts the wheels on the truing stand and checks tightness of the spokes, all you need are panniers and racks and you're ready for any adventure.

At most, if it is really rainy, I'd add fenders and maybe Salmon pads for better rain braking (at some expense in dry wear).
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Old 02-10-09, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
Other than a saddle and better tires, don't upgrade anything. Stronger wheels who be nice, but the stock ones are OK.
fwiw my lbs says that the wheels w/ the LHT complete are the best of any bike they stock, in terms of how much adjustment they need out of the box and how much/if ever they come back for maintenance.
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Old 02-10-09, 09:53 PM
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I don't get it,,upgrade for what purpose?
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Old 02-10-09, 10:18 PM
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LHT out of the box. They know what they are doing. I went through the same thing you are doing until I rode my LHT stock. Why change. They know what they are doing. Just ride the bike and enjoy.
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Old 02-11-09, 10:09 AM
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The stock wheels already have 36 spokes, and they're as good as you'd want -- XT hubs, bombproof rims. XT rear derailleur, good brakes. The bike has the higher end components where you want them.

There might be some upgrades you would want to make as more of a personal preference, such as downtube shifters, different gearing, etc.

On my recent LHT purchase (which I love) I put on a Brooks and some different bars because I didn't like the geometry of the stock ones. Wasn't sure I'd like the bar-end shifters, but they're growing on me. I will soon replace the 11-34 cassette with an 11-28, because I'm finding the jumps between gears too big. I'll also ride the Conti Contacts the bike came with for now, but might put on some folding tires before heading out on a tour of any significant length. Other than that, I wouldn't change anything -- it's a very solid bike out of the box.
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Old 02-11-09, 10:51 AM
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Another vote for riding it out of the box, love mine and can't think of anything after a year that needs changing.
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Old 02-11-09, 04:00 PM
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I built up my LHT before the Completes were readily available. Wanting the best, I used XT hubs (oh wait, the Complete has that), low gearing 46/36/26 (Complete has 48/36/26), etc, etc. Really, the Complete is superbly outfitted and after it became available I was amazed at the greater price I had paid for essentially the same thing. So, maybe get a Brook B17 saddle, nice Tubus racks, fenders, bags, cycloputer, repair kit. And go...
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Old 02-12-09, 04:53 PM
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I just swapped out the saddle on mine and added racks.
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Old 02-13-09, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
I've decided to go with the LHT. Found a shop that will do a professional fit. I'd like to get some advice on exactly how to upgrade some components. I want to add a second stem. Still waiting to hear back from the shop if they will do that ...

I would really like to have at least 36 spokes, since I will be carrying (and sometimes pulling) lots of extra weight. What wheel/hubs should I upgrade to? What about upgrading the derailer, cassette, and chain? And what extra cost am I looking at here for all the upgrades?
As everyone else said, I wouldn't worry about upgrades too much. I wouldn't bother paying for a "professional" fit, either. The sizing is pretty straightforward, if you've got a bike now, you can probably extrapolate which size fits you best. Once you get your size, all the shop will change is the width of the bars and the length/angle of your stem. They will also fiddle with the height and angle of the saddle. Guess what? You can monkey with that yourself. Guess what else? Once you figure out your optimal stem, you can flip the stock stem and use that as your second. Just make sure you get the LHT with the steerer tube *uncut*, so you'll have room for everything.

FWIW, stems and flat bars are ridiculously cheap online, if you're not too picky about what you get. Titec stuff is practically free on pricepoint, check it out www.pricepoint.com The LBS will bend you over for any new parts, and they'll rip you off on used crap in the parts bin, too. More affordable rip-offs, but rip-offs nonetheless. Maybe your LBS is different, but I've stopped going to any of my LBSes because they all represent an ASTOUNDINGLY bad value on everything, from service to parts to advice. I see ppl on the web praise the value of the LBS all the time, but I won't even buy tubes from the LBS anymore.

hth. Best things to invest in are tools, good pedals, panniers and carriers, and some truly robust tires. I just built up a LHT from "Scratch", and it's awesome. Just need the panniers/carriers, and i'm set. Oh, the complete doesn't have fenders. Fenders are basically required on a tour rig.

-rob
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Old 02-13-09, 12:53 PM
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one more thing: Once the chain/cassette wear out, upgrade away. You can find great deals on appropriate cassettes online, and changing the cassette is very easy with the proper lockring tool (which is cheaper to buy than most shops would charge for the 1-time service.) I use only SRAM chains because i like the powerlock quick-release link. Everyone has their preferences, of course, but modern shimano chains can only be installed and removed the one time. Sorry about any negative rant on the LBS, but the people need to realize that they ARE competing with online retailers, whether they want to or not. Maybe your guys are different, but as far as I'm concerned, there is no LBS in S.Jersey and Philly.

-rob
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Old 02-13-09, 01:32 PM
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surreal;8355132]As everyone else said, I wouldn't worry about upgrades too much. I wouldn't bother paying for a "professional" fit, either. The sizing is pretty straightforward, if you've got a bike now, you can probably extrapolate which size fits you best. Once you get your size, all the shop will change is the width of the bars and the length/angle of your stem. They will also fiddle with the height and angle of the saddle. Guess what? You can monkey with that yourself. Guess what else? Once you figure out your optimal stem, you can flip the stock stem and use that as your second. Just make sure you get the LHT with the steerer tube *uncut*, so you'll have room for everything.
Could you explain in detail what you mean by flipping the stock stem? And getting the steerer tube uncut. I have no idea what you mean by "steerer tube uncut." I definitely want to have plenty of space for lots of gadgets! That is one reason why I'm getting a second stem.

FWIW, stems and flat bars are ridiculously cheap online, if you're not too picky about what you get. Titec stuff is practically free on pricepoint, check it out www.pricepoint.com The LBS will bend you over for any new parts, and they'll rip you off on used crap in the parts bin, too. More affordable rip-offs, but rip-offs nonetheless. Maybe your LBS is different, but I've stopped going to any of my LBSes because they all represent an ASTOUNDINGLY bad value on everything, from service to parts to advice. I see ppl on the web praise the value of the LBS all the time, but I won't even buy tubes from the LBS anymore.
Actually, our local bike shop has decent prices, at least with some items. I always check the online prices, and if the price at the bike shop is more, I tell them that I found the same item online for a better price, and they tell me that they will give me the same price as online.

hth. Best things to invest in are tools, good pedals, panniers and carriers, and some truly robust tires. I just built up a LHT from "Scratch", and it's awesome. Just need the panniers/carriers, and i'm set. Oh, the complete doesn't have fenders. Fenders are basically required on a tour rig.
I've decided to hold off with any upgrades, and invest in the items you mention. I'm going with the Ortlieb panniers (Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus, and Ortlieb Front Roller, with the extra small pockets for all four panniers!).

I thinking about getting the Schwalbe Marathon XR tires. Fenders are a must too! And really good lights for front and rear. Oh, and the blinie vest too!

Last edited by vja4Him; 02-13-09 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 02-13-09, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
Could you explain in detail what you mean by flipping the stock stem? And getting the steerer tube uncut. I have no idea what you mean by "steerer tube uncut." I definitely want to have plenty of space for lots of gadgets! That is one reason why I'm getting a second stem.
Ok, let's start with the steerer tube. I've never ordered a complete surly, so I don't know what they do, but many bike companies will trim down the steerer tube so the bike will look trick and have fewer headset spacers. To define a few terms, the steerer tube is the part of the fork that goes thru the headtube of the bicycle frame. This is the part of the fork that you don't see. Incidentally, this is also the part of the frame that bikes like the LHT have the stem(s) clamped to. You, my friend, will want it as long as possible. On my 54cm model that I just built up, there was something close to 4" of steerer tube sticking out of the headtube! I have a couple 10mm headset spacers on there, the cable hanger for the front brake, a massive 40mm spacer, and the rather dookie-fat stem that i used. I have no doubt that i could fit another stem there, if i wanted to. I'd just have to remove the biggest spacer. Now, routing the cable for the front brake could become problematic with this set-up. You're on your own with that, or maybe this'll be one of those situations where your LBS can help you out. (make sure it pulls right and works well *before* you leave, if you have them install this set-up.)

Anyway, If surly cuts the steertube on completes (and, if the stock photo on their website is any indication, it looks like they do!), you'd have trouble fitting both stems on there, as well as the cable hanger and at least one little spacer to keep the hanger from rubbing the top of the headset. So, you'll need to make sure that your LBS pulls whatever strings it can to make sure you'll get one with an uncut steerer.

Once you make sure that you've got enough steerer tubeto run the dual stems, and the scheisters have figured out that you need a XXmm stem, instead of the YYmm stem the thing came with stock, you can have the stock stem installed atop the new, proper-lengthed stem. Hopefully, this'll allow enough room to reasonable route the front brake cable. The new, lower stem will have your controls on it with the stock handlebar. The old, stock stem will have a $10 flatbar with whatever lights, cyclocomputer, dinger, and various other farkles you plan on installing. As for "flipping" the old stem, that's my brain farting, as the stem will already be on a positive rise. These are, after all, tourbikes we're talking about, right? So, ignore the "flip" part of my first post.

So, to sum up: Beg them to not cut the steerer tube. Have the guys at the lbs use magic and spacers to make your front brake work despite the clutter. Don't spend more than $10 on the flatbar, unless you want something super-lightweight and/or trick. I'll give you a 25.4mm al flatbar if you don't mind black, and you don't mind paying for shipping. Try the front brake with a critical eye before taking delivery of the bike. Of course, take a testride before accepting delivery, but be super-conscious of the front brake action. Make sure you have a dinger. It'd be criminal to run 2 stems without using a dinger.

hth,
-rob

PS- it seems like you're very much so on the right track, here. The first thing you'll want to upgrade, aside from chain/cassette/brake pads will likely be the crank, that that'd be way down the road anyway. Best of luck, feel free to send me a message if you need any additional help
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Old 02-13-09, 03:37 PM
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By 'second' stem do you mean 2 stems on the steerer tube and using one as an accessory mount, such as to hold a handlebar bag?
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Old 02-13-09, 06:53 PM
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I think that's what he means. Anyway, thats what I have on my touring bike.
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Old 02-13-09, 09:59 PM
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i've had mine a year. changes so far:

- handlebar swapped out for a nitto noodle that i already had on my old touring bike
- tires swapped out for the 35mm schwalbe marathon supremes from my other bike
- saddle to a b-17 first and now to a selle anatomica
- downtube shifters because i got tired of accidentally bumping the bar-enders, might bring them back if i ever go to a different bar
- rear wheelset after mine was broken in an accident with a car, wouldn't have changed it otherwise

and additions:
- sks fenders
- tubus cargo rear and tara front racks

it's a pretty well sorted out bike from the box. don't feel that you need to change things "just because," the changes will definitely come along as you figure out your likes & dislikes. mine is my primary vehicle for commuting and touring. the only change i'm considering now is building up a dyno-hub front wheel to power front & rear lights.
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Old 02-14-09, 06:44 AM
  #18  
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Second Stem Links ...

Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
By 'second' stem do you mean 2 stems on the steerer tube and using one as an accessory mount, such as to hold a handlebar bag?
Yes! Here are several links to pictures of second stems. The first link (scroll down about 1/3) is exactly what I want:

http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/20...not-a-ferrari/

There are several links with pictures of other setups for the second stem that you can view.

Here is another really good page, with enlarged views of what I need, from Crazy Guy On A Bike:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=1834&v=21
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Old 02-14-09, 11:04 AM
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Just have them leave plenty of steerer tube length and cable lengths so you can tinker with the front end once you get the bike.
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Old 02-14-09, 06:37 PM
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LHT Completes now ship with uncut steerers. But most shops whack half of it off before putting 'em out for sale on the floor.
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Old 02-15-09, 04:54 PM
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good to know, slice2, aqbout the lht's shipping with uncut steerers. I just built up a frame, and i'll tell ya, i like the fork more than the mainframe. Super-beefy, nice drop outs, lowrider bosses on both sides of the legs (so you can run duo-style front racks, but who would?) and that crazy-long steerer tube. It was a very simple build; i love the new rear drop-outs (very breezerish) and, once i faced the headtube and BB shell, it all went together way simple.

a great frame, offered with solid components in the complete.

-rob
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