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Anybody Love The Surly Long Haul Trucker?

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Anybody Love The Surly Long Haul Trucker?

Old 08-23-04, 12:14 PM
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schooltheworld
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Anybody Love The Surly Long Haul Trucker?

Hello, I'm New And Lovin' All The Info. I Am Soaking Up From These Touring Threads.

I Am Doing Mad Research On My First Touring Buy And Am Trying To Decide Between The Famous trek 520, This New surly Long Haul Trucker And The Supposedly Flawless bruce Gordon B.l.t. Also, I've Taken A Quick Gander At The thorn Xtc And Nomad But Don't Know As Much About Them. However, The Bike That I Am Most Eager To Hear Someone Give Pro's And Con's On Is The Surly L.h.t. Because I Can't Find Anybody That's Toured On One Yet. anybody Out There Tried One Out Yet?

I'll Spend The Extra Money On The B.l.t. Or L.h.t. If They Are Convincingly Better For fully Loaded Touring. If They Aren't, I'm Fine With The 520. I Want A Bike That Will Produce Consistently For The Remainder Of My Years So I Want To Be Certain Before I Purchase...but I'm Soooo Eager To Purchase.

I Would Love To Hear Anybody's Comments Or Answer To The Above Question. Thanks...
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Old 08-24-04, 07:45 AM
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Why did you capitalize every word?
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Old 08-24-04, 09:52 AM
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thanks for not capatolizing every word. i hate that, it is the worst thing ever in the world.
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Old 08-24-04, 09:56 AM
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Is there software or something on the keyboard which enable you to capitalize the first letter of each and every word? Just curious....
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Old 08-24-04, 12:38 PM
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the "capitlizing mistake" that has generated the ony responses to my question on this thread occured only because that was my first ever post and i wrote it in caps lock. it changed the message when i sent it capitalizing the first letter in every word.
i want to formally appologize to everyone for being so careless. thank you for your responses to my questions...

i was wondering if anybody out there had maybe something else they would like to add. possibly something about the surly long haul trucker comparing to the bruce gordon b.l.t.
has anybody out there toured with the lht?
also, momovelo.com is offering a bundle deal for the surly lht for a total of 850 dollars. however, my local bike shop quoted me 1500 dollars. here are the components that come with the momovelo bundle:

kalloy seatpost, cheeseboard stem, front brake cable hanger, headset spacers, tange bb, brooks B17 saddle, tektro oryx brakes, sugino XD crankset, MKS sylvan pedals, nitto handlebars, tektro brake levers, yokozuna cables & housing, alex/deore wheelset, rim tape & tubes, soma xpress tyres. $550 value

are these parts crap or will they suffice for a loaded touring bike?
compare to the components that come if i buy what surly suggests on their website: https://www.surlybikes.com/virtual_LHT.html (i'll be buying the 700c model)
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Old 08-24-04, 01:21 PM
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you gotta watch out not to distract the people in here. they get sidetracked very easily and its usually pretty difficult to get them back. I've been looking at the trucker also so I'm watching this thread closely. From what I can surmise, not a whole lot of people have actually built one up yet. I know there are some pictures of a build either in theis forum or in the commuting forum. Not sure if they are done with it yet though.

tim
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Old 08-24-04, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by schooltheworld
also, momovelo.com is offering a bundle deal for the surly lht for a total of 850 dollars. however, my local bike shop quoted me 1500 dollars.
It looks like there is a pretty big difference between the quality of the components that momovelo is bundling vs. the surly "virtual bike" package. Perhaps more importantly, I've seen some people on this site tell some pretty sad stories about trying to get stuff from momovelo via the internet. Sounds like customer service is not their strong suit.

Your best solution might be neither one of the ones you're considering. Maybe assemble the parts separately and then have your LBS do the assembly? Very important comfort factors for touring bikes that you might or might not want to change about the Surly/QBP combo include:

- shifters (it comes with STI. perhaps you might prefer bar ends?)
- handlebars
- saddle
- gearing (the stock gearing doesn't seem low enough for loaded touring)

You don't want to spend $1500 (or $850) and then spend another $300 changing out parts before you take your first tour.
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Old 08-24-04, 01:37 PM
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Here's a nice set of photos of the LHT belonging to another forum member...
https://photos.yahoo.com/murraylove
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Old 08-24-04, 04:02 PM
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Yeah, I checked those pictures out last night and they almost made me lose control and irrationally buy my own lht then and there. I really like the amber saddle...is that the brooks b17 honey saddle?
thanks for the info gravelpot. what don't you like about the lht's handlebars and saddle? are sti shifters more flimsy than bar end? lastly, what gearing would you recommend? i'm pretty much a novice so feel free to treat me like one.
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Old 08-24-04, 04:52 PM
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As far as seat and bars, you really should find the ones that fit you best. No use putting $60 down on a brooks if you come to find you don't like it. With STI, the integrated shifter/brakes are really complex and, from what I've heard, tend to get fouled up with dust and require periodical cleaning. Not something you'd want to take on as its getting dark on an isolated road in central kansas. Don't really know about gearing. Just learning about most of this stuff myself.

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Old 08-25-04, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by schooltheworld
thanks for the info gravelpot. what don't you like about the lht's handlebars and saddle? are sti shifters more flimsy than bar end? lastly, what gearing would you recommend? i'm pretty much a novice so feel free to treat me like one.
Caveat Emptor: I have not done any touring myself, but I've been reading *a lot* lately and have noticed some definite trends in equipment choices, and have done a lot of daydreaming about how I would fit out my own touring bike. That's why I'm not making any specific recommendations per se, but just pointing out some of the things that you need to look at.

Like TimArchy said, a lot of this stuff is based on personal preference. I mentioned saddle and handlebars not because I don't like the ones on the LHT virtual bike but because those are two "comfort" items that many people have strong preferences about. Many people like Brooks saddles; I've never tried one, so I don't know, but the arguments in favor are pretty forceful.

I don't know that STI shifters are "flimsy", but it would definitely increase the complexity of your drivetrain in terms of being able to do your own on-the-road repairs if anything did go wrong. You might also save some money by buying 105 components on eBay or the like but not using the 105 STI shifters. The only two bikes I've had for the last ten+ years have had bar-end shifters, so I have grown very used to them, and I've never had any trouble with them.

Gearing is also a personal preference, but if you're going to be doing loaded touring over any substantial hills or mountains, you probably want a 22 or 24 tooth chainring in the front and a largest cog in the back with 30 or more teeth. You can start looking into the "gear inches" of different combinations if you want to get really technical, but I haven't gotten to that point.

I recommend that you go to Crazy Guy on a Bike and look at some people's gear lists (usually at the beginning of their journals). Some of them go into a good level of detail about their bikes and discuss why they made certain decisions and how they worked out.

Then once you've got all this stuff figured out you've got to decide trailer vs. panniers, what kind of racks, etc... It's a lot of fun to think about!

Good luck.
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Old 08-25-04, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelpot
It looks like there is a pretty big difference between the quality of the components that momovelo is bundling vs. the surly "virtual bike" package. Perhaps more importantly, I've seen some people on this site tell some pretty sad stories about trying to get stuff from momovelo via the internet. Sounds like customer service is not their strong suit.
Momovelo charges your credit card when you submit the order, not when they ship it and sometimes they don't ship it. So, I just had the credit card company reverse a ~$60 charge. PITA.

The owner has publicly mused about closing the business and going back to Japan.
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Old 08-25-04, 09:05 PM
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thanks guys for that info.
i'll look into that web page gravelpot and continue to record this journey towards purchasing day.

i thought that momovelo looked a little hokey; i think i'll stay away from them for now. thanks for the tips.
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Old 08-25-04, 09:32 PM
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LHT is a very appealing bike -- similar geometry to the Rivendell Atlantis with less expensive TIG construction. Outfitted with Shimano 105 parts I think it would be a terrific touring bike. Here is a used set on ebay: https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

Bar ends would be a much better choice than STI, imo.
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Old 08-25-04, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by schooltheworld
thanks guys for that info.
i'll look into that web page gravelpot and continue to record this journey towards purchasing day.

i thought that momovelo looked a little hokey; i think i'll stay away from them for now. thanks for the tips.
I wouldn't call them "hokey", just not really good at running a business. From everything I've heard, the owner is a really great guy with a true passion for cycling. In other words, I don't think momovelo is a scam, it just isn't well run.
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Old 08-25-04, 11:44 PM
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Hello,

I wanted an LHT, but they werent available when I was gearing up so I went for my Poprad. No regrets, this is a great all around bike for sure. . . . but I would have been happy with the Surly too.. I had to spend alot to get my bike into touring shape, but it performed flawlessly. good luck with all LHT's lets see some more pics!!! Heres my take on a few issues...

For touring you want a setup that youll be confortable riding for hours upon houurs for days upon days. so take your old trusty seat and put it on your new touring bike. Or put a few weeks of riding on your new seat before you go to make sure its ok and to break it in a bit.... better yet, put a few hundred miles on anything new before you go. including shoes, socks, and shorts.

I toured with 105 STI's and I had alot of rain and some very dusty sections with no problems.. But I didnt crash on them or get them filled with mud or anything abusive like that.. friction shifters are always a safe bet. If I hadnt already spent a ton converting my whole drivetrain to touring spec then I would have gone to bar ends or even downtube shifters.. I was a bit lucky there I guess.. (are STI's really that finicky in normal day to day road use anyway?)

My bailoutest bailout gear was 28ring x 32cassette. this translated into a 4-6 mph spin up steep hills with my 65lb total rig. It was fine for me and im no superman (5'9", 150 lbs) honestly, if there was a section of a hill that I couldnt tackle in that gear then I'd either be walking or resting (I did both a few times) My cassettes last three gears were 24, 28, 32. I think a 28-34 tooth jump would have been a bit much, I liked the 28 to 32 jump.. so Im glad I went with the 11-32 instead of the 11-34.
maybe with a 26 tooth granny ring up front I could have avoided walking a time or two, but walking for a while actually feels good after riding for hours.

I used two layers of bar wrap for some extra cushion (actually started with a 3mm foam steering wheel cover wrapped around my bars but it began to stink after a week or so, so I eventually trashed it)

I used the "courier rack" (avenir I think) from Nashbar, its pretty long and I had no heel clearance issues. It was really sturdy and worked perfectly. perfect length for my tent and bed roll. I used the Nashbar waterproof panniers and they were perfect.. truly waterproof and pretty cheap. (although your stuff will be in big ziplock bags anyway, right?) Nashbar generic lowrider front rack worked fine.

I do not recomment Pasela Tourguard tires. I had all kinds of rips in the sidewalls.. fenders, you need em! staying dry is sooo nice. for riding in rain I recommend a rain cape. I got mine from Campmor. you can ride for hours in the rain and stay dry.. you just have to go slower so you dont get wet from sweat.. keep two plastic grocery bags tucked under your seat so when it starts to rain you can put them over your shoes to keep your feet dry.. I ride with clips and straps so I can do this. I tucked them into my socks. the cape keeps out water from above and the bags keep splashes and rain from in front at bay. dry shoes are sooo nice. get a real deal (outdoor research) waterproof bag for your sleeping bag and mattress or blanket or whatever setup youve got. dry bedding was soooo nice. I guess I was unlucky in that it rained for half of my trip but you learn how to deal.. part of the fun and sense of accomplishment....

definitely bring a book or radio. better still is both... there will most likely be times where youre just stuck due to weather or something and having something to do is awesome. I listened to a whole The Price is Right gameshow one day (my little sony sport radio gets TV and weather bands) while stranded in my tent in the rain after I woke up one morning. After 7 hours! it slowed down enough for me to make my getaway. learn how to set up your tent so you stay dry. (plastic ground cloth, folded under the edges of your tent so rain doesnt fall on it and so the water running around your tent goes UNDER this poly ground cloth).

Researching and setting up the bike was alot of fun, but not nearly as much as being out on tour. Check the attached pic, thats what its all about. Being so far away from where everyone else you know is and getting there crank by crank, mile by mile. adventure. emotions. marvellous.

ride on
~Steve
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Old 08-26-04, 08:36 AM
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wow, thanks for that heap of info revtor! 'much needed on my end here. too bad it rained so much on your trip but sounds like you had such a sweet time anyways (i love the pic). i'll be refering back to all your advice for how to handle wet conditions (panniers, racks, tent advice) when i take off as it seems you've got the first hand knowledge in the rain.
i think i'm going to go with the bar end shifters not because they seem better per say but because they have been proven with time. similarly, one reason i'm not too sure i want to commit to the lht instead of say, bruce gordon's blt, is for the same reason...it's been around longer. i'm sure it very well might prove to be a great bike (it looks great) but the blt has been around longer (...comments on the blt anybody...). i don't want to be the one that responds to my own questions about the reliability of the lht with a negative instead of a positive. no-one out there seems to have gone a long way on this bike fully loaded yet (at least i can't find anyone). i like material proven with time; that's one of the things that makes research rewardable. i'll might still purchase the lht but i don't have the funds to be the first to try it out and then find it's not as sweet on the road as it is on display. i know i sound picky but, hey, spending upwards to 2k on a bike will do that to you.
thanks also for that ebay link; i might involve myself with that round of bidding. 105 components seem trusty to me. but is going LX better for the rear derailer than 105? (please excuse what may seem as ignorance to you boys for you'll see much of it coming from me i'm afraid) i'm still learning about gearing...do many go for a 11-34 jump...that makes for lower gearing right? you made it sound like its a bit excessive but i weight about 50 pounds more than you at the moment...200lbs (although i belong at 185lbs) and i'm almost 6'.
anyways, i could ramble on but i would tire your all out if i haven't already.
oh yeah, thanks for the comments on Pasela Tourguard tires. any body have a rec. on a better touring tire?
thanks again,
ty hall
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Old 08-26-04, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Revtor
Researching and setting up the bike was alot of fun, but not nearly as much as being out on tour. Check the attached pic, thats what its all about. Being so far away from where everyone else you know is and getting there crank by crank, mile by mile. adventure. emotions. marvellous.
Beautiful post, beautiful pic. Thank you.
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Old 08-26-04, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by schooltheworld
similarly, one reason i'm not too sure i want to commit to the lht instead of say, bruce gordon's blt, is for the same reason...it's been around longer. i'm sure it very well might prove to be a great bike (it looks great) but the blt has been around longer (...comments on the blt anybody...). i don't want to be the one that responds to my own questions about the reliability of the lht with a negative instead of a positive. no-one out there seems to have gone a long way on this bike fully loaded yet (at least i can't find anyone). i like material proven with time; that's one of the things that makes research rewardable. i'll might still purchase the lht but i don't have the funds to be the first to try it out and then find it's not as sweet on the road as it is on display.
While the LHT is new enough to not have much of a track record, I think if you look around at what people say about the other Surly models, you will hear the word "bombproof" thrown around a lot by people who treat their bikes like they were made to be ridden. I'm not trying to talk you out of the Bruce Gordon, just saying that Surly does have a rep for building bikes that are, if nothing else, sturdy and reliable. What I would be more concerned about would be the fit and ride characteristics of the two bikes and how they match your body and preferences.
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Old 08-26-04, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelpot
What I would be more concerned about would be the fit and ride characteristics of the two bikes and how they match your body and preferences.
this is the area where i still need to learn much. i don't know any numbers save the size frame i ride (56) and their corresponding wheel size. i am still confused at how one of two great bikes (like the lht or blt) can suit one person better than the another. it doesn't seem like the frames really differ that much at all. i have longer than average arms, longer legs than torso and i almost 6'. don't i just adjust the height of my handlebars and saddle to my preference and leave it at that?? i guess i have been mainly just looking at the components in my shopping and haven't done enough research on frame design vs. my body's design. i have just recently come to the conclusion (like one or two posts ago on this thread) that i don't have the money or, more importantly, the knowledge to put a bike together piece by piece so i am looking for what's better on the frame: surly's lht component package as is or bruce's blt as is. the blt is like $1604 w/out racks from bruces website and i've been quoted $1509 at my bike shop for the lht also w/out racks but with surly's stock components (i'll paste the links for both the lht's and blt's components at the bottom for comparison). i think you're right gravelpot, i believe the lht to be bombproof from what i've read, and i also think that about the blt. i have limited myself to paying around 1800-1900 dollars to get the bike with racks on the road even though i would like to do it cheeper (i'm still looking at that link for the shimano set on ebay that's posted above but it doesn't mention what the gearing is, only that it's a six speed on the cassette...and i would like a second opinion on whether it is better to purchase that or surly or bruce's stock components even though it costs more).
so anyways, it now seems to be down to finding the best components and somehow finding out which frame would suit me better...??
sorry if i've mislead, but like i mentioned, i am kind of learning what decisions i should make as i progress through this thread. i have truly been learning tons and much appreciate the advice.

striving to be independent...but not there yet,
ty hall

component comparison:
B.L.T.:
https://www.bgcycles.com/blt.html

L.H.T.:
https://www.surlybikes.com/virtual_LHT.html
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Old 08-26-04, 06:42 PM
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sorry that was so long and chunky
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Old 08-27-04, 03:41 PM
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hmm the frames are probably very similar (didnt check the geometries but they both are well thought out and sorted for loaded touring.) and the prices come in at around the same.. so look at the components, and listen to your heart.. which do you like more? picking a bike for frame color is OK! youre going to have it for years so go for your heart and eye's favorite. parts can always be changed and the frames are both pretty sweet.

both have LX rear derailleurs and cassettes.. 11-32 on both.. good sturdy stuff.
both have avid shorty 4 brakes.. these are fine, mine squeal alot on the front, maybe try different pads..Koolstop?
bars and stems and seats and posts are all kinda up to personal preference.. IF you get the shop to build the bike for you.. Bruce's preference may not be yours, but im sure all the stuff he specs is solid.
26" or 700c wheels??? going to be doing any substantial off-roading? have a personal preference?

the main difference is between the 105 STI shifters and 105 road triple on the LHT, versus the dura-ace barcons and LX mountain triple on the BaconLettuceTomato..

BLT either 26 or 700 wheels avail in all sizes.. nice to have the choice regardless of your body size. 700 gets low rider, 26 gets high rider front rack. 1" headtube and stem is. . dare I say old fasioned. each frame is avail with only 1 stem no substitutions..(dumb?) Mr Gordon is a stubborn one Ive heard!! I think a mountain triple is a bit small.. On my trip I was in my middle (38) ring most of the time and down near the smaller half of my cassette.. with a 32 middle ring I would be spinning like crazy, or most likely be using the 44 most of the time around the bigger half of the cassette... which is putting the chain in a pretty off-line position. The dura ace barcons are nice for sure though.


LHT 26" wheels for up to 54cm 700 wheels for 56 and up.. what do you like? going off road at all? more room under lowrider racks with 700 wheels... A road triple = a 30t granny ring which is probably going to be a bit big for those times you need a crawler gear.. And IIRC, modern road triples can fit no smaller than 30T as the granny, so youre stuck.. 1 1/8 headset means more choices for stems and adjustments.. this is good for fine tuning the fit. The 105 STI's are what I used and worked fine.. but the barcons would always give that peace of mind knowing that theyll work come hell or high water. I do obviously prefer STI when logging those road miles as they are easier to switch gears with quickly, but you'd get used to barcons pretty quickly. If the shop's going to build it up for ya then you can have them sub the barcons for the STI's obviously and it may even be cheaper.. ?

I solved the gearing dilemma by installing Nashbars "Trekking" crankset. 28-38-48. The bolt pattern is the older 74mm-110mm if my memory serves me correctly which gives you the option of going down to 22t on the granny and up over 50t on the big guy.. I stuck with the 28-38-48 setup and was happy.. Id probably go for a 26 next time but the 28 was a-ok. theyre nicely made, ISIS, Truvativ makes em I believe... pretty cheap too. Sheldon Brown's website is the king for gearing info, check it if you want to mull it all over for hours..

Surly is doing some racks too, you should contact them and see if you can get a set or what..

the bikes will be very similar regardless and you will love either one you decide to get. You know you have a certain . . desire for a certain one. go for that one!!! it really starts coming down to personal preference at this point.. color, image etc.. both will be great LongHaulBasicLoadedTourers!!!


~Steve

check the attached pic.. a (homeless?) guy in Montreal asleep on a bench behind his ride. WTF? and we are nitpicking over issues like 28 vs 30 tooth sprockets! lol
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Old 08-28-04, 09:06 PM
  #23  
schooltheworld
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i haven't written lately because you're last post sent me reelling into a galaxy of research revtor. thanks for that. i'm still in the middle of it (i've got seven windows up at once on my browser at the moment...anyone been there so i don't have my questions organized to write down yet, but i am curious why you chose your Poprod, how much it cost you (the cost of frame plus what you put on it), and the decision process you went through. did you look at the trek 520? if you did why did you not go with the 520? i've come full circle and started looking at that bike again simply because of The Cost ... and the similarity it seems to have to quite a few of the components on the LHT LX D.railer;11-32 cassette, 52-42-30 crankset, and i want the dura ace bar-end shifters it provides.

the main thing i'm researching at this moment is gearing. the LHT and the trek 520 have the same stock gearing and many, including yourself...
30t granny ring which is probably going to be a bit big for those times you need a crawler gear
... have said this may not be low enough for going up hills (say on the road from seattle to my home in alaska...ahh, i can't wait) while having a full load. however, everyone is different. i'm not saying i'm a supa bad dude or anything but i have do strong legs from my main sport soccer. however, again, i have never done a "real" tour yet (just a few couple hundred mile trips on my sorry mountain bike), sooo...i might want to play it safe with a lower gear set-up, say like a 24-32 combination or maybe 26-32, or maybe...28-34. i donno, i think i need to test ride something with one or two of the above combos and then see. but that's kinda hard to do. what do you think? i'll have more later, i am so sure of it.
thanks again for your great replies.
ty hall
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Old 08-29-04, 02:09 PM
  #24  
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Hate to jump in like this but just a quick low budget question. I have an old Centurion lemans frame ,tange 2 tubes with a tange cromoly fork, and a box of parts. The geometry is very stable, would not attempt a criterium as you cannot turn it fast enough. Thinking about building a tourer ,would this frame be appropriate? Can respace the rear, I just hate to let it sit there and collect dust.
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Old 08-31-04, 08:17 AM
  #25  
schooltheworld
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wish i could help.
i know there are others out there that can however.
maybe try starting your own thread with that question...
good luck.
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