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Negative Opinions on Surly LHT?

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Negative Opinions on Surly LHT?

Old 07-03-10, 07:36 PM
  #126  
JeanM
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Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
My wife just got hers. My only real gripe is that the stock brakes Surly tosses on there are garbage on this bike. I know that 50 people will chime in and say those brakes are great.
That's very unlikely: those breaks are the very first thing people will change if they ever get a chance. I mean they are usable but just and not even for everyone. The guys at Surly are great on many accounts and somewhat pig headed on some. To my taste they could add a kickstand plate, choose better tires and replace those breaks. That would make a vast improvement for the LHT complete.
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Old 07-03-10, 09:01 PM
  #127  
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That this post has gotten so much interest is a testament to the popularity of the LHT. My hope is that other manufacturers will follow Surly's lead by offering high-quality, relatively low-cost touring bikes. Of course, it puts even more pressure on the independent bike builders to have to compete with the Walmart of bike component sellers. Some of the criticism of the LHT that I have read here is really quite ridiculous, a complete LHT retails for $1100. Most decent touring framesets start at $900. Come on people, stop nit-picking and just appreciate the fact that you have a nice product at a good price and deal with the warts.
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Old 07-03-10, 10:50 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by spooner View Post
Which is why I specifically asked for negative comments. Trying to get past the hype and to the real issues of the bike.


I've bought and sold a number of touring rigs. I've tried all sorts of flavours and upgraded/modified them in many ways. My LHT is the oldest bike in my fleet and the one I've modified the least over the years. It just works. I've had sexier, cooler, "better" touring bikes - and I've also sold them and kept the LHT.

I can't really imagine what I'd do to test touring bikes more thoroughly given that I do have to earn the money I spend on these bikes so I can't buy every single touring rig out there.

Ride what you want...I'll keep rolling on my LHT...

BTW - I should note that I bought my LHT as a frame/fork back when they didn't order complete bikes. My build isn't particularly revolutionary, but it's not the same as the current batch of complete bikes.
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Old 07-04-10, 01:23 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by JeanM View Post
That's very unlikely: those breaks are the very first thing people will change if they ever get a chance. I mean they are usable but just and not even for everyone. The guys at Surly are great on many accounts and somewhat pig headed on some. To my taste they could add a kickstand plate, choose better tires and replace those breaks. That would make a vast improvement for the LHT complete.
Absolutely. Brakes are crap. Any suggestions for replacements? And I have changed the pads to Salmons, and set them up as per SBs website. Actually, I can manage with my larger hands, but my wife finds it difficult to get enough leverage [she has the smaller levers too] to stop on steep slopes unloaded. Hate to think how she would manage a loaded bike.
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Old 07-04-10, 05:36 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Absolutely. Brakes are crap. Any suggestions for replacements?
I went for V-brakes, Deore. Since I use trekking bars and MTB levers it was an easy choice. However, that would mean a change of levers too or the use of Travel Agents for you with your drop bars. V-brakes will stop any load pretty much effortlessly.
There has to be better cantis than those offered. This discussion on the LHT & CC Google Group seems to offer alternatives (starting at the top). I can't help you there myself. The only advantage of the cantis for a tourer is that they can deal with a wobly rim, in case that you break a spoke and can't fix it right away. V-brakes can't be set with enough clearance to cope with that problem.
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Old 07-04-10, 08:05 AM
  #131  
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If you want a canti with better stopping power, try a wide profile type. There's lots to choose... from Velo Orange's offerings to Tektro's CR-720, to all the other Mafac copies by Origin8, TRP and others.
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Old 07-04-10, 08:44 AM
  #132  
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I had problems with the seat post slipping and replaced it. Mine came with that sort of curved clamp at the top. Also the stock tires were soon replaced with Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. I also swapped the brakes for Vs over the stock cantis (requiring a new set of levers). A sprung Brooks soon replaced the supplied saddle. I am a Clydesdale and this likely is the source of some of the problems. Overall I love it. The Surly racks are superb!
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Old 07-04-10, 11:31 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Absolutely. Brakes are crap. Any suggestions for replacements? And I have changed the pads to Salmons, and set them up as per SBs website. Actually, I can manage with my larger hands, but my wife finds it difficult to get enough leverage [she has the smaller levers too] to stop on steep slopes unloaded. Hate to think how she would manage a loaded bike.
I used these
http://www.bikeman.com/BR1226.html

and these

http://www.bikeman.com/BTI-RD1250.html

works great. I could be wrong but it seems like linear pull brakes are more tolerant of misaligned shoes so you might think of them for her bike. While I could make the stock Oryx brakes work ok the Interloc have more leverage.
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Old 07-04-10, 01:10 PM
  #134  
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1) No lugs.
2) No old Suntour components
3) No 27" wheels

My touring bike has all 3

Oh, did I mention no old center pull brake calipers?
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Old 07-05-10, 10:06 AM
  #135  
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I have wide profile cantis (Tektro 720's) on my 50cm LHT and love them, but I have to run my rear panniers farther back than I would if I used narrow profile cantis or V-brakes. Also, I don't run a front rack and I don't think that there is any front rack that would allow panniers with cantilevers as wide as the Tektro 720s.

I would try V-brakes, but I would have to swap levers or get travel agents. I also agree that it's easier to deal with mechanical issues with Cantis.

Every component choice is a trade off, with advantages and disadvantages. From what I see, it looks like Surly went with reliability and ease of repair. The brakes they chose are easy to find replacements for, and will fit under most, if not all front and rear racks.

It would be absurd for Surly to sell a touring bike that couldn't mount front and rear racks. Wide profile cantis stock - out of the question.
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Old 07-05-10, 10:51 AM
  #136  
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I looked at the Surly LHT in May, but I wound up buying a Novara Randonee. My LBS wanted $1159 for the Surly. He's a Trek dealer so he had the 520, but for $1279. While on a trip in Oregon, I checked out the Randonee for $999, but with my REI membership and the use of my REI visa, the bike wound up costing me $850, though I have to wait until next year for my dividend. The Randonee appeared to have all around better components and came with a rack. Plus, is was considerably cheaper. My LBS says he can't understand why people ask him about the LHT. He says the Trek 520 is a better bike with better components. Of course, he's a Trek dealer, but the Surly has some lesser quality components as this thread has pointed. But it all comes down to what you like. I'm sure all these bikes will last a long time. My son, who is in college in Seattle, rides my old touring bike, a Seki, with original components and loves it. I bought this bike in 1986. I think I paid around $300 for it. Apparently a well-built bicycle.
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Old 07-05-10, 11:00 AM
  #137  
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It's funny, I was musing on the brakes I switched off of the LHT as I was riding along on my Cross-Check. "I think I sold them on my old bike", then I looked down and the ones on my CrossCheck were the Tektro Oryx from the LHT. They work perfectly well. I've got a wide yoke down near the fenders, pads adjusted just right and can stop modulate brake control just fine with plenty of stopping power requiring less hand effort than good old Campy calipers on a road bike.
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Old 07-05-10, 11:50 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
I have wide profile cantis (Tektro 720's) on my 50cm LHT and love them, but I have to run my rear panniers farther back than I would if I used narrow profile cantis or V-brakes. Also, I don't run a front rack and I don't think that there is any front rack that would allow panniers with cantilevers as wide as the Tektro 720s.
a set up that seems to make a lot of sense is wide profile cantis in the front and low profile in the back since the front brake is the more important one.
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Old 07-12-10, 12:24 PM
  #139  
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Are these the wide 720's?

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Old 07-12-10, 09:06 PM
  #140  
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Yes, those are the 720s. Great stopping power but the panniers have to ride farther back. Some people don't like this but I hardly notice the difference.
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Old 07-12-10, 09:20 PM
  #141  
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Part of the problem is that the Tektro cable hanger seemed to flex quite a bit, wasting a lot of energy. Anyhow, my shop was happy to swap them out for some V-brakes, and just charged me for the labor. My wife is very happy now that the minor annoyance is fixed.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:06 PM
  #142  
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I hate my LHT
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SSL21827 [HDTV (720&.jpg (103.8 KB, 86 views)
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Old 07-13-10, 05:48 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by that-guy View Post
Are these the wide 720's?



Really?! That just looks... unsafe to me for some reason. Like it would be VERY possible to accidentally get one or both arms of your brake caught in something (rear panniers, etc) and disabled. Or damaged if it ends up caught in something when you lean your bike up against the aforementioned something.
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Old 07-13-10, 06:25 AM
  #144  
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the tektro oryx canti brakes are good value and work well if set up properly. if the straddle cable carrier (pic) is set too high there won't be enough mechanical advantage to stop without a ham-fisted pull. set the carrier as low as reasonably possible and you'll be totally surprised and happy with them. for me, the straddle cable which came with the oryx (pic) is either too short or too long (can't remember which, but either way it didn't work satisfactorily). replace with standard straddle cable (pic)

sheldon brown wrote a detailed article on canti brake geometry (link) which unfortunately IMO is unnecessarily complicated.

Last edited by benda18; 07-13-10 at 06:28 AM. Reason: add further detail
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Old 07-13-10, 08:44 AM
  #145  
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Thanks for the info. I haven't rubbed it or caught it on anything yet. Not even on full rear bags. They don't hit before the seat if I lean it on something. Ya'll keep on worrying though.
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Old 07-13-10, 09:49 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by benda18 View Post
the tektro oryx canti brakes are good value and work well if set up properly. for me, the straddle cable which came with the oryx is either too short or too long (can't remember which, but either way it didn't work satisfactorily). replace with standard straddle cable (pic)
.
exactly right. I replaced the regular straddle cable and carrier/yoke with a wider one then adjusted the carrier to barely touching the fender. I might have had to adjust spacers on the brake pad posts. Plenty of braking power.
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Old 07-13-10, 11:46 AM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
exactly right. I replaced the regular straddle cable and carrier/yoke with a wider one then adjusted the carrier to barely touching the fender. I might have had to adjust spacers on the brake pad posts. Plenty of braking power.
Though, the Tekro brake pads leave a lot to be desired!
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Old 07-13-10, 12:36 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by JeanM View Post
That's very unlikely: those breaks are the very first thing people will change if they ever get a chance. I mean they are usable but just and not even for everyone. The guys at Surly are great on many accounts and somewhat pig headed on some. To my taste they could add a kickstand plate, choose better tires and replace those breaks. That would make a vast improvement for the LHT complete.
Actually I find that Tektro Oryx brakes work fine for me and I have toured where there was some pretty heavy duty descending. I have to wonder if folks have their straddle cables set too long or have them adjusted poorly in some other way. The o.e.m. pads were less than optimum, but not bad enough that I would replace them until they wore out.

Edit:
I should have noted that I do not have the straddle cable shown on benda18's link, so I may not have the oem straddle cable. looking at the Tektro page it looks to me as if their stock straddle cable is too long for good performance. Also I should mention that I do not have them on an LHT.

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Old 07-13-10, 02:37 PM
  #149  
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Indeed. I was totally unaware of the straddle wire importance. Had I known... too late.
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Old 07-13-10, 03:13 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
I have wide profile cantis (Tektro 720's) on my 50cm LHT and love them, but I have to run my rear panniers farther back than I would if I used narrow profile cantis or V-brakes. Also, I don't run a front rack and I don't think that there is any front rack that would allow panniers with cantilevers as wide as the Tektro 720s.
Check out the Tubus Duo front rack.
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