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Negative Opinions on Surly LHT?

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Negative Opinions on Surly LHT?

Old 06-22-10, 05:56 PM
  #1  
spooner
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Negative Opinions on Surly LHT?

Hi

I've done a lot of reading on this forum and other sites trying to determine the best first touring bike for me. I have a budget of a little over $1000 for the bike. I'll add the extras in the spring.

I narrowed the list down to about 5.

Without getting into the other 4 the Surly LHT is always well-regarded. So much so it almost seems like there has been some massive spell put over people. Surely (pun?) no bike can be that well-respected by all?

Even when I visited my LBS and I talked about the 5 bikes I had narrowed the list down to he only paused on one other bike. After that pause he said, 'the Surly is the touring bike for you.'

So all that being said, can someone please give me the negative aspects of the LHT? I'm not really talking about the aluminum vs steel thing. Are there basic design issues? Are the stock wheels bad? Are there fundamental problems with the LHT? Or is it just that damn good?
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Old 06-22-10, 06:04 PM
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dahut
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Ive never heard anything bad that matters. That could be considered recommendation enough
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Old 06-22-10, 06:08 PM
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kayakdiver
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Horrible bike




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Old 06-22-10, 06:08 PM
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10 Wheels
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LHT

http://www.youtube.com/user/lurksmar...08/YXcj03dd-r4
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Old 06-22-10, 06:11 PM
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AFAIK, there's no option for horizontal dropouts to use an internally geared hub without a tensioner pulley. More of a wish list item than an actual flaw.
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Old 06-22-10, 06:30 PM
  #6  
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Ok some people don't like the colors.
There's no kickstand mounting bracket.
The saddle it comes with is horrible.
Thats about it.

I like most of the colors.
There is other ways to mount a kickstand.
And I use a Brooks saddle anyways.
For me there's not much to not like about it,even the price is good.
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Old 06-22-10, 06:32 PM
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Here are some reviews which generally support my limited experience riding one and opinions I've heard from a few tourers that have owned one. http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...5_5675crx.aspx Basically a good, sturdy, reliable, inexpensive and easy to upgrade standard geo. touring bike that can be fitted with almost any grouset and wheel combo. Also a little heavier and slower than some more expensive frames but this may not be a priority for everyone.

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Old 06-22-10, 07:38 PM
  #8  
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In my opinion, there's nothing bad about the LHT (other than the colors!), but there's nothing that would lead me to believe it's as exceptional as people seem to think. On paper, all of the Far East manufactured chro-moly touring bikes (LHT, Soma Saga, Windsor Tourist, etc) look pretty identical...
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Old 06-22-10, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
My 150 or so miles on Mine and limited experience with other touring bikes/ road bikes I would agree with that video... its more comfy then a road bike some of the other tour bikes I tested and built like a tank (I'm ruff on stuff so I knew I needed a good solid bike) ... I personally love mine but take that with a grain of salt as I'm still in the honeymoon phase...

Mike
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Old 06-22-10, 08:49 PM
  #10  
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I wanted a LHT but it wasn't in the budget this year. I really needed a more relaxed geometry bike to commute on. I rode the LHT and I was really in LOVE but other things had to take priority. The remodel on the upstairs ran double what I predicted so I had to go with a less expensive bike. I got the Windsor Tourist and I really am enamored with this bike but if I the money would have been there I would have a LHT in my garage right now. I can't find anything I don't like about them and I'm thinkin I'm going to change my sti's to barends next year. You can't go wrong if you get one. On the other hand I have been able to get a lot of other accessories I couldn't have gotten if I had bought the LHT.
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Old 06-22-10, 09:10 PM
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I've used my LHT for commuting, 20 miles round trip for a little over a year. It has 2200 miles on it and has been absolutely trouble free. I changed the saddle (Fizik Aliante) and brake pads (Kool Stop) and added Axiom bags and SKS fenders. It's a poor man's Rivendell.

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Old 06-22-10, 10:31 PM
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When I was looking for a touring frame (a year or so ago), I looked hard at the LHT, but decided against it for two reasons. 1) In my large size, 26" wheels were not available (since changed). 2) I wanted disc brakes, and LHT's are not set up for them.
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Old 06-22-10, 10:44 PM
  #13  
imi
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I believe the TT is relatively long, so if you have long legs and short upper body, this may give you fit problems... So maybe not optimal for lots of women
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Old 06-22-10, 11:01 PM
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What's wrong with the color? Not quite finished yet- cut headtube, fenders and racks
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Old 06-22-10, 11:21 PM
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My only problem with it is that the vintage bikes it is ostensibly paying tribute to can be had for a fraction of the price. Touring isn't like racing, where the technology has changed completely in 20 years. Most of what goes on a LHT is essentially the same stuff that went on touring bikes 25 years ago.

But this isn't really a negative opinion on the LHT either.
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Old 06-23-10, 12:24 AM
  #16  
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Surly LHT is rather pricey ($1100 msrp) compared to similarly equipped bike. Quality of components is good, except for the Alex rim, seat post, and saddle (more profit margin for Surly). I would rather have Mavic A319. Paint job is vastly inferior to my 1995 Cannondale R600. . Similarly equipped bikes from other vendors like Diamondback can be had for 3/4 of the price.

I rode a buddy's LHT with some gears. Handling was okay, but not stellar. The bike flexes too much for high speed riding. Feels like a chick bike. Get a Brooks Flyer if you want to smooth out road bumps. The frame of a good touring bike should not flex when carrying a full load.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:24 AM
  #17  
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The worst thing about my LHT is my other bikes tend to get ridden less than they should.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:44 AM
  #18  
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The Surly "stock" LHT build leaves some things to be desired: particularly the saddle, brakes, rims, and tires. The frame though, unto itself, is the best thing that you'll get for the money, and leaves little room for criticism.

Well, actually, I really $%#@ing hate Surly's silly decals, but those come off easily enough. Oh, and Surly paint jobs are, as furballi pointed out, not the best. This is of little consequence though.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:57 AM
  #19  
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Can the breaks easily be changed to Canti brakes?

z
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Old 06-23-10, 05:02 AM
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The decals are cheesy, but I just took mine off the first week. I built mine up from scraps, so mine didn't come with a crappy saddle -- I use a b17.

It's a bit heavy, but it's also a good value and a great bike. I have no complaints. I use mine mostly for city commuting and occasional long distance rides....not really doing any touring.
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Old 06-23-10, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by spooner View Post
Hi


So all that being said, can someone please give me the negative aspects of the LHT? I'm not really talking about the aluminum vs steel thing. Are there basic design issues? Are the stock wheels bad? Are there fundamental problems with the LHT? Or is it just that damn good?
the stock wheels are good. Just because the rims aren't more expensive Mavic rims or they're straight gauge instead of butted doesn't make them bad. Until someone comes up with A/B destructive testing I doubt a more expensive A719 rim and butted spokes is stronger than the heavier Alex rim. It's conceivable the heavier Alex rim will last longer. That the larger LHT come in 26" and 700C makes the LHT better in that it offers more choices.

I think it's an excellent value, the basic design is sound. The only reason for not getting one is if you don't need a bike that's designed for carrying front/back panniers or you're a light person who's not carrying a lot and prefer a more road bike like handling. I could imagine if I was a 125lb person carrying 30lbs of gear it would be heavier than I wanted.

Last edited by LeeG; 06-23-10 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:34 AM
  #22  
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For me, the LHT geometry is far from ideal. The top tubes are too long and the head tubes are too short. To fit on a LHT, I would either need to buy one size too small and use a bunch of spacers to raise the handlebars high enough, or buy a larger frame that would stretch me out too much. It is also heavier than some competing frames.

For my purposes, the Soma Saga is a much better frame for only slightly more money. It's geometry is perfect for me, so I wouldn't need a 4" stack of spacers to get the handlebars level with the saddle. It has all of the features of a LHT, and is made from better, lighter steel. Unfortunately, the Saga was not available when I bought a touring frame 1-1/2 years ago, so I ordered a Bob Jackson World Tour from England. It was a little more expensive than a LHT, but the geometry suited me much better and I could get it painted in any color. It is also at least 1 lb. lighter than the LHT, even though it is a lugged frame.

I'm not a LHT hater and feel like it is an incredible value -- if the geometry fits you. But I've learned the hard way that if the "shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it."
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Old 06-23-10, 06:58 AM
  #23  
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The LHT looked great to me, but the Nashbar touring frame looked great too, and for 1/4 the price. My nashie rides great, looks great, and even gets compliments from the bike shop guys every time I bring it in, even though I ordered it from the internet.

I haven't ridden the LHT though... so I can't say for sure I wouldn't love it just as much.
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Old 06-23-10, 07:41 AM
  #24  
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I'm in the same boat as Stringbreaker. Opted for he Windsor Tourist at a significant savings. it seems to be the same frame as a Fuji Tourer - perhaps made in the same facility? I'll be changing to barcons soon and am looking for a better wheelset. Actually, I need only the front wheel, as I already have a CXP22 on a 9-speed 105 hub laying around.

So far, the Windsor frame is working for me, but if I get tired of it, I"ll probably get a LHT frame and move the stuff over.
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Old 06-23-10, 07:45 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by azesty View Post
Can the breaks easily be changed to Canti brakes?

z
They are cantis. The LHT can take traditional cantis and v-brakes, but not road calipers or disc brakes.
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