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My LHT Specs-Any Feedback Appreciated

Old 02-08-11, 10:48 AM
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My LHT Specs-Any Feedback Appreciated

As soon as I get my tax return I'm going to buy a Blue 56" 2011 Surly LHT, complete bike, with the following specs:

Black Brooks seat
Either the Tubus Logo or Surly rear rack(leaning heavily toward the Surly
Surly front rack(I like the flat space on the front, the Tubus doesn't have it, Racktime has little capacity), Black
Ortlieb front and rear Roller Classic, Blue
Brooks Leather Seat and Leather Handlebar wrap(Black)
SKS fenders(black)
Forte Campus pedals(I know they are cheap but I really like 'em!)

May go with the stock Contact tires, but thinking of the Cont Town and Country Tires.

The bike will be used for local commuting as well as long distance touring-Austin, TX to Little Rock in September. It is my first touring bike, it replaces an 1989 Centurion Sport Delux that has served me well.

Misc-front and rear LEDs that fit in the rack fittings for the lights, speedometer, probably Cateye.

Any feedback you have is appreciated.
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Old 02-08-11, 11:07 AM
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dont waste your money on the surly front rack.

heavy, crappy (breaks),
and you don't need a platform. You only think you do. IF you cant live without it, you can always add a small nitto or nashbar platform later.

but its really easy to live without one.

get a tubus front that is half the weight, with a higher load rating.
Or OMM,
or anything else.

the tubus rear rack is far better than the surly rear rack as well. lighter, stronger, better design.

other than that, it looks great- look for brooks tape and saddle from SJS cycles (or wiggle) in the UK- you'll save around a hundred bucks on those two items alone...
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Old 02-08-11, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by c3hamby
As soon as I get my tax return I'm going to buy a Blue 56" 2011 Surly LHT, complete bike, with the following specs:

Black Brooks seat
Either the Tubus Logo or Surly rear rack(leaning heavily toward the Surly
Surly front rack(I like the flat space on the front, the Tubus doesn't have it, Racktime has little capacity), Black
Ortlieb front and rear Roller Classic, Blue
Brooks Leather Seat and Leather Handlebar wrap(Black)
SKS fenders(black)
Forte Campus pedals(I know they are cheap but I really like 'em!)

May go with the stock Contact tires, but thinking of the Cont Town and Country Tires.

The bike will be used for local commuting as well as long distance touring-Austin, TX to Little Rock in September. It is my first touring bike, it replaces an 1989 Centurion Sport Delux that has served me well.

Misc-front and rear LEDs that fit in the rack fittings for the lights, speedometer, probably Cateye.

Any feedback you have is appreciated.
I've never been a fan of rear lowriders. Not since reading the original Bicycling magazine test of touring bike loading back when Bicycling was about bicycling and not just a racing magazine. The upshot of their article was that a lowrider in the front with a high mounted load in the rear handled great, a high mounted load front and rear didn't handle as well, a heavy load on the back handled like an unruly bull and a lowrider front and rear was in between the rear mounted load and the high mounted front and rear.

I've tried a Japanese tourist's bike with low-riders front and rear and it was squirrelly. A lowrider/high rear load handled much better.

I'd not use black or dark pannier on anything if I could avoid it. Even red panniers kind of disappear against most backgrounds. I know the urge is to match the bike but you want to stick out, not blend in...especially in city environments. Go for the yellow ones. They stick out better and, if they clash with the bike's color, the fashion police will notice you. Being noticed is better than being squished
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Old 02-08-11, 11:27 AM
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Thanks Positron for the input on the Surly racks. They break? Good to know. I know they are a bit heavier than the Tubus. I keep going back and forth with that.

And thanks Cyco for the feedback on the color. Yes, I do want to look good! I have seen yellow on other panniers, and what you are saying makes sense. The color is something else I've been going back and forth on, used to prefer the SKS chrome plastic.
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Old 02-08-11, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by positron
dont waste your money on the surly front rack.

heavy, crappy (breaks),
Really, where's that documented. I've only heard good things about the Surly racks, other then they are heavy.
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Old 02-08-11, 12:11 PM
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Sounds good. Other, more touring-experienced posters will have better feedback on the racks, but Positron's comments are not the first negative ones I've read re: the Surly racks.

Also, unless you're fifteen feet tall, you might want to stick with a 56cm LHT frame. 56" is probably a bit big.
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Old 02-08-11, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR
Really, where's that documented. I've only heard good things about the Surly racks, other then they are heavy.

multiple threads here and on other sites about them failing.

please see: search function.

Bad design leads to bracket failure... after many failures reported to surly, brackets replaced with "sturdier" brackets. Time will tell.
Bad design retained, please see: overbuilt (heavy), yet non-triangulated rack cantilevering entire load behind and away from eyelet using separate mounting brackets... lame attempt to maximize compatibility with different bikes at the expense of strength.
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Old 02-08-11, 03:57 PM
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Thanks! I really like the heavy duty look of those Surly Racks. But, everybody I talk to says no, so no different here.

Just need one more fax form.
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Old 02-08-11, 04:32 PM
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dont waste your money on the surly front rack.
A second, small top of the wheel rack, which bolts on the ends of the cantilever bosses, works fine,
other 3rd bolt: thru the fork crown , holds the mudguard on , on the back side.
I've never been a fan of rear lowriders.
Tubus Logo is just a couple inches below the top of the rack , and triangulated for stiffness.
more of importance is it lets the rear bags sit back a ways for heel clearance.
Packing the back rollers the top of the bags is still a bit above the top of the center of the rack. I have the top Hooks pushed forward in its slots,
so the bags are shifted rearward, the back hook is behind the back strut of the center portion of the Logo..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-09-11 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 02-08-11, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by positron
dont waste your money on the surly front rack.

heavy, crappy (breaks),
and you don't need a platform. You only think you do. IF you cant live without it, you can always add a small nitto or nashbar platform later.

but its really easy to live without one.

get a tubus front that is half the weight, with a higher load rating.
Or OMM,
or anything else.

the tubus rear rack is far better than the surly rear rack as well. lighter, stronger, better design.

other than that, it looks great- look for brooks tape and saddle from SJS cycles (or wiggle) in the UK- you'll save around a hundred bucks on those two items alone...
I have to disagree a bit on the front surly rack. It seems as if the old mounting bracket had a problem and has been changed. I use my top platform all the time including touring and grocery getting. Right now I am looking at a bag of corn (for the outdoor animals) strapped to it. I have used it to transport a little firewood while on tour and carrying a 12 pack of my favorite ale on it is done every weekend. So for the record mine hasn't broke and I find the platform useful.
As for the rear rack I have a nice rack and wish I would have bought a tubus.
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Old 02-08-11, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by iforgotmename
As for the rear rack I have a nice rack and wish I would have bought a tubus.
Spill the beans, why do you wish you had gotten the Tubus?
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Old 02-08-11, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by c3hamby
Spill the beans, why do you wish you had gotten the Tubus?
I'd like to be able to mount my panniers below the platform, other than that no real problems.
Are you getting a 700 or a 26? I have a 56cm 26" 2010...great bike.
The reason I got a 26 is that I had a bomber set of handbuilt wheels on my old frame and I wanted a to builda 29er.
Karate monkey
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Old 02-08-11, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by iforgotmename
I'd like to be able to mount my panniers below the platform, other than that no real problems.
Are you getting a 700 or a 26? I have a 56cm 26" 2010...great bike.
The reason I got a 26 is that I had a bomber set of handbuilt wheels on my old frame and I wanted a to builda 29er.
Karate monkey
Ok, thanks for sharing that. I've got a picture on my desk of one in blue that has the Tubus front and rear rack, and they look good. Once you get it loaded, can't see the racks really anyway.

700. I don't really plan on going overseas, and if I do, I'll just get Trucker Deluxe before I go.

Eventually I want to get a Pacer frame and put on that all the parts from my Centurion.
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Old 02-09-11, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by positron
multiple threads here and on other sites about them failing.

please see: search function. .
Why don't you just provide the facts when you post if you have them instead of references to "search function".
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Old 02-09-11, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by c3hamby
As soon as I get my tax return I'm going to buy a Blue 56" 2011 Surly LHT, complete bike, with the following specs:

Black Brooks seat
Either the Tubus Logo or Surly rear rack(leaning heavily toward the Surly
Surly front rack(I like the flat space on the front, the Tubus doesn't have it, Racktime has little capacity), Black
Ortlieb front and rear Roller Classic, Blue
Brooks Leather Seat and Leather Handlebar wrap(Black)
SKS fenders(black)
Forte Campus pedals(I know they are cheap but I really like 'em!)

May go with the stock Contact tires, but thinking of the Cont Town and Country Tires.

The bike will be used for local commuting as well as long distance touring-Austin, TX to Little Rock in September. It is my first touring bike, it replaces an 1989 Centurion Sport Delux that has served me well.

Misc-front and rear LEDs that fit in the rack fittings for the lights, speedometer, probably Cateye.

Any feedback you have is appreciated.
For the front roller I'd go for the plus instead of classic as the softer fabric rolls over more easily and having hand adjustable brackets makes moving them around to different racks easy. If this is a 700c LHT it'll ride better with low riders than top mounted panniers. I had a 56cm 700c LHT and replaced it with a 26"wheeled one because the toe overlap with fenders and "wheel flop" was objectionable to me. Regarding front loads the 700c version handles it better with low riders than top mounted panniers. If you like blue go with blue, if visibility is a concern then simply wear a flourescent yellow/green vest ALL THE TIME. My $.02 is that there's more of a handling problem with far aft mounted loads and loose loads than low mounted loads on the rear rack. I liked the second set of rails on rear racks so I had a set brazed onto a Surly Cargo rack. A small front rack with gear on top is preferable to any handlebar mounted bag.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:02 AM
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Just another vote for the Tubus racks. I also agonized over the decision between Surly and Tubus. My buddy went with Surly, and as much as I like most of their products, the racks don't do it for me. The Tubus (I went with the Cargo and Tara) racks are much more elegant. They're a pleasure to install because the hardware is so well-designed. With front and rear panniers and a handlebar bag I had plenty of space. Like you, the main thing that drew me to the Surly front rack was the platform, but in practice I never had a need for it.

IMHO, the Tubus racks "feel" like the result of a very well-designed and carefully refined-through-experience product, whereas the Surly racks "feel" like they were built to meet one's "idea" of what he'd like in a rack.
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Old 02-09-11, 08:51 AM
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Mounting the panniers below the platform on the rear has an advantage - the ability to easily mount both panniers and a rack trunk. I've often had to thread the straps of my rack trunk between the tubes of the rack and the tops of the panniers and it's a hassle. However, if Stuart is right that having lowriders would cause it to be squirrely, I'd think that would trump the convenience I just mentioned. I seldom have cause to want both the panniers and the trunk mounted at once.

I have a Tubus Cargo on the back and love it. It's solid as a rock, easy to adjust, and lighter than the Nice rack.

I had a Tubus Tara on the front and it was really nice, and quite a bit lighter than the Nice rack. Then I bought a Jandd Extreme. I think it's just as solid, and I like having the platform. I have a few small items I mount there and it's perfect.

I've also read the reports about the brackets on the Nice racks breaking. Plus, they always seemed over-engineered and too heavy to me.

I chose red Ortliebs. They don't match my Surly's blue, but I like red. They're more visible than black, but not as visible as yellow, so I guess they're a compromise, but like I said, I like red. Besides, I always wear gaudy, colorful jerseys or a high-vis yellow windbreaker when I ride.

Cheers on your new bike. If you enjoy your LHT close to as much as I do mine, you'll be a happy rider.
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Old 02-09-11, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR
Why don't you just provide the facts when you post if you have them instead of references to "search function".
The "facts" are that these racks fail, which IS what i posted.

I don't cite the particular threads, because its not my job to search out threads for you.

if you doubt the veracity of what I post, I urge you to do your own search and see the "facts" for yourself.

So as I already said, please see: search function.
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Old 02-09-11, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by positron
The "facts" are that these racks fail, which IS what i posted.

I don't cite the particular threads, because its not my job to search out threads for you.

if you doubt the veracity of what I post, I urge you to do your own search and see the "facts" for yourself.

So as I already said, please see: search function.
Go search yourself, and have fun doing it.
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Old 02-09-11, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR
Go search yourself, and have fun doing it.

Zing! Such wit!

Bravo sir!
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Old 02-09-11, 12:03 PM
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both of you, to the corner!
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Old 02-09-11, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
both of you, to the corner!
meh, whatever,
I was merely providing feedback to the OP about the racks he was considering, and the reports that they break...
Reports which are quite easy to find using the search function.

regards,
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Old 02-09-11, 02:30 PM
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Just thought I'd share this post from the other nice rack bashing thread.


Hi. I work for Surly.

We redesigned the lower front rack mount (to the thicker z-profile one shown on the first page of this thread) a few years ago when we heard about two of these breaking. We've heard about a few others since then and have always been happy to send out the new set no matter the age of the rack in question. None of the new ones have broken.

Feel free to contact us if you have an older rack. We'll fire you out a new pair just like that.

We are not perfect, but we do stand behind our designs. Thanks for all of your opinions.


Cheers,
Eric "Skip Bernet" Sovern
Surly Bikes
877-743-3191
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Old 02-09-11, 06:56 PM
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I have both front and rear Surly Nice racks and no problem with them I have use them for two years with a lot of gear on the so who ever said they are bad is full of CRAP.And I do have a Surly LHT 52cm and they don't cost that much if you know where to look or get your LBS to give you a deal on them at time of sale that's what I did.
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Old 02-09-11, 08:16 PM
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Looks like the arguement is over since surly chimed in...
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