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Considering Surly LHT's

Old 07-31-13, 08:20 PM
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Considering Surly LHT's

My wife and I started touring via our tandem 3 years ago.We just returned from a month in Denmark also with our tandem. Next year will be a 3+ month tour across and around the USA. We have started "talking" about the possibility of changing to singles. One reason is my wife would like more "space" to herself and she would like a different view than my back! Since I work PT in a LBS I can get fairly good deals on all items. I am starting to consider LHT frames and then build up the bikes to my specs. One thing I noticed was the huge use of Treking handle bars and these have an appeal. Also might consider a frame with the S&S couplings, they come sized for 26" wheels. But fom what I read recently that is not much of a concern.
Any thoughts of ideas would be appreciated!
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Old 07-31-13, 08:57 PM
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Love my trekking bars! Would love to at least be able to consider a Surly LHT. Not to mention a tour of Denmark! So, an opinion on the most minor of your concerns and envy over your other options/accomplishments! (Not sure what I could do in an lbs, but for access and repair abilities...that sounds pretty good too!)
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Old 07-31-13, 09:58 PM
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LHT Yes Trekking bar Yes

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Old 08-02-13, 01:46 PM
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My wife and I have Disk Truckers with S and S couplers. They are pretty cool. Not to discourage you, we love ours, but here are some things to consider.

The bikes have to come apart almost completely to fit in 26"x26"x10" cases. The brake levers stay on the handlebars and the front derailleur stays on the frame. Otherwise the bike is dissembled down to individual components. 30 years ago I was a bike mechanic; it took me 2 or 3 hours to disassemble and pack, then another 3-ish hours to assemble my bike recently. The bike has to go in the box "just so." I followed someone's good advice to take pictures of the case after removing each piece of the bike when we first received them. Having those pictures saved time when the bike needed to be packed. Re-assembly in a hotel room is awkward. After re-assembly you have to store the cases somewhere.

Some items like racks and fenders do not fit in the box with the bike itself.

Using Southwest airlines' $75 fee (one way) as a standard cost to ship by airline, I figure we need to travel with our bikes about 5 or 6 times to offset the cost of the couplers and cases. That is to say, we save the $75+ fee each time we ship the collapsed bikes.

We bought the 17-lb cases from the S and S people, our Disk Truckers without racks & fenders exceeded the 50-lb limit imposed by airlines. We either have to pay an additional fee for the extra weight or shift some items to another case with the racks and fenders.

All of that said we are really happy with our bikes+couplers.

https://teamcicada.com/post/559350882...ucker-in-a-box

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Old 08-02-13, 05:03 PM
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My coupled trucker, packed in the s&s hybrid case with rear rack is 49 lbs so no over charges. Since I last flew with it I changed tires and lost an additional 2 lbs.

The 26" wheels feel more twitchy without racks but feel perfect when fully loaded. They fit MUCH better in the case than 700c wheels.

it takes me <1 hour at a leisurely pace to pack and unpack my trucker. I have to pull a crank arm and rear dr. But none of that takes much time. The first time took a lot longer than an hour though.

i like drops and sti's so can't offer an opinion on trecking bars.
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Old 08-02-13, 06:17 PM
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One of our bikes is a 26" and the other is 700c. As Nephtys stated the 26" wheels do fit much better. With the 700c bike the first wheel to go in has the tire completely deflated and pulled off of one side of the rim. The second tire has to be removed completely and squished into the upper half of the case. With the 26" wheels the tires are deflated but stay on the rims .

With practice my time to disassemble/reassemble should improve. I do not know if it will ever reach the one hour range Nephtys reports, but that might not be out of the question. Last time I tried removing the pedals and leaving the cranks in place, but the rear triangle would not fit in the case. So I pulled the crank arms. In the end I pulled racks, fenders, both pedals, both crank arms, three bottle cages, a handlebar-mounted mirror, the fork, the chain, and the rear derailleur. Wrapping each piece in protective material adds time. Nothing in disassembly/reassembly is notably difficult.

This is the first bike I've purchased since the early 80s. Certain modern technologies are still a bit unfamiliar to me -- disk brakes, threadless headsets, and STI drivetrains to name the ones that matter. I proceed very carefully around those components. If you are more familiar with modern components you might cruise right past them when working on your bike. Even my current set-up times do not bother; I just plan for them. It's no big deal.
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Old 08-03-13, 02:08 PM
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Not to belabor the obvious, but are you both going to enjoy the same pace?
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Old 08-03-13, 07:14 PM
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As for the pace I will most likely carry more in panniers, maybe front and rear while my wife has only front panniers. Hopefully this will equal out the pace.
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Old 08-03-13, 09:16 PM
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My wife and I used to tour on separate bikes. Even with her bike naked and all the gear on mine, I still had to ride a lot slower than I wanted in the hills. That was why we got a tandem in the first place. One thing we did differently than almost everyone else was to put her in the captain's saddle. She gets a good view, as do I, and we can ride as fast as our legs will take us. Since I can see around her, some of the usual captain's chores are handled by the stoker (shifting, drag brake), which makes it easier for the small person to ride captain (5'6" 130# vs 6'2" 190#).

Too bad you're on the other side of the country. Otherwise, I might be able to talk my wife into letting you borrow our original tandem to see how you fare on such an arrangement (it will work for anyone between 5'4" and 6'3"). It does require a very quiet (stable) rider as stoker, but almost anyone can manage that with a bit of training on rollers. We also opted for 26" wheels on our tandems to deal with toe overlap issues. There are some other frame design issues to overcome, but any tandem builder should be able to handle them.

With that as background, here's my suggestion. If your current tandem can handle it, try having your wife ride as captain (after you perfect your technique on rollers). If it can't and you can afford to risk a couple grand, have a frame built that will allow her to captain and use as many parts from your current tandem as you can to minimize the investment. If it works out, you can then buy new bits. If it doesn't work out, then you may recoup some of the cost by reselling it.
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Old 08-04-13, 06:40 AM
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On more than one occasion my wife has said she would"never" want to be the Captain. So that issue was dealt with sometime ago.
The one thing that has changed is she has become a stronger cyclist and when we ride our road bikes she does pretty well. Granted I will always be a stronger/faster cyclist but while touring she has forced me to slow down and "smell the roses"!
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Old 08-04-13, 04:03 PM
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Just to add to the opinion of swapping the wife into captain position - My girlfriend and I have never toured on our tandem, or even done much more than 10mi in one trip for that matter, but one thing I'll throw out there is that we also do much better with her as the captain. I set ours up with the shifters and brakes on the stokers bars and another rear brake on the captain's bars in case she needs/wants it for any reason. This works out a lot better for us that the "normal" way we tried it first. I've never understood why a smaller person would want to be the stoker. They're just sitting back there doing nothing, staring at someone's back and pushing their legs. They may as well be on an exercise bike in a gym or something. I certainly wouldn't have a good time doing that. Once I switched to the rear, I can see over her anyway so I still get to look around and enjoy the sights, she can enjoy the sights, I still get to run the gears and brakes(I'm a much more experienced cyclist) which keeps me more entertained, and she gets to steer, which keeps her more entertained. Rather than me getting 100% of the enjoyment and her staring at my back, we both get to share in the fun of cycling. If she didn't want to captain before because she was somewhat afraid of it or something, maybe she'll feel differently now that she's a more experienced cyclist, and with knowing that you'd still be at the controls for shifting and most of the braking. She just gets to steer and enjoy. I say explain those things to her and see if she'll give it a shot for a few short rides around the neighborhood. Then take if from there if she finds that she likes doing more than staring at your sweaty back.
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Old 08-10-13, 04:47 AM
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What aero bars are those?
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