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Surly Long Haul Trucker - what frame size do you think I should go with?

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Surly Long Haul Trucker - what frame size do you think I should go with?

Old 07-01-14, 07:48 AM
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Surly Long Haul Trucker - what frame size do you think I should go with?

Hi! It's simple really, I'm interested in buying a Surly LHT but don't have any store nearby (as in my whole country ...) where I can try one out. My measurements are:

Lenght: 178 cm ≈ 5'10"
Pubic bone height: 86 cm

What frame size do you think I should go with? I know it isn't an exact science, but I'm interested in hearing your opinion

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:04 AM
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You should go with a 56-58 cm. I m 5'7" and I ride a 52-54 cm.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:04 AM
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If you google LHT sizing spreadsheet you'll find sizing info based on height and pubic bone height. I am 6',2" and have a 58 cm LHT. A lot of people at my height have 60 cm bikes but I just prefer the feel of a slightly smaller bike. Proportionally I have a long torso but even with the smaller size this works out OK because LHTs have long top tubes. I also use a longer stem.

Last edited by mm718; 07-01-14 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:18 AM
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The Surly Long Haul Trucker & Cross-Check Owners Group https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/surlylht has a spreadsheet with peoples' stats and what size frame they got. That may help you. Can't remember my PB, but I'm 5'10" and wear pants with a 32" inseam and ride a 58. Many folks my size would be happy with a 56, so part of fit is riding preference and style.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:57 AM
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+1 on the google spreadsheet. It's very helpful.

I'm 5'10, 88.9cm PBH and riding a 58cm LHT, which is a perfect fit for me.
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Old 07-01-14, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mm718
If you google LHT sizing spreadsheet you'll find sizing info based on height and public bone height. I am 6',2" and have a 58 cm LHT. A lot of people at my height have 60 cm bikes but I just prefer the feel of a slightly smaller bike. Proportionally I have a long torso but even with the smaller size this works out OK because LHTs have long top tubes. I also use a longer stem.
Good post as I think it's illustrative of the differences in personal preferences. I am 6'2", have a proportionally longer torso compared to my inseam (anything longer that a 33" pant inseam and I am walking on the legs), but I prefer the feel of a larger frame, so I ride the 60 cm, although I have come to the conclusion that I think I need to shorten the stock stem a bit.
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Old 07-01-14, 09:30 AM
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Old 07-01-14, 09:47 AM
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Interesting! The store I've been in contact with insists I should go with the 54 cm frame. They also say a lot of people tend to buy too large frames.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Rendar
Interesting! The store I've been in contact with insists I should go with the 54 cm frame. They also say a lot of people tend to buy too large frames.
What is their reasoning that the 54 is "just right" and other's frames are "too large"? Everyone has an opinion...

There is a trend among weight-obsessed roadies to buy the smallest frame possible, to save weight.

I say buy the frame that fits! I bet a 56 would fit you well, or maybe a 58. As others have said, pay attention to the top tube length.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:19 AM
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There are a number of factors that affect this choice so it is hard to recommend for someone else. Things like torso length vs leg length, preferred bar height, and other things make a difference in the choice.

I personally like smallish frames. I ride with my bars a lot lower than most tourists (3-4" below the bars) and I like to have my elbows bent quite a bit. I think that is part of why I find the typical sizing tourists use to be way too big to suit me.

Partly because of the head tube angle, as the bars get lower, you get more stretched out on a given frame size. As a result someone who likes to sit bolt upright will want a bigger frame than someone who rides with their bars well below the saddle.

Do you currently have a bike that you find comfortable? If so, taking some measurements of it might be helpful. I personally find my road race bike supremely comfortable and strive to match the riding posture I have on it on the bikes I tour on. Unlike me, many tourists like to ride more upright on their touring bike.

All of that may not provide any answers, but maybe it is at least food for thought.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:08 PM
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Fit depends a lot on torso/inseam proportions. IMO correct top tube length is critical for a correct fit. I am 6' and have a 89 cm PBH. I ride a 58 cm LHT which fits OK, but feel that a 56 cm frame may have fit a little better. The LHT has a long top tube which is less than optimum for folks with short arms or torso. I thought I had long legs and short torso, but after reading Vintage_Cyclist's post, I may have to rethink my perception. Surly usually ship their bikes with the steerer tubes uncut, but it would not hurt to specify to the place assembling your bike to leave it uncut. It will give you more flexibility for fit adjustments.

My daughter is just under 5' 5" and rides a 50" LHT. She looks good on the bike, and is happy with the fit.

On a professional fit that I had done several years ago, they recommended a 58 cm seat tube, and a 55 cm top tube with a 85 mm stem (or equivalent combination of TT and stem). That is a long way off from Surly's effective top tube length of 58.6 cm on their 58 cm frame. Even with a short stem, it makes the LHT TT length over an inch too long for me. It does make a difference. Fortunately, I have another good touring bike that has a shorter top tube. Consequently, I don't ride the LHT very much.

Good luck.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-01-14 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:48 PM
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What do you ride Now?

NB .. directed to Rendar ?


Me I go by top tube length Virtual if not a horizontal one ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-01-14 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
What do you ride Now?
A 2007 58 cm Bianchi Volpe. The Volpe is my favorite with almost an inch shorter TT length than the 58 cm LHT. I just picked up a new 2014 Volpe fork with an uncut steerer tube. It has all the braze-ons for front rack and fenders. The longer steerer tube allowed me to raise the bars level with the saddle, which is the primary reason I got it; the braze-ons are a bonus.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-01-14 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:47 PM
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I'm 5'9 with a 32.5 inch inseam and ride the 54cm LHT with 26 inch wheels. I did replace the stem with a 95mm adjustable one. I think the 54 or 56 would work for you, but you should definitely test ride one.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:05 PM
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I'm 6' 0" and am comfortable on a 58 cm LHT. My "guess" is you would be happy with the 56 or 58 in that order. IMO you'd be close enough that either could be tweaked a bit if needed to provide a comfortable ride.
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Old 07-03-14, 09:37 PM
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I am around 5'10" - 5'11" and I ride 56cm comfortably for me. However I would find a bike shop somewhere and at least test ride a 56 or 58 and get a feel for both even if not a Surly or even a touring bike something to give you something approximate and then once you get the bike you can adjust stack height and seat height and potentially get a new stem (longer or shorter) and make other adjustments.
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Old 07-04-14, 05:10 PM
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56 or 58.

You may be able to squeeze into a 54 but that would be a more of a modern race fit.

I ride a 61cm to 25in at 6'1
My dad rides a 54cm to 23in at 5'10

We are not built with the same proportions.
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Old 07-04-14, 05:28 PM
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You'll be able to tweak either the 56 or 58 to a perfectly comfortable fit by adjusting bar height, stem angle, and/or saddle position. Unless you match the frame builders 'standard' body proportions(few do,) you'll end up tweaking the ride. May take a lot of miles to get it just right. (Been there and done it.)

For me, top tube length is more important than standover, re torso/arm length.
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