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One bike, two roles

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One bike, two roles

Old 12-11-14, 02:04 PM
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dannwilliams
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One bike, two roles

I have a LHT that is used mainly for touring, and a little bit of casual riding. I am thinking of getting a second set of wheels built up for it to use for gravel/dirt road riding, along with cross tires. This would get me some more use for this bike than I do now. Wondering if anyone else has done the same thing. Will the LHT be "adequate" for gravel road riding? Thanks.
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Old 12-11-14, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
Will the LHT be "adequate" for gravel road riding?
What wheel set do you have now? My 2011 LHT came with Alex Adventurer rims with, I believe, XT hubs. They have served me well over many miles of unpaved roads, some of which have been quite rough and have included serious washboards. 37c tires because of the surfaces and the loads. You can see some of the roads here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2...7645062932708/

And here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2...7631162948230/

I also did the entire GAP fully loaded on 32c tires.

Last edited by indyfabz; 12-11-14 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 12-11-14, 02:31 PM
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One bike, two roles

I'm sure it will do fine on gravel trails
After that maybe another set of light, low spoke count wheels and 23mm tyres, take the racks and fenders off and you've got a racer!
And then... ... It may never end!
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Old 12-11-14, 02:39 PM
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I'm pretty sure your LHT can handle anything you throw at it. If it were me, I'd just make sure the wheels were properly tensioned, and simply get some more aggressive tires.
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Old 12-11-14, 03:01 PM
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What's wrong with the wheels and tires you have right now for gravel riding?
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Old 12-11-14, 03:05 PM
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If you have 700c wheels, you might instead use your existing wheels on gravel and get a second set for narrower road tires in the 28 to 32mm range.

I use 37mm tires on my touring wheels. Although I don't usually use that bike on gravel, those touring tires work fine on gravel.

And I got a second set of wheels that were on an unbelievable sale price. I use 28mm tires (although they measure 25mm) that take up to 120 psi and are very supple and fast that I use on that set of wheels. And additional cost for a cassette if you want to not bother switching cassette from wheel to wheel.

When I switch wheels, one set has slightly narrower rims, so I have to change brake cable adjustments. And one rear wheel appears to have the cassette slightly different distance from the dropout, I usually have to turn the cable stop adjustment for rear derailleur on the downtube a quarter turn when I switch wheels. These adjustments only take a minute, it takes more time to pump up the second set of tires than it takes to switch wheels.

When you go wheel shopping, if you are shopping for 700c, it can be a bit harder to find them with 135mm spacing, that is the only issue that would make this difficult.

But, if you have 26 inch wheels, you might be better off getting a second set of MTB wheels for gravel.
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Old 12-11-14, 03:38 PM
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Yes. I have used mine with a light load on gravel roads with 32 mm marathons.

I am nearly certain my brother in law has had no issues using it with slightly wider tires and loads.

I like the idea of two wheelsets but the stock adventurer are fine in my opinion. I did get a set of mavic 719s this summer to replace the wearing out adventurers. I have used them only small distances of unpaved roads so far.

I'd say go for it and use it as a all around workhorse like I have.
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Old 12-11-14, 06:23 PM
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dannwilliams, It really doesn't take anything special for using a touring bike as a gravel grinder.

Brad
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Old 12-11-14, 06:50 PM
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I basically only use my LHT for touring, it's just too lunky and therefore not as fun to ride as my other bikes. My LHT is rigged expedition style--> perfect for long saddle hours, lengthy tours, and loaded back-country exploration. Sure I could swap every thing out and enjoy it differently, but I've got the luxury of sportier alternatives ready to go, so there's no need.
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Old 12-11-14, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
dannwilliams, It really doesn't take anything special for using a touring bike as a gravel grinder.

Brad
I didn't think so. Mainly I was thinking a lighter set of wheels, 32 spoke, or even 28? The wheels I have are REALLY HEAVY DUTY! How nimble can it be with lighter wheels.
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Old 12-11-14, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
I didn't think so. Mainly I was thinking a lighter set of wheels, 32 spoke, or even 28? The wheels I have are REALLY HEAVY DUTY! How nimble can it be with lighter wheels.
Heavy duty wheels are a good thing to use off pavement, mine have taken a beating and brought me home again and again. My gravel grinding includes forest trails with tree roots, maybe yours is kinder. Anyway, I have a perfectly good mountain bike for off road riding and I don't purposely take any of the drop bar bikes off road anymore.

Brad

PS I don't think lighter wheels and tires are going to make a marked difference in nimbleness. They will improve acceleration and braking.

Last edited by bradtx; 12-12-14 at 03:50 AM. Reason: PS
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Old 12-11-14, 09:24 PM
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The LHT can handle pretty much anything. It is a steel beast designed for fully loaded touring in mind. Many of the roads all over the world are less than ideal and the LHT can handle them with ease. Probably the only thing I wouldn't use my Disc Trucker (same thing but with disc brakes) for is actual mountain biking and BMX riding. Cross, gravel grinding, off road touring, on road touring, etc. the Trucker can handle.

You might want to get some extra tires with a little more knobs or something wider but aside from that there is no reason to get other wheels. That is unless of course you want to run a tubeless set up or have a thing for glueing tubulars.

I guess I might not do any road racing with it but that is due to weight and racks and such. The bike could handle it but is not ideal as a racer.
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Old 12-12-14, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The LHT can handle pretty much anything. It is a steel beast designed for fully loaded touring in mind. Many of the roads all over the world are less than ideal and the LHT can handle them with ease. Probably the only thing I wouldn't use my Disc Trucker (same thing but with disc brakes) for is actual mountain biking and BMX riding. Cross, gravel grinding, off road touring, on road touring, etc. the Trucker can handle....
I've tried my touring bike for most anything except technical off road and fast club rides. It's a very versatile platform. It did better than expected as an unloaded distance rider and is still the pick over the roadie based distance bike for some routes. I've come to prefer either of the touring bikes for charity rides because I can pack a camera and rain gear so easily. Dirt roads, even with 32 mm tires are easy. The wider than usual 35 mm Panaracer Crosstowns excelled in these conditions, but they are pretty heavy tires.

One reason for not using my touring bike, my primary tourer anyway, off road is the collection of stone chips it was amassing on the down tube. The back up touring bike is pretty much in beater condition and another couple dozen stone chips would be hard to spot.

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Old 12-12-14, 05:39 AM
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This guy rode his LHT across the great divide route. Here is his set up with 700x50 tires.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=284064&v=HC
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Old 12-12-14, 06:29 AM
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The LHT will do fine on gravel & unimproved roads. If you do plan on doing any trails just remember that touring geometry generally includes a lower bottom bracket than usual (CX bikes higher than usual). If you don't think clearances will matter then have at it !

Last edited by Bicycle365; 12-12-14 at 06:30 AM. Reason: (sp)
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Old 12-12-14, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
PS I don't think lighter wheels and tires are going to make a marked difference in nimbleness. They will improve acceleration and braking.
+1. I don't think anything could make a LHT "nimble."
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Old 12-12-14, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
...
Mainly I was thinking a lighter set of wheels, 32 spoke, or even 28? The wheels I have are REALLY HEAVY DUTY! How nimble can it be with lighter wheels.
I do not think anything would make it much more nimble, but such wheels with narrower higher pressure supple tires could make road riding better with reduced rolling friction. That was my point above in post number 6 where I was suggesting different wheels for road, not different wheels for off-road.
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Old 12-12-14, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
I don't think lighter wheels and tires are going to make a marked difference in nimbleness. They will improve acceleration and braking.
I'd agree with that but consider the differences in braking to be minimal and not something I personally would factor in at all.

On the nimbleness issue... The LHT seems to be designed to be the opposite of nimble. It isn't going to be nimble no matter what wheels and tires you put on it.

That said there is no reason you can't do gravel roads with it. Just don't expect it to be at the sporty end of the spectrum. The word truck in the name is used for a reason

I think the reason you might want lighter wheels would be more for sporty unladen road riding.
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Old 12-12-14, 10:25 AM
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Thanks! Sounds like I should save my money and just ride it as is.
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Old 12-12-14, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
Thanks! Sounds like I should save my money and just ride it as is.
Yeah, different tires maybe. I composed and erased a couple of responses but basically staehpj1 and others hit it. Supple tires with good grip are great for unladen riding but the 700c LHT version I had was better for ballistic wide turns than picking and choosing lines in changeable terrain. If you're considering N+1 this would be a good reason.
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Old 12-12-14, 04:34 PM
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Lest we never forget, You can't have too many bikes. Have you looked at the ECR?
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