« on: May 08, 2010, 10:23:05 pm »
As for pad life on discs I just swapped out at front pads on my Sutra after 4500 miles of touring a loaded commuting. This is far more life then I get out of rim brake pads. As for shearing spokes with discs I've never seen this in a few years of working in shops and lots of years fixing bikes. I've heard of hub shells that sheered when they were first making discs, but that hasn't been an issue in a long time. My general feeling on discs are positive, but you do have to know how to set them up and maintain them.
As for the Sutra specifically, I have one of the older ones with sliding drop outs that I picked up NOS last year. It is a great bike, it is a tank, but it is a great bike. The handling is stable and neutral, it handles well under load. I road with front and rear bags and a little weight on the front end made the feeling very stable if a little slow.
My build is a 3 x 9 shimano mix with XTR/XT/Ultegra/Tiagra/Dura Ace and other parts. The wheels are XT hubs with Mavic disc specific rims. In front I'm running a Schmidt SON 28 paired with an Edelux. For brakes I have Avid BB7 Road mechanic discs.
I haven't ridden a LHT for any real length of time, but friends who have it like it. Both are good bikes and real stout. The LHT comes with 26in wheels in smaller sizes so you might consider that. If you can I'd try ridding both and see which bike you like better. Nothing like riding them to have a better idea of which one is for you.