Recent Posts

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91
I am thinking of doing a cross country tour next summer (Sierra Cascade or Atlantic route) and looking to make some modifications to my stock-component 2009 Surly LHT, primarily to make it as comfortable as possible to climb with load for long stretches. I have done long-ish trips before (RAGBRAI, Red Ribbon Ride, and multi-day hotel camping trips with friends) but not with a loaded bike. So, my question: what is the single best modification/investment I can make to my Trucker? TIA!

#1 Make sure the bike fits you and your style of riding. This is the single biggest problem I've seen on the road that keeps people from enjoying their ride.

#2 Contact points - butt, feet and hands. Get these organized to your liking...or else the remaining discussions of components are pointless (most are pointless anyways)

#3 As Pat has already said, ride the bike as much as you can before you head out - loaded and unloaded. Yes, you will ride yourself into shape but your enjoyment will start so much sooner with a decent base of fitness.

Enjoy the ride,
Jay

PS - Yes, I know you only asked for 1..couldn't help myself!
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GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS device for cycling
« Last post by mdxix on July 15, 2016, 08:47:22 pm »
I am happy to pay a good price if it means I can keep it for a while. I want something not too big...
Buy the Garmin Edge 820, which was just announced two days ago, if you can wait until it is in the market, which will be in a few weeks. It is not too big. It has full features ready for fitness rides & extended touring.

If you cannot wait, buy the Edge 1000.

For other Garmin choices, read earlier discussion & somewhat outdated comparison chart.

Other devices that you see from other brands such as Wahoo Elemnt, Polar V650, & Magellan Cycle 505 are amazing products for fitness. They are not as suitable for extended touring rides.
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Gear Talk / Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Last post by DanE on July 15, 2016, 03:11:21 pm »
Change the cantilever brakes to V-brakes.
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Gear Talk / Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Last post by Pat Lamb on July 15, 2016, 02:29:44 pm »
Oil the chain, maybe?

Seriously, it really depends on you, how you load it, how it fits you, where your problems are, etc.  You might be more comfortable with a different saddle.  You might need a different stem to make the bike fit you better.  You might want cushier bar tape.  You might want wider, more flexible, more expensive tires to soak up road shock better.  Maybe you want a lower gear.

No, wait, I take it all back.  The single best investment for your LHT is to get out and ride it lots.  Get yourself in shape and used to sitting on the saddle for next year (again, since you've done some long-ish trips previously).  That'll do more for your comfort than anything you could buy.
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Gear Talk / Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Last post by RussSeaton on July 15, 2016, 02:25:34 pm »
I think the Surly Long Haul Trucker loaded touring bike is considered a good bike for touring.  Most loaded touring bikes are good.  They all perform the same task and all more or less do it equally well.  Its not really complicated.  You want to go on a loaded tour.  So far you have only used the bike for unloaded riding.  Here are a few suggestions to consider.

Tires:  For unloaded riding, you want light, thinner, more supple tires.  They make the ride more fun.  BUT for loaded touring you want heavy duty rough tough thick heavy tires that are indestructible.  So get some tough tires for loaded touring.  They will suck for riding until you get 50 pounds of gear on the bike and are in the middle of nowhere riding through glass and thorns and nails.

Shifting:  The LHT comes with bar end shifters.  Fine choice.  Some love them.  Until they ride a bike with the new fangled modern supposedly delicate and breakable STI shifters.  Then they want to take a hammer to bar end shifters and pound them into junk.  You could make your riding, loaded or unloaded, more fun with STI shifters.

Handlebar tape:  You might want to put two layers of tape on the bars to make them more cushy and comfortable.  But if you have small hands then the extra thickness may make the bars harder to grip.  So don't do it.

I'll assume the gearing on the bike is adequate right now.  And the saddle is comfortable.  And the reach to the bars and bar height is right.  What pedals do you use?  I favor SPD pedals and sandals for riding.  Nothing is as comfortable as that combination.  For fun before your big trip you might want to replace the chain, cassette, chainrings, cables, brake pads.  And oil everything up very well.  But you probably don't need to replace all those parts.  Bike will work fine as is.  Just replace the parts when they wear out or break.  No need to waste money on new stuff when its not needed.  I'll also assume you already own racks and panniers that work well enough.

There really isn't any single best improvement, modification, investment you can make to the bike for loaded touring.  It works well enough as it comes from the factory.  Any changes are minor.  Your question is just like a Toyota Camry owner asking what is the single best improvement I can make to the car?  How can you improve a car that runs perfectly for 300,000 plus miles and never ever breaks down?  And rides and handles fine.  Paint flames on the side of it?
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Gear Talk / Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Last post by delphi99 on July 15, 2016, 01:46:15 pm »
I am thinking of doing a cross country tour next summer (Sierra Cascade or Atlantic route) and looking to make some modifications to my stock-component 2009 Surly LHT, primarily to make it as comfortable as possible to climb with load for long stretches. I have done long-ish trips before (RAGBRAI, Red Ribbon Ride, and multi-day hotel camping trips with friends) but not with a loaded bike. So, my question: what is the single best modification/investment I can make to my Trucker? TIA!
97
GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS device for cycling
« Last post by Pat Lamb on July 15, 2016, 09:47:42 am »
What do you want to do with a GPS?  Track heart rate, power, routes, get directions, look at maps, play with buttons and flashing lights?  The answer to this "simple" question will certainly reduce your options (except for buttons and lights!).
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GPS Discussion / Best GPS device for cycling
« Last post by cyclone on July 15, 2016, 09:41:56 am »
Hey folks

I am soon to go on a big big ride around of northern Ireland. Along side trying to find a decent mountain bike I am also considering buying a GPS device for my bike, never had one before and I like the idea of it. I have done light research and already I am over whelmed by all the devices on the market!! there are lots! It's seems obv that different devices have different features... like tracking speed, and distances, has bluetooth and some have touchscreens like smart phones....some even can tell you if you have an incoming call/txt from your smart phone...  which seem handy...thats just to name a few... I see there are brands such as Garmin, Wahoo , polar and Magellan , sure there are doezen more! I am happy to pay a good price if it means I can keep it for a while. I want something not too big...

I found a pic out of 100's! but this for me seems like an ideal size... could go abit bigger...no smaller...



any suggestions would be much appreciated!

thanks in advance
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Classifieds / Full Set of Trans Am Maps for Sale or Trade
« Last post by Blumester on July 14, 2016, 08:13:39 pm »
Hello!

I am looking to sell a full set of Trans Am maps or trader them for Atlantic and Pacific Coast Maps.  I used them to ride the Trans Am in 2014 and they have a bit of wear, but they will undoubtedly do the job.

I am asking $90 for the full set or PM contact me for a trade.  Shipping included. Thanks!

-Alexander
100
General Discussion / Montana Trip Report
« Last post by indyfabz on July 14, 2016, 04:36:17 pm »
Photos from my eleven-day, 545 mile loop tour out of Missoula, MT starting June 15th:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/albums/72157667672266654

(Click on the first one and advance manually.)

The route with campgrounds listed (started and ended at the Missoula KOA):

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14890942

Much of the mileage I had ridden before during other tours out that way, including ones in 2011 and 2014, but some was new to me. I had planned to take the 5th day as a rest day but ended up doing a 23 mile out and back ride from the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, where I spent two nights.

Nice weather except for 15 miles of light rain at the end of day 1 and rain (sometimes heavy) all night in camp, a couple of bouts of hail on day 2 and a thunderstorm on the penultimate day. One unplanned indoor stay in Jackson on day 2 because the hot springs lodge that allows camping was not yet open on Thursday and it was really cold and windy out by the evening. My motel stay in Butte was planned. Cooked most dinners.

The route incorporated over 70 miles of gravel/dirt roads, including 30 miles of beautiful Rock Creek Rd. and 23 miles of hilly, rough, deserted Melrose Rd., where all I could hear was the wind and other sounds of nature. Due to the heavy rain on day 1, on day 2 I ended up scrapping the additional 20 miles of gravel/dirt that is Gibbons Pass and instead rode Lost Trail and Chief Joseph Passes.

Critter sightings included two young, mule deer bucks, a beautiful fox, a common snipe, great blue and other herons, an American bald eagle, ospreys, various other raptors, sand hill cranes, hummingbirds, a beaver that crawled onto the bank of the…wait for it…Beaverhead River and even two examples of the one species of American white pelican that is native to the state. Much to my delight, the mosquitoes were not bad at all, even in Wisdom. I think I used my repellant maybe three or four times.

One shock was the development that has sprung up in the Ennis area. I camped at the fish access campground there on June 25, 2000 during a tour from Seattle to Mesa Verde N.P. There were only a few other occupied sites and no one using the boat ramp. This year I stayed there on June 20th. I got one of the last vacant sites, and there were a lot of people taking their float boats out of the Madison River. Across from the campground are new homes near the river bank.

One cool sight was the cowboy driving the cattle along the side of the road a bit east of Wise River. He was quite pleasant and asked me about my trip as he passed. When I told him, he tipped his hat and said "Sounds like a plan!"

Nice people stories: I stupidly used my one dollar bills to pay for something in Virginia City so I didn't have exact change for the $12 campground fee at Ennis. I asked around and a woman who was having a picnic there with her friend gave me two ones when it turned out she didn't have change for a five. I met a local rider while leaving Butte. He showed me a new trail that took me towards Anaconda. The trail eliminated some I-90 frontage road riding. The trail is so new it's not on RWGPS so I couldn't include it in my map. The goal is eventually have a system of trails stretching between Butte and Anaconda for, as the local joked, all eight people in Butte who ride bikes.

One disappointment was not getting to tour the caverns at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, where I camped. What I failed to realize when I reserved a site is that, while the campground is easy to reach from the road, the caverns are 3.2 miles up a steep hill with grades that reach 9%, and the wind was gusting over 30 mph all day and into the evening. The photo showing me clocked at 6 m.p.h. was taken as I rode towards the park.

It’s a small world. The penultimate night on the road I camped in Philipsburg  at the same location as Adventure Cycling’s supported Cycle Montana trip. The leader of that trip, along with three participants, had all been participants on AC’s 2010 Cycle Vermont Trip which I was also on.

Starting to plot next year’s western trip and am thinking of again starting in Missoula and heading northwest into Idaho.
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