Author Topic: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT  (Read 36623 times)

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Offline navyfpdoc

Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: February 28, 2012, 04:40:15 pm »
Greetings to all!

I'm looking to update from my 2000 Cannondale T2000, considering the Surly LHT, but noted on their website they have a Disc Trucker that I haven't seen reviewed elsewhere.  Anyone care to comment on experience with the latter?  Seems most Surly owners, LHT's in particular, are pretty loyal and give great reviews.  Any input you have is appreciated!

Mark

Offline Ailish

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 06:48:21 pm »
The disk trucker is new for 2012, and bikes weren't supposed to be available before this month, so there's probably not too much direct experience with them yet.

Offline patrickstoneking

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 01:05:51 pm »
I've been riding my disc trucker for the last couple of days and it works as expected. It was a little complicated getting the fenders and Surly racks to fit but in the end everything fit fine.  Rides just like a LHT but stops a lot better.  The only thing I am not thrilled with is that Surly changed from silver components to black for the Disc Trucker.  It was not what I expected when I ordered the bike and frankly I like the silver components much better than the black.  At some level I feel deceived by Surly and probably wouldn't rush to buy another bike from them again without a better understanding of the changes they have made.  Also not super thrilled with the Shimano LX substitution for the former XT deurallieurs.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 01:18:32 pm »
Patrick,

I am dying to hear what happens when a pannier laden touring bike does a panic stop with disk brakes.  I keep thinking spokes should shear, but I am hoping that you can give us real data. 
Danno

Offline patrickstoneking

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 02:26:36 pm »
I will know better this weekend after I take a short trek.  However, given my experience with disc brakes on down hill mountain bikes, there is no issue with the wheels being damaged due to the braking force.  I'm not a small guy and I've never seen a wheel damaged this way.

I'll let you know what I learn.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 01:10:02 am »
If you look at my profile/avatar picture, I am riding an '07 Novara Safari with disc brakes, fully loaded. Never had any problem at all with the brakes. Much better control on descents, no likelihood of the brakes overheating the rims and blowing a tire. No brake fade. Based on my experience with the Safari, I won't buy any new bike unless it has disc brakes.

Ride safe,
Hans
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 01:11:49 am by TwoWheeledExplorer »
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Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 08:54:46 am »
... no likelihood of the brakes overheating the rims and blowing a tire.

Hans, all your other points can be argued, but I agree a disk brake won't blow a tire.  Though I've met two people who had blowouts on long/steep descents (one of whom was riding a loaded bike), I've never personally blown a tire, although occasionally I have to think about it and change braking behavior to prevent it.  As to the rest, it's a matter of taste.  Properly set up brakes of almost any kind (cantilever, caliper, or disk) give good control on descents.  I've read accounts of disk brakes fading -- after all, a rim is just a large disk, and it's possible to overheat either.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 09:07:29 am »
Hans, all your other points can be argued...

I wasn't responding for the sake of arguement. I was responding to paddleboy17's comment, "I am dying to hear what happens when a pannier laden touring bike does a panic stop with disk brakes. I keep thinking spokes should shear..."

I have been riding a touring bike with disc brakes for five years now, front and rear racks, sometimes with a BoB trailer, and have never had any problems with them on descents, paved or unpaved. That was my point, based on my experience.

Ride safe,
Hans
The Two-Wheeled Explorer: Ride the River
www.twowheeledexplorer.org
"Every person has a river to ride...you are to Ride the River."--Pr. Larry Christenson

Offline patrickstoneking

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 10:50:17 am »
I gave it a try last night and noticed zero issues with approximate 300 lbs (bike, rider, and gear) on the bike.  I have had issues with rim brakes in the past heating an aluminum rim up enough on long descents to damage the rim or blow a tire.  I have also had enough experience with rim brakes not working when wet to convince me to spring for the disc trucker over the LHT.

Regarding fade, my experience with down hill mountain bikes has indicated that the hydraulic disc brakes can experience fade but it is very difficult to do.  The cable disc brakes don't fade at all because the is no fluid to overheat.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 12:51:03 pm »
Hans, all your other points can be argued...

I wasn't responding for the sake of arguement. I was responding to paddleboy17's comment, "I am dying to hear what happens when a pannier laden touring bike does a panic stop with disk brakes. I keep thinking spokes should shear..."

I have been riding a touring bike with disc brakes for five years now, front and rear racks, sometimes with a BoB trailer, and have never had any problems with them on descents, paved or unpaved. That was my point, based on my experience.

Ride safe,
Hans

It is nice to know that I started a controvery, and it is nice to get a definitive answer to the panic stop question.

My second tour was the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia).  I still remember a rainy descent down one of their mountainettes (French Mountain) wondering if my rims would overheat (and loose a tire), my brake pads would glaze, or I would tumble over a metal guardrail after taking a curve too fast.  Braking is really important on a touring bike!

When I ordered my Waterford, they offered to prep the frame for disk brakes.  I thought seriously about disk brakes, and worried about snapping spokes.  In the end I went with cantilever brakes, but had a rear disk brake added for use as a drag brake.  The drag brake works great, although I don't use it regularly.
Danno

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2012, 03:23:21 pm »
Off topic:

Spokes have tensile strength of approx 1100 MPa.
Typical spoke diameter is 2 mm.
Lets assume you have 2 wheels both with 36 spokes. On each wheel 18 spokes act as "braking spokes" due to the spoke pattern. In total you have 36 "braking spokes".

Main formula: p=F/A

where p=pressure=tensile strength
F=Force
A=Cross sectional area

Lets calculate the cross sectional area

A=3,14/4*2^2=3,14 mm^2

F=p*A
F=1100*3,14=3454 N

With a total of 36 braking spokes you have 3454*36=124344 N

which equals 12,6 tonnes.

Now, unless you are able to stop your bike literally within a fraction of a second (=enormous decelleration) I hereby claim that you will never reach the 12,6 tonnes limit. Now, one can extend the calculus with all different kinds of variables, but this was only to show how strong spokes actually are.

As a comparison:

Construction steel tensile strength: 370 MPa
And the beforementioned stainless steel spoke: 1100 MPa

... and even higher for thinner spokes.

Thus, spoke material is 3 times stronger than construction steel.

However, if your spokes have experienced extensive fatigue due to bad/wrong wheel building, a large strain like a downhill brake might just be what is required for a snap. But thats a different story and disc brakes cannot be accused for that matter.

Now, this doesn't mean I run disc brakes myself. I have used disc brakes and they are fun in dry sunny weather in town. I only run hydraulic rim brakes (=Magura). My Maguras have not required any service or a drop of oil for the last 13 years.

Lucas

« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 03:26:34 pm by BikeFreak »

Offline Gsplfnk

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2012, 09:47:22 pm »
Greetings! Nice to meet you all.

Just took ownership of my Surly Disc Trucker this AM. First build out in of the new Trucker Seattle. I spent quite a bit of time with meet and greet and such, then hauled trucker ass to the ferry for an 80 mile adjustment ride.

I can tell you these things after one day. Never was there a stouter nor more stable ride in this world, and possibly the next. First 80 mile impression, mind you. I turned my Trek 520 over for some major work as I picked up the newbie (not getting rid of the Trek--too wonderful, and very very dear after 20 years). But I have to tell you, everything that Surly and their fans tell you about the Disc Trucker is absolutely true. I have been around the globe four times in miles on my 520, did @14,000 miles a year for each of its first three years --I was gainfully unemployed and rode long every day of every week), so believe me, these words don't come from the brief infatuation of a novice. My Trek is legendary in Seattle in terms of mileage. The problem with it is that it was a big frame to begin with, and in the 20 years since we have been together, it has either grown a lot, or I have lost a couple of inches. (Sad to say, I'm the one who has grown older and shorter during the past 20 years.)

So take it from an extremely fit and somewhat knowledgeable and experienced 63 year-old. The Trucker is heavier than the 520 by lots. So if it's speed you're after, don't go there. But if you want the best riding battleship in the touring fleet, GO THERE! Oh, and my only real sore point (for each and every one of the 20 years) about the Trek was the brakes. If I was loaded down with groceries or books or firewood--which is pretty much all the time (I can drive, but I have never owned a car, so I am demanding of brakes on my rides large and small), the Trek gets pretty harrowing in terms of stop-ability, real fast. The disc brakes on the Trucker have taken all of that stored up angst away today. I made sure I was riding heavy (my four large test-weighted Ortliebs and me), and I am here to tell you that, while I still can't stop on a dime carrying this kind of weight, I can do it if necessary in less than half a block going full-tilt down hill. My warning to children: if you run out of safety room trying to stop at an intersection with this rig and you get killed,  it will have been your own damn fault.

More when there is more to tell.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 12:59:54 am »
Here is my disc brake Novara Safari, with full load front and rear. I use Jandd Mountain panniers and an Old Man Mountain front rack. The rear rack is still the standard Novara, although I am thinking of replacing it with a Jandd Expedition rack, for no other reason than I like solid deck racks and the Safari rack is open. Anyhow, that is not the point, again. I bought this bike for the disc brakes, and my next bike will have them too.



Ride safe,
Hans
The Two-Wheeled Explorer: Ride the River
www.twowheeledexplorer.org
"Every person has a river to ride...you are to Ride the River."--Pr. Larry Christenson

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 01:23:19 pm »
Lucas (aka BikeFreak):

This is an interesting analysis.  It sounds like spokes should never ever break, and yet we all have broken them.  One of my buddy's does not break spokes, but he does regularly break spoke nipples.

The failure mode that I always envisioned for a disk brake has the hub clamped into position and the bike still trying to roll because of momentum.  Maybe that would put half of the spokes in tension or all of the spokes in tension.  I think copious ammounts of alcohol are needed to fully understand the spoke. 

I think if the spokes ability to rotate about the hub were impeded that might lead to spoke failure.  I think missing from your otherwise execellent analysis is the effect of butted spokes (cross section is reduced) and coldworking at the right angle bend on the spoke (assuming not a radially laced spoke). 

Got any more thoughts on spoke failure modes? 
Danno

Offline tksleeper

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2012, 09:59:35 pm »
I've been riding a disc brake Giant OCR Tour bike since 2003 with no real issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tksleeper/6172717388/in/set-72157627604208847/

Disc brakes aren't without their own set of issues.  However I always got where I was going.  They do stop oh so very nice.

Kelli