Author Topic: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT  (Read 33988 times)

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Offline waynemyer

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2012, 09:14:10 am »
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.

Got any more thoughts on spoke failure modes?
According to Schraner, Art of the Bicycle Wheel, the rim or hubshell should fail before the a spoke ever breaks on a properly built wheel. In talking with my favorite wheelbuilders, the anecdata seem to underscore this. Some of their loaded touring wheels go 50,000, 60,000 miles before the rim needs to be replaced because of a worn brake track.

Spokes fail when the tension is insufficient. And they almost always fail at the J-bend or the thread. In my experience, they fail upon unloading after a final stressing, e.g. immediately at pedal BDC after accelerating or climbing a hill. If your friend is breaking spoke nipples, I would suggest brass nipples. I have pulled brass nipples through a rim but never broken one.
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Offline alanrogers

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2012, 12:38:43 am »
I bought a 58cm LHT last Nov, and loved it all except for the toe overlap. This was bad enough that I decided to get a larger frame, in order to increase the distance between toe and wheel. I rode the LHT all winter, and have now been riding my new 62cm disc trucker for about two weeks. No long trips, and none with a heavy load.

The larger frame does help with toe overlap. Not hugely: I still have to be careful. But it is now a minor annoyance rather than a serious problem.

So far, the I like the LX rear derailleur just fine. I was worried about this initially, but it seems to shift at least as smoothly as the XT on my old bike. The disc trucker has a 34-tooth rear cog, which the LX (according to its specs) is too small to handle. I asked Surly about this before I ordered and was told (a) that Shimano says it will handle the 34, and (b) that several people at Surly rode the LX for months with a 34 before deciding to use it. My own subjective impression is that the shifts are slightly crisper with the LX than with the XT.  I have no difficulty shifting onto the 34.

The disc brakes have taken some getting used to. My initial impression was that they stopped about as fast as my old cantis but made a horrible squeal while doing so. The web is full of conflicting advice about curing disc brake squeal, but today I found something really useful. One posting claimed that the squeal happens because the brake pads are not sitting square in their slots. His recommendation was to jerk the bike forward and backward a few times while pressing lightly on the brakes. This, he claimed, would properly seat the pads. It worked like magic. My squeal is now gone. And now that I can brake without wincing at the sound, I can verify that yes, it's true, mechanical disc brakes really do stop faster than cantis.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2012, 09:49:14 am »
I bought a 58cm LHT last Nov, and loved it all except for the toe overlap.

You must have some serious clodhoppers. I get toe overlap on every bike that I ride because of my pontoon-like feet, so I know the pain.

The disc brakes have taken some getting used to. My initial impression was that they stopped about as fast as my old cantis but made a horrible squeal while doing so. The web is full of conflicting advice about curing disc brake squeal,

It's not the advice conflicts, but that there are so many potential causes. Misaligned calipers, scorched pads, contaminated pads, pads that were worn too far before adjusting them inward again, brake dust, et al. All disc brakes squeal at some point. But nailing down that cause can be a little annoying. I consider it a small price of admission for the increased modulation and fault tolerance, and lower maintenance.
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Offline patrickstoneking

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012, 01:47:07 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.


I guess I have been lucky.  I have yet to break a spoke in 35 years of road and mountain biking.  Whacked a wheel out of true?  You bet.  Taco-ed a wheel after hitting an obstruction at high speed?  Yep - that's me.  But never a spoke.

Offline zonesystempro

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2012, 09:12:46 pm »
Considering what you would spend on a Surly or LHT you might consider having a custom bike made. You'd get exactly what you want and a perfect fit to you body size. The money you spend would also benefit your local economy and not China's!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2012, 04:03:43 pm »
Considering what you would spend on a Surly or LHT you might consider having a custom bike made.

I don't think the prices are that comparable.  $1200 for a LHT at my local bike shop.  Rock Lobster sells a custom touring bike for about $1600 for frame and fork.  Not sure he is the cheapest but pretty close to being the cheapest custom bike maker.  Figure another $800 at least for parts for the touring bike.  You are looking at about double the price for a custom over the LHT.  Not saying you should not get the custom touring bike.  It may be the best, finest, greatest bike ever.  But it will cost you at least double what the LHT costs.  Prices for steel utilitarian bikes are not comparable between custom and a big factory bike maker.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2012, 02:58:20 am »
Considering what you would spend on a Surly or LHT you might consider having a custom bike made. You'd get exactly what you want and a perfect fit to you body size.

While I don't disagree that having a custom bike would possibly fit you better, I agree with Russ regarding price issues. You can get an LHT complete for around $1200, whereas most complete custom touring bikes I've seen are in the $3000 and up range. We're talking two to three times as much as an LHT. That's a significant difference.

The money you spend would also benefit your local economy and not China's!

Actually Surly bikes are built in Taiwan, not mainland China. Built by Maxway, I believe.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2012, 01:33:48 pm »
The couple of people I know (self included) who went the custom bike route have paid closer to $5000 to get a custom bike.  Granted we all went for the tanderm wheel sets, and that usually mean $1000 on just the wheels.  So there is no getting around the fact that an LHT is much cheaper.

I have seen a lot of LHTs, but I have never seen one with panniers on it.  The tubing diameter looks small to be stiff enough to tour on.  I ended up with a custom touring bike because my light touring  bike that came from the LBS wiggled with 60 pounds of gear on it.

Anyone really tour on an LHT with full packs?   Is the frame stiff enough for full packs?

Credit card trips don't count.  Supported trips don't count either.
Danno

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2012, 01:47:21 pm »
I have seen a lot of LHTs, but I have never seen one with panniers on it.  The tubing diameter looks small to be stiff enough to tour on.  I ended up with a custom touring bike because my light touring  bike that came from the LBS wiggled with 60 pounds of gear on it.

Anyone really tour on an LHT with full packs?   Is the frame stiff enough for full packs?

FWIW, some 40-50% of the tourists I passed on my 2009 TransAm were riding LHTs, all with full panniers.  The overwhelming majority had both front and rear panniers.  All the LHT riders we chatted with loved their bikes, and not one complained about the bike not being stiff enough.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2012, 01:54:52 pm »
Anyone really tour on an LHT with full packs?   Is the frame stiff enough for full packs? Credit card trips don't count.  Supported trips don't count either.

Yep.


Almost 4,000 miles on tour last year. Front and rear panniers plus more. No support, though I did pull out my credit card from time to time... ;)

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2012, 04:46:36 pm »
I have seen a lot of LHTs, but I have never seen one with panniers on it.  The tubing diameter looks small to be stiff enough to tour on.  I ended up with a custom touring bike because my light touring  bike that came from the LBS wiggled with 60 pounds of gear on it.

Cannot speak for the Long Haul Trucker specifically.  But I had a 1991 Trek 520, their touring bike.  It had a steel frame with skinny tubes like the LHT.  I never experienced any wiggling of the frame descending mountains at 40 mph with front and rear panniers, handlebar bag, and rear rack bag.  I tend to think all bikes are more than stiff enough for anything.  People who complain about stiffness of a bike says more about them than the bike.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2012, 11:52:22 pm »
Cannot speak for the Long Haul Trucker specifically.  But I had a 1991 Trek 520, their touring bike.  It had a steel frame with skinny tubes like the LHT.  I never experienced any wiggling of the frame descending mountains at 40 mph with front and rear panniers, handlebar bag, and rear rack bag.  I tend to think all bikes are more than stiff enough for anything.  People who complain about stiffness of a bike says more about them than the bike.

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you--sometimes it is the bike and not the rider.  Most sub $2000 touring bikes are sold to people who never put panniers on them and the bike companies know that and cut corners knowing that they can get away with it.  I work with a guy that owns a 520 which is slightly older than yours (old enough to be 27" instead of 700c), and he has had wiggle issues.  Neil Gunton over at CrazyGuyOnABike has owned several bikes that have had ride issues when loaded down with panniers.  And I have had wiggle issues with my first touring bike, a Bianchi Volpe.  I am confident that all three of us were capable of getting the weight in our panniers balanced, that we know how to spin our pedals smoothly, and that we make sure that our wheels are properly seated, true, and round.

I may have misspoke when I talked about frame stiffness.  I can make my Waterford frame flex, but vibrations immediately dampen out.  I will have to talk to my mechanical engineering buddies to find out what material property describes the ability to dampen out vibration.  I don't know how Waterford does it, but it is a beautiful thing.  Sad thing is that I would expect every touring frame to do that.  Cheaper touring bikes might weigh more and do come with crappier components, but they ought to be tour ready.

I am glad to hear that your 520 works for you.  And I glad to hear about those glowing LHT testimonials.
Danno

Offline Slammin Sammy

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2012, 01:24:30 pm »
I'm a newbie to this forum, and I'm coming into this thread a little late... But back to discs on fully loaded tourers-

Andy Blance of Thorn bikes in the UK is dead against discs on blade forks, claiming they won't take the torque. Not the spokes or tyres, but the forks! He won't supply them except on tubular forks (very rigid and uncomfortable) or shocks.

Comments?

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2012, 03:44:23 pm »
Andy Blance of Thorn bikes in the UK is dead against discs on blade forks, claiming they won't take the torque. Not the spokes or tyres, but the forks! He won't supply them except on tubular forks (very rigid and uncomfortable) or shocks.
The materials engineering for disc forks is solid. The Kona Project 2 disc fork (Kona Sutra) is plenty cushy and comfortable. If these were so failure prone, you would hear a lot about it, rather than seeing Kona continue to produce the Sutra and the Project 2. Salsa, Surly, Trek (Portland), and so on... all these manufacturers have comfortable disc forks. This past weekend, I took my Salsa Fargo 2 on a 260 mile fully loaded trip over chip seal, dirt roads, and nasty pavement. Plenty of steep descents with hard braking.

Andy Blance is demonstrating (pick one or more): his bias; his ignorance; his inability to source a good fork; his inability to design a proper fork. The issue is taking a non-disc fork leg and slapping a disc mount fork end on it. The leg will snap.
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Offline Bike Hermit

Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2012, 08:17:19 pm »
After writing my recent post on the Disc Trucker I realized I could not come up with a lot of downsides. As to the fork's ability to withstand the disc brake forces I will say that even though the Surly crew bolsters the image of being a bunch of beer swillin' yahoos, they have top notch engineers.