Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Help me accesorize my Surly LHT

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Gizmosity:
I just did my first tour on my LHT.  1650 miles or so with a BOB trailer.  I will be going to panniers for my next tour for various reasons, the trailer actually worked great for me and I picked it up used for a great price.

I cannot recommend the B17 enough.  I put about 500 miles on it before it really felt right.  Adjustments with a single bolt seat post was difficult but manageable.  A double bolt is on my Xmas list. 

I have the SKS Longboard fenders and they worked great, although if you want to go wider than 35's the ones I bought won't work.  I also had to remove the rear mud flap because it interfered with the trailer. (mines got 700's).

Issues I had and you may avoid:

I bought a large Arkel handlebar bag because my IPad fit in it (and it was on sale). The LHT, in my experience, is a bit squirrely steering.  It really shines when it's loaded.  I fought with scary fast steering my whole trip.  All that weight in the bag, up high didn't help matters.  But, I was pulling a trailer so I didn't have a rack or bags on the front.  I will for my next tour.  I love that Arkel bag and it carried most everything I needed when on the road (maps, snacks,sunscreen, bug spray, hat, phone, wallet, etc).

Because of the experiences above, I'm opting for a low rider front rack like the Tubus Tara.  I'll get either the nice rack or tubus cargo for the rear, whichever is cheaper at the time.

Be prepared to futz with your brakes.  The pads that came with mine were terrible.  I found some Shimano pads that helped and I played with the geometry of the straddle cable.  I'm looking at new cantilever brakes (Tektro cr720) before my next tour.

dwboca:
Thanks everyone for your responses - very helpful.  I'll start watching for used stuff but will most likely have to buy new since the good stuff doesn't pop up that much.  I loved the response "he's about three sigmas lighter than the average tourist."  That shows someone has had statistical training or corporate continuous improvement classes!  Think of the responses as an "Affinity" exercise and I will pick the best ones to use...but I digress.

I'm excited about getting a bike and would rather buy a pre-loaded one with proven parts - in case anyone knows of a 56cm available.  I wonder why Surly doesn't offer one?  I guess there are too many different variables that each of us consider individually.

dave

paddleboy17:
Any god bike shop should be willing to swap parts on a new bike that they are selling you.  If they won't, I would consider going somewhere else...

tonythomson:
Mirror - it'll save your life.
Very low gearing ratios
Good luck I love my Surly LHT - just about to take into the hills of Wales  ;D

dwboca:
Thanks for all the help.  Getting closer to ordering my LHT but trying to wait for Christmas.

Mirror - I was looking at a helmet mirror vs handlebar.  Any suggestions?  I'm afraid the handlebar mirror will accidentally get broke off especially since I don't plan on having a kick stand. 

Last bit of advice I need and I have read the posts but one more time:  26 vs 700 wheels?  I am leaning toward the 26 but I test rode a Surly last weekend for the first time (found one in my daughter's college town (go gators!)).  It had the 700s and it felt fast!  Of course, I didn't have it loaded - I will be on a self-supported camping tour.  I have an aggressive schedule of 90 to 100 mile days so extra speed would be nice.  I don't plan to do off-road riding but may do some sandy/crushed rock trails. 

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