Author Topic: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT  (Read 11316 times)

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Offline dwboca

Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 05, 2012, 01:26:37 pm »
Hi,

I've decided to get a new Surly LHT (56 cm) with 26 inch wheels for my Christmas present.  I will get from LBS who will ensure correct size.  I still see new/used Jamis Aurora and Cannondale T1/T2 bikes on Ebay and other sites (for under $1,000) and could be swayed if I find the right size, but for now, its the LHT new since I cannot find used.

Anyway, I will be doing a coast to coast from from Savannah, GA to San Diego, CA - 2,600 miles, self-supported in 2014 and want to log some miles/trips on my touring bike before then.

What accessories should I get?  Below is my prelim list but I'd like to hear from people who have done tours and what has worked for them.  Cost is a factor so I will shop used when I can.  My budget for total bike with accessories is $1,600 but hopefully I can do it for less.

Surly front and rear racks - may as well order with bike

Surly fenders - order with bike?  Should I get plastic or metal?

Ortlieb waterproof panniers - roller front and back  Question:  do I really need front and rear - I will be camping/preparing my meals most of the way.

Cateye Bike computer to monitor speed and mileage

Map holder - what brand?

Did I miss anything?  All feedback appreciated on bike choice as well as accessories.

Offline dwboca

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 01:31:31 pm »
Ooops.  I forgot pedals and seat.  I'd love to hear recommendations here too.

I like to pedal with my running shoes so if there is a pedal that takes both regular shoes and bike shoes, that would interest me.  I've heard the stock seat on the LHT is to be replaced on arrival and I see lots of people like the B17.  I have several road bike seats including a Spenco gel cover that I may play with.

Thanks again for all your help.

dave

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 03:37:11 pm »
In random/reverse order:

Shimano (and Nashbar, IIRC) make pedals that allow for both regular shoes and clipless.

About 2/3 of the saddles I could see on TransAm bikes were Brooks, mostly B17, with the odd Champion or Pro.  I had to adjust the tension twice.  Buy from Wallbike.com, and Bill will let you return it if it doesn't fit you.  Get an Aardvark (or similar neoprene) saddle cover for the days you're dripping in sweat, or when you have to ride through a downpour, and to keep the saddle dry at night.

I firmly believe fenders are the way to go for riding in the rain.  SKS plastic fenders are my choice.  If you have the shop install them, over the winter is a good time -- most shops don't install fenders with any regularity, and giving them time to futz with them will make you both happier than trying to get the bike out the door in spring.

Add a blinky for the rear.  Make sure it can mount either to the back of your rack, or clip on to a cargo net (also a good thing to have).

If you're like most people, you'll need front and rear panniers to carry camping equipment.  I expect Pete Staehling will chip in shortly with his ultra-light plug, but he's about three sigmas lighter than the average tourist.

I'll put in my plug for a Cateye with cadence.  It's way too easy to bog down when you hit steep hills at the end of the day, and if you're not alert (when you're tired!?) or lucky, you can mess up your knees.  Cadence alerts you to gear down some more and spin.  Speed is overrated -- you'll be disappointed with your speed on flat land and uphill, and too busy looking downhill to see if you need to brake or steer to avoid something, to enjoy watching your speed.

The LHT is a popular touring bike.  I don't have one, but I saw a lot of them, and nobody who had one was complaining about their bike.


Offline RussSeaton

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 04:59:20 pm »
http://www.cycoactive.com/Store/3433/PN-BM-S/BarMap-2-Sided-Bicycle-Map-Holder

Cyco Active BarMap for a map holder.  They make a couple different sizes.  The one I like is about 8 inches by 8 inches.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 07:37:45 am »
The Surly racks are really heavy. The front one is especially heavy, tipping the scale at just over 3 lbs. And this is coming from someone who has a set of Nitto Big racks (which are definitely on the heavy side) and has never been a "weight weenie." I would at least go with something different up front unless you feel you really want and/or need a front platform. My first set of racks had large front and rear platforms and I liked that set up a lot. When a theft required me to replace them, I went with the Nittos to try to replicate what I had as close as possible. My front also afford a little more ground clearance than a low rider rack, which is nice because I am not always on paved roads.


Offline Gizmosity

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 02:03:02 pm »
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.


Offline dwboca

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 03:01:32 pm »
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

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 10:09:42 am »
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...
Danno

Offline tonythomson

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 11:43:12 am »
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
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline dwboca

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 02:38:42 pm »
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. 

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 07:24:34 pm »
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 prefer a mirror on my glasses.  Take A Look is the model.  Its always in the same spot then.  Glasses generally go on your face in the exact same spot.  With a helmet mirror, the mirror will not be in the exact same spot every time.  Helmets don't go on your head in the exact same spot every time.  You also lay your helmet down often so the mirror would get bumped frequently.  As for handlebar mounted mirrors, I know several people with the ones that mount in the bar end spot.  They seem to like them.  I had a Rhode Gear model that went on the brake hood.  It was very good.  Would not work with STI though.  Only normal brake levers that pull only the brakes.  As for breaking the mirror, you just have to be careful when you lean the bike.  You'll get used to being careful quickly.  Breaking the mirror is not something to worry about.

26" or 700C?  I've heard 26" is more common in the less developed parts of the world.  Asia and South America.  In western Europe both are common.  Not sure about eastern Europe.  Wal-Mart in the USA carries both sizes now.  Both sizes are equal.  One thing to consider for the LHT is what size of 26" tire it will take.  Will it fit the 2" wide knobby 26" tires?  If so then it probably wins the availability contest.  Barely.  But if the LHT only accepts 1.5" wide 26" tires, then it does not have much advantage.  Wide knobby 26" tires are very available.  Narrower 26" tires are not as common.  So if the LHT cannot accept the wide knobby tires, it does not give much advantage for availability.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 11:13:17 pm »
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

My wife and I just returned from a month touring those hills and more on our new LHTs!!!

To the OP...
If you get the medium sized Ortleib handlebar bag, just get the map case that goes with it. If you are carrying camping gear and riding solo, plan for front and rear bags. It's always nice to have room for groceries when camping is miles beyond the last store.

We chose the SKS thermoplastic? fenders and Tubus Cargo and Duo racks. The Duo is nice if you are packing and shipping your bike since they are small and independent.

Good call on checking with LBS on sizing. I've ridden 56 cm c-c road and touring bikes for over 30 years and ended up buying a 54 cm LHT with 26" wheels. The 56 was too stretched out to be comfortable very long.

Personally, I think the 700 vs 26 arguments are mostly blowing smoke, equivalent to mental masturbation. For most of us, touring will happen within easy reach of UPS/DHL/FedEx, not east of Ulan Bator, so replacement parts will be reasonably available in a short time. I'm using 2.0 Marathon Supremes and my wife still has the stock 1.6 Conti's on them.

Of course, YMMV.

Jay

Peterberger Bike Adventures
ACA Life Member 368

Offline goalie

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 12:11:47 am »
The Surly front rack is heavy and not really needed.  I bought a Jandd "second" front rack and it has worked great for me. 

I also love my SMALL Arkel handlebar bag.  It has a map holder.  And a great mount that won't drive you nuts.
 
Panniers are up to you, but I have been happy with "nice" rear ones and cheapy Nashbar fronts (with a few mods before using them).

Replace the brake pads with Kool Stops.




Offline tonythomson

Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 12:16:17 am »
Mirrors - you need to see which one suits you, I've always had ones that fix to the bars with Velcro and work well - also can be used for shaving, checking out sore bits that even your best friend wont look at, etc
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Joe B

  • Guest
Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 07:35:01 pm »
My build of a LHT last fall was done with the following. I have been happy with my choices over a 4400 mile tour this summer ( so far).
This is what I went with for parts and accessories

Surly LHT 56cm, 700c, Blue   Frame & fork    356.08
Chris King ,1.125″ Threadless, Silver   Headset   148.51
Nitto S83   Seatpost   123.20
Salsa, 30mm w/Quick Release, Silver   Seatpost Binder    25.61
Race Face Evolve 120mm (+/-6 degree)   Stem    44.99
JK 47cm   Handlebars    99.94
Brooks Flyer   Saddle    99.99
Campagnolo Comp Triple   Crankset   192.00
Campagnolo 50t   Chainring   85.99
Campagnolo 40t   Chainring   85.99
Salsa 28t   Chainring   14.99
Campagnolo Triple   Front Derailleur   65.98
PS 27.2mm Clamp    Derailleur Hanger   8.75
Campagnolo Centaur 115mm   Bottom Bracket   55.00
SRAM X7   Rear Derailleur   59.99
SRAM 12-36 10sp   Cassette   71.99
SRAM PG1091   Chain   41.99
Campagnolo Veloce Ergo   Brifters   174.99
Campagnolo Adjuster Stops   Downtube Cable Stops   30.00
Paul Neo-Retro Cantilever, Silver   Front Brakes   79.95
Paul Touring Cantilever, Silver   Rear Brakes   79.95
PS 50mm , Silver   Straddle Wire Hanger   29.38
Schmidt SON 28, 40h   Generator Front Hub   276.00
Velocity Chukker, 40h   Front Rim   81.00
Wheelsmith DB14 w/brass nipples   Spokes   42.00
Velox Cloth   Rim Tape   n/c
Schwalbe 28-32 700c   Tube   9.05
Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700c 32   Tire   58.85
Salsa , blue   Skewer   11.35
Phil Wood 40h   Rear Hub   420.00
Velocity Chukker, 40h   Front Rim   81.00
Wheelsmith DB14 w/brass nipples   Spokes   42.00
Velox Cloth   Rim Tape   n/c
Schwalbe 28-32 700c   Tube   9.05
Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700c 32   Tire   58.85
Salsa, blue   Skewer    11.35
Tubus Cosmos Stainless   Rear Rack   159.99
Tubus Nova Stainless   Front Rack   139.99
Ortlieb Packer Plus, Yellow   Rear Panniers   169.00
Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus, Yellow   Front Panniers   150.00
Ortlieb Ultimate 5+   Handlebar Bag   116.86
Blackburn 5mm Stainless   H2O Cages (3)   45.87
Pletcher Double Leg   Stand   44.07
Cinelli Synthetic Cork, Blue   Handlebar Tape   15.99
Paul Top Cap Accessory Mount   Stem Cap   37.49
B&M Ixon IQ   Headlight   116.00
B&M Ride & Charge   Charging Adapter   35.75
B&M 4D Toplight Senso Multi   Taillight   47.00
Cycle Aware Roadie   Mirror   13.58
VeloOrange Hammered ,50mm   Fenders    49.00
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 05:31:30 pm by Joe B »