Author Topic: Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker  (Read 3101 times)

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Offline andersbrett

Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker
« on: September 11, 2009, 09:28:18 pm »
I'm hoping to leave pretty soon for a coast-to-coast tour along the ACA's Southern Tier route. Since my current bike is a Fuji Silhouette, I'm looking for something a little more appropriate for touring.

I've spent most of the last week trying out different bikes. My initial criteria: under $1000, comfortable, and able to hold luggage for a self-supported tour (probably just rear panniers: sleeping bag, tent, clothes, bike maintenance equipment, and food).

At this point, I think I've narrowed it down to two bikes. These are the Fuji Newest 1.0 and the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I would purchase the Newest from Performance Bicycle for $560 ($700 plus 20% off), or the LHT from Spokes, Etc. for $1100. The price certainly points to the Newest, but I'm just not sure, and I'd really like to hear advice from more experienced riders. I kind of get the sense that the Newest is more of a flashy road bike and the LHT would be better for going the distance. Thoughts?

Offline whittierider

Re: Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 01:23:24 am »
Until someone more authoritative responds, I'll pipe up.  It looks like the Fuji Newest 1.0 is just a cheap version of your Silhouette-- probably not as good a ride being aluminum, no eyelets for racks, possible lack of heel clearance for the panniers (although that may not be as much of a problem for women since their feet are generally shorter), and gears possibly not low enough.  You might also need a stronger rear wheel to take the impacts with the pannier load having very little give, unlike your body which you can raise off the seat for the big ones.  The Surly LHT is made for the job though.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 11:20:22 am »
The Newest doesn't look like a good choice to me.  Any of the following (in no particular order) would be better:
  • Fuji Touring
  • Cannondale Touring 2
  • REI Randoneer
  • REI Safari
  • Windsor Touring
  • LHT
  • Trek 520
  • Jamis Aurora
  • A bunch of others that I am probably forgetting

Offline whittierider

Re: Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 01:00:59 pm »
I believe the Windsor Tourist above comes from BikesDirect, doesn't it?  If so, I would stay away.  That is by far the most disreputable distributor I know of, based on too many horror stories I've read from owners.  Any one of the others would be a much better bet.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 04:48:02 pm »
I believe the Windsor Tourist above comes from BikesDirect, doesn't it?
Yes.  Some of their marketing leaves a bad taste, but I was involved in four very satisfactory bike purchases from them.  These included three Windsor Tourists, one for each of my group on the TA, and later a road bike (SprinTour) for me.  All of them were ordered by me and shipped to my house.  The only glitch was that one of them came in the wrong color.  They were happy to swap it for the correct one with the shipping being at their expense.  It is a little weird that they do all their transactions and correspondence either by web or email and don't take phone calls, but they have been very responsive to all emails I have sent them.  After 4 very satisfactory purchases I would not hesitate to deal with them again.

As far as the bikes themselves go, we have been very satisfied with them.  We all did 4200+ miles on the TransAmerica and all of us have put lots of subsequent miles on them.  They have stood up well to touring and in my daughters case to daily commuting.  The road bike has also been very good to me.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 04:53:00 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline windrath

Re: Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 08:31:41 pm »
I will echo what others have said about the Fuji Newest.  It is not a touring bike that you want.  Besides being aluminum, the gearing is lousy for hills.  A good touring bike has at leasta 32, better if it is a 34 for the rear cassette.  And, the front chain should go to 26 instead of 30.  You will find climbing very challenging on this bike.

The LHT is better...


Offline andersbrett

Re: Cross-country tour: Newest vs. Long Haul Trucker
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 09:18:05 am »
Thanks for all the advice, everybody! I'm going with the Long Haul Trucker. It seems very solidly built and quite appropriate for this trip. I've heard naught but praise of this bike.