Author Topic: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2  (Read 9586 times)

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Offline Rebel

Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« on: April 17, 2010, 07:30:55 pm »
I know there are many various posts on many web sites about 'which bike', but here goes.

I am an avid cyclist and ride a road bike (Specialized Roubaix Pro - 58cm). I am just under 6'2" and about 230lbs. I am looking to get into touring and have been researching touring bikes and have narrowed it pretty much down to a new Surly LHT or a new Cannondale Touring 2. I have also investigated Co-Motion and the Koga Miyata. They are nice, but a good bit more $$. Not against the extra expense, but thought I would wait to see if I like touring.

I have heard the Cannondale (albeit aluminum frame) is very sturdy and a good ride. Others have said 'steel is the only way to go'..  I have also heard the Surly can tend to flex a bit under more weight?

Also debating on the bar end shifters versus the STI / brake integrated for touring. 

Any and all comments, suggestions, war stories, etc., are appreciated....   ???

Have a TERRIFIC day!  -  Rebel

Offline dkoloko

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 08:01:00 pm »
If your heart is set on either, go for it; either shouldn't be bad. You can research steel vs aluminum; topic itself. I am surprised LHT flexes under load; known to be stout. Cannondale known to be stout, if that's your main concern. Criticism of Cannondale is that parts may be less quality than expect at price of bicycle. Fully loaded touring bicycles tend to have bar end shifters; simpler, if need repair; also much cheaper than brifters.

Offline tanslacks

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 11:53:43 pm »
Hi Rebel,

We are very similar in size.. 6'3" 230 and I bought a Surly LHT about 6 months ago and could not be happier. I went from a high end racing bike to this and the transition has been wonderful. Bar end shifters took about two rides to get used to, I hit them once with my knee when I stood out of the saddle, after that I remember to keep my knees in... it's not a problem at all.

As far as flex goes, I have not seen it. I added front and back Surly racks and have carried about 15 pounds and have had no noticeable flex with some pretty good force uphill. I have about two thousand miles on it and the components are holding up great. I changed the seat to a brooks, other than that it's all stock.

I can't speak on the other bike, never rode one... good luck and feel free to contact me if you have questions. I will be doing the west coast route this summer and can't wait
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 11:55:23 pm by tanslacks »

Offline Rebel

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 12:59:44 am »
Thanks TanSlacks -- I am leaning toward the Surly. Will test ride each this coming week.

Offline Rebel

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 01:02:46 am »
TanSlacks --- What size Surly did you go with? I am looking at 58 or 60cm.

Offline tanslacks

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 01:46:20 am »
Rebel,

I went with the 60 and feel like it's right. i don't like a lot of seat stem, but the reach is a bit long and I may have to shorten the stock stem in the future. I'm still not sure about that yet. I was unable to try a 58 anywhere. Obviously the best would be to try both. good luck

Offline indyfabz

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 12:16:15 pm »
I am around that size as well--6'2", about 215.  I have taken my LHT heavily loaded through all sorts of terrain and it has performed wonderfully.  Riding a 60 or 61 (it's about 3 years old and they may have been making a 61 back then).  As noted, the reach is long, but that works for me as my height comes from my waist up.  The wheel set has impressed me. The rear wheel has been trued maybe three times, and one of those times was necessitated by an accident.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2010, 04:53:34 pm »
I rode a Cannondale Touring bike for years and then purchased a Comotion steel bike, steel is real, for me it was more comfortable.. You can always exchange the bar cons for STI's but many people like bar cons. (easier to maintain) There is a company in the USA, AE Cycles, in Seattle,Washington that is an interesting group of people. They bought out the old Rodriguez bike shop and make their own bikes. They have the Adventure in 700 and UTB in 26" wheel. It is right in the middle between Surly and Comotion, price wise. 18 stock sizes and 4 colors. It is worth a look. www.rodbikes.com

Offline Bikearound

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 03:34:56 pm »
Not that it matters in the big picture but I have never seen another bike with such a wide fan base as the LHT. I ride one myself so I know what a good bike it is, but name one other bike that has such a universal appeal as the LHT. And the funny part is that it's so non tech.

Offline Galloper

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 05:58:28 am »
I recently became the very pleased owner of an LHT.   It handles extremely well both loaded and unloaded.   I've had speeds of over 40mph with a full load - panniers front and rear, bag on the rear carrier and a bar bag.   No problems.

I have to admit I don't like bar end shifters and like Tanslacks, have the bruises to show for it.   I'm also not a great fan of drop bars.   So I binned the bars, bar end shifters and cantilever brakes replacing them with trekking bars, Deore trigger shifters and V brakes.   That transformed an already delightful bike into an absolute joy.   

I might also add that it handles rough tracks and poor roads extremely well and seems to soak up far more road buzz than you might expect.   At one point I actually wondered if it had some form of suspension seat post, it was so good.   It hasn't  :)   

Offline staehpj1

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 06:53:14 am »
This is all personal preference, but...  I very much prefer STI over bar end shifters.  That alone would be enough to sway me.  Yeah you could switch to STI, but it is a pretty expensive upgrade.

As far as steel vs aluminum...  I don't really think the ride is that much better with steel.  Tires and tire pressure are a much bigger factor.  Also I would have to assume the T2 would benefit from the greater stiffness. 

Offline Rebel

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 10:21:12 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback folks... I rode both a Cannondale Touring 2 and a Surly LHT. After the ride, it was HANDS DOWN... the LHT.. As I had noted, I have a Specialized Roubaix Pro carbon road bike (Zertz inserts)... I bought a new 60cm LHT last week, put on a Brooks B17 and took it out for a 25 mile (hilly) test ride yesterday.  I have to say that the LHT is actually smoother than my Roubaix Pro, which is smooth...

I am actually considering selling my Roubaix carbon bike and buying another LHT for my road bike? I have a DuraAce compact double that I may put on it...

Looking forward to getting the LHT setup for touring. Now to decide on racks, panniers, etc....

Surly LHT has another 'convert'.  Never thought a steel bike would be that smooth a ride, not to mention very nice and stable handling...

Have a TERRIFIC day!
 

Offline Tourista829

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2010, 10:35:32 pm »
Rebel, Did you know the LHT now comes in both 700c and 26" wheel in your size. For your road bike why don't you consider a Surly Crosscheck. It's geometry gives the bike, a little quicker handling and the steering tube is a little lower. It also has tighter gearing. They offer a frame called the Travelcheck which comes with S&S Couplers. It will cost you a little more, but you can build it the way you want. However, unlike the LHT, only comes in a 700c wheel.

Offline Rebel

Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 12:26:09 am »
Thanks Tourista....  I had a LBS recommend the Surly Pacer for a potential road bike... I will check out the CrossCheck as well

Offline NoGaBiker

Re: STI vs BarCons
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 11:52:43 pm »
Don't forget; if your only reason for riding BarCons is the fear STIs will break somewhere on the back side of the moon, two thoughts spring to mind:

1) in 10,000 miles with them I've never had one break, and
2) if I'm really going so far into the unknown that it's critical, I can carry a DuraAce downtube shifter or two. Pop off the Cable Stop Converter on the side of the broken STI, install DT shifter in its place, trim cable length down to fit, begin using broken STI as brake lever only. The DT shifters probably weigh five ounces and take up 2 cubic inches of space. Problem solved.

So, if your prefer STI shifting, it's not worth settling for BarCons for the supposed greater reliability.