Author Topic: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up  (Read 5728 times)

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Offline Stevenp

Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« on: January 19, 2011, 01:18:48 pm »
I am biking across the country on a Surly LHT in mid-July. I have a list of things i need to add to the bike to make it complete and ready for the long trip and wanted any expert advice I could get on the following items:

TIRES -
STEM -
SADDLE -
BREAKS -
SEAT POST SUSPENSION -
PEDALS -
COMPUTER -
FRONT/REAR LIGHTS -
PUMP -
WATER HOLDERS (X3) -
FRONT RACK -
REAR RACK -

Mind you, I'm not looking for you to help me with every item, but if know of something you would definitely recommend, I want to hear about it.

Thanks for your help!
Stevenp

Offline John Nelson

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 01:56:37 pm »
Tires: I'd suggest something 32 to 37 mm wide. I like any of Schwalbe's touring tires, but there are many other suitable brands as well. I'd go with the Schwalbe Marathon Dupreme, size 622-37 (if you have 700 wheels).
Stem: Personal preference. Try the one you have first.
Saddle: The Brooks B-17 is probably the most commonly recommended saddle. But I'd first try the saddle you already have to see if it is good for you. If you get the B-17, make sure you get it 1000 miles in advance of your start.
Brakes: V-brakes are common for touring bikes, and I think the LHT does not have them.
Seat post suspension: just say no
Pedals: I'd go with SPD, simple and reliable.
Computer: Planet Bike Protege 9.0 (wired--eliminates possible interference problems with wireless). I'd skip the GPS as it uses too much battery power and you won't likely need it.
Front light: None. Don't plan to ride in the dark. If you get caught out unexpectedly, use your camp flashlight.
Rear light: Any bright red flashing thing. I like one that mounts to the rear of the rack so it isn't blocked by my gear. Planet Bike makes a rack-mounted light.
Pump: Topeak Road Morph (or Mountain Morph).
Water holders: anything will do
Racks: If budget permits, you cannot to better than Tubus. I like Tara front and Cargo rear, but Logo rear is also very popular. If budget is tighter, you can look for something less expensive, but make sure it is rated for your load.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 03:28:40 pm »
Tires-Wider is generally better.  Particular model doesn't matter.  Once you get into the wide category, they are all fairly tough and durable.
Stem-The right length and angle.  You determine this by riding and fitting the bike to you.
Saddle-I use Brooks.
Brakes-Doesn't your bike already have some?  I've never found much difference in brakes.  They all seem to work well enough to stop the bike.
No suspension seatpost.  Wastes too much energy.
Computer-Cateye wired.  Always works.
Lights-Carry a flashlight that can be strapped to the bars for the front.  Also useful in camp.  Get 2 or 3 rear red blinking lights.  Put a zip-tie through the back vents of your helmet and hang one there.  Put the others on the backs of bags or racks or seatstays.  More is better for rear blinkies.
Pump-Blackburn frame pump.
Bottle cages-Some aluminum ones.  Or stainless steel ones for looks and coolness.
Racks-I use a Blackburn Expedition on the rear.  Blackburn low riders on the front.

Offline cotterg3

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 06:17:53 pm »
TIRES - How much off road do you intend to ride and how rugged? For me, I like slightly skinnier tires for higher pressure and less rolling resistance (generally), not so hard to get on and off when fixing a flat that I'm cursing the world (shwalbe marathon plus and continental touring gave me issues - especially on those stock alex rims), and fairly puncture resistant. I don't care about weight since I ride fully loaded. With this criteria, and assuming mostly road travel, I recommend shwalbe marathon 28mm.

STEM - Any $20 stem that fits your riding position. I prefer 4 bolt clamp style stems.

SADDLE - Depends on if your riding position is upright or more aggressive. I generally recommend brooks B17 standard.

BREAKS - Stock surly brakes work for me. Replaced a lot of brake pads with the cantilever style breaks though. I liked using koolstop mtb pads.

SEAT POST SUSPENSION - I prefer not.

PEDALS - Clipless IMO. Helps prevent injury and extra efficiency is nice. Any mountain bike style SPD with recessed cleats so walking around of the bike for short distances is simpler.

COMPUTER - Mine always break.

FRONT/REAR LIGHTS - Up to you. If you plan to ride a lot at night something very powerful. I just used the most powerful petzl headlamp which barely sufficed for night riding.

PUMP - Something with a pressure gauge. I like the topeak road morph a lot.

WATER HOLDERS (X3) - Any

FRONT RACK - Lots to consider here. Do you want a platform on top, or just a low rider? I like jandd low rider front rack and surly front nice rack depending on what you're looking for.

REAR RACK - I like lower rails so panniers and something large on the platform can fit. Topeak super tourist DX is nice, or a tubus logo for something fancier.

Have fun!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 08:19:02 pm by cotterg3 »

Offline tonythomson

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 09:46:42 pm »
MIRROR for me the one piece of kit that is not only essential but is far more likely to keep you safe than anything else.

Seat post suspension - don't even go there.

Breaks - have plenty of those.

+1 for no front light unless it double up for your camp flash light.
Have used Scwalbe Marathon & Continentals both puncture resistant and never thought one was better than the other, both v good.

Pedal +1 for clip-less I use one of the mountain bike platform type as I ride in cross trainers.  This for me saves me taking two pair of shoes as can't walk in cycling shoes.

I only use two bottle holders as the bottom one can get covered in gunge on wet mucky days.  If i need extra water put in one of the panniers.

Have got fenders on your list - another must for me.
Never had problems with my Catseye computer.

I like the mini pumps as i can hide it away in a pannier.

Good luck

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Galloper

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 08:23:45 am »
I don't know what availability is like in the USA but I've found the Panarace Pasela Tourguard a very good tyre, smoother rolling than Schwalbe but better suited to pure pavement use.

+1 for Brooks and Roadmorph pumps.

I use Shimano M530 pedals which have a clip on one side and a platform on the other.   Having said that I'm now starting to wonder about flat pedals.   I use them on my mountain bikes and find them comfortable and grippy.   Given the larger surface area and the ability to be used with virtually any shoe, they have some benefits which I want to explore in a touring setting.   I've used them with dedicated MTB shoes, Merrell walking shoes, Brasher lightweight walking boots and cross trainers and they've worked very well with all of these.

I have a suspension seat post on one of my bikes and have no criticism of it.   It certainly helps with overall ride comfort on some of the rougher cycle trails and with 2k of use seems to last well.   A note of caution however, I found that the suspension seat post on a cheap and cheerful Trek 7200 has become a bit wobbly after about 1k.

Offline Stevenp

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 09:47:57 am »
Great information!

A couple of questions that come to mind right away would be:

FENDERS -
GPS -
PANNIERS -

ALSO, If I wanted to give my bike some personality with color or anything else, being that my bike is all black, what are some common ways people go about doing that? You know, maybe just some color throughout the bike or spokes...etc?

Thanks for this great information!

Steve

Offline John Nelson

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 09:51:36 am »
I only use two bottle holders as the bottom one can get covered in gunge on wet mucky days.
I use all three, but I never drink from the lower bottle cap, which can get covered with giardia and other nasties. Before I use that bottle, I swap the lid with one of my other bottles.

Offline cotterg3

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 10:18:01 am »
FENDERS - I like them. Any kind works, though I recommend something on the sturdier side. Mud flaps are necessary IMO to keep your feet and any riders directly behind you dry in soggy conditions.

GPS - Helpful for navigating city and suburban streets with a lot of turns. Also helpful for finding establishments like diners and hotels. Cons are that they are expensive and eat batteries. I prefer simply using maps, its easier for people to give you directions and more fun to look at. However, I miss the gps when I have to resort to a lot of turn by turn directions in urban/suburban areas.

PANNIERS - I recommend ortlieb. Sturdy, waterproof (putting rain covers on non waterproof when it starts to rain is a little annoying), available and relatively cheap (compared to arkels). Axiom makes similar products, but I haven't used them. My only beef with ortliebs are the lack of separate compartments. Thus I recommend using a handlebar bag to store things like wallet, snacks, and sunglasses.


Regarding style - Colored handlebar tape, saddle, and panniers will make things a lot more colorful. Maybe paint or powdercoat the racks or the cranks?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 10:22:43 am by cotterg3 »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 02:14:10 pm »
Re: style and color:  It's a shame your bike isn't red, as red bikes are know to be faster.  ;)

Ortlieb has some brightly colored panniers.  Even though the front and back sides are black, the enormous yellow dome of a Bikepacker (or similar) can be seen from a long way off.  I think they discontinued the orange last year -- it probably looked too much like construction barrels.

On sunny days, you can dry your red and hi-vis jerseys by strapping to the rear rack.

Seriously, you'll spend a lot more time looking away from your bike than at your bike.  Don't worry about it.

Or maybe mount stuffed toy moose to your handlebar bag?

Offline DaveB

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 03:46:34 pm »
I only use two bottle holders as the bottom one can get covered in gunge on wet mucky days.
I use all three, but I never drink from the lower bottle cap, which can get covered with giardia and other nasties. Before I use that bottle, I swap the lid with one of my other bottles.
Hmmm, I always thought the third water bottle mount under the downtube was for a fuel bottle. Down there you can't reach it while riding and inadvertently drink from it.

Offline lonerider

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 04:02:53 pm »
Great ideas on equipment from all. Gotta say, Brooks saddles are unbeatable for long term comfort, but ya gotta break 'em in for a few hundred before you go.
The Morph pump is simply the best I have encountered in 30 years of riding.
SKS fenders are excellent.
SPD Shimano are super durable.
Suspension post is just another piece of equipment that could fail.
Brakes: just stay away from el cheapos.
There are many front lights that can double as a flash light. Princeton Tec, Blackburn, Cateye, etc. Yes, must have a rear flashing light. Lots of good ones out there.

Have fun.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 07:06:20 pm »
GPS - I personally prefer maps but first I research the places you go through on Google  Earth and Wikipedia - writing all the info onto your maps. Is that a bit old fashioned ?  It's just that depending where you are planning on staying - ie camping or motels and if you can't recharge your batteries then you could be in trouble.

I Have a black Surly love it.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Stevenp

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 09:56:13 pm »
Tony,

Did you get the 700cc or 26"?

It's pretty much a nobrainer about getting the 700cc for cross-country, right? I'm planning on getting the 700cc.

Thanks so much for all of the input. I have plenty of information to go off of now in making decisions for my bike.

Happy travels!

Offline tonythomson

Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 10:45:08 pm »
Hi
yep 700 32c nice compromise.
have a great ride
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com