Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Gif4445 on March 05, 2012, 09:37:28 pm

 
Title: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Gif4445 on March 05, 2012, 09:37:28 pm
For credit card touring, what would be best?  Trek 1.2 or a Surly LHT(or equivalent).  I currently have a Trek 1.2 that I took on an 8 day CC tour, covering 500 miles, last summer.  The experience taught me some lessons and made me aware of some of the shortcomings of the Trek.  The short wheel base was a little bit of a problem when my heel struck the panniers.  Repositioned and panniers caught the spokes.  The rack was a Bontrager interchange unit, that didn't protect the spokes adequately.. Used 2 rear panniers mounted on that rack.  About 25 lbs or so on the rear.  Nothing on the front.  Carried an adequate amount of gear for a CCT.   Just wondering if the ride would be improved significantly with a steel bike and longer wheel base, like the Surly LHT could provide.  I am looking at doing the Trans Con (hopefully CCT) within the next few years if that is a deal maker or breaker.  Thanks
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: John Nelson on March 05, 2012, 10:43:34 pm
Yes, the LHT (or equivalent) would work better. Touring bikes almost always work better for touring than non-touring bikes. After all, that's what they are designed for. But would it work significantly enough better to justify buying another bike? If you're looking for an excuse to buy another bike, then this is it. Good racks and good panniers will also help. You don't need any of these things, but if you want them and can afford them, then go for it.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: commuter on March 05, 2012, 10:47:29 pm
Hi
The topic of which bike to use on a tour is something that is talked about a lot. My opinion is that the longer wheelbase of a touring specific bike makes the ride a lot more comfortable, therefore more enjoyable. The Surly LHT is a fantastic choice so you can't go wrong there. If you are hooked on Trek I would choose the Trek 520. My choice for a store bought non custom touring bike is the Salsa Fargo. The most important aspect in purchasing a touring bike, in my opinion, is to buy the bike from a local bike shop with mechanics that you trust because then you will get expert advice at anytime and answers to the many questions that will come up, as well as making sure that the bike fits you correctly.

Hope this helps
Steve
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Joe B on March 05, 2012, 10:54:23 pm
The LHT is a great bike. I just built one this fall and already it is my favorite. The one thing I would say is , ride one first. The reason I say that is I find that the ride and handling improves noticeably with a touring load on it. The bike is nice to ride unloaded but it really comes to life and feels... I hate to use the term luxurious, but its the best word that comes to mind, when it is loaded .
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Pat Lamb on March 06, 2012, 10:09:51 am
For credit card touring, what would be best?  Trek 1.2 or a Surly LHT(or equivalent).

Before we go too far, how much of a load do you expect to carry?  Credit card touring can be accomplished with a moderately sized saddle bag, or you might want to carry a fair bit more.  Some of the "sport touring" or randonneuring bike might be "best" on the light end, while a LHT-like is fine for carrying bigger loads.

(Quotes meant to indicate entire threads could be devoted to those topics.)
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: RussSeaton on March 06, 2012, 10:10:18 am
I'm guessing CCT means Credit Card Tour.  If so, then a Long Haul Trucker or any touring bike would be near the bottom of the list for bikes I would want to ride on a credit card tour.  Credit Card Tour implies you are carrying so little that it will fit in a large saddlebag or rack top bag.  Or a couple other small bags.  NOT panniers.  If you are using panniers, you are not on a credit card tour.  You are on a full scale loaded expedition tour.  That is different than a credit card tour.  I'd suggest you learn how to pack for a credit card tour, then take your current bike or another racing type bike.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: indyfabz on March 06, 2012, 02:32:30 pm
If you are using panniers, you are not on a credit card tour.  You are on a full scale loaded expedition tour.

So a few years ago when I did a 160 mile overnight tour (paying for dinner and the motel room with my credit card) with two panniers because that's what I had handy I wasn't on a credit card tour but rather a full scale loaded expedition tour?  I will have to let the other members of the group know of our accomplishment. Many of them had panniers of one sort or another.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Gif4445 on March 06, 2012, 09:38:22 pm
Thanks everyone for the advice.  I need to clarify some things.  My cycling nomenclature is flawed.  It wasn't long ago that I first learned the term "pannier".  I just thought they were saddle bags, until someone called them panniers.  And I ran wild with it.  For the record, I carried about 25 lbs of stuff on my rear rack, including the Bontrager interchange unit and two SADDLEBAGS.  Sorry for the confusion.  But I really spent too much time on the  carry-on and not enough time explaining what my real question is.  With that amount of load, I know I can use my Trek 1.2.  But I'm curious to know how much better (if any) the Surly LHT would ride with a load like that?  (BTW, I'm currently 210 lbs and shrinking, so that may be a factor.)I'm talking the wear and tear on my body from road cracks, bumps etc.  I know the LHT can be loaded down and performs nicely.  Maybe I've got it wrong, but CCT to me means the bike selection is in the category of "tweener".  I guess we all like to classify things.  Thanks indyfabz for bring that to our attention.   And thanks Russ, for destroying all my cycling confidence.  At least until I figure this all out.   Just kidding, I appreciate all of your input.  I've at least learned to use resources other than the LBS.  I thought with my limited experience I could count on theirs.  Most of the problems I had on my short tour were the result of that "advice".  Rack, saddle bags, inferior tires.  But it was a hell of a good time anyway.  Keep the suggestions  coming!
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: paddleboy17 on March 07, 2012, 12:12:31 pm
I think sometimes we forget that people do just fine with whatever bike they have.  And BikeCentenial was done on bikes that you probably could not give away at a garage sale now.

If I tried to read between your lines...

A longer wheel base lends itself towards a more stable bike.  Steel can have more give to it.  So yes, you would probably enjoy touring on an LHT a lot more than you enjoy touring on your current bike.  If you are looking for someone to validate your desire to get an LHT, I am giving you the validation. :)
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Pat Lamb on March 07, 2012, 01:16:03 pm
For a load of 25 pounds, I think the 1.2 will work acceptably well if you put a decent rack (like a Tubus) on it. 

A "true" touring bike like the LHT or Trek 520 would have two benefits.  First, fatter tires would soften some of the bumps (like the concrete road expansion joints in eastern Colorado  Come to think of it, some of those need p220x14 tires and struts.).  The 23 tires on your 1.2 -- ouch!  How much bigger a tire can you fit on that bike?

Second, lower gearing to get you over the little hills in eastern Kentucky and Missouri, if you ever do a TransAm.  Unless you're young and strong (and fresh when you hit the hills!), you'll appreciate 30% lower gears.

A beefier frame might help with shimmy, but since you didn't list that, I'm guessing you had no problems on your shake-down tour.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Gif4445 on March 07, 2012, 10:08:36 pm
Paddleboy, maybe I am looking for validation.  Thanks!  Probably should just get one and see?   Pdlamb, you mentioned the condition of the roads in eastern CO.  I looked back on my post to see if I mentioned the location of my tour.  You must have ESP, as I traveled from SC Nebraska to Breckenridge CO (soon to be published on CGOAB)  They really weren't that bad compared to parts of highway 2 in north Central NE.  Actually ruined 3 tubes on a 200 mile jaunt.  And my body felt like I had been in a fight.  Interested in reducing that.  Gearing (not an expert here) on the Trek.  Cassette 11-15, 17,19,21,23,25   Triple is 50/39/30.  Loveland pass kicked my butt, but I was probably the bottom hole in the bucket on that.  I was told that 25's were the widest I could put on the bike.  It now has Armadillo 23/25s on.   And thanks for the rack advice.  JoeB, building a bike interests me.  I know I don't have the expertise to do it now, but I read a post somewhere that, in the opinion of the author, the LHT components have been on the cheap side for the last few years.  Interested in what components you went with.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: DaveB on March 10, 2012, 07:42:36 pm
Gearing (not an expert here) on the Trek.  Cassette 11-15, 17,19,21,23,25   Triple is 50/39/30.  Loveland pass kicked my butt, but I was probably the bottom hole in the bucket on that.  I was told that 25's were the widest I could put on the bike.
That's not correct.  A 12x27 cassette will work fine and it will eliminate the useless 11T cog and reduce the low gear by 8% which is useful.  Also your crank's 30T granny chainring can be replaced with a 26T or even a 24T ring to provide a much lower low gear.   
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: csykes on March 11, 2012, 12:04:50 am
I think he was talking about tire width...
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Gif4445 on March 11, 2012, 04:28:39 am
Well, I did the deal.  Bought a Surly LHT.  Had to go to a bike shop 130 miles away, but I believe it was worth it, as I got to test ride a couple.  The guy at this shop was an avid tourer himself, so I went with his advice.  Easier to do when it jives with the info gleamed on this forum.  Don't really like to bypass the LBS, but they don't carry these bikes and it is not their main area of expertise.  Now to get some miles in.  Thanks all for your input, I sure appreciate it!
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Joe B on March 11, 2012, 07:57:35 am
Just about any LBS can get Surly bikes now. They are distributed through QBP. There are not many shops that don't use QBP for at least some items.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: DaveB on March 11, 2012, 09:29:20 am
I think he was talking about tire width...
Yesh, now that I read it again, you're right.  I saw the same number (25) and replied incorrectly.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Gif4445 on March 11, 2012, 11:47:44 am
Yes Joe B, the LBS that I use now could order the bike, but I wanted to ride one first and they did not stock any.   The shop where I purchased the bike had several and since my height was a "tweener", I rode a 56" and 54" to see which was the better fit.  The guy that sold me the bike had ridden to work on a LHT and had been on several long trips with it.   I couldn't get that and the advice at my LBS.  I still want to patronize the local, and will every chance I get, but I think I made the right call in this case.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Gif4445 on March 12, 2012, 10:28:03 pm
Took the maiden voyage on the LHT today and I really, really like how it rides.  Very smooth.  Only did 27 miles, and of course unloaded except for a small rack bag, but she's a lot gentler on my body than the Trek 1.2.  The Surly is heavier, but for some reason I rode about .5 to 1 mph above my normal pace.   Love the bike!
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: jrswenberger on March 13, 2012, 11:53:06 am
Yes Joe B, the LBS that I use now could order the bike, but I wanted to ride one first and they did not stock any.   The shop where I purchased the bike had several and since my height was a "tweener", I rode a 56" and 54" to see which was the better fit.  The guy that sold me the bike had ridden to work on a LHT and had been on several long trips with it.   I couldn't get that and the advice at my LBS.  I still want to patronize the local, and will every chance I get, but I think I made the right call in this case.
Took the maiden voyage on the LHT today and I really, really like how it rides.  Very smooth.  Only did 27 miles, and of course unloaded except for a small rack bag, but she's a lot gentler on my body than the Trek 1.2.  The Surly is heavier, but for some reason I rode about .5 to 1 mph above my normal pace.   Love the bike!

I was in the same position recently. The Trek 560 I've been riding for 26 years is a 56 c-c and the 56 LHT was easily too big. The 54 fits like a glove. I only found this out by driving to a shop that actually stocks Surlys. It is a comfortable and predictable ride. I've been putting some miles on it through my daily commute and some longer weekend rides and I'm very happy with the purchase. Racks and fenders have been installed and my new Ortleibs arrive later this week. Time to hit the road!!!

Enjoy the ride,
Jay

http://jjpeterberger.wordpress.com/
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: Wuwei on March 13, 2012, 09:45:53 pm
You can't go wrong with the LHT. It rides even better loaded. I use mine as a daily commuter and have done 5000+ mile tours on it.
Title: Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
Post by: patrickstoneking on April 04, 2012, 10:42:14 am
Thanks everyone for the advice.  I need to clarify some things.  My cycling nomenclature is flawed.  It wasn't long ago that I first learned the term "pannier".  I just thought they were saddle bags, until someone called them panniers.  And I ran wild with it.  For the record, I carried about 25 lbs of stuff on my rear rack, including the Bontrager interchange unit and two SADDLEBAGS.  Sorry for the confusion.  But I really spent too much time on the  carry-on and not enough time explaining what my real question is.  With that amount of load, I know I can use my Trek 1.2.  But I'm curious to know how much better (if any) the Surly LHT would ride with a load like that?  (BTW, I'm currently 210 lbs and shrinking, so that may be a factor.)I'm talking the wear and tear on my body from road cracks, bumps etc.  I know the LHT can be loaded down and performs nicely.  Maybe I've got it wrong, but CCT to me means the bike selection is in the category of "tweener".  I guess we all like to classify things.  Thanks indyfabz for bring that to our attention.   And thanks Russ, for destroying all my cycling confidence.  At least until I figure this all out.   Just kidding, I appreciate all of your input.  I've at least learned to use resources other than the LBS.  I thought with my limited experience I could count on theirs.  Most of the problems I had on my short tour were the result of that "advice".  Rack, saddle bags, inferior tires.  But it was a hell of a good time anyway.  Keep the suggestions  coming!

My advice - ride whatever you have but get out there and ride.  If the bike doesn't work to your satisfaction try something different.  I have 12 bikes, from full carbon race bikes, xc mountain bikes, hard tails, , touring bikes, etc.  The bike I do most of my trips on?  A butted steel 27 year old Bianchi Nyala mountain bike.  Weighs a ton, has too short a wheel base so my foot occasionally hits my bags, etc.    However, I have been riding it since 1985 and it has never failed me.  With touring tires I can average 14 mph all day cause the gearing and I are meant to be.  And boy oh boy have we had adventures. 

My new Disc Trucker is fantastic and may become my default touring bike sometime in the future but that old, beat up Bianchi is, right now, my hands down winner.