Surly Long Haul Trucker - First ride

What a great day to get out on the bike. The early morning threat of rain has disappeared and now it is cool, clear and overcast with a little bit of a breeze.

So, where to go on my first ride on the Long Haul Trucker (LHT)? Somewhere with climbs, corners, descents, varying road surfaces that is an enjoyable ride. A return trip to Mt Lofty summit was an obvious choice.

First a description of the bike. It has 60cm frame and components as described on the Surly web site with the following additions or modifications:
- Brooks B17 saddle
- Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres (35 x 700c)
- SKS mudguards
- Tioga rack
- Ortlieb Back Roller Classic panniers

If I had to describe the ride in one word it would be "comfortable" which is exactly what I was after. The bike handles very well. It is stable and corners will confidence. It soaks up the bumps so well I actually went looking for rougher parts of the road just to see what would happen.

The LHT isn't the fastest bike around. It is obvious that the extra weight, long chainstays and fat tyres make it slower than my roadie but I won't know how much slower until I do some more rides or ride with a mate that I'm used to riding with.

The bar end shifters took some getting used to but the ups and downs between Norton Summit and Mt Lofty ensured I got plenty of practice. By the time I got home shifting gears was no longer a concern. The stability of the bike allows you to take one hand off the bars and shift gears with confidence.

The cantilever brakes are not as powerful as those on my roadie and certainly no match for a set of discs. However, I have no immediate concerns with their ability to do the job.

I think I'm about to become a big fan of Brooks saddles. The B17 was immediately comfortable and will only become more so once is has conformed to my body shape.

The only other thing I can think of that is worth mentioning is that I'm very happy to have the triple chain ring and mountain bike gearing. I can now ride up very steep hills and that means I can now avoid what was the most dangerous part of my commute.

Overall I'm very happy with the LHT. I'll post again after I've done a few more rides.

Views: 998

Comment by Luke on July 27, 2010 at 22:29
G'day Mr Bond. The Brooks is comfy for me but I've learned the expensive way that saddles are a very personal item. I'd be loathe to offer any advice to anyone regarding saddle choice or what to wear. That said I wear knicks or MTB shorts with a liner on most of my rides. My commute is an 80km round trip and I'm not the fastest rider out there so the extra comfort is welcome when spending a few hours in the saddle.
Comment by Wombat on July 27, 2010 at 22:36
80km round trip? Awesome! That would keep you nice and fit for the Summer cycling season!
Comment by Luke on July 28, 2010 at 9:02

Unfortunately at the pace I ride, particularly due to the large hill on the way home, a ride to work means about three and a half hours in the saddle. That puts a fair dent in the day. I'm also in a situation where I have to travel once I get to work so I only get to ride occasionally. Best I've done is three times in one week. Most times I'm lucky if I get one ride to work in.

With a little luck the distance I have to ride and the need to travel once at work will be reducing shortly. If that happens I'll be riding a lot more often.

Comment by Jules Begg on April 30, 2012 at 21:22

Time for an update Luke

Comment by Luke on April 30, 2012 at 21:31

Hi Jules,

There is a first week and six month update however, I'm about to add a disc fork/brake and a few other goodies and was planning another update after that.



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