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Surly Long Haul Trucker (LHT) 2009 – Kat’s Bike

Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike

Surly Long Haul Trucker in "Truckaccino" on the beach at Bournemouth

I love my LHT!  I’ve never owned a touring bike before but to me it rides like a dream.  I like the LHT’s little quirks: I like the name, I like the colour (“Truckaccino”) and I like the spare spoke holder that runs along the stays (even if I never use the spokes, it just looks cool!).

The LHT rides really smoothly along roads, and as its name suggests, it loves carrying big loads.  When unloaded, there is a lot more vibration and you feel more of the roads bumps, but fully loaded it really comes to life.  It also has the added advantage of three sets of holes for bottle cages, we’ve found this helpful to attach our fuel bottle to the underside of the down tube.  If you need an expedition strength bike then it definitely needs some component upgrading from the original spec, as we have.

My only issues with it are the decals come off very easily, possibly due to the heat, which I think is quite impractical with a touring bike; the other issue being that my Amazonian women’s thigh (i.e. big) often brushes against the left cable guide running along the top tube and has put a hold in a pair of my knicks.  So nothing too major.

Let me say that my LHT was bought second hand (only used a couple of times) for about 20% of the retail price, so this may have a big impact on my views of the LHT.  I’ve also pimped it up to suit my needs from the original 700c spec adding:

  • Brooks B17s saddle
  • Condor flat handlebar (cut to length)
  • Ergo II biocork grips
  • Cane Creek bar ends
  • Shimano Deore V Breaks
  • Shimano Deore Rapid Fire Shifters
  • Deore XT front mech
  • Deore LX chainrings and cranks
  • Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres, (and a set of Schwalbe Marahon Extreme tyres in the panniers for dirt roads)

Pros

  • Reliable
  • Smooth ride
  • Classic look
  • Spare spoke holder
  • Cheap
  • Steel frame
  • Three sets of holes in the frame for bottle cages

Cons

  • Surly decals come off easily in heat
  • Positioning of cable guide on top tube rubbing on leg
  • Needs some component upgrading for an ‘expedition strength bike’

Rating: 8/10

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