Thursday, October 04, 2007

10-4, Good Buddy!

I've been meaning to write a little about my most-used bicycle, a 2004 Surly Long Haul Trucker. This is their full-on touring bike, and I was one of the first kids on my block to have one when it was introduced. Mine is a 60cm, which is the second-largest made. I have yet to do any overnight tours on it, but have used it for quite a few long day rides (like this one and this one) and a whole lot of commuting. It probably has about 5000 miles on it by now. More photos over in a Flickr set.

This is the second Surly I've bought as a frameset and built up as a mutt. It's got Specialized Dirt Drop bars (which I suspect are Nittos, but don't know for sure) and bar-end shifters, older Shimano medium-profile cantis, a forged XT crankset (salvaged from a bike my neighbor pulled out of Starkweather Creek), and the wheels from my 2001 Bianchi Volpe. That's a Brooks B17 standard from the days when Nashbar was closing them out at $50.

The racks are a couple of Nittos: an M12 on the front and a Campee (pictured without its lowriders) on the back. I also have a couple of Blackburn braze-on lowriders for the front, but I don't use them unless I'm carrying front panniers. I must confess that the M12 is mostly for decoration so far. Lately I've been using a Nitto uplift and Carradice longflap for commuting. Kind of a nice change from panniers.

This is one of my all-time favorite bikes. Surly got a lot of stuff right, even if some of it is borrowed from the design of the Rivendell Atlantis. It's a plush ride, noticeably slower steering than the Cross Check, rides great no-handed and bombs downhill like it's on rails. All the braze-ons a person could want plus the spare spoke holder. It's a little clunkier than my sport-touring Trek and it's prone to stiking pedals on the pavement in tight turns, but those are things one might well expect from a tourer.

Hoping to do a sub-24-hour-overnight or similar camping trip later this month. I'm thinking maybe Blue Mound or New Glarus Woods. I've got the itch.


Emily said...

You've got a pretty sweet ride there. I love Surly. I put together my current ride with the Cross Check frame, which got me through my first major ride (over 300 miles for ACT V this summer) with flying colors. Even when we had to veer off road and use a packed granite section of the BST, vibration was minimal and the handling was great.

Doug said...

Nice LHT! My next bicycle will be a Surly LHT or a Riv Atlantis. Hopefully in the spring time, depends how much money I have to spend at the time. I hope to start doing some 24 hr camping and touring.