Sunday, May 13, 2007

One Year of Trucking...

An email I sent to the Surly LHT/CC Google Group:

"As I was riding my LHT home yesterday I realized it was about a year since I first got her on the road. Our relationship started on a rocky note when I realized the brake studs were misaligned when they welded them on. That quality control issue and then the 4-5 months I had to wait to get a replacement frame soured me a bit to the Surly Love Cult that seems to pervade the net. However, the long wait for a replacement frame forced me to put a lot of kms on my LHT. By the time I got the replacement frame in I didn’t want to bother swapping components until the winter so I wouldn’t lose any time on the saddle. Then my December Baja tour came together I didn’t want to swap to the new frame right before a big tour and risk having troubles in the middle of nowhere. Finally after Baja I realized I had bonded with my sage green LHT over our several thousand KMs together and I decided to just keep riding her. Anna benefited as she rec’d my warranty frame and swapped the parts from her REI Randonee to a red cherry pearl LHT.

So what do I think about my LHT after a year? It is my most versatile bike and it fits me the best of any bike I have owned. I have been on two tours with my LHT and it has handled long days in the saddle well. I was able to rocket down mountain passes with confidence and I can climb my LHT like a goat on fire – even loaded with gear. When unloaded I can bomb around town with the roadies and then I can go haul a week’s worth of groceries home. I’m very pleased with the Schwalbe Marathon XRs in 35mm width. They seem as fast as the 32mm standard marathons I was running before and they are comfortable. Best of all I have room for fenders AND big tires. The shimano barend shifters and XT rear der shift better than any other bike I have had – I love the friction shifting up front. I managed to get really lucky and hang just the right combination of parts off this frame. It isn’t any one component or just the frame – somehow all of these things have come together to make a very special bike.

I guess what says it all is that if I had to get rid of all my bikes, except for one, I’d keep the LHT.

Keep on trucking….


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