Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Surly LHT or CC Selection Advice

Both the LHT and the CC are great bikes that would work for the majority of riders. This is one of the challenges in picking one over the other. There are very few situations where only one would be suitable.

LHT [specs]

  • Designed for fully loaded long distance touring
    • Long chain stays
    • Front and rear rack mounts
    • Relaxed geometry
    • Heavy & stiff frame
    • Low bottom bracket
    • Clearance for wide tires & fenders
    • Vertical drop outs [135mm]
  • Two wheel sizes
    • 54cm and smaller uses 26” wheels
    • 56cm and larger uses 700c wheels

CC [specs]

  • Designed as a versatile cyclo-cross bike
    • Medium chain stays
    • Rear rack mount
    • Less relax geometry [quicker handling]
    • High bottom bracket
    • Lighter frame
    • Only 700c wheels
    • Semi-horizontal drop outs [132.5mm]

Pick the LHT if:

  • You’ll be doing fully loaded tours
  • You are short and prefer the fit offered by 26” wheels
  • You want a very relaxed slower handling bike

Pick the CC if:

  • If you’ll be riding off-road
  • If you prefer a lighter faster handling bike
  • If you want 700c wheels and you ride a 54cm or smaller frame
  • If you want to be able to build a single speed bike

Keep in mind:

  • People have toured across the US on CCs
  • People have done club rides with their LHT

Sizing Advice

See the Surly website.


Big Head Red said...

I know it's inferred, but I think you should spell out that the LHT has vertical d/outs and the CC, horizontals.

Also, I thought the CC had the long TT?

Otherwise, an excellent summary.

-Big Head Red

Vik said...

Thanks. Changes made.

Ken Homer said...

Your comment about a relaxed, slower handling bike hit home with me. I hadn't ridden a bike in 30+ years until this summer when I rebuilt an old Peugeot, then bought a used Lemond Zurich. The Lemond is a great bike but has pretty tight frame dimensions, probably more so than the CC. The LHT is just what I was looking for. It brings the big smiles.

Eric said...

I would add:

The frame weight isn't that much different, 0.25 pounds in the listed 58cm size.

Also, although many people say the max bar height is equal on both, there as some differences:

1) the LHT has 78mm BB drop vs. 66 on the CC. +12 for the LHT (approx)

2) The LHT has a longer fork steere tube (320 vs. 300) +20

3) The CC has a longer fork (axle to crown) 400 vs. 390, -10

The net is +22 for the LHT (not accounting for angles involved)


Big Head Red said...

Where'd you find the steer tube measurements?

Metaluna said...

A few critiques of the Cross-Check:

1) Semi-horizontal dropouts make wheel mounting harder, and can slip forward under load if quick release not clamped down really tight.

2) Lacks a rear braze-on housing stop/hanger for center pull brakes. Surly's default solution of putting a cable hanger on the seatpost bolt makes for poor cable routing.

3) Top-tube housing stops may run on wrong side for typical rear V-brake (unless you have a reversible noodle), though in practice it isn't too awkward to loop the housing over from the other side.

Point #2 in particular is mystifying to me. Virtually every other cyclocross frame I've seen has a rear cable hanger. I guess if you're building a fixie and don't want a rear brake this makes the frame look cleaner, but as with the dropout issues, these are disadvantages if you plan on using the CC as a geared bike.

Big Head Red said...

Questions/comments about issues mentioned:

1) Do you use internal cam, steel Q/R skewers? I've never, ever had my CC axle slip.

2) The lack of a rear brake cable stop is annoying. Surly did however come out with a nice solution.

Metaluna said...

To answer big head red's questions:
1) I am using Shimano XT skewers, which have internal cams and, I believe, steel teeth to grip the dropout. It's only happened to me maybe three times, once when the frame was new and the dropouts still had paint on them. The other times, I suspect I had the skewer a little too loose. Not a big deal, but my point was that horizontal dropouts have advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, on rear-derailleur equipped bikes you don't really get any of the advantages, but still have to deal with the disadvantages.

2) That Surly hanger looks really nice. I may have to try one out. Right now I'm using a Tektro 1272AF cable hanger that I have bolted to the rear brake bridge. I'm using a Jagwire "mickey" barrel adjuster, which is designed to slip into the top-tube housing stop. Works well, but having that Surly part available would have saved me many hours of experimentation.