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LHT vs Trek 520 // Which size? Which bike? Classic question, plz help!

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LHT vs Trek 520 // Which size? Which bike? Classic question, plz help!

Old 03-26-19, 02:38 PM
  #26  
Winky
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
Winky: That's strange. I've worked in bike shops before and we had no problem building up a bike for a potential buyer. Especially a popular bike like a LHT.

I live in Toronto and I'm a big fan of Urbane Cyclist and Mountain Equipment Coop. Suggest you drop in to both shops and ask for advice and test rides. Urbane is a Surly dealer and MEC has a great touring bike called the National.
I fibbed before, the unassembled Surly LHT is in Toronto but the shop owner won't build it without a commitment to buy. He isn't sure what year it is from but I have a list of the parts that would be on it if anyone is interested.

I actually test rode the Disc Trucker 42cm at Urbane but they have no plans of getting the size 46.

I went to MEC as well and the touring bike that they sell was really heavy and unattractive! Not into it
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Old 03-26-19, 02:41 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Edited.

I think I'd still go for the Trek.
Includes pedals and a rear rack.
Disk brakes with no upcharge
The 2017-18 bike actually has a higher spec par with the LHT compared to the 2019,which went down a notch on the drivetrain but switched from bar-end to STI shifters and added a front rack
Thank you!
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Old 03-26-19, 04:27 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Winky View Post
The Trek that I am interested in is in Montreal, so if I decide on the Trek I was planning on taking the train from Toronto to buy it and then bike it back. I could search around the shops there for a Surly too.

The Surly that I found for the discounted price is for sale in Toronto by a friendly but cranky shop owner who will not assemble it without a commitment to purchase. Now I am also finding out that the sale ends this weekend. This is kinda turning me off of this particular Surly! But I like the idea of the lower standover height. I did try the smallest Surly Disc Trucker at a Toronto shop and it was too small. After emailing Surly directly I'm pretty confident I would be a 46.

This is good info about the leg length, did your family member also change the length of the crank?
Don't know what to say, having to come to Mtl, one would think that they would be able to get one in T.O.
I know the folks at La Cordee Boutique on St Laurent blvd fairly well, have gone their for years and have given a talk last year on my Latin America trips. Its a good store , with a great range of panniers etc, let me know if you would like me to call them and ask about a 46cm LHT.
This is techno blah blah, but its a shame the LHT changed the crankset, the front gears, from what the trek has 48/36/26, to a 50/39/30.
The 48/36/26 to me is a great touring crank, and having toured on a 50/39/30 where I changed the 30 to a 26 on my own, I feel pretty strongly backed up by experience that the 39 mid ring is a bit too large, and the 30 also.
The 48/36/26 is a great all rounder crankset, the LHT has always had this crankset, don't understand why they went to a larger one (has to be cost, even the last few years, they had the ten speed 48/36/26 and 10 gears in back, so it has to be a cost thing)

about the leg length thing, we've never gone to any changes, but that person doesnt ride that much, but one day I would like to look into either a diff sized crank arm on either side, or like what you did, to even things up more, because it really is better to even things up.

re stems, the thing that holds the handlebars, even going to a short one is not a problem. On my Surly Troll that I set up for drop bars, I have a very short one, about 50mm ("normal" tends to be about 90 or 100) and it does not steer too quickly at all, which some people have concerns about. Dont forget, throw front panniers on, and a handlebar bag and your bike's steering is going to slow down a lot anyway)
Stems also have diff angles to them, so one can get one that is angled up more, essentially putting your handlebars up more also, which along with seat to bars distance, is another factor for comfort.

Getting a bike, especially a drop bar bike , to fit you well, is the most important thing. When you have a bike that works for you riding for many hours, day after day, it really is a beautiful thing and much appreciated. Sometimes though it takes a while to recognize the signs of , oh I need the bars a bit nearer, or a bit higher, this would make all the difference in my comfort....etc etc.
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Old 03-29-19, 07:04 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Don't know what to say, having to come to Mtl, one would think that they would be able to get one in T.O.
I know the folks at La Cordee Boutique on St Laurent blvd fairly well, have gone their for years and have given a talk last year on my Latin America trips. Its a good store , with a great range of panniers etc, let me know if you would like me to call them and ask about a 46cm LHT.
This is techno blah blah, but its a shame the LHT changed the crankset, the front gears, from what the trek has 48/36/26, to a 50/39/30.
The 48/36/26 to me is a great touring crank, and having toured on a 50/39/30 where I changed the 30 to a 26 on my own, I feel pretty strongly backed up by experience that the 39 mid ring is a bit too large, and the 30 also.
The 48/36/26 is a great all rounder crankset, the LHT has always had this crankset, don't understand why they went to a larger one (has to be cost, even the last few years, they had the ten speed 48/36/26 and 10 gears in back, so it has to be a cost thing)

about the leg length thing, we've never gone to any changes, but that person doesnt ride that much, but one day I would like to look into either a diff sized crank arm on either side, or like what you did, to even things up more, because it really is better to even things up.

re stems, the thing that holds the handlebars, even going to a short one is not a problem. On my Surly Troll that I set up for drop bars, I have a very short one, about 50mm ("normal" tends to be about 90 or 100) and it does not steer too quickly at all, which some people have concerns about. Dont forget, throw front panniers on, and a handlebar bag and your bike's steering is going to slow down a lot anyway)
Stems also have diff angles to them, so one can get one that is angled up more, essentially putting your handlebars up more also, which along with seat to bars distance, is another factor for comfort.

Getting a bike, especially a drop bar bike , to fit you well, is the most important thing. When you have a bike that works for you riding for many hours, day after day, it really is a beautiful thing and much appreciated. Sometimes though it takes a while to recognize the signs of , oh I need the bars a bit nearer, or a bit higher, this would make all the difference in my comfort....etc etc.
I keep getting locked out since I am new and you can't post more than five posts a day. Always right when I want to ask a specific question or respond to something!

I emailed the store you recommended and they didn't have any small Surly frames in stock but they put me in contact with the Surly rep in Ontario. He said he would get the Toronto store to assemble the LHT for a test ride but I didn't want to cause any friction. Anyhow I called around Montreal and Marin Swiss had a Trek 520 Disc from 2015 for 1099 plus tax. SO, I bought it. I did like everything you said about Surly, no toe overlap and better proportioned for smaller riders, etc... I will get it properly fitted and do my summer tour on it and if it ends up being a bad match for me I will Kijiji it and go Surly

Thank you so much for all of your input, this was a good way to get info.
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Old 03-29-19, 10:37 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
This is techno blah blah, but its a shame the LHT changed the crankset, the front gears, from what the trek has 48/36/26, to a 50/39/30.
The 48/36/26 to me is a great touring crank, and having toured on a 50/39/30 where I changed the 30 to a 26 on my own, I feel pretty strongly backed up by experience that the 39 mid ring is a bit too large, and the 30 also.
The 48/36/26 is a great all rounder crankset, the LHT has always had this crankset, don't understand why they went to a larger one (has to be cost, even the last few years, they had the ten speed 48/36/26 and 10 gears in back, so it has to be a cost thing)
I can't believe they changed the crankset either. I didn't realize they had until I saw your post. I ran the stock crank on my LHT, before they changed it, for a few years, then changed it to a Sugino XD2 46/36/24. I was commuting in the Ozarks at the time, with a heavy load some days, and decided I wanted the smaller chainwheel. I love the 24. I went with a shorter crank as well. It is a 170. I think they made a mistake going with the larger chainwheels.
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Old 03-29-19, 12:56 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Winky View Post
...Anyhow I called around Montreal and Marin Swiss had a Trek 520 Disc from 2015 for 1099 plus tax. SO, I bought it...
Congrats, you have 10 posts so you have no excuse to not post a photo. Here is a stock one:
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Old 03-29-19, 01:59 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Winky View Post
I keep getting locked out since I am new and you can't post more than five posts a day. Always right when I want to ask a specific question or respond to something!

I emailed the store you recommended and they didn't have any small Surly frames in stock but they put me in contact with the Surly rep in Ontario. He said he would get the Toronto store to assemble the LHT for a test ride but I didn't want to cause any friction. Anyhow I called around Montreal and Marin Swiss had a Trek 520 Disc from 2015 for 1099 plus tax. SO, I bought it. I did like everything you said about Surly, no toe overlap and better proportioned for smaller riders, etc... I will get it properly fitted and do my summer tour on it and if it ends up being a bad match for me I will Kijiji it and go Surly

Thank you so much for all of your input, this was a good way to get info.
Glad it worked out. Thats a very good price for a very good bike. Will you get it shipped to T.O or do it here? I wouldnt recommend riding off on a multi day , well, a week + trip on a new bike--from the fit and positioning aspect, let alone the possible adjustment side of things bike wise, like spoke tensions, derailleur cables etc that generally need a tweak after a bit of riding. Spokes given you would have panniers on, but if that is what you're doing, thats what youre doing....
I know the store, but have never bought a bike there. They tend to sell high end road bikes, so as a joe blow tourer, the few times Ive gone in in the past, Ive had the impression they werent too interested in someone not wanting to drop 3, 4 5 grand on a road bike (but perhaps thats not fair on my part, a feeling I had from a long time ago)

good luck with whatever you do, glad it worked out.
Get back if you want.
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Old 03-29-19, 02:10 PM
  #33  
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ps, re the stem, I recommend going conservative and getting them to put on a stem that is perhaps shorter (if needed) but especially angled up more. Look at the angle of the one in the photo, and imagine one angled up at 30-40 degrees, this will put the bars higher, and is just plain nice--especially if you are new to drop bars.

The thing is, the guys doing fittings are sometimes roadie young guys who think that everyone has the flexibility and or years ridiing dropbars in racing mode--so just be wary and dont be shy about asking about stems that put the bars higher. How much you ride, your general fitness, core strenght, all that rigamorole, comes into play, and stems that are inexpensive (20 bucks) work fine, so no need for expensive ones.
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Old 03-29-19, 08:37 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Congrats, you have 10 posts so you have no excuse to not post a photo. Here is a stock one:
LOL

Here is the pic they sent me from the shop!

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Old 03-29-19, 08:45 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Glad it worked out. Thats a very good price for a very good bike. Will you get it shipped to T.O or do it here? I wouldnt recommend riding off on a multi day , well, a week + trip on a new bike--from the fit and positioning aspect, let alone the possible adjustment side of things bike wise, like spoke tensions, derailleur cables etc that generally need a tweak after a bit of riding. Spokes given you would have panniers on, but if that is what you're doing, thats what youre doing....
I know the store, but have never bought a bike there. They tend to sell high end road bikes, so as a joe blow tourer, the few times Ive gone in in the past, Ive had the impression they werent too interested in someone not wanting to drop 3, 4 5 grand on a road bike (but perhaps thats not fair on my part, a feeling I had from a long time ago)

good luck with whatever you do, glad it worked out.
Get back if you want.
Clearly the bike has been there for a while which makes sense if they sell more $$$ bikes. Who knows what else they might have in their basement gathering dust!

They were super helpful and communicative and very fast moving. They are shipping the bike, even with the shipping it is still a great savings. I agree, my other idea of biking back was definitely not practical! I have the leg length thing I have to figure out before I set out on any long rides. I started another thread where I am getting lots of good ideas in that department. Thank you : )
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Old 03-29-19, 08:48 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
ps, re the stem, I recommend going conservative and getting them to put on a stem that is perhaps shorter (if needed) but especially angled up more. Look at the angle of the one in the photo, and imagine one angled up at 30-40 degrees, this will put the bars higher, and is just plain nice--especially if you are new to drop bars.

The thing is, the guys doing fittings are sometimes roadie young guys who think that everyone has the flexibility and or years ridiing dropbars in racing mode--so just be wary and dont be shy about asking about stems that put the bars higher. How much you ride, your general fitness, core strenght, all that rigamorole, comes into play, and stems that are inexpensive (20 bucks) work fine, so no need for expensive ones.
Ok, this is a good tip!
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Old 03-30-19, 04:27 AM
  #37  
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I was listening to a biking podcast last night taking about disc brake pad differences, and one of the guys on it mentioned an article he wote about the importance of pad bedding in when new, worth the read if you are new to disc brakes or even if not.

https://cyclingtips.com/2018/03/road-disc-brake-bed-in-process-end-vibrating-noise/

one important thing to remember, don't touch pads or rotors with greasy fingers.

Disc stuff works great but new stuff to learn for living with them and working with them.
Cheers
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Old 03-30-19, 09:51 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I was listening to a biking podcast last night taking about disc brake pad differences, and one of the guys on it mentioned an article he wote about the importance of pad bedding in when new, worth the read if you are new to disc brakes or even if not.

https://cyclingtips.com/2018/03/road...brating-noise/

one important thing to remember, don't touch pads or rotors with greasy fingers.

Disc stuff works great but new stuff to learn for living with them and working with them.
Cheers
I have added that to my to-do list. I would not have known otherwise, thanks!
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Old 03-30-19, 10:27 AM
  #39  
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MEC Canada's REI, has its own lines of Bikes ..

4 in Touring sort ..







..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-30-19 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 03-30-19, 03:18 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Winky View Post
LOL

Here is the pic they sent me from the shop!

Non-drive side photo! The cardinal sin of bike photography. <G>

Congratulations on the new bike. I have a Trek 520 that's about 30 years old. Great bikes.
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Old 03-30-19, 03:19 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I was listening to a biking podcast last night taking about disc brake pad differences, and one of the guys on it mentioned an article he wote about the importance of pad bedding in when new, worth the read if you are new to disc brakes or even if not.

https://cyclingtips.com/2018/03/road...brating-noise/

one important thing to remember, don't touch pads or rotors with greasy fingers.

Disc stuff works great but new stuff to learn for living with them and working with them.
Cheers
Also, don't activate the brakes unless you have the wheel mounted or a spacer between the pads.
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Old 03-31-19, 08:23 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
Also, don't activate the brakes unless you have the wheel mounted or a spacer between the pads.
good point to mention.

this touches on the whole disc brake thing. Winky, I don't know if you have any interest in bike mechanics and doing your own stuff, but even if you aren't interested, the basics of not touching the discs with greasy fingers (if you do, wipe them with a clean rag, paper towel whatever, if you can, use rubbing alcohol if possible) and as this person brought up, if the front wheel is out, dont reef on the brake lever, as the brake pads can get pushed out a bit too far.
I knew this, but did it once by mistake, when putting my bike in a cardboard box for air travel and I forgot to wedge some clean paper inbetween the pads.

the positive side of discs is that when working properly, they generally just work and can work a long time well. Yes, loud screeching can happen if the pads get contaminated, so it is at least in your best interests to read about mechanical disc brakes and the basics.
Mechanical, meaning with cables like regular brakes, not like hydraulic disc brakes which use hydraulic fluid in pipes to do the compressing of the brake pads (like in cars etc)
Mechanicals are simpler, and are the type I have on my bike , my first bike with discs, so like I said, I had to learn all new stuff--but thats me, I enjoy the mechanical stuff and feel its important as a cycle tourer to be self sufficient and have understanding of the mechanics of my bike.

oh, also, be careful of how discs are more powerful than regular rim brakes, so its important that you get a feel for them, especially in the wet, so you dont end up on your keester.
I feel its very important to do braking tests in a controlled setting, to learn how much you can use them getting close to locking up, because in an emergency situation, you HAVE to have that engrained learned response of how much to haul on the levers. If not, the risk of overdoing it badly is much more. Basically, practice.

have fun with bike
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Old 03-31-19, 10:00 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Winky View Post
LOL

Here is the pic they sent me from the shop!

Congrats on the new bike! Enjoy!
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Old 03-31-19, 11:01 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
Also, don't activate the brakes unless you have the wheel mounted or a spacer between the pads.
Ok! Another good tip. Also am making a note of the cardinal sin of bike photography for when I take touring pics.
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Old 03-31-19, 11:12 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
good point to mention.

this touches on the whole disc brake thing. Winky, I don't know if you have any interest in bike mechanics and doing your own stuff, but even if you aren't interested, the basics of not touching the discs with greasy fingers (if you do, wipe them with a clean rag, paper towel whatever, if you can, use rubbing alcohol if possible) and as this person brought up, if the front wheel is out, dont reef on the brake lever, as the brake pads can get pushed out a bit too far.
I knew this, but did it once by mistake, when putting my bike in a cardboard box for air travel and I forgot to wedge some clean paper inbetween the pads.

the positive side of discs is that when working properly, they generally just work and can work a long time well. Yes, loud screeching can happen if the pads get contaminated, so it is at least in your best interests to read about mechanical disc brakes and the basics.
Mechanical, meaning with cables like regular brakes, not like hydraulic disc brakes which use hydraulic fluid in pipes to do the compressing of the brake pads (like in cars etc)
Mechanicals are simpler, and are the type I have on my bike , my first bike with discs, so like I said, I had to learn all new stuff--but thats me, I enjoy the mechanical stuff and feel its important as a cycle tourer to be self sufficient and have understanding of the mechanics of my bike.

oh, also, be careful of how discs are more powerful than regular rim brakes, so its important that you get a feel for them, especially in the wet, so you dont end up on your keester.
I feel its very important to do braking tests in a controlled setting, to learn how much you can use them getting close to locking up, because in an emergency situation, you HAVE to have that engrained learned response of how much to haul on the levers. If not, the risk of overdoing it badly is much more. Basically, practice.

have fun with bike
I want to be prepared to take care of minor disc brake breakdowns on the road, and also not cause any through lack of knowledge. That article you linked had some of the same points, will add rubbing alcohol to the touring toolkit. I def do not have an innate desire to learn or perform mechanics but will make sure to know what I have to know to get where I need to go
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Old 03-31-19, 08:48 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Winky View Post
I want to be prepared to take care of minor disc brake breakdowns on the road, and also not cause any through lack of knowledge. That article you linked had some of the same points, will add rubbing alcohol to the touring toolkit. I def do not have an innate desire to learn or perform mechanics but will make sure to know what I have to know to get where I need to go
you won't have to worry about any brake problems, in my experience over the last 3 years with them, they just work. Pads will take a long time to wear out generally, you dont have to clean them or anything after rain riding or stuff like that, and the only rare thing is maybe to have to adjust the pads in a bit as they wear, but its not often and straightforward.
I have never taken rubbing alcohol on a trip, but a clean shirt or paper towel will suffice if you ever do get grease on it, well, its best not to, but Im just saying that using some common sense and maybe a clean paper towel wipe should work fine.

actually the one things thats a bit of a pain, is when you remove a put back a wheel, I find you have to be much more finicky with the wheel position not to get pad rub on the rotors. I eyeball my wheels, looking at the teeny tiny space between the rotor and the two pads, all squinty eyed like, to make sure it is well centered--kind of a pain in the arse after regular wheels where its easy to just throw in a wheel and not have brake pad rub. The problem is that the clearance with disc brakes is really small, like just a few mm's.

but hey, this is the small price to pay for a diff technology, but in my experience, they work well and pretty much dont need mucking about with and they work fine for ages--good given your lack of innate desire in that regard ;-)
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Old 04-27-19, 07:28 AM
  #47  
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hey there Ms Winky, how goes the riding?
Impressions of bike, how goes the "Search for the Seat"?
Has using bar end shifters started to become natural?

here, we've gone from some really nice warm days, to back to having to wear warm stuff, and or not riding cuz of all the rain....
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Old 04-29-19, 10:55 AM
  #48  
Winky
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
hey there Ms Winky, how goes the riding?
Impressions of bike, how goes the "Search for the Seat"?
Has using bar end shifters started to become natural?

here, we've gone from some really nice warm days, to back to having to wear warm stuff, and or not riding cuz of all the rain....
I toootally dropped off that bike seat thread.

I brought my bike to a Toronto bike fitter who is figuring out a solution for my leg length, so while there I bought a seat from them, I got the Stella Italia Gel Superflow. I like it so far, but I just got the seat last week and the weather has not be great here either. Also my bike was at the shop for a while they decided what to do about my legs so I have only gone on one longish ride since acquiring it. I'll post a pic of the temporary block of wood he added to my pedal while they think of a more finely tuned solution (hopefully also a less embarrassing one).

That said, I LOVE IT. It is so much more comfortable riding with drop bars. Riding a new bike with new parts is an insane gift. I am still getting used to shifting, but can use the right shifter no problem. I rode up one of Toronto's steepest hills to test my gears and that is crazy too. Now I need to get a cheap road bike for city riding so I don't get this one stolen as I am never again getting on the ill fitting pain inducing bike that I used to ride.

Oh, since I didn't actually try the bike in person before buying it was a relief as the fitter thinks it is the perfect size for me. I do still love the Surly, and I mentally cheat on my Trek with the Surly whenever I see one. I will see how I feel in a few years......
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Old 04-29-19, 04:57 PM
  #49  
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saw your other comments and block of wood before seeing this.
Good, glad it feels already good at this point despite not riding it much.
ride ride and ride

ya, re theft, I wouldnt leave that bike out, its just not worth the risk.

cant recall if said, but riding regularly is the only way to figure out small seat changes. and padded bike shorts really do help for comfort.

shifting just becomes more and more natural the more you do it.

steepest hills--down into the Don Valley?
cheers
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