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Surly LHT Touring Bike Size Help!

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Surly LHT Touring Bike Size Help!

Old 07-02-20, 01:23 PM
  #26  
Doug64
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MLux,
Good luck on your quest! Just a word of caution: bike touring is very addictive.
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Old 07-02-20, 03:26 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
MLux,
Good luck on your quest! Just a word of caution: bike touring is very addictive.
this is not the first time Doug has used this line, but you know what? Its absolutely true!

mlux, I still think it's worth slapping on a long stem that is also angled upwards. You can easily visualize of this would work at all by imagining an extended line from the existing stem, either at this angle or slightly less, and "seeing" where a different stem could put the bars. I have no idea how much those "raiser dropbars cost" but they would help and they look cool to.
I have practically no photos of me on my bikes, this is the only really. Taken more 3/4 angled, but at least you've seen my Troll from the side, and it can compliment some of Doug's shots of good examples of riding positions.

I guess I'd finish by saying that you seem to have enough riding experience to know what feels right or wrong. Just take into consideration that for touring, as we've said, a slightly more easy position is nice to have, for those days you feel rung out for whatever reasons.
but whatever you do, have fun trying out exploring and traveling by bike, it's a fantastic way to see places and people.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:38 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by MLux View Post
You guys seem pretty spot on and also on the same page. I think I'm there as well. In summary, I need to be more spread out on the bike so I definitely need a longer stem...
If you decide to try a new stem, the Stem Comparison Tool lets you visualize how a new stem compares to the one you have (so if you have an idea of how much more reach and rise you need, you can see what you need in terms of length and stem angle to achieve that, and whether what you need is even possible with stems that are available).
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Old 07-03-20, 08:41 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by MLux View Post
Also headwind15 wanted to ask how you like the Windsor tourist?
I feel extremely lucky to have found the tourist. (especially in the small size). the small size has been discontinued. Since I build frames, typically build them with a 71 head angle. At first, I was put off by the tourists 70 head angle, but the more I rode it the more I liked it. It does feel like it reduces the ability to make small diameter u turns, but on the other hand, it feels more stable. Anyways about your reach... At 15" That just seems insanely short. I don't get how you do not end up hitting your knees on the handlebars when you get out of the saddle? Even 17" seems really short. My wife at 5' - 1" tall has 19 " of preferred reach from the saddle nose to the handlebar center. I hope we are not talking about the same thing.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:15 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
Hi,
I have been a bike tourist for a long time... I am 5'- 6" tall and my wife is 5' 3" and we ran/ owned helped people out in our bicycle stores for over 12 years. There is something called BBS (big bike syndrome) people end up on too big of a bike. For touring I ride a 42 cm and I would not consider anything bigger. Now depending on how much gear you end up putting on your rear rack, a lot of bike tourists find out that their foot can get caught up on stuff on top of the rack, and find out that it is easier/ better to put your foot over the top tube. So, A lower top tube is an advantage. You need to get away from those short stems, they are making you think the frame is small. Our stores usually stocked 50 stems from 50 to 135mm long. They come in different rises too. take your bike to a store that stock stems and try out some longer ones, I am sure that all of a sudden your "small" frame will feel plenty big.
My wife's bikes range from 15.5-16" from the seat nose to center of bars with the saddle level to the bars. She is 5' 3", and one of her bikes is built on a custom frame that fits her perfectly. Her other bikes were setup by a physical therapist who specializes in bike fitting. Her bikes' frames range from 47 to 50 mm. I followed her up a hill yesterday, and she rode part of it standing quite easily.

I'm curious, do you have a picture of the 42cm frame that you ride? It is hard for me to picture a frame that size set up for someone your height.

This is a picture of our my 5' 0" daughter on a 42 cm LHT. Her stem is a little short, but she likes the more upright position. However, I think she could comfortably ride this bike with a 70 mm stem, which is not much different than how you described your touring bike. That would make her stem just 1 1\4" shorter than your 100 mm stem.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-04-20 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:38 AM
  #31  
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re bars to seat nose measuring--I've often thought that this measurement is tricky because different seats must have different lengths, so logically this isn't a good thing to rely on. I tend to try to measure the distance from mid of top of seatpost, but admit that its not easy to get the same measurement each time.
Also of course, slight seat position differences in the rails would be another factor that would make this measurement vary a lot from case to case.

re being out of the saddle and knees being near bars etc--maybe because I'm used to it, but when I climb standing or sprint on my 54cm Tricross, I guess my knees are right up near or inside the drops, but I've never had a problem with it (hitting knees specifically) and I sprint very often on this bike standing and or stand climbing for short sections.
Maybe being slight helps with this, I dunno. All I know is that it isn't a problem ever, and I'm pretty picky about stuff when I ride, bike setup wise with how I interact with my bikes.

*Now I realize that having bar end shifters are a factor, and my bike has sti's. And while I've ridden a bar end shifter bike, I've never owned one.
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Old 07-05-20, 05:08 PM
  #32  
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hey Doug, today when I was standing for a short steep climb on my Tricross, I took a second to look down at where my knees were positioned, and sure enough, they were very much in the space between the drops and the stem. I had never really realized how far forward they are when I stand, especially on a steep hill, but its absolutely not a problem nor do I feel awkward or restricted doing this.
I realize that I can't really take a photo from my eyepoint when standing, but was wondering how it is for you. I did notice that I obviously have to keep the bars relatively straight when I do this, but again, I just do it without thinking or feeling restricted in where my knees are.
It must be very similar with my Troll also.
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Old 07-05-20, 09:12 PM
  #33  
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What a coincidence, I was coming up a short hill today from a boat ramp where I rode down to use the bathroom. Usually I'll shift to a lower gear when going down, but today I forgot. I just thought I'd gut it out in the higher gear, and stood up for the last third of the hill. I was riding the LHT, and checked my leg and knee position while pedaling standing. I was also surprised how close my knees were to the bars. I didn't have any problems, and had never paid any attention to it in the past.
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Old 07-06-20, 06:22 AM
  #34  
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the reason I thought of mentioning it was because of this riders concerns about frame size, and the issue brought up of hitting knees on bars.

Now I can't speak for how a person feels on a bike, and I'm sure bar ends add another factor in terms of touching knees on them at stops or whatever maybe, but it was interesting for me to actually consciously take note of my knee position when out of the seat and climbing full gas.
The hill I was going up was relatively steep, 13% maybe, and I was going slowly and so was leaning forward a fair amount, but probably no different than in a strong sprint for a changing street light or whatever.

I do suspect however that some riders could feel uncomfortable with this, depending on dropbar riding experience, general comfortableness on bikes, and perhaps simply how coordinated they are and their bike handling skills.
I have no idea if my setup is any different than many other riders, all I know is that I clearly like the distance my bars are from my seat for being comfortable on the hoods, as well as regularly using the tops for little breaks and for when climbing steep hills seated.
I can even comfortably do that "rest forearms on the tops and drape my hands over the front of the bars" TT position that you see racers do sometimes when in a break on their own, so I can't see that my setup is too tight for my size, but probably age and personal flexibility play a big part in terms of how a given rider feels stretched out forward--although clearly for touring, a more conservative layout is generally appreciated and useful for long days in the saddle.

anyway, just some observations
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Old 07-06-20, 09:13 AM
  #35  
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Yeah, I actually rode with my friend this weekend (he has a Trek520) and when he stood out of the saddle, the experience was similar. His knees were quite close to the bars as well. I suppose what threw me was that I felt I could not lean forward much on the bars, I almost had to be standing upright. But that of course has to do with my stem length more than anything else.

Still deciding what the right move is but might go ahead and swap the stem. It does require swapping the entire handlebar though because the current handlebar is actually too wide (the literal diameter of the bar) to fit into the original stem. So, it'll be a good learning experience. I've swapped stems before many times but never uninstalled and reinstalled bar end shifters! Either way, I'll keep you all posted on how things turn out with this bike... or another!
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Old 07-06-20, 10:15 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by MLux View Post
Yeah, I actually rode with my friend this weekend (he has a Trek520) and when he stood out of the saddle, the experience was similar. His knees were quite close to the bars as well. I suppose what threw me was that I felt I could not lean forward much on the bars, I almost had to be standing upright. But that of course has to do with my stem length more than anything else.

Still deciding what the right move is but might go ahead and swap the stem. It does require swapping the entire handlebar though because the current handlebar is actually too wide (the literal diameter of the bar) to fit into the original stem. So, it'll be a good learning experience. I've swapped stems before many times but never uninstalled and reinstalled bar end shifters! Either way, I'll keep you all posted on how things turn out with this bike... or another!
gotcha, I thought you were meaning the actual width of the bars, from side to side. Ya, there are generally two different bar diameters, the old standard 26mm, and the "new" oversize 31.8mm, which is not new now and pretty much standard on most bars now. In our household, we have a mix of old and new bar bikes, so as you'll see if you keep being into bikes for decades, most of us have accumulated stems of various length, angles, and yes, diameter.
I don't have that many, but as I've fixed up old bikes for family members for beater bikes, or even just when doing what you're faced with--fixing a fit issue, you end up with extras and they are handy to keep for some fixup project or whatever.
A recent example--on my wifes touring bike a few years ago, I changed the bars to "trekking or butterfly" bars, and they have the older 26mm, clamp area, but I luckily had one the right length in my parts box, so it worked out perfectly. In fact, thinking back, when I bought the bars, the store had some old demo 26mm stems that they pretty much never use anymore so they gave me a few different lengths for a low price and one of them worked fine.

Ive never done bar end shifters either, but I'm sure its fairly straightforward. If you do it, check out youtube vids for the easiest techniques for putting bartape back on properly with the cable jutting out the side (and to make sure you get tape direction right so it doesnt loosen)

Park tools (really good bike tool company) have a whole pile of really really well made bike mechanic videos, well lit, great camera work, and very good explaining from the Park tool video dude.
Highly recommend them for learning stuff and understanding the concepts of taking apart and putting back together.
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Old 07-09-20, 07:11 PM
  #37  
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wanted to mention
I was in a bike store today getting a tire, and they had those surly riser drop bars for sale , 90 bucks canadjun, so probably 70 yankee
kinda reasonable price, especially for someone who wants to bring their riding position up a certain amount.
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