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Surly discontinues LHT!?!

Old 11-25-20, 09:23 PM
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niknak
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Surly discontinues LHT!?!

I read on another cycling site that Surly has decided to pull the plug on the Long Haul Trucker and a few of its other older models. Don't panic though because they're keeping the disc trucker.

I guess they're moving away from rim brake bikes entirely. Kind of shocking considering how popular the LHT has been, but it seems most people are moving on to disc brakes.
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Old 11-25-20, 10:03 PM
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I think it is a reaction to the times and supply issues. Most manufacturers will reduce their lines and utilize as many parts between models as they can.
​​​​​​The result will be less selection as they concentrate on their "core" models.
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Old 11-27-20, 04:27 PM
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I am surprised by the lack of reaction wrt this news, since the LHT was(is?) an iconic touring bike. (and it so happens that we own 1 LHT and 2 Trolls ). I am curious as to what this means.

For one, Surly announced that 4 models are to be discontinued: LHT, Troll, Pugsley and Pack Rat. Interestingly, these four models were all members of the touring family (going from 9 to 5 models). At first I was tempted to conclude that Surly's decision meant that touring is becoming less popular (not unreasonable to think that demand for bikes is high for commuters and low for touring). But they haven't announced either a commuting family nor new models that would fit the bill.

Perhaps these 4 models were not popular because they catered to the 26". Or because they were compatible with v/cantilever brakes whereas the industry has moved to disc.

May well be not that significant since the Disc Trucker is apparently rebranded as LHT disc.

So... does this signal that the touring category is becoming even more marginal (and that there is significant restructuring to expect from brands deeply involved in this segment). Or that some "technologies" (26", v-brakes) are on the verge of becoming museum pieces? (is is actually becoming more difficult to source 26" rims/wheels/tires; I have no idea wrt v-brakes)
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Old 11-27-20, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
...
So... does this signal that the touring category is becoming even more marginal (and that there is significant restructuring to expect from brands deeply involved in this segment). Or that some "technologies" (26", v-brakes) are on the verge of becoming museum pieces? (is is actually becoming more difficult to source 26" rims/wheels/tires; I have no idea wrt v-brakes)
Ryde (formerly Rigida) made rims that had a carbide braking surface that did not wear out, I have them on my Nomad, the braking surface on them is like new even though they are over 7 years old. Ryde stopped making them a year or two ago, lack of demand for them due to disc brakes.

A few years ago Shimano stopped making the M756 rear hub in non-disc version for 36 spokes, lack of demand but that hub in the disc version (M756A) was available in 36.

When is the last time that a manufacturer came out with a new canti or V brake, they are selling old models but not investing in any new development.

And as you mentioned, 26 inch, some of the bike companies are afraid if they sell 26 inch bikes they will look like they are behind the times.

Not mentioned was the shift to through axle, I would not be surprised if all new bikes were through axle in five years and I have never seen a through axle bike with rim brakes.

A lot of this stuff is driven by what manufacturers want to sell, and they sell what the marketing department tells them is in demand.
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Old 11-28-20, 01:37 AM
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Assuming this is true I don't think it's so bad. I was initially tepid about disc brakes, but now appreciate that they are better in wet conditions and greatly extend rim life. 26" also do seem largely obsolete. I'd also like to see fewer bikes with 700c wheels in favor of 650b/27.5" wheels since they're more versatile and in many respects combine the best attributes of 26" and 700c wheels.
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Old 11-28-20, 11:21 AM
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I may be old skool, but my touring bikes are all steel frames, v-brakes, no brifters, 36 spokes, 700C for northern, and 26 for southern hemisphere (ish)... bombproof, repareable, and easiest to find spare parts for. The times they are a changing though.

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Old 11-28-20, 07:39 PM
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Might be a touring thing. I've heard that Kona is discontinuing the Sutra touring bike after '21.
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Old 11-29-20, 06:40 AM
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It really is the death of the LHT/Disc Trucker as we knew them prior to the 2020 DT redesign. No more bar end shifters or long chain stays.
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Old 11-29-20, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Brett A View Post
It really is the death of the LHT/Disc Trucker as we knew them prior to the 2020 DT redesign. No more bar end shifters or long chain stays.
It is interesting that they shortened the chain stays and went to brifters. I guess they are making the chain stay change due to people packing lighter or maybe to people using the bikes more as general purpose bikes than as heavily loaded touring bikes. The brifter change is probably in part due to brifters having attained a pretty well proven reliability track record. So I can see that being a reasonable choice.

Personally I also think the disc brake choice is a no brainer if they needed to choose one model to keep.

I know that it will be bad news to many who love that type of bike, but I never liked riding that kind of geometry myself, hate bar end shifters, and have become a convert to disc brakes. So for me the current disc trucker is closer to something I might ride, but is actually still more of a truck than I'd choose for my UL style. It is probably pretty close to what I'd ride if I packed heavier. On the other hand a major portion of the touring community will hate all of this.

It seems weird that sales being good means them cutting models. It almost sounds like "we are making plenty of money so we don't need to support you niche market buyers any more". When bicycling becomes a more mainstream mass market those of us who want /need a specialized product will be left by the way side. They can say you guys supported us and made us what we are today, but please go "F" yourselves now since we are making plenty of money elsewhere. I guess business is business.
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Old 11-29-20, 09:56 AM
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I suspect a big part of it is the industry moving more towards through axles. There are millions of people out there that can't figure out how to use a quick release properly and have a problem with wheels coming loose or falling out. Through axle solves that, it is a way to dumb down the way to maintain a bike to reduce injuries. The new disc trucker has through axles, so dropping the older LHT forces people to migrate to through axles.
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Old 11-29-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
There are millions of people out there that can't figure out how to use a quick release properly and have a problem with wheels coming loose or falling out.
You might be correct but I have my doubts. The quick release has been around for over 90 years and with vertical dropouts, it's not a problem that I see regularly. What I do see is a bike industry that wants to transition that way, generally for the sake of reducing costs or liability potential.
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Old 11-29-20, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
Assuming this is true I don't think it's so bad. I was initially tepid about disc brakes, but now appreciate that they are better in wet conditions and greatly extend rim life. 26" also do seem largely obsolete. I'd also like to see fewer bikes with 700c wheels in favor of 650b/27.5" wheels since they're more versatile and in many respects combine the best attributes of 26" and 700c wheels.
While I agree that disc brakes are good, that is not the issue. They redesigned the Disc Trucker, so it is no longer the old style, classic touring bike fit and frame. Now we are left with a bike, that is very good, but not what the LHT was. I bought mine because I didn't want a sloping top tube, and wanted the classic touring bike frame and fit. I didn't want a ridiculous amount of seat post showing, and actually wanted the longer wheelbase, and longer chain stays. They have shortened the chain stays on the new Disc Trucker.

As I said, the new Disc Trucker is a great bike, Surly did a great job designing it. It just isn't what the LHT was, so discontinuing the older style is a big deal to some people. I am happy I already have mine.
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Old 11-29-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
Might be a touring thing. I've heard that Kona is discontinuing the Sutra touring bike after '21.
I've heard that as well, but I asked my LBS, a Kona dealer, about it and he said Kona hasn't told him that, so as with all rumors don't assume it's true until it's confirmed.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I suspect a big part of it is the industry moving more towards through axles. There are millions of people out there that can't figure out how to use a quick release properly and have a problem with wheels coming loose or falling out. Through axle solves that, it is a way to dumb down the way to maintain a bike to reduce injuries. The new disc trucker has through axles, so dropping the older LHT forces people to migrate to through axles.
Thru-axles are much better. They're stiffer, more secure, and more durable. QR was originally designed for racers who need to change wheels frequently. That's obviously not an issue for touring, where reliability, durability and function are way more important.

Originally Posted by phughes View Post
As I said, the new Disc Trucker is a great bike, Surly did a great job designing it. It just isn't what the LHT was, so discontinuing the older style is a big deal to some people. I am happy I already have mine.
I didn't see those details posted, sorry.
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Old 11-29-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I suspect a big part of it is the industry moving more towards through axles. There are millions of people out there that can't figure out how to use a quick release properly and have a problem with wheels coming loose or falling out. Through axle solves that, it is a way to dumb down the way to maintain a bike to reduce injuries. The new disc trucker has through axles, so dropping the older LHT forces people to migrate to through axles.
I thinknthe venn diagram of people who own an LHT and people who dont know how to use a QR skewer has a very slim intersection.

TA is a stiffer setup.
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Old 11-29-20, 03:08 PM
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Also thru axles take all guesswork away from disc brake alignment. QR and disc brakes isn't optimal whereas thru axles and disc brakes are. Also Surly thru axles are pretty great in that they rely on common m5 threads and screw to work. The axle in itself is hefty so little chance of breakage.
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Old 11-29-20, 03:19 PM
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I get that so many loved the old LHT for its simplicity and how it represented an older style of bike. There are tons still around, so all those who already have one and aren't in the market for another, can rest assured there will be plenty available on the secondary market even though they arent wanting to buy one.
Basically- get over it because you aren't the consumer they are trying to sell to since they already sold to you.


The new DT is interesting. From what ive seen, some thoughts.
- TA instead of QR is a logical change, given its a 2021 bike. This is simply keeping up with what the rest of the industry was doing a couple years ago. Alignment is easy and interface is stiff.
- The Alivio/Sora drivetrain is underwhelming for the cost of the bike. Given the scarcity of 3x drivetrain options, I get it, but im not impressed at the price point.
- I've seen many cry about the chainstay length. The new bike has 450mm stays. Good lord, what are you expecting or needing? I have size 14 feet and that'll be enough clearance for me.
- Bar end shifter vs STI will forever be a debate amongst touring folk. If you need bar end shifters, just buy some and toss em on. Some 9sm Microshift bar ends plus Tektro brake levers will cost $100 total. You could ebay the Sora shifters for more than that and make money.

I'll separate these since they are my biggest take away...
- Thank goodness Surly finally changed the geometry of the bike. The low head tube on the old design made for some absurd looking bikes with 120mm of stem spacers. The new geometry increases the stack height which gets bars up higher(clearly so many LHT users needed this) without requiring gobs of spacers. The handlebar they spec also helps a lot. Surly did its homework, saw how their bike is commonly set up, and adjusted to make the new model fit users better.
oh how terrible of them!**
- The frameset is clearly a better choice for many who have strong preferences when it comes to how their touring bikenwill look/feel/operate. It costs a very reasonable $765 and I am confident I could take the $1000 difference between frameset and full build and make something specific to me for the same price or less that is of equal or higher spec.
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Old 11-29-20, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Also thru axles take all guesswork away from disc brake alignment. QR and disc brakes isn't optimal whereas thru axles and disc brakes are. Also Surly thru axles are pretty great in that they rely on common m5 threads and screw to work. The axle in itself is hefty so little chance of breakage.
Some truth to that I guess, but I never had the slightest issue with the QR and the discs on my MTB. I guess it depends on the dropouts, but with mine you just drop the axle all the way in and firmly close the QR. They have always worked flawlessly and are faster than through axle for flat repairs. That said I'd be fine with a through axle since flat repairs are just a non-issue since I went tubeless on that bike.

I have never toured with disks though. Not that I don't think they would be great.
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Old 11-29-20, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I get that so many loved the old LHT for its simplicity and how it represented an older style of bike. There are tons still around, so all those who already have one and aren't in the market for another, can rest assured there will be plenty available on the secondary market even though they arent wanting to buy one.
Basically- get over it because you aren't the consumer they are trying to sell to since they already sold to you.


The new DT is interesting. From what ive seen, some thoughts.
- TA instead of QR is a logical change, given its a 2021 bike. This is simply keeping up with what the rest of the industry was doing a couple years ago. Alignment is easy and interface is stiff.
- The Alivio/Sora drivetrain is underwhelming for the cost of the bike. Given the scarcity of 3x drivetrain options, I get it, but im not impressed at the price point.
- I've seen many cry about the chainstay length. The new bike has 450mm stays. Good lord, what are you expecting or needing? I have size 14 feet and that'll be enough clearance for me.
- Bar end shifter vs STI will forever be a debate amongst touring folk. If you need bar end shifters, just buy some and toss em on. Some 9sm Microshift bar ends plus Tektro brake levers will cost $100 total. You could ebay the Sora shifters for more than that and make money.

I'll separate these since they are my biggest take away...
- Thank goodness Surly finally changed the geometry of the bike. The low head tube on the old design made for some absurd looking bikes with 120mm of stem spacers. The new geometry increases the stack height which gets bars up higher(clearly so many LHT users needed this) without requiring gobs of spacers. The handlebar they spec also helps a lot. Surly did its homework, saw how their bike is commonly set up, and adjusted to make the new model fit users better.
oh how terrible of them!**
- The frameset is clearly a better choice for many who have strong preferences when it comes to how their touring bikenwill look/feel/operate. It costs a very reasonable $765 and I am confident I could take the $1000 difference between frameset and full build and make something specific to me for the same price or less that is of equal or higher spec.
The reason so many people had to use so many spacers to get the bars where they wanted them, was because they bought a frame that was too small. The LHT was an old style frame. That type of frame usually had very little seat post showing, a fistful or less. When sized that way, you don't need a lot of spacers to get the bars at seat level or slightly above. With the new Disc Trucker, you trade headset spacers for a ridiculously long seat post. To me, it looks ridiculous. That is only my personal preference though, and overall, I think the Disc Trucker is a fantastic bike, I just prefer the old style design, and fit.

I also like the longer chain stays. It isn't just about space for my feet, it is about high speed stability. My LHT is dead on stable downhill at 45 mph fully loaded. I did it every day while commuting in the Ozarks. Sometimes the load was ridiculous, as shown in the picture I have attached. The bike was stable at speed, even when badly loaded like in the picture. The added space for bags and feet are a huge plus as well. It is one of the reasons I went with the LHT in the first place. I knew I could mount a large back, and not have to move it back on the rack to keep from hitting it with my heels. Not having to place the bag farther back, helps the bike handle well and remain stable when loaded

The shortened the chainstays because some said the bike handled sluggishly. So you give up some stability for quicker handling, something I never felt I needed on a touring bike. On a touring bike, I want stability. Interestingly, the 56cm LHT with 26 inch wheels, handles nicely, as compared to the 56cm LHT with 700 wheels, which is more sluggish. I have 26 inch wheels on my 56cm LHT, and love the way it rides, and handles.

The new Disc Trucker, while great, is basically just another touring bike of the same design, a sloped top tube. It looks like a Trek, which looks like a Kona Sutra, which looks like, just about every other mainstream touring bike. It now looks like a too small frame, made to fit using a long seat post. It just doesn't look as nice, to me, as the old style LHT. Of course I grew up with the classic fit.

Now, the ridiculously long seat post has an advantage over my LHT, it is long enough to use a suspension seat post if desired. I don't have enough seat post showing to use one, though I don't want one. For someone who does, it is good for that. If I needed that, I would switch to a Brooks with springs, instead of my B17.

So now Surly has gone a bit more mainstream with their touring bike, which is okay, they made a very nice touring bike. I think they took what was out there, and improved on it. If I needed a new touring bike, I might consider it, but it isn't what I want. I would look for something more along the lines of my old LHT. If I found something like that, I would most likely buy it over the Disc Trucker. That is not definitive though, since I do like the Disc Trucker, I just like the old LHT more, right now.


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Old 11-29-20, 07:30 PM
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^^This^^. Especially the part about high speed stability. When I find something that works for me I like to stick with it. Ive owned two LHTs since 2008.
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Old 11-30-20, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
The reason so many people had to use so many spacers to get the bars where they wanted them, was because they bought a frame that was too small. The LHT was an old style frame. That type of frame usually had very little seat post showing, a fistful or less. When sized that way, you don't need a lot of spacers to get the bars at seat level or slightly above. With the new Disc Trucker, you trade headset spacers for a ridiculously long seat post. To me, it looks ridiculous. That is only my personal preference though, and overall, I think the Disc Trucker is a fantastic bike, I just prefer the old style design, and fit.
the old LHT/DT had a weird geometry for a touring bike. It was fairly low and really long like many other Surly bikes. The idea that people should have chosen larger sizes would in many cases cause the bike to be too long for the rider. If I used the correct height size ie 64cm I'd need to use a 50-70mm stem which would mess up handling and weight distribution. I now have a size 62cm and use 90-100mm stems.

the new geometry is far more sensible as it's higher and shorter. For me the new 62cm will likely be pretty optimal. For those who feel it's too short, a longer stem is always an option.

as for the sloping top tube, looks are personal but in terms of functionality the sloping top tube and long exposed seat post are both better than the alternative. A sloping top tube means shorter tubes in the frameset which translates to a stiffer frame and less chance of speed wobbles. Long exposed seat post on the other hand adds comfort as the seat post can flex more going over rough stuff. Frames themselves don't flex vertically so handing that job to the seat post is a good idea.

I also like the longer chain stays. It isn't just about space for my feet, it is about high speed stability. My LHT is dead on stable downhill at 45 mph fully loaded. I did it every day while commuting in the Ozarks. Sometimes the load was ridiculous, as shown in the picture I have attached. The bike was stable at speed, even when badly loaded like in the picture. The added space for bags and feet are a huge plus as well. It is one of the reasons I went with the LHT in the first place. I knew I could mount a large back, and not have to move it back on the rack to keep from hitting it with my heels. Not having to place the bag farther back, helps the bike handle well and remain stable when loaded
I can't recall what the chainstay length was on my Specialized road bike when I first started touring with it but I'm going to guess 425mm. With that bag clearance was hardly an issue and I have size 14 feet.


The new Disc Trucker, while great, is basically just another touring bike of the same design, a sloped top tube. It looks like a Trek, which looks like a Kona Sutra, which looks like, just about every other mainstream touring bike. It now looks like a too small frame, made to fit using a long seat post. It just doesn't look as nice, to me, as the old style LHT. Of course I grew up with the classic fit.
If everyone is using the same design principles they must have some merit right?
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Old 12-01-20, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
the old LHT/DT had a weird geometry for a touring bike. It was fairly low and really long like many other Surly bikes. The idea that people should have chosen larger sizes would in many cases cause the bike to be too long for the rider. If I used the correct height size ie 64cm I'd need to use a 50-70mm stem which would mess up handling and weight distribution. I now have a size 62cm and use 90-100mm stems.

the new geometry is far more sensible as it's higher and shorter. For me the new 62cm will likely be pretty optimal. For those who feel it's too short, a longer stem is always an option.

as for the sloping top tube, looks are personal but in terms of functionality the sloping top tube and long exposed seat post are both better than the alternative. A sloping top tube means shorter tubes in the frameset which translates to a stiffer frame and less chance of speed wobbles. Long exposed seat post on the other hand adds comfort as the seat post can flex more going over rough stuff. Frames themselves don't flex vertically so handing that job to the seat post is a good idea.



I can't recall what the chainstay length was on my Specialized road bike when I first started touring with it but I'm going to guess 425mm. With that bag clearance was hardly an issue and I have size 14 feet.




If everyone is using the same design principles they must have some merit right?
Okay, Surly never made a 64cm frame in the old LHT, and that is the frame I am referring to. So if you have thee new Disc Trucker, none of this applies. It was made to address the smaller frame buying public. And even if you have the old frame, as long as you are happy with the fit, that is all that matters. My comments were based on Surly's reasoning for designing the frame the way they did, they said they saw so many LHT owners with ridiculously high stacks of spacers. That is true, I see that too. Had they bought the next frame size up, they would not have had to have such a high stack. That is basic.

As for the new Disc Trucker, it doesn't have weird geometry for a touring bike, it has basically standard geometry for touring bikes from the past. The difference in effective top tube length between the 62cm frame and the 64cm frame is 15mm, and the difference in reach is 10.5mm, so the difference in stem length between the two bikes would be inconsequential to handling and weight distribution. You would be off by all of 1cm, maybe 2cm. There is no way you would have to jump from 90-100mm down to 50-70mm stems to make up for 1.5cm.
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Old 12-01-20, 01:46 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Okay, Surly never made a 64cm frame in the old LHT, and that is the frame I am referring to. So if you have thee new Disc Trucker, none of this applies. It was made to address the smaller frame buying public. And even if you have the old frame, as long as you are happy with the fit, that is all that matters. My comments were based on Surly's reasoning for designing the frame the way they did, they said they saw so many LHT owners with ridiculously high stacks of spacers. That is true, I see that too. Had they bought the next frame size up, they would not have had to have such a high stack. That is basic.
Surly did indeed make the old LHT in size 64cm but dropped the size at some point. The old DT was made in size 64cm till the very end before the new DT.

people chose the too low frames because the lht and dt were too long. They would have been too stretched with the larger frame sizes. Surly has had a tendency to make incredibly aggressive frames. For example at some point the straggler was more aggressive (lower and longer) than the specialized venge. I think the old lht/dt used to be the longest touring frame on the market. Anyhoo the LHT is too long for me and I have to use a 70mm spacer stack. Which brings me to the next paragraph.

As for the new Disc Trucker, it doesn't have weird geometry for a touring bike, it has basically standard geometry for touring bikes from the past. The difference in effective top tube length between the 62cm frame and the 64cm frame is 15mm, and the difference in reach is 10.5mm, so the difference in stem length between the two bikes would be inconsequential to handling and weight distribution. You would be off by all of 1cm, maybe 2cm. There is no way you would have to jump from 90-100mm down to 50-70mm stems to make up for 1.5cm.
here's the deal. A higher spacer stack moves the handlebar back. So top tube length or reach aren't the only defining factors. So if you have two frames with equal reach numbers but different stack numbers, the frame with a lower stack will have a shorter effective handlebar reach if you lift the handlebar to the same level as with the higher stack frame. So when the old or new LHT 64cm frame has more reach than the 62cm frame it moves handlebar reach. But the different stack also moves the handlebar reach. It's double trouble so to speak.
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Old 12-02-20, 12:25 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Surly did indeed make the old LHT in size 64cm but dropped the size at some point. The old DT was made in size 64cm till the very end before the new DT.

people chose the too low frames because the lht and dt were too long. They would have been too stretched with the larger frame sizes. Surly has had a tendency to make incredibly aggressive frames. For example at some point the straggler was more aggressive (lower and longer) than the specialized venge. I think the old lht/dt used to be the longest touring frame on the market. Anyhoo the LHT is too long for me and I have to use a 70mm spacer stack. Which brings me to the next paragraph.



here's the deal. A higher spacer stack moves the handlebar back. So top tube length or reach aren't the only defining factors. So if you have two frames with equal reach numbers but different stack numbers, the frame with a lower stack will have a shorter effective handlebar reach if you lift the handlebar to the same level as with the higher stack frame. So when the old or new LHT 64cm frame has more reach than the 62cm frame it moves handlebar reach. But the different stack also moves the handlebar reach. It's double trouble so to speak.
What years did they make the 64? I didn't see it in my 2011 catalog, or others I looked at. It is good they are making it again in the new Disc Trucker.

I am aware for the way the LHT fits. It is though, the way old school bikes used for touring fit. As I said, as long as you like the fit on your bike, that is all that matters. I simply take issue with why Surly designed the new Disc Trucker as they did, their reason is they saw a lot of people with ridiculously high spacer stacks. I will repeat that had they wanted their bars that high, they should have bought a larger frame. You can go round and round on this, but you can run a shorter stem without causing issues, and you don't have to go to a 50-70cm stem to get the fit right if you can run the stock stem on the smaller frame. The long top tube was because many tourers like to be a bit stretched out.

Once again, it is simply my preference, and the preference of many, to have the old style frame. That takes nothing away from the new Disc Trucker, it is a nice frame, and was well thought out. I just prefer the old style. They traded the alleged ridiculously high stack of stem spacers for a ridiculously high seat post.

If you look at touring bikes from the 70s and 80s, or rather, bikes used for touring, you will see very little seat post showing, some seats almost down to the top tube. That is what people ran back then, and the way the LHT was designed. Somewhere around here I have old pictures of Ragbrai from the 80s, and that is what you see, very little seat post showing.

I am just sad that there is one less old style frame available for touring, one that worked well, at a great price.
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Old 12-03-20, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
What years did they make the 64? I didn't see it in my 2011 catalog, or others I looked at. It is good they are making it again in the new Disc Trucker.
The 64cm LHT was made when I bought mine but I can't remember when that was exactly. 2014 - 2015 maybe?

I am aware for the way the LHT fits. It is though, the way old school bikes used for touring fit. As I said, as long as you like the fit on your bike, that is all that matters. I simply take issue with why Surly designed the new Disc Trucker as they did, their reason is they saw a lot of people with ridiculously high spacer stacks. I will repeat that had they wanted their bars that high, they should have bought a larger frame. You can go round and round on this, but you can run a shorter stem without causing issues, and you don't have to go to a 50-70cm stem to get the fit right if you can run the stock stem on the smaller frame. The long top tube was because many tourers like to be a bit stretched out.
They saw people riding high spacer stacks because the frames were too long and too short. You can't go to a larger size if you're already pushing your reach limit. In size 62 going under 90mm stem with a drop bar starts making handling twitchy. 70mm was already pretty bad. You can add more than 2cm to the effective handlebar reach when you size up if you keep the same handlebar stack. So if you're using a 90mm stem with a 62, you'd then use a 70mm stem with a 64. That's not great.

The design principles in the old LHT/DT were not optimal because getting more handlebar reach is typically always easier than getting less. If you're already using a 140mm stem but need more reach, 150mm stems are available. And that just makes the bike more stable. If you use a porteur type bar you can get something like a Surly Moloko or Open bar, both of which add significant reach. Or if you use a drop bar you can get a long reach drop bar. The differences between a short reach drop bar and long reach drop bar can be centimeters plural. Also there's typically very little chance of making a bike too front heavy. You'd need to have a reverse setback seatpost to achieve that and if that is required, then something is way off. On the other hand a too rear heavy bike is quite achievable with lots of setback and too short a stem. Doesn't do wonders for handling I can tell you.
You can only go so short before handling and weight distribution take a nose dive. Also I suspect that a too short a stem can be a contributor in speed wobbles.

Once again, it is simply my preference, and the preference of many, to have the old style frame. That takes nothing away from the new Disc Trucker, it is a nice frame, and was well thought out. I just prefer the old style. They traded the alleged ridiculously high stack of stem spacers for a ridiculously high seat post.


If you look at touring bikes from the 70s and 80s, or rather, bikes used for touring, you will see very little seat post showing, some seats almost down to the top tube. That is what people ran back then, and the way the LHT was designed. Somewhere around here I have old pictures of Ragbrai from the 80s, and that is what you see, very little seat post showing.

I am just sad that there is one less old style frame available for touring, one that worked well, at a great price.
Preferences are preferences but you're going in looks first and not really considering the functionality.

A high spacer stack is not optimal even with the sturdy steel steerer tubes Surly uses. It adds flex to the front end of the bike and that can cause issues in either headset wear or unsteady handling. Better to have as little spacers under the stem as possible as long as there's at least one (but that's a headset bearing thing). So lengthening the head tube while simultaneously shortening the frames to account for the spacer stack effective reach effect serves a definite purpose.

On the other hand very little seat post showing or a horizontal top tube serve no functional purpose.
Seat post flex is something you actually want because it adds to the ride quality. You won't have that if you have less than a fistful showing. However if you have more than two fistfuls showing and perhaps even have a post made with flexing in mind (basal post for example), you can greatly increase ride quality. Frame flex is something you don't want because even with a horizontal top tube the frame does not flex vertically practically at all. However the frame does flex in the horizontal plane both from side to side and in a twisting motion. In a touring frame you'll generally want to minimize that flexing, because it can cause wobbles and unsteady steering when heavily loaded. One way to do that is to shorten the tubes. Shorter tube = less flex. You can easily shorten the frame tubes by incorporating a sloped top tube. In this way you don't need to use the other stiffening measure, ie. adding more wall thickness and larger diameter tubes.

So as an end result you get the seatpost ride quality effect and a lighter, stiffer, more durable frame with the single downside of the frame doesn't look as good to some. Oh, and the frame is more forgiving if you come to a sudden stop and slide off the saddle.
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Old 12-03-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
The 64cm LHT was made when I bought mine but I can't remember when that was exactly. 2014 - 2015 maybe?





Preferences are preferences but you're going in looks first and not really considering the functionality.

A high spacer stack is not optimal even with the sturdy steel steerer tubes Surly uses. It adds flex to the front end of the bike and that can cause issues in either
No, I am going functional. Many like to be stretched out, with the bars level or higher than the seat. With the old style LHT I can do that very nicely. No, a 90cm stem does not make the bike twitchy, I am running one at the moment and it is very stable, and handles well. As for stem flex with a high spacer stack, that is hysterical. I guess you never rode old quill stem bikes. Of course buying the right sized frame helps prevent the high spacer stack. I'm not talking about your frame choice, so don't take it personally.

With the old style frame, there is plenty of room for a frame bag while retaining easy access to large water bottles, functional.

I'm sorry you are having a difficult time understanding that some people actually liked the old style LHT frame, and prefer it to the new one. You also seem to have a difficult time understanding that many of those people, me included, also think the new frame is very nice, and is a well thought out design. The new frame just doesn't appeal to me as much as the old one, for many reasons, and function is one of the top reasons. I like the way my 56cm 26 inch wheel LHT handles, and like how stable it is. I like the fit. I like the longer chain stays. I like the room under the top tube.

So continue to debate, I will watch. But once again, I like the new frame, I just prefer the old one, for functional reasons, and am sad we lost an old style frame that worked well, and that was a great value.
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