If I didn't know a lot about bikes, I would think, "$1,100? I could get a used car for that." However, if you bought a car for $1,100, you'd probably have to spend another $500 every year to keep it going. At least.
What makes the Long Haul Trucker (LHT) worth $1,100? It's pretty simple: the parts. A bike is worth the sum of its parts, and the parts package on the LHT is about as good as it gets in the off-the-shelf bike world. Here are some highlights:
- Bar end shifters - these things will save you $300 and several headaches. The popular alternatives are integrated shifter/brake levers. They work fine, but are somewhat fragile (considering they are often the first point of impact in a crash), expensive to replace, and require precise adjustment. Bar-end shifters are extremely durable, are located out of harm's way, aren't nearly as expensive to replace (you won't ever need to replace them anyway), and have a back-up operating mode that can be used if they come out of adjustment. Simply put, this bike would cost $200 more if it had integrated shifter/brake levers, and you'd likely pay even more in the long run.
- Cantilever brakes - as opposed to linear-pull ("v") brakes. Cantilever brakes are compatible with a wide variety of brake levers, and allow for a wider variety of handlebar options.
- Lots of practical, quality parts that most people don't think about: one-piece forged seatpost, wide-range cassette (11-34), UN-53 square-taper bottom-bracket, crankset compatible with good quality inexpensive replacement chainrings available pretty much anywhere in the world, Tektro brakes and brake levers, high grade hubs, name-brand stainless spokes, decent tires, etc. Many of these things used to standard on all bikes, but that isn't the case anymore, you have to look close.
- Stout chrome-moly steel frame, with lots of well-conceived details, in colors like "Truckaccino Tan" and "Hill Street Blue."
- Finally, a whole bunch of sizes: 42, 46, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, and 62 cm, with two wheel sizes available for the larger sizes (a first, as far as I know, for production bikes).
So that's the deal, and it's a good one, if you can get over buying a bike from a company named after the "surly bike-shop employees" at your local independent bicycle dealer.
For the nerdy kids...
|Frame||Surly Long Haul Trucker, 100% Surly 4130 CroMoly steel. Main triangle double butted. TIG-welded|
|Fork||Surly Long Haul Trucker, 100% CroMoly, lugged and brazed. 1-1/8" threadless steer tube uncut|
|Seatpost Clamp||Surly Stainless, Natural Silver|
|Shift Levers||Shimano Bar-end, SL-BS77 9-speed|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Tiagra, FD-4403 triple|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano XT, RD-M761 SGS long cage|
|Crankset||Andel, Forged arms, Silver. Aluminum rings, 110mm BCD, 48-36-26t|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano, UN53. 68x110mm|
|Cassette||Shimano Deore, CS-HG53. 9-speed. 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34t|
|Chain||SRAM, PC971 9-speed|
|Headset||Ritchey Logic Comp, 1-1/8" threadless, w/ 40mm spacers. Black|
|Stem||Kalloy, 1-1/8" threadless. Forged. 26.0mm clamp. Silver|
|Handlebars||PMT, Aluminum. Silver|
|Handlebar wrap||Co-Union Cork Mix, Black|
|Brake Levers||Tektro, R200A standard levers on 52-62cm sizes. R100A Small Hand levers on 42-50cm sizes|
|Brakes||Tektro Oryx cantilever, #992. Silver|
|Cable Hanger, front||Tektro, #1271A with noodle. Silver|
|Cable Hanger, rear||N/A,|
|Seatpost||Kalloy SP-342, 27.2 x 300mm. Silver|
|Saddle||WTB SST, Steel rails. Black|
|Extras||Clear chainstay protector. Die extruded cables with anti-rattle donuts. Full CPSC reflector kit. Generic owner's manual,|
|Hubs||Shimano XT, HU-M770. 36h. Silver|
|Spokes||DT Swiss, 14g stainless. Silver|
|Rims||Alex Adventurer, 36h. Black w/ eyelets|
|Tires||WTB Slickasaurus, 26 x 1.5", Black wall. 42-62cm frames|
|Tires||Continental Travel Contact, 700c x 37mm, Black wall. 56-62cm frame|