Surly Long Haul Trucker Touring Bike

Surly Long Haul Trucker Touring Bike 

DESCRIPTION

The Long Haul Trucker is built, as you might expect, as a touring bike. But it does a lot of other stuff good too, like commuting, day trips, double centuries, and of course beer runs. We set it up with a triple crank, a reasonably wide-range rear gear cluster, and large-ish, comfy tires. Add racks and you’re ready to haul. We mean it. The frame is designed to be stable and supple fully loaded with gear. Other bikes, 'converted' touring bikes you might call them, simply don’t handle big loads as well. The Long Haul Trucker, like all our frames, is steel, because steel rides way better than aluminum or carbon fiber, and for less money. It’s got rack and fender mounts front and rear, three bottle mounts, even a spare spoke holder.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 36  
[Oct 27, 2014]
Mike
Recreational Rider

Strength:

It's a "lifetime" bike. If I could have only one bike, the LHT would be it. The paint is tough, and, frankly, with a full Ultegra lightweight build running Open Pro rims and GP4000 tyres, even with the SON 28 Klassic dynamo hub, it's not that slow - I often use it on weekend "fast" rides instead of my Giant TCR.

Weakness:

The way I configure mine, I wish it had 132.5 rear frame spacing so I could drop in fast road wheels more easily. Cantilever brakes are 'ok' but then I don't really want disks! I now use Kool Stop Salmon pads on Ultegra cantilevers and they work pretty well. I wouldn't race in a peloton with it....but that's not what it's for.

I've had my LHT 60cm for a year now. I don't tour on it but I commute with a Topeak rack/bag setup, carry my 20kg 3yo, do hilly 120km Sunday rides, and take the odd off-road detour. I run a full Ultegra group set, compact 50/34 and a 12-30 on the rear so it helps me cope with the Sydney hills. The seat is a Fizik Antares which I put on to replace my brooks and (so far) I prefer it! The extra bottle holders help in the Sydney summer, and at 50 I do prefer the ability to have the bars level with the seat. Mostly I run 32mm Gatorskins, but when I want a bit of extra speed I just run light tyres on my open pro rims, replace the DX 647 pedals with SPD-SL items, and get into it. overall I think there's about 2-3kg weight penalty over my Ultegra equipped carbon TCR when it's set up light.
And those guys in fancy Lycra on their carbon bikes really don't like being passed uphill by an LHT with a bag on the rack!
The standard build might be slow, but mine only gives up a small amount in speed.
In winter I use fenders, and next winter will run some 165mm cranks as I have caught the front fender with my foot a few times and knocked the flap off while using 175mm cranks.
So if you want a Surly LHT but think it's too slow, buy a frameset, have some good light wheels on hand, and build it with a lightweight group set.

Similar Products Used:

Many many bikes. All but one being real steel.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 25, 2013]
joe
Recreational Rider

Strength:

looooonnnng chainring. Its like driving a cadillac. very smooth ride and handles well. Easy to ride and comfortable. Nice steel shock absorbing frame; WIde tires allow for some offroad experiences.

Weakness:

BRAKES; Bar End Shifters, 26 inch wheels

So, I got the LHT without knowing much about it but needing a commuter slash touring rig. I went with the 26er, which in retrospect may have been a mistake. No matter what anyone says, it will never be as fast as a 700c. But its fine and I liked the idea of more tire options as we often ride in very remote areas of foreign countries. I also commute to and from work five days a week. Overall, it is a solid well built machine. The long chain ring makes fro very smooth ride and it manuvers very well. you can jump curbs if you like and the steel frame is comforting. It is an average climber for what it is. Folks whine that it is heavy? of course it is heavy. and it climbs like it is. But there again, its fine. The BIGGEST dissapointment of this bike is the BRAKES! they SUCK. I me SUCK. Immediately remove the stock pads and replace with the best pads you can find. Even then you will wish you went with the disk trucker. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. I am not looking forward to going down steep switchbacks fully loaded on this bike with the brakes it came with, even with new pads. So, learn from my mistakes; get a disk trucker with 700c wheels and you will have the best of all worlds.

Similar Products Used:

lots and lots of different bikes;

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 18, 2013]
60 year old Road Rash

Strength:

The Surly must be fully loaded to enjoy. My model is 2011 and fitted with Salsa racks in the front, standard rack in the rear. The inaugural tour was just under 1000 miles and 70 mile days common.

Weakness:

Replace the seat with a Brooks and, after break-in, you are set to go. The bar end shifters become intuitive after a few days on the road.

The Surly is made to tour. When going out for group rides, use another bike!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 13, 2012]
Votsek
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Just upgraded to a 2012 LHT after riding the Erie Canalway from Buffalo to Albany with my old clunker. I enjoy touring and will typically carry 50 pounds of gear. Took it for a break-in ride today. This bike fits well. It's comfortable, even with the factory seat and pedals. I had it fitted and set up by a knowledgable dealer. I'm 6'4" tall and 220 pounds. The frame is solid and handles rough surfaces well. Some people don't like the bar-end shifters, but I think that they are easy to learn to use. Shifting is flawless and becomes intuitive. I was using straight bars with extensions on my old bike. The geometry of drop bars on the LHT offers more ride positions and I feel my endurance and power improved as a result. I don't miss my bar extensions. The gearing is for touring and offers great range for hills with a fully loaded bike. BTW, the MSRP is out of date, but at the current price it's still well worth it.

Weakness:

The LHT has few weaknesses, if any. I think that you need to do some research and test ride before you buy a bike. Bikes are all different and you need to find one that satisfies all of your personal preferences. For me, the LHT is the perfect bike.

For the price point, this is a quality machine. If you tour and carry a lot of gear, this is a great bike.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 24, 2011]
Reed
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Stable, durable, utilitarian, and comfortable. If you're looking for a bike built for touring, I wouldn't hesitate to tell you to get out and pick one up. This bike has been wonderful on countless all-day rides. If you can only afford one bike, this bike works great as a commuter bike as well.

Weakness:

If you pick up a complete LHT, the saddle will need to be replaced if you're going to do any touring. Also, the bar-end shifters can be awkward if you ever find yourself riding out of the saddle on a hill or in a sprint. This is typically only an issue while using the bike as a commuter as it's rare you'll find yourself in a sprint on a fully loaded bike.

The Long Haul Trucker is a great steel frame bike built specifically for bicycle touring. With a lower bottom bracket and long chain stay, the bike is made to stay stable with the extra weight of touring and give you a little extra clearance between your heal and rear panniers. The LHT also has a ton of braze-ons for racks and fenders, extra spokes stashed on the frame in case you break some, and room for wider tires (“fatties fit fine”) for a cushier ride. It seems this bike is becoming more and more popular which is a great testament to its quality and durability. This bike does what it was designed to do very well!

I have photos of my setup here:

http://www.roadcologne.com/2011/07/surly-long-haul-trucker/

Similar Products Used:

Novara Safari, Specialized Crosscheck

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 23, 2011]
ian shafer
Commuter

Strength:

steel frame is awesome soaks up bumps and vibration better that a big shocked MTB.
a lot of Shimano XT parts and the bar end shifters are the higher end ones( these take some time to get used to but are pretty easy when you get the hang of it).

Weakness:

cork tape on handle bars is EHHH.

got this bike mainly for the 20+ mile round trip commute. huge improvement over my trek 3500. really want to do a century or two a year but not this year. still every thing this bike came with is top notch i only changed out the seat for a brooks flyer.
changed out stem for a kalloy uno adjustable. also put on schawble marathon plus tires. this bike is awesome right out of the box but i wanted some special features that would suit me better.

Similar Products Used:

this is my first road bike.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 15, 2011]
Ian Pavey
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Easy to ride, strong, very stable, easy to attach pannier racks, mudguards etc. Can buy the frame separately and build a bike to suit yourself.

Weakness:

Could be a bit lighter maybe (it is a bit of a tank!).

Mines' a 2010 build. Wanted to build a bike using the components of my choice. I was after a bike which was excellent for touring and fine for general recreational biking. Ordering the frame and major components online saved me quite a bit, plus I had a heap of fun building it, including lacing up my own wheels. Notched up 1000 kms quite quickly, including a 130 km shakedown day trip. Now it's my favourite ride. Comfortable, stable, dependable. It's become like a best buddy.

Similar Products Used:

Orbea mountain bike, Felt Z4 road bike

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 04, 2011]
rporterfield
Recreational Rider

Strength:

It is not a race bike, it is steel, therefore bullet proof. Great bang for the buck, rugged, comfortable, age appropriate gearing (rider is 61), all braze ons and eyelets that anyone needs. Complete build uses time tested components that are more than up to the task. Rock solid on high speed down hills. Works good enough on mild single track and dirt roads. Glenn Swan does great job with fit and service.

Weakness:

It is not a race bike, it is steel therefore heavier than most but so am I. Try out the fit before you buy -- my other road bike is a 64cm, the Surly is a 56. Top tube and overall fit is similar, not a problem but geometry is different than some.

My Surly LHT is a 2010 but that was not an option on the pull down menu. Just doing a 5,000 tune up and am please to say that so far there has been only one flat due to a large staple and no other problems. Only adjustments have been a half turn to each of the front limit screws. Bike is stock complete build with the addition of the B17 and racks front and back. It has been hauling a 205 lb rider, sometime with full gear and sometimes with a trailer. Used it for several century rides, TOSRV, Bike Virginia, loaded touring, and club rides. Great hill climber. Here in upstate NY the roads are sometimes terrible due to pot holes and frost heaves. Wheels have stayed absolutely true.

Similar Products Used:

Zebrakenko Wind, Aegis ProAxe, Lemond Nevada City

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 08, 2011]
Hamish Blanch
Recreational Rider

Strength:

A bomb proof rugged bike well suited for the purpose it's designed for....touring.

Weakness:

None....totally satisfied.

Bikes were purchase in 2010.My wife and I each brought 54cm Surly LHT's and completed a 7 month, 11,000km camping tour across USA/Canada, and east Coast USA.
As general maintainance we replaced chains at about 8,000km, and I also replaced the cluster which was showing signs of excessive wear (I'm heavier than my wife and carrying more gear).
We fitted Schwalbe Marathon plus tyres 26x 1.50, mine needed replacing after 8,000km (5 punctures) and my wife's lasted the entire trip...and nil punctures!.
The bikes gave no trouble whatsoever.
We have used Brooks seats for many years, and fitted our old comfortable seats on purchase.
We were totally happy with the bikes and intend to use them on further travels in the USA/Canada (in storeage USA for our return)

Similar Products Used:

Univega Specilissma...20,000km tour 1982/83.
Various converted to touring rigid framed mountain bikes over the years, currently a Scott Windriver and Avanti Ridgerider.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 16, 2010]
Fletch
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Strong strong strong , this is one overbuilt heavy frame that will last..get out there and use it.
If you find it uninspiring to ride you've proberly bought the wrong frame , this is for loaded touring only...for unloaded riding I suggest using a second bike.

Weakness:

softish paint finish but at this price thats only being picky...try finding a similar priced frame thats this good.

Great bike for cycle camping on rough roads and tracks, strong frame with all the braze ons you could possibly want for this type of cycling. If you want fast touring on smooth roads look elsewhere...

Similar Products Used:

countless converted mtbs, old touring bikes etc. far too many to list , the LHT is by far the most stable when loaded, I cannot stress enough the important of careful loading and the use of quality stiff racks, do this and fast descents become an absolute hoot....indecently so..!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 36  

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