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Help! I am completely torn between two Surlys! I test rode a Cross Check and a Long Haul Trucker on Friday. I can only afford one of them. Here is the situation-

I have a designated cross race bike (Curtlo) and a single speed mountain bike. I began commuting to school/ work this spring (15 miles of varying road types, hills, and road conditions) and absolutely love it. I commuted on my Curtlo. This was fine, but not for hauling anything of substance (change of clothes, laptop, etc) I am feeling the need to find an all rounder that is suited for longer treks and commuting. The LHT was incredibly comfortable and stable. The Cross Check felt a bit more race-like, but I love the idea of it being a bit of a Mr. potato-head bike. Throw on big knobbies for the trails here in Vt, slicks for longer days on pavement, panniers, etc. The LHT has the edge on longer days in the saddle, and great capacity for hauling loads for a weekend out. It also comes better spec'd as stock. I have about 1200.00 which would set up either with panniers and a new saddle (Brooks please!) The LHT has XT vs. the Cross Checks Tiagra. I do not have the time or extra parts to piece together either one. Upgrades would be done sparingly. I have two small boys, so I am not going to head out for any extended tours. I would like to travel pretty much anywhere- work, the store, the mountains, etc. without worry. Either should last a long time, but I can not decide. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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I finally committed to the habit of commuting to work last fall after many years of talk and empty threats to myself. I had a Cannondale MTB with XT which I never rode. So, I bought a LHT frame and ported over nearly everything. The rest came from my parts bin. I also considered the Cross Check. The selling point for me on the LHT was that in sizes 54cm and below it uses 26in wheels. Which means I could reuse my perfectly fine Mavic wheelset. Since I don't let the snow stop me, I can easily throw on some 2.1 knobbies and continue commuting in the winter months. The 26in wheels would probably work better for some light trail riding. The LHT unloaded feels surprisingly nimble for such a tank-like bike. It's no race thoroughbred, but doesn't ride like the tired horse I was afraid it might. Budget in for some fenders and a quality light setup for night riding. I ride this bike more than all my others because it's so versatile.

brewster
 

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I've had a couple of each and preferred the LHT.
 

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I've been playing around with how to get all the lights off the bars. I've since altered the front setup a little since this photo, but may go back to this, it works pretty nice.

brewster
 

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bigbill said:
Plus it looks sporty with a big basket on the front.
Damn, now I feel bad that I don't have the "climbing bike" anymore.
 

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I was considering the LHT but opted for the Cross Check because I like the cross bike feel. Other than front panniers, which don't interest me at this time, it does everything the LHT could do only faster feeling. I would get the Cross Check again, but I built mine with D/A and that makes a big difference.
 
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