I recently posted that I was not loving my oldest bike a 700c Surly LHT. Having just installed some Retroshift brake levers on my 26″ wheeled Long Haul Trucker it has seen a bunch of saddle time and I must say I love it. The saddle, pedals and bars are exactly where I want them and the big balloon tires roll along like I’m on cloud. I’ll eventually take some measurements of the cockpit so I can adjust my 700c LHT to the same fit, but for now I’ll just ride the fat tire trucker and smile.
This LHT is setup with:
- Schwalbe 2.15″ Big Apple tires
- Velo Orange fenders with some sweet Buddy Flaps
- Old Man Mountain Sherpa rack [new version]
- Velo Orange double crank
- XTR derailleurs and MTB cassette
- Shimano bar end shifters mounted on Retroshift levers
- Tektro 720 canti brakes
- Brooks B17
- Velo Orange stem & bell
- Salsa drop bars
- franken wheels I pulled out of the garage of which we shall not speak!
If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that my preference for bike tires has slowly move towards wider and wider rubber over the years. There was a time where I had a road bike on 23mm rubber and a city MTB on 25mm rubber. Today I wouldn’t ride those same bikes if you offered them to me for free! My performance road bike runs on 42mm wide rubber for example – yet it’s fast and comfortable enough to hammer out a 300K even with my pathetic engine.
So it’s not shocking to me that I am enjoying the 55mm rubber on this LHT more than the ~35mm rubber on the 700c LHT. For urban environments as well as the gravel/dirt around Victoria big fat rubber makes life better. There is no real downside at a utility ride pace to this big rubber and there are wide performance rubber options [26 x 2.0" Schwalbe Kojaks] if I wanted to improve the speed/range of this bike.
Ideally I’d like to see 650B wheels and Grand Bois Hetres on this bike as I love how they feel, but I’ve got a limited bike budget so replacing some perfectly good wheels/tires isn’t a top priority. I’ve got some nice shiny Velo Orange 650B rims hanging in my garage so I’ll keep my eyes open for a deal on some disc hubs. That way when I do have a 650B wheel set I’ll be able to use it with both rim brakes and disc brakes.