Surly LHT Update

25 05 2011

Behold the Long Haul Trucker MK2...

My Surly Long Haul Trucker is one of my most ridden and definitely one of my least modified bikes. Given my tendency to tweak and try new things that says a lot. It was custom built from a frame back in the day when Surly didn’t offer a complete trucker. The LHT worked so well for me for so long I have to admit I felt a bit hesitant to tear the bike down in case it somehow didn’t ride so beautifully for me when it was reborn. My goal was to clean the trucker, upgrade a few parts and keep the same amazingly versatile fun personality.

Fender and mud flap bling...

I wanted to replace the beat up SKS plastic fenders on my bike with something nicer and bit more functional. Sharon had complained about getting spray off the short rear SKS fender so I wanted to ensure the revamped LHT had a nice long set of mud flaps on it. I used the custom flaps I got from Buddy Flaps which fit the Velo Orange fenders perfectly.

Nice fender lines...

As I posted a couple days ago the Velo Orange hammered metal fenders [45mm] went on easily and it was simple to get a decent fender line. I’ll ride the bike for a week and then cut the fender struts when I am 100% on the fender position. I cleaned up the rest of the rear end and reinstalled everything. I love the OMM racks and the Schwalbe Marathon XR tires.

Velo Orange fender up front...

The front fender also got a custom mud flap. You can make DIY mud flaps for free, but I have to say I am really liking having a bit of customization on my bikes and the cost is modest. I’ll probably order a few more sets of mud flaps from Buddy Flaps for some of my other bikes. After some cleaning I reinstalled the cranks/pedals and the rarely used front derailleur.

Dynohub & light...

Most folks will home in on my lovely new metal fenders, but the discerning observer will notice the new B&M Cyo IQ Plus tucked under the OMM Cold Springs rack and connected to a Shimano DH-3N80 dynohub. It’s hard to overstate how useful a high quality light [with vertical cut off] with a dynohub is for 24/7 lighting when you need it. I don’t ever miss using unfocused battery powered headlights and the folks I don’t blind when I’m riding around at night also don’t miss them! I used a light bracket from Rene Herse to mount the light at the front left side of the OMM rack.

A hard Brooks B17...

I put the uber hard Brook B17 that I softened a bit using neatsfoot oil on my LHT. Since I ride this bike a lot I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to break it in the rest of the way so it’s as comfy as my older/softer Brooks saddles. Since all my taillights [Planet Bike and Radbot] use the same mount I just check my light before a ride. If I find a weak one I put it in a pile for recharging and grab another light. I have enough on the go I can always put my hand on a charged one in 5 seconds.

Front lighting detail...

I’m pleased with how the rebuild has progressed. As I noted above I embarked upon this project with some reluctance, but I felt the changes would be an improvement worth undertaking. Now that I can look at the finished bike I think I achieved a nice balance between the old faithful trucker and the new trucker. The dynolighting is a key upgrade as are the metal fenders with full mud flaps. I can still see my old bike in all the components I transfered over to the new build as well as in the scratches and scuffs in the paint. I think keeping the classic sage green paint for a few more years was a smart move. It really anchors the great memories I have had with this bike to the promise of new adventures that the upgrades bring.

An upgrade worthy of a trusty steed...

A few things left to do:

  • minor adjustments after a week or so of riding
  • touch up paint or clear nail polish on scratches
  • polishing frame with Pedros Bike Lust
  • cut fenders struts
  • ride for another 7yrs!




Hang Pro Wetsuit Hanger

25 05 2011

Hang Pro wetsuit hanger...

In the winter I’m surfing and in the summer I’m kiteboarding. Since I don’t live on Maui that means wetsuits all year round. Since I spend so much time in my wetsuits I buy quality items that fit me well and are made specifically for the water sports I enjoy. So naturally I’m interested in protecting my investment. One issue is drying and storing wetsuits on normal hangers puts a lot of stress on the suit as it is pulled down onto the sharp edges of the hanger by its own weight plus the extra weight of any water when wet.

How to gently hang and dry your wetsuit...

My friends Sean and Deanna gave me a couple of the Hang Pro wetsuit hangers shown above that they picked up on their globe trotting travels this year. These hangers let you easily hang your wetsuit by the waist and have a very wide curved edge the suit hangs from to ensure it’s not damaged.

Hang Pro in action...

The hanger is a robust product that’s made in the US. For the cost of a decent 6 pack of beer you can get one and it should last pretty much forever. Hanging your wetsuit this way is easy on the suit so you can store it like this for as long as you need to.

Hanging a wetsuit on a normal hanger...

You can see the same wetsuit on a normal hanger in the photos above and below. Keep in mind the suit is dry so it’s pulling down less than a suit that’s wet.

Eventually you'll stretch out the shoulders and damage the seams...