Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Here- Surly Long Haul Trucker

Finally, after weeks of frustration I got the call from Rick at Colonel's Bike that my LHT had arrived, was built up and ready to go. I drove the bike home, put it on the stand and got to work.

I started off with the fender installation. Now, this job might have taken your average person a couple of hours to complete but not me. I won't say just how long it took me, it's embarrasing, but I spent the better part of the day trying to get them set up right and centered over the tires. I love Velo Orange but they really need to add a few more pictures to their online fender installation instructions.
I then set up the Nitto rack, using the bolt on the rack that goes through the fork crown to secure the front fender. I had to run down to Performance Bike Shop to find the right size nut to secure the rack and fender. The rack doesn't sit perfectly horizontal, it tilts up slightly, but it's going to be obscured by my Ostrich handlebar bag most of the time so it really doesn't matter.
Next thing to be installed was the decaleur and the bell which is attached to a headset spacer. This was fairly simple. I installed my Brooks saddle and then re-wrapped the handlebars with natural colored cork tape. Early this morning I applied a couple coats of shellac to the bar tape and took off for a shakedown ride.
I am really happy with the way this bike handles. Everything worked well with a few usual new bike problems, I had to turn one of the barrel adjusters to quiet down the rear deraileur, make saddle adjustments etc. The decaleur will shift from side to side when riding over bumps. I tightened things down but I'll have to find a way to fix that. The brakes are marginal, I knew this beforehand since I've been reading through the posts on the Google Surly LHT group and the stock brakes are the one thing that most people complain about. I'll probably get some Kool Stop pads and see how they work out. I had a problem with my right knee hitting the bar end shifter making unintentional shifts while climbing. I may end up switching to down tube shifters. After a few adjustments the remainder of my ride went smoothly.


  1. It looks great from here and like it will be extremely versatile. I love the color. Hopefully, it handles as well as it looks.

    I had to laugh at your fender comments. Someone gave me a few pointers, including, "Be patient. It will take as long as 2 hours if you do it right." It's hard to explain why, but for some of us, fender installation is a weekend task.

  2. The fenders had me pulling my hair out. I started to think I should just buy some of those plastic clip-ons and be done with it. I was thinking, to lessen vibration, I might place a bolt through the front fender into the bottom of the rack, like you've done on your bike. I've got the bolt, I just need a cork.

  3. Nice-looking build -- I love my Trucker, and I'm sure you'll love yours as well. Great bike.

    And don't fret the fender installation, I think I have the exact same fenders and it took me a few hours each day for several days to get them installed. I'm still tweaking them a little.

  4. RE: fenders...

    Also the LHT will be my next Surly. I really like your build. Mine will be similar, maybe a Paul's flatbed rack up front. No need for fenders here. Lucky(?) me.

  5. Apertome-I used your bike pics as a go-by when installing mine. It looks like you've got some nice roads out there.

    Paul-thanks for the compliment. I wish I had the guts to ride in a kilt! I like the videos.