Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A little on the LHT

Obviously the last picture I posted of my LHT was bone stock. Just the way I picked it up from BOW. Later that night, I did indeed install my B-17. This is the most important up grade I could make to this bike. After all, if you don't have a really comfortable saddle on the bike, what good is it to bother upgrading the rest of it.

Finally tonight, I had a chance to hang with the LHT a bit. I've got only a few miles on the bike, and haven't had any time to tweak it at all. Tonight my wife was making some flowers for a wedding cake she's doing, and after the kids were sleeping in bed, I headed out to the garage to get acquainted with the LHT.

I installed the fenders that I ended up getting with the Miyata 1000LT a while ago and I was quite surprised that they were an excellent width for the rather fattish tires on the LHT. Black, with white stripping down the center goes alright for now. The decals on the Surly are white and there are some black components, so it'll work for now. Although I would like to go silver. I'll live with the black stuff for now.

One crazy issue I had was that that lower fender/rack mount on the right hand side had not been tapped. Not a big deal, I just grabbed my tap and die set and corrected the situation to the proper 5M tap size, but I was very shocked to find that my brand new bicycle was flawed. Although when I was tapping it out, I kept thinking how glad I am that it even has provisions for fenders and a rack, as well as so many other practicalities that the LHT is known for.

No threads in there!

Also black and also from the 1000LT, is the rear rack that I installed. It's a decent rack that doesn't use those thin little metal "extensions" to mount to the top of the seat stay. No, it has the full aluminum tubes throughout. It also has a tab at the back for mounting a light, so I'll be modifying that a bit to hold a super flash.

After twisting wrenches for a while and listening to the hockey game on the radio, I decided to head out in the dark and test a LED light I've never really used. Again, not much distance was logged, but it was a very quite ride, thinking in detail about every aspect of bike fit. It was almost like I was riding with my eyes closed and just thinking about my hands. Okay, they fit well here, now my shoulders, they seem pretty good. Once I get the saddle height up a bit more they should feel better, obviously that would correct the leg extension shortage.

It was a great ride in the dark on a gravel road, just getting to know my new bike. From the little time I've spent with this bicycle, I can tell it's a great bike. The 60cm frame feels like the right one and I just can't wait to log some miles on this bike.

After handing the LHT up in it's parking spot, I noticed that I had my two favorite bicycles in one place. My ever faithful fixed gear, and my new yet to be proven LHT.


Smudgemo said...

You got a 60cm frame? Funny, I don't recall you being all that much taller than me. I was figuring a 58cm would be about as large as I'd end up getting, and maybe even going with a 56.

Doug said...

Jerome, Seems like a nice evening spent with a fine bicycle. My LHT had one little annoying flaw as well. The Surly badge on the head tube isn't centered. Not even close. I first spotted from the saddle while riding. I thought my handlebars were off center. Then I realized it was the head badge. I figure it must have been put on at the factory on a Friday 10 minutes before quitting time. So far that's the only flaw.

smudgemo, The LHT has a low BB. I have very short legs. I ride a 50 cm Cross Check, but a 52 cm LHT.

Jerome said...

Hey Smudge, I'm not overly tall. 6'2", but I do like my bike on the large size. I do give props to what Doug mentioned also. I thought that the 60 would seem bigger to me. It doesn't feel too small, but for some reason I though it seem bigger. My Fixie has a 62cm seat tube and a 61cm top tube and that's probably the best fitting bike I've been on. I've adopted the Rivendell phylosophy of bike fit. Most shops try and sell you bikes that are too small for you.

I was also scared after having gone through several used touring bikes that were too small, and failing to make them feel good, even after changing every changable component that affects bike fit, selling them to people who were shorter than I.

I measured my fixie because I know it fits well, and compared those to the measurements on the Surly website and came up wiht 60. Obviously I'll know for sure after logging some miles, but first impressions sure do feel good!

Smudgemo said...

Perhaps 58cm is going to be appropriate for me. Darn, I kinda wanted blue.