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  1. #1
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    How much fun can you have with a NAKED Trucker??

    I'm seriously considering a Disc LHT 29'er as my next Surly...


    I just want a sturdy-over built disc-brake "road" bike that is still fun for 20-50 mile dirt/gravel rides and will stand up to a clumsy, heavy rider.

    I am curious as to how much fun to ride it is NAKED.... that is UN-loaded. Touring will be a rare special occasion for me.

  2. #2
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    FTR, My current (only) bike is a Cross Check.

  3. #3
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    Plenty!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How much fun can you have with a NAKED Trucker??-monstertruckin2.jpg  

    How much fun can you have with a NAKED Trucker??-monstertruckin1.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    Plenty!
    The look on your face answers my question

  5. #5
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    Does it ever feel awkward or sluggish?

  6. #6
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    Thanks man. Yeah, I was a little short on details. I have a Cross Check too and, to be honest, on the road I prefer the CC over the LHT. The CC is snappier and faster and lighter and all that stuff you probably already know. On the dirt I like the Trucker better. It has less toe overlap (700c) and more tire clearance. And its a beefier bike. I'm a beefier guy, so I appreciate that in the rough stuff. Is it awkard? Not to me. The low BB gives it a nice carvy feel offroad. Its certainly not as nimble as a real MTB, but for smooth singletrack, like in the picture, and dirt roads, its awesome. Some people think LHT's ride stiff unladen, but it's always felt fine to me. Maybe that's because I weigh it down plenty all by my lonesome. Is it sluggish? Compared to a real MTB or CX bike, yeah probably. But its fun to ride just the same. Offroad it has a fun Rock n Road-style Fargo's Granddaddy retro kind of vibe.

    Before I got my CC, the Trucker was my only bike. I didn't get it tour either; I got it to be an all-rounder. At the time, the build on the complete LHT was much better than the CC. In retrospect, I probably should have gotten the CC anyway. And if Salsa had either the Fargo or the Vaya back then, I maybe would have bought one of those instead. But the Trucker has been my faithful mount for a long time and we've had many adventures together. And, as you can see, I'm not selling it anytime soon.

    I think the Disc Trucker would be a great all-rounder too. But there's a lot more similar-type bikes on the market these days than when I bought mine. Shop it hard against the two Salsa bikes and the Jamis Aurora, Raliegh Roper, Civia Bryant, etc. Maybe the Ogre. Actually, its crossed my mind to swap all my parts onto an Ogre frame. But for now, I'm gonna keep on Truckin'.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the helpful response, I too am a bigger dude, and it am interested in a bike that is built to haul a heavy load...over-built in fact. I love my CC and I am not looking to replace it..I just want two bikes...or more.

    I think the "sluggish" concern is probably a non-issue anyway. The CC is my first "road" bike, prior to that I just rode the hell out of a fully rigid 26" MTB with semi-slicks and Trekking Bars on dirt/gravel/blacktop. And loved it.

    And now that you mention it, the Ogre is also very tempting... A triple crankset, trekking bars and fat semi slicks would take me anywhere I want to go.

  8. #8
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    You can have lots and lots of fun on a naked trucker.




  9. #9
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    That's what i'm talking about!

    What's the biggest tire you can run?

  10. #10
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    The tires in my pics above are Bontrager 1.8" XR 29er tires. They measure 45mm on my calipers on the stock rims, which I think are 22mm. The rear has just a bit, 1 mm or so, of clearance on the chainstay bridge. So its pretty well maxed out. The front has a little more clearance. I've heard it can go up to 2.1" and my sharply honed Mark 1 eyeball agrees. But I haven't measured it. The 26" LHTs will take a fatter tire. And since you are thinking about a Disc Trucker for a lot of gravel riding, you might want to consider getting a 26" Trucker and running 650b wheels. The 42mm Grand Bois Hetre would be a killer tire choice for a gravel/dirt "road" bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    And its a beefier bike. I'm a beefier guy, so I appreciate that in the rough stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    Some people think LHT's ride stiff unladen, but it's always felt fine to me. Maybe that's because I weigh it down plenty all by my lonesome.
    The two may be related.

    What size frame do you ride? I'm 6'2" with long legs and thing the LHT might make a better bike for me because of the lower BB; I don't like to feel like I tower over bikes.

  12. #12
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post

    What front rack is that?
    Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. Charles M. Schulz (1922 - 2000)

  13. #13
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    As of last night, my Trucker is shoed with 2.25" knobbies with ample clearance. Pictures soon.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimhazy View Post
    The two may be related.

    What size frame do you ride? I'm 6'2" with long legs and thing the LHT might make a better bike for me because of the lower BB; I don't like to feel like I tower over bikes.
    Yes, those two statements are most definitely related. My LHT is a 700c 58cm. I'm 6'1" with a long torso and shortish legs. As you can see in the second pic, I don't have a whole lot of seatpost showing. I have a short, 45 degree stem that gets the bars up just about as high as they could possibly go.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by velopax View Post
    What front rack is that?
    Yeah, me too. What front rack is that? And what about the bars? Looks like maybe old school WTB dirtdrops. I like em. I might add that you have an excellent taste in colors.

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    Thanks, I agree on the colour. I really like the greens and browns Surly uses, they look much better in real. The front rack is from Axiom, handlebars are new school WTB Mountain/Road drop.

    Clearance with 2.1 Maxxis Holy Roller tires..




  17. #17
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    I used to have an LHT and loads of fun on it naked. Maybe loads and naked shouldn't be worded in the same sentence this way. I sadly sold it thinking I would have more fun on a different bike and was wrong. I miss it dearly! The good news is that the gentleman I sold it to was new to cycling and I helped get him excited about the two-wheeler funness to be had! Plus he was a hobby brewer and hooked me up with some of beers. I will own another LHT again but I am looking at doing an Ogre as well.

  18. #18
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    Ive been eyeballing this frame for quite a while. While Im still working the kinks out of my 1X1, and maybe for Christmas I someone can shove a naked trucker frame down the chimney for me to enjoy!! :P

    Good Looking bikes!! Thanks for sharing!
    ACCESS Stealth 3.0 carbon 29'er
    GT-R Pro
    Surly 1x1
    Surly Disc Trucker

  19. #19
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    I'm currently debating selling my LHT 700c to get an Ogre. I never ride the LHT loaded, no time for touring, but it has been ok with 40mm knobbies on it.

    Decisions, decisions.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    I'm currently debating selling my LHT 700c to get an Ogre. I never ride the LHT loaded, no time for touring, but it has been ok with 40mm knobbies on it.

    Decisions, decisions.
    That's is pretty much where I am at too... I want to build up a Surly into a burly all-purpose funbike. Almost any frame would work, I just need to decide if I want a Roadish-MTB or a Mountainish-Road Bike..

    The Ogre is interesting, but I don't know why I would pick it over the Karate Monkey if fully loaded touring wasn't a priority.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    I'm currently debating selling my LHT 700c to get an Ogre. I never ride the LHT loaded, no time for touring, but it has been ok with 40mm knobbies on it.

    Decisions, decisions.
    Dude, I totally know what you mean. The Salsa Fargo would probably be the "perfect" bike for what I use my Trucker for now - 2/3 offroad, 1/3 onroad with the capability to tour and commute as desired. And I just want one because its a sweet bike. But I also like the idea of the Ogre because I could swap over all the parts off my LHT, even the canti brakes, and have a pretty sweet old-skool rigid 29er.

    The ground truth is - for me - I don't get the chance to do the epic bikepacking trips of my dreams. Nor do I get to ride the knarly crazy singletrack trails that I used to do. Like 95% of my riding (on the Trucker at least) is either with my kids or on local trails and dirt roads that really aren't terribly rough. The Trucker rocks those rides just fine. And the other 5%...its kind of fun muscling the LHT through trails where I have no business riding a touring bike in an "any bike, anywhere", Rivendellish sort of way.

  22. #22
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    Tons of Fun

    I did a mountain bike race this weekend on my 26" Trucker with 2.25 knobbies. It was awesome.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How much fun can you have with a NAKED Trucker??-img_1507.jpg  

    How much fun can you have with a NAKED Trucker??-img_1512.jpg  


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbryant2 View Post
    I did a mountain bike race this weekend on my 26" Trucker with 2.25 knobbies. It was awesome.
    Nice bike. What are those swept-back bars?

  24. #24
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    Surly Open Bar.

  25. #25
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    I was wondering about going flatbar or at least not-dropbar on my LHT (open bar, albatross,
    whatever...). Commuting into heavy headwinds this week makes me think drops to pull me
    down a little farther than an inverted swept-bar can get is still the way to go.


    I am also thinking about removing the front rack; tomorrow could be a test with a big load to
    haul back from the farmers' market. But I will never yank the cascadia fenders so never fully
    naked.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    You can have lots and lots of fun on a naked trucker.



    Hi, I am interested in purchasing my first bike for commuting (perhaps, as Athens is a hell of city to cycle in) and also touring, around the country and possibly overseas.

    I haven't ridden a bike since many many many years ago, when I was a kid, but I thought of doing some touring around the country. Perhaps with my kid and partner two (she also haven't ridden one for ages).

    I was initially looking at thorn Nomad or Raven but they are way too expensive, especially for a first bike. So, after a lot of search I found Surly LHT or Disk trucker.

    I really like your beautiful setup in this photo and I was wondering if this is a standard color scheme and accessories from Surly or custom made (added later).

    The brown green is fantastic and the panniers look wonderful - what brand/type are they?

    I read somewhere that building your own bike is a good idea to learn the parts etc. Will it be any cheaper? Would you recommend that?


    Thank you for your time! So many questions!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by trenino View Post
    Hi, I am interested in purchasing my first bike for commuting (perhaps, as Athens is a hell of city to cycle in) and also touring, around the country and possibly overseas.

    I haven't ridden a bike since many many many years ago, when I was a kid, but I thought of doing some touring around the country. Perhaps with my kid and partner two (she also haven't ridden one for ages).

    I was initially looking at thorn Nomad or Raven but they are way too expensive, especially for a first bike. So, after a lot of search I found Surly LHT or Disk trucker.

    I really like your beautiful setup in this photo and I was wondering if this is a standard color scheme and accessories from Surly or custom made (added later).

    The brown green is fantastic and the panniers look wonderful - what brand/type are they?

    I read somewhere that building your own bike is a good idea to learn the parts etc. Will it be any cheaper? Would you recommend that?


    Thank you for your time! So many questions!
    Welcome trenino! Hopefully Saddle Up will jump in here, but in the meantime, I can answer a few of your questions. The olive green that Saddle Up and my LHTs are sporting was a stock frame color in the 2007-2008 timeframe. The brown saddle and handlebar tape, however, are not stock. The "complete" build at that time had a black saddle and handlebar tape. I dare say, however, that the addition of a leather saddle (usually Brooks) and matching tape was (and is) a fairly common modification to the stock build. However, Saddle Up's bike looks like it has a custom build; his crankset looks different than the one that came stock, and he is running V-brakes instead of the stock cantilever brakes. His racks are aftermarket; the "complete" LHT does not come with racks.

    Having built up a bike from a bare frame myself and nearly rebuilt another, I can say that building up a bike is, in fact, a very rewarding experience, and I did learn a ton about how my bikes work. I am very comfortable with the mechanics on my bikes, and they don't have any "black boxes" I don't understand. I suspect that that level of familiarity is not necessary for fun and successful bike touring, but it sure could come in handy if you break down in the middle of nowhere. If you order a frame and all the parts you want from a bike shop, it is unlikely to be less expensive than the stock "complete" bike. However, if you can source your parts second hand or painstakingly scour the internet for sales and XX% off deals, than you probably could put together a build as good as, or maybe even a little better, than the stocker for less money. But, of course, that would be a lot more time and effort. If you're gung-ho to build up a bike - and good on you, if you are - you will probably want to enlist the help of a friend who knows their way around a bike and your old buddy You Tube. If you have a co-op in your area, that's a good place to get help too. And do maintain a good relationship with your local bike shop as they can help you out in a jam. In fact, some jobs require specialized tools that you may want to have your shop go ahead a do for you. For example, pressing in the headset or cutting the steerer. So anyway, I would definitely recommend building up the bike yourself if you've got the time, are willing to put in the effort, and have the temperament to deal with the inevitable frustrations that crop up the first time you do anything new.

    Let me caveat that by saying that you don't need to build up a bike to learn how it works. Honestly, bike maintenance is its own hobby in a lot of ways and some people just want to ride, and that's totally okay. I learned bike maintenance gradually, just fixing things as required and slowly building a base of knowledge, as well as a good tool box. I think the biggest thing is just being willing to jump in and learn. On a tour, its really going to be the littler things like fixing a flat tire and adjusting your shifting and brakes that'll you'll need to do most often and is good to know how to do yourself. But if you don't want to put in the time and money to be your own full service bike mechanic, you don't need to.

    Best of luck to you!
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
    Surly LHT: Kid hauler
    On One Inbred: SS 26er

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Tiger View Post
    I'm seriously considering a Disc LHT 29'er as my next Surly...


    I just want a sturdy-over built disc-brake "road" bike that is still fun for 20-50 mile dirt/gravel rides and will stand up to a clumsy, heavy rider.

    I am curious as to how much fun to ride it is NAKED.... that is UN-loaded. Touring will be a rare special occasion for me.
    The heavier you are the better it will ride. I'm 190lbs without gear and I prefer the ride of my Straggler to my LHT for "road rides". If I am just going to tool along at a very casual pace the LHT is fine and it hauls gear better than the Straggler, but for fast unloaded riding I don't enjoy the LHT.

    Frankly I wouldn't mind it if the Straggler had somewhat lighter duty tubing, but for the price I paid it's a decent frame.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    The heavier you are the better it will ride. I'm 190lbs without gear and I prefer the ride of my Straggler to my LHT for "road rides". If I am just going to tool along at a very casual pace the LHT is fine and it hauls gear better than the Straggler, but for fast unloaded riding I don't enjoy the LHT.

    Frankly I wouldn't mind it if the Straggler had somewhat lighter duty tubing, but for the price I paid it's a decent frame.
    Are the infamous Straggler dropouts really that bad? I tend to think people with limited mechanical skills are complaining the loudest.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Are the infamous Straggler dropouts really that bad? I tend to think people with limited mechanical skills are complaining the loudest.
    I think they are great...nicer than the other horizontal Surly dropouts I have....not that I have a real problem using them either.

    I don't understand what the issue is with the Straggler dropouts. I ride mine over some severely rough wooden bridges and gravel on my commute and once set the rear wheel doesn't move. Takes 15 seconds to adjust the chain tension.

    I'd buy another bike with the same dropouts.

    I guess I do have to deflate the tire to insert the wheel due to my close fitting fenders, but that doesn't bother me. Takes an extra 30 seconds and I am not removing the rear wheel often since I run tubeless and have never had a flat.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  31. #31
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    i agree about the straggler dropouts,they gave me a problem once when i first got the bike but after that no problems,the wheel has never budged even riding through rock gardens on the local trails...

    but to answer the original question...the ogre is a fine bike,it can be set up a gazillion different ways and its a tough bike,stable and easy to ride....but its not what i would call a "fun" bike...that said,if i could only have one bike out of my current 5,it would be the ogre,hands down,its by far the most crucial for a car free lifestyle...

  32. #32
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    A naked trucker will handle similar to an early 80's mountain bike - geometry that's still a little too road orientated to really shred, but is slack enough that you can still have some real fun.

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