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Thread: LHT or VO Rando

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    CS2
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    LHT or VO Rando

    I need a new winter project. I was thinking about a VO Rando or a LHT. I love the look of a lugged frame but the LHT especially the disc version is a great frame. Any thoughts one way or another? I'm not going to do any touring per se. Maybe some metric centuries or a rando if I'm in good enough shape.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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    The more I ride the more I feel like I prefer a longer wheelbase. I don't race. I ride a cross check and like the ride with the wheel all the way back in the dropouts. I also ride an xtracycle-equiped cannondale f600. Maybe that opened my eyes to the feel of longer bikes. The LHT would be my choice. You could do more things with the LHT than with the Rando. The one time I rode a LHT I loved the way it handled. The lower BB compared to my CC has something to do with it, along with the rest of the geo numbers. If I didn't have my CC and was doing my bike search all over again, a 62cm 26"wheel LHT or XL Troll would be the one or me I reckon so that I could put big old fatty tires in there. I also like the ride of 26" wheels. Don't know why.

    Also I wouldn't want to take the Rando on anything rougher than a dirt road, whereas I would feel confident riding the LHT on just about anything that could feasibly be ridden on skinnyish tires.

    These are the things I would consider between the two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    The more I ride the more I feel like I prefer a longer wheelbase. I don't race. I ride a cross check and like the ride with the wheel all the way back in the dropouts. I also ride an xtracycle-equiped cannondale f600. Maybe that opened my eyes to the feel of longer bikes. The LHT would be my choice. You could do more things with the LHT than with the Rando. The one time I rode a LHT I loved the way it handled. The lower BB compared to my CC has something to do with it, along with the rest of the geo numbers. If I didn't have my CC and was doing my bike search all over again, a 62cm 26"wheel LHT or XL Troll would be the one or me I reckon so that I could put big old fatty tires in there. I also like the ride of 26" wheels. Don't know why.

    Also I wouldn't want to take the Rando on anything rougher than a dirt road, whereas I would feel confident riding the LHT on just about anything that could feasibly be ridden on skinnyish tires.

    These are the things I would consider between the two.
    I was thinking the Surly was more versatile. The VO just looks nicer though. But looks don't count for much if it doesn't work. Life was simpler when the LHT came in 26" only. Now it's 700C and 26" plus canti/V-brake or disc.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    I need a new winter project. I was thinking about a VO Rando or a LHT. I love the look of a lugged frame but the LHT especially the disc version is a great frame. Any thoughts one way or another? I'm not going to do any touring per se. Maybe some metric centuries or a rando if I'm in good enough shape.
    I can whole heartedly understand the desire to have a winter project. I think you need to decide what you're going to use the bike for. If you're looking for a bike to use for randonneuring or long day rides unloaded then the VO is probably a good choice. If you're looking for something that's more versatile and that you might want to load up, then the LHT is the way to go. That said. I used my LHT for a 300k brevet earlier this year because my randonneuring bike was out of commission. The LHT was fine. I do like the geometry of the LHT a lot with it's low BB height and long chainstays. I also used my LHT for two century rides this year and it was fine.

    You might also consider the new VO camping bike...
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfltroll View Post
    I can whole heartedly understand the desire to have a winter project. I think you need to decide what you're going to use the bike for. If you're looking for a bike to use for randonneuring or long day rides unloaded then the VO is probably a good choice. If you're looking for something that's more versatile and that you might want to load up, then the LHT is the way to go. That said. I used my LHT for a 300k brevet earlier this year because my randonneuring bike was out of commission. The LHT was fine. I do like the geometry of the LHT a lot with it's low BB height and long chainstays. I also used my LHT for two century rides this year and it was fine.

    You might also consider the new VO camping bike...
    What is the camping bike?
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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    It should be available soon through Velo Orange. There's pictures of them from Interbike floating around the interweb.

    There's a picture of one in this blog post. Root around the VO blog for more info.

    The Velo ORANGE Blog: Gone Fishing
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

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    From what I've read of the VO Rando, its a much sportier bike than the LHT. It has thinner tubing for a livier ride that "planes." The theory is that the flex of the frame works with you rather than against you for effeciency and speed. It also has a low trail geometry for good handling with a front load, which is all the rage these day amoungst the Jan Heine reading set. So it really is very different from the LHT. Not better or worse, just different. I think that if you want tough and bulletproof (or 26" wheels or disc brakes), get the Trucker. If you want fast and effecient or want to experiment with low trail geometry, get the Rando.

    For the record: the LHT has come with 700c from the beginning. Borrowing an idea from places like Rivendell, Surly specced the wheel size based on frame size, so 54 cm and under got 26" wheels and 56 cm and bigger got 700c. A couple years ago, they introduced 26" wheels for the larger sizes as well, which I think has been very well recieved by the LHT-riding public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    For the record: the LHT has come with 700c from the beginning. Borrowing an idea from places like Rivendell, Surly specced the wheel size based on frame size, so 54 cm and under got 26" wheels and 56 cm and bigger got 700c. A couple years ago, they introduced 26" wheels for the larger sizes as well, which I think has been very well recieved by the LHT-riding public.
    With the 29er craze it seems like 26" anything is out of style. Personally, I have no problems with that size at all.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    With the 29er craze it seems like 26" anything is out of style. Personally, I have no problems with that size at all.
    So right! That's one thing I love about Surly - they don't jump on the industry bandwagons. They realized that there are some good, practical reasons for 26" wheels and are willing to put it out there against the grain of everybody else. And while every other bike company is dropping 26er hardtail models like a bad habit, there's Surly introducing the Troll and 26" LHT in all sizes. Rock on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    So right! That's one thing I love about Surly - they don't jump on the industry bandwagons. They realized that there are some good, practical reasons for 26" wheels and are willing to put it out there against the grain of everybody else. And while every other bike company is dropping 26er hardtail models like a bad habit, there's Surly introducing the Troll and 26" LHT in all sizes. Rock on!
    Now that everyone is dumping the 26" maybe Surly is trying to capture the entire market. From what I can tell so far the consensus seems to be Surly if heavy duty is what you want. The VO if lighter faster is what you want.

    Now to confuse things a bit. Does a CC fit in the discussion at all? I've always thought it was basically a light duty LHT.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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    Crosscheck is a killer bike. I've abused one for the last two years or so. Not as capable of big big loads as the LHT, and has a higher BB by a good bit. Can feel agressive or laid back based on setup. To me, my CC(and this would hold true if I had a 700cLHT too) screams for big fat tires. While the bike can take really fat tires by road bike standards, they cant really go bigger than 2.0" with minimal knobbing and those tires leave minimal room for mud, debris, misalignment. I had fantasies of riding CX when I bought my CC but havent done that yet. I ride to and from campus/work/grocery/etc. When I have the chance I take it to the single track and have a blast, but again it's just on the cusp of being enough bike for what I want. You can push it really hard, but only as far as the tires will let you. One of the things that is so great about the CC is that it's equipped with the long horizontal dropouts. Very easy to go from geared to SS, or IGH if so desired. One downside is that they make fendering a bit more work, but nothing major. The new CCs have braze-ons that the older ones like mine do not, making adding front racks much easier. Have you looked at any other brands for bikes that satisfy your needs? I love surly, but only if it's the best bike for the job .

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    I agree with Vaultbrad, and I totally love my Cross Check. Is it a light duty LHT? Eh, not really. The geometry is very different. It feels more lively to me than my LHT. Some people could use it as a light duty LHT, I suppose. But I don't think that's the essense of the bike.

    Where does a CC fit in the discussion? Well, I think it kind of splits the difference between the LHT and the Rando. On the one hand, its a sportier ride, more like the Rando. But, like the LHT, it doesn't have the Rando's low trail geometry or lugs. I think the CC is a perfect project frame, particularly if you have a lot of parts on hand. And particularly if you want to cobble together a single speed or fixed gear. On the otherhand, if the bikes you have listed in your signature is your fleet, than I don't think the CC is going to be as unique as either a Disc Trucker or a Rando. If I were you, I think I'd go with the Rando and try out the front load, low trail geometry thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    Have you looked at any other brands for bikes that satisfy your needs? I love surly, but only if it's the best bike for the job .
    Right now I have a nice 1999 Waterford RSE, canti equipped bike. While it has a great frame there's no room for fenders and only 1 set of braze-ons for either a rack or fenders in the rear. Plus it has terrible toe strike without fenders. As much as I like the bike, it's really like a Pacer with cantilevers more than a cross or multi use bike. That's why I thought LHT or CC.
    Last edited by CS2; 09-25-2012 at 10:57 PM.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfltroll View Post
    You might also consider the new VO camping bike...
    They finally have them for sale. The bike looks real nice. The price is $600 for frame and fork. That's about a $150 more than a CC or LHT for a similar 4130 bike.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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    I agree. The Campeur looks very cool. Not as much tire clearance as the LHT, but other fairly comparible I think. Tubes look thinner too, which is maybe why Chris writes that it rides so well unloaded. The extra hundred bucks or so is offset by inclusion of a headset. No need to buy a heaset, press the cups, set a star nut, or cut a steerer - all of which are added expense or hassle (or both) on a new Surly frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    I agree. The Campeur looks very cool. Not as much tire clearance as the LHT, but other fairly comparible I think. Tubes look thinner too, which is maybe why Chris writes that it rides so well unloaded. The extra hundred bucks or so is offset by inclusion of a headset. No need to buy a heaset, press the cups, set a star nut, or cut a steerer - all of which are added expense or hassle (or both) on a new Surly frame.
    I didn't catch the headset. That plus the kickstand/ rear fender mount are practical additions.

    Last edited by CS2; 09-26-2012 at 11:53 AM.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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