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  1. #1
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    My apprehension with the Disc Trucker

    I have pretty much recently started up riding, bikepacking / expedition / etc.. I have a Giant Revel 1 now, and while it does it's job, and would work great for what I want to ride, what I am able to ride are 2 different things.

    So, I'm looking at a better bike to do what I want, and this time, on the terrain that is Ohio (namely, asphalt, dirt, gravel), less of the "out in the woods route-finding / pathfinding / less expedition stuff.

    LHT vs Disc Trucker: I want mechanical disc brakes. From all of my research, they are better in wet conditions and can basically "stop better". There are also technicalities, such as heating of the rim which has the theoretical potential of getting a tire blowout.

    Anyways, yea. I'm looking at the Disc Trucker, but there will be times when I am on an actual MTB trail. I'd say it would break down to:

    75% - asphalt
    10% - dirt
    10% - gravel
    5% - trail

    Would the disc trucker be able to handle the terrain breakdown? IIRC, it comes stock with slicks, so would it be preferrable to switch to a more "cross-country" style of tire?

  2. #2
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    26" or 700c trucker? IIRC, the 26" has clearance for fatter tires.

    I've ridden my cross bike on singletrack. It's a fun challenge, but it doesn't substitute for regular mountain biking. But for only 5%, maybe it's good enough for you.

    I'd seriously look at a Salsa Fargo. I had a gen 1, and it was an excellent (paved for me) touring bike, and a pretty capable mountain bike as well.
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  3. #3
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    I did look at the Salsa Fargo, and both seem to do what I want to do. I think the reason why I went with the Disc Trucker was for the thinner tires. The thicker tires on the Salsa would seem to have more road resistance. This would be fine if there was actual backcountry here.

    One thing I do like about the Salsa vs the Surly is the support for a front suspension. If I ever move out west like I want to, this is the definite way to go for me. But in the immediate term, I think the Surly would be the better bet?

    Decisions decisions :\

    Ah yea, I was looking at the 700c trucker.

  4. #4
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    I've heard about people riding Truckers on singletrack; the consensus was that it worked OK, but wasn't ideal. For 5% of the time, you can manage, and HAB if you need to. I'm sure the Trucker can handle everything else you listed just fine. It'll take nice fat tires even in 700c I think. Good call on the disc brakes, too.

    However, I think a more MTB-oriented bike (Fargo, Troll, Ogre, etc) might be worth considering simply because it's more versatile. It can do on-road or dirt-road touring AND handle singletrack like a boss. The main benefit of the LHT is probably that it would do better if heavily loaded, so your loading style comes into play too.
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  5. #5
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    Oh yea.. I'm the exact opposite of a minimilist. If "home is where you lay down at night" and all that.. well. Yea. My estimate of my current setup is ~50 - ~75lbs including the bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomGuyOnABike View Post
    I did look at the Salsa Fargo, and both seem to do what I want to do. I think the reason why I went with the Disc Trucker was for the thinner tires. The thicker tires on the Salsa would seem to have more road resistance. This would be fine if there was actual backcountry here.

    One thing I do like about the Salsa vs the Surly is the support for a front suspension. If I ever move out west like I want to, this is the definite way to go for me. But in the immediate term, I think the Surly would be the better bet?

    Decisions decisions :\

    Ah yea, I was looking at the 700c trucker.
    You may also want to consider the Salsa Vaya. It has disc brakes, and not as much tire clearance as a Fargo, but it can handle some pretty good sized tires, and I know many people take it off the beaten path. I would still recommend the Fargo myself. Yes, it comes with 2.0" or 2.2" tires but you can always put thinner tires on it for road riding.

    As an anecdote, I'm in the Midwest, and do a similar breakdown of riding as what you describe. I love my Fargo. It's extremely versatile. For longer stretches on the road, I keep some 35mm tires in the garage. But, in reality, I usually just leave on the fatties and up the pressure a bit.

  7. #7
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    You can put skinnies on a Fargo, here are some 28s I had on my old one:



    But these felt much slower than my Pasela 35s (which is borne out by Bicycle Quarterly's testing), so I don't ride anything this skinny anymore.

    You can also put fat (2.3") tires on it, which you can't do with any version of LHT. If you're not a traditionalist, I can't see getting a LHT over the Fargo (not that there's anything wrong with tradition!)



    Quote Originally Posted by RandomGuyOnABike View Post
    I did look at the Salsa Fargo, and both seem to do what I want to do. I think the reason why I went with the Disc Trucker was for the thinner tires. The thicker tires on the Salsa would seem to have more road resistance. This would be fine if there was actual backcountry here.

    One thing I do like about the Salsa vs the Surly is the support for a front suspension. If I ever move out west like I want to, this is the definite way to go for me. But in the immediate term, I think the Surly would be the better bet?

    Decisions decisions :\

    Ah yea, I was looking at the 700c trucker.
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  8. #8
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    The bike will do fine on the trails as long as you have the correct attitude. If you encounter a trail as part of your adventure and treat it as if you are hiking/exploring you will be fine even on skinny tires. If you immediately turn off the road and and turn in to a downhill racer you will not be happy with the LHT or Fargo off road. I use my Fargo strictly off road and enjoy it, but you have to learn to ride around that low bottom bracket.

  9. #9
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    I have a regular trucker with a front disc fork. It is a 56cm with 700c tires. I have easily run 29x1.8s on it and ridden our rocky mtb trails without any issue. If you are only doing 5% trails i would say go for it, but get the 26" which can fit much larger tires than the 700c. The bike is strong and very comfortable.

  10. #10
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    I think you'll be very happy with the disc trucker for the conditions you describe. I run 40mm tires and ride a variety of terrain in relative comfort. Not to mention it just looks good.
    My apprehension with the Disc Trucker-431871_581390115246543_1800629733_n.jpg
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  11. #11
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    Describe what a "Trail" is to you.

    Is it super smooth dirt track?
    Is it boulders and drop offs?
    Is it a short cut through the neighbors yard?


    If rocks and logs are in your future a mountain bike will work much better and will allow you quite a bit of piece of mind.

    Are you planning on getting rid of the Revel? Keeping both gets you the best of every world!

  12. #12
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    Why not keep the revel, save money, put on a surly ogre fork, throw some racks on there, slap on some 1.8-2.0" touring tires, and have a great all-around bike. Then you have all of the options and requirements you need without buying another bike.


    Unless of course you just want another bike. In which case I'd say get the Disc Trucker and ride it every where. It would be a very capable bike in all terrains that you would want to carry all of your gear. Don't be turned away by wider tires though. They are minimally slower if any than their narrower counterparts and provide comfort and protection for your wheels, bike, and bod. They may feel slower because they don't transmit as much road vibration to you, the rider, but they are really not any slower for the majority of real world applications.

  13. #13
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    I ride my LHT on about the same mix of terrain as you're envisioning and it's great. It rocks on fire roads. As others have said, its not the best for singletrack due to the long wheel base and low BB. But it is plenty stout and can get the job done.

    The LHT/Disc Trucker's forte is tradional bags-on-racks touring, hence the long chainstays and low BB. So, if that's how you carry your gear touring, than its one of the best bikes out there. If you use a frame bag or trailer or something else, than a bike with snappier geometery might be a better pick for you.

    Oh and on disc brakes - nothing against them and if that's what you want, then fine. But the bit about rim brakes heating up rims and exploding tires is rubish. Sure, it might happen on a really long downhill dragging the brakes the whole way. But disc brakes are sure to seize up and maybe even catch fire under those conditions too. Warped rotors from excessive heat are not unheard of either. Disc brakes aren't going to help someone who doesn't brake properly on a long downhill in the first place. I don't mean to imply that you don't know how to brake properly, just that you have nothing to fear from rim brakes. They are highly underrated by the mountain bike crowd.
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  14. #14
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    I have ridden my LHT (rim brakes) on just about everything short of technical / rocky single track. It is a great do-it-all bike for riding on anything you might call a 'road' and would certainly handle what you describe in your original post. If you think you might want more off-road capability then consider something like an Ogre or Troll (or Fargo, etc etc).

    My apprehension with the Disc Trucker-cow-trucker1.jpg

  15. #15
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    A few have already touched on this but like Seatboy said: you can put skinny rims and tires on a Salsa Fargo or Orge/Troll quite easily, so preferring the LHT because of this might not be accurate. The LHT is definitely a better road worthy machine then say a Troll or Ogre based on geometry but it depends on what you want?

    For me and this is what I was pondering when I bought my frame.
    Which bike frame could handle the weight of packs and rider (me 230#) on rough terrain?
    Depending on what your opinion is of rough terrain is or terrain you think you might run into?

    That is why I went with the Troll as it is a solid frame (heavier) that can handle the rough stuff and the weight but is ok on the road.
    Just for the record I have passed a few roadies with the Troll and enjoyed it immensely!

    The LHT is a solid frame and an excellent choice if you go for it!
    Last edited by Dawgprimo; 06-23-2013 at 11:37 PM.

  16. #16
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    I have ridden my LHT (rim brakes) on just about everything short of technical / rocky single track. It is a great do-it-all bike for riding on anything you might call a 'road' and would certainly handle what you describe in your original post. If you think you might want more off-road capability then consider something like an Ogre or Troll (or Fargo, etc etc).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I dig your setup here. I want to do something similar, as far as bars and seat, but am leaning more towards an Ogre or an All City Space Horse. I want adjustability in the rear drops to make it easier to run an internally geared hub.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SocratesDiedTrolling View Post
    I dig your setup here. I want to do something similar, as far as bars and seat, but am leaning more towards an Ogre or an All City Space Horse. I want adjustability in the rear drops to make it easier to run an internally geared hub.
    Thanks. Honestly if I was starting from scratch I'd probably get an Ogre or Fargo (especially if it was going to be my only bike). That said I've ridden some pretty burly terrain on my LHT - not necessarily fun but certainly do-able.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    Thanks. Honestly if I was starting from scratch I'd probably get an Ogre or Fargo (especially if it was going to be my only bike). That said I've ridden some pretty burly terrain on my LHT - not necessarily fun but certainly do-able.
    LOL! I totally know what you mean. When I bought my LHT, the Fargo wasn't available yet and the KM was only available as a frameset. In retrospect, a more mountainy-bike would have been a better fit for me. I keep thinking about swapping the parts onto an Ogre frame. But then I go for a ride and have a ball. So it might just be a "grass is always greener..." thing in my head.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SocratesDiedTrolling View Post
    I dig your setup here. I want to do something similar, as far as bars and seat, but am leaning more towards an Ogre or an All City Space Horse. I want adjustability in the rear drops to make it easier to run an internally geared hub.
    You're totally on the right track. The Space Horse is a rad bike (another one that wasn't available when I bought my Trucker) and I think has a lot of the good features of the LHT, like the low BB and big tire clearance, without the drawbacks of a pure touring machine.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    LOL! I totally know what you mean. When I bought my LHT, the Fargo wasn't available yet and the KM was only available as a frameset. In retrospect, a more mountainy-bike would have been a better fit for me. I keep thinking about swapping the parts onto an Ogre frame. But then I go for a ride and have a ball. So it might just be a "grass is always greener..." thing in my head.
    Yeah, I have considered selling my LHT, but after throwing some Albatross bars on it I've discovered that I really like having an upright, laid-back cruiser in my stable of bikes. I've done some fairly long dirt road rides and a bit of touring with that setup and it's pretty nice.

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