Surly's LHT VS Surly's Cross Check...Which is the better commuter?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 37 of 37
  1. #1

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    18

    Surly's LHT VS Surly's Cross Check...Which is the better commuter?

    Hey I'm curious. Which is the better every day commuter from Surly? Thier Long Haul Trucker or thier Cross Check? They both look like really good commuters but the only thing I have a problem with is the fact the LHT only comes with 26 inch wheels when you get into the sizes I need. That's easily fixed but fairly annoying
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Surly's LHT VS Surly's Cross Check...Which is the better commuter?-cross-check.jpg  

    Surly's LHT VS Surly's Cross Check...Which is the better commuter?-long-haul-trucker.jpg  


  2. #2
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    The LHT is a far better choice for everyday commuting, it is over-built to last.

    What is wrong with 26" not the end of the world... in fact it is a better choice for those small frames

  3. #3
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Better is relative. A lot of people very happily commute on each of those models. Both are about the same price, have very similar components and a lot of built in versatility. Like you noted, the CC has 700 wheels, I`d guess it`s slightly lighter and probably not quite so rough and tough (though certainly not whimpy). The LHT is a true tank, but if you look at the whole bike after adding fenders, racks, lights, etc the weight and handling difference is going to be a fairly small when all is said and done. Which one makes you drool? That`s the one to get.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    What is wrong with 26" not the end of the world... in fact it is a better choice for those small frames
    Yeah. When the OP says "that`s easilly fixed", it sounds like a plan to swap wheel sizes. Probably possible, but it would require some surgery with a torch and a new paint job in addition to the minor geometry changes. Doesn`t sound worth it to me, but I prefer 26 inch wheels anyway.
    Recalculating....

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    239
    cancelled - computer error, multiple post.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    239
    cancelled - computer error, multiple post.

  6. #6
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,417
    Overbuilt to last? Meh. Both bikes are the same in terms of quality. LHT probably has a few more eyelets, the CC is going to have a bit sharper handling.

    You could easily bump up to a 650b LHT with a set of brakes with a lot of vertical adjustment. 700c wheels would probably fit too, but you'd end up limiting the size of tire and fenders you could fit under the brake line.

  7. #7
    The Brutally Handsome
    Reputation: Sizzler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,257
    I have owned and commuted on both and while they may seem similar they are actually distinctly different bikes. In my experience, the LHT is better bicycle both in general and for commuting for the following reasons:

    The LHT is designed to carry weight and has thicker, stiffer tubes and lower bottom bracket that provide stability with only a slight sacrifice in weight. On the other hand, the CC felt unstable when loaded, especially in the front end.

    The LHT has more relaxed geometry that is better for commuting but is still quick and responsive enough to make it fun to ride. The CC has awkward geometry that felt uncomfortable with a longer effective top-tube than the same size LHT.

    The LHT comes with lots of useful brazes and has nice touches such as fancy fork and rear dropouts and extra spoke holders, while the CC doesn't even have a cable stop for the rear brake! It also comes with nicer components than a CC, with XT hubs and rear derailleur.

    While I'll allow the CC is a nice bike, the only thing that it has on the LHT is the horizontal dropouts which allow single or fixed gear riding. However, this is only an advantage if you always ride SS/FG, as changing back and forth is too time consuming to be done on a regular basis.

    I have since sold both bikes and am now on my third Surly machine, a Big Dummy. If your interested, I could give you another 20 reasons why a BD is better than a CC or an LHT!
    Last edited by Sizzler; 01-10-2010 at 12:11 AM.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    747
    I ride a CC fixed and LHT geared (w/ 26x2.0 big apples). They are set up pretty differently, but the LHT is better with a load (gearing aside) and is my only choice for kid-hauling. I could load the CC like I do the LHT (front and rear) but it would be more of an endurance thing than enjoyable, and I'd want to gear it differently too.

  9. #9
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,143
    There are a wider (figuratively and literally) variety of tires available in the 26" size, something to consider as well.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  10. #10
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    If I was in the market for one of those two bikes, I'd get the Kona Jake The Snake.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jddjirikian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    459
    LHT commuter here boss.

    Love it. The geometry is perfect for a commute. As mentioned above, it's a bike designed to carry stuff. Why? Because it's got touring geometry and specs: low bottom bracket; longer chain stays; not exactly the same gearing as a CC. Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with either, but I choose the LHT.

  12. #12
    Just Ride!
    Reputation: Pigtire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    806
    I like mine. It's a pretty darn stable bike compared to my last cyclocross commuter especially when it's loaded. If not for commuting I can slap some fat tires( Continental Vapors rear and some 2.1 Kendas front) and do some offroad rides. The best part for me is I don't need to get off the saddle when stopped at red light because of the low bottom bracket(one of the reason why it's such a stable bike).


  13. #13
    LCI #1853
    Reputation: PscyclePath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    328
    I ride a Cross-Check as my main commuter and putting-around-town bike. I added a Delta rear rack to hold panniers, rack trunk, and whatever else, a Brooks saddle, and swapped the knobby 'cross tires for a pair of slick Continental Gatorskins. It's been a good workhorse for the past two years.

    Depending how much of a load you're going to carry, a Cross-Check may not be your ideal. The Cross-Check doesn't have provisions for mounting a front rack and panniers; the LHT does. The Cross-Check is a road-bike/'cross bike; the LHT is optimized more for loaded touring and hauling stuff. I ride a 56 cm bike, so an LHT in my size would still have 700C wheels, but that may be an issue for others. If picking either of the two Surlys strictly for commuting & utility riding, the LHT has an avantage in that you can easily fit front racks and better distribute heavy loads.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    (with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)

  14. #14
    Ride steel, stay hairy.
    Reputation: bdstorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by Pigtire

    Mate what sized LHT frame is that?
    www.bottlesandchains.com
    'ride local, drink global'

  15. #15
    LCI #1853
    Reputation: PscyclePath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    328
    I've used both, both both commuting, touring, and utility riding. And I've liked both.

    The LHT gets the nod on an all-around commuter and utility bike, simply because it's built to go the distance hauling the freight. The Cross-Check feels a little peppier, but doesn't have the braze-ons to mount front racks or panniers (supposed to be a standard addtion staring with the 2011 models), and has a little higher bottom backet and gearing.

    Both have served me well, and I would have no qualms about walking out and buying another one this afternoon for the same purposes...
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    (with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wunderkind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    47
    Depending on the type of roads and distance of your commute, the perceived speed gain with the 700c in the CC might be insignificant. But it's YMMV as usual.
    I wonder what's the difference once you factor in the tire sidewall height b/t the LHT's 26er vs. the CC's 700c.

  17. #17
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
    Reputation: mtnfiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,750
    Could one put an LHT fork on a CC to get the additional brazons?

    Other options for front racks to exist. Nashbar sells a little front rack that attaches to canti studs.

    https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Produc...1_10000_200411

    VeloOrange has a few smaller front racks like this one that do not require mid-fork brazons:

    https://www.velo-orange.com/racks.html

    And Rivendell sells a few as well. My favorite is the Mark's Rack, which I own.

    https://www.rivbike.com/products/sho...k-nitto/20-108
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1
    My LHT isn't a "commuter" yet, althought I put about 30 miles on it a week these days. I am running Bontrager 700x38 Inverts( and they are funtionally 40's). It rides great with my 250lb self on it! I suppose that come close to "loaded". I've ridden a couple of CC's and I'll stick with my LHT on 38's, at least till I break below 200'. In case anyone is wondering, it's wine in the bag The fenders are from VO, and the whole bike was a budget build for about $700.
    hvac59



  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1

    Hey HVAC - $700? How?

    Hey There.
    I've been having the CC vs. LHT discussion in my head as well. How did you end up doing an LHT for $700? I'd like to know.

    Thanks!! - Bob

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,135
    I have owned both and I did not like the LHT for urban commuting - the handling was too sluggish. The LHT did not feel happy until it was loaded. The Crosscheck can be toured on also - you do not need eyelets on the fork to mount a front rack, just use c-clamps or get an Old Man Mountain rack (a rear rack is plenty for commuting anyway). Fully loaded the Crosscheck is just fine, it just isn't quite as stable as the LHT. The only thing wrong with the Crosscheck are those rear dropouts. I didn't like the 132.5mm spacing and forward facing slots. Makes getting a mountain hub in harder and requires too much QR clamping force to keep a road hub from pulling out.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,534
    Riding with over 50lbs across the country? LHT

    Riding with less than 20lbs across town? Cross Check

    As someone who has the same dilemma a couple years ago, the debate is a simple as that. For what it's worth, I bought a CC, and I love it dearly. No regrets at all. The CC will be more fun and lively unloaded, but it can still handle a decent load without a problem. It won't be as "cadillac like" as the LHT, but it's a more fun bike overall. If the bike will spend most of its life carrying a large load, then a LHT is an obvious choice.

    As a bonus, here's a pic of my Cross Check with the small front rack that was posted above:

    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

  22. #22
    Just Ride!
    Reputation: Pigtire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    806
    Quote Originally Posted by bdstorer
    Mate what sized LHT frame is that?
    Sorry, mate! That is a 60.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2
    Any suggestion for a brake upgrade for the CrossCheck?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: asphaltdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    644
    Tektro CR720
    Ride more!

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by asphaltdude View Post
    Tektro CR720
    Cool with shimano ultegra dual control

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    239
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend View Post
    Could one put an LHT fork on a CC to get the additional brazons?...
    I know this post is old, but since the thread is still active and I didn't see an answer to your question...

    Yes, you can put a LHT fork on a CC to get the additional braze-ons. You can also keep your CC fork and use P-clamps to mount a front rack. That's what I did to mount a Jandd Extreme front rack to my CC.

    I go through phases commuting. For a few years I rode my CC and, at the time, I didn't think any other bike could be better. This past summer, I switched to my 1985 Trek 300 series. That is a great bike and fits me well. For the past couple of months, I've moved back to my 2005 Kona Caldera, my first commuting/mult-purpose bike. I'm sure I'll get back to my CC at some point.

    Both the CC and LHT will make outstanding commuting bikes. You can't go wrong with either.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by plainspace View Post
    Any suggestion for a brake upgrade for the CrossCheck?
    I use Suntour XCPro on the front, and their XCPro self-energizing versions on the rear of my CC. The brakes work alright, but I admit to fooling around with three different versions(first were Pauls, then Shimano, now Suntour).

    I'm thinking of getting another set of brakes now as well....
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mattbryant2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,166
    My LHT has proven to be an ideal commuter and tourer, but also handles dirt and gravel paths quite well. I like the nimbleness of the 26" wheels, as well as the tire clearance and available options. For commuting, I prefer the more stable geometry of the LHT, as well as the additional heel and toe clearance the frame affords for mounting fenders and panniers.

    FWIW, my girlfriend does the same commuting and touring on her CC (50cm). She likes it, but has toe overlap and would like a wider gear range, and plans to replace the bike at some point in the future. I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up with a disc LHT.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Surly's LHT VS Surly's Cross Check...Which is the better commuter?-img_0839.jpg  


  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    17
    Another vote for the Cross Check. I've been commuting on mine for 6 months and love it. I wouldn't be able to compare though as I have not ridden the LHT.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2
    I had a LHT, rode it all over the place, and loved it. I now own a Cross Check, and it's way better for commuting, curb hopping and general riding about.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    84
    maybe salsa vaya ? If you need a smaller size than 56cm LHT?

    I have a Cross Check. Now it is fun singlespeed monstercross... Cross Check got one big problem - the dropouts. They are pain in the ass, really, when you use QR skewers... So if you not interested in singlespeeding or internal gear hub, chose LHT. Origin 8 CX700 will do fine, too, i think.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    I use Suntour XCPro on the front, and their XCPro self-energizing versions on the rear of my CC. The brakes work alright, but I admit to fooling around with three different versions(first were Pauls, then Shimano, now Suntour).

    I'm thinking of getting another set of brakes now as well....
    Magura hydraulic rim brakes perhaps?

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Magura hydraulic rim brakes perhaps?
    I hadn't given the Magura's a thought, honestly. What drop bar levers work with the Magura's, btw?

    Haven't seen a pair of them in over twenty years. last time I saw Magura's was at Revenge of the Siskyou's race in Ashland!

    Was looking at new pads today, am wearing out my kool stops at a fast rate on these Matrix ceramic rims also.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    I hadn't given the Magura's a thought, honestly. What drop bar levers work with the Magura's, btw?

    Haven't seen a pair of them in over twenty years. last time I saw Magura's was at Revenge of the Siskyou's race in Ashland!

    Was looking at new pads today, am wearing out my kool stops at a fast rate on these Matrix ceramic rims also.
    Where did you get ceramic rims?

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Where did you get ceramic rims?
    My apologies, ceramic coating on my Trek/Matrix ISO-C clinchers. The coating will NOT come off, grrrr. Bought them at a shop when I was still a wrench, and for a good deal. Don't brake well, but they do hold up. Still have one 32 left and am debating to even build it up into a wheel.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    My apologies, ceramic coating on my Trek/Matrix ISO-C clinchers. The coating will NOT come off, grrrr. Bought them at a shop when I was still a wrench, and for a good deal. Don't brake well, but they do hold up. Still have one 32 left and am debating to even build it up into a wheel.
    I know what you meant. I've been wanting rims that won't wear.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    10
    I have only expierriance with the crooscheck , I commute daily around 35 km;s on that fixed.
    And like it a lot.


    I hadn't given the Magura's a thought, honestly. What drop bar levers work with the Magura's, btw?
    you can try to find original hs 66/77 levers. (but that is a hard time.
    Magura has just released on eurobike an adaptor to go from cable to hydraulics.

Members who have read this thread: 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.