What a great day to get out on the bike. The early morning threat of rain has disappeared and now it is cool, clear and overcast with a little bit of a breeze.
So, where to go on my first ride on the Long Haul Trucker (LHT)? Somewhere with climbs, corners, descents, varying road surfaces that is an enjoyable ride. A return trip to Mt Lofty summit was an obvious choice.
First a description of the bike. It has 60cm frame and components as described on the Surly web site
with the following additions or modifications:
- Brooks B17 saddle
- Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres (35 x 700c)
- SKS mudguards
- Tioga rack
- Ortlieb Back Roller Classic panniers
If I had to describe the ride in one word it would be "comfortable" which is exactly what I was after. The bike handles very well. It is stable and corners will confidence. It soaks up the bumps so well I actually went looking for rougher parts of the road just to see what would happen.
The LHT isn't the fastest bike around. It is obvious that the extra weight, long chainstays and fat tyres make it slower than my roadie but I won't know how much slower until I do some more rides or ride with a mate that I'm used to riding with.
The bar end shifters took some getting used to but the ups and downs between Norton Summit and Mt Lofty ensured I got plenty of practice. By the time I got home shifting gears was no longer a concern. The stability of the bike allows you to take one hand off the bars and shift gears with confidence.
The cantilever brakes are not as powerful as those on my roadie and certainly no match for a set of discs. However, I have no immediate concerns with their ability to do the job.
I think I'm about to become a big fan of Brooks saddles. The B17 was immediately comfortable and will only become more so once is has conformed to my body shape.
The only other thing I can think of that is worth mentioning is that I'm very happy to have the triple chain ring and mountain bike gearing. I can now ride up very steep hills and that means I can now avoid what was the most dangerous part of my commute.
Overall I'm very happy with the LHT. I'll post again after I've done a few more rides.