We will embark on our trip with Surly Long Haul Truckers. It’s been a fun journey getting to the decision of LHT bikes.
Our bicycle knowledge is vast when it comes to different types of bikes and applications. Over the years we have owned as many as twelve bikes at one time. Our love for cycling is immense and isn’t simply limited to touring.
• Downhill bicycles x 2
• Cross Country bikes x 2
• Dirt jumper x 1
• Touring bikes x 2
• Road bikes x 4
• Commuter x 1
So while we have all this knowledge about bikes I wouldn’t say we’re well versed at bike maintenance.
When it comes to bikes we certainly have given this very careful consideration. Over our few tours we’ve enjoyed some simple success and also learned about how important a bike fitting properly is. Our first few tours we kept things very simple and rode our daily commuters. We were both riding Kona hard tail bikes. Aside from endless flat tires that we attributed to lousy tires and some back luck; the bikes performed well. Not at any point did we experience pain and we were not uncomfortable aside from the expected soreness associated with many hours in the saddle.
When we were preparing for our trip to Europe we knew that we would be in the market for bikes for years to come. We did some research and settled on buying matching Kona Sutra bikes. I am a shorter woman (5’ 2”) so finding a bike that I can stand over is challenging. In addition my reach is quite short to the handle bars. I bought the bike doing some general measurements and comparisons of existing bikes and figured the bike would be great. When it arrived I knew immediately that my shoulders were tight. We invested in a professional bike fit and switched to more narrow bars, shortened the stem, moved the seat and did anything we could to try and shrink the cockpit for me. When all was said and done there was nothing more we could try, so off I went. I was using it as my daily commuter and we took it on that one month trip to Europe. I loved so many things about the bike. It was sturdy, the shifting, the way it handled; but there is nothing you can do about it being too big for my body. Alas I ended up selling it and going back to my trusty hard tail commuter bike.
I love my commuter but I also recognize it has A LOT of miles on it. It’s days are numbered and I would need to essentially replace every component on it. And so now we were back in the market for a touring bike. And again, more research, reading reviews, etc.