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  1. #1
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    Surly's Long Haul Trucker Complete VS Cross Check Complete?

    I'm wondering which bike from Surly is the better everyday commuter? Surly's Long Haul Trucker or thier Cross Check. I would like to have a bike that I wouldn't have to do anything to and they both look like really good options but I'm not to sure about the LHT because of the fact that the size I need only has 26" wheels...You only get the 700c wheels with the larger sizes. I'm not sure if it's a bad thing though...It might be interesting having a commuter that runs 26 inchers and has the wider tires. I also really like the Cross Check. I'd love to buy both and someday I'd like to think I'll have both but for right now I can only afford 1 so I want to make my determination based on which is the better daily commuter...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Surly's Long Haul Trucker Complete VS Cross Check Complete?-cross-check.jpg   Surly's Long Haul Trucker Complete VS Cross Check Complete?-long-haul-trucker.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Where the LHT really shines is in it's ability to carry a load. If a load is not in your biking routine, go with the CC. The CC has slightly sportier geometry making it turn a little quicker and more rigid feeling. The LHT on the otherhand is more like a Cadilac from the 60's. The ride is smooth and well mannered and you have the option of running wider tires w/ fenders which are a must unless your into the mud stripe up your back. I love my LHT because it does exactly what I built it up to do and very well at that. Surly builds a nice no frills product and whichever you choose, I'm sure you'll be able to tweek it to exactly what you want but don't expect either to win the tour.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Henry Chinaski's Avatar
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    I agree with Eisentraut. Been commuting on a Cross Check every day for four years now, no complaints. One other thing I like about the Cross Check is the horizontal dropouts, which give you the option of setting it up fixed or singlespeed if you ever want. Might also check out options from Salsa, Masi and Bianchi as well. Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I don't carry a lot on my average commute...Maybe a change of clothes for work or for the gym, a lunch, my bike tools and a spare tube, on occasion a book to read on my breaks...General stuff like that. I have a Topeak DXP Trunkbag and seatpost rack but I really want to get topeaks OS Tubular Rack with a built-in U-Lock. I'm building a Big Dummy from the frame up for larger loads but I'm taking my time on that one. I kinda like the look of the CC a bit more and I'm not planning on carrying big loads...Thanks for your advice.
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  5. #5
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    I'd go with the LHT. Starting now you can get larger sizes with 26" or 700c. (I don't remember if the largest sizes are still just 700c).

  6. #6
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    Cross check x 3.5 years

    No car just my crosscheck for 3 years. It has been 100% reliable.
    But I'm currently replacing it with a Gunnar Fastlane so I can have disc brakes.
    To answer your question get the Crosscheck. And buy a Bob Trailer for the days you have loads to haul.
    Bubba

  7. #7
    Flash! ah–ahhh!
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    Well, the 26" wheel LHTs have clearance for tires up to 2.1" wide. The CrossCheck is no slouch here either, being able to fit up to a 700x45 tire. But, if the conditions you commute in are pretty extreme, the LHT (super-stout frame also, btw) might be the better choice.

    Otherwise, I lean Crosscheck.
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  8. #8
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    If only I could afford both...But on the other hand if I could afford every bike I wanted I'd need to find a place with a muchbigger garage LOL

  9. #9
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    I love my Cross Check for commuting...But I don't have hands on experience with the LHT.

  10. #10
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    I love my CC and want a LHT to go with my Pacer and Steamroller.

    The Cross Check is dangerous. You can make it how you want it. And you will. Mine seen these incarnations.

    1- 2x9 Cross and road bike.
    2- 1X9 Cross and road bike.
    3- 1X1 Cross and road bike.
    4- Fixed Cross and road bike.
    Drop bars, Straight bars, Mountain drops.
    With and without fenders both cross and road.
    Snow bike, dirt bike, downhill dirt bomber, casual road bike, touring........

    When I only had one bike. That was it.

  11. #11
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    The LHT is better suited for long distance, heavy loaded touring. The extra long chainstays are to accommodate very large panniers. The steering is also designed with heavy loads, and possibly a front rack in use.

    These conditions aren't what the typical commuter sees. The LHT will be somewhat ponderous and slow in its handling. The CC is better suited for commuting because it'll be a better bike for all your NON-COMMUTING uses such as group rides, day rides, and so on. The frame will be a bit livelier and absorb some road shock better than the LHT due to its lighter, thinner tubing.

    The LHT is overkill. A great full-on touring bike, though.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P.
    The LHT is better suited for long distance, heavy loaded touring. The extra long chainstays are to accommodate very large panniers. The steering is also designed with heavy loads, and possibly a front rack in use.

    These conditions aren't what the typical commuter sees. The LHT will be somewhat ponderous and slow in its handling. The CC is better suited for commuting because it'll be a better bike for all your NON-COMMUTING uses such as group rides, day rides, and so on. The frame will be a bit livelier and absorb some road shock better than the LHT due to its lighter, thinner tubing.

    The LHT is overkill. A great full-on touring bike, though.
    Both frames are heavy, OS tubing. I think they're a lot more similar than they are different. The LHT won't be any worse for unloaded riding.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubba9646
    No car just my crosscheck for 3 years.
    That's pretty ambitious. Do you have good public transportation available?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P.
    The frame will be a bit livelier and absorb some road shock better than the LHT due to its lighter, thinner tubing.
    The words "road shock" and LHT in the same sentence is kind of laughable. The Trucker is a stretched limo Cadillac ride. It eats bumps for lunch, even over rough patches of pavement, it just rolls over it. Mine handled a 300mi/3 day loaded tour this summer followed by a 450mi/6 day unloaded tour without a blip and I commute with one pannier, some shoes and change of clothes. It rides remarkably well in both situations. Solid, predictable, and surprisingly nimble when climbing unloaded out of the saddle. In snow, I throw on some 2.1 knobbies and it's the perfect snow bike. I have it rigged up with night riding gear and I have the perfect night bike. Rain? Who cares, the fenders save the day. The versatility is what I like best about it. It does everything except accelerate and sprint.

  15. #15
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Originally Posted by Peter P.
    The frame will be a bit livelier and absorb some road shock better than the LHT due to its lighter, thinner tubing.

    Uh.. Do you think Surly puts that much effort into tubing? They use what they use and thats it. Heck the geo or specs havent changed on any of their models, ever. I see thay did get a new rear dropout this year.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by A from Il
    Originally Posted by Peter P.
    The frame will be a bit livelier and absorb some road shock better than the LHT due to its lighter, thinner tubing.

    Uh.. Do you think Surly puts that much effort into tubing? They use what they use and thats it. Heck the geo or specs havent changed on any of their models, ever. I see thay did get a new rear dropout this year.
    not sure what that means, but surly does use different tubes on the lht and cc. the lht is ovalized and thinner walled. and stiffer.

  17. #17
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackhat
    not sure what that means, but surly does use different tubes on the lht and cc. the lht is ovalized and thinner walled. and stiffer.
    I just dont see surly putting that much into tubing. Their stuff works, thats it. Are they light? No. Do they get the job done? Very well. I just built a pacer and really love it. The frame for a swap. It was new. I bought a Athena groupset for a song. Some parts here and there and its a great bike. I probably have 1400.00 in it and cant wait for spring. I love my cross check.

    The bottom line. Each of their bikes has a purpose and if you take it out of its intended purpose it basically complies and does the job well. It will do what you want. Are there better cross bikes? Yep. Are their better touring bikes? Yep. Are their better road bikes? Uhuh. How about a single speed? Sure. You can get a Surly and morph it into whatever you want and it will do it well.

    Get one and find out for yourself.

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by A from Il
    I just dont see surly putting that much into tubing. Their stuff works, thats it. Are they light? No. Do they get the job done? Very well. I just built a pacer and really love it. The frame for a swap. It was new. I bought a Athena groupset for a song. Some parts here and there and its a great bike. I probably have 1400.00 in it and cant wait for spring. I love my cross check.

    The bottom line. Each of their bikes has a purpose and if you take it out of its intended purpose it basically complies and does the job well. It will do what you want. Are there better cross bikes? Yep. Are their better touring bikes? Yep. Are their better road bikes? Uhuh. How about a single speed? Sure. You can get a Surly and morph it into whatever you want and it will do it well.

    Get one and find out for yourself.
    I've got one, I love my pacer. I didn't intend to disparage them at all. To the contrary, I think they put more design into their frames than you suggest. I don't think any of their frames are stock maxway tubesets, they're built to (well designed) spec. in the case of the lht, that means a somewhat more laterally stiff tubeset to decrease flex with a load.

  19. #19
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    Peter P's statements are accurate IMO

    Given the similarities on paper, it's easy to conclude that they are almost the same frame after riding only one of them. I own an LHT and have also ridden the CC with similar (not identical) tires and wheels, both 700c. Both are versatile, relative to many frames, but there are distinct differences between them.

    The LHT can be used for daily use, but it really is intended as a no-compromise touring frame. It rides like a cadillac while loaded because 70 extra pounds of racks and gear will smooth out the ride on pretty much any bike on any surface. The wider, lower pressure tires that are typically used for touring help too. The beefy tubing, long wheelbase, slack angles, and low bb keeps the bike tracking beautifully down the road, even fully loaded. But, that same beefy tubing rides relatively harshly unloaded, regardless of geometry. Just because it's steel doesn't mean it is automatically a magic carpet. I wouldn't call it "harsh," but on comparable 28mm tires at 80-100 psi, the CC is definitely smoother than the LHT. The CC fork is softer too (yeah, on paper it sure doesn't look like it).

    The crosscheck is sportier for empty road riding, more 'flickable' on trails, and has a higher bottom bracket. It doesn't have the tightest cross geometry available, but it's pretty racy compared to the LHT. I still use the LHT offroad and in the snow, as it has plenty of tire clearance for knobbies (fits 700x 42 studded Kendas under fenders), but you'll have to be careful about clipping pedals and accept that it handles more like a slug. Another thing to consider is that while the frame weight differences are minimal, the "cross build" vs. "touring build" weights are probably noticeable.

    Do you see yourself doing loaded tours or constantly hauling heavy-ish loads like groceries? Prefer something that is stable and travels straight in the dark on sketchy road, and can plow through anything you hit? Want 26" wheels. Get the LHT.

    Do you want to stick with 700c wheels on a smaller frame? Want to ride trails, dabble in cross, group rides, credit card touring (or even a weekend loaded trip once in a blue moon) on one bike that does pretty well for everything? Get the Crosscheck.

  20. #20
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    Either bike would work really well for light commuting. Both are very versitle. I have ridden my LHT with 45mm knobbies (700c) offroad and while it is fun, the low BB definitely leads to a lot of peddle strike. I assume the CC would be better for offroading. Also, LHT probably works better for clydesdales, even unloaded (shoe fits, blah blah blah). I think the largest issue comes down whether you want 26" wheels or 700c wheels.

  21. #21
    la dolce vita
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    I've owned them both at one time or another. The LHT is built to haul a load. If you don't need that, go with the CC. The long wheel base of the LHT looks funny in my opinion.
    insert witty comment here

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