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  1. #1
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    Surly LHT vs. Raleigh Sojourn

    Hi,

    I am looking to pick up a touring bike on a clearance sale. I am not looking for anything special - daily commutes and some extended trips of maybe a month or so.

    Of the few '09 touring bikes available in my size and sold in town, I've noticed (what appear to be) good prices on the Surly LHT (CAN $ 1199) and the Raleigh Sojourn (CAN $ 1000). The Raleigh comes with mud guards, rear rack, pump, disc breaks, and pedals, I think, whereas the Surly comes pretty much bare.

    I have read very positive reviews on both, but none comparing the two. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    duh...
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    surly has 26" wheels in smaller sizes
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  3. #3
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    I vote for the Surly.
    never,never,never give up

  4. #4
    m_s
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    The surly comes with better components, and probably more tire clearance. The raleigh is a cool bike, but holy crap is it heavy. I knwo it's a touring bike and comes stock with pump, rack, fenders, a brooks, and disc brakes, but even so it is no lightweight. If you can afford to equip the surly out in the way you want, do that. But if money is tight, the raleigh is a really good value. If you ride in wet weather constantly, that might also sway you towards the raleigh.

    It's the stock wheels that would worry me on the raleigh, personally. No-name deals. Does anyone know what the hub spacing is? 29er wheels are readily available and would work if it's 135. Maybe you could stretch it if it's 130, but that might do funky things with disc alignment, I'm not sure.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_s
    The surly comes with better components, and probably more tire clearance. The raleigh is a cool bike, but holy crap is it heavy. I knwo it's a touring bike and comes stock with pump, rack, fenders, a brooks, and disc brakes, but even so it is no lightweight. If you can afford to equip the surly out in the way you want, do that. But if money is tight, the raleigh is a really good value. If you ride in wet weather constantly, that might also sway you towards the raleigh.

    It's the stock wheels that would worry me on the raleigh, personally. No-name deals. Does anyone know what the hub spacing is? 29er wheels are readily available and would work if it's 135. Maybe you could stretch it if it's 130, but that might do funky things with disc alignment, I'm not sure.
    Thanks. My main concern is as you suggest. While the prices are comparable for now, equipping the Surly with all that the Raleigh has will likely put the LHT far past my anticipated budget.

    If the Raleigh doesn't raise any alarms, but contains only less desirable components, then perhaps this is the best value. I am no expert cyclist, but like anyone I want to make a wise investment.

  6. #6
    hello
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    The Surly is a rock solid bike. I built one up from the frame up several years ago when they were first introduced.
    SurlySteamrollerLitespeedClassicBianchiPista
    DeanColonelSurlyLongHaulTruckerKonaKu
    LitespeedFirenzeCinelliOlympic

  7. #7
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    I have several Surlys. One that came built. They are solid bikes that will last you forever.

  8. #8
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    I vote for the Sojourn (and not just because I'm a Raleigh dealer).
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  9. #9
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    I work for Raleigh, so I am biased, too, but I rode a Sojourn for a season and really liked it.

    The disc brakes were really nice loaded downhills, and it has "value-added" like a Brooks B17 saddle and Brooks leather bartape.

    If you didn't want those, you could ebay them and get some cash back...

    One note -- with all of those accessories, the big ol' rack, etc etc, it is NOT a light bike. I'd venture that with racks, pedals, everything, it weighed... um, mid-thirties pounds.

  10. #10
    What'd I do?
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    The only knocks on the Raleigh are a couple of key components: Bottom bracket/cranks and shifters. Really these aren't bad components, just the two that you have to look hard at. Most people are going places where bike shops are more or less convenient, and most of them are well stocked in modern parts. If, however, you are doing any sort of trekking, or touring places where those parts are not going to be available, you'd have to think twice about it.

    I had a customer last year who was debating an LHT from us or a Sojourn from a competitor at a price we couldn't match with anything comparable. He ended up with the Raleigh, and really liked it, except that after he rode it a few weeks, he said he'd prefer the higher head tube of the Surly.

    In short, you can't go wrong either way. If the sojourn fits, and you like the way it rides, you're not going to beat it in terms of a deal.

  11. #11
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    Components

    Stagehand is correct that the Sojourn is equipped with a Shimano OEM crankset not commonly seen in the US -- a 50-39-30 Octalink triple.

    The shifters are 9-speed D/A barcons -- with friction mode, too. They're almost indestructible, and super simple. I can't see what's weird about those.


    Quote Originally Posted by StageHand
    The only knocks on the Raleigh are a couple of key components: Bottom bracket/cranks and shifters...

  12. #12
    MB1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argentius
    ...The shifters are 9-speed D/A barcons -- with friction mode, too. They're almost indestructible, and super simple. I can't see what's weird about those.
    Ohhhhh, I like those!
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB1
    Ohhhhh, I like those!
    +1 on the shifters- 9 speed barcons are nigh-indestructible, rock solid AND light.

  14. #14
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    FYI, All sizes of the LHT can come with 26 inch wheels now if you want them.

  15. #15
    duh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bignose
    FYI, All sizes of the LHT can come with 26 inch wheels now if you want them.


    are the 26ers spaced at 135?
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  16. #16
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    Not to complicate your decision making, but also check out the new Soma Saga and Bruce Gordon touring frames. The Saga costs $500 for frame and fork, but you would need to have it built up with components of your choice. The BG costs more ($875 on sale right now) but includes frame, fork, headset, front and rear racks. I think BG will also sell the bike built up.
    Last edited by tarwheel2; 12-15-2009 at 09:44 AM.

  17. #17
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    The Soma Saga is on my wishlist. Of course, so is the Soujourn, a Scott Addict, a Raleigh Record Ace, and a DeRosa....
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  18. #18
    Eat fried chicken.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireFred
    are the 26ers spaced at 135?
    Yup.

    http://surlybikes.com/frames/long_haul_trucker_frame/

  19. #19
    What'd I do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argentius
    Stagehand is correct that the Sojourn is equipped with a Shimano OEM crankset not commonly seen in the US -- a 50-39-30 Octalink triple.

    The shifters are 9-speed D/A barcons -- with friction mode, too. They're almost indestructible, and super simple. I can't see what's weird about those.
    Sorry, I mixed it up with a different model. Maybe the 08? Either way, I couldn't fault him for picking the Sojourn at the price he got it for.

  20. #20
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    I test rode a Sojourn before buying an LHT in 2008. It was a nice bike, but I'm glad I went with the LHT. The Sojourn IS extremely heavy - I mean maybe crossing the line into boat anchor territory. The LHT isn't exactly a lightweight either, but I think it is a more reasonable balance between heavy duty and ridable. I really the liked the WTB Dirt Drops on the Sojourn. Of course, I liked the Brooks stuff. I did not like the disc brakes - just not my thing. I like the geometry on the LHT better. For what it is worth, the Sojourn frame set is rather fugly with the unicrown fork and very fat tubes (it almost looks like an aluminum frame). I am extremely pleased with the LHT, going on a year and half now.

  21. #21
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    I bought the 2009 Sojourn early this year put a lot of miles on it and can give you the best review on here because I am pretty picky...

    Lets get this out of the way first.Its a BIG PIG.. A very big heavy freakin pig, and I am 215 pounds. Stock bike is 29 pounds. Add on front tubus rack, water bottles, lights you are just over 40 pounds ready for touring. Again its a Freakin BIG PIG. You will love the disc brakes..because you will really need to use them to stop.

    Lets start with the bad.....This is the size 57

    1. The stock seat post get ready to toss it. It doesnt have enough adjustments. 1 bolt design and its beyond cheap. You will need a better seatpost.

    2. The lower water bottle bolt holes under the down tube frame are in the wrong place for anything called a water bottle. You can only get a small water bottle down there barley with the front fender touching once in a while.. They need to drop the bolt holes about 2 inches and it would be perfect.

    3. The down tube water bottle bolt holes. These also are in the wrong place. If you decided to pull the stock crappy Sora cranks off and put some mountain cranks on to lower the gearing which I would highly recommend on this PIG. You will have to put a mountain bike E type front derailer or put a new XT clamp front derailer. Any stock road front derailer will not swing wide enough without dragging the chain. Now here is the problem. The bolt holes are right in the way. So the derailer clamp is just on top of the bottom cage hole. The derailer is not close enough to the 44 ring. Its close but not perfect. That is why I would recommend and XT because the cage clamp is wider. So far I have not any front shifting issues. But if they would drop the bolt hold up or down say 5 mm it would have helped.

    4. When I got the bike there was no grease in any of the bearings, period. You can go back and forth on this, its the dealer or Raleigh. But no grease in the bottom bracket area, head bearings, hubs, and seatpost. Everything was dry fit and the only reason I knew about it was I had to pull the bottom bracket and thats when I decided to pull the whole bike apart to check everything.

    5. Hubs...32 spoke JoyTec. Disc...New 2010 has 36 spoke JoyTec..these are love and hate with me. I already had to have a warranty on the rear hub because the freehub shimano broke. Back to the dealer and they never tighten the rear hub nuts right and the whole thing came apart. I had to fix them. I am not trusting the dealer to work on my bike anymore...Oh and no grease in the hubs from the factory..

    6. You get this really great spoke holder on the right rear stay. It holds two spokes. Nice idea...but good luck putting a kickstand on the frame behind the downtube. The spoke holder is right in the way. If they would just move the spoke holder back 20 or 30 mm you could get the best of both. Yes, any bike that is suggest as a touring bike really should have the option of having a kickstand that would fit.

    7. Bars...The stock bars are great at giving you many hand postions. But when you have to lean the bike again something with the bars they move and bike doesnt stay up very well. The bars flare out at the bottom pretty big. Love or Hate....If you could get a kick stand on this bike it would solve this problem.

    8. Kick Stand??? I know..I know..I just talked about it. With the disc brakes in the back and the way they designed the rear stays you can't put a kick stand on the rear without some serious thinking outside the box or a machine shop. I got a double side kickstand on after I pull the two spokes out of the holders. Made some custom plastic shims to fit around the spoke holder. It was a big pain and lots of thinking. Or you could use a grinder and cut off the spoke holder.. Again, if they would just move the spoke holder back. I am complaining about kickstands I know, but anyone touring with a 40 pound bike, 50 pounds of stuff..The last thing you want to do is drop it over. A double kickstand it by far the best for touring and maintenance on the road...

    9. Tires. The stock tires have been really good so far. Not a flat yet and have taking them mountain biking single track. Only thing is above 20 mph these shimmy bad. Other than that they are not to bad and no flats..

    10. Tires Clearance...The biggest tire I could fit was a 38 with the fenders pulled. This is just personal but if I am going touring..or wanted to really use the frame for mountain biking....they really need to give you more clearance. I want to be able to put 29ers on this frame..no way you can at all......you can get 29ers in any bike store.. Try finding a 700 x 35 out on the road touring..Someone needs to rethink the frames over all design.

    11. Wheels...they were not dished correctly. Had to redish them. And they used really short spoke and 16mm nipples. The spokes dont even go all the way into the rims. Just far enough to grip the 16mm nipples which are outside the rim. This is just cheap on their part at cutting costs. Bad Raleigh...Bad..

    12. Down Tube clamp for seatpost....The bike wasnt reamed correctly for the seatpost. Everytime you move it up or down it dug into the seatpost. Someone at the factory didnt do there job....Bad....had to sand the thing out to fix it..

    13. Putting a rack on the front fork.. I put a Tubus rack on the front. But the angle for some reason it a little down more than it should. I mean when you put the bags on they are angled too far....and yes the Tubus rack is adjustable correctly.but just not 100%...say 90%..The bolt holes on the middle of the fork are in the wrong place....need to move them down 5 or 8 mm to fix...

    Good.....

    1. Frame....Mountain Biking...half arrssed...This is the stiffest frame I have ever ridden. The down tube is hugh. I have taken the bike out on some serious fast single track and it road perfectly with 700 x 38 tires. Would be nice if they made the clearance bigger front and rear so I can get some bigger tires on it..

    2. Stock Rear Rack...Tubus..Its perfect for touring

    3. Fenders...SKS...Not supper nice. But they do the job. Maybe a little shakey.

    4. Bars.....Many hand postions. Pretty good. except for leaning again fences, walls, etc.. scrapes up the Brooks bar tape easily..

    5. Seat and bar tape....Its Brooks..doesnt come any better.

    6. Frame Geo....you can pull you hands off and it still goes straight. Just perfect for touring. I little over lap with the front wheel with fender on...but not to bad..This is a rock. The more weight you put on it the better it rides and becomes so smooth over rough roads.

    7. Fork...the fork is Big, heavy and plan works..is really stiff but still flexes when you need it. I was even doing drop offs mountain biking at it worked perfectly. Even up to 55 mph down hills on the road, no shimms. Its the safest fork I have ever ridden.

    8. Rims...are good and havent had to true them even after 200 miles of mountain biking on them..just had to redish the wheel from the factory..

    9. Nice stock pump, pedals are ok, to small for me feet, has a bell.

    10. Bar shifters are perfect...

    11. The over all drive train is ok to start out. But I pulled everything and put on XT drive train to get everything it shift fast and better.

    12. Disc brakes..Avid 5 road disc.. have worked perfectly. And the brake lines were run correctly..

    13. I really think you could drop this thing off a cliff and nothing would really happen to it...Great for throwing up on the buses in 3rd world countries.. or run the running of the bulls and you would probably win.

    14. Ziggy PIGGY...Its almost to heavy really. It should be more around mid to lower 30's for weight...

    So..after some serious miles...if you want to use the bike for touring you are going to have to work around somethings. The bike has some good points and some bad points. I know I am pretty picky..but when you are touring its the little things that make everything work.

    But you shouldnt at the price they selling it. If you could get it on sale its a good deal but not at $1099.00 Raleigh could make some quick changes in production and fix the things on the water bolt holes and the spoke holder placement.

    But...this is a big..Get ready to pull the whole bike apart and rebuild it because the fit and finish from Raleigh seriously sucks, quailty control...where the F..is the quailty control guy..out on break....

    If I had to do it again..I would pass on the bike until they move the water bolt holes around and fix the little things.....kickstand....I think someone in a office made the frame on CAD. But one one has really taken it out for serious touring...

    Oh..and it should be called a PIG not a Sojourn. ..

  22. #22
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    Some of your things ARE picky. For instance, it's a touring bike, not a 29'er. Ergo, why should they make it perfect for the ONE guy who wants to put 29'er MTB tires on a ROAD touring bike? If Off-Road touring is your thing, you should be buying a Fargo, not a Sojourn.

    Otherwise... Mostly the dealer's fault on the other issues. Part of assembling a bike is checking that it has grease everywhere it should, and applying if necessary. The seat tube should have been honed. Seatpost should have been greased, etc.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  23. #23
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    Raleigh dealer....complaining...go figure...yes I took a TOURING frame out on single track to see what it can do because that is how you ride a bike in the real world, not down to the local Star Bucks for coffee...ride a bike on dirt roads, dirt trails...like you do in third world countries. 80% bad dirt and if you are luck 20% poor payment..

    Its a mountain bike frame design..but doesnt let you put mountain bike tires on it, why? What happens when I cant get a 700 x 35mm tire( 28 1/2)? Do you have any tires this size in stock? My two local dealers do not and only carry 23, 25 and 29ers.....I am riding the bike across say Canada, Mexico, USA and a tire goes out...do I wait 5 days for a FedEx tire..remember the bike is loaded with over 50 pounds...25 tires wont even fit on the rims..28 and up..its called making the bike work better... Toe over lap...shouldn't have it on a touring bike at all....but it does because of the mountain bike frame geo design...so because of the frame design..you can not put a water bottle on the bottom that is bigger than say 21oz....its a touring bike right? I am suppose to take water on it..why put all the effort into putting a third water bottle holder if it doesnt work...if you are going to build something that do it right...if its wrong..fix it...the rack mounts on the fork are in the wrong place...again..did anyone put a rack on the front of this bike with bags and ride it around..or just say good enough fork to fit all 5 sizes even if it doesnt work correctly..again..why do something at all if you are not going to do it right......the gearing is not correct on the bike if you are calling it a touring bike....this is what the 3 year on production and the same problems are there..yes they finally put 36 spoke wheels on it..but than again..just how long are those spokes....someone should have done a little more R & D. I just did if for them for free....all they have to do is read my post..take the bike out and try it themselves to see. Hey you are a Raleigh dealer, right?..did you put on racks and bags and water bottle cages and take if your a spin yourself?

    When I bought the bike there was no reviews to really find. If someone would have taken the time to find all the faults on the bike if would have help me out alot..

    Heres an idea Raleigh...why dont you keep the pump and pedals and put that money back into building the wheels correctly with the right spokes length...and also cut and weld the bolt holes in the correct size for the bike....I will even let the spoke holder slide..

    But than again..what do I really know..I own the bike and ride it each day.and even take it out touring on dirt roads, single track and pave roads..with all the bags and things you do a real tour on it...

    Again..pass on the Sojourn.. and get the Surly...its build better for real touring.....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemond2001
    Raleigh dealer....complaining...go figure...yes I took a TOURING frame out on single track to see what it can do because that is how you ride a bike in the real world, not down to the local Star Bucks for coffee...ride a bike on dirt roads, dirt trails...like you do in third world countries. 80% bad dirt and if you are luck 20% poor payment..

    Its a mountain bike frame design..but doesnt let you put mountain bike tires on it, why? What happens when I cant get a 700 x 35mm tire( 28 1/2)? Do you have any tires this size in stock? My two local dealers do not and only carry 23, 25 and 29ers.....I am riding the bike across say Canada, Mexico, USA and a tire goes out...do I wait 5 days for a FedEx tire..remember the bike is loaded with over 50 pounds...25 tires wont even fit on the rims..28 and up..its called making the bike work better... Toe over lap...shouldn't have it on a touring bike at all....but it does because of the mountain bike frame geo design...so because of the frame design..you can not put a water bottle on the bottom that is bigger than say 21oz....its a touring bike right? I am suppose to take water on it..why put all the effort into putting a third water bottle holder if it doesnt work...if you are going to build something that do it right...if its wrong..fix it...the rack mounts on the fork are in the wrong place...again..did anyone put a rack on the front of this bike with bags and ride it around..or just say good enough fork to fit all 5 sizes even if it doesnt work correctly..again..why do something at all if you are not going to do it right......the gearing is not correct on the bike if you are calling it a touring bike....this is what the 3 year on production and the same problems are there..yes they finally put 36 spoke wheels on it..but than again..just how long are those spokes....someone should have done a little more R & D. I just did if for them for free....all they have to do is read my post..take the bike out and try it themselves to see. Hey you are a Raleigh dealer, right?..did you put on racks and bags and water bottle cages and take if your a spin yourself?

    When I bought the bike there was no reviews to really find. If someone would have taken the time to find all the faults on the bike if would have help me out alot..

    Heres an idea Raleigh...why dont you keep the pump and pedals and put that money back into building the wheels correctly with the right spokes length...and also cut and weld the bolt holes in the correct size for the bike....I will even let the spoke holder slide..

    But than again..what do I really know..I own the bike and ride it each day.and even take it out touring on dirt roads, single track and pave roads..with all the bags and things you do a real tour on it...

    Again..pass on the Sojourn.. and get the Surly...its build better for real touring.....
    Who's complaining? I was agreeing with you. You said you were picky, and I was agreeing.

    I don't know what shops you have around you, but yes...I have those tires in stock. And no, I don't have a Sojourn in stock. 700x35 is amazingly common. It's called a hybrid tire.

    I don't know about any of the other issues. I've never taken one on a tour. I trust that you know what you're talking about. I just think that expecting a road touring bike to accommodate 29'er MTB tires (which I DON'T have in stock) is asking a little much.

    No need to get all pissy.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemond2001
    What happens when I cant get a 700 x 35mm tire( 28 1/2)? Do you have any tires this size in stock? My two local dealers do not and only carry 23, 25 and 29ers..
    that's absurd. you need a new shop, or help navigating the tire section.

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