· Stainless steel D-rings
· 100% cotton canvas - 18.5 oz.
· Water-resistant finish
· Heavy-duty side-release buckles
· 677 cu in/11 liters (W: 25cm/9.85", D: 20cm/7.9", H: 22cm.8.7")
· Four colors: gray, black, olive and blue
· Price $105
· Made in Iowa, USA
Speaking of tall frames, most everyone in touch with cycling is familiar with the Surly brand of bikes/frames. As an old tourer, I have been a fan of the Surly LHT since I first discovered it many years ago. Alas, for most of its existence it was not available in a frame size that would fit me. Then last year I became aware that Surly was making the Long Haul Trucker frame in a 64cm size. So I snapped one up.
I built it up with sturdy yeoman class parts like the Deore rear derailleur and 8 speed barends. There’s also a fairly eclectic assortment of stuff I like, some vintage. For instance, I used a Huret Challenger front derailleur and a set of 180mm Sugino AT triple cranks. For brakes I used a set of polished Tektro CR720 cantilevers and some no-frills Dia-Compe areo levers. Topped it all off with a VO headset and rando bars, aged Brooks Flyer, and MKS touring pedals. The wheels are Shimano hubs with Sun CR18 rims made complete with a pair of 35m Panaracers Paselas. All in all, nothing too special but decent stuff.
As it turns out the geometry is pretty close to my custom made Mercian tourer. I remember coming upon the LHT when I was looking for a loaded touring bike in 2003. I opted for the Mercian, but may have gone with the LHT had it come in a little bigger size.
I am pleased by how comfortable this bike is. It has all the braze-ons I want and it's a real pack mule. It would also be worthy for commuting or social rides. I almost put Nitto North Road bars on mine and still may at some point. There are a lot of ways to go with a frame like this and all of them are good.
Orpington & Trucker
Sales of the Orpington have been brisk. Along with the sales we’ve had questions from customers pertaining to mounting the Orpington, which is a rando style bag. So, in anticipation of future questions and those that have questions but never asked, we want to say that we highly recommend a rack and decaleur. Also, before you order take care to ensure the Orpington will be a proper fit for your bicycle. If you ride a small or tall frame take special note of the dimensions.
Rides and Racks
The weather was nice on Saturday and I finally got out for a decent ride. I took the Surly 64cm Long Haul Trucker (LHT) out for its inaugural spin and it rode well - very comfortable.
I remember when the LHT first came on the market, I was pleased that Surly had decided to make a good production touring bike with the features and geometry that I would select if I were building a custom touring bike. Until recently, the biggest LHT was a 62cm, a little too short for me. A few months ago I noticed they had introduced a 64cm. I immediately snapped up a frame to build up as a winter project. In fact, the 64cm LHT geometry is pretty close to my custom-built Mercian.
Speaking of my Mercian, a few weeks ago I purchased a set of Velo Orange Campeur racks. I thought I’d install them on the Mercian, replacing the Surly racks that I’ve had on it for the past few years. The Surly racks are unapologetically over built and I like them. But I was really intrigued with the VO Campeurs and purchased a set. The French-inspired VO racks are prettier and a few pounds lighter.
So far, all I’ve done with the Campeurs is get them installed. I haven’t used them on the road fully loaded. They seem pretty nice, but that should be expected at $350 for the pair. Unfortunately, the rear rack came without some of the hardware bits. I was able to work around it, but I’ll be checking in with VO to see about getting all the hardware just in case I decide to install them on a different bike.