· 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.
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.
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.