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Beautiful Surly LHT

Here are some items we have tested through our travels. The sought qualities for any items taken with us on the road are : Volume, durability, facility/necessity of maintenance, facility of utilization, weight, waterproofness, comfort, price/quality ratio, adaptability – which brings us to this rating :

LEGEND

(no star) : too many disadvantages

2-3 missing qualities

 1-2 missing qualities

 0-1 missing qualities

… With a special attention to few essential items that make our day-to-day routine so much easier, identified with an underline :

. . .

CAMPING : SLEEPING & SHOWERING

Tent Kelty TN3 

Tent Mountain Hardwear Raven 2 

Tent Mountain Hardwear Optic 3.5 

Tent Big Agnes Seedhouse 1 

Tent Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 

Tent Eureka Solitaire 1 (non self-supporting)

Tent NorthFace MICA FL 1 

Therm-A-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad 

Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad 

Sleeping bag Chinook TEC Down Micro 36F 

Sleeping bag Chinook TEC Polar Micro 32F 

Sleeping liner Thermolite Extreme Sea to Summit

Sleeping liner Cocoon Travel Sheet Silk African 

Sleeping liner Cocoon Travel Sheet Silk African 100% Ripstop 

Sea to Summit Aeros Ultra Light Pillow

Therm-A-Rest Lumnar Pillow 

Towel Packtowl Ultralite 

. . .

CHILLING, COOKING & HYDRATING

Alcohol Stove Trangia 

Chair ChairOne Helinox 

Cooking pots non-stick Pinnacle Dualist GSI 1.8L

Cooking pots MSR Titanium 0.9L+1.3L 

Cooking pots non-stick Trangia 1L+1.3L

Cup Chinook TEC stainless 

Cup Snowpeak 500ml titanium 

Cooking ustensils Crossover GSI 

Knife Opinel #8 

Pack Knife GSI 

Titanium Wood Stove Vargo 

Water purificator Pristine drops 

Water purificator Aquatabs 

Water filter Sweetwater MSR 

Water filter Life Straw 

MSR Shower Kit for the Dromedary Water Bag 

Water bags MSR Dromedary Cordura 6L 

Water bags MSR Dromedary Lite 4L

Water carrier Seattle Sports Pack Sink  

Woodstopper Trangia 

 

. . .

BICYCLE GEAR (see below for bicycle components)

Arkel ORCA 25 made in Canada 

Arkel ORCA 35 made in Canada 

Arkel Dauphin 32 panniers made in Canada 

Arkel Dauphin 48 panniers made in Canada 

Arkel T28 panniers made in Canada 

Arkel T42 panniers made in Canada 

Arkel 7.5L Handelbar bag made in Canada 

Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HP ABS Pump with Presta/Schrader Gauge 

Crank Brothers Multi Tool M19 gold 

. . .

ELECTRONICS

Fujifilm X70 camera 

UE Boom 2 portable speaker 

Solar pannel Anker 21W dual-port 

Solar pannel and battery pack Power Monkey Extreme Traveler 

Satellite device Delorme InReach SE 

Satellite device FIND-ME-SPOT 

GPS Garmin Edge Tourer 

Kindle 6″ Glare-Free Reading Tablet 

… For reading suggestions, check out my Adventurous Library

. . .

GEAR STORAGE

Dry bags Sea to Summit 

Dry bags MEC/Brooks 

Dry bags MEC/Raptor 

Dry bags MEC/Nano

Dry bags MEC/Pocket

Compression bags Ultralite Outdoor Research 

Zip sacks Ultralite Outdoor Research 

Backpack Osprey Ariel 55L 

Backpack Arterix Bora 50L 

. . .

CLOTHES & SHOES

Somehow, clothes are the toughest to shop for, probably because they are on us everyday for trips of five to seven months, and because we challenge them in pretty intense and diverse situations that involve big mud, cold rain, sticky humidity, thin dust, wind, sun, hail, snow and so on . We always go multi-layers, and we usually have each one a ”dirty outfit” that we wear during the day cycling, and a (relatively) ”clean outfit” that we put on when our cycling day is done (with or without a shower) to chill and/or to cook and/or to go to bed, and also during our rest days, while our ”dirty outfit” is being washed.

 

Outback Trading Company Holly Hill hat 

Outback Trading Company Mariner hat 

Tilley LTM2 Airflo hat made in Canada 

Watch water resistant Casio 

Shoes 5.10 Freerider 

Shoes 5.10 Aescent 

MEC Merino wool long sleeve half-zip undershirt T2 for men 

MEC Men’s Coaction Jacket for men 

Note to go from women shoe size to unisex size : Justine wears women US size between 8 and 8.5, and unisex (by the brand 5.10, for example) US size 6.5

. . .

BICYCLE COMPONENTS

2014 Bike – Justine…  all original parts of Surly LHT except for few

  • Frame : Surly LHT 2014 50cm (Justine is 5’6″)
  • Headset : Cane Creek 40 1-1/8″ threadless
  • Crankset : Andel RSC6 26/36/48t with 5 bolts and square taper interface
  • Bottom Bracket : Shimano UN-55 square taper interface 68x118mm
  • Brakes : Tektro CR720 cantilever
  • Brake levers : Tektro RL341 short reach (for a 50cm frame)
  • Rims : 26″ Alex Adventurer 36 holes double wall eyeleted
  • Spokes : DT Swiss 14g
  • Front hub : Shimano LX T660 36 holes non-disc
  • Rear hub : Shimano LX T660 36 holes non-disc 135mm O.L.D.
  • Tires : 36″x2.125″ Schwalbe Marathon Plus (non originals with Surly LHT)
  • Shifters : Microshift Bar-Con bar ends 2/3 x 9-speed friction/index BS-T09
  • Front derailleur : Shimano Sora FD-3403
  • Rear derailleur : Shimano XT RD-M771
  • Cassette : Shimano HG-50 11,12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32t
  • Stem : Kalloy AS-009 26.0mm bar clamp aluminium 4-bolt face
  • Handlebar : PMT 26.0mm
  • Saddle : Brooks B17 standard (non original with the Surly LHT)
  • Seatpost : Kalloy SP-248D 27.2mm 300mm with stainless steel post clamp 
  • Chain : SRAM PC-971 116 links

Comments on Justine’s 2014 bicycle

JOURNEY. That bicycle has cycled 8 200km in African (60% dirt – 40% asphalt) and 5 550km in Central/South America (60% asphalt – 40% dirt) including the Chilean Carretera Austral and both Coipasa and Uyuni Bolivian salt deserts. TIRES. Both my beautiful 70$CAN Schwalbe ripped on the sides after 800 and 1500km in Africa – one could say I don’t know how to drive my bike among big sharp rocks, I was still pretty disappointed. I then bought 8$US Indian or Chinese MTB tires here and there on the road, every 1000-2000km and they did just fine. BRAKES. I will no longer ride cantilever in touring. After nearly 20 000km all together of riding on cantilever brakes, I’m more than happy to upgrade, for confort and security reasons. Can’t believe I have waited all that time. SADDLE. I rode my Brooks B17 in a very weird position that concluded in having my saddle pointing to the sky. I have no idea why my saddle moved that much, and sometimes I wonder if my bike isn’t too small as I’m having troubles finding a comfortable position. I got rashes from sweat with my leather Brooks and I could also ride it for hours without being too numb. Curiously Brooks which seem to be the reference in touring even though they cost a lot, and I would be interested to try something else. I rode a huge Biogel for 4 000 something kilometres in Asia and Europe and I never had any problems.  OTHER COMPONENTS. I didn’t have any major problems with hubs, derailleurs or rims. I think LX is the minium a tourer should choose if going on dirt roads. 

Reference for Surly LHT original components : Surly. Catalogue 2014. Available online http://surlybikes.com/uploads/downloads/Surly_2014_catalog.pdf

. . .

2014 Bike – JP …  all original parts of Surly LHT except for few

  • Frame : Surly LHT 2012 54cm (JP is a tall 5’10”)
  • Headset : Cane Creek 40 1-1/8″ threadless
  • Crankset : Andel RSC6 26/36/48t with 5 bolts and square taper interface
  • Bottom Bracket : Shimano UN-54 square taper interface 68x118mm
  • Brakes : Tektro CR720 cantilever
  • Brake levers : Tektro RL341 standard drop bar (for 54cm frame)
  • Rims : 26″ Alex Adventurer 36 holes double wall eyeleted 
  • Spokes : DT Swiss 14g
  • Front hub : Shimano LX T660 36 holes non disc
  • Rear hub : Shimano LX T660 36 holes non disc 135mm O.L.D.
  • Tires : 36″x2.125″Schwalbe Marathon Plus (non originals with Surly LHT)
  • Shifters : Shimano Bar end SL-BS77 2/3 x 9-speed friction setting
  • Front derailleur : Shimano Sora FD-3403
  • Rear derailleur : Shimano LX T661SGS
  • Cassette : Shimano HG-50 11/13/15/17/20/23/26/30/34t
  • Stem : Kalloy AS-009 26.0mm bar clamp aluminium 4-bolt face
  • Handlebar : PMT
  • Saddle : Brooks B17 (non original with Surly LHT)
  • Seatpost : Kalloy SP-248D 27.2mm 300mm
  • Chain : SRAM PC-971 116 links

Comments on JP’s 2014 bicycle

JOURNEY. That bicycle has cycled 8 200km in African (60% dirt – 40% asphalt) and 5 550km in Central/South America (60% asphalt – 40% dirt) including the Chilean Carretera Austral and both Coipasa and Uyuni Bolivian salt deserts since the Surly LHT that I had for my first cycling trip in South America in 2012 got bent under a truck in Columbia and the Columbian authorities though my frame was needed as a proof of criminal case against the truck driver and so didn’t want me to to take it back. I then bought back the exact same, with the money of the insurance. SADDLE. My dear Brooks let me down after 12 000km. To be exact, the main screw broke in half  in the middle of nowhere, high up in Bolivia. To be able to finish the section on which we were cycling (which was Paso Sico from Chile to Argentina), I had to put a 2L plastic bottle of Fanta between the leather and the rail. I then bought a 40$ saddle in Salta, Argentina, and after few days of ajustments, I rode it comfortably for the following 2 months and a half – which made me wonder if really, my 125$ Brooks saddle was the best option in touring.

Reference for Surly LHT original components : Surly. Catalogue 2012. Available online http://surlybikes.com/uploads/downloads/Surly_2014_catalog.pdf  

. . .

2016 Bike – Justine & JP… a full rebuilt except for frame, seatpost and handlebar

  • JP’s Frame : Surly LHT 2012 54cm (JP is a tall 5’10”)
  • Justine’s Frame : Surly LHT 2014 50cm (Justine is 5’6″)
  • Headset : Cane Creek 40 1-1/8″ threadless
  • Chainset : Shimano Deore M590 9-speed triple 104mm (bolt circle diameter) 44/32/22t (teeth) 170mm (length)
  • Bottom Bracket : Shimano SM-BB51 (hollowtech)
  • Brakes : Shimano XT BR-T780 V-brake front
  • Brake levers : Tektro RL520 drop bar
  • Brake cable : Shimano Road and MTB cable set
  • Rims : Rhyno Lite 26” 36 holes
  • Spokes : DT Swiss Champion
  • Front hub : Shimano XT
  • Rear hub : Shimano XT
  • Tires : Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Evo DD MTB
  • Tubes : Schwalbe MTB presta 26″x1,5-2,5″
  • Shifters : Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 9-speed bar end
  • Front derailleur : Shimano Sora 3503 triple 9-speed 28.6/31.8mm
  • Rear derailleur : Shimano XT M771 9-speed long cage
  • Cassette : Shimano HG80 SLX 9-speed 11-34t
  • Stem : original from Surly LHT
  • Handlebar : original from Surly LHT – see 2014 Bike
  • JP and Justine’s saddles : Brooks B17
  • Seatpost : original from Surly LHT – see 2014 Bike
  • Chain : SRAM PC-971 114 links
  • Gear cable  : Shimano XT

Comments on JP and Justine’s 2016 bicycle

JOURNEY. That set-up has cycled 5 550km in central African (65% dirt – 35% asphalt) including A LOT of mud in the Congo and Gabon, and a LOT of dust in Cameroun. FRAME. We have now put about 19 500km on this frame and there is no signs of weakness. SADDLE. JP’s saddle got repaired in Montréal before we left for the Congo, and broke again while Justine’s is doing just fine ! I don’t think JP will go back to Brooks. CHAINSET/CASSETTE/DERAILLEURS. This set-up allowed us to have a smaller low gear and a bigger high gear but the tightness didn’t give us a lot of space to play which meant that we had to keep everything clean and lubricated in the middle of the sticky muddy jungle – which we didn’t do because we would still be there, shining our bike since we encountered muddy sections almost everyday in Gabon, and every other day in Cameroun.

. . .

2017 Bike – Justine… Upgrade and experiment on the handlebar and the breaks

  • Frame : Surly LHT 2014 50cm (Justine is 5’6″)
  • Headset : Cane Creek 40 1-1/8″ threadless
  • Chainset : Shimano Deore M590 9-speed triple 104mm (bolt circle diameter) 44/32/22t (teeth) 170mm (length)
  • Bottom Bracket : Shimano SM-BB51 (hollowtech)
  • Brakes : Magura HS33 hydraulic rim breaks
  • Brake levers : Magura flat bar XXX
  • Brake cable : Shimano Road and MTB cable set
  • Rims : Rhyno Lite 26” 36 holes
  • Spokes : DT Swiss Champion
  • Front hub : Shimano XT
  • Rear hub : Shimano XT
  • Tires : Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Evo DD MTB
  • Tubes : Schwalbe MTB Presta 26″x1,5-2,5″
  • Shifters : Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 9-speed bar end
  • Front derailleur : Shimano Sora 3503 triple 9-speed 28.6/31.8mm
  • Rear derailleur : Shimano XT M771 9-speed long cage
  • Galet : XXX
  • Cassette : Shimano HG80 SLX 9-speed 11-34t
  • Stem : original from Surly LHT
  • Handlebar : Surly mustache
  • Saddle : Brooks B17
  • Seatpost : original from Surly LHT – see 2014 Bike
  • Chain : SRAM PC-971 114 links
  • Gear cable  : Shimano XT
  • Pedal : XXX

Comments on Justine’s 2017 bicycle

Let’s test this set-up in Portugal this fall 2017 !

. . .

2017 Bike – JP… Couldn’t resist a friendly offer on a Ogre – Thanks Phil 🙂

  • Frame : Surly Ogre Large limited edition (JP is 5’10”)
  • Headset : Cane Creek 40 1-1/8″ threadless
  • Chainset :
  • Bottom Bracket :
  • Brakes :
  • Brake levers :
  • Brake cable :
  • Rims :
  • Spokes :
  • Front hub :
  • Rear hub :
  • Tires : Surly Extraterreterial 26”x2,5”
  • Tubes : Schwalbe MTB Presta 26″x1,5-2,5″
  • Shifters :
  • Front derailleur :
  • Rear derailleur :
  • Cassette :
  • Stem : original from Surly Ogre
  • Handlebar : Surly mustache
  • Saddle : Brooks B17
  • Seatpost : original from Surly LHT – see 2014 Bike
  • Chain : SRAM PC-971 114 links
  • Gear cable  : Shimano XT
  • Pedal : XXX

Comments on Justine’s 2017 bicycle

Let’s test this set-up in Portugal this fall 2017 !

 

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