|The LHT with 650B wheels.|
It was surprisingly hard to find a 26 LHT in my size. I initially thought of replacing my 60CM-700C frame, but decided I would be better off going a little smaller. I went with a 58 and I'm glad I did; I probably could have gotten away with a 56, but I prefer larger frames. The way the geometry of the 26 inch version is set, you find there's really a lot of head tube on these bikes compared to their larger wheeled cousins. A 60CM, 26 inch Trucker really looks rather gangly.
Anyway, I finally ordered a "Smoggy Silver" 58 from Universal Cycles, getting a pretty good deal, really good when you consider I only had to pay $2.99 for shipping! I wasn't thrilled with ordering the silver-grey finish, but there really wasn't anything else around in a 58! I have since come to like it, the color kind of grows on you.
I quickly assembled the bike, really no surprises. Surly's are usually pretty clean frames that go together nicely. Really no prep needed at all. I finally got to the point where I installed the brakes and adjusted them for the 650B's. With the Tektro CR720's pushed to the upper limit of their adjustment, I found the rear wheels just made good contact. But the front brakes fell too short, I had to either raise the brakes or lower the wheels by a couple of millimeters! I ended up doing both! By carefully filing away a little material from the top of the Tektro's adjustment slots, I gained a little more upper reach. I then placed the wheel just a tad lower in the dropout. This I accomplished by sticking a slice of rubber hose into the top of the dropout, giving me a consistent spot for the front wheel to be positioned. The picture below illustrated the position of the brake shows in the modified slot.
|Brake position for 650B's.|
|Brake position for 26 inch.|
As I said, These tires are fun, I took them to the Auburn Overlook trail system and had good traction on everything but the steepest sections of gravelled trail. On pavement they were pretty nice too.
|All set up for gravel grinding!|
|Initial build with the 650's.|
|Latest incarnation, with silver stem and trim and the Ducas front rack installed.|
|What it's all about...|