Where was I… Oh yes.
I was recapping all the touring bikes I looked at and how I ended up with the Surly Long Haul Trucker.
What I was looking for was a road/light trail bike with a large comfy frame that would feel good to ride all day on long trips. I also wanted something that was built strong and had a ton of tire clearance so if I wanted to run 40+mm tires and fenders it wouldn’t be a problem. I’m a large guy, and there was no way I was going to enjoy riding a bike with the super skinny tires on it that the average American cyclist uses on a daily basis.
I’d read extensively in the Rivendell Bicycle Works website, and was a huge fan of their Atlantis frameset. I liked the “do-it-all” mentality that they designed into their bikes. I’m not the type of rider whose trying to wring every last second out of my ride to work or the local coffee shop and get there as quickly as possible. I take my time, and I’m keeping my mountain bike, so if i want something to take off some ‘sweet jumps’ I’m covered there too. Everything they had written about how they size their bikes made sense too, but with saving for a house and for our future, I could not bring myself to spend 3k on a bike with a classic lugged steel frame and a beautiful paint job – however enticing it was. Then through a little more research I had a revelation. Study this geometry chart and this geometry chart. I have never been one to look really seriously at geometry charts, but when I saw the amazing similarities between the Long Haul and the Atlantis in frame geometries, I started to look at other bikes, the fixed gear frame, other fast-type road bikes, mountain bikes, to compare how alike/different THEIR frame geometries were, and in comparison, these frame geometries were nearly carbon copies of each other. So to make a long story short, the Long Haul Trucker was the closest thing I could get to my dream Atlantis. And as a reward for being not too much of a snob for appearances, I’ll have roughly $2k in savings sitting in the bank 5000 or 10000 miles down the road when I want to upgrade to a King Headset, a set of Phil Hubs, or whatever I want.