Like probably every other regular cyclist out there, I’ve been thinking about my next bike for a few months now. My primary bike is a 1999 Trek 7500 SHX hybrid with front suspension. It’s great for my daily commute and has treated me just fine on all the longish rides I’ve done to date, but it’s really not an optimal touring/randonneuring bike by any stretch of the imagination.
I don’t have a whole lot of specific needs and component requirements at the moment. I’d definitely like to get something with longer chain stays, but I’m undecided about whether I want to move to dropped handlebars. An upright position works pretty well for me, but the idea of being able to get a little more aero has a certain appeal as well.
Most of the research I’ve done to date leads me to believe the Surly Long Haul Trucker is probably the frame that best fits my needs. The cost, quality, and general characteristics look like exactly what I’m looking for. Color-wise I would definitely go with the Black Cherry Red if given the choice.
Interestingly enough Nashbar actually sells an aluminum touring frame that has an almost identical geometry to the 56 cm LHT in that frame size at less than half the price. My Trek is aluminum and I really like it, but so many cyclists swear by steel. Amusingly enough it comes in a dark metallic green that looks fairly similar to my Trek. Green is my favorite color, but I think I’d rather have a frame that’s some shade of red this time around.
Price is definitely an issue for me right now though. It’s going to take me a while to save up money to purchase a frame and supporting components (headset, handlebars, brakes, etc.) And regardless of which frame I end up buying down the road I will probably also cannibalize the wheels and drive train from my Trek for the time being.
And of course the funny thing about my Trek is that despite its atypical long distance setup I’ve kind of felt like I should be riding it on my first few brevets out of loyalty. It’s the rider not the bike after all right?