Thursday, July 31, 2008

RJ's LHT + Xtra

Photo: EcoVelo

RJ's nice looking LHT + Xtra was posted on EcoVelo. The LHT is a great bike and I've now seen a few Xtracycle conversions which look quite nice. I'm wondering how the fully loaded rig handles with drop bars. Although I'm going to try and make the Titec H-bars work for my unpaved touring adventures my fallback is a set of drops. If you've tried drops on a Big Dummy or Xtra I'd love to hear what your experiences were.


Mawell said...

Have you tried Ergon grips? I'm running them on my space bars, which have have a similar sweep to the h-bars. The ergon grips are so comfy that i don't shift my hands around at all. I find on my drop bar bikes I'm just switching around between different sorts of slight discomfort.

Vik said...

Hi Maxwell,

Yes I'm in the process of putting some Ergons on the Big Dummy's H-bars. The left one works no problem, but I need to cut the right one down to work with my Rohloff shifter.

Mawell said...

yeah, it's too bad they don't sell a one side gripshift set.

Vik said...


The Rohloff shifter is so big that on the H-bars you'd have to cut down even a Egron Grip made for gripshifters. So no matter what you start with you'll end up doing some surgery.

jonathan said...

Gday Vik,

Do you or does anyone else know whether a 26" free radical would fit on a 700c LHT?

I have just built up my X on an old donor frame and now I remember why I never liked that bike! I have an LHT that is out of service at the moment cos I love my Thorn so much but I have been thinking about rebuilding the LHT with the free rad on the back.

I did some measuring today but that seemed inconclusive. I guess I could just pull the free rad apart and try but it would be better to know before hand.

Got any clues?

Vik said...


The 26" wheeled Freeradical will fit the LHT as the frame is the same size. The brake posts will be in the wrong spot though. You could run a 26" rear wheel or you could run a 700c disc wheel back there and use disc brakes, but you'll need some spacers Xtracycle sells to raise your v-racks and snap deck higher to clear the 700c wheel.

I don't think a 26" rear wheel would be an issue if you have one handy.

jonathan said...

Thanks for that Vik, thats good news.

Now next question. What do you think the effect on the handling would be if i either:

a) ran the 26" at the back and 700c front. I think this would slow down the steering quite a bit, particularly if I used a 2.00 or 2.35 Big apple in front. Thats gunna tip the front way up and increase the trail?

b) bought a 1x1 rigid fork and ran the 26" wheel in front too.

c) tried a suspension fork on the LHT

d) any other options I have not considered?

Great blog by the way. I love it.


jmp said...

I think you ought to try the Xtra with a 26" whl with a big tire in back, and see what the actual effect is. I predict if you put a 700c 2.0 on the front and a 26" 2.35 on the back you won't see a huge difference. Of course, I haven't done it! But I'm pretty sure 'tip the front way up' is an overstatement.
Your option b) with the new fork might be fine, but you might lower the bottom bracket more than you wanted to. nope, just checked the Surly website and I don't think that would be a problem. For maximum flexibility, get the 1x1 fork with disc brake mount.
Anyway, you can try a) and then follow up with b) if you need to change it.
I think c) would be a bad idea, but then I don't ride where you do. Too many moving parts for my taste

Vik said...


Have a read of Surly's Big Dummy Spew. They talk about different wheel size combos they tried:

If you wanted a for sure solution just get a 700c disc wheel [some 29"MTB wheels are available pre-built to save $$$]. Then get the v-rack spacers needed to raise the snap deck to clear your rear wheel. Then you'll essentially have a 700c LHT with a 700c Xtracycle kit - except the brake posts will not be positioned correctly hence the use of a disc brake rear wheel.