Why are bike specifications so confusing and complex? I’m standing in Richardsons Cycles in Leigh on Sea in Essex attempting to spec up my new Surly Long Haul Trucker and my mind is starting to drift.
XL, XT, Sora, Deore, Ultegra, Tiagra – the list goes on. Surely there must be an easier way of classifying the differing strengths and weakness? So Mr Yozo Shimano can I suggest the following line up:
Shimano Mayfly: the only thing lighter than this baby will be your wallet. But it might not be around for long.
Shimano Cockroach: It ain’t pretty, but it’s light and will be the only component still working if you are taken out in a drone strike.
Shimano Rhino: Bulletproof, but so heavy it will feel like you’ve got a Southern White sitting on the rack.
Shimano Labrador: Everyone’s got one – dependable, loyal and best of all they come in three colours, black, gold and chocolate. Nice.
With no Shimano Labrador on offer I defer to Richardsons’ wealth of experience. They’ve built up numerous LHT’s being ridden all over the world and know what they are doing. I clearly don’t, although I do specify Ultegra brakes – it’s my Volvo driver mentality coming through – always willing to pay more for safety. I find myself wondering if Surly front forks have crumple zones?
I’d read that Surly LHT frame sizes come up on the big side and so it turned out. I’m 5ft, 11″ and my road bike is a 58cm Trek. After sitting on an LHT I’ve opted for a 56cm frame, so lets hope it’s the right choice.
Thanks to my wife Kate for the Cockroach on the bike picture. I’m thinking that extra set of arms could come in useful during a ride for grabbing the water bottle, adjusting the GPS, or rifling through pockets for something to snack on. The evolutionary future of cycling perhaps? Full spec for the Surly in the next post..