Surly LHT vs Jamis Aurora Elite



slowbutnotdead

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Apr 18, 2009
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I am looking at getting a touring bike to do loading touring and am looking at the LHT and Aurora Elite. any opinions or recommendations. pls if you give reasons for recommendations. Also from shopping around I can get the Jamis for a few hundred dollars discount and there is no discount on the LHT.

Thanks
 

fatandslow

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Aug 12, 2009
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The Jamis might have a little better component group than the LHT (Ultegra vs. XT, 105 vs. Tiagra ) but who knows whether that difference is worth paying more. The gearing on the LHT is much lower front and rear than the Jamis, and in fact I imagine the spread at the cassette accounts for the XT rear der., as it's more of a mtb piece. If your plan includes a lot of climbing, that may answer the question right there. I think the wheels on the LHT are 36h vs. 32h on the Jamis, which may make the former more durable. Overall, it seems like the Surly is more of an actual purpose-built long-haul (so to speak) bike, and the Jamis seems like more of a commuter/all-rounder. I'm not familiar enough with metallurgy to know the differences between the different alloys used,(Reynolds 631 on the Jamis and 4130 on the LHT. For a high-end option, check out Co-Motion Cycles - Single Bikes
 

slowbutnotdead

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Apr 18, 2009
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SNF
Thank you for the reply. My thoughts about these bikes are

LHT- all reivews that I have read seem to view this bike as the perfect touring bike. I have doubts about the frame, only that it is not double butted, the bar end shifters are a minus since I like brake shifters (I know what others say about reliability, but I most likely will not tour in the remote outback Alcan areas, and will have a set of campy downtube shifters in my bag). Tires are a little wider than I would like.

Jamis El- reviews that I have read say nice bike but not really for touring, the gearing is too high. 10 spead rear end is wrong for touring, the 9 speed equipment is more reliable and more available incase of damage on a trip.

When I saw the Jamis, I liked the frame material ( double-butted Reynolds), these brake shifters are also a minus since I am used to Campy shifters. Not sure of the clearance for my big feet due to the difference in chain stay length.

There is also the difference in the rear hub spacing the Jamis has a standard 10 speed spacing of 130mm and the LHT has a mountain bike spacing of 135mm. The LBS that sells surly says this is a big difference, I am not sure about this point.
 

fatandslow

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Aug 12, 2009
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I think the main triangle on the LHT is lugged and double-butted, at least it says so on their website. Sorry, but FNS and SNF are both meaningless to me. The tire width thing is a trade-off between durability and comfort on the one hand, and rolling resistance and weight on the other. Same with the number of spokes. The lower tire pressures of fatter tires make the ride more comfortable and easier on the rims. The additional clearance on the Surly would also be more likely to allow the fitment of fenders, which a lot of tourers wouldn't be without. The Surly actually is available in all sizes with 26 inch wheels, tires for which are far more available in rural areas worldwide than 700s. See also the Co-motion Pangea. Some people are so concerned about wheel damage on long tours that they fit 40h wheels and hubs like those on a tandem. If I was actually touring, I would definitely err on the side of reliability and comfort over light weight and top speed potential. The gearing on the Jamis would certainly be too high for me unless I was touring Florida, and maybe even then.
 

Dan Dempsey

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Oct 14, 2009
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slowbutnotdead said:
I am looking at getting a touring bike to do loading touring and am looking at the LHT and Aurora Elite. any opinions or recommendations. pls if you give reasons for recommendations. Also from shopping around I can get the Jamis for a few hundred dollars discount and there is no discount on the LHT.

Thanks

The Jamis has 32 spokes NOT 36
The Jamis gearing does not go below 27
These are two serious defects for a full blown touring machine
 

pakinmd

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Oct 21, 2009
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I have ridden with several folks who have the Aurora, and thay all like it. I have a Surly LHT built up from a frame, and I improved the components some (Brooks Flyer saddle, velocity Rims). I really like this bike! It is gentle but nimble, and handles all kinds of road surfaces. However, I finished building a Rawland Sogn about 8 months ago and it has become my absolute favorite bike. 650B wheels with Grand Bois Hetres (42 mm) seem to eat up ANY surface and are very smooth and relatively fast on pavement. Slightly sloped top tube lets us short legged people ride a big enough frame to be comfortable. I had set it up like the Surly, with 46,36,26 chainrings and a 9 sp cogset 12-32. Since I opted for non click shifters, I kept missing gears so I changed it to a seven speed cogset, still 12-32, and it shifts like a dream. BTW - the Sogn frame is bult in Taiwan, by Maxway, same folks who make the Surly. See both at The Bike Build - Surly