Winter Training on my Surly Long Haul Trucker


Derek and I headed down to the river today after a snowstorm to test out our Surly Long Haul Truckers in wintry weather.  With a nice mixture of snow, ice, and a thick layer of mush, the ride turned out to be just what we were looking for.  Some things we learned from the ride:

  1. SKS Fenders, or fenders in general, really make for a cleaner ride.  Derek doesn’t have fenders and was covered with mud after about 2 minutes on the bike.  I was perfectly clean, although my front Ortlieb panniers were covered in mud.
  2. Adding some extra inflation to your tires increases speeds while under heavy load.  I was rolling pretty heavy on the ride and my speed was down about 2km per hour.  I stopped and pumped up my tires with my Topeak Road Morph up to near max capacity.  I was rolling with the wind and got an extra 4km per hour out of my bike.
  3. A simple 3-layer clothing system seems to keep us warm.  I’m wearing a pair of synthetic moisture-wicking long underwear (tops and bottoms), a think wool jacket on top, and a Gore Wind-stopper Jacket on top of that.  For my legs, I’ve got the long underwear, a regular pair of boxer shorts, and wind-protective pants.  Add some wool socks, a pair of cycling gloves, and waterproof shoe covers, and that’s it.  We were riding in light rain, 34 degree weather, and a 20mph wind.  No problems.  I really think the addition of the Wind-stopper jacket has solved my problems.
  4. The Surly Long Haul Truckers are holding up nicely.  I have over 900km on my bike while Derek is still breaking his in.   I have had no problems thus far with any part of the bike. So far, all of my racks, panniers, and water cages are holding up just fine.

6 responses »

  1. hollr, just droppin 2 cents, , wool long johns, specifically the ibex heavy duty knickers merino base layer, wicked sweet. . I just did seattle to brooklyn spet 7 – dec 12 08 and the last month or so i was in them lots and they’re amazing. . thats all peas max

  2. I had a couple of friends do the western hemisphere, north to south trek a few years back. They noted several times that fenders are very important as it keeps the bike and more importantly the drive train clean. This reduced failures and cog wear which kept the bike performance up. Just an FYI, Cheers, Neal

  3. A professional looking site with no route maps, no updates, no actual photos of the tour and ‘superior english eduction’. All sizzle, where’s the steak?

    Best of luck to you, I am quite interested in the route you propose to take…

  4. This site looks like a scam to pay for new bike parts… taking donations and then never going for the ride? Classy.

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