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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.