2011 Surly LHT Deluxe

For 2011, Surly is offering an S&S coupled version of their popular Long Haul Trucker frameset. From the Surly website:

For a couple years we offered the Travelers Check, a travel frame based on our Cross Check model. It could be split in two via S&S Machine Company’s BTCs (bicycle torque couplings), better known as S&S Couplers, machined stainless steel pieces brazed into the top and down tubes. They add a small bit of weight (less than 8 oz/227g per frame), but result in a bike that can be packed into a case for relatively easy transport. When you put it all back together, you have a regular bike, your bike, safe and solid.

The Travelers Check was a great bike for lots of people, but despite its versatility it had some drawbacks as an ideal travel bike. Some found the wheel size problematic. 700c wheels do not fit into an airline-regulation maximum size hardcase without deflating the tires, and even then it’s a tight fit. As well, many people use a travel bike for touring far away lands, panniers fully loaded with clothes, cookware, camping equipment, and mousse, and wanted a frame designed for this purpose.

It isn’t really feasible for us to offer two S&S coupled frames so we’re replacing the Travelers Check with the Long Haul Trucker DeLuxe. As you may know, our Long Haul Trucker is a true touring frame. The LHT DeLuxe is a Long Haul Trucker with S&S’s new, lower profile couplers, and the frame uses 26″ wheels. Hey!

No word yet on the MSRP.


20 Responses to “2011 Surly LHT Deluxe”

  • Nick says:

    Deluxe means it has a kickstand plate?

  • Alan says:


    LOL. I was excited for a moment when I saw the announcement, but alas, not this year. :-(


  • Pete says:

    @Nick- That’s what I thought too! I was already getting my credit card out….
    In any case, I don’t think they’ll have much trouble selling as many of these as they can make.

  • Jason says:

    Still sounds a dream bike.

  • RDW says:

    This seems like a natural, travel bike = touring bike right? Speaking of new things coming out of Interbike this week – you might be interested in taking a look at the new commuter oriented bike Co-Motion Cycles is adding for this year, the CityView, on their site listed under solo touring bikes. Eight speed Alfine IGH, carbon Gates Belt Drive, Avid disc brakes. A bit pricey for most folks but maybe they’d send you one to test ride, eh ;-)

  • Tim D. says:

    Yep, I would buy one. Of course, the money to actually travel to far off exotic places and ride my bike around may not be so easy…but I can always prepare.

  • Bryan says:

    Dangit… I bought my LHT six months ago….

  • Alan says:


    You can always have the S&S couplers installed on your existing frame…

  • Gabriel says:

    Sounds like a great bike. I’ve been thinking about going with the LHT as a utility/touring bike, and if the price difference isn’t too much, I’d spring for the S&S coupled version. My only concern would be locking it up when using it as a utility bike. With my bike now I lock my rear wheel through the rear triangle to a fixed object and use a flex-cable on my front wheel.

    I don’t see how this bike could be effectively locked to prevent a thief from uncoupling the bike and taking the whole front end (handlebar, shifters, brake levers, fork, etc). I think that the top/down/head tubes would be difficult to sell , but the other stuff is probably worth stealing and selling. (I know that no locking setup will stop a dedicated thief, but you don’t even need tools to steal the whole front end of the bike, minus the front wheel)

    Is locking the front or the couplers possible?

  • Rick Steele says:

    You can always do the S&S Hack-A-Bike thing, but modern butted steel frame tubesets are not ones to hack. If you want couplers, get a bike or frameset built with them. The couplers are welded in before tubes are mitering in and welded into a complete frame. The biggest benefit is a frame that is straight and true. I’ve ridden and traveled with S&S BTC bikes and tandems for years and wouldn’t opt for 26″ wheels just for ease of packing. Deflate 700c tires and wheels fit in S&S cases. With larger section touring tires, take em off when packing. No big deal!


  • brad says:

    One thing that has always puzzled me about traveling on planes with bikes: if you were to pack this bike in a hard case, what do you do with the hard case once you’ve arrived at your destination? Most airports no longer have “left luggage” lockers (because of the security risk), so it seems you’d have to find a hotel or other place that would store your case for you while you’re on your tour.

    I have the same question about bringing folding bikes on planes; if you have a hard or soft case for your folder, you need to keep the case somewhere as it’s too bulky to carry with you while you ride.

  • Pete says:

    @ Gabriel-
    Seems that most non-pro’s who steal bikes are looking for a quick turn-around. Usually this means taking your bike across town and selling it for $20. As you say, there’s pretty much nothing you can do with half a frame, and most people wouldn’t even know what the couplers were for, anyway (and you could even tape over them for added stealth). I think if you used locking skewers and locked the front wheel to the rear triangle or bike rack, you’d be safe from anyone short of the guy who’s able to steal the whole bike anyway.

  • RDW says:


    “I have the same question about bringing folding bikes on planes; if you have a hard or soft case for your folder, you need to keep the case somewhere as it’s too bulky to carry with you while you ride.”

    Take a look at Bike Friday travel case which converts to a trailer when you reach your destination.

  • Adam says:

    One of the smartest bikes to come from a smart bike company

  • Doug says:

    You cannot retrofit S&S Couplers to existing LHT’s. I know someone who wanted to do this a couple years ago. The framebuilder he hired to do the job discovered the LHT comes with a beefy top tube that is ovalized at the seat cluster end. S&S couplers only fit round tubes. If you look at a LHT you can see the oval tube with your naked eye. It’s round at the headtube. As it reaches the seat cluster you can see it is oval shaped. Surly must be using different tubing for the LHT Deluxe.

  • Sean says:

    Sure you can retrofit a lht with couplers. I rode won for a couple of years before smashing it up. Stephen Bilenky does this particular retrofit all the time and even offered a special earlier this year

  • Doug says:

    I doubt there are many framebuilders that would put a round coupler on an oval tube. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

  • Sean Kendall says:

    Is the LHT really an oval tube? Regardless, here are a couple of LHTs retrofitted.


  • Doug says:

    @ Sean

    Okay, now I see. I was wondering how Bilenky pulled that off. You can clearly see in the picture how the coupler is placed quite a bit further away from the seat tube than you would normally see done with S&S Couplers. The top tube on LHT’s starts round at the head tube and ends ovalized at the seat tube. It is most pronounced in the last few inches before the seat tube. Placing the coupler further forward puts it in a position where the tube isn’t as ovalized as it would be if you place the coupler where it is typcially located.

  • Julie W. says:

    There is another company called Ravello Bikes that is retrofitting travel bikes; they have their own system. Their website says they can work with non-round tubing, and also aluminum and carbon. They’re at http://www.ravellobikes.com .

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