Bryant/LHT Overlay

Bryant/LHT Overlay

Here’s the 58cm Civia Bryant superimposed over the 56cm Surly Long Haul Trucker. This is really interesting. Notice how similar these bikes are. Even though the Bryant is the “larger” bike, the wheelbase and seat tube are slightly shorter than the LHT’s. The Bryant’s head tube is slightly taller and the standover height is essentially identical on both bikes. The difference in the position of the contact points is due almost solely to the stem length and handlebar design. This is quite a contrast to the overlay in the prior post.

21 Responses to “Bryant/LHT Overlay”

  • David says:

    Well i can’t say i’m surprised by this, Both bikes being made presumably in the same factory, owned by the same parent company. I would be surprised if they were hugely different. The LHT works well so why change the geometry?
    Do you get the impression that the byrant would make as good a tourer as the LHT? I was thinking a surly troll with alfine 11 would be nearly ideal but perhaps this would be ok too? Do you think it is good/strong/stiff enough to handle a heavy expedition style load or is it more light/medium weight grocery hauling?

    Are you still glad you decided to replace the LHT?

  • Alan says:


    We’ll have to see. I’ve only had the bike a week, so it’s too early to say what its cargo hauling limitations might be. I’m replacing the stock alu rack with a Tubus Logo to increase the carrying capacity, so I’ll be learning some things over the next few months.

    As far as being glad to have this new bike – absolutely. It’s a sweet ride with my favorite commuting drivetrain. The fit is spot on and everything feels great. What’s not to be happy about! :-)


  • arevee says:

    Interesting to see it next to the Surley. From an asthetic perspective, I prefer the minimal (or perhaps none) slope of the Surly. I know slopping helps with the standover height, but I think to much importance is placed on this measurment since one is rarely straddling the bike and a close clearance can be lowered by simply leaning the bike a bit.

    I’d like to see this photo with the Civia and Hillborne.

  • Alan says:


    I agree that standover clearance is over rated. From the standpoint of the rider, I think it’s more of an aesthetic consideration than anything, with “modern” bikes having sloping top tubes and “traditional” bikes having level top tubes. The practical reason behind it has at least something to do with economics; sloping top tubes allow manufacturers and dealers to cover a wider range of riders with a smaller number of sizes, reducing inventory and overhead.


  • Archergal says:

    I love these photos. It’s fascinating to see how the bikes match up. I’d like to do this with my own bikes, because I bet it would help me see better what the differences in fit and comfort really stem from.

  • Joe says:

    If designed correctly the sloping top tube can also stiffen the rear triangle.

  • dominic furfaro says:

    Thanks for doing these two overlays Alan. I think fit or “rider reach” is illustrated well here. The LHT/Bryant overlay is interesting in that both seat positions are similar creating a riding posture where the “rider’s reach” is “short” on the LHT and “long” on the Bryant. The height of the bars are similar as they should be. What I find interesting and what would appear to me is that two different riders are fitted to these bikes. A short torso rider on the LHT and a long torso rider on the Bryant. Upright riding shortens the torso bend, while racing style bars and in this case the stem lengthen the torso bend. With a similar seat position ( this is what it looks like) what kind of insight do you have to share about fit or “rider reach for these two bikes.

  • Alan says:

    Hi Dominic,

    The Bryant and LHT geometries are nearly identical in every respect, with the only differences being the LHT has 3mm more bottom bracket drop and 20mm longer chainstays (this undoubtedly explains why the Bryant felt so immediately familiar to me). The front end geometry is precisely the same with 72 degree head angles and 45mm of fork offset, creating 65mm of trail and a wheel flop factor of 19mm. Even though I’ve been carrying weight on the front of the LHT for a while now, these are definitely back loading bikes!

    I agree, this is a good illustration of how the same bike could be set-up to fit a short torso/long leg rider as well as a long torso/short leg rider. It’s also an illustration of how the same rider can be set up in different postures by changing reach. Even though the bars are at essentially the same height, the short reach to the flat bars on the LHT places the rider in a more upright position. So while handlebar height is a key factor in determining rider posture, horizontal reach plays a role as well; it’s really a function of both.


  • Eric says:

    Hi Alan,

    Could you talk a little more about your thoughts regarding your decision to switch from a more upright commuter to one that will keep you leaning forward more? Also, it would be great if you could do some of these overlays with you on the bikes too.

  • Alan says:

    Hi Eric,

    Within a reasonable range, the amount of reach is personal preference based upon riding style and flexibility. Over the past 6 months I’ve grown to prefer the more open position of my Rivendell to the Surly’s tighter cockpit. It’s not a practical consideration as much as one of feel – I just like a little more room between my knees and the handlebars, and I’ve grown to like the feel of a little more weight on the front wheel and a little less weight on the saddle. With that I mind, it was my plan to set up the Surly’s replacement with a longer reach. As it sits, the Bryant’s cockpit may need some fine tuning, with perhaps a slightly shorter stem. For now I’m going to give it a go and see how it feels in a month after my body adapts to the new bike.


  • Brian says:

    Hi Alan,

    How did you get the two bikes to appear in the same picture without one covering up the other?

  • Brian C says:

    Gives those of us of the “vertically challenged” persuasion hope that the smallest bryant might actually fit me (although I would definitely need the 11 speed shimano hub – sounds like 2012).

    Having ridden my wife’s Surly Buena Vista much of this winter, I am really impressed and sold on internal hubs for commuter bikes (particularly with some schwalbe marathon supremes on it).

    I will be watching with great interest your observations using the bryant as a commuter…

  • Alan says:


    The overlays were created in Photoshop using layer masks and blending modes.


  • Alan says:

    @Brian C

    Keep in mind that the Bryant has a sloping top tube so the standover height might be less than you think. I’m pretty sure standover heights are listed on the frame geometry page for the Bryant at the Civia site.


  • Michael says:

    Just curious, what floor bike stand is that? It looks like a nice low profile design that won’t contact the spokes like some of the others sold.

  • Alan says:


    That’s a Feedback Sports (formerly Ultimate) Rakk:

    I have a few of them – they work great.


  • Michael says:

    Wow, great. They can even be locked together. Thanks for the link, don’t know how I missed this.

  • Rick M says:

    What is the weight comparison between the LHT and Bryant?

    I’ve considered the LHT for a while but I’m not going on any epic journeys just the occasional week/weekend tours. The Bryant may provide a little more spirit to the ride while handling a light tour.

  • Alan says:

    @Rick M

    “What is the weight comparison between the LHT and Bryant?”

    Surprisingly, they’re close. With the same racks, the Civia might actually be slightly heavier due to the internal gear hub.


  • Michael says:

    Now that you’ve had a while to get used to the Bryant can you comment again on the previous question of load limitations?
    I am shopping for an all around touring/commuter that can handle the occasional 40-50 lbs weekend camping outing. Of course, the LHT is #1 on my list, but I like the idea of the livelier road bike feel that the Bryant has.
    Also, do you have any issues with heel clearance VS the 1″ longer chainstay of the LHT? My size 11 shoes will hit any panniers I try to put on my current road bike.


  • Alan says:

    Hi Michael,

    I haven’t really tested the limits of the Bryant’s carrying capabilities yet. I’ve mostly been carrying a commute load and the occasional grocery load. Probably the most weight I’ve carried so far is around 35-40 lbs., which the Bryant handled with no issue. That said, I don’t think it’ll have any problem carrying a weekend touring load.

    I’m not having any problems with heel strike, though I’m running a Tubus Logo rack which carries the load further to the rear (and lower) than many racks. The lower rack mounting points on the Bryant are higher than usual due to the unusual dropouts, so the Logo is a good fit for this bike. More here:


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