The enormously popular Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc touring bike has received a comprehensive refresh, adopting 12mm thru-axles, getting slightly updated geometry, shifting to the flat-mount disc brake standard and sees a number of other updates that aim to make it a more versatile bike than before.
The original cantilever-brake version of the Long Haul Trucker was first released in 2004, with the Disc Trucker following in 2012. The bikes have seen few updates since then.
The Long Haul Trucker has always offered good value for money as a complete build. Because they’re based on the most standard of standards, the framesets are also very popular among those who prefer to build their own bikes.
We have approached Surly to confirm whether or not the rim brake version of the bike will continue to be offered going forward.
A touring bike for the 2020s
The most notable update to the Long Haul Trucker is the move from good ol’ quick-release wheels to 12mm thru-axles front and rear.
Thru-axles can improve frame stiffness – which is no bad thing on a touring bike – but, more importantly, they ensure wheel placement is consistent. This is key on a bike with disc brakes because it means they are far less likely to rub.
This move will no doubt raise some eyebrows among the SPD sandal-toting touring types among our readership.
Quick-release wheels are a near-universal standard and pretty much any bike shop is likely to have a wheel, hub or quick release that will work with your bike if something should break out in the field. This is a key consideration on a touring bike.
That said, thru-axles are hardly a new technology, and it’s likely any bike shop that will have spare parts for a disc brake bike will also likely have easy access to thru-axle wheel components.
But, if you absolutely will not compromise on ensuring worldwide spares availability, a touring bike with cantilever brakes may well be a better option for you.
The previous generation of the bike was based on the long-standing IS brake-mount standard.
The IS standard was superseded by the post-mount standard some years ago, but it was very easy to convert a post-mount caliper to work with an IS frame.
For better or worse, the post-mount standard was subsequently replaced by the flat-mount standard on most drop-bar bikes.
Flat-mount brakes cannot be converted to work with post- or flat-mount frames*, and as most manufacturers wind down post-mount caliper production in favour of flat-mount, it made sense to shift to flat-mount brakes.
(*There are third-party solutions out there that allow you to do this, but compatibility is limited and it is not officially supported by any of the major brake manufacturers.)
Again, as this is a touring bike, eyebrows may be raised. Flat mount is a newish standard and brake spares availability is likely to be limited in more far-flung regions of the world.
Mount everything and the kitchen sink
As with most Surly bikes, the bike is replete with more luggage mounting points than you’ll ever really know what to do with, including three bottle mounting points, front and rear pannier racks, and three-bolt bosses on the forks for Anything-style cages.
There’s also a spare spoke holder on the non-driveside seatstay, internal routing on the fork for a dynamo light, and you could even go for down tube shifters if you really want to.
There are honestly so many holes and bosses on the damn thing that some tubes resemble a flute.
26in availability reduced, still chilled out
The Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc is still available with either 26in or 700c wheels, but exactly which size each comes in has changed slightly.
The previous generation of the bike was available with 26in wheels right up to a 58cm frame. The 700c version was available from a 56cm frame up to 64cm.
The 26in wheel frameset is now available for sizes 42, 46, 50, 52, 54 and 56cm.
The 700c version of the new Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc is available with 56, 58, 60, 62 and 64cm frames.
While there is crossover on the 56cm frame, this means most riders will now be limited to one size or the other depending on their height.
Why 26in wheels?
It’s exceedingly rare to see a bike launched with 26in wheels, so why does the new Long Haul Trucker Disc offer a build with them?
Put simply, it is generally believed that there are more spares available for 26in wheels and tyres around the world because they are, for the most part, the de-facto standard for the majority of adult bikes.
Ensuring easy access to spares is obviously important if you’re touring in the back of beyond and want to be certain you can get out of trouble if something breaks.
The smaller diameter of 26in wheels also means it is theoretically possible to build a stronger wheel than a 27.5in or 29in (700c) wheel, which is important if you’re riding a heavily loaded bike.
When paired with suitably chunky tyres, the 700c version of the bike should, in theory, provide a slightly improved ride quality on rough terrain and more stable handling.
However, for those looking for the ultimate in reliability and spares – or even just peace of mind – the 26in option may be the best option for you.
Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc 26in wheel geometry table
|Effective top tube||500||515||530||545||560||575|
|Head tube length||125||130||170||185||205||225|
|Head tube angle||70.0°||70.0°||71.0°||71.0°||71.0°||71.0°|
|Seat tube length||420||460||500||520||540||560|
|Seat tube angle||75.0°||74.5°||74.0°||73.5°||73.0°||73.0°|
Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc 700c wheel geometry table
|Effective top tube||575||590||605||620||635|
|Head tube length||175||195||215||235||250|
|Head tube angle||72.0°||72.0°||72.0°||72.0°||72.0°|
|Seat tube length||560||580||600||620||640|
|Seat tube angle||73.0°||72.5°||72.5°||72.0°||72.0°|
The bike is built from Surly’s proprietary ‘Natch’ steel tubeset, which is said to provide a good balance between all-day comfort and stiffness when riding with a fully-loaded bike.
The geometry has been slightly tweaked across both wheel sizes, gaining a sloped top-tube for improved standover clearance.
The stack height of the bike has also increased, making it slightly easier to get a chilled out and upright touring-friendly position.
The chainstays – which were a whopping 460mm long on the old 700c disc trucker – have also shrunk to improve manoeuvrability, dropping down to 450mm across both wheel sizes.
The position and design of the kickstand (hey, don’t scoff, we love kickstands here at BikeRadar) has been altered to suit the new shorter chainstays, too.
Tyre clearance has increased to 47mm for the 700c version of the bike with mudguards/fenders. The maximum tyre clearance is not quoted for 26in wheels, but the complete build ships with 46mm tyres as stock, so you can be sure it’ll be very generous.
Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc specs (26in and 700c)
- Brakes: TRP Spyre C
- Headset: Cane Creek 40, 1-1/8in
- Stem: ProMax 31.8mm four-bolt
- Handlebar: Surly Truck Stop
- Seatpost: ProMax 27.2mm, 350mm, non-offset (sizes 42–50cm), offset (sizes 52–64cm)
- Saddle: WTB Volt Sport
- Crankset: Shimano Alivio 48×36×26t
- Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB52
- Front derailleur: Shimano Sora R3030
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Alivio M4000 SGS
- Shifters: Shimano Sora R3000 3×9
- Chain: KMC X9
- Cassette: Shimano Alivio, 11-34t, 9-speed
- Rims: Alex Adventurer 2
- Front hub: Novatec 12×100, six bolt, 36H
- Rear hub: Novatec 12×142, six bolt, 36H
- Tyres: Surly Extra Terrestrial, 700×41mm, 26in×46mm
The bike is available as a frameset (£750 / $725) or as a complete build (£1,900 / $1,675). International pricing is TBC.
The complete bike is built around a 9-speed Shimano Sora R3000 groupset. It’s no surprise to see the bike stick with a good ol’ fashioned triple chainset, which offers a suitably wide range for loaded touring.
It is, however, notable that Surly has moved away from bar-end shifters in favour of integrated STI shifters. Bar-end shifters can be more reliable than integrated shifters and can also be converted to friction shifting mode if a derailleur hanger is bent or similar.
The bike is available in the pictured Pea Lime Soup finish or Hi-Viz Black. Stock of bikes and framesets is expected to be with retailers and distributors by mid-July.