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I have a road bike that has served me well for almost 10 years, but I'm not doing a ton of road riding anymore because I have kids now. I want a Surly Long Haul trucker or commute and long rides. Question: Does it make any sense just to buy the Surly Long Haul Trucker frame and some wheels and strip my road bike of it's components, seat, bars, etc to build a new bike? Is that even possible? How much would it to have someone rebuild a bike? Or should I just buy the Surly for $1300.

Another question I have is can I install a rear rack and also be able to put a Burley trailer on the bike? I can't find any info about having both a rear rack and trailer on a bike. 

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You will most likely not be able to move all the old parts and it might just end up being a frustrating mess.

Many people like the LHT. It's an icon. Personally I can't see buying a touring bike unless you are really planning on loading up and going on a "long haul". There is a whole world of bikes to chose from but if the LHT has caught your eye then you will probably will go that way.

In any case, it'll be less expensive to buy the complete bike. If you want to fuss over every component (like I did) then build it your self but plan on spending an extra $400. Even if you buy the complete bike you may be tempted to change some things like the saddle, tires, bars, pedals (if it even comes with pedals).

Do you have any recommendations for bikes? I'm actually really interested in doing some touring with my son, but I'm not sure if and when that will happen so I don't actually need a LHT. I do commute to work on a Raleigh One Way now with my son in a front Yepp seat, but he's going to grow out of it in the next few months and frankly riding him and loaded panniers on single speed bike is not very speedy.

Basically I'd like something that I can do long rides on with my son in a trailer. My road bike has a carbon fork so not good for hauling anything. And I'd like to also be able to commute on it with loaded panniers, that is why I was looking at a touring bike. I figure it will be ok for road riding and a loaded commute. But I am certainly open to other makes and models!

Thanks for answering my question regarding a rebuild. I suspected just buying a new bike outright made more sense for me.

If you are doing long rides with a lot of weight then the LHT or Disc Trucker sounds good to me. Just keep an open mind and try a lot of bikes. Sometimes the only way to know if you like something is to own it. In the end the only opinion that really matters is your own.

wow. Not sure I have that kind of money, but it's spectacular. I've actually purchased a bag from Rivendell several years ago. Very cool company/website.

'Tis a lovely thing, but the frame alone costs as much as two fully built Long Haul Truckers at the end of the year.

If you're using a rear rack, panniers, and a trailer, the material of your fork doesn't really matter.  If you also wanted a front rack and panniers, then you might need to consider other options.

I'm sure there are many more knowledgeable people than me, but I have kids and we've been riding more and more, so I'll jump in :-)

The kids' trailers attach at the wheel, so it is easy to do a rear rack and a trailer.  We also have a WeeHoo as the kids got older.  For that one, I can't quite get the height I need to attach both a rear rack and the Weehoo (which attaches on the seat sort of like a tagalong), but my spouse has space to attach both on his. 

And I don't know how old your kids are and how much storage space you have, and everyone is different, but I might save the road bike.  I've never had one and I'm kind of itching for one now because I'm getting a little bored of the slow rides with the kids.   And I really want to do a fast ride on my own for a change!

Also, I have eyed that Long Haul trucker and it seems that everyone here loves it, but we have also made do with cheaper Raleigh urban bikes for the last several years--hauling both kids, camping gear and even a kids' bike on the back of the trailer. 

Thanks! Great to know I can have both a trailer and a rear rack.

If you don't need put the bike on a bus or train, and have indoor storage, you might consider getting a MTB with an http://xtracycle.com extention.  It can have 1 or 2 child seats and 4 panniers (or two built in xtra long bags).

It depends on what kind of road bike you're starting with, but if it was made within the last 10-15 years you should be pretty much ok except for brakes and maybe shifters, but I would have to see the bike to offer any concrete advice.  I would guess that the labor to change everything over is around $100-150 or so, not including the cost for any new parts that may be necessary.

Have you given any thought to just converting your current bike?  The LHT is a good frame, but it's relatively easy to put fenders and a rack on pretty much any bike, even if it doesn't have eyelets to attach to (I put full front and rear fenders and a rack on my fiancee's track bike, for example, which has no eyelets whatsoever).

Out of curiousity, what specifically attracts you to the LHT?  Wider tires? Fender/rack mounts? Cantilever brakes?  Chromoly frame?

I have a carbon fork and seat stays on my road bike. I don't think I can hook anything up to something carbon. What attracts me to LHT is I can do long rides but also haul my kid and panniers.

I'd recommend test riding the Cross Check and the Bianchi Volpe as well. I have used my Volpe with front and rear panniers and I'm very happy with how the bike handles. 

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