Not just a pretty face!

Here are some photos of my new touring expedition bike!

It’s a Surly LHT that I had powdercoated to a coffee tan. I built the wheels, picked out the components and assembled it all over the course of a week. It’s outfitted with a Tubus rear rack and a Nitto Mark’s Rack in the front. The bags, bottle cages and Kleen Kanteens are from Velo-Orange.

The Velo-Orange Ostrich bags not only look great but work well too. The design allows for some over-stuffing, so I was able to carry my tent , two baguettes and a folding tripod chair with them!

The handlebar bag is cavernous and holds my Nikon D300 perfectly! It’s super functional with the elastic band closures that make for quick open/closings and also allows for some over-stuffing (on hot climbs, I slipped my shirt under the top flap).

I’ll be posting a ride report about my recent ride from Santa Barbara-Lake Casitas-Ojai-Santa Paula-Ventura-Santa Monica-Redondo Beach!


  1. Mark Jones (UK)

    I absoultely love this bike. Colours, everything. Its really really nice. I can see ti would be the kind of bike that everytime I get on it, I would prob pause a little bit just to look at it.


  2. La Grulla

    typicall french bike, ja
    nice web. everyday i check it from madrid, spain.

  3. Noah

    Dang. Everyone’s getting these. First, my local friends Tim and Chris. Then Apertome. Now Russ is sporting the Trucker too. Awesome. If I can ever afford one, I know what’s going to replace my stolen hybrid…

  4. Ghost Rider

    Hello, pretty lady! I love the LHT — and I’m convinced that it’s Surly’s finest creation. They really thought it out well, and it seems to be the ultimate affordable platform on which to build an excellent touring bike.

    Nice choice of powdercoat color, too. It goes beautifully with the saddle, bar wrap and those dreamy Ostrich bags. Is the bar wrap leather? I thought you had a “zombie flesh” experience with leather?

  5. cafn8

    That’s beautiful, and this time I don’t think it’s just your photography.

  6. cafn8

    Hmm, that didn’t come out right. I’ve seen your photography and things seem to radiate, no matter how ordinary the subject. Sweet bike, though. OK, I think I’m yammering. I’ll stop.

  7. Russ Roca

    Ghost…good eye! The handlebar wrap is actually some brown tessostar cloth tape, which I then put some amber shellac (darkens it to the same color as a dark brown Brooks). It looks great, but I’m going to redo it with some cork tape underneath, since it was vibrating my hands to hell!

    Noah…it’s a sweet ride and is super stable with a load…My old touring bike was a 2006 Trek 520 and it never felt right with a big load….I use to have a strange front end shimmy going fast, esp with weight in the front…

    The LHT is just smooth and straight and descends like a dream….it really is a fine bike and there is no wonder why so many people are riding them….for me, I wanted to make my own version of a Riv. Atlantis with some cash to spare so I can go on adventures….doesn’t quite have all the nice lugs and paint, but it’s definitely still easy on the eyes…

  8. Phil

    Wow, I’ve allready seen you bike posted on 5 other blogs today!

    If you mind I ask, how much did the powder coat cost you?

  9. Mercutio Stencil

    That is simply one of the most gorgeous bikes I’ve seen in a long time. I’m glad that this one didn’t cost as much as most bikes looking this good. It’s a great color, especially with the bags.

  10. Bob

    Sweet ride!!

    Many times I see a bike and all I see is the attached gear. But the powder coat really makes the bike stand out with the gear.

  11. Quinn

    Sweet Sweet rig, im gonna have to move to Cali to do some touring 😀

  12. Evan

    So jealous! That is one awesome bike!

    I’m currently saving up for a Surly Cross-Check that I’m going to set up somewhat similar for commuting, light-touring, etc… I have a feeling it’s not going to come out quite as pretty though.

  13. Joe

    Russ, nice bike. How about more pix and a build list please, please! Thanks!

  14. Scott Gamble

    Wow, really beautiful. I just bought a LHT and am kitting it out now. Will probably snag your pictures and post in my blog.

    Incidentally I have that same Osterich bag – you’re right, it’s really nice.


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