As you may know, our Long Haul Trucker is a touring frame suited to long distance, loaded travel in relative ease and comfort. It’s designed to use racks and panniers, fenders and larger volume tires. The fact is, however, you can’t ride your bike everywhere. Sometimes if you want to take your bike along —say, across an ocean-- you need a convenient way to get it there with the least amount of hassle, expense, and potential for damage.
The Trucker DeLuxe is a version of our Long Haul Trucker utilizing S&S Machine Co.’s bicycle torque couplings, better known as S&S Couplers. These are machined stainless steel pieces that are brazed into the top and down tubes of the frame. They add a small bit of weight (less than 8 oz/227g per frame), but result in a bike that can be split in two, partially disassembled, and packed into a case for transport. When you put it all back together, you have a regular bike…your bike.
Unlike regular LHTs, the Trucker DeLuxe is available only in a 26” wheel version in all frame sizes. Why? First, 26” wheels with inflated tires will fit into a travel case within common airline regulation size, meaning it is not considered oversized, and therefore is not usually subject to extra fees. Inflated tires do not pose a problem on most airplanes because even the cargo portion is pressurized, so plus when you reassemble your bike it is pretty convenient not to have to reinflate your tires with a frame pump (you’re not going to fit a floor pump in that case). And 26” is a popular global standard, so finding tires, tubes, or rims will be easier to find than 700c stuff if events warrant finding such things..
It should go without saying that owning such a bike brings some responsibilities on your part. You will need the basic tools and know-how to safely remove and reinstall your wheels, your handlebar or stem, your pedals, and possibly other stuff, like your fork (especially on larger frames). Learning to pack your bike in a case requires some patience and practice too. Be sure and visit S&S Machine’s website (sandsmachine.com). Their story, their recommendations for care of your S&S Couplers, and their own reasons for why a frame with S&S Couplers is good for you can all be found there.