I ordered a Surly LHT from a few weeks ago. Although it was listed as in-stock, it took Jenson 10 days to get mine ;-{, and over two weeks for me to get the bike. It came in a somewhat battered box, but with no serious damage to the bike. I plan to use the box again when I take this bike to Europe in a few months.

The bike was, with two exceptions, well packed and well protected in the box. In the next image, you can see that the right hand barcon stickes out forward of the rest of the bike. It was sticking out through a hole, which it had punched in the box, when the box was delivered. The end of the shiftlever was slightly damaged. The rear quick release lever was also sticking out through a hole it had punched in the box. It was not damaged.

Since I planned to repack the bike in its original box, I took my time unpacking it so as not to damage any of the packing nmaterials. It took me about 45 minutes to carefully unpack the bike and another 15 minutes to "assemble" it. Here is the assembled bike. It lacks pedals but is otherwise ready to ride.

There were a number of things I needed to change before the bike was ready for me to ride. I replaced the original, 175 mm, cranks with 165 mm cranks of the same type. I changed the small ring to a 24. I replaced the rear XT derailleur with a "RapidRise" LX derailleur. I replaced the seat and seatpost with parts from my old touring bike. The stem, handlebars, and levers were replaced with parts from my, even older, commuter bike. Changing, and lowering, the stem meant that had to chenge the cable stop for the front brake to one mounted on the fork crown. It also meant that I now have 40 mm of silly looking spacers above the stem. I'll keep them there in case I need to raise the handlebars later. I also installed front and rear fenders and racks and two waterbottle holders. Finally, I added pedals and a frame pump and I changed the brake pads to KoolStop.

I needed a longer stem, a suspension stem, and shorter cranks. I wanted a much better seat (Terry Fly), SKS fenders, better brake pads, and front and rear racks. I could not use the original handlebar with the supension stem, but I wouldn't have used it anyway because I don't like its shape. With the changes, I have a bike that fits me well and rides well. I haven't ridden it loaded yet, but I expect it to work well for loaded touring. The overall feel and quality of almost all of the parts is very good.