I began searching for something more efficient then my mtb with slicks a few months ago & this forum came up alot & in big part of it I finally decided on a 2006 19" Trek 520 touring bike. It was nice but I had bought a frame one size too small so I was thinking how I could trade up a size without losing too money. Well I ended up in a stupid accident over a month ago that severely bent the top & bottom tubes near the head tube. Surly & Soma immediately came to mind as Trek was quoting $400 for a replacement frame & I also wanted something sportier. Didn't want to spend that much cash though so I came upon this medium aluminum Nashbar "X" cyclocross frame which seems perfect for my needs.
I was able to swap most of the parts from the 520 except for the headset, fork, & I'll need to redo the cable lengths & probably get a new chain. I think I already screwed up one of the rear rack eyelets by crossthreading it, but it seems to be holding. There's only one set in the back so fenders & rack have to share. The front fork is also from Nashbar & is made of steel. The disc brake mounts do get in the way of mounting the rack & fenders, but a few washers in the back & attaching from the inside up front solved that. The chainstay is 1" shorter then the 520 so I have to mount the pannier fairly far back. A new rack would probably be in order.
It's nice to be able to switch the mtb back into an mtb & ready for the expected 6" to 12" of snow today in Chicago.