So when's the test ride?
I like my Trekking bars higher than the saddle, and so rather than 'cut minimally'
I'd say "I want it cut None, at first" , then you can decide what is right ,
from your riding experience.
Had to do a challenging parts find, to raise the stem on the Trekking bike I bought
3rd hand so the formulaic choice in NL factory was a long time before I got it,
Ended up re creating the height it would have been, 300mm, as if I got to say "No"!
in the 1st place..
The Trek 520 felt rock solid and I felt comfortable on it right away. It also responded well to bumps, potholes and took turns as well as the LHT. The derailleurs shifted well on the Trek and there was no chain noise. I noticed this because the LHT had chain noise. Since it was a display bike it may have dried out.
The comparison confused me because I had gone in all set to be "sold" on the LHT and the comfortable, though, short ride on the Trek 520 gummed things up. I asked for another ride on Friday to do a couple of blocks of SF hills in the neighborhood.
I then had a discussion with their top mechanic who kind of killed all my plans to replace a bunch of components. He said the Surly wheels were solid and there was no reason to change anything there. He rejected the idea of changing the rims/spokes/hubs/tires. He especially pushed back on the Schwalbe Marathon tires saying they would ride like a cement truck. Instead he suggested Michelins (?) or swapping the stock Contis with a 1.75 Continental touring tires if I wanted a slightly more plushier ride. He said to swap the brakes/pads, the small chainring and a change to a stronger chain. His philosophy was to change only the components that would make a marked difference to the ride. I already bought a different handlebar so he reluctantly went along with it but his reaction was that I was wasting money. We plan to meet again to go over the LHT (if I buy it) and finalize the changes. I thought this behavior was odd because they could have easily upsold me on the wheels, tires, or virtually any other mechanical component on the bike but did not. Maybe these guys are good...
I wish I was a more experienced rider so that I could make an intelligent and informed choice on the bike but with all the people on this forum riding LHTs and loving it I might just go along on the hope that they know better
Gary, which ever bike (and components) you decide on, you cannot go wrong with either bike. I replaced everything your mechanic recommended on my LHT, plus the seat and the tires...but my LHT being a 2009 came with Slickasarus (sp) tires (I think). I didn't like them from the very first ride. As I mentioned earlier, my 26" wheels are bullet proof and laser straight...and I have right around 5,000 miles on my LHT now.
2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm
Naked Carbon Weave Aegis Aro Svelte, Purpleen Cannondale RT3000 Tandem, Orange Santana Triplet, Surly Long Haul Trucker
So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 4th Century B.C.E.
From the angle of the photo it looks as if the brake lever housing (the hood part) attaches to the front bar - it must go under, right?
Basically the 520 is a 80%unloaded/light20%heavy loaded bike and the LHT is a 20%no load80%med/heavy load bike.
Riding a Trek520 with 32mm tires and a LHT with 1.5" tires will be very different. So will riding either bike with 35lbs of stuff but for a 240lb person who might be thinking of carrying 40lbs being able to ride with 1.75"-2.0" tires is a very worthwhile option.
Check out 1.75" Panaracer T-Serv for all purpose fast and cushy ride with a moderate load.
Last edited by LeeG; 03-06-12 at 10:22 PM.
See this is why I have to follow advice from people who have done it before instead of going with my instinct. Left to myself I might have picked the Trek 520, probably not, bike leaned towards it. But your post really pushed it into the background. How would I know how they behave loaded, well medium loaded because I am not taking any camping related stuff? Not unless I actually do it. Thanks very much for your help. Gary
Much thanks to all of you who have responded with very valuable input gleaned from your own experience from touring on bikes. I really do appreciate it. In fact, after some thought, I'll skip the second shootout and get down to buying the 54cm LHT with these following changes:
a) The Panaracer T-Serv 1.75 tires
b) A new crank with 22 teeth or changing out the the smallest chainring, depending on the crank arm length the fitter suggested.
c) Change the brakes with the best available pads.
d) I already decided the handlebars but ensure that I get a fork with an uncut steerer so we can experiment
e) Get the Paul fitting for the gear shifters.
f) A better chain (I'll leave it to the mechanic at the LBS).
If any of you see this thread and think I missed out on something pl. let me know otherwise its a done deal, hopefully by tomorrow, as long as they agree to do the swaps. I'll then move on to racks/panniers and other misc items.
1965 Moulton Speed 4, 1974 Fuji 12 speed, 1987 DB Ascent EX, 2006 Dahon Speed TR, 2009 Salsa Fargo, 2011 Gravity 29.4, 2011 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Moonlander
In reality, what you really want is for them to assemble the bike, but leave the steerer tube uncut. Then you do an initial fitting at the shop and have them cut the steerer to approximately the right length, plus a bit extra, before you leave with the bike. You then ride the bike for a week or so, get comfortable with it, then return to have any final fit adjustments done and get the steerer cut to the final length.
This is different than the standard procedure at most shops: they assemble the bike, cut the steerer tube to some random length that they decide on, which then makes it difficult or impossible for you to raise the handlebars if necessary.
I have a 26" 54cm LHT, and I love it... it isn't very fast, but it's absolutely great when carrying stuff. I'm sure the 520 is a great bike too (I've ridden one).
I bought a set of Panaracer Pasela TG 26x1.25 tires to ride when doing group weekend rides, and they're noticeably faster than the Kenda 1.5's I had on there. I really like the Paselas. You can pick up an extra set of cheap lightweight MTB wheels with skinnier tires for fast/weekend riding, and use the stock wheels with 1.75's for loaded touring, no problem. Tons of options.
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=7002 Cycles which I can get in a couple of days. I asked them if they'll swap it and keep the other fork. The mechanic said I should stop going online...
Did you get the LHT?
I love my 52cm LHT, but the gears are very low, and I guess this becomes more obvious with 26". I find it difficult to find a high gear that works for going very fast.
Did you get the LHT yet?