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Old 03-16-17, 06:36 PM   #1
rperkins146
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Clyde touring bike dilemma

this year I am doing a couple of multi day rides 350 miles/ 4 days - and 600 miles / 6 days. For now I am equipping my Giant Defy 1 with a back rack and bags. I plan on camping each night with a small tent, and travel rather minimally. This will likely be a later this year purchase, but I tend to over research. At 6'4" 250lbs I have a hard time finding any to ride, I have found a 720 and a Sutra that I stood over which were too small. I have rode none of these.

If you have experience with any of these I want to hear from you,

The question:
If all three of these bikes are the same money which one do you prefer and why?

Trek 720
Surly Long Haul Trucker
Kona Sutra

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-16-17, 07:30 PM   #2
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Trek 720 seems a little light for a 250 lb. touring man. I'd rate the LHT's components better than the Kona Sutra (although Sutra does have a Brooks saddle and disc brakes and fenders).

I'd pick the LHT. I bet the 64mm LHT will fit you better than the largest Kona Sutra.
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Old 03-16-17, 07:50 PM   #3
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The Trek 720 has 24 spoke wheels, and recently there was a recall on some of them. Twenty-four spoke wheels would not be my choice for any kind of touring, especially for the weight you will have on the bike. Both the 720 and the 920 do not seem to be well thought out for any kind of loaded touring. The 920 has 28 spoke wheels; again, not what I'd want to tour on.

The LHT is like a Ford 150 pickup truck. A 64 cm LHT will probably weigh about 32-33 lbs. My 58 cm LHT weighs 31 lbs. A great fully loaded touring bike, but may be overkill for minimal gear and relatively high mileages. It has a fairly good gear range and is well built. It has 36 spoke wheels.

The Sutra largest frame seems to be only a 58 cm., but not sure how the measurement is taken. The top tube length seems to indicate a much longer reach than a "normal" 58 cm frame.

You really need to look at them and ride them if you can.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:10 PM   #4
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Have you considered the Salsa Vaya or Marrakesh?
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Old 03-16-17, 08:18 PM   #5
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The input on the trek tires is spot on. If I remember correctly the LBS said they were "rated" up to 300lbs. That does not account for much load beyond the motor. Also, I don't like running anything beyond 80% of its rating.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:20 PM   #6
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Have you considered the Salsa Vaya or Marrakesh?
I have not yet, I just chose those three from some input from searches, bike shops, and my desire to be under $2000. What do you know about them?
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Old 03-16-17, 08:22 PM   #7
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I should have also said, I am a paved road only tourer. I don't see myself riding trails anymore.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:23 PM   #8
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I have not yet, I just chose those three from some input from searches, bike shops, and my desire to be under $2000. What do you know about them?
They're excellent bikes with geometry that's better suited to touring than many of their competitors' models.
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Old 03-16-17, 09:49 PM   #9
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Trek 720 seems a little light for a 250 lb. touring man. I'd rate the LHT's components better than the Kona Sutra (although Sutra does have a Brooks saddle and disc brakes and fenders).

I'd pick the LHT. I bet the 64mm LHT will fit you better than the largest Kona Sutra.
^ Exactly^

I'm 6'3" 200 lbs and LOVE my 62cm Disc Trucker (after switching out the weird handle bars and installing hydraulic brakes). It is a pleasure to ride with, or without a load on it. I have 6 bikes, and still choose it very often for general use, and of course, loaded touring.

See if you can test ride a 64 and a 62. I know that is not easy. Us big guys have a very hard time finding ANY bikes in stock in shops to test/buy. I have a 36" inseam, and feel nice and roomy on the 62, although I need a lot of setback for the saddle. Selle Anatomica provides that for me with it's long rails.

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Old 03-16-17, 10:08 PM   #10
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The 58cm Sutra has a 64cm stack height. Id bet thats plenty good for you.
The Kona has an excellent drivetrain, brooks saddle, and looks like good wheel components. No idea on those disc brakes.


As an alternative...https://www.rei.com/product/109579/c...v-11-bike-2017
Its $1200 retail and in a week or so, a 20% off coupon will come out. So $960 after discount.
Good thing about REI is you can return the bike if you dont like it or doesn't fit.

Not really next door for you, but there is 1 in STL and a few in Chicago. Get that tent you want at the same time...
I knlw the frustration on bike availability- 6'5 and very little is in stock typically.
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Old 03-16-17, 10:23 PM   #11
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This: http://www.devinci.com/archive/2006/...EN/caribou.pdf .
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Old 03-16-17, 11:03 PM   #12
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As an alternative...https://www.rei.com/product/109579/c...v-11-bike-2017
Its $1200 retail and in a week or so, a 20% off coupon will come out. So $960 after discount.
Good thing about REI is you can return the bike if you dont like it or doesn't fit.
That's what I have (I think it is, it looks exactly the same as my Randonee, except for the paint). I do recommend it. Can't beat the value.

I was almost sure I needed the XX-large but they told me the only way to test ride one was to order (buy) it, then return it if I didn't like it. But I kept it. REI has decent mechanics working there.
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Old 03-17-17, 08:31 AM   #13
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I will look into the REI bike. I am a member so 10% back as well, brings it down to @$875. I just want to make sure whatever I have is not a project always needing repaired.
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Old 03-17-17, 08:55 AM   #14
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You're a big guy planning to add lots of cargo, no matter which bike your choose, I'd consider a custom 29'er MTB wheelset and sell off the stock wheels (or use them with some light tyres as a unloaded wheelset). SunRingle Helix27TR rims with 2.0mm DT spokes will handle what you're dishing out. Shimano 756 hubs are my choice for durable and reasonable cost.

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I will look into the REI bike. I am a member so 10% back as well, brings it down to @$875. I just want to make sure whatever I have is not a project always needing repaired.
I don't think you get 10% back on sale/coupon items.

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Old 03-17-17, 09:06 AM   #15
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I will look into the REI bike. I am a member so 10% back as well, brings it down to @$875.

If you can wait for their spring sale you will save even more with the coupon. You won't get the 10% dividend, but the coupon is something like 20% or 30% off one full priced item. Saved a bunch on my B.O.B. trailer that way.
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Old 03-17-17, 09:25 AM   #16
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I will look into the REI bike. I am a member so 10% back as well, brings it down to @$875. I just want to make sure whatever I have is not a project always needing repaired.
The Randonee or 1.1 as it's now called is a solid bike. I initially purchased when I wasn't as fit as I am now due to spoke breakage on a lesser bike, and it's been solid. I'm now on the lean side and only ride it when I go on longer rides with the family as I find it a bit sluggish, but when I do take it for multi day rides I carry all of my wife's gear, she's a serious over packer, all of my gear, our communal gear, (i.e. tents, cooking utensils, and stove) and anything else of my kids that I can squeeze into one of four bulging panniers or rack deck and knock on wood have never had an issue.

My issue with the Randonee is that as I got in better shape I found it to be too sluggish for anything but loaded rides and it quickly lost all appeal to me.

I bought my Randonee with the member coupon and found the dividend doesn't stack with the coupon, but the price is still outstanding compared to a LHT or other brand.

My primary, faster, tourer/commuter is a Vaya and it handles the same loads as the Randonee but doesn't feel as nice when heavily loaded but is great for light travels and it's what I ride when I go alone.

The Marrakesh looks like an awesome heavy tourer if that's what your really want but the downside is the alternator dropouts restrict rack options to pretty much one and if it's like other heavy touring bikes, rides like a truck...

If I were on the heavy side but carrying lighter loads I'd honestly go for something more sporty, Vaya, RLT 9 Steel, AWOL, Sequoia, Rove, etc... Read something sportier that accepts wider tires and would be more fun to ride unloaded yet do okay with moderate to light loads, would sell off the stock wheels and put beefier wheels on it and never look back.
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Old 03-17-17, 09:43 AM   #17
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At a similar weight and happily rode a LHT for years. Eventually traded it for a Troll so I could tackle more diverse terrain, but for loaded, pavement riding, the LHT was great.
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Old 03-17-17, 10:10 AM   #18
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If I were on the heavy side but carrying lighter loads I'd honestly go for something more sporty, Vaya, RLT 9 Steel, AWOL, Sequoia, Rove, etc... Read something sportier that accepts wider tires and would be more fun to ride unloaded yet do okay with moderate to light loads, would sell off the stock wheels and put beefier wheels on it and never look back.
The AWOL is certainly versatile, but it doesn't ride as nicely as the Vaya or RLT.
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Old 03-17-17, 10:47 AM   #19
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The AWOL is certainly versatile, but it doesn't ride as nicely as the Vaya or RLT.
Yeah and no, I had an AWOL, actually still in my garage as my daughter claimed it, and am torn between it and the Vaya. The Vaya feels a sportier but given the same wheels and tires I'm about 2mph faster over long distances on the AWOL so I'm at a loss as to what the difference is. I run Voyager Hypers on all of my bikes as I got them dirt cheap and bought way too many of them... As an aside I have a serious lust for the 2017 RLT 9 Steel and even a bit of one for the RLT 9 RDO and if I were to looking to buy a new bike now they would be at the very top of my list.
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Old 03-17-17, 01:02 PM   #20
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You're a big guy planning to add lots of cargo, no matter which bike your choose, I'd consider a custom 29'er MTB wheelset and sell off the stock wheels (or use them with some light tyres as a unloaded wheelset). SunRingle Helix27TR rims with 2.0mm DT spokes will handle what you're dishing out. Shimano 756 hubs are my choice for durable and reasonable cost.
^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^

Big guys need 29ers. Period. Get yourself a Surly Ogre or a Salsa Fargo. Done.
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Old 03-17-17, 01:15 PM   #21
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^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^

Big guys need 29ers. Period. Get yourself a Surly Ogre or a Salsa Fargo. Done.
I run 32 hole 24mm inside width 29'ers on the AWOL and Vaya (Easton ARC 24's with 40mm tires) without issue, I'm more limited on tire width than I would be on a Fargo but 29'er wheels with less than mountain bike tires ride really well.

The Advocate Cycles Seldom Seen would be a nice bike in that category as well...



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Old 03-17-17, 01:41 PM   #22
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^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^

Big guys need 29ers. Period. Get yourself a Surly Ogre or a Salsa Fargo. Done.
A "29er" is just a 700c (622mm ISO) wheel. There is nothing "special" about them. Some people are work under the delusion that "tubeless ready" imparts magical qualities to a rim that makes them orders of magnitude stronger than "regular" wheels.

They aren't. Rims don't matter any way. Many spokes make for a strong wheel. Many stronger spokes make a stronger wheel.
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Old 03-17-17, 02:16 PM   #23
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^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^

Big guys need 29ers. Period. Get yourself a Surly Ogre or a Salsa Fargo. Done.
I doubt those are any more rugged and the LHT, Marrakesh, or the REI touring bike. The wheels actually look a little less rugged, with 32 spokes. They can, however, take fatter tires, but if he's not going off-road...
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Old 03-17-17, 02:27 PM   #24
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I doubt those are any more rugged and the LHT, Marrakesh, or the REI touring bike. The wheels actually look a little less rugged, with 32 spokes. They can, however, take fatter tires, but if he's not going off-road...
Not all fat tires are knobbies, though. The 29 x 2.35 Schwalbe Super Moto is smooth on pavement and does an excellent job of absorbing road buzz, etc.
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Old 03-17-17, 02:27 PM   #25
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^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^

Big guys need 29ers. Period. Get yourself a Surly Ogre or a Salsa Fargo. Done.
Yup, new tubeless ready rims are a better design than the old hook bead clincher rims such as Mavic. A good example is the Mavic 319 vs a SunRingle Helix27. The SR rim is 80 gms lighter but even with 32 spokes it's a stronger wheel than a Mavic 319 with 36 spokes. TR rims take the extra material in the bead and move it to the spoke track, that's why TR rims are stronger and lighter without any cost adder. Some are determined to ignore new wheel developments of the last 20 years, that's their loss....
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