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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 04-04-01, 01:22 PM   #1
rob
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I will be doing a North America 1800 mile tour this summer and an Austrailian tour in 2002. I would like some input on the types of bikes that are out there. I've looked at the Trek 520 and that seems to be the only true steel touring bike. Plus, I want to pull a B.O.B. Trailer, any coments on that are welcome as well.
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Old 04-04-01, 10:12 PM   #2
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Hey, Rob, still doing that Tour in June, huh? I don't know if I would pull a trailer. I saw in this forum someone said something about a BOB trailer. See my item on biking in S. New England.

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Old 04-05-01, 04:03 AM   #3
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Nice frame, shame about the gearing.
For steel check out Bruce Gorden BLT, Fuji, Jamis, REI, Bianchi.
Canondale Al tourer does the job, and the extra-stiff frame is a bonus for bigger riders.
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Old 03-26-02, 03:15 PM   #4
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Rod
Check out www.road**************** onthe TReK520. Spend another $60-70US for the crankset change to Deore44/32/22 (as tehy mention) and you are set.
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Old 04-10-02, 08:41 AM   #5
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I just got myself a Fuji "Road Touring" with a few modifications to make the gear ratios lower. You might also consider 'randonneur' handlebars instead of the standard type of bars, the shape of the handlebar gives you a more upright position when you are looking at the scenery.

I toured on a fuji S-12-S for so long back in the 1980s that when I went to buy a new bike i was clueless on many technical changes, and being somewhat old fashioned I don't like that many of them. I don't like shifters on the brake levers; i don't like indexed gearing; i think 27 speeds for a bike borders on the ridiculous; and I have never felt comfortable lashed into toe clips. Still I am gonna grow to love my new Human Powered Vehicle i am sure...and hope maybe to see ya on the road someday.


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Old 04-10-02, 08:54 AM   #6
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Any good steel or ali framed tourer should be up to the job. You might want to ask Toolfreak about pulling a trailer long distance.
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Old 04-10-02, 08:57 AM   #7
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Roughie brings up some of the reasons I hope to keep my current bikes running as long as possible. Within the 130mm dropout width required for 9 speeds, one could build a very reliable, less-dished 7-speed wheel. If a 3x7 setup (48-40-24/13-26) spanning a 4:1 range of 24 to 96 gear inches is adequate for my mountain bike, it should serve for road touring, as well.
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Old 04-10-02, 10:08 AM   #8
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Take a look at http://www.bgcycles.com/

This bicycle is much better than the Trek 520 and even tho it costs a little more it is actually a better deal.

The racks, fork, gearing, and frame are better and the handlebar is higher. Most importantly, Bruce Gordon actually GOES touring. The Trek bike is just a poor imitation thrown together by marketing people.
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Old 04-10-02, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by cycletourist
Take a look at http://www.bgcycles.com/

This bicycle is much better than the Trek 520 and even tho it costs a little more it is actually a better deal.

The racks, fork, gearing, and frame are better and the handlebar is higher. Most importantly, Bruce Gordon actually GOES touring. The Trek bike is just a poor imitation thrown together by marketing people.
I think that's a little extreme, although I certainly admire the Gordon BLT and would consider one myself.

"Costs a little more" -- it costs about 50% more, about $1500 vs about $1000.

I would ignore the racks, since they're extra cost on the Gordon and you can buy anybody's racks and mount them on either bike anyway.

On what basis are you assessing the Gordon's fork as superior?

Changing the crankset on the Trek to the same one used on the Gordon, if desired, is trivial for a bike shop.

The "handlebar is higher" is like saying "the saddle is lower." The method of setting bar height on a new bike is different on a threadless headset, since it requires planning ahead. But since nearly all 520's are sold as special orders and arrive at the dealer with steerer uncut, this is trivial. And afterwards you have what some would say is a superior headset system to the Gordon's traditional threaded headset with quill stem.

The "frame is better." Hmm. Trek steel touring frames have been in service in huge numbers for 15+ years. The 520 is a proven design. It comes with a lifetime warranty. If the Gordon frame is "better" the differences are more likely to be theoretical than provable.

The rest of the two bikes' specs are pretty much equivalent.

I'm not suggesting the BLT is not a better bike. I don't agree that it's "much better" (ie, 50% better) and I absolutely disagree that the Trek is a "poor imitation." Indeed, the 520 may itself be among the more widely imitated bikes on the market. There are a lot of Trek 520's in service.

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Old 04-10-02, 03:25 PM   #10
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Thank you for defending the Trek, though it does not need any help. Since this post started, about a year ago, I bought the Trek 520 and rode it cross country. I LOVE it! Totally LOVED it. I never saw a Bruce Gordon to buy. The only comparable bike I tested was a Cannondale and it did not have as good components and cost more, plus it was not as flexible at the Trek.
Go ahead, spend $500 more on a name, I'll use that money to finance another two months of travel.
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