I've been researching touring bikes lately and had all but decided on a 520...until I started eyeing my backup mtb (training bike). It has a full x.9 drivetrain, 221/xt wheelset, v-brakes, sram 11-34 cassette...in other words, I'm thinking about cannibalizing it to make a LHT build. What would my options be for shifters with the sram derailers? Are they compatable with shimano...say dura ace barcons?? I guess the wheels will be fine...the crankset will be a race face evolve xc mtb crankset. Does anything not "jive" so far? It may be cheaper to build the LHT with parts I already have...That's a good thing. Also...at 5'7" with a 29" inseam, I'm thinking the 46cm is the closest fit. Can anyone my size confirm this? The 53cm TT on the 50cm frame seems a bit long for touring geometry at my size
That's a good idea. 54cm and smaller use 26" wheels which is what you have. I don't think x.9 is Shimano compatible but a new derailleur is cheap. Otherwise it jives and it would be cheaper and hipper than the Trek. You have a long inseam for someone your height. I'd say the 50cm size. There's only a 1" difference in effective top tube length between a 50cm and a 46cm. If the 46cm is too small you might have to run a silly length stem.
I have done some touring on the mtb with slicks and it has worked fine...no real problems. I just like steel bikes and will spend several weeks on the road this spring and summer alone. I could do it on any bike but life is short and I want a touring bike (I also think the LHT is plain cool). I'm thinking about swapping the derailers (xt front and rear would go on the LHT and x.9s would go to the race bike. Then I could use the barcons.
About the sizing....I ride a 53cm bianchi road bike but if it was 1mm longer (TT), it would be too big. I use a thomson zero setback and a 90mm stem on that bike. I'd hate to start messing with zero setback seatposts and 80mm stems just to stretch onto a bigger frame.