My Trek 520 frame has an ovalized head tube (the part where the front fork goes through the frame). It's at the point where the bearing cartridge comes out of the frame freely and without tools (when the bike is disassembled).
I leave on my tour from my home in London, Ontario ==> Lake Superior ==> Around the lake --> London in about five weeks. Estimated distance is 3,800 km over 32 riding days through some hilly terrain. Fully loaded/unsupported touring. 120 km/70 miles per day average. 6 rest days.
My bike shop recommends replacement of the bike frame and transfer of my existing components to the new frame.
I've considered another Trek 520 frame. I am also considering replacement of the frame with a Surly LHT frame. I have a Surly cross check and to be honest have always liked my fit on the bike compared to the Trek which seems awkward to ride for awhile. One thing about the Trek 520 that I love is that solid, powerful and smooth feeling it has when fully loaded with touring gear. It feels like a completely different bike compared to when it's unloaded.
The Trek 520 frame is a bit more expensive and likely will take longer to ship. Shipping time is important since whichever frame I go with I intend to ride as much as possible prior to the tour both to fix minor fit issues and to stretch the new cables etc. The Surly can be here in five business days and it's already in stock at the distributor.
Any thoughts? Specific experience with the Surly? Comparative experience with both the Trek 520 and the Surly Long Haul Trucker?