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Old 05-24-07, 05:58 PM   #1
jnoble123
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Surly LHT for Trek 520 frame replacement?

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?

~Jamie N
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Old 05-24-07, 06:34 PM   #2
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Can the Crosscheck be adapted for the tour? It already fits you and is built up, so no stressful delays and surprises.
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Old 05-24-07, 07:04 PM   #3
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I thought about building up the Cross check too. My biggest concern is around the frames ability to hold a
full load without shimmying etc.

I currently have it setup as my fixed gear bike and to be honest I don't really want to mess with something that works so well for me.

I have toured on the bike in the past but with a trailer. I'm trying to avoid the trailer option this time around.

~Jamie N
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Old 05-25-07, 07:40 PM   #4
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I would take it to a good machine shop to see if they could build up the worn area with weld or a metallizing technique and then they could turn it back down to the original size. Allthough this may not be cost effective, I have a friend who owns a machine shop.

If it was my bike and the frame was getting tossed in the near future I would center punch around the circumference every 1/4 inch or so the area where the bearing race sits. (the inside) That should expand the metal enough to hold the race in place, a little Locktite would hurt either. This should last until your new frame is delivered.
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Old 05-25-07, 07:44 PM   #5
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LHT's are a great frame for the $$. Easily available, comfy, and dedicated to purpose.
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Old 05-25-07, 08:54 PM   #6
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My bf had a 2003 Trek 520 that he decided he didn't like the fit of, so he moved all the parts off it onto a Surly Crosscheck. He plans to tour on the CC, but he wants to use a Bob trailer. He likes the ride of the CC much better.

I had an '02 520 and switched out to an LHT. The LHT feels more stable to me. In my case, I went from 700c wheels to 26" wheels.
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Old 05-26-07, 11:22 AM   #7
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I have decided to switch the parts from the broken Trek 520 to the Surly LHT. I do have to switch wheel sizes which doesn't really bother me for the following reasons:

- My old 700c rims were being replaced with new ones anyway so I changed the order to match the new size
- I intend to mount a SON dynohub on the front rim so I was facing a wheel rebuild even if I decided to stay with 700C rims and not replace them
- Front fender clearance was always tight on the Trek. I should have better clearance with the Surly
- My rear rack is still equally workable with either size wheel
- I've always wanted to do some more rugged offroad touring so moving to 26 inch tires should give me many more tire options to choose from

The reports I've read from people using the Surly plus my own experience with my cross check made it an easier decision. Now I just need to wait patiently while the frame arrives and then the parts transferred. With luck in 10 days I'll be taking the Surly through it's paces.

For now I've moved my training time back to the Surly Crosscheck in fixed gear mode. I've found that spending some real time on this bike plus adding walks, weights and stair climbing really sets me up well for an upcoming tour. It also means that the next time I ride the Trek will likely be the last time for me (and that is a bit sad).

~Jamie N
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