Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Seattle, WA (United States)
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I've only demo'd a Trek 520 and T2000, so here'e my 1-cent worth: For loaded touring bikes, I'd probably go with the 520. As you mentioned it's considerably less expensive than the Cannondale, and probably more reliable because it has bar end shifters. Also, for longer rides you'd probably want a chromo frame, but I don't think that's crucial. Since you already have a 520, why would you want another touring bike?
I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes cross bikes more than tourers. I have a Trek XO-1 cross bike, and for general riding I think it's more comfortable and efficient than the 520. When I demo'd the 520, it didn't feel very stable at higher speeds. The geometry of touring bikes is designed for stability at low to mid speeds, while cross bikes are designed to be more zippy. With weight on the fork, I'm sure the 520 (and other touring bikes) are fine, so it depends on what you're using it for. The T2000 is noticeably quicker than the 520, but still a little sluggish compared to cross bikes.