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  1. #1
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    Ahhh I cant decide! Help!

    So I bought a Surly LHT to start touring on and must say its been pretty enjoyable though I haven't done any overnight camping with it yet. I saw a '83 Trek 720 for sale and wanted to see what it was like in comparison and I must say, I'm in love. It almost immediately fit better than the Surly and it looks so much nicer too. They definitely don't make new bikes the same anymore.

    So here is the situation; I don't know whether to sell the Surly and buy the 720 or let the 720 fall into someone else's less loving hands. If I were to buy the 720 and ride both for awhile to decide, would the 720 have a good resell value? Another concern is some of the older parts on the Trek, I don't know whether to upgrade or let them be. The price of the 720 is a little high in my opinion which is probably the main factor stopping me from buying it. They want 565 firm. They lowered the price from 900 to 695 to 565. Ill probably try and haggle again Monday.

    heres the specs of the 720:
    FR/Rear Derailleur: Huret Sachs Duopar
    Hubs: Specialized
    Rims: Ambrosio
    Headset: Stronglite
    Bar/stem: Cinelli
    Brakes: Dia-Compe 960 (not quite sure what model)
    Cranks: Sugino AT Triple crank
    Shifters: Suntour bar-ends
    It also comes with a Jim Blackburn rear rack.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I agree, they dont make them like they used to. Those old Treks were beautiful. However, the Surly is a modern bicycle that will take modern replacement components and ultimately be a more reliable machine. Can you give us a complete list of the things you like about the Trek more than the Surly?

    I doubt that you will be your moneys worth if you sell the Surly. You are probably looking at a loss of at least $300-$400 depending on how much you have used it. For that amount of money I bet you could invest in the Surly to make it fit better like the Trek does. Are they the same size frames? Play with the Surly a bit more and see if you cant dial in exactly what about the Trek made it more comfortable. Also, you could make your Surly look nicer too, short of adding lugs that is. New paint job or find a local artist to go to town on it! If you search this forum there is a guy with a LHT who had it painted like one of the Jeeps from Jurassic Park. Looks pretty sweet to me but there are lots of options.

    In the end I would say that since you were happy with the Surly before you should not throw a bunch of money away to get a machine that is almost thirty years old. Some small investments will pay off big in the long run because that Surly will last you at least as long as the Trek has lasted already. Just try and figure out what it is about the Trek you liked so much and upgrade accordingly.

  3. #3
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    I wouldn't trade my Surly LHT for anything.

  4. #4
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    um, the trek, duh. The tour you'll enjoy the most is the tour on the bike you love the most. Buy it, if the Surly is brand spankin new, you could get over $600 for it

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    I agree, they dont make them like they used to. Those old Treks were beautiful. However, the Surly is a modern bicycle that will take modern replacement components and ultimately be a more reliable machine. Can you give us a complete list of the things you like about the Trek more than the Surly?

    I doubt that you will be your moneys worth if you sell the Surly. You are probably looking at a loss of at least $300-$400 depending on how much you have used it. For that amount of money I bet you could invest in the Surly to make it fit better like the Trek does. Are they the same size frames? Play with the Surly a bit more and see if you cant dial in exactly what about the Trek made it more comfortable. Also, you could make your Surly look nicer too, short of adding lugs that is. New paint job or find a local artist to go to town on it! If you search this forum there is a guy with a LHT who had it painted like one of the Jeeps from Jurassic Park. Looks pretty sweet to me but there are lots of options.

    In the end I would say that since you were happy with the Surly before you should not throw a bunch of money away to get a machine that is almost thirty years old. Some small investments will pay off big in the long run because that Surly will last you at least as long as the Trek has lasted already. Just try and figure out what it is about the Trek you liked so much and upgrade accordingly.
    You do have a good point with the money loss. I had more leg extension and the classy look of old frames just makes me really excited haha. No they are not hte same frame sizes, The trek is a 25.5 inch frame while my Surly is a 23.5 inch frame. The Surly just looks so ugly to me in comparison to the Trek. The Surly definitely out performed it in riding though. Do you know of any well regarded frame painters? I'd really like to customize my Surly now haha.

  6. #6
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    Think about this: This may be your only chance at a similar vintage 720. Even if you decide buying the Trek wasn't worth it, you could buy an identical LHT to your old one at any time. The buying and selling could get annoying, and you might lose some money, but if it's important to you to try the 720, realize that you can always fall back on the LHT.

    (I have a LHT and love it!)

  7. #7
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear cub View Post
    You do have a good point with the money loss. I had more leg extension and the classy look of old frames just makes me really excited haha. No they are not hte same frame sizes, The trek is a 25.5 inch frame while my Surly is a 23.5 inch frame. The Surly just looks so ugly to me in comparison to the Trek. The Surly definitely out performed it in riding though. Do you know of any well regarded frame painters? I'd really like to customize my Surly now haha.
    From experience it is easier to make a frame that is a little too small fit well. A frame thats too big is just awkward to ride no matter what the adjustment. Try adding a longer stem and pushing your seat back to get the Surly to fit better.

    I can see that you live in Oregon. There are hundreds of frame painters there because they have an excellent local bicycle industry. Shop around or use the search feature on this website to find a good one near you. I think that you could choose a quality new paint job for $200 bucks or so but thats just a shot in the dark. Hell I painted my car at MACCO for $199 and she looked pretty good after that!

    Another kinda fun thing to do, if your like me and just really like lugs, have some lugs painted on! Sounds kinda silly but a buddy of mine, an artists, handed painted some lug shapes on his bike based off of pictures he found online. You could barley tell they were fake unless you got REALLY close. I know sounds silly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear cub View Post
    You do have a good point with the money loss. I had more leg extension and the classy look of old frames just makes me really excited haha. No they are not hte same frame sizes, The trek is a 25.5 inch frame while my Surly is a 23.5 inch frame. The Surly just looks so ugly to me in comparison to the Trek. The Surly definitely out performed it in riding though. Do you know of any well regarded frame painters? I'd really like to customize my Surly now haha.
    BTY How tall are you and what is your inseam?

  9. #9
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    "It almost immediately fit better than the Surly and it looks so much nicer too."
    "The Surly definitely out performed it in riding though. "


    definately sell the LHT and buy the 26yr old bike with old components. That way you'll have a hard to sell vintage bike and someone else will get a well discounted LHT that is a much better touring bike. In the mean time you will have learned about the proper seat/bb/bar dimensions through buying/selling entire bicycles.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear cub View Post
    The Surly just looks so ugly to me in comparison to the Trek. The Surly definitely out performed it in riding though. Do you know of any well regarded frame painters? I'd really like to customize my Surly now haha.
    The LHT is supposed to be ugly! Worry about repainting it when it needs to be repainted. Just ride.

  11. #11
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    The LHT is supposed to be ugly! Worry about repainting it when it needs to be repainted. Just ride.
    The LHT is not ugly! I love my new LHT! It will get ugly as it is used, as any bike will.
    Car-Free IT Geek
    My blog: fatguy.org

    Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, 1980s Raleigh Record single-speed conversion, Bacchetta Agio

  12. #12
    Senior Member emarg0ed's Avatar
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    As an owner of an '83 Trek 520 my vote goes for the Trek. Wouldn't trade it for anything. It was the bike I wanted the most and once I found one it felt like the perfect ride for me. I did however spend a lot of time and money updating it w/ more modern components, but if the loss on money isn't as big a deal to you then go w/ the Trek and make it the perfect bike for you. It's worth it

  13. #13
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    Amen!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    buy the trek and keep both.

    see which , if either, you want to sell at this time next year.

    cyril

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear cub View Post
    ...It almost immediately fit better than the Surly and it looks so much nicer too. They definitely don't make new bikes the same anymore...
    Dear OP,
    I have a Surly LHT with many touring miles on it and wouldn't trade it for anything. But the above quote extracted from your original post concerns me. I would never spend the hours that touring requires on a bike that didn't fit me.

    I would advise adjusting your LHT so that it fits properly, or getting the Trek 720 (which is also a great touring bike) or doing whatever else it takes to get a bike that fits you well. But I would not let this "fit issue" go unaddressed.

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