I'm looking to convert one of my existing flat-bar bikes to a loaded trekking bike. The project will be mainly a handlebar/stem swap for trekking bars and the addition of fenders and racks (and possibly the upgrade from 7-speed to 9-speed. Both of them currently have freewheels, If I replace the wheels I'll also get new shifters).
I have 2 possible base bikes for this conversion a 2000 Giant Upland and a 2009 Trek FX7.1. I've made a list of differences between them but still can't decide which one to use for the conversion.
Material: The Giant claims to be 4130 steel (it must be thick because it feels heavy) and the trek is 6000 series aluminum (Trek doesn't publish the exact alloy used). I personally never felt the harshness of aluminum.
Wheels: The Giant has 26" wheels and the Trek has 700c wheels. I like 700c because my other bikes are all 700c.
Headset: The Giant has a traditional threaded headset (it least that is what it looks like from the outside) and the Trek has a threadless slimstak.
Fork: The Trek has mid-fork eyelets.
Braze-ons: The Trek has 1 set of bottle cage mounts and the Giant has 2 sets.
Right now I'm think of having a shop install another set (or 2) of rivnuts on the Trek but I wanted to hear other opinions before I modify the frame.