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Old 05-14-12, 08:01 PM   #1
Bezalel
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Bicycle choice for trekking conversion

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.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:36 PM   #2
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Different stroke for different folks?

I have two touring rigs that I use depending on the load and the time of year. I also tour on some other bikes, but these are my main two. The Iguana is used for the heavier loads and if I am riding a lot of gravel or fire trails, the Excursion if I am mainly on the road and want to move a bit faster.

Aaron

1989 Giant Iguana MTB conversion



1989 Giant Excursion converted to drops and brifters

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Old 05-15-12, 08:05 AM   #3
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Bezalel, I read that the Alpha 6000 series aluminum is 6013 T6. Either bike is a good choice, pick which you think will cover your goals better.

Brad
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Old 05-15-12, 08:26 AM   #4
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If by trekking you mean bad roads or dirt roads I'd definitely pick 26" rims and appropriate tires. If by trekking you mean cruising at 15mph+ with your load and charging up hills I'd be on a 700 wheelset with the lightest tires I could get away with.
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Old 05-15-12, 09:34 AM   #5
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I toured on a freewheel hub, bought 1 of Phil Wood's.. their axles don't bend.
Ff, above nails the wheel choice.. going abroad, remote roads,
26" tires are more common to find spares, than wider 700c.

trekking bars on 2 bikes of mine.. MTB controls .. on the center rear,
but I usually have my hands elsewhere, forward, on the bars many bends..
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Old 05-16-12, 07:04 PM   #6
Bezalel
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I've decided to use the Trek. Here is the before pic:

For those of you that have done this conversion with the Nashbar handlebar, how much will I need to adjust my stem in order to get the grips in the same position? I already have the handlebar on backorder and am ready to start looking at stems.
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Old 05-16-12, 07:25 PM   #7
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Bezalel, Mount the handle bars and evaluate before ordering a new stem.

Brad
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Old 05-16-12, 08:05 PM   #8
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I used an adjustable stem to get the bars up to a level that I was comfortable with. I may lower them a bit as things progress.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 05-16-12, 08:27 PM   #9
Bezalel
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I'll just start with whatever 25.4mm stems I have in my parts bucket and hopefully I'll be able to figure out what size I need.
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