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Old 06-04-12, 06:29 PM   #1
eragon
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Surly LHT vs Trek 520

If one was to choose between the Surly LHT or Trek 520 for a long 2 to 3 month tour what would be the better out of the two bikes?

thank you

Eragon

Last edited by eragon; 06-04-12 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 06-04-12, 07:28 PM   #2
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Where is the tour going to be?

Mainly paved roads or lots of dirt/gravel?

How heavy of a load?

Does your bike shop carry either in stock?
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Old 06-04-12, 07:31 PM   #3
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The one which fits the best and needs the least amount of changes to make just right for its intended route and rider, ie gearing, seat, stem, etc. Color might even play into it for some people. Both are nice bikes.
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Old 06-04-12, 07:32 PM   #4
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Discussed many times...

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...iw=480&bih=268
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Old 06-05-12, 01:04 AM   #5
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26" wheel if you go far off the beaten track.. stronger wheel . more available spare tires .
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Old 06-05-12, 05:47 AM   #6
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26" wheel if you go far off the beaten track.. stronger wheel . more available spare tires .
It gets a bit hard to take this option if you need a 56 cm + frame and want the Surly Long Haul Trucker.

For what it is worth I am going "off-road" on my Surly Long Haul Trucker which is a 58 cm. Mind you I have fitted Schwalbe Marathon Mondial (28 x 1.75) but they still are not 26" off-road tyres by any means.


Getting back to the OP, when I purchased my Surly in 2009 I considered the Trek 520 but IIRC price and specification at the time swung me towards the Surly over the Trek.

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Old 06-05-12, 06:06 AM   #7
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It gets a bit hard to take this option if you need a 56 cm + frame and want the Surly Long Haul Trucker.
These days Surly sell all sizes of the LHT in a 26" version. I even built a 62cm 26" one.
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Old 06-05-12, 06:11 AM   #8
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These days Surly sell all sizes of the LHT in a 26" version. I even built a 62cm 26" one.
Good point I had forgotten that but the 64 cm one is still 700 c

Andrew
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Old 06-05-12, 06:40 AM   #9
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LHT has a disc brake option, which would sell it for me if I were in your position.
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Old 06-05-12, 07:59 AM   #10
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It gets a bit hard to take this option if you need a 56 cm + frame and want the Surly Long Haul Trucker.


Andrew
I built up a 56cm 26" wheel LHT after owning a 56cm 700c version. 26" LHT handles similarly to Cross-Check but with much better rear load carrying capabilities.
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Old 06-05-12, 08:07 AM   #11
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LHT has a disc brake option, which would sell it for me if I were in your position.
Overrated. I was looking at both (just the type of riding I do) and ended up with a Giant Seek with discs. They're much more finicky but you certainly get increased performance. Typically I'd go with what small shops know how to work on and would have replacement parts for.
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Old 06-06-12, 05:33 AM   #12
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I built up a 56cm 26" wheel LHT after owning a 56cm 700c version. 26" LHT handles similarly to Cross-Check but with much better rear load carrying capabilities.
I am curious as to your claim that a 26" wheel has "much better rear load carrying capabilities." Can you explain why a 36h 26" rim can support "much betterload carrying capabilities" than a 700c 36h rim?

Regards
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Old 06-06-12, 06:51 AM   #13
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I would choose the frame with the geometry that suits you better. For my purposes, Surly frames all have top tubes that are too long and head tubes that are too short. The only way I could fit a LHT would be to buy a frame that is smaller than ideal and add a huge stack of spacers to the headtube, which I don't like. The Trek 520 is not quite so extreme.

Have you checked out the Soma Saga? It is close in price to the LHT for the frame and fork, with more reasonable geometry specs. If I were buying a new touring frame right now, that would be my first choice. However, if you prefer a more stretched out geometry and lower handlebars, the LHT might be ideal for you.

Aesthetics are another issue, but that is personal choice. I love the root beer color of the Trek 520, and the new green Soma Saga is really sharp. However, you might prefer the LHT color choices, which seem to change from year to year.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:38 AM   #14
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I am curious as to your claim that a 26" wheel has "much better rear load carrying capabilities." Can you explain why a 36h 26" rim can support "much betterload carrying capabilities" than a 700c 36h rim?

Regards
Andrew
Sorry for my lack of clarity. The 26" wheel LHT has much better load carrying capabilities than the 700c Cross-Check. The 26" wheeled LHT handles more like a 700c Cross-Check than a 700c LHT but has the same heavy load carrying capability as the 700c LHT. I had a 700c LHT for a year before transfering it's parts over to a 26" wheel LHT frame.
I didn't particularly like the handling of the 700cLHT and the front toe overlap on the fender. It cruised like a bus just great and carried a rear bias load great but low speed handling felt awkward and it wasn't that easy to ride hands off. The 26"wheel LHT is more maneuverable with heavy loads for tight quarter handling than the 700LHT.

Last edited by LeeG; 06-06-12 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 06-06-12, 09:19 AM   #15
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26" wheel if you go far off the beaten track.. stronger wheel . more available spare tires .
When I've gone a little further from the beaten track (e.g. across Russia or around Australia) most of the spare tire if I found them - weren't ones I would necessarily tour with, so ended up with my own extra foldable tires anyways. Probably some better availability on rims in some places in the world (e.g. South America) but this factor is probably over-rated, particularly if one stays within the developed world.

The bike I rode across Russia was a Trek 520. The one around Australia a Cannondale T1000. Both had 700c wheels. The Surly LHT is also a good touring bike.

Last edited by mev; 06-06-12 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
Sorry for my lack of clarity. The 26" wheel LHT has much better load carrying capabilities than the 700c Cross-Check. The 26" wheeled LHT handles more like a 700c Cross-Check than a 700c LHT but has the same heavy load carrying capability as the 700c LHT. I had a 700c LHT for a year before transfering it's parts over to a 26" wheel LHT frame.
I didn't particularly like the handling of the 700cLHT and the front toe overlap on the fender. It cruised like a bus just great and carried a rear bias load great but low speed handling felt awkward and it wasn't that easy to ride hands off. The 26"wheel LHT is more maneuverable with heavy loads for tight quarter handling than the 700LHT.
Thanks for the clarification.

Andrew
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Old 06-08-12, 09:15 AM   #17
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it took 3 weeks to decide between the disk trucker and 520. i tested ride 4 times each. end up got the 520.
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Old 11-30-12, 04:56 PM   #18
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it took 3 weeks to decide between the disk trucker and 520. i tested ride 4 times each. end up got the 520.
Good choice. I just rode my 520 across the states and it rode great. Had some spoke problems but i should've got a new rear wheel. front wheel gave me no problems at all. not even a flat and I carry front panniers and handlebar bag. I plan on upgrading my 520 with a nice bulletproof wheel set, and XT hubs. Oh and a Brooks! I rode all the way across on the stock saddle with no problems though.
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Old 11-30-12, 05:07 PM   #19
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thought they expanded the LHT 26" line to all sizes.. Stil can co thru Co Motion
their singles are not Imported, so you can get stuff added before it's painted.
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