Old 01-04-15, 07:34 PM
  #10  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,644

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

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How many trips do plan to take? I wouldn't change just for one trip.

The Trek 4500 uses the same frame as Trek 4300. In 2013, I rode a Trek 4500 on Tour D'Afrique, a supported ride from Cairo to Capetown. Here is photo of the bike as I outfitted it for the ride: http://www.bike2013.com/wp-content/g...5_edited-1.jpg Similar to your bike, except I added a rear rack, switched saddles and added bar-end grips.

After returning from Africa, I rode the Trek 4500 from Portland, OR to Fort Collins, CO. Here is photo of same bike outfitted for that ride including an Extrawheel Trailer: http://www.bike2013.com/wp-content/g...e/dsc_0459.jpg The amount I might save with lighter frame is overshadowed by amount I might save by taking less gear. I do notice that the Trek 4500 rides a little slower than my Trek 520 (both with gear) but not enough to make a huge difference. (I also notice now ~18 months after the Portland ride that riding my Trek 4500 I was likely faster in 2013 - than I was riding my Trek 520 this past week in 2014 - so my conditioning matters more than the bike).

So my two cents are (1) add a rack and touring on Trek 4300 should be fine and (2) if you really do want more of a touring bike, then get one for that reason more than because you think 4300 isn't up to the task.
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