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Help me configure my touring bike (Trek 520 Grando)

Old 08-15-22, 08:01 AM
  #26  
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Riding in rain, especially if on any dirt roads, really does put gritty stuff all over your nice new clean drivetrain (and you) so without fenders, it just means a lot of work. Dry riding is nice, but keeping your drivetrain in good shape is certainly easier with them.
And if your a messy chain person, over lubing, never wiping off excess, riding in wet gritty conditions really does plaster your chain with a really effective metal wearing paste.

To be aware that some front toe overlap will happen with fenders, in case you've never had this.
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Old 08-15-22, 08:45 AM
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AH - BINGO! Excellent use of the front platform could sometimes be the Thermarest! I forgot about that conundrum sometimes especially if You use foam mattress or if You inflatable mattress has a decent thickness it is a good idea to have it out of the panniers and if it will fit on your front rack that would be a great idea.



Originally Posted by pdlamb
My front rack doesn't have a platform, so I make do with an Ortlieb bar bag with map holder. The Ortlieb bag detaches easily, but you could make a grab and go bag pretty easily out of cloth or plastic zip-lock to hold your camera, wallet, and cell phone.

How are you planning to navigate? Paper maps work fine with my setup, or with a gallon zip-lock bag binder clipped to shifter or brake cables. You can load a good GPS with your route and leave it on your bar, but you'll have to figure out how you'll charge it.

I found it easy to strap my Thermarest sleeping pad and tent to the flat part of my rear rack. I haven't toured loaded with my new fancy blow-up pad, but it's small enough to fit in a pannier. I prefer the security of having my sleeping bag inside a pannier to keep it dry.
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Old 08-15-22, 09:48 AM
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Everything goes inside the panniers. I don't strap anything directly to the racks. It is simply too inconvenient. Depending on the tour I take either two or four panniers.

I also use an extra bag to supplement the panniers and hold small personal items. This is a handlebar bag, saddle bag, or half frame triangle bag; depending on my requirements for that tour. The last few years I started touring with aerobars again so the handlebar bag gets used less now.
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Old 08-15-22, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by djb

…To be aware that some front toe overlap will happen with fenders, in case you've never had this.
Unless you swap the stock pedals on the Grando (possibly the regular newer 520’s as well) to clipless there is always going to be toe overlap. The pedal overlaps the front wheel by 200-500 mm depending on size of frame. My 2022 Grando is a size 57 frame with Stock ProWheel 175mm crank and stock Welgo Flat pedals with toe clips, front wheel set is stock 700c 40mm. When the non drive pedal is in the 9 O-Clock position (vied from the non drive side) there is 30mm of overlap without fenders. Yes adding fenders will make even more overlap resulting in an even greater amount of toe overlap.

Last edited by M Rose; 08-15-22 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 08-15-22, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by M Rose
Unless you swap the stock pedals on the Grando (possibly the regular newer 520’s as well) to clipless there is always going to be toe overlap. The pedal overlaps the front wheel by 200-500 mm depending on size of frame. My 2022 Grando is a size 57 frame with Stock ProWheel 175mm crank and stock Welgo Flat pedals with toe clips, front wheel set is stock 700c 40mm. When the non drive pedal is in the 9 O-Clock position (vied from the non drive side) there is 300mm of overlap without fenders. Yes adding fenders will make even more overlap resulting in an even greater amount of toe overlap.
How big are your shoes? Somehow I doubt a bare pedal on any stock bike is going to have a foot of overlap with the stock tires; I'd be surprised if the tire even touched the pedal.
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Old 08-15-22, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
How big are your shoes? Somehow I doubt a bare pedal on any stock bike is going to have a foot of overlap with the stock tires; I'd be surprised if the tire even touched the pedal.
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Old 08-15-22, 04:05 PM
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rose, take a side photo to show it, this really doesnt show much to us

and 30cm of overlap would mean the pedal would be 30cm past the wheel, yes you have toe clips, but even from this photo angle, the pedal is not 30cms past the tire towards the hub--11 inches is 30 cms, nearly a foot as mentioned
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Old 08-15-22, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
rose, take a side photo to show it, this really doesnt show much to us

and 30cm of overlap would mean the pedal would be 30cm past the wheel, yes you have toe clips, but even from this photo angle, the pedal is not 30cms past the tire towards the hub--11 inches is 30 cms, nearly a foot as mentioned
30mm not 300mm… I can’t hold my bike and take a better picture at the same time… the tire fits perfectly in the “V” of the toe clip. The picture shows the toe clip (which is stock on all 520’s BTW) touching the edge of the tire when the bike is leaned onto the kick stand.
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Old 08-15-22, 05:38 PM
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I believe you about overlap, but to show amount, lean bike on wall, position pedal, go to side, kneel down, press shutter buttonBut I realize your rat trap will flop down.

Geez, I realize I haven't ridden a bike with those for a good 30 years
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Old 08-15-22, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
I believe you about overlap, but to show amount, lean bike on wall, position pedal, go to side, kneel down, press shutter buttonBut I realize your rat trap will flop down.

Geez, I realize I haven't ridden a bike with those for a good 30 years
I’ll have to go find a wall… I live in an RV park, so nowhere to really lean the bike over very well… btw… it’s the trap that strikes the tire… like I said the tire fills the whole V of the trap rather nicely. The pedal it self has about 4cm of clearance from the tire if I take off the rat traps… but taking off the rat traps would not change the foot position so toe overlap would still be the same.
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Old 08-16-22, 01:57 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by M Rose
I it’s the trap that strikes the tire… like I said the tire fills the whole V of the trap rather nicely. The pedal it self has about 4cm of clearance from the tire if I take off the rat traps… but taking off the rat traps would not change the foot position so toe overlap would still be the same.
That seems pretty much about the toe overlap that we've all experienced.
Add in fenders and the added bits potentially of the struts sticking out more, especially with fatter tires, and it can be an issue.

At least without traps we can adjust our foot position, I do this on my commuter with fenders to help with shoes hitting fender stays.
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Old 08-16-22, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
That seems pretty much about the toe overlap that we've all experienced.
Add in fenders and the added bits potentially of the struts sticking out more, especially with fatter tires, and it can be an issue.

At least without traps we can adjust our foot position, I do this on my commuter with fenders to help with shoes hitting fender stays.
I agree. I was just stating that there already is overlap and that adding a fender is just going to make it worse than it already is…

… funny thing I did today…. I took the toe clips off of my 520 and mounted them to my 2022 Verve 2 Disk.. and measured the clearance between toe clip and tire… I actually have 3 cm of clearance between the two…

Ok enough hi-jacking the OP…
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Old 08-16-22, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by M Rose
.… like I said the tire fills the whole V of the trap rather nicely. ....
I am surprised that a bike is designed, built, and sold with toe overlap in a normal frame size without fenders. Every one of my 700c bikes has toe overlap with fenders but did not without. My 26 inch bikes have no toe overlap, even with fenders.

On the 700c bikes, you get used to it and figure out pretty quick which types of sharp turns can cause you to catch a shoe or toe clip on a fender.

But one thing I did not like about toe overlap was starting out with a loaded touring bike, you accelerate slower, over-steer a bit more when starting out, steering was a bit heavier with front panniers, and that was when toe overlap was more likely to occur when you going slow and had less control.
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Old 08-16-22, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I am surprised that a bike is designed, built, and sold with toe overlap in a normal frame size without fenders. Every one of my 700c bikes has toe overlap with fenders but did not without. My 26 inch bikes have no toe overlap, even with fenders.

On the 700c bikes, you get used to it and figure out pretty quick which types of sharp turns can cause you to catch a shoe or toe clip on a fender.

But one thing I did not like about toe overlap was starting out with a loaded touring bike, you accelerate slower, over-steer a bit more when starting out, steering was a bit heavier with front panniers, and that was when toe overlap was more likely to occur when you going slow and had less control.
Designing a wide tire 700c frame with even some resemblance of sharp steering without twitchyness while not being too rear biased in weight distribution that has no toe overlap is quite difficult even in larger sizes.

You have to push the front wheel forward somehow, but every way you do that compromizes some other aspect.

If you Lengthen the frame you force a shorter stem and push weight distribution towards the rear of the bike. That I can tell from experience is not at all great for carrying luggage in the rear. If you wish the keep weight distribution the same you need to increase chainstay length and you end up with a very long frame.

Slacking the headtube angle is another option, but a slack headtube angle isn't all that great for front loads especially with a long fork and high trail. I have no idea how a low trail fork and slack headtube angle would work but low trail isn't the best for rear loads. Going just low trail could work, but I understand low trail might not be ideal for riding fully loaded. It's more of a front load geometry.

what I'd like to see more is 650b touring frames and more importantly 650b touring tires. As it is it's a bit of a niche so not a lot of good tires out there either in absolute numbers or in terms of options. Going 26" is one option but for larger frame sizes that'd mean amazingly long headtubes. If the fork in use then doesn't have a super beefy steerer tube it means the front end is going to be flexy and that's not fun with high loads.

It is a challenge to be sure.
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Old 08-16-22, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
...
what I'd like to see more is 650b touring frames and more importantly 650b touring tires. As it is it's a bit of a niche so not a lot of good tires out there either in absolute numbers or in terms of options. Going 26" is one option but for larger frame sizes that'd mean amazingly long headtubes. If the fork in use then doesn't have a super beefy steerer tube it means the front end is going to be flexy and that's not fun with high loads.

It is a challenge to be sure.
Two of my three touring bikes have 26 inch tires. Quite happy with those bikes. No toe overlap with fenders. I started to attach photos to elaborate on my thoughts but did not want to hijack a thread that is dedicated to a different model bike, thus did not. One has a very long head tube, the other does not but that one has a frame designed for either the rigid fork that came with it or a 100mm suspension fork, so lower headset bearing is quite high above the tire on that one. Both have long chainstays at 450 and 466mm, but they are touring bikes so they should be long.
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Old 08-16-22, 05:26 AM
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I just added a new rack to my Comotion Divide yesterday. It takes front bags but also has loops for panniers
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Old 08-16-22, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew
I'm an experienced cyclist and and have done numerous supported tours where our tent and stuff was carried. My wife and I are heading out for our first fully self-supported tour soon.
My retirement present to myself is this Trek 520 Grando. (None of my other bikes could take a front rack.)
I think have my panniers set up OK.
My questions:
  1. What do folks carry on the flat part of a front rack? This bike came with a gigantic front rack. I have a bag (see photo) I could use for my jacket and wallet and such. Good idea? Or should that space be used for something else?
  2. How about the flat top part of the rear rack? My tent maybe?
  3. Do folks typically carry their sleeping bags outside their panniers? Is rain a concern? Do you plastic bag it?
I've been riding pretty much all my life, bike commuting, double centuries, and supported tours. But this is a new beast. Thanks for your help.



how do you like that RockBros bag?
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Old 08-16-22, 12:35 PM
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pretty good. It looks like it would fit many thing and even accept some extras on top in those bungees.
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Old 08-16-22, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Two of my three touring bikes have 26 inch tires. Quite happy with those bikes. No toe overlap with fenders. I started to attach photos to elaborate on my thoughts but did not want to hijack a thread that is dedicated to a different model bike, thus did not. One has a very long head tube, the other does not but that one has a frame designed for either the rigid fork that came with it or a 100mm suspension fork, so lower headset bearing is quite high above the tire on that one. Both have long chainstays at 450 and 466mm, but they are touring bikes so they should be long.
I don't have any 26" bikes but I do have one 650b and even that has a fabulously long head tube. The steerer is so long in fact that it started clicking at the crown joint and had to be glued to silence it.

Considering my handlebar stack height is over 700mm, even with a 400mm fork (typical 700c) my headtubes should be 250mm - 270mm long. Tthey're not so I use high spacer stacks.
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Old 08-18-22, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by M Rose
how do you like that RockBros bag?
It was pretty inexpensive and the size I thought would work. However, the velcro straps are an odd length that requires I wrap them around the rack several times so the business ends meet properly. It's also a bit "floppy" which I guess won't matter when it's full. I still added a piece cardboard to the bottom. I replace it with plastic or foam core when I find some.
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Old 08-18-22, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew
It was pretty inexpensive and the size I thought would work. However, the velcro straps are an odd length that requires I wrap them around the rack several times so the business ends meet properly. It's also a bit "floppy" which I guess won't matter when it's full. I still added a piece cardboard to the bottom. I replace it with plastic or foam core when I find some.
I think they design those bags to fit a rear rack that also has a passenger pillion pad attached.

I had a similar clone, fit correct when used with a rack seat pad, or a simple square of styrofoam wrapped in plastic.
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Old 12-30-23, 08:49 PM
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I own this sort of bike i found it had speed wobbles at different speeds. I change to a thinner tyre and it helped a little. The overall weight i carried in 4 panniers and a duffle bag was 50kg. i tried different set ups in the panniers but nothing really changed
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Old 12-31-23, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by steve20
I own this sort of bike i found it had speed wobbles at different speeds. I change to a thinner tyre and it helped a little. The overall weight i carried in 4 panniers and a duffle bag was 50kg. i tried different set ups in the panniers but nothing really changed
A load of 50kg is an unusually heavy load for bike touring. I have carried that much when in remote areas where I had to carry weeks of food on the bike, but most people never carry that much.

When you say "this sort of bike", that implies you do not have the same brand and model. If that is the case, there is no direct comparison.
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Old 12-31-23, 10:01 AM
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Pedal extenders may reduce toe overlap. There are some cons in using extenders, but they provide a major benefit on my 700c Grando with fenders and traps.
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Old 01-13-24, 06:34 PM
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I don't have the time to read all the posts, sorry.

How you configure your bike will depend on how much stuff you want to carry and what kind of bike you have, every bike will handle the same load differently.

For road touring, the weight that people carry ranges from 45 to 110 pounds, the higher end of the spectrum is usually people doing expedition type of tours where they could be at least a week from any place to buy food. Here in the USA, from people I've talked to who tour, they seem to be carrying right around 75 pounds. Me personally, I carry about 60 pounds, and my gear is not expensive ultralight stuff, in fact ALL the gear I have cost me about $600, so that tells you I didn't spend much money thus my equipment is not ultralight stuff that would have easily quadrupled that cost. Because I do road touring, and because I'm the USA, there is always places to buy food usually within a couple of hours of riding, mini marts, grocery stores, fast food, etc., so the need to carry a lot of weight in food is not necessary. I carry about a 1/2 a day of emergency food just in case I can't get someplace, most people I've spoken to suggest a full day of extra food, but even a full day of extra food won't weight much.

The less weight you carry the configuration becomes a bit easier to do. With my 60 or so pounds, all I use is rear panners, no front panners, and I have the largest Topeak handlebar bag. The way my bike is made it prefers most of the weight on the rear, so my weight distribution should be about 66% rear and 33% front, there is a long story to this, but I don't have time to spew it out. All I really have on the front is the handlebar bag that with contents it weighs about 10 pounds, combined with two 52-ounce bottles of water on the fork which weighs about 14 1/2 pounds. Then on the top tube next to the headset there is a small bag that with contents weighs about a pound, so on the rear that leaves about 35 pounds on the rear which of course includes more water on the frame.

But you do have to experiment with load positioning to get it right for your particular bike. Always remember too that the heaviest items go on the bottom of your panniers and the lightest stuff goes on the top in the bags.
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