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convert my old mtn bike or buy a used 520

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convert my old mtn bike or buy a used 520

Old 02-15-14, 06:13 PM
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convert my old mtn bike or buy a used 520


I am currently wrestling with thoughts of buying another bike. I would like to get into touring (not sure if I want to do credit card or loaded) and I am looking at touring bikes.

I currently have a 99 Trek 930 set up as my commuter with a good Blackburn rack and full fenders. I could get a suspension corrected rigid fork and trekking bars to round it out. However, the chainstays are only about 17" (~432mm). The bike fits me well and going this route would be the cheapest way to get into touring.

However, the LBS has a used Trek 520 for $700 and it seems to fit me rather well. It does have some rust and scratches, including a significant scrape that is thoroughly rusted on the right fork blade. I took out the seat post and looked down the seat tube. There was some rather nasty looking patches of rust there, but the rest of the tube looked in good shape. This bike will need fenders and racks, but it has proven geometry for touring.

So, I keep going back and forth about which way to go. So, I am curious to find out what forum members think. Any ideas or comments?


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Old 02-15-14, 08:13 PM
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If money is tight, stay with what you have - including the sus fork and the handlebars. I'm assuming that your rack is on the rear.

You might want to consider narrow rear panniers that will not impede your heels as you turn the crank. Arkel has the XM series that might fit the bill (https://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...-panniers.html). Make a cardboard mockup to make sure you won't have heel strike.

Make sure you get bar ends so you can vary your hand position on the handlebars.
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Old 02-15-14, 08:39 PM
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I think it bounces back to how serious you are about touring and how tight those $700 are.

There isn't any reason you can't do some good touring on the Trek 930, and particularly if you are still trying to figure out what type of touring you wish to do. It sounds like the bike fits and with some minor modifications should work reasonably well...

On the other hand, the Trek 520 is a nice bike and can be set up well with racks and panniers and be good ride if you expect to do a bunch more touring in the future. So I think it reflects back to how sure you are - vs. how much you want to try things out for a while.

I've toured on both a Trek 520 and also a Trek 4500 mountain bike - and my preferences go a bit with the terrain. The 4500 is a nice big (24") frame with bar-end handle bar extensions. I've also got an extrawheel trailer - so this is a reasonably comfortable ride for some touring as well as my most common around town commuting bike. On the other hand, an extended tour mostly on pavement, I like my Trek 520 a little better for day after day riding.
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