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Old 08-13-14, 07:19 AM   #26
robert schlatte
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I am about your size but a little heavier and have a loaded touring bike that I don't feel is harsh at all. Actually, just the opposite especially when loaded. When not loaded it may feel slightly slower but that is to be expected because of the heavier frameset. If the Gunnar fits you and you like it, that would be my choice. The trek 520 is an excellent bike but I don't think it compares to the Gunnar frameset which is make of the highest quality steel. If you decide to buy the Gunnar and after you checked everything out to your satisfaction, I would try to negotiate. If the retailer won't come off his price, it is still a good deal. Over time you can upgrade components if you want and you will have some spare parts which never hurt to have on hand.
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Old 08-13-14, 08:09 AM   #27
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I wouldn't worry about the serial number if you have to pay Waterford for the information. They have only been making the Grand Tour model for a few years, so it can't be that old. Gunnars are essentially Waterfords with TIG welds rather than lugs, and more budget (but still quality) paint jobs.

Regarding the ride, yes, a touring frame is likely to have a stiffer ride than most sport touring or and road bikes. That's because a frame designed for loaded touring will have stouter tubing to handle the extra weight. That is somewhat offset by the longer wheelbase. On the other hand, most touring bikes are equipped with fatter tires, which should make for a smoother ride. In other words, if you put 23-25 mm tires on the Grand Tour, it would probably feel more harsh than a typical road bike. However, if you put 32-35 mm tires on the Grand Tour, it should ride as smoothly as any road bike.

I experienced this first hand with my Bob Jackson World Tour. When I had 25-28 mm tires on the bike, it rode a little stiffer than I prefer. Since I swapped to 32 mm tires, it rides as nicer or nicer than most of my bikes.
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Old 08-13-14, 09:06 AM   #28
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Waterford won't charge you to talk to them about a frameset they built and in my experience, they'll be happy to do so. There were a few frames from what I've seen online that had to go back to Gunnar for corrections/repairs before ever being built up. Haven't heard of this recently. Could be a nice conversation with the builder.

It is the exception to find a touring bike designed well enough to be a joy to ride when loaded AND a joy to ride when unloaded. The Adventure Cycle/Grand Tour frameset is one of them.

OP: If you decide not to get the Grand Tour, let us know where it's at, and good luck.
Ron - Washington
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