Author Topic: Best touring bike buy  (Read 4314 times)

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Offline GBA

Best touring bike buy
« on: February 20, 2004, 03:30:21 pm »
After a few years of racing triathlons I've been thinking of spending more time with a bike.Really thinking about ride across the U.S.
The bike shop I deal with has two bikes ,a Giant OCR
touring and a Trek 520.
With the modest price  of both bikes I have to wonder if one of these would be a good choice . I can't find many rider reviews on these bikes .Any help out there in the touring world ?  


Offline DaveB

Best touring bike buy
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2004, 09:37:55 pm »
Haven't had a lot of responses have you?  

I don't know about the Giant OCR but the Trek 520 has been around forever and seems to have an excellent reputation.  It may not be the leading edge of technology but appears to have done the job well for a long time.

The Trek's gearing is poorly chosen but typical of major manufacturer's touring bikes.  A 30/42/52 crank coupled with an 11x32 cassette gives an absurdly high top gear (127 gear-inches!) and a moderately low low gear of 25 gear-inches.  Changing the crank for a more useful 24x36x46 or 22x34x44 MTB crank would be a worthwhile improvement and your dealer may be willing to do this at minimal cost.  

This message was edited by DaveB on 2-22-04 @ 5:43 PM

Offline wanderingwheel

Best touring bike buy
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2004, 08:36:33 pm »
A Trek 520 will get you across the US just fine.  The Giant would likely do the same.  Looking at the Giant for the first time, I am surprised to see disk brakes.  I have had problems with cantilever brakes before (very fast downhill full load emergency stops in the rain) and I hope to be experimenting with discs latter this year.  One possible problem I see with the discs is interefence with racks and bags.  

The compact design of the Giant may also make fitting rear racks difficult, but the standover height from the compact design would be nice when you have a tall load on back and cn't swing your leg over normally.  The Trek comes, or at least it came, with barend shifters.  These are theoretically more reliable than the STI sh*ters on the Giant, but in actual use it is not an issue.

One other thing I notice about the Giant is the Integrated headset.  Touring bike when properly loaded (lots of weight in the front panniers) generate a lot more force that must be taken up by the headset.  It is very easy to damage an improperly adjusted headset.  With the Trek, this means a new headset, but the Giant may require a new frame.

The gearing on both is the same and I have no issues with it, maybe that's why I had brake problems before.  Try out both bikes and see which one fits you better.  If possible, ride them with full loads because they will handle much differently loaded and unloaded.  Personally, I don't like the handling of my Trek unloaded, but it's perfect when loaded.  I'd say get the one that fits best, and I'd lean towards the Trek in a tie-breaker.

Sean


Offline Don

Best touring bike buy
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2004, 10:22:06 am »
Most important is how the bike feels to you when you ride it.  I had narrowed my choices down to the Trek or a Cannondale.  Then I went to a shop I could ride them both and one, (Trek), felt much better to me.  Others would have prefered the Dale, no doubt.  But once you get the field narrowed down to a few bikes, you gota ride them to decide on the one that fits you better.