Author Topic: Surly LHT or Trek520  (Read 4686 times)

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cyclingtaurus

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Surly LHT or Trek520
« on: October 15, 2008, 01:26:56 pm »
Any one with experiences on the LHT and/or Trek520?
I'd like your input. In my size the LHT is a 26" wheel which does not really bother me. I am more worried about durabiltiy, gearing etc. Plan to ride cross country next summer and I do not want to regret the bike I choose.
David


Offline RussellSeaton

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 02:46:21 pm »
I had a Trek 520.  1991 model.  So its pretty much identical to the one sold today.  Mine was a lugged frame while the current model is TIG welded.  Other than that, they are unchanged through the decades.  Currently everything from that bike was replaced except the crank arms, middle chainring, and rear wheel.  The Trek 520 was a fine bike for loaded touring.  I used it for thousands of miles and several trips and it never gave me any problems.

Currently the Long Haul Trucker from Surly/QBP and the Trek 520 have the same frame.  Parts I suspect are about identical too.  Either will work as well as the other.  The LHT may have the edge because it uses 26" wheels.  If you need a bike that small, then it makes sense to get smaller wheels.  The manufacturer does not have to monkey up the geometry as much when using smaller wheels.  Unlike trying to shoehorn 700C wheels onto extra small frames.  The maker has to put a too slack head angle on the frame and usually ends up with a too long top tube as well.


Offline paddleboy17

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 12:25:35 pm »
As a short person, I have always been able to just barely fit a road bike with 700 wheels.

I have gone with the traditional 700 wheels because I believe that it gives me more options.  Some believe that your tire choices will be limited with 26" wheels.  Once upon a time 650 wheels would been part of the equation too.  There is also a fairly rabid cult devoted to turning 90's vintage steel framed mountain bikes into touring bikes.

Have you looked at Gunnar?
 Gunnar Bikes

My local bike store has a large Latina client base, and had good luck fitting small people to Gunnar Bikes.  Might be a little more expensive than your LHT or 520, but worth look at none the less.

Danno
Danno

Offline whittierider

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2008, 03:36:04 pm »
Quote
Some believe that your tire choices will be limited with 26" wheels.  Once upon a time 650 wheels would been part of the equation too.

According to Sheldon Brown's tire-size web page at http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html , 26x1 is 650c (with a BSD of 571mm).  I strongly recommend 650c or 26" for short riders, as making really small bikes with 700c's really compromises the geometry and ruins the handling.  When our son was in the juniors races, we always saw kids on undersized bikes with 700c's because the parents were afraid they wouldn't be able to get tires in 650c, and then the kid would be weaving and unstable because the top tube was too long and the stem was too short.


Offline RussellSeaton

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2008, 04:09:28 pm »
"I strongly recommend 650c or 26" for short riders"

If you're talking about road bikes, racing bikes, recreational bikes, I agree with the 650C wheels.  But for a touring bike, no 650C.  Only 26" wheels on a small touring bike.  The reason is 650C (571 mm bcd) tires are basically only available in 20 or 23 mm widths.  The Terry Tellus does come in 28mm width but it is maybe the only wider 650C made anywhere.

In this discussion the Surly Long Haul Trucker uses 26" wheels in its small sizes.  There are plenty of wider 26" tires available.  All widths from 7/8" to 2.2".


Offline bagoh20

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 11:27:56 am »
Just bought and picked up my new LHT last night in Hollywood.  I'll report back after I get some miles on it.  The Surly is very hard to find right now.  They have no more 08s at the factory and the 09s will  not be out until mid Dec.  I looked for 3 days including mail order online to find one and the very small shop where I found mine sold 3 yesterday.  There are usually a couple on eBay.  I picked the LHT because it is the most recommended everywhere I looked.  I got the 56cm with 700 wheels.  A great little shop called: Hollywood Pro Cycles, Hollywood, CA  323-466-5890.  Great guys.


Offline driftlessregion

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2008, 06:33:34 pm »
The 520 is a great touring value at roughly $1000 with the venerable Reynolds 531 tubing.


Offline bagoh20

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2008, 06:39:50 pm »
After about 60 miles on my new LHT, I have to say I do love it.  It does ride a lot tighter than my old bike (Specialized Rockhopper)  It does everything better except absorb bumps (the Specialized has shocks).  It seems very well engineered and made.  One disappointment is that I now realize that the bike is a lot less important than the rider.  The clearly superior bike did only a little to improve my times, or make climbs easier.  Regardless, I still enjoy the difference in feel and ride of the LHT, and I feel completely different mentally knowing that the bike is not holding me back.  I truly love it, even if it does not make me Lance Armstrong as I expected.  Never had the Trek 520, but I doubt it would make me Lance like either.  I bet I could beat his grandma though.


Offline RussellSeaton

Surly LHT or Trek520
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 09:23:41 am »
"The 520 is a great touring value at roughly $1000 with the venerable Reynolds 531 tubing."

Not sure the Trek 520 ever used Reynolds tubing.  The Trek 720 did back in the mid-early 1980s.  But I don't think they ever used the good stuff on the lower model 520.  520 has been True Temper tubing for many many years.  My 1991 520 frame was True Temper.  The MSRP on the 520 is $1320.  Hasn't been $1000 except on closeout/sale for a decade.