520 or T800 touring bike?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Toadman, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Toadman

    Toadman Guest

    Right now my wife and I both have a Cannondale Adventure 400. We ride a lot
    on the local trails. I've been riding more on the roads lately. Riding
    season is just getting started here in Western Pa. I did one solo self
    contained camping trip last year, 115 miles with one over night stay. We
    have a 200+ mile self contained camping trip on the WV Greenbrier River
    Trail planned this year and I hope to do that same 115 mile trip again this
    year too. I also do a couple rides week nights after work, usually from 6 to
    16 miles on local back roads. I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros or cons? Any other touring bikes about the
    same price ($1200.00)? Would a road bike stand up to self contained camping
    trips? I did purchase a BoB YAK trailer this spring to hepl carry camping
    gear.
     
    Tags:


  2. On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 21:05:21 -0400, Toadman wrote:
    >
    > I'm considering buying a touring bike. Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros
    > or cons? Any other touring bikes about the same price ($1200.00)?


    I rode the Trek 520, but preferred the Jamis Aurora and eventually bought
    one. It's a great bike, cost somewhat lower than your budget (~$730 last
    year), but you could use the extra money to swap in snazzy components like
    a custom touring cassette (I bought mine from Harris Cyclery, and I'm sure
    there are other sources).

    You could also consider the Jamis Nova, which IIRC has similar geometry to
    the Aurora, has a nicer frame and components, and might make a good tourer
    if you made a few component swaps (e.g. wheels and cassette to start). Any
    decent bike shop would do these trades for minimal cost beyond the
    component price difference. I think I would have chosen this one with a
    larger budget.

    Also check out the Fuji Touring and Bianchi Volpe. Rivendell, Surly, and
    others make touring bikes too.

    Good luck,

    Reid

    --
    Please do not CC me on replies to my USENET or mailing list posts.
     
  3. maxo

    maxo Guest

    On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 22:25:55 -0500, Reid Priedhorsky wrote:

    > Also check out the Fuji Touring and Bianchi Volpe. Rivendell, Surly, and
    > others make touring bikes too.


    Speaking of which, anybody try one of those "long haul trucker"
    touring frames from Surly yet? Seems to be a very rational and
    practical frame, strong w/ no bs. The Pacer looks nice too, an affordable
    road frame that can fit "normal" reach brakes and fenders.

    I don't know if I'm hip enough to own a Surly myself... they have such a
    rock star cachet around these parts, although I did get a new pair of
    hipster Jack Purcells today. That's gotta count for something.
    :p;)
     
  4. Toadman wrote:
    > Right now my wife and I both have a Cannondale Adventure 400. We ride

    a lot
    > on the local trails. I've been riding more on the roads lately.

    Riding
    > season is just getting started here in Western Pa. I did one solo

    self
    > contained camping trip last year, 115 miles with one over night stay.

    We
    > have a 200+ mile self contained camping trip on the WV Greenbrier

    River
    > Trail planned this year and I hope to do that same 115 mile trip

    again this
    > year too. I also do a couple rides week nights after work, usually

    from 6 to
    > 16 miles on local back roads. I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    > Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros or cons?


    I doubt you'll get many direct comparisons of those two bikes. It
    would require someone who's either ridden both extensively, or sold a
    lot of both and seen the customer feedback.

    I've got a Cannondale touring bike from 1986. A couple years ago it
    took me coast to coast, with full packs, no problems. Of course, it's
    done lots of shorter tours as well. It's a good bike.

    > Would a road bike stand up to self contained camping
    > trips? I did purchase a BoB YAK trailer this spring to hepl carry

    camping
    > gear.


    I'd recommend against a road bike, based on experience. I had to get
    my daughter's road bike ready for that same trip, and it wasn't easy.
    Tire sizes were limited. Gearing was too high. Fitting racks was a
    pain. Fitting fenders was much more of a pain... etc.

    Road bikes are meant for fast, unloaded riding. Using one for a tour
    is like using a Mazda Miata to pull a camping trailer. It's not
    impossible - but it's certainly not optimal.

    OTOH, there's much less penalty involved in using a touring bike for
    fast, unloaded riding. The touring bike is simply a lot more
    versatile.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  5. David

    David Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Toadman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Right now my wife and I both have a Cannondale Adventure 400. We ride a lot
    > on the local trails. I've been riding more on the roads lately. Riding
    > season is just getting started here in Western Pa. I did one solo self
    > contained camping trip last year, 115 miles with one over night stay. We
    > have a 200+ mile self contained camping trip on the WV Greenbrier River
    > Trail planned this year and I hope to do that same 115 mile trip again this
    > year too. I also do a couple rides week nights after work, usually from 6 to
    > 16 miles on local back roads. I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    > Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros or cons? Any other touring bikes about the
    > same price ($1200.00)? Would a road bike stand up to self contained camping
    > trips? I did purchase a BoB YAK trailer this spring to hepl carry camping
    > gear.
    >
    >


    Almost any bikes can be made to do self-supported touring. You really
    do not need a dedicated touring bike, though it's nice to have.

    But again, the decision choosing between a Cannondale and a Trek is
    always fit fit and fit. That's super important. One person may fit
    great on a Trek, but not on a Cannondale and it's true vice versa.

    Some people have a love hate relationship with the Bob Yak trailer. I,
    for one, hated it with a vengeance! Some people like it. I've seen
    people towing a Bob Yak trailer with their expensive Trek 5200 or even
    a Litespeed Tuscany at one point in time. So obviously, road bikes can
    and do stand up to self contained comping trips. But be careful of how
    we define by what we mean by self-supported camping trips. I mean, the
    people I met on these nice fancy dandy high tech road bikes carry loads
    of not more than 40lbs on the trailer, probably eat out a lot and
    probably don't camp when it's showering outside. So, you've got to
    know what you want to do touring wise in order to know which bike you
    need to get to meet your demands.

    I mean, What's wrong with the bike you have now?
     
  6. Cannondale T2000 if you can get one. Most comfy bike I ever owned,
    excepting recumbent....


    "Toadman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Right now my wife and I both have a Cannondale Adventure 400. We ride a
    > lot
    > on the local trails. I've been riding more on the roads lately. Riding
    > season is just getting started here in Western Pa. I did one solo self
    > contained camping trip last year, 115 miles with one over night stay. We
    > have a 200+ mile self contained camping trip on the WV Greenbrier River
    > Trail planned this year and I hope to do that same 115 mile trip again
    > this
    > year too. I also do a couple rides week nights after work, usually from 6
    > to
    > 16 miles on local back roads. I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    > Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros or cons? Any other touring bikes about
    > the
    > same price ($1200.00)? Would a road bike stand up to self contained
    > camping
    > trips? I did purchase a BoB YAK trailer this spring to hepl carry camping
    > gear.
    >
    >
     
  7. David wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, Toadman
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>16 miles on local back roads. I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    >>Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros or cons? Any other touring bikes about the
    >>same price ($1200.00)? Would a road bike stand up to self contained camping
    >>trips? I did purchase a BoB YAK trailer this spring to hepl carry camping
    >>gear.

    >
    > Almost any bikes can be made to do self-supported touring. You really
    > do not need a dedicated touring bike, though it's nice to have.


    I don't believe this is really true. There really is a
    difference between generic road bike and touring bike if
    you are riding it "loaded".

    I road for about 3 weeks with a fellow on a tour who had a
    Specialized Allez. It's a fine bike, but the fellow was
    having a terrible time with broken spokes and wheel bearings.
    The problems eventually had him taking a train home to do the
    tour another day. He did so the following year on a Cannondale
    tourer.

    A trailer might alleviate some of the wear of loaded touring
    on a non-touring bike. Not really certain as I don't use a
    trailer, but have thought about using one for a mountain bike
    trip.

    > But again, the decision choosing between a Cannondale and a Trek is
    > always fit fit and fit. That's super important. One person may fit
    > great on a Trek, but not on a Cannondale and it's true vice versa.


    Fit would definitely be the deciding factor between these two
    bikes. I have a 520 and its a great bike. I've heard great
    things about the Cannondale as well.

    As another has mentioned, there are other great bikes that can
    be used for touring although I don't know I'd include Bianchi.
    Some of these bikes might better be considered "creditcard tourers".
    Fuji has a reputation for low cost but not certain how it holds
    up under loaded touring conditions.


    SMH
     
  8. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "Toadman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    > Cannondale T800 or Trek 520?


    Aside from differences in fit and ride quality, one major difference between
    the two bikes is gearing; the Cannondale's is much more sensible for a
    loaded touring bike, with a wider range cassette and smaller chainrings.
    Yes, you can have your Trek dealer modify the 520 to suit, but I still give
    points to the company that gets it right the first time. The Bianchi Volpe
    is another bike in the same price range that also has the 28/38/48
    chainrings (but its chainstays are a touch on the short side for a touring
    bike).

    Look at the Bruce Gordon BLT - http://www.bgcycles.com/blt.html - to see the
    "type specimen" for touring bikes.

    RichC
     
  9. araby

    araby Guest

    "Toadman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Right now my wife and I both have a Cannondale Adventure 400. We ride a
    > lot
    > on the local trails. I've been riding more on the roads lately. Riding
    > season is just getting started here in Western Pa. I did one solo self
    > contained camping trip last year, 115 miles with one over night stay. We
    > have a 200+ mile self contained camping trip on the WV Greenbrier River
    > Trail planned this year and I hope to do that same 115 mile trip again
    > this
    > year too. I also do a couple rides week nights after work, usually from 6
    > to
    > 16 miles on local back roads. I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    > Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros or cons?


    If you decide on the 520 check out the stock gearing which is too high and
    the stem which is too low . See:
    http://www2.trekbikes.com/en/Bikes/Specialty_Bikes/Touring/520/index.php
    You really need a mountain bike crankset up front and a stem wih lots of
    rise. This critique has been aimed at Trek many times but they don't do
    anything about it and presumably has the existing components on the shelf.
    The 520 seems to be somewhat of an orphan. Who needs a 128" top gear on a
    touring bike. At the other end, the lowest ratio is 24" which is a bit tall
    for loaded touring. Otherwise it seems fine
    Any other touring bikes about the
    > same price ($1200.00)?

    You might like to check out:
    http://ucycle.com/bikes/item.php?name=urbtour&cat=urbanite

    You can spec it out yourself. I bought one about 21/2 years ago, fully
    equipped as shown in the picture for $1650 Canadian.This translates to about
    $US1350. I have been very pleased with it

    Good luck.

    Roy
     
  10. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    Frank Krygowski wrote:

    > I'd recommend against a road bike, based on experience.


    > Road bikes are meant for fast, unloaded riding.


    > The touring bike is simply a lot more versatile.


    Frank, this is probably just semantics, but a touring bike IS a road
    bike. I think you're using "road bike" as being synonymous with "racing
    bike." It isn't.

    Art Harris
     
  11. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Stephen Harding wrote:
    >
    > Fit would definitely be the deciding factor between these two
    > bikes. I have a 520 and its a great bike. I've heard great
    > things about the Cannondale as well.



    There's really nothing to differentiate these bikes in terms of fit.
    Fit is a matter of picking the right size frame and tweaking various
    things.

    Cannondale Trek Surly26 Surly27

    ST angle 73 73.5 73 73
    HT angle 71.5 71 71 72
    ST 21 21 21.3 22
    TT 21.5 21.9 21.9 22.4
    BB 11.1 10.6
    WB 41.3 41.5 41.5 41.6
    CS 18 17.7 18.1 18.1
    OFF 2.1 2.0 1.8 1.8
    TR 2.3 2.5
     
  12. Art Harris wrote:
    > Frank Krygowski wrote:
    >
    > > I'd recommend against a road bike, based on experience.

    >
    > > Road bikes are meant for fast, unloaded riding.

    >
    > > The touring bike is simply a lot more versatile.

    >
    > Frank, this is probably just semantics, but a touring bike IS a road
    > bike. I think you're using "road bike" as being synonymous with

    "racing
    > bike." It isn't.


    Yes, I think it is just semantics. I agree, most touring bikes are
    "road bikes" in any practical sense.

    But the Buycycling magazine convention is to shorten "road racing bike"
    (or "fast recreation road riding bike") to "road bike."

    Maybe we need new category names for bikes?

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  13. Peter Cole wrote:

    > Stephen Harding wrote:
    >
    >>Fit would definitely be the deciding factor between these two
    >>bikes. I have a 520 and its a great bike. I've heard great
    >>things about the Cannondale as well.

    >
    > There's really nothing to differentiate these bikes in terms of fit.
    > Fit is a matter of picking the right size frame and tweaking various
    > things.
    >
    > Cannondale Trek Surly26 Surly27
    >
    > ST angle 73 73.5 73 73
    > HT angle 71.5 71 71 72
    > ST 21 21 21.3 22
    > TT 21.5 21.9 21.9 22.4
    > BB 11.1 10.6
    > WB 41.3 41.5 41.5 41.6
    > CS 18 17.7 18.1 18.1
    > OFF 2.1 2.0 1.8 1.8
    > TR 2.3 2.5


    Didn't mean fit in the sense of frame geometry.

    Meant in the classic "fit" sense. Do you have the
    right seat? Seat height? Stem/handlebar height,
    handlebar width, frame size, etc.

    I'm still convinced there is no such thing as the
    "perfect" frame size for someone. Stem, seatpost,
    handlebar and seat adjustment make it so.

    What I hadn't thought of was gearing. I bought my
    520 12 years ago and it came with a 24/28 low end.
    I've since put a 30 on the rear but the stock ratio
    had been overwhelmingly sufficient for nearly all my
    touring challenges! I guess Trek has slipped up in
    later models.


    SMH
     
  14. On Tue, 05 Apr 2005 05:37:16 +0000, David wrote:

    > Some people have a love hate relationship with the Bob Yak trailer. I,
    > for one, hated it with a vengeance!


    Why do you hate this trailer ? I am interested in your opinion because I
    heard good things about it (till now) and plan to buy one for our next
    summer holidays.

    Thanks for explaining

    Jacques
     
  15. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Stephen Harding wrote:

    >
    > Didn't mean fit in the sense of frame geometry.
    >
    > Meant in the classic "fit" sense. Do you have the
    > right seat? Seat height? Stem/handlebar height,
    > handlebar width, frame size, etc.
    >
    > I'm still convinced there is no such thing as the
    > "perfect" frame size for someone. Stem, seatpost,
    > handlebar and seat adjustment make it so.


    Well, there's an ideal frame size. My point was that since the geometry
    of these bikes is virtually identical, fit is no reason to select one
    brand over the other.

    I spent a lot of time on a trainer this winter, and out of boredom more
    than anything else, started fooling around with every fit adjustment on
    a new bike I built up. It was an interesting exercise. I think it's a
    great way to dial in a bike. My idea of a perfect bike fit is to have
    the bike "disappear". I think getting there is a bunch of subtle tweaks.
     
  16. Neil Cherry

    Neil Cherry Guest

    On Tue, 05 Apr 2005 21:52:37 +0200, Jacques Moser wrote:
    > On Tue, 05 Apr 2005 05:37:16 +0000, David wrote:
    >
    >> Some people have a love hate relationship with the Bob Yak trailer. I,
    >> for one, hated it with a vengeance!

    >
    > Why do you hate this trailer ? I am interested in your opinion because I
    > heard good things about it (till now) and plan to buy one for our next
    > summer holidays.
    >
    > Thanks for explaining


    What I don't like, it makes the bike react very slowly. It's like
    driving a big rig. When you turn you turn wide. When you stop you
    mkust account for the extra weight.

    What I like, you can throw anything you want in there and go. Also
    drivers give you a wide berth. Anything that gets you noticed while
    riding is a good thing.

    --
    Linux Home Automation Neil Cherry [email protected]
    http://home.comcast.net/~ncherry/ (Text only)
    http://hcs.sourceforge.net/ (HCS II)
    http://linuxha.blogspot.com/ My HA Blog
     
  17. Toadman

    Toadman Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > I'd recommend against a road bike, based on experience. I had to get
    > my daughter's road bike ready for that same trip, and it wasn't easy.
    > Tire sizes were limited. Gearing was too high. Fitting racks was a
    > pain. Fitting fenders was much more of a pain... etc.
    >
    > Road bikes are meant for fast, unloaded riding. Using one for a tour
    > is like using a Mazda Miata to pull a camping trailer. It's not
    > impossible - but it's certainly not optimal.
    >
    > OTOH, there's much less penalty involved in using a touring bike for
    > fast, unloaded riding. The touring bike is simply a lot more
    > versatile.
    >
    > - Frank Krygowski
    >

    I'm definitely leaning toward a touring. Tire size, stability and they are
    set up for front racks. I do plan on riding it unloaded for my short evening
    rides also. I hadn't really considered gearing all that much, but I'm sure
    it's a big factor. Any bike could be changed or tweaked to make it more
    suitable for the task. A touring bike seems to fit what I want right out of
    the box.
     
  18. Toadman

    Toadman Guest

    "Pat Lamb" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Not that Frank needs any defense, but he's following most of the major
    > bike manufacturers by putting touring bikes in a different category.
    > Trek, for instance, lists the 520 under "Specialty Bikes" on its web
    > site. Cannondale has "Performance Road," "Specialty Road," and
    > "Touring" categories.
    >
    > Personally, I think they should list tourers under "Road" and what they
    > call road bikes under "Racing (Road)."
    >
    > For the OP, I'd suggest a modification of the standard advice for any
    > bike is best. Find a good dealer in you area, one you can trust, that
    > has a touring bike in stock. Get the dealer to fit you to whatever
    > touring bike they carry. Most places I've been have zero to one touring
    > bike in the area; buy whatever they carry, and perhaps have it modified
    > (stem, gears, fenders, racks) to your needs. Don't worry about which
    > brand is a better bike unless you have to -- meaning you live near both
    > a Trek and a Cannondale (or Fuji, or Jamis, etc.) dealer who stocks
    > touring bikes.
    >
    > If you are that lucky, where are you??
    >
    > Pat

    Where am I? About 70 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pa. I have within about 4
    miles and about 2 blocks from each other, a Trek and a Cannondale dealer. I
    may be partial to Cannondale, they are made in Pa. I like the guys at the
    Cannondale dealer, they are very friendly and have invited us on club rides
    and also to join the local club. As far as debating touring or road
    classifications, I think we all know they are the same but different.
    Toadman
     
  19. Toadman

    Toadman Guest

    "Bartow W. Riggs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Cannondale T2000 if you can get one. Most comfy bike I ever owned,
    > excepting recumbent....
    >
    >
    > "Toadman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Right now my wife and I both have a Cannondale Adventure 400. We ride a
    > > lot
    > > on the local trails. I've been riding more on the roads lately. Riding
    > > season is just getting started here in Western Pa. I did one solo self
    > > contained camping trip last year, 115 miles with one over night stay. We
    > > have a 200+ mile self contained camping trip on the WV Greenbrier River
    > > Trail planned this year and I hope to do that same 115 mile trip again
    > > this
    > > year too. I also do a couple rides week nights after work, usually from

    6
    > > to
    > > 16 miles on local back roads. I'm considering buying a touring bike.
    > > Cannondale T800 or Trek 520? Pros or cons? Any other touring bikes about
    > > the
    > > same price ($1200.00)? Would a road bike stand up to self contained
    > > camping
    > > trips? I did purchase a BoB YAK trailer this spring to hepl carry

    camping
    > > gear.
    > >
    > > T2000 is getting a little to high priced!!

    >
    >
     
  20. Toadman

    Toadman Guest

    It's sounding more and more like the Cannondale T800. My other choices from
    my LBSs are Specialized, Schwinn, Giant and some other brand which I forget.
    I want to buy local. I work at a car dealership and I know what it's like to
    have someone purchase a vehicle somewhere else then bring it to us and ask,
    "Can you fix my car?". Our answer is usually, "We'll get to it right after
    we finish fixing all our regular customer's vehicles, which may be 3 weeks
    from now".
     
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