Building my first touring bike


New Member
Mar 10, 2021
Hi all, I'm currently building my first touring bike. I bought a Trek Grando 520 frame which is nice and lightweight. Now my question, is this gear ratio enough for a touring bike: 1x 36T crank - 11:42 cassette? Or should I consider a 2x set up with 36/26T crankset?

Also, I'm looking for a not-so-pricey bike rack. Is fork-mounted bike rack safe?

Are you touring on flat roads with mild hills? or are you going to be doing some mountain roads as well? Are you going with an ultralight touring setup? or a regular touring setup?

With a loaded touring bike that will see some mountains you should have a triple set up; it makes hauling loads up easier. If you have an ultralight set up for touring then a double will work just fine. I'm not sure though if a triple will work on that particular bike, I know Trek used triples on the older version of the 520.

If you go with a double only you might want to consider using a 32/22, or a 38/22 or 21 instead.

With all honestly, I can't recommend a single for touring. I know that some people do that sort of thing, but in order to have an easier time of it a double, or triple depending, is idea.