Surly Long Haul Trucker or Trek 520?

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by lost_skip, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. lost_skip

    lost_skip New Member

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    I am tossing up between the Surly Long Haul Trucker the Trek 520 and the Fuji Tourer.
    Has anyone compared the handling of these bikes and how did they fare?
     
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  2. lugger

    lugger New Member

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    I never rode either, but noticed the Surly LHT takes 26" wheels on frames up to and including 54 cm, with standover heights up to 31.2". They take 700c wheels on 56 cm and larger frames, with 32" or more standover heights. So unless you get a LHT with at least 32" standover, you have to use 26" wheels which, I understand, are less efficient than 27" or 700c wheels.

    Here is where I got the info, http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/surly-lht.html, which also says, "The bigger sizes take 700c wheels, while the smaller frames are designed for 26" wheels so they fit without toe overlap or compromised handling."
     
  3. lost_skip

    lost_skip New Member

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    Thanks for that. I would need either a 56 or 58cm frame and so would get 700c wheels. I spoke to someone recently who recommended the Fuji Tourer for it's handling but they look a bit lowly spec'ed although good value for the packaged price.

    Can anyone recommend the LHT, the Fuji Tourer or the Trek 520?
     
  4. vchudnov

    vchudnov New Member

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    I was in the market for a touring bike myself this summer. I test rode the Surly, among others, and found it to feel quite small, even though it seemed to be the right fit nominally.

    The Trek 520, on the other hand, I loved from the first time I rode it, and it was the bike I wound up buying. It felt right for my body. I swapped out the chainrings for a 24/38/50 set in preparation for my trip to Newfoundland. The bike served me well there and is my everyday commuting bike, 30 miles roundtrip over rough Boston-area roads and annoying traffic.

    Hope this helps.

    Victor
    http://cycletrek.blogspot.com/
     
  5. lost_skip

    lost_skip New Member

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    Thankyou.

    I have looked at the Surly but havn't found anyone with one made up in my size. The Trek looks to be longer in the top tube, maybe more assertive in it's performance. How comfortable is it over long periods of time?
     
  6. 2wheelwill

    2wheelwill New Member

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    I just built-up two long haul truckers for my girlfriend and I. We're a doing a yearlong trip with several cross-country bike sections. The LHT is a great value and the sizing worked out great for us since we both ride 56cm. I just took mine for its first ride today and overall I was impressed. The bike is heavy but I built it with strength in mind (steel chainrings, etc). For a $350 frame the quality was higher than expected. Last point: For about $1100 I was able to handpick the parts buying high end where it made sense and skimping on less vital parts.

    I skipped on the Trek because some of the parts were cheap (rims in particular) and I wanted STI shifters instead of bar ends.

    Good luck.

    Will-





     
  7. lost_skip

    lost_skip New Member

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    Thanks for the advice.





     
  8. lilstepper

    lilstepper New Member

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    this is a very uninforming reply (sorry) because i havent ridden the other two...but any chance i get to rave about my trek 520, i do. i used it through 7 countries, was able to get it fixed in a third world (thanks to it being steel), and loved the beast! an oldie, but goodie in my opinion. good luck in your decision!
     
  9. philso

    philso New Member

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    the surly's geometry is a small notch up compared to the others. for example longer wheelbase and chainstays. whether the handleing is noticably better or not would take test riding with similar big loads. the main difference is what components you feel more comfortable with, and in this respect, you can build up the trucker exactly as you wish. the others have mid level components that are adequate but not exceptional.
     
  10. lost_skip

    lost_skip New Member

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    I looked at the Fuji Tourer the other day and wasn't too impressed. The rims, hubs, tyres... in fact it all looked rather cheap and nasty.

    I've now narrowed my options to either the Surly or the Trek. Unfortunately there seems to be a bit of a shortage of shops stocking the 520.
     
  11. philso

    philso New Member

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    the quality of the trek, fuji, & bianchi volpe are not all that dissimilar. another one is the jamis aurora. it's a bit less expensive but the quality is about the same. people who ride them find them to be good enough to do the job. it basically comes down to whether you prefer sti, bar-end or down-tube shifters. or what color you like better.

    if you're seriously considering building up a surly, check out the 2 threads on the bob jackson frame. it looks to be about another $200 after the shipping, etc., but you don't see lugged frames at that price anywhere else that i know of.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t287021-re-circlea-frames.html

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t254725-bob-jackson-traditional-frame.html
     
  12. lost_skip

    lost_skip New Member

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    Great! Thanks for that.
     
  13. kurtrosenberger

    kurtrosenberger New Member

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    I bought a LHT last winter, and used it on a two month trip across eastern europe. along with a friend on a fuji tour. I was riding a 56 (smallest with still 700c wheels) and I found the geometry to be spot on. it has a extra tall head tube which helps get the handle bars a little higher which was/is real nice on long days in the saddle...also the new 520 is spec'd with a welded fork not a crowned one which comes on the surly. the design of the trek fork doesn't allow tires any bigger than 32s if you still want to run fenders, and maybe only 35s with out a fender. not a big deal if you plan to stick to the asphalt, but the biggest selling point for me on the LHT is that i can easily run real big rubber, I currently have 38s with fenders and love that set up.
     
  14. captn willard

    captn willard New Member

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    My '04 Trek 520 runs 38 Schwalbe Marathons with fenders. Perhaps you could look for a NOS or used 520.
     
  15. bikeaddict

    bikeaddict New Member

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    The frame specifications on the Trek 520 that I have seen are not as heavy loaded touring oriented as the Long Haul Trucker. The old 1980's Trek 720 was closer to the LHT. The big difference is in the rear chainstay length. If you use big panniers on the back and have big feet this becomes a critical dimension. Even smaller bags and feet will notice that having the rear weight in front of the rear axle improves handling. Wheelies on touring bikes aren't fun.

    I have a 2002 Jamis Aurora that I acquired frame only and built the way I wanted it. This frame is much better than I expected it to be. The handling is very good for a 72 degree headtube. The frame is responsive and has flex over bumps even unloaded, but is stiff enough for out of the saddle honking. The weld and paint quality is really good. So why did I just buy a LHT Frameset? Because the long arm double pivot calipers on the Aurora don't even clear 28mm tires when mounting, let alone the 35mm I am using and they don't provide enough clearance for fenders even with the 28mm tires. Also these caliper brakes get in the way of mounting a rear rack. The later models of the Aurora have cantilever brakes and I would recommend them highly. I always use bar end shifters so the lack of shift bosses on the Aurora's downtube doesn't matter to me.

    The LHT gives me more of what I was looking for when I bought the Aurora: LOTS of tire and fender clearance, really long chainstays, and cantilever brakes for fat tire removal clearance. Also (and this is important to me) riding a Surly says: "I don't give a s*** how much you paid for your high tech weenie bike."

    I will report on the LHT ride qualities when I get it built up. Look for a very low mileage Aurora frame on eBay soon.
     
  16. photojtn

    photojtn New Member

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    trek 520 hands down!
     
  17. jimboo

    jimboo New Member

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    I have a fuji tourer 58cm size frame. I have done extensive fully loaded touring with it and I love the way it handles under load. It has about 15000 kms on it and I have just over hauled it with a S.Brown cyclotouriste cassette 14 to 34t and I changed the granny from a 30t to a 28t. Also replace the stock rims with mavis 719 36H and double butted spokes. Origininal set up was fine but I had to respoke the rear wheel after 2 trips due to breaking spokes and I am getting older and need the easier gears (67years old) .Fuji/my bike store came good for the expense. I find it handles better than a SLHT, but The SLHT has better rims and bar end shifters. My SIS shifters work great and are easier to shift on hills. I originally wanted to get a trek 520 but couldn't get one intime for a trip so I bought the fuji and saved $300. I've used up the savings by getting the mavic rims but the trek520,SLHT, fuji tourer are mid range touring bikes so I now have what I want for gear inches (22-108) and am happy with it. All 3 are good choices.
     
  18. coppershark

    coppershark New Member

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    I purchased a LHT about six months ago and am very happy with it. One of the blokes in my club, KBTC rides a Fuji and has broken spokes but so far the LHT wheels are running true.

    I chose the Surly over the Trek 520 and The Fuji because it was the only tourer available in Australia with bar end shifters as standard and the Sugino crankset has a 26T granny while all the others have the road triple with a granny of about 30T.

    The LHT in Australia was A$1500 compared to the Fuji at about $1250 and the Trek at over $2000.

    The LHT has XT hubs and rear deraileur, while the Fuji has lower specs. I think the Trek has 105 road componentry. Value for money you can't go past the LHT but they all do the job adequately

    Mike
     
  19. cruisin

    cruisin New Member

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    Check out the Vivente world randonner. It looks like good value.
     
  20. carrion

    carrion New Member

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    The Surly LHT and disc trucker are solid bikes, the rear geometry allows for more gear in back. The Surly is heavier than the 520. The 520 rolls faster. So if it's hauling capability and solidness on the road you're after, go for the Surly. If it's a combo of speed and ease of handling, go for the 520.
     
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