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Trek 520 vs Surly Disc Trucker 26"

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View Poll Results: Trek 520 or Surly DT 26"
Trek 520
37.50%
Surly Trucker Disc 26"
62.50%
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Trek 520 vs Surly Disc Trucker 26"

Old 08-21-18, 03:44 PM
  #26  
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Personally, I would base this completely on whichever top tube is a more comfortable reach for you. After that I would base it on whichever bike has a little bit quicker handling and lighter weight, which I believe is the Trek. Especially since you’ll be using it as a commuter also, having it be lighter and handle a little better will be nice in your daily life. Just because the bike is a touring bike doesn’t mean it needs to handle like, and weigh as much as, a truck.
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Old 08-21-18, 04:03 PM
  #27  
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Re how a bike "feels"--just be aware that a stem change is often ask that is needed to make a bike that doesn't " feel right," ....." feel right".

Takes a few mins and it's done, not quite right, try another length, another angle.

Indexed shifters just plain work, and have since the late 80s, with my personal experience showing they are bombproof, whether with downtube, trigger, sti or gevenalle shifters.

You should try bar ends first though, they kinda suck for city riding though. I rode for decades on downtube shifters in the city, no urge to go back.
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Old 08-21-18, 09:27 PM
  #28  
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Be sure to check the new 520. Some major changes. I just posted a new thread.
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Old 08-21-18, 09:43 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
A lot of good advice in the previous posts, but IMO this is probably the most important consideration when buying a touring bike. LHTs have a long top tube, and can be a poor fit for someone with a short torso and long legs. The plus side for truckers is that they come with uncut steerer tubes, which allows more flexibility for dialing in the fit.
I use a moderately-forward riding position so when I bought the Disc Trucker I was surprised that it fit best by leaving ~2.5" of steerer tube. Roadies & MTBers have so many available models that adjusting the fit is fairly easy...but with so fewer touring bikes they should have the option to adjust steerer tube length. Locally I see 20 Truckers for every 520. I'm 5'11", I rather like the motorcycle look of the 559mm/26" wheels with 50mm tires. Trucker seems the obvious choice if using studded tires & fenders.
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Old 08-22-18, 10:44 PM
  #30  
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I ended up with the 520. The Trucker was a great bike indeed, but I felt like I was driving a semi truck, or since I have experience, and own a large a large Class A, BIG motorhome. For my purposes, the 520 was more than enough. My tours are supported so riding fully loaded is not in my wheelhouse (I don't think) and the 520 has performed very well riding across Canada west to east, and west coast to north coast. I don't ride loaded-but I do ride with a loaded large handle bar bag and a loaded trunk, daily on tour. Components are whatever. My 520 has NONE of the original components. I upgraded to a mix of XTR and Ultegra. I also added S&S couplers and a new paint job. It's your oyster, do what you want!
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Old 08-23-18, 02:20 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by brushspin View Post
...I'll be using this touring bike as my daily commuter, long distance steed, and of course my touring bicycle to take me wherever my legs will carry me. If given the opportunity between a new (2019) Trek 520 or the Surly Trucker Disc in 26". which would you choose as your FIRST touring bike?
If you want the classic 520 with rim brakes, steel fork and QR wheel fitment, you better act fast before all the 2018 models are sold. From 2019 on the 520 will be available only with disc brakes, aluminum fork and front through axle. I have to wonder why Trek didn't make the frame aluminum too - 520 has been Trek's only steel-framed bike for years now.

I'd choose the 26" Disc Trucker Complete or 26" DT frameset and build it myself.

Last edited by seeker333; 08-23-18 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 08-23-18, 09:28 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
If you want the classic 520 with rim brakes, steel fork and QR wheel fitment, you better act fast before all the 2018 models are sold. From 2019 on the 520 will be available only with disc brakes, aluminum fork and front through axle. I have to wonder why Trek didn't make the frame aluminum too - 520 has been Trek's only steel-framed bike for years now.

I'd choose the 26" Disc Trucker Complete or 26" DT frameset and build it myself.
I hadn't realized that, does seem a bit odd to combine alu fork & steel frame. The expedition-style front rack is a bit of overkill IMO, they're very heavy. Trek should break the mold & make the 520 all-aluminum with suspension seat-post & fork. Germans/Dutch make many such bikes (flat-bar), Trek could carve out a new niche with a drop-bar version.
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Old 08-23-18, 09:32 PM
  #33  
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re alu frames, my old Tricross from 2010 is a good example of modern alu frame design, of how it reasonably light, is stiff and nice for sprinting etc and power transfer in general, but isnt at all like the 80s and 90s alu frames in that it has reasonable give.
And yes, tire pressure and widths play a big part in ride comfort.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:46 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
I hadn't realized that, does seem a bit odd to combine alu fork & steel frame. The expedition-style front rack is a bit of overkill .....
i think you nailed it with "style." whole lotta hat minus the cattle....like the "thru-skewer" technology.
remember the 920 has a massive front rack that is a copy of a more famous version, but with i think a 20-pound lower capacity.
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Old 08-24-18, 02:36 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
I hadn't realized that, does seem a bit odd to combine alu fork & steel frame. The expedition-style front rack is a bit of overkill IMO, they're very heavy. Trek should break the mold & make the 520 all-aluminum with suspension seat-post & fork. Germans/Dutch make many such bikes (flat-bar), Trek could carve out a new niche with a drop-bar version.
Trek has clearly abandoned the traditional touring bike with the 2019 520. I suspect the LHT/DT and other competition ("adventure" bikes) forced the transition to a trendier bike which appeals more to younger consumer demographic. If they added suspension post and fork it would probably make it a bit too much like the 920 and 1120. Yes, the 520 front rack probably weighs as much as 3 or even 4 Tubus Tara lowrider racks.

WRT ThruSkew, a 9x100mm QR equipped Shimano HB-M475 hub with 5mm skewer rod cannot be readily converted to a 10mm through-axle mount. Trek has seemingly adapted a QR skewer to TA mounting, which looks like TA without the apparent strength and retention advantage of true TA. ThruSkew is likely no more secure than QR + lawyer-lips on the traditional steel QR-mount touring fork. Also, Alivio/M475 is a pretty cheap choice of hubs for a fairly critical component on a bike that will cost ~$1700 with sales tax. Surly has specified XT 756 hubs (three component group levels higher) on the Disc Trucker Complete bike since it's introduction in 2012.

The 2019 520 replaces Dura Ace barcons with Sora brifters, mated to TRP Spyre brake calipers (short cable pull). Disc Trucker uses Microshift index/friction barend shift levers and Avid BB7 MTB/long pull brake calipers, controlled by Tektro 520 levers. The advantage of Surly's approach is that the index/friction shifter is more versatile for use with MTB cassettes, cranksets and deraileurs, and the MTB calipers permit LBS/owner to swap to MTB-style handlebar without added cost for brake swap.
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Old 08-24-18, 05:43 PM
  #36  
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and re hub quality--my experience over the years has certainly showed that deore and then xt level hubs have better seals, and I would hazard to say , better material and tolerances in general, ie meaning that they will stay in good condition longer, especially when you take into account cruddy riding conditions.

this has always been the reality of higher quality components, and like I said, I have seen for myself regreasing hubs over the years how the higher level stuff keeps crud out better and stays in better shape generally (higher quality metal etc might be a factor also)

this is all to explain what may appear to some people as snooty attitudes to levels of components, but I have seen how better quality hubs for example last longer than cheaper ones, so its a win win, better function and cheaper in the long run also.
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Old 08-25-18, 07:44 PM
  #37  
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Alright kids. I've decided I'll be getting a Surly. Now I'm choosing between the Straggler and Disc Trucker.
After speaking to someone that brought in a LHT into the shop they both strongly advised I get something more lively because I'll be using it as a daily commuter 95% of the time.

The tools and bike stand. Gonna start collecting parts. Oh boy the addiction has just started and I'm already hooked for good.

Good god...
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Old 08-25-18, 09:55 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re alu frames, my old Tricross from 2010 is a good example of modern alu frame design, of how it reasonably light, is stiff and nice for sprinting etc and power transfer in general, but isnt at all like the 80s and 90s alu frames in that it has reasonable give.
And yes, tire pressure and widths play a big part in ride comfort.
Now they have better & more versatile alu-tube manufacturing techniques, I think Trek could build a comfy/sturdy all-alu 520 but probably sales can't justify tooling-up for all-alu frame.

Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Trek has clearly abandoned the traditional touring bike with the 2019 520. I suspect the LHT/DT and other competition ("adventure" bikes) forced the transition to a trendier bike which appeals more to younger consumer demographic. If they added suspension post and fork it would probably make it a bit too much like the 920 and 1120. Yes, the 520 front rack probably weighs as much as 3 or even 4 Tubus Tara lowrider racks.

520 is still fairly traditional w/drop bar, 3X wide-range gearing etc, converting to bar/cons & non-brifter levers wouldn't be too expensive. In re suspension fork, 920 & other adventure/gravel bikes have wide tires both for comfort & traction on loose surfaces. But for road touring I use wide tires just for comfort & safer handling, I don't really need the extra traction. Suspension fork would give same comfort/handling but allow faster lighter narrower tires. 920/520 racks at least fit well which can save some hassle. Would be nice if Tubus made a front rack w/platform



WRT ThruSkew, a 9x100mm QR equipped Shimano HB-M475 hub with 5mm skewer rod cannot be readily converted to a 10mm through-axle mount. Trek has seemingly adapted a QR skewer to TA mounting, which looks like TA without the apparent strength and retention advantage of true TA. ThruSkew is likely no more secure than QR + lawyer-lips on the traditional steel QR-mount touring fork. Also, Alivio/M475 is a pretty cheap choice of hubs for a fairly critical component on a bike that will cost ~$1700 with sales tax. Surly has specified XT 756 hubs (three component group levels higher) on the Disc Trucker Complete bike since it's introduction in 2012.

The 2019 520 replaces Dura Ace barcons with Sora brifters, mated to TRP Spyre brake calipers (short cable pull). Disc Trucker uses Microshift index/friction barend shift levers and Avid BB7 MTB/long pull brake calipers, controlled by Tektro 520 levers. The advantage of Surly's approach is that the index/friction shifter is more versatile for use with MTB cassettes, cranksets and deraileurs, and the MTB calipers permit LBS/owner to swap to MTB-style handlebar without added cost for brake swap.
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Old 08-26-18, 12:53 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by brushspin View Post
Alright kids. I've decided I'll be getting a Surly. Now I'm choosing between the Straggler and Disc Trucker.
After speaking to someone that brought in a LHT into the shop they both strongly advised I get something more lively because I'll be using it as a daily commuter 95% of the time.

The tools and bike stand. Gonna start collecting parts. Oh boy the addiction has just started and I'm already hooked for good.

Good god...
I have no issues with the LHT as a daily ride. Keep in mind, with the Straggler, you lose 1.6 inches of chainstay length, which may or may not be an issue for you if you plan on mounting panniers. Depending on the size of your feet, you may have heel strike issues.
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Old 08-26-18, 01:03 PM
  #40  
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no, seeker333 Trek's basic 26" v brake MTB is a steel frame also , 820..
but this is about touting Touring bikes..

QBP has a materials and workmanship defects frame warranty with a time limit, but realistically

If no defects appear before then , no worries , mate..
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Old 08-26-18, 01:03 PM
  #41  
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really , you need to personally ride both , and depending on your riding experience, take how they feel riding in comparison. Dont forget though how tires and tire pressures and possible stem changes can and will have a big impact on how a bike "feels".
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Old 08-26-18, 10:38 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by brushspin View Post
Alright kids. I've decided I'll be getting a Surly. Now I'm choosing between the Straggler and Disc Trucker.
After speaking to someone that brought in a LHT into the shop they both strongly advised I get something more lively because I'll be using it as a daily commuter 95% of the time.

The tools and bike stand. Gonna start collecting parts. Oh boy the addiction has just started and I'm already hooked for good.

Good god...

How heavy are you?
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Old 08-28-18, 09:14 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
How heavy are you?
165lbs at 6'
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Old 08-28-18, 08:13 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by brushspin View Post
165lbs at 6'
Okay, an unladen Disk Trucker would probably not give you a ride quality you were happy with.


If you were twice that weight, the Disk Trucker would probably be ideal.
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Old 08-29-18, 11:26 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Okay, an unladen Disk Trucker would probably not give you a ride quality you were happy with.


If you were twice that weight, the Disk Trucker would probably be ideal.
I am 5'10" and 165 pounds, and I ride the LHT, and used it to commute daily, and absolutely love it, laden, or unladen. Quite frankly, with a rack, and panniers on the bike, it isn't exactly svelte when commuting anyway. When I do remove the panniers, which is rarely, I love the ride, it just feels so light to me, I don't give anything else a thought.

I am running 1.5 inch Schwalbe Marathons, and keep the pressure lower when the bike isn't loaded, and it rides just fine. Want an even nicer ride? Put bigger tires on it. Frankly, I have always thought the supposed bad ride when unladen has been seriously overblown, usually perpetuated by people who insist they get lower rolling resistance with higher pressures, and as a result, run their tires pumped as high as they allow.
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Old 08-29-18, 06:56 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I am 5'10" and 165 pounds, and I ride the LHT, and used it to commute daily, and absolutely love it, laden, or unladen. Quite frankly, with a rack, and panniers on the bike, it isn't exactly svelte when commuting anyway. When I do remove the panniers, which is rarely, I love the ride, it just feels so light to me, I don't give anything else a thought.

I am running 1.5 inch Schwalbe Marathons, and keep the pressure lower when the bike isn't loaded, and it rides just fine. Want an even nicer ride? Put bigger tires on it. Frankly, I have always thought the supposed bad ride when unladen has been seriously overblown, usually perpetuated by people who insist they get lower rolling resistance with higher pressures, and as a result, run their tires pumped as high as they allow.

As someone who tips the scales at over 350 pounds, I think a Disk Trucker could very much be in my future and that I will love it, but so many people who have them claim that when unladen, the ride isn't bad, but somewhat "dead".


Still, good to hear that a lightweight like yourself still likes the ride, and one doesn't need to be a tank to enjoy it.
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Old 08-30-18, 09:31 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
As someone who tips the scales at over 350 pounds, I think a Disk Trucker could very much be in my future and that I will love it, but so many people who have them claim that when unladen, the ride isn't bad, but somewhat "dead".


Still, good to hear that a lightweight like yourself still likes the ride, and one doesn't need to be a tank to enjoy it.
I'm only 140 lbs, the Trucker's long wheelbase & fork rake give the comfiest ride of any steel touring bike I've tried, unladen or loaded. I'm not sure how luggage weight improves the ride of any bike. OTOH it took some time to get used to the Trucker's slower cornering. Initially I used 1.5" tires & front end bounced too much on fast bumpy descents, felt like I was following the bike vs controlling it. Switching to 2.0" tires helps keep the front wheel planted on fast bumpy descents & handling feels confident.
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Old 08-30-18, 11:27 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
I'm only 140 lbs, the Trucker's long wheelbase & fork rake give the comfiest ride of any steel touring bike I've tried, unladen or loaded. I'm not sure how luggage weight improves the ride of any bike. OTOH it took some time to get used to the Trucker's slower cornering. Initially I used 1.5" tires & front end bounced too much on fast bumpy descents, felt like I was following the bike vs controlling it. Switching to 2.0" tires helps keep the front wheel planted on fast bumpy descents & handling feels confident.

It never ceases to astonish me how there can be such a wide number of differing views on the ride quality of the LHT/DT.


But as someone who wants to own one, one day, I always love reading good things about them.
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Old 08-31-18, 11:20 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by brushspin View Post
Alright kids. I've decided I'll be getting a Surly. Now I'm choosing between the Straggler and Disc Trucker.
After speaking to someone that brought in a LHT into the shop they both strongly advised I get something more lively because I'll be using it as a daily commuter 95% of the time.
That was my thought as well. I had a (non-disc) Trucker for several years. I liked it a lot, but I did feel like it was a bit sluggish when unloaded. I mean it was a bit sluggish all the time, but you expect that when all your gear is on it. You don't expect it when all you're carrying is lunch. I eventually swapped to a Troll for a number of reasons, one being that I wanted to feel like I could do some off-road touring if I wanted to. I was also determined (if not always successfully) to pare down my gear so that I was not carrying four full panniers of gear (plus extra rack-top stuff) when I was touring. If I were dedicated to staying on the road, and looking for a bike that was primarily road commuting, and secondarily road touring, I'd be looking at a Straggler for sure.
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Old 08-31-18, 12:02 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
It never ceases to astonish me how there can be such a wide number of differing views on the ride quality of the LHT/DT.
in the end, one has to ride a given bike to see how it rides when compared to another bike, ideally back to back to remember the differences.

and dont forget, depending on what riding experience you have, your ability to discern differences in how bikes feel, and all the other factors like stem length, tires, tire pressures etc, it brings lots of factors into what a given person feels or writes about.

and while one can take into account stuff written on the interwebs, you just gotta ride a bike yourself to see.
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