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Trek 920

Old 01-02-16, 05:42 PM
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MUDDY88YJ
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Trek 920

Hi does anyone own a trek 920 and does anyone know of a better disc brake touring bike on the market.
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Old 01-02-16, 05:52 PM
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I am 140 pounds and am wondering about the 28 spoke wheels. Also curious as to why only a double crank. And wondering about people's opinion on aluminum touring frames. If there was a bike on the market that addressed thoes issues that would be great to know about
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Old 01-02-16, 08:00 PM
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Co-Motion has a large variety of touring bicycles to offer in high end steel. Lyndsky in Ti.
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Old 01-02-16, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDDY88YJ View Post
Hi does anyone own a trek 920 and does anyone know of a better disc brake touring bike on the market.
No actual 920 owners here AFAIK. Not a big seller so far.

Surly Disc Trucker is probably better/safer choice. Tough steel frame. No oddball low-spoke-count thru-axle wheels that are more likely to fail and leave you stranded with low probability of quick replacement. Triple crank drivetrain has wider gear range, smaller steps between gears. SDT is available in smaller frame sizes with 26" wheels, which fit wider range of riders, are perhaps longer-lived wheels, and 26" tires are more readily available than 700c in Third World locations. SDT costs less and been made for 4 years now, probably in the thousands by now, all the bugs worked out in manufacturing/assembly.

A 140 lb rider is probably fine on 28h wheels, but the weight savings of 16 spokes and nipples is insignificant in most loaded tourists' views, while the additional 29% spokes sounds like a real good idea given that wheels are one of the biggest problem areas on touring bikes. If you plan on leaving the pavement, then steel frame and more spokes is a good idea.

Last edited by seeker333; 01-02-16 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 01-03-16, 07:42 AM
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Thank you for the advice.
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Old 01-03-16, 11:51 AM
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Another thought I had is really how odd are the through axle hubs. Are they really as oddball as some people are saying.
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Old 01-03-16, 11:59 AM
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I really wish Cannondale would have built this bike. I'm still waiting to see it converted to 650b.
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Old 01-03-16, 12:29 PM
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Thru axle (TA) has been around for about 7-8 years on mid-priced and up MTBs, mostly on front only. It is relatively new for MTB frames to incorporate TA. TA is a boon to some, but for many it is another solution-looking-for-a-problem. I never lost a wheel MTBing with std QR axles.

AFAIK, Trek 920 is the only touring bike to incorporate TA. It seems even less likely that TA is an innovation actually needed in normal touring. If you are touring so that TA does make sense, then you probably need to use a suspended BoB trailer or similar since no std rack could take that kind of beating for long - in which case you could tour on any kind of bike, like a 29/27.5 MTB.

Actually if you are riding in such conditions, you will quickly realize you need to find a better route to make any progress - in which case you will then want a more std touring bike. If you make good route & timing decisions, then most unusual bicycle technologies become unnecessary and rendered simply a sales gimmick. Disc brakes are overkill for some scenarios/regions/users. Discs excel in rain, but in dry weather they transform to little more than 2-3 extra pounds of complicating componentry. I have found disc brake in front only to be a good compromise in brake performance/added weight, since the front does majority of actual stopping.
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Old 01-03-16, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
....another solution-looking-for-a-problem...
there's a lot of that going around. the new microsoft outlook email system, any
recent microsoft product, my brokerage's new website, this grrrravel grrrrrinder....

all apparently designed by goateed, hemp-bag toting starbucks hipsters in order to
provide a new paradigm experience of synergistic allignment, organically empowering
the sustainably holistic predeluvial globalizationavistic sisterhood of spandex thru the
leveraged application of dystopic peptides....
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Old 01-03-16, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDDY88YJ View Post
I am 140 pounds and am wondering about the 28 spoke wheels. Also curious as to why only a double crank. And wondering about people's opinion on aluminum touring frames. If there was a bike on the market that addressed thoes issues that would be great to know about
Nothing wrong with aluminum frames. The robust racks imply heavy load carrying capability but the wheels do not. Nothing wrong with a double crank if the gear range meets your needs. At 140 lbs you can ride lighter bikes than those built for 300lbs of rider and gear. I wouldn't look for a touring bike according to what's the latest mashup of attributes but what rides well for your handling preferences, road and load.

do you need a fat tire capability?
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Old 01-04-16, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDDY88YJ View Post
Hi does anyone own a trek 920 and does anyone know of a better disc brake touring bike on the market.
I can't say much for the 920, I looked at one in the store and didn't quite like it... I do own an AWOL and Vaya so I can speak for them. I really like the AWOL a lot. When I originally purchased the AWOL I was torn between it and the Vaya but in the end opted for the AWOL. I always felt a nudge of remorse with regard to the Vaya so when I saw a 2013 Vaya 2 on CL for a good price n+1 rationalizing kic ked in full gear and I jumped on it. After a summer of riding both I know for myself that the AWOL would win out between the two. To be fair I purchased the AWOL frameset and built it exactly how I wanted so that might help push the AWOL to the front but I'm not sure. I also feel the AWOL would handle loads better than the Vaya but have honestly never done anything more than a long weekend on either. I also have a Randonee that I've been taking on Longer trips but only because my daughter stole my AWOL after I let her ride it. I guess that might count as another vote for the AWOL...

Another bike to look at if you're stuck on disks is the Novara Mazama, frame looks very similar to the Randonee. The Salsa Marrakesh looks pretty nice as well but I don't like the idea of being tied to the alternator racks though. There's always the disc trucker too which is very highly regarded as well.

My advice would be to try them all out for yourself to find what you like best...

Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
there's a lot of that going around. the new microsoft outlook email system, any
recent microsoft product, my brokerage's new website, this grrrravel grrrrrinder....

all apparently designed by goateed, hemp-bag toting starbucks hipsters in order to
provide a new paradigm experience of synergistic allignment, organically empowering
the sustainably holistic predeluvial globalizationavistic sisterhood of spandex thru the
leveraged application of dystopic peptides....
That's kind of funny but don't you feel that Surly/Salsa could fit that bill as well?
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Old 01-04-16, 07:28 PM
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I think that you could build a pretty good approximation of a Trek 920 using a combination of other components, instead of buying the stock bike. I.e. An alloy MTB frame, a Surly Troll/Ogre fork, a Shimano Deore triple trekking groupset from one of the European Online retailers, a short stem/drop bar combo with bar end shifters, or a Jones bar/Butterfly Bar with MTB trigger shifters, 36h rims and hubs with DT Swiss Double Butted spokes and racks. The forks will have a lot of mounts and there are quite a few frame adapters (p-clamps) for rack mounting for the rear. Many MTB frames have eyelets that will support fenders at the rear, and the Surly forks definitely have them, but there are a range of cheaper forks available that could be used.

I really liked the look of the Trek 920, but ultimately I went with a Specialized AWOL for a number of reasons. The basic concept of the 920 seems to me to be valid, but I disliked a lot of the stock features of the bike (for a touring bike, that is), including the gearing (not low or high enough), the brakes (complicated for maintaining while touring) and the wheels (through axles are still hard to find/replace where I live and I am a bigger guy, so 28 spoke wheels were never going to be acceptable for me).

Last edited by PDKL45; 01-04-16 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 01-04-16, 08:59 PM
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I think I'm done with the finicky 920. But I will still go test ride it. Now what are people's opinion of 26 inch wheels vs 700c on a touring bicycle. Thankyou for all the input.
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Old 01-04-16, 09:38 PM
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last summer I met two women riding across Canada and were loaded with about 40lbs or so. The one with the 920 had all her load on the backat first and had numerous spoke breakages--not much of a surprise.

as you mentioned, not having a triple is a stroke against, alum frames are fine in my experience (and friends who have been riding alu frames for decades) but the wheelset really isnt ideal for loaded touring. The one example I have to support my wheel comment may have been an anomaly, but I doubt it, again, from my experience this is not a surprise at all.
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Old 01-04-16, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by edthesped View Post
That's kind of funny but don't you feel that Surly/Salsa could fit that bill as well?
dunno. never looked at them closely. quick peek on the googles:

surly looks to be your basic classic normal standard road touring bike.
salsa appears to be grinder-ish although not necessarily starbucks-poser worthy.
920 is going for the terminator look. cool, but not especially functional.
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Old 01-17-16, 03:38 PM
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Howdy from Idaho.
I toured around 3000 miles on my 920 this past year, both on and off road, (mostly on, but lots of gravel roads.) I wouldn't dream of anything else for myself for the next several years. It handles very nicely and hydro disc are the only way I will go from now on. Having been working in a shop for the past ten years, I ignored the typical old school mindset and decided against any of the Salsa line. (We sell Trek and Salsa.)
I did the PCH in three sections the previous year all on a GASP!! carbon cross bike and had a blast. Just ride. Its easy to overthink this. If you have a massive load and are typically hard on stuff, then its a good idea to really research the details.

MIkey

Last edited by mikeonthemadone; 01-17-16 at 03:50 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-17-16, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
last summer I met two women riding across Canada and were loaded with about 40lbs or so. The one with the 920 had all her load on the backat first and had numerous spoke breakages--not much of a surprise.

as you mentioned, not having a triple is a stroke against, alum frames are fine in my experience (and friends who have been riding alu frames for decades) but the wheelset really isnt ideal for loaded touring. The one example I have to support my wheel comment may have been an anomaly, but I doubt it, again, from my experience this is not a surprise at all.
That's interesting as I had around 45-50 lbs on my 920 and all on the rear rack and I weigh 170. Were they off road much on skinny tires that you recall?
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Old 01-17-16, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeonthemadone View Post
That's interesting as I had around 45-50 lbs on my 920 and all on the rear rack and I weigh 170. Were they off road much on skinny tires that you recall?
They were all on road, I'm pretty certain had put 32 slicks on, gatorskins. I did recommend to them about perhaps bringing the pressures down a bit too be easier on the rims, but by that time the spoke breakages were over by then, after a number of spoke retensioning--which of course touches on how good the wheel prep was from the beginning, and also another unknown is how she rides. We all know that some people can be rough on stuff, and how you hit obstacles, speed, unweighting off seat, can all make a real difference of forces going into the wheel.

That's all I know. In your case, I suspect you personally check your spoke tensions or had a good wheel guy do it--I had the impression that she bought the bike and headed off on her trip right away.
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Old 01-17-16, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
there's a lot of that going around. the new microsoft outlook email system, any
recent microsoft product, my brokerage's new website, this grrrravel grrrrrinder....

all apparently designed by goateed, hemp-bag toting starbucks hipsters in order to
provide a new paradigm experience of synergistic allignment, organically empowering
the sustainably holistic predeluvial globalizationavistic sisterhood of spandex thru the
leveraged application of dystopic peptides....
Wow, you must write ad copy; this is good,
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Old 01-17-16, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeonthemadone View Post
Howdy from Idaho.
I toured around 3000 miles on my 920 this past year, both on and off road, (mostly on, but lots of gravel roads.) I wouldn't dream of anything else for myself for the next several years. It handles very nicely and hydro disc are the only way I will go from now on. Having been working in a shop for the past ten years, I ignored the typical old school mindset and decided against any of the Salsa line. (We sell Trek and Salsa.)
I did the PCH in three sections the previous year all on a GASP!! carbon cross bike and had a blast. Just ride. Its easy to overthink this. If you have a massive load and are typically hard on stuff, then its a good idea to really research the details.

MIkey
Mike, I'm curious about stock wheels on pricier production bikes these days. My assumption being that the 920 fits that description. Would you feel confident sending someone out on a trip loaded as you were on the 920 without going over the wheels? I ask because djb's observation would imply an improperly trued wheel although one anecdote doesnt necessarily define the original status of the wheel.
i've bought a couple Handspun brand wheels a few years back and they didn't require any adjustment as received, spoke tension was even and they stayed true for years carrying my fat ass and loads. Just wondering if the bikes come out of the box with well built wheels.
A lot of spoke breakage I saw decades ago on PCH came from people who simply were unaware of the condition of their wheels so they would ride for 100's of miles on wheels a bike mechanic could tell right off needed trueing. The only way the person knew something was wrong was when the spokes broke.
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Old 01-17-16, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeonthemadone View Post
Howdy from Idaho.
I toured around 3000 miles on my 920 this past year, both on and off road, (mostly on, but lots of gravel roads.) I wouldn't dream of anything else for myself for the next several years. It handles very nicely and hydro disc are the only way I will go from now on. Having been working in a shop for the past ten years, I ignored the typical old school mindset and decided against any of the Salsa line. (We sell Trek and Salsa.)
I did the PCH in three sections the previous year all on a GASP!! carbon cross bike and had a blast. Just ride. Its easy to overthink this. If you have a massive load and are typically hard on stuff, then its a good idea to really research the details.

MIkey
Not to overthink this but what's the advantage of 28 hole rims? There's an areodynamic advantage to fewer spokes if going fast but most people going offroad touring probably aren't time trialing. What's the downside of overbuilding the wheel a bit with say 32 spokes? Overbuilding parts that might fail doesn't strike me as being an old school mindset so much as a pretty sound design principle.

To be clear, I'm not arguing with your experience with the bike which is clearly excellent but you also said it was the best thing out there for offroad touring. What's the advantage of 28 spokes say over 32? Are you going fast enough where this is a plus for you? Why is it a disadvantage to overbuild a wheel for that kind of an application say with 32 spokes?
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Old 01-17-16, 05:35 PM
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I strongly suspect it's in the marketing, to make the bike visually fit the ad copy of the 25 to 35 hard ass sliding the rear tire around a gravel corner with bike packing bags on the bike (you get the picture) so to keep the wheel weight down and look you put less spokes. It looks faster this way.
Listen, I like alu frames and a lighter bike, so I don't have a problem with it--as long as they work for a reasonable amount of weight on the bike.
I'm sure too that the stock wider low pressure tires help the rims.
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Old 01-17-16, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeonthemadone View Post
...Its easy to overthink this...
More spokes are better for wheel longevity, and the incremental weight added by a few spokes for Touring use is utterly trivial. Well built 36h, 135/100mm QR hub wheels are fairly common among the Touring crowd because they are sensible low-cost, low-maintenance, proven wheels.

The Surly LHT, probably the most popular touring bike ever, uses mid-tier Shimano ball bearing hubs, inexpensive Alex rims and 36 straight gauge spokes. I cannot recall a single thread on the Touring forum where someone complained about the cheap wheels on their LHT. It is unnecessary to reinvent this wheel for touring.

The fact that the Trek 920 has 28 spoke wheels is not it's major shortcoming; rather it is the fact that the 920 frame/fork will accept ONLY 142-12mm rear and 100-15mm front thru-axle wheels. These will likely be a special order item at any North American LBS you'd stop at for a wheel replacement. If you plan on touring outside NA the Trek 920 is not the best choice.

I'll conclude by noting that steel is well known to be a more durable material with a fatigue limit that is several orders of magnitude greater than aluminum. A well built steel frame can last lifetimes if protected from corrosion. An aluminum frame can fail in relatively short time used regularly in a rough off-road setting, which makes the choice of Al for the Trek 920 all the more puzzling. Evidently Trek is aiming for the MTBing crowd with this bike, and since more than half the bikes sold spend their entire lives in a shed, basement or garage, Trek probably isn't risking much in the design of the 920.
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Old 01-17-16, 06:30 PM
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I did do a very quick check, but for the most part, very few wheels I have had out of the box on my own or customer bikes are really out of whack. Always a good idea to check.
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Old 01-17-16, 06:34 PM
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Certainly agree on the wheel thing, but having had ridden two alu framed bikes over the last 15 years, I'm entirely comfortable with it for touring.... might even use it for far off places if there was one I liked for 26in wheels.
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