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Touring Bikes -Trek520 or Giant OCR Touring(13 posts)

Touring Bikes -Trek520 or Giant OCR TouringRCA
Nov 18, 2002 9:02 PM
I'm new to this site 50 yrs old this winter and looking for a new touring bike. Trek is the old standby but it has bar end shifters The Giant has the new disc brakes and sti shifters Please help me out Its not very often I can get my wife to part with $1600cdn
re: Touring Bikes -Trek520 or Giant OCR TouringMasonJ
Nov 18, 2002 9:06 PM
Go with the OCR. Giant has revolutionized the production of bicycles with the compact road frame. Trek is just old technology they keep recycling like an old beer can. Make sure there is plenty of room to hold your beer though on the Giant. I believe there is. I have looked at them at my local shop and thinking about getting one. I love packing beer in the panniers.
re: Touring Bikes -Trek520 or Giant OCR TouringContinental
Nov 19, 2002 7:37 AM
Both are great bikes. Trek has longer chain stays which will give a smoother ride. You won't be sitting right on top of the rear wheel. Buy the bike that fits you better. If you're tall, you should probbly go with the Trek.
Another vote for the Giant.Ken of Fresno
Nov 18, 2002 9:43 PM
Disc brakes on a touring bike is a good thing. A loaded touring rig flying downhill can use all the stopping power it can get. Don't really care for the color myself, but that's a subjective thing.

Another vote for the Giant.MasonJ
Nov 19, 2002 4:45 AM
Disc brakes are very important when carrying a load of beer. You don't want to wreck and spoil your beer because your old fashioned cantilever brakes can't support the load. Giant is an incredibly innovative company. Enjoy the ride.
re: Touring Bikes -Trek520 or Giant OCR TouringJoe Nordic
Nov 19, 2002 9:17 AM
I have not seen the current version of either bike.
However, the Giant web site says 32 spoke wheels and
12-25 cassette. I believe the Trek has 36 spoke wheels
and 11-32 cassette, which is more appropriate for touring
with even a small load. Both have 30/42/52 crank which
is too big for touring, consider having the shop change it
for a smaller one, maybe 28/38/48. No big deal to have
the shop change the bar ends to STI. As for the steel vs
alu debate, that's up to you. Of course, proper fit would
be the most important consideration.
re: Touring Bikes -Trek520 or Giant OCR TouringBarton
Nov 19, 2002 9:49 AM
As a wild card, check out the Bianchi Volpe. I am 59, and have used mine for 4 years. Nice bike, reliable and comfortable.

Can hang lots of "stuff" on it as well.
Trek !Steve Bailey
Nov 19, 2002 1:51 PM
1) The Giant's 32 spokes is too few for loaded touring. 36 is barely adequate, especially on the rear, even with a very good build, which most production bikes don't get. The Trek uses the Bontrager Fairlane wheel, which has off-set spokes in the rear, making for a better wheel then the Alex rims on the Giant. Note that wheels are the SINGLE biggest problem for newbie tourers.

2) Disk brakes are NOT needed on a loaded tourer. Granted they are better stoppers in the rain, but are a pain to get fixed out in the boonies. Cantilever and V brakes have been around much longer with parts that are readily available. Note also that there is NO real disc brake standard. Shimano uses one type, Avid another, etc... Hydraulic, cable, etc.. There also all kinds of issues as to disk loading on the spokes, which is more of a problem then on 26" wheeled mt. bikes. Bottom line is that there are very few 700c wheeled bikes with disks to gain any experience as to duralbility and wheel issues.

3) Both bikes are going to need some modification to the drivetrain. You usually start by swapping to a 24 small ring, then whatever cogsette to get a 20" low gear.

4) The Trek comes with a set of 35mm tires which are more suitable to touring then the 25's on the Giant. Not that either is a great tire and you may end up swapping to Conti Top Touring anyway.

5) Big Note here.... DO NOT change to STI if already equipped with Bar-Cons !. Period. Bar-Con's are prefered by experienced bicycle tourists and are far more reliable then STI, having friction mode which can get you to town of needed. They also work much better after you've been riding in crud for a few days.

Bottom line is that should the Trek not fit, look around for a Bianchi, Fuji or even a used tourer or some such.

Steve B.
Bontrager wheels suck!MasonJ
Nov 19, 2002 2:43 PM
They are proned for spoke breakage. Just ask my friend Tommy C. He will tell you what crap they are. I would go with the Giant, and stay away from a wheel with real problems.
Nov 19, 2002 3:38 PM
I've been using Bontrager rims on my MTB since 1993. I've never had problems.
Stop carrying Kegs Mason!deHonc
Nov 19, 2002 6:09 PM
Mason Mate,

They only broke because you were carrying a Keg home!


And now a slightly different question ...Allez Rouge
Nov 19, 2002 2:59 PM
... for the experienced tourists here. It is: how would your recommendations change, if in fact they would, when the objective will be to carry the load on a trailer rather than on the bike itself? Is rim strength and spoke count still as important? Is touring geometry still necessary, or would a road bike with not-too-aggressive geometry work?
How about Jamis?BowWow
Nov 19, 2002 8:16 PM
I just bought a new-in-box 2001 Jamis Ventura for C$825, and I'm loving it! The steel frame is far more compliant than my aluminum MTB, and it is set up for touring (geometry, rack mounts, etc.)

Granted, the parts spec is one step below the Giant and Trek (Tiagra instead of 105), but it may be a worthy consideration, and could save a couple hundred, too!