Finally. A bike post. Yesterday’s noon ride was the Trek 920. I figured if I dont have a tent I could at least get something going with my touring. So a 20 mile shakedown it was.
There really is not nothing this bike has over my Long Haul Trucker. Except the 29er wheels. Not 700c, these are 29in MTB wheels. The bike comes with 2in MTB tires, I put on the 32c’s.
So as far as touring goes its not better than my Trucker. So why did I get this one? Really just the wheels. And maybe the weight. Its quite a bit lighter than the Surly being all aluminum.
My disc Trucker has 26in wheels and that’s just due to the weight I ask it to carry. Both me and my gear is quite a strain. Shorter spokes are stronger. But I was always thinking I could use the roll of a 700c wheel but was leary of the weight I would ask it to carry. I weight 260 (on a good day), the bike was close to 50 with racks and I carry about 40 pounds of stuff with cooking equipment. Add that up and its quite a task. So i shy’d away from a 700c wheel. This 920 boasts 29er MTB wheels and thats all I needed to see to order it.
In the winter, I pull all the racks and stuff off these bikes and ride them on our group rides on the beach and such. 29er wheels would be an improvement from the 26in the Trucker has as its mostly road ride then anyway. So when I saw this bike it was not entirely touring I had in mind.
My first concern was the bar shifters. I do understand the simplicity makes them bulletproof but for normal riding to me they are a pain in the ass. And I have never any kind of bar end shifter until yesterday. So maybe I will get used to them but to take my hand off the top of the bar to shift is a bummer to me. I have Sram Rival on the Trucker.
I would just throw on different shifters but the brakes are hydro and just not worth the cost it would take to replace them. Another idea is just put on simple MTB shifters up on the bar and I’ll consider that in time.
Overall, the hydro brakes are nice but don’t have that much more power than the BB7’s on the Trucker. So as far as brakes its a wash.
Its comes with nice stock racks. As good as the Surly’s. And lighter.
As I tooled toward the park I noticed the bike is very comfortable. The touring geometry is spot on. It will ride just fine when weighted down. And of course I noticed a better roll with the bigger hoops. I have 32c street tires with 100 pounds of pressure.
Im not a fan of putting a 700c tire on a 29er wheel. They’re not exactly made for each other. The tires went on hard and took quite a bit to bead up, but I think in time they will stretch a bit and that will get better. Im using Bontragers AW kevlar hard case tire. Ive never has a flat with those ever. (knock on wood)
Another concern I had was the full aluminum frame and fork giving a harsher ride. The truckers were all steel with some carbon on top ( seat post and handlebar). Now that was a smooth ride. And while I did think the 920 did feel a smidge rougher it was not a deal breaker and I’ll take that with the lighter weight. I just might throw on a carbon post and stem to seal that deal.
So overall its a thumbs up. It rolls better than my Truckers and is a lot lighter. Come winter, I can throw on a 2in MTB tire and keep on riding. I will keep the bar end shifters for now but might decided to make some driveline changes in the future. One, maybe two more rides and then its a overniter. Tentwatch 2015 is still on high alert and at this point anything can happen. But Im getting closer to touring and Im excited.