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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I should probably start off by mentioning that I got a killer deal on a road bike over the holiday season. I snagged a 2005 Trek 1500 from a former triathlete for $500 (he paid $1300 new w/accessories). The bike is superlight and superfast, but, alas, it doesn't really suit my needs. I'm fairly new to biking, so I figured that, hell, a road bike is a road bike. I didn't understand the subtle differences in frame geometry affect how the bike rides, and that a racing bike would not be well suited to certain styles of riding. Silly me.

I now realize that I want a frame more suited to touring. I don't race and don't plan on it. I like cycling in all weather conditions, taking in the scenery, and may even commute and/or do some touring this summer. So I have come up with a couple plans of action:
(1) Sell the 1500, hopefully for more than I paid, and search around to try to find a (complete) quality touring bike used (possibly even new one if the price is reduced substantially). The main question here is: are there places (other than craigslist) to find used bikes online?
or
(2) Buy a new touring frame and switch the components over from the 1500, then sell the 1500 frameset (it is aluminum with a carbon fork). If you're not familiar with the 1500 it has 105 STI shifters, ultegra/105 derailleurs, 105 brakes, and really nice & light Bontrager select wheels (w/700x23 tires). Now, I could only find a couple of touring frames in a search this evening: the "Surly Long Haul Trucker" frameset which sells for $430 at Jensen, and the "Pake C'Mute" frame only for around $200 at a few online retailers. I also checked Nashbar and Performance, so I'm wondering if there are any other sites that might sell quality frames for cheap?
or
(3) The same as #2, only with an older touring frame.

As I stated before, I'm fairly new to cycling. So there are probably some things that, due to my ignorance, I did not take into account here. I would be grateful if someone with a knowledge and experience could weigh in on this situation, bring some considerations to my attention, and advise me into making a more informed decision here.
 

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+1 on the Long Haul Trucker.

Only applicable if you need the smaller frame: the complete Long Haul Trucker comes with 26" wheels in sizes 42 - 54 cm; with 700C wheels in sizes 56 - 62 cm. If you need the smaller-size frame, I wonder if 700C wheels would fit properly, what with the cantilever brake bosses and such. Does someone know? I don't.
 

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budmol
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According to the Surly specs, the Long Haul has 135 rear spacing. Road bikes are typically 130, not that you would want to use the lighter wheels on a tourer anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses! The Long Haul Trucker is what I was leaning towards myself.

I'm wondering about a couple of things in transferring the parts over. I have a feeling that the weelset might not be the right fit for a touring bike (i.e. due to durability). And I'm also wondering if the brakes currently on the 1500 will fit (Shimano 105), or will I have to buy a set of long-pulls (which I wouldn't be opposed to, assuming that long-pull mountain bike brakes will fit)?

Here's some specs on the 1500:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2005/archive/1500
 

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sometimereader
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The M.T. Bike said:
I have a feeling that the weelset might not be the right fit for a touring bike (i.e. due to durability). And I'm also wondering if the brakes currently on the 1500 will fit (Shimano 105), or will I have to buy a set of long-pulls (which I wouldn't be opposed to, assuming that long-pull mountain bike brakes will fit)?
As you suspect, the 1500 components aren't really optimum for touring.
  1. The wheels won't fit the rear spacing and might not be as sturdy as a tourer likes (I have no experience with the 1500's wheels).
  2. The brakes aren't as powerful as usually desired and won't fit with many fender setups.
  3. The gearing isn't anywhere near as wide as most tourers would like. (That's why the LHT is assuming you'll be using mountain gearing.)
My suggestion: sell the 1500 intact, buy a touring frame, and build it up with touring components or buy a complete touring bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Could anyone elaborate on the gearing a little bit? This might be the deciding factor. I'll be using the bike for commuting, recreational riding (under 20 miles), and the occasional long ride (20-40 miles).
 

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One thing to consider- you aren't really looking for a touring frame.

If yer only going to be maybe considering a light tour over the summer and yer just looking for something that'll hold fenders and wider tires, but yer reasonably comfortable with the components you've got (gears aren't too high, etc) and yer gonna mostly be using this bike for long all-weather rides in the country and commuting, what about a Salsa Casseroll frame?

It's steel, it's pretty, it'll hold pretty much any wheel you've got AND it'll fit 28s with fenders...

You could do a light weekend tour on it pretty easily if you wanted...
 

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sometimereader
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The M.T. Bike said:
Could anyone elaborate on the gearing a little bit? This might be the deciding factor. I'll be using the bike for commuting, recreational riding (under 20 miles), and the occasional long ride (20-40 miles).
Most road bikes have narrow spaced gearing. Touring riders usually want a much wider range.

Low gear on the 1500 triple that you mentioned: 30/25 (front/rear)
Low gear on many touring bikes: 26/34

The latter means that you can peddle at a reasonable cadence at under 3 miles/hr. This can be useful on long hills with heavy loads

These super low gears might not see much use in other circumstances, but its high gears are nearly as high as normal road bikes - so the wide gearing won't hold you back on any of your other riding. (BTW, 40 miles isn't really a long ride for most touring.)
 

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I just got back into cycling myself. The RBR answer to whether to buy a road bike, touring bike, commuter, mountain, fixie or any other type of bicycle is to buy them all.

Seriously, if you can afford it keep the Trek for sunny days and get an affordable touring bike for everything else. Those 20-40 mile long rides will turn into 80-100 miles before you know it.
 

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The M.T. Bike said:
Thanks for the responses! The Long Haul Trucker is what I was leaning towards myself.

I'm wondering about a couple of things in transferring the parts over. I have a feeling that the weelset might not be the right fit for a touring bike (i.e. due to durability). And I'm also wondering if the brakes currently on the 1500 will fit (Shimano 105), or will I have to buy a set of long-pulls (which I wouldn't be opposed to, assuming that long-pull mountain bike brakes will fit)?
Long Haul Trucker (LHT) takes cantilever brakes, so most likely, the caliper brakes from your Trek won't work on the LHT.

A similar observation to buck-50's about touring and the LHT: that bike is really designed for loaded touring, such as providing ample heel clearance for pannier bags. If you're just going to do organized tours with no luggage or with your luggage hauled by the organizers, I'll revise my above endorsement and say that the LHT is a bit of an overkill. That said, many here enjoy their LHT for day tours.

How about a Surly Pacer frameset? Takes 700 x 28 tires with fenders, 32 without. And most, if not all, of your Trek stuff will transfer.
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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The components on a road bike are not suited for touring. At the least, a touring bike will require a triple crank, a long-cage derailleur, wider gear ratios, and wheels with wider tires and heavier-duty hubs. None of these are on a Trek 1500. If the Trek is not what you need, sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
RESOLUTION: I initially knew that the seatpost and brakes wouldn't fit, but without the advice from everyone who posted here, I wouldn't have realized that the gearing/components might not be the best for touring. What I ended up doing was selling the Trek 1500 for $700 and buying a Trek 790 (Euro version of the 520) for $640. The Schwinn will keep its place as the ultimate fixie/urban destroyer. Again, all of the advice is immensely appreciated.
 
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