Trek have recently been busy building one of the most comprehensive adventure and touring bike line ups around. There are now SEVEN different bikes, including the 2016 Trek 920, which are suited to everything from road touring right through to adventure off-road. I’ve put this resource together to guide you through the different models and help determine what might best suit you.
The 2016 Trek 920 Adventure Touring Bike
The 2016 Trek 920 is a tweaked mountain bike with a drop handlebar. It’s designed around wide, knobby mountain bike tyres which can take you to more places than slicks. It uses a mountain bike drivetrain and wheels, in combination with drop handlebars and bar-end shifters.
Although the 2016 Trek 920 is best suited to off-road riding, a swap-out to slick tyres would make it an exceptional long-distance touring bike. The geometry is actually prime for heavy-loaded touring with it’s high ‘fork trail’, long chainstay/wheelbase and tall front end. That said, the gearing is optimised around lower speeds, so the 42t front chainring may have you spinning a bit on road descents.
The bike price including front and rear racks is US $1989.
The Trek 720 Light Touring Bike
The 720 is one of Trek’s lightweight touring options. It uses an alloy frame and carbon fibre fork to keep the weight down (11kg or so), making it a great multi-purpose bike like the Cannondale Touring. It comes with Shimano 105 11-spd gearing, TRP Hydro/Cable disc brakes and some front side-mount racks and dry bags.
The 720 is best suited to smooth roads with a lightweight load, although it’s a really sturdy bike and will handle front and rear panniers if you needed. It’s smallest gear is 29 gear inches, which is a little large for really steep hills including a load, but will be fine for most touring. There are eyelets for racks and fenders.
The price is US $1889 including the front dry bags.
The Trek CrossRip Light Touring Bike
The CrossRip is almost identical to the 720 in every way – it even uses the same aluminium frame tubing and carbon fibre fork. The geometry is ever so slightly different between the bikes; you’d be pretty hard pressed to notice the subtle differences. The most noticeable difference may be the 5mm taller and longer front end of the CrossRip. The likely reason for Trek having these two near-identical bikes is so they can market the bikes in two separate bike categories (fitness and touring).
Like the 720, CrossRips are most at home on a smooth road with a light load but will handle four panniers well. The bikes use either compact or road triple cranksets, working with wide-range cassettes to achieve a lowish drive gear (close to 1:1 / 29 gear inches). The bikes have eyelets for racks and fenders.
The CrossRip is available in three different builds. The LTD comes with Shimano 105 11-spd gearing and TRP Hydro/Cable disc brakes and is priced at US $1679. Next up, the Elite uses Shimano Sora 9-spd gearing and cable disc brakes and is US $1199. For a bit less money again, you can get the Comp with Shimano Claris 8-spd gearing at US $1099. If you’re tossing up between the CrossRip LTD and 720, go the CrossRip as it has a US $200 price advantage!
The Trek 520 Long Distance Touring Bike
The 520 has been in the Trek line-up for 33 years! It’s actually the longest running model in Trek’s bike range. As you can imagine, the geometry of the 520 has been refined a lot over this period. The bottom bracket is low, the chainstays are long and the steering pretty slow. All good things for touring.
The 520 uses 4130 steel for both the frame and fork. The spec is super simple, solid and reliable with 36 spoke wheels, cable brakes and bar-end shifters. The gear range is exceptional, spanning from 22 to 118 gear inches. This should be enough to climb almost anything with all four panniers, but if you wanted even more low gears you could switch the cassette to a 34t (21 gear inches).
The price is US $1259 with v-brakes and US $1359 with disc brakes. My pick would be the disc model!
Want To Compare These Touring Bikes With Dozens of Others?
Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. This guide is updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!
Touring Bikes Overview
2016 Advocate Lorax
2016 Basso Ulisse
2016 Bianchi Volpe and Lupo 2016
2016 Bombtrack Beyond
2017 Bombtrack Beyond
2016 Brodie Elan Vital
2016 Cannondale Touring
2016 Cinelli Hobootleg Geo
2017 Curve Grovel V2
2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon
2016 Fuji Touring
2017 Fuji Touring
2016 Genesis Tour de Fer
2016 Giant ToughRoad
2017 Giant ToughRoad
2016 Jamis Aurora and Aurora Elite
2016 Kona Big Rove
2016 Kona Roadhouse and Sutra LTD
2016 Kona Sutra
2017 Kona Sutra
2016 Marin Four Corners
2017 Marin Four Corners
2016 Masi Giramondo
2016 Niner RLT9
2016 Rawland Ulv and Ravn
2016 Salsa Deadwood
2017 Salsa Fargo
2016 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Vaya
2016 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized Diverge
2017 Specialized Sequoia
2017 Surly Troll
2016 Traitor Wander
2016 Trek 920, 720, 520 & CrossRip
2017 Trek CrossRip