A proper touring bike is a beast of burden. It’s not the fastest, generally not the fanciest, but it knows how to work. Touring bikes are designed to carry large loads over long distances. Everything from gear selection, frame geometry, wheel construction, and frame material is built with the single purpose of schlepping you and your gear. We’ve recently received Trek’s touring specific 520 Disc and love the well thought out design. Listed below are a few key features that distinguish the 520 from a standard road bike that you add racks to.
1. Frame material
The 520 boasts a butted chromoly steel frame. While not as light as a full carbon rocket ship, the steel frame is much more durable, provides a great ride quality and is capable of supporting loads far better than any other frame material. Steel is the material of choice for these bikes, no matter what your budget.