First impressions: Trek 920 rugged touring bike

Bicycle Times Trek 920

The Trek 920 blurs the line between “gravel” bikes and loaded touring bikes.

The whole concept of bicycle touring has been turned on its ear in the past few years. For a generation the idea was loading up a stalwart Trek 520 and following the pavement wherever it took you. Today many folks don’t even start their tour until they find where the pavement ends. Rides like the Tour Divide or the Oregon Outback have made back roads the new main street for bike touring, and Trek has designed the new 920 model for exploring on dirt, gravel and beyond. (Trek also debuted a new 720 light touring model.)

Bicycle Times Trek 920

The parts spec uses a traditional touring layout but swaps in some high-tech mountain bike components.

The all-new aluminum frame and fork are more reminiscent of a mountain bike than a traditional, steel touring rig. The massive tubes keep things from twisting when loaded or traversing rough terrain. The distinctive kink in the top tube adds room for a second bottle cage on the down tube, meaning there is room for four bottle cages on the main triangle, as well as one on each fork leg.

Bicycle Times Trek 920

Thru-axles front and rear add stiffness and security.

The 920 can be stripped down for events like the Dirty Kanza 200 or run with its included front and rear aluminum racks, giving you all the carrying capacity you could want. And while it may look a bit like a traditional touring bike with this set up, the details make it anything but. The Bontrager Duster wheels and knobby 29×2.0 Bontrager XR1 tires are straight from the brand’s mountain bike line, as are the inclusion of thru-axles front and rear.

Bicycle Times Trek 920

Braking is handled by the excellent TRP Hylex hydraulic system.

The drivetrain is a curious mix as well, with traditional-looking bar end shifters paired with a SRAM S1000 42/28 mountain bike crankset and 11-36 cassette. Keeping your loaded rig under control is made much easier with the TRP Hylex hydraulic disc brakes. After using these for a few weeks it’s impossible to imagine going back to cantilevers.

Bicycle Times Trek 920

The frame can also fit fenders for double duty as a commuter, something that should normally be essential here in Oregon.

I’ve been riding the Trek 920 on back roads all over Oregon in the past few weeks (aided by an alarming lack of snowpack) and thus far it has been an excellent adventure partner. Watch for an in-depth review soon.

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Vital stats

Price: $2,090

Weight: 28.13 pounds, w/racks

Sizes: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 (tested), 61cm

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