Touring - Trek 520 - Need Help
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My LBS has a 2006 58cm for $970.00 out the door. After I test rode it, it seems a little too big, but was not that bad of a ride. I'm 5 11 1/2 with an inseam of 31-32".
Is it really that big of a deal from a 56 to 58? I was thinking about buying a Jamis Aurora, but the LBS said than the components on the 520 is better than the Aurora and that I should go with the 520. Should I sacrifice size for components? If you are between two sizes, should you go up or go down?
The difference in actual quality between the those two are minimal in real life. Both will function reliably. Having said that, my preference will be to go to the larger bike, since the vast majority of my riding is not touring related, but general purpose road riding. Many will disagree, but I simply like a larger road bike. If I could arrange it, I'd trade my 23" 520 for a 25". My inseam is the same as yours.
Many touring people will advise against going up in size because of weight distribution and having a lower center of gravity. I can't argue against that logic because over a long trip with back-to-back long days, You'd probably feel it.
I'm 5' 10" with average build and I ride the 56. What seems so big with it, is it the reach only? Try a shorter stem than stock but considering your height and longer torso, I'm surprised it didn't work for you.
11-12-07, 03:38 PM
970 out the door for a 520 is really quite good.
I tried the 23" 520 - 98 & it was a tetch high to put larger tires on for me.
then I tried a 21" 520 - 2002 (I got it NOS cheap) & the bars were a bit low without more messing then I wanted to do (Threadless)
My conclusion was that the 21" earlier one would have fit fine.
My solution - I traded the 21" for a 56cm LHT to a fellah about the same size as me, but with diff dimensions leg vs. torso.
- A great deal on a bike that isn't right is not a great deal.
- Touring bikes should be fitted differently IMHO, I tend to agree with Grant Peterson that a good place to start is with a "fistful of seatpost" (on bikes where the seat lug is roughly at the top tube)
If you're kinda between Trek sizes like I am check out an LHT. I dunno what they're going for new at this point, but they were a bit cheaper then a new 520 last year. Added bonus is that the gearing is a bit more oriented for touring. I didnt' have a prob with the trek gearing on my mild tour last year, but I didn't use the big ring that much when loaded.:D
11-13-07, 02:59 PM
I have a 25" Trek 520 and I'm 5 foot 11 1/2. It fits me like a glove. The bars are up high and I am nice and relaxed on it. Then again I always have liked my road bikes large. It has a fistful of seatpost showing. A lot of people would say the bike is too large but I have had no problems with it and it is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden.
11-14-07, 02:31 PM
I'm the same height/inseam as you, and I have a 2006 Trek 520 58cm. We worked on the saddle position first, and then I purchased a Ritchey adjustable stem to get the handlebars higher (I'm 45 with no back trouble and I want to remain that way!).
But as so many on the list say, correctly so, fit and feel are extremely specific to the individual.
FYI, that price is great, even if you have to tweak the stock setup to get it "just right."
11-14-07, 05:12 PM
I thoroughly checked out the 520, the Jamis Aurora, the new Aurora Elite, and concluded that the Jamis was more appropriate for ME for the following reasons;
1) The Trek's head tube wasn't tall enough to bring the handlebar up high enougg without doing a lot of surgery on the stem.
2) The bar end shifters, while nice for their reliablility, positively suck for city commuting. I mostly ride atop the bars, and having to constantly reach down to shift in traffic is a complete non-starter for me.
Yes, the 520 has a better parts package than the regular Aurora, but definitely not the Elite, although the Elite is basically a cyclocross with a road triple. But the parts difference between the 520 and regular Aurora might not make as much of a difference as you might imagine. It's all good.
Like everybody has said, it's all about fit and the purpose for which you're using the bike. As a matter of fact, I'll probably do very LITTLE actual touring on my bike, but I'm looking moreso for a great ALL-PURPOSE bike, and the Aurora seems to fit the bill perfectly. I also love the cheater (interupter) brakes on the top bar in addition to the brifters. On the Jamis, I counted 6 different hand positions! And they were all comfortable. To me, that's what's important. Plus, I like the longer wheelbase advantage the Aurora has over the Aurora Elite. The Elite has a waaaay better parts package ($1250 including 10% discount) with an Ultegra/105 mix, but the gearing was higher (10/27 rear cassette), there were no interupter brakes, and the headtube was shorter (it's an 07' rebadged Aurora). Also, the 631 frame seemed to ride a little stiffly, which I didn't like.
As for fit, I subscribe to the Rivendell method; when in doubt, buy the bigger frame.
I tried both a 50 and 53cm Aurora, and I fall right in between sizes. The 50 seemed a bit small, lower to the road, with just a fraction of an inch of toe overlap without fenders. The 53, although feeling a bit stretched out, felt waay more comfortable; with a commanding view of the road (higher center of gravity though), and not even a hint of toe overlap. During the test ride, the pedaling circles just felt "right". And after shortening the Ritchie adjustable stem, and flipping it upside down, I was MUCH more comfortable, and didn't feel too stretched out. Now, all I have to do is double check the seat position to make sure my knees aren't too far forward or back.
Btw, I'm 5'6", with a 30" pant inseam, a 32" Pubic Bone Height (ala Rivendell), and have just under an inch and a half of standover clearance on the 53 Aurora...and about 2.5" clearance on the 50, which felt like too much. And if it needs reiterating, cockpit POSTION/fit is WAAAAAY more important than standover height. If you're trying to decide between two sizes, I'd recommend going larger and adjusting everything else downward if possible. Yeah, you can adjust a smaller bike upwards, but I wouldn't recommend it...for comfort sake.
Sorry for the Jamis side-track. I did enjoy the ride of the 520, but I came to the conclusion that I'd have to put too much money into it in order to "make it" the way I'd want...which didn't make it a good deal for me.
11-17-07, 10:10 PM
Last week I ordered the Aurora, should be in next week.
11-17-07, 11:42 PM
I suspect you're gonna love it. Keep us informed... :)
11-18-07, 01:53 PM
I am pretty much those dimensions and I ride a 58" LHT that I am very happy with. That being said, if the bike is the wrong size for you don't buy it. That is a very common bike, I am sure you can find it in a size you are comfortable with. Do you really want a bike that is "not that bad of a ride" every day of a long tour?
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