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  1. #1
    Senior Member Trek_geek's Avatar
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    Is My Trek 520 Too Small?

    I've been riding my 58cm (largest frame) Trek 520 for 6 weeks now (600 plus miles) on my daily commute. I am 6'3'' tall with a 34" pant inseam. I was reluctant at first to get the 520 because I've been riding a 63cm (largest frame) Trek 1000 since 2006.

    I "feel" very comfortable on the 520 and fell in love when I test rode the bike but have 2 concerns. 1.) On a steep, windy path between neighborhoods I have to stand up the last 30 yards and have bumped the bar end shifters with my knees a couple of times if I lean forward too far. 2.) I have felt a front end wobble start if I lift one hand off the bar to look over my shoulder. (like there is too much weight over the front of the bike). The head set is not loose. I had the LBS mechanic check it on my first tune up visit.

    I know this is a difficult topic to hash over on a forum without seeing me on the bike but I thought I'd at least throw it out there.

    Thanks.
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood -- er, commutes by bike with me -- shall be my brother; be never so vile...
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    2012 Trek 520, Planet Bike Hardcore Hybred Fenders, Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers, Topeak MTX Trunk Bag.
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  2. #2
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    I just looked at the Trek website and there is no 58 cm trek 520 - there is a 57 cm and a 60 cm, which is the largest.

    How much seatpost is exposed and do you have proper leg extension?

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Maybe you need more saddle setback. different seatpost.

    Replace the bars with something wider, Nitto Noodle is up to a 48cm wide.

    longer extension stem, maybe add a stem riser , since you bought it,
    you might as well make it fit.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-17-12 at 03:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Trek_geek's Avatar
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    My bad. I test rode the 57cm. Mine is a 60cm. My LBS spent time with me on a trainer and I feel like my leg extension is good and my seat is about level with my bars. The sloped top tube on the 520 makes a lot of seat post exposed

    Wider bars would seem counter-intuitive to me as the weight being out further from the center would set the wobble sooner.

    I don't see where seat position front or back would prevent me from hitting the bar end shifters when I am standing. Wouldn't top tube length be the only thing that would effect that?
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood -- er, commutes by bike with me -- shall be my brother; be never so vile...
    Shakespeare, William sort of...


    2012 Trek 520, Planet Bike Hardcore Hybred Fenders, Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers, Topeak MTX Trunk Bag.
    2006 Trek 1000 SL, Stock
    1995 Performance 505 MTB, 1.5" City Tires, Topeak Rack

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Wider bars will keep you from Kneeing the bar end shifters,
    plan B bars which flare out, at the Bottom .. wood chipper

    think about adding top-mount interrupter levers
    those let you brake from the tops.

    long thigh bone? .. and set-back takes weight off your hands ,
    Puts it on your saddle.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_geek View Post
    My bad. I test rode the 57cm. Mine is a 60cm. My LBS spent time with me on a trainer and I feel like my leg extension is good and my seat is about level with my bars. The sloped top tube on the 520 makes a lot of seat post exposed

    Wider bars would seem counter-intuitive to me as the weight being out further from the center would set the wobble sooner.

    I don't see where seat position front or back would prevent me from hitting the bar end shifters when I am standing. Wouldn't top tube length be the only thing that would effect that?
    At 6'3" the 60cm bike is likely pretty close to ideal. To avoid hitting your knees on your shifters I suggest you try to avoid hitting your knees on your shifters. I have a shifter on one of my bikes mounted on the stem and my knee brushes against it when I am climbing a steep hill, but I am aware of it so I am careful and it does not cause a problem. If your bike is wobbling when you ride with one hand, try moving your hand so it is right next to the stem - as close to the middle of the bars as possible.

  7. #7
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Have you measured the top tubes on both bikes? That's a really good indicator of fit. If you like the way your 1000 fits you, measure the top tube (or better yet, center of seatpost [near the top] to the center of the handlebars at the stem clamp) and compare to your 520.

    I've had bar end shifters on a few bikes and have only bumped them with my knee once or twice. Keeping your knees in plane with the pedals is better for form anyway, so they really shouldn't be going outwards towards the shifters.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  8. #8
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    This post is useless w/o a picture of the bike and from the OP in the bike.

  9. #9
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Hitting your knees on bar-end shifters when standing is a common issue, even when the bike is the right size. The solution is to remove the bar end shifters and cut the bar down by the same length as the pod of the bar end shifter (not the whole length of the lever, just the length of the mount, about 1-2 cm). This will keep the length of the hand position as it would be without the bar-end shifter, but will hopefully move the levers far enough away from your knees. Also make sure that the bars are rotated correctly - if they have slipped and rotated downwards then this might have moved the shift levers further back.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_geek View Post
    I "feel" very comfortable on the 520 and fell in love when I test rode the bike but have 2 concerns. 1.) On a steep, windy path between neighborhoods I have to stand up the last 30 yards and have bumped the bar end shifters with my knees a couple of times if I lean forward too far.
    This isn't that hard to do on any bike: the shifters stick out farther behind (I can do it with a bike without bar ends). It's possible that a wider bar would reduce the likelihood of this but I suspect that they'd have to be really wider. It might also be avoided with an adjustment of technique.

  11. #11
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    T_g, For item one you can trim the ends of the handle bar for more clearance with the bar ends, Trimming the length of the drops may limit hand position however. The handle bar starting point for fit is the width of the boney protusions on your shoulders is equal to handle bar width. I find I prefer most any width within a couple of cms.

    For item two also look at the rear wheel's alignment.

    Brad
    Last edited by bradtx; 05-18-12 at 06:57 PM.

  12. #12
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I ride a tourer one size down on purpose, a smaller bike feels better for all day in the saddle to me and I can still get a full stretch using the drops. Yes, climbing, standing I am reminded that the bike is a little small, and I occasionally hit the barcons with my knee. So what; fair compromise. But, I did try a set of Salsa Woodchipper bar to take advantage of the big fat top and spread in the drops and it also ended up giving me tons of knee room. So, even that's no longer a concern. http://salsacycles.com/components/moto_ace_woodchipper/


    Wobbles, I have no answers...but that bike is supposedly designed to have weight on the front..I doubt that's your problem.

  13. #13
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcb0 View Post
    to avoid hitting your knees on your shifters i suggest you try to avoid hitting your knees on your shifters.
    lol

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