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Old 01-30-08, 12:15 PM   #1
Old Fat Guy
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Is a Trek 520 Really Worth This Much?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=019

I'm scratching my head at this one. Any reason it would go for almost $700 (inc shipping?)
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Old 01-30-08, 01:17 PM   #2
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That is a bit steep for one that old.....
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Old 01-30-08, 01:31 PM   #3
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In my opinion yes. A good steel touring frame is probably the rarest of all vintage bikes. And I am talking supreme utility. 80s lugged touring bikes fall short in many areas, lack of tire clearance being one of the largest and the smaller diameter tubes on the 80s bike make them way more noodley. Deore DX kicks butt. This bike looks immaculate aside from needing some new Marathon Plus 35s on there and a set of ESGE or alloy fenders from VO. Looks like it has nice stem extension too. If this were my size and I could BIN at that price I would not hesitate. However, this would be my bread and butter bike. I ride my fixed gear around town to do errands but if I am going somewhere (like commuting vancouver - victoria or going to school with computers change of clothes etc.. it's on my touring/utility bike. I put more miles in loaded down than I do without gear so a good touring bike is invaluable.
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Old 01-30-08, 06:14 PM   #4
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Some might see that as a bargain - a similar one went for over $1k last summer.
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Old 01-30-08, 08:50 PM   #5
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I've been keeping an eye on 520's and they seem to be going between $400 and $525. So, yes that does seem a bit high to me.
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Old 01-30-08, 09:03 PM   #6
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It depends on your perspective. You would have to spend a LOT more to get a comparable bike new and that is a very clean example.
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Old 01-30-08, 09:32 PM   #7
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Here's why I ask...Every Trek I've ridden has seemed lackluster in ridability. Granted, I'm a spoiled, opinionated coot, but still...

A Schwinn Voyageur SP seems every bit as good, if not a better full tourer, and I've seen great American custom steel frames (Nobilette, Kellogg, etc) in the Sport Tourer category go for less than this with better components.

Is it just the early Trek mystique?

I know that you'd have to spend much more for a modern bike, but that's irrelevant. My wife's 23 year old NOS Merckx Professional cost less than an entry level Cannondale with Sora, but that's one of the reasons we buy old steel bikes, right?
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Old 01-30-08, 09:45 PM   #8
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Just a random thought here.....
But the auction is in WI, the same state where the bike was made, and perhaps the bike has always been "close to home" which means something to some "Trekies". (Half of our family worked for Trek (Waterloo & Whitewater) before the company moved nearly everything overseas and several pre '95 models will sometimes throw a curveball at you. This 520 is a very nice bike, but not worth $700 IMHO.)

RE: the mystique; Yes, absolutely.

I agree with you about the Voyageur
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Old 01-30-08, 10:04 PM   #9
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Wow
I have a Trek 82 720 touring bike. Full 531 including the fork. This was considered the ultimate tourer when I bought it new. Long wheelbase - big clearances. I run 27 wheels with fenders. Its a couple steps up from the 520. Must be worth a bundle. But I wouldn't part with it.
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Old 01-30-08, 11:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
Here's why I ask...Every Trek I've ridden has seemed lackluster in ridability. Granted, I'm a spoiled, opinionated coot, but still...

A Schwinn Voyageur SP seems every bit as good, if not a better full tourer, and I've seen great American custom steel frames (Nobilette, Kellogg, etc) in the Sport Tourer category go for less than this with better components.

Is it just the early Trek mystique?

I know that you'd have to spend much more for a modern bike, but that's irrelevant. My wife's 23 year old NOS Merckx Professional cost less than an entry level Cannondale with Sora, but that's one of the reasons we buy old steel bikes, right?

Hey, Old Fat!

As far as your first question, is it worth it, I can only say, not to me! Like you, gimme a sexy Italian or good American builder any day.

There's certainly an early Trek mystique, but that is not an early Trek.

I've spent considerable time now on a stock -84 610, a trail-increased '84 610 (same bike after a rake adjustment and full alignment), and a stock '83 600. All three have IMO steering that is just lacking the best balance of response and stability. In my Italian bikes I can ride one-handed with good stability. On the Treks I feel the bike is wandering all over the road without two hands on. The Masi and Mondonico will slog up a (in my case not-very-steep) hill in a straight line no matter how slow I go, but the Treks need extra room under those conditions.

I really don't get the so-called benefits of low trail.

Sidetracked, but basically in agreement with you: I don't get it.

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Old 01-30-08, 11:45 PM   #11
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Like I said in my above post, this bikes value as little to do with vintage Cache or beauty. This is a pure utility thing. The biggest tires I have seen fitted to an 80s touring bike with 700c is 32mm and that is just barely. This bike has better clearance and larger diameter tubing this bike is meant to be loaded with 50lbs of gear distributed over the whole bike. It's a suburban not a Ferrari. Hey if you can find a custom tourer cheeper than buy it. I am ALWAYS watching out for a good touring bike. They are not easy to find. The person who buys this is not a collector they want to trek!
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Old 01-31-08, 12:58 AM   #12
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Like I said in my above post, this bikes value as little to do with vintage Cache or beauty. This is a pure utility thing. The biggest tires I have seen fitted to an 80s touring bike with 700c is 32mm and that is just barely. This bike has better clearance and larger diameter tubing this bike is meant to be loaded with 50lbs of gear distributed over the whole bike. It's a suburban not a Ferrari. Hey if you can find a custom tourer cheeper than buy it. I am ALWAYS watching out for a good touring bike. They are not easy to find. The person who buys this is not a collector they want to trek!
I don't know... If 520's typically go for $200 - $300 less, then I'd say beauty and the excellent presentation of said beauty counted for a lot.

I'm not into touring at all, but that is very nice looking bike.
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Old 01-31-08, 06:42 AM   #13
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I was blown away early last fall when one I listed (a 19" at that), sold for over $400.00. I guess that's what the marketplace sees them as worth.
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Old 01-31-08, 08:43 AM   #14
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The nearly identical bike is still sold by Trek for about $1100 - that's why $700 might be a bargain to some. Not sure if the winner is local to the seller, but that can up the final bid price as well.

http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...x.aspx#reviews
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Old 01-31-08, 09:26 AM   #15
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I think cyclotoine is right on this one. I have sold a number of older Trek touring bikes 520's & 620's etc that were in much rougher condition for $300-$400. A bike that can take larger tires, fenders and handle well with a load is valuable to many folks who use their bike more for transportation than recreation. Most of my own riding is commuting to work and back and having a bike you can strap a case of beer (bottles only!) to on the way home on a Friday is invaluable!
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Old 01-31-08, 02:10 PM   #16
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I think cyclotoine is right on this one... A bike that can take larger tires, fenders and handle well with a load is valuable to many folks who use their bike more for transportation than recreation... having a bike you can strap a case of beer (bottles only!) to on the way home on a Friday is invaluable!
Hear-Hear!

However, I have yet to pay that much for a bike I wanted - I patiently search out deals... (or try to anyway) I bought my R International for about $450 (which included the shipping)... Found a nice Schwinn Sports Tourer (frame and fork) for $10, built it with parts from a cherry SS I found for $90... $700 could go a long way...

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Old 01-31-08, 06:13 PM   #17
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Hey Guys,

If you are a tourer and not a collector this is one sweet bike - falls in the category of a Miyata 1000, Specialized Expedition, a Centurion Pro 15, a couple of high end Fugi's, and Klein Navigators. They are getting harder to find and are usually beat or you have to build them up . If I hadn't just made $150 for a Trek 750 frame I would of bought this. Another trend is higher end older mountain bikes which people are buying and building into tourers and look the prices recently for retro 110 touring cranks. Just go to the touring section and get a education. Long wheel base 531 tubeset are hot - add tubus racks, throw on some Marathon Pluses maybe spread the rear, some Dura Bar ends - and your are big bucks ahead and quality of a new bike.

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