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  1. #1
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Advice needed on what to do with a Trek 520 with a damaged frame.

    I had posted a few weeks ago that I had purchased a Trek 520 at a pawn shop. It turns out I didn't inspect it close enough I really can't believe I missed the damage. Oh well I didn't pay alot so I don't think I will lose money on it. The bike rides great as is so I learned I like this type of bike alot. It looks like it must been crashed into something at some point. I'll include pics of the damage at the bottom of the post since I know people will want that.

    My question is what do I do with it? I am pretty sure its a 2000 Trek 520 pretty much stock except a new Bontrager saddle. Any ideas, comments, thoughts (even the "How did you miss that?!?!" type stuff LOL) would be appreciated.

    http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...=520&Type=bike

    To give you a bit better idea of how this might fit into my overall plans, I have decided that I want to have only 3 bikes and so I am trying to eliminate bikes. Here is what I have decided on keeping.

    2010 Windsor Shetland Mini Velo as my primary commuter and road bike
    1995 Diamnondback Vertex WCF as my mountain bike. This is the only bike I probably won't commuter on much at all.
    2006 (I think) Dahon boardwalk 6 at this point I am technically saying this is my wife's bike so its not part of the 3, but it could be.

    So I have one more slot open and I am pretty much planning on using this to have a backup mountain bike as a backup commuter and winter bike. I have my Trek that had been my primary commuter set up for this.

    So here are some options of what to do with the 520 I have in my mind in no particular order.

    1. Offer up the 520 on craigslist as-is for something to transfer everything to a different frameset. I don't know how much would be a fair price really.
    2. Buy a Nashbar frame and transfer everything over. I don't have any desire to do this unless I really decide I really want a dedicated touring bike with 700 wheels.
    3. Transfer everything over to a mountain bike frame to make a 26 inch wheel touring bike. I have some frames already that might work well for this. If I wanted something a bit different from what I have I could probably trade a frame for something else.
    4. Wait and transfer the components over to a mini velo like the Dahon I have or a possible future Bikes direct offering.
    5. Find a hybrid bike or frame and transfer things over.
    6. Just keep riding it. EDIT (I don't see this frame actually failing anytime soon, but but I also don't see the point of riding it much to find out.) I would buy another one of these in a heartbeat if the need arose. There is another one available at the local bike charity, but I have resisted because like I said earlier I want less bikes.

    I am probably leaning towards hanging onto this for now and moving the parts to some some other bike or frame at some point. I like the v-brakes and levers so at the worse maybe I decide I want a dropbar winter commuter IDK. If I got my money back ($180) I probably wouldn't turn that down either though. Like I said any feedback would be helpful.



    Promised pics...





    Last edited by monsterpile; 03-07-11 at 11:32 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Just be thankful it did not shatter underneath you, like some inferior material would.

    Get a new steel frame and transfer all the parts to it. Hang the damaged frame on the wall, as a constant reminder for when you buy anything used again.

    And...oh, yes....steel is real!

    "Cycling is for pleasure not penance"

  3. #3
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    It looks like it rear-ended something. I wouldn't ride it as is; if it fails you just know it will be ugly. The nice thing about steel is it is repairable if you have a framebuilder available, but that bike may not be worth it unless you have a builder who is really desperate for work.

  4. #4
    Randomhead
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    I have no idea what they made those out of. I've seen a lot of bikes like that ridden quite a bit. I wouldn't do it, but since you are just commuting on it you could probably just monitor it for cracks on a regular schedule. Unless your commute involves high speed descents, in which case I'd send it to the recyclers or turn it into a bar stool.

  5. #5
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
    I had posted a few weeks ago that I had purchased a Trek 520 at a pawn shop. It turns out I didn't inspect it close enough I really can't believe I missed the damage. Oh well I didn't pay alot so I don't think I will lose money on it. The bike rides great as is so I learned I like this type of bike alot. It looks like it must been crashed into something at some point. I'll include pics of the damage at the bottom of the post since I know people will want that.

    My question is what do I do with it? I am pretty sure its a 2000 Trek 520 pretty much stock except a new Bontrager saddle. Any ideas, comments, thoughts (even the "How did you miss that?!?!" type stuff LOL) would be appreciated.

    http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...=520&Type=bike

    To give you a bit better idea of how this might fit into my overall plans, I have decided that I want to have only 3 bikes and so I am trying to eliminate bikes. Here is what I have decided on keeping.

    2010 Windsor Shetland Mini Velo as my primary commuter and road bike
    1995 Diamnondback Vertex WCF as my mountain bike. This is the only bike I probably won't commuter on much at all.
    2006 (I think) Dahon boardwalk 6 at this point I am technically saying this is my wife's bike so its not part of the 3, but it could be.

    So I have one more slot open and I am pretty much planning on using this to have a backup mountain bike as a backup commuter and winter bike. I have my Trek that had been my primary commuter set up for this.

    So here are some options of what to do with the 520 I have in my mind in no particular order.

    1. Offer up the 520 on craigslist as-is for something to transfer everything to a different frameset. I don't know how much would be a fair price really.
    2. Buy a Nashbar frame and transfer everything over. I don't have any desire to do this unless I really decide I really want a dedicated touring bike with 700 wheels.
    3. Transfer everything over to a mountain bike frame to make a 26 inch wheel touring bike. I have some frames already that might work well for this. If I wanted something a bit different from what I have I could probably trade a frame for something else.
    4. Wait and transfer the components over to a mini velo like the Dahon I have or a possible future Bikes direct offering.
    5. Find a hybrid bike or frame and transfer things over.
    6. Just keep riding it. EDIT (I don't see this frame actually failing anytime soon, but but I also don't see the point of riding it much to find out.) I would buy another one of these in a heartbeat if the need arose. There is another one available at the local bike charity, but I have resisted because like I said earlier I want less bikes.

    I am probably leaning towards hanging onto this for now and moving the parts to some some other bike or frame at some point. I like the v-brakes and levers so at the worse maybe I decide I want a dropbar winter commuter IDK. If I got my money back ($180) I probably wouldn't turn that down either though. Like I said any feedback would be helpful.



    Promised pics...





    That's the one place I always check when I inspect a frame. B/c that is a telltale sign that it has been in a crash. Another thing I always do is to take off the wheels and reinstall them. If it doesn't go in easily, then that's another sign the frame/fork alignment is off and the bike has most likely been in a crash. I think it would be wise to carry around some string and a ruler to see if the frame is aligned too. Both items are light and small enough to carry around.

    Don't ride it. Sell it for scrap metal or sell it to a framebuilder who could fix that up.
    Last edited by 531phile; 03-08-11 at 12:06 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
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    I did that to my Trek 520 about a month ago. If it wasn't in my car, I'd guess you had my frame (well, mine has more cracked paint around the dents).

    I'm not an expert on frame safety, but a lot of people advised me my similar frame wasn't safe to ride, although they may have been taking my 50+ mile day rides, off road riding, and occasional touring into account.

    Your situation is a bummer, but to look on the bright side that's not a terrible price for all those components if they are in good shape. Also, how's the front wheel? That much frame damage would make me worry about the front rim would be bent (it was on mine), as well as possible damage to the handlebars.

    The only idiosyncrasies I had removing the parts to a Surly Long Haul Trucker is that the clamping diameter on the front derailer is smaller on the LHT, which was solved by a shim a shop gave me for free, and that the old steerer was 1", so I wouldn't have been able to use the same stem and headset if I wanted to (I didn't).

    The quotes I got for frame repair are higher than the cost of a new production frame like a Long Haul Trucker, and are not worth it. Recycle the frame as scrap metal.

    I'm not exactly sure of craigslist pricing, but you could probably get your money back (and maybe some more), especially if you parted out the components.

  7. #7
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    Scrap frame and transfer everything to a Nashbar touring frame would be my vote. Then again, I am partial to their frames because of their value for the money.

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAF1C1X1 View Post
    Scrap frame and transfer everything to a Nashbar touring frame would be my vote. Then again, I am partial to their frames because of their value for the money.
    Or a Surly LHT frame or a Soma Saga.

    Don't ride the 520. It's toast.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Scrap it. The cost to repair and repaint the frame would far exceed its value.

    As you've discovered, you have to be very careful buying used frames. I have bought two used frames on-line that turned out to have crash damage similar to yours -- mostly likely from front-end collisions. In both cases, I was able to return the frames and get refunds but it was a hassle. Both were Eddy Merckx frames and it was hard sending them back, but after I got an estimate for repairing the tubing and repainting, it would have cost more than simply buying another frame.
    Last edited by tarwheel; 03-08-11 at 07:47 AM.

  10. #10
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I'll see if someone wants the frame to repair once I figure out what to do with everything else. I can't see any problems with the wheel, it seems fine.

    I did already sell the SPD pedals that were on the bike for $10 so I only need $170 back I guess. I considered buying a Nashbar touring frame last night, but I can't justify the purchase when ultimately I don't really plan on keeping the bike. I am leaning towards transferring everything over to a mountain bike or hybrid frame. If I did the mountain bike frame option I would have the wheelset left over to sell or put on something else. At this point I'll probably just hang the bike up and wait for the right project idea or frame acquisition to hit me.
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  11. #11
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    Welding shops fix stuff like that all the time. I'd call first and ask if they'ed look at it? I'd clean it to bare steel so the guy could take 30sec and weld it. IMHO
    Last edited by mikescooling; 03-08-11 at 01:35 PM.
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  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Looks like a welding failure... the frame has obviously cracked but it appears as if there is an undercut behind the actual weld at the head tube which could also cause a slow failure of the lower joint where a lot of stress is concentrated.

    If everything else on the bike looks stellar and lines up I'd semnd the frame back to Trek and have them take a look at it... it is the way the shiny finish looks to have been laid over a bad weld that makes me wonder if it was crash or the start of a slow failure.

    I have a gorgeous hand built frame that I got for free because the head tube was coming away from the lugs... it showed no signs of crash damage but the brazing at the head joint had failed.

    Based on what you paid you probably have done okay just for the parts value but if Trek sent you a new frame that would be extra sweet.

    Being steel, it is repairable but would involve a fair bit of work.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikescooling View Post
    Welding shops fix stuff like that all the time. I'd call first and ask if they'ed look at it? I'd clean it to bare steel so the guy could take 30sec and weld it. IMHO
    It would take more than 30 seconds to repair...

  14. #14
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    Sixty Fiver: I'd very much doubt that Trek would replace the frame unless you could prove a manufacturing defect. They told me they do not have any of these frames to sell as crash replacements.

    It's a little interesting that you see a possible manufacturing defect. My frame looks just like that (with more paint cracking). Oh well, the LHT is built up already anyways.

  15. #15
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Looks like a welding failure... the frame has obviously cracked but it appears as if there is an undercut behind the actual weld at the head tube which could also cause a slow failure of the lower joint where a lot of stress is concentrated.

    If everything else on the bike looks stellar and lines up I'd semnd the frame back to Trek and have them take a look at it... it is the way the shiny finish looks to have been laid over a bad weld that makes me wonder if it was crash or the start of a slow failure.
    Nothing in those pictures supports any theory other than a front-end crash. I see no cracking other than a little crazing in the paint. There is no way to make a weld failure look like that, and a dent from a front end crash looks exactly like that every time. I wouldn't bother my local Trek dealer with this, it's pointless.

  16. #16
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Looks like a welding failure... the frame has obviously cracked but it appears as if there is an undercut behind the actual weld at the head tube which could also cause a slow failure of the lower joint where a lot of stress is concentrated.

    If everything else on the bike looks stellar and lines up I'd semnd the frame back to Trek and have them take a look at it... it is the way the shiny finish looks to have been laid over a bad weld that makes me wonder if it was crash or the start of a slow failure.

    I have a gorgeous hand built frame that I got for free because the head tube was coming away from the lugs... it showed no signs of crash damage but the brazing at the head joint had failed.

    Based on what you paid you probably have done okay just for the parts value but if Trek sent you a new frame that would be extra sweet.

    Being steel, it is repairable but would involve a fair bit of work.
    I have the receipt from the pawn shop to prove ownership (if that helps at all), but would Trek even consider doing anything for me as the 2nd 3rd...etc owner? If I did get a frame replacement that would be pretty sweet but I don't hold out much hope. I suppose its worth a shot, but I don't want to get laughed out of the shop. Also I some people have mentioned there is a crack. There is no crack on the frame.
    Last edited by monsterpile; 03-08-11 at 05:49 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    As discussed in another thread, Trek's warrenty is only for the original owner.

  18. #18
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Nothing in those pictures supports any theory other than a front-end crash. I see no cracking other than a little crazing in the paint. There is no way to make a weld failure look like that, and a dent from a front end crash looks exactly like that every time. I wouldn't bother my local Trek dealer with this, it's pointless.
    Maybe it is my view of the image... the area behind the weld does not look right.

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