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  1. #1
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    Revisit Lightening up a Trek 520

    I have been riding my 2005 Trek 520 since January of this year...It took me a few weeks and miles to tweek out the setup, but now it feels great to ride...even with the semi broken in Brooks saddle..

    As it has turned out, I am not doing any significant riding with a load on the bike, and wondered what folks have done to lighten up the bike overall....I was a bit surprised when I bought this bike to replace my 32 lb/mid 1980s Univega Gran Tourismo....the new bike weighs in at 33lbs.

    I would also be interested in more information on regearing my transmission. I am trying to get a bit more efficiency from the bike, not race it.

    thanks for any help

    Stever

  2. #2
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    I got a 520 about two years ago for commuting mostly, and have about 6,300 miles on it now. I also have gone on a couple of shorter tours, so some of my equipment (panniers, for instance) does double duty.

    I haven't changed the gearing at all. After reading about it before I bought it, I thought I would have to gear it down a little, but for me even loaded it's just fine. Besides, you can only go so slow without tipping over anyway. I have changed to thinner tires than stock (25c armadillos) that were noticeably faster. There are lighter tires out there that would have probably helped even more, but I needed something I could still tour on and had good flat protection. Anything much smaller would be real hard to get on the stock rims too.

    I have two Arkel panniers which are heavy, but great quality. Lately I have only been using one of them when commuting, and have noticed a slight decrease in wind resistance. I may even switch to an Arkel Tailrider sometime later just for this reason, and keep the panniers only for the days I need them (and touring, of course).

    The stock saddle was fine for me too. You may be able to save a little weight here, but comfort is more important than a few grams. Really, if you use the 520 a lot, there isn't really much you can do to make it significantly lighter. I would add fenders, a rear rack, a tailight/headlight, computer, etc., all of which adds weight to bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsteve
    I was a bit surprised when I bought this bike to replace my 32 lb/mid 1980s Univega Gran Tourismo....the new bike weighs in at 33lbs.
    What have you done to to make the bike 33lbs? Did you add fenders and light? The Trek 520 is not sold at 33 lbs and it felt like 25-27 lbs.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    What have you done to to make the bike 33lbs? Did you add fenders and light? The Trek 520 is not sold at 33 lbs and it felt like 25-27 lbs.
    I have a 2006 Trek 520 that the specs show weighs 26.8 lbs, including the rear rack. All the little additions and changes will definitely make a difference, but 6 lbs. seems high for fenders, lights and computer. Maybe the weight included full water bottles and lots of tools?

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    try the Rivendell Roly Poly tires. That's it for cheap but good dept.
    You can get lighter wheels, but you might as well be saving
    for a faster bike. The 520 will never be fast, and it will never be light.

  6. #6
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsteve
    I have been riding my 2005 Trek 520 since January of this year...It took me a few weeks and miles to tweek out the setup, but now it feels great to ride...even with the semi broken in Brooks saddle..

    As it has turned out, I am not doing any significant riding with a load on the bike, and wondered what folks have done to lighten up the bike overall....I was a bit surprised when I bought this bike to replace my 32 lb/mid 1980s Univega Gran Tourismo....the new bike weighs in at 33lbs.

    I would also be interested in more information on regearing my transmission. I am trying to get a bit more efficiency from the bike, not race it.

    thanks for any help

    Stever
    Not sure its really worth trying to lighten a Trek as its built as a tough touring frame. The tubing will be
    thicker than on more sporty models. You could save a few pounds by going to "better" components and replacing the Deore and 105 stuff with XTR or Ultegra, getting lighter wheels and hubs and going from a Brooks to a plastic saddle, but that's kind of trying to make a "silk purse out of a ........" etc.

  7. #7
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    Thanks to everyone who has responded....I reweighed the bike, no computer, no fenders, no tools, no spare tubes..still over 30 lbs..brooks saddle might add some, but probably not the 4-6 lb differance I am seeing here...well, no matter, its still a great bike.

    thanks again

    stever

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    You could cut your hair real short too.

    Seriously though, I would try to make the 520 a little lighter whenever you need to replace something, or like the wheels for instance. Maybe have a touring set and a commuting set. Thinner, higher pressure tires will probably show the greatest increase in speed, as well as maybe using a trunk bag versus panniers for around town. Any other minor changes like little weight improvements will probably not be noticeable.

    You could also remove the bolts for the lower water bottle cage mounting locations and put tape over the holes, if you aren't using it all the time.

  9. #9
    Be more like Muir hillyman's Avatar
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    I think your scales must be off because my 2005 520 doesn't weigh that much stock.

    I don't see what you could gain in speed with gear changes. If you can push the 52/11 it came with on level ground (or up hills) then you do need to race
    The mountains are callung and I must go

  10. #10
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    That is amazing. Mine weighed about 26-27 when I got it and I just weighed it again, ready to go except for water. It is just a shade under 30lbs with Blackburn Exp rack, Brooks B17N, seat pack (minimal), pump, bottle cages, computer and shod with Conti TT 32mm tires. It is an earlier model though, about 8-10 years old and has the LX Mtn crankset - maybe they were lighter? Seems to me the newer ones have beefier rims which probably add a pound. Other than that not sure where the extra would be.
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

  11. #11
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Is it a really big size? That would add some weight. There are a number of things you could do to save weight, it just depends upon how much you really want to save it. Make it a brakeless fixie would dump a lot of weight. Going to ultralight wheels would too. You can cut excess seatpost (at your own risk) and go to carbon bars, stem and fork. Still, it's a lot of money to make a bike something it isn't.

  12. #12
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    Thanks again for all the input...new tires are on the way...other than that, I dont think I am going to mess too much with what is already a great bike....


    Steve (I like the idea about cutting the hair shorter....thats a keeper..hehehe

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    Since I am only using my 520 locally and for a bit of communting (never with a very heavy load)..I took an earlier suggestion and put the 700X25 tires, just an inexpensive pair from bikenashbar for now...quite a differance...the bike is somewhat more responsive and rolls along a bit faster as well... I appreciate everyones help...

    steve

  14. #14
    cbike_47909
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    Your message got me to wondering since i consider my 05 21" 520 heavy. It came in at 26 lbs. The tires have been changed to 28s, campy ergos installed and Avid canti brakes. Maybe it isn't as bad as I thought!
    Oh well it's still for sale!

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