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Old 04-24-06, 12:52 AM   #1
Blue Order
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1984 Trek 520

$300 on Seattle Craigslist: Trek 520
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Old 04-24-06, 06:43 AM   #2
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Sounds high for that model, even in mint condition. Bear in mind that at the time the 520 was at the lower end of Trek's touring range.
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Old 04-24-06, 07:57 AM   #3
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I agree with halfspeed on the value.
The 1984 520 had a suggested retail prices of $415. I do think it had 18 speeds so either I am wrong or the ad is wrong. In any case, weak 27" wheels and old shifting (downtube) system may require upgrading.
If it were $75 I might consider it and use it for a grocery getter. I wouldn't tour on it.
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Old 04-24-06, 01:50 PM   #4
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I won't dispute your comments on the quality of the bike, because I'm sure you both know more than I do. However...

1) If the bike was $415 in 1984, that's the equivalent of $768.15 today, so the bike is being offered at a little over half of what it cost new. It maye be high still, but not as high as one would believe just by looking at the difference between $415 and $300.

2) I've recently watched two auctions on Ebay for vintage 720s. The first was a complete bike that went for $1024 ($553.22 in 1984 dollars). The second was a frameset that went for $384 ($207.46 in 1984 dollars). Compared to these vintage 720s, the 520 seemed like a reasonably priced alternative.
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Old 04-24-06, 05:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
I won't dispute your comments on the quality of the bike, because I'm sure you both know more than I do. However...

1) If the bike was $415 in 1984, that's the equivalent of $768.15 today, so the bike is being offered at a little over half of what it cost new. It maye be high still, but not as high as one would believe just by looking at the difference between $415 and $300.

2) I've recently watched two auctions on Ebay for vintage 720s. The first was a complete bike that went for $1024 ($553.22 in 1984 dollars). The second was a frameset that went for $384 ($207.46 in 1984 dollars). Compared to these vintage 720s, the 520 seemed like a reasonably priced alternative.
Accounting for inflation is meaningless. Pricing is supply and demand.

The 720 was a much better touring bike and has much more collector value. Even so, I still wouldn't pay over $1000 for one. That's just crazy money. But on ebay, crazy high prices do occasionally happen. In any case, comparing a bike with significant collector value to one without is not useful.

As, perhaps, a better point of reference, my '85 620 cost me $150 on ebay and that's also a better bike than a 520.
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Old 04-24-06, 05:38 PM   #6
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I agree with what you're saying, but it's equally meaningless for someone to compare its current price with its new price without accounting for inflation.

Last edited by Blue Order; 04-24-06 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 04-24-06, 07:01 PM   #7
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I think it might be worth it if its in mint shape and if you use it for regular rides. Changing things to get it ready for touring would make it not worth the cost. Keeping it the way it is and touring may cause problems if anything breaks.
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Old 04-24-06, 07:55 PM   #8
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Oscar Wilde once said, "A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." I'm thinking of that as I consider my own 1983 Trek 720. I've probably lavished more money on it than it deserves. It's got handbuilt wheels with Phil Wood hubs, a new drivetrain, a new Nitto stem and handlebars. It's got a little surface rust here and there and yet 23 years after taking possession, these up grades actually make it "better than new" in some ways. I'd be kinda surprised if I could sell it for more than $1K. At the same time, I don't think I'd want to sell it for any price.
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Old 04-24-06, 09:13 PM   #9
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I have one. $250 on EBay...fairly beaten up. The full specs are available on the vintage trek website www.vintage-trek.com specific link. Sheldon Brown claims the original helicomatic hub is "a loser".
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Old 04-24-06, 09:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cooker
Sheldon Brown claims the original helicomatic hub is "a loser".
I've seen that. So how do you rate the helicomatic hub?
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Old 04-24-06, 09:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry
Oscar Wilde once said, "A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." I'm thinking of that as I consider my own 1983 Trek 720. I've probably lavished more money on it than it deserves. It's got handbuilt wheels with Phil Wood hubs, a new drivetrain, a new Nitto stem and handlebars. It's got a little surface rust here and there and yet 23 years after taking possession, these up grades actually make it "better than new" in some ways. I'd be kinda surprised if I could sell it for more than $1K. At the same time, I don't think I'd want to sell it for any price.
I know the feeling.
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Old 04-24-06, 10:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
I've seen that. So how do you rate the helicomatic hub?
I opened it up and I think it might be getting pitted....it was my first time servicing a hub, so I wasn't sure...but I replaced the balls and repacked it and it seems to be spinning smoothly for now. So it may be gone soon! I haven't had a problem yet with spoke breakage yet, which is what Sheldon warned about due to the extra dishing. But then, I've only ridden it in town maybe less than 1000 km.

BTW, to work with the rear cogs you'll need the special helicomatic tool...combination locknut remover and bottle opener...you can usually find that for sale on EBAY. I've also seen NOS helicomatic hubs, but I don't know if it is worth it to choose that authentic replacement part, given Sheldon's warning.
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Old 04-24-06, 10:11 PM   #13
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I've had my eyes peeled for a Motobecane Mt. Becane-- a mountain bike they started to produce just before they went under. Only problem is, they used the Helicomatic hub. So if I ever find one, it will probably be the first change I make to the bike, given what Sheldon says.
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Old 04-25-06, 08:37 AM   #14
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I've ridden helicomatics quite a bit with no problems - but I'm a little guy, so spoke breakage and axle breakage might be less of an issue for me. It *can* be hard to find replacement helicomatic cassettes, though...
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Old 04-25-06, 09:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenrbot
I've ridden helicomatics quite a bit with no problems - but I'm a little guy, so spoke breakage and axle breakage might be less of an issue for me.
I'm 220 lbs so it is supporting my weight so far, over urban pavement.
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