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Old 05-02-06, 09:53 PM   #1
MrPolak
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Trek 520 Touring vs. Trek 720 Multitrack

I have measured a Trek 720 I have acquired recently and it has EXACT same measurements as a Trek 520 touring bike. The difference in the frames between my older 720 and the 520 is that the 520 uses a seatpost collar, but I have seen pictures of older 520s (late 90's)without a collar as well.. They both have CroMoly frames. The obvious differences are the equipment, which can be easily remedied.

Does any one know of any other differences in frames besides the stickers? Did just stumble upon a deep, dark Trek secret?

Trek 720 Multitrack frames can be bought for little compared to a 520 frame.
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Old 05-02-06, 10:23 PM   #2
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If they are the same size and have the same measurements, they could be the same. It would also be interesting to put both of them on a fish scale to see how close the weight is. Are the braze-ons identical? (I wouldn't be surprised if they are the same frame with an extra bottle boss and midfork rack mount on the 520.)

Bicycle manufacturers often do this. Bianchi has been especially prolific with the Volpe frame which is also the basis of the Strada, San Jose and Castro Valley. (Although the Strada lacks the canti bosses.)
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Old 05-02-06, 10:37 PM   #3
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The 520's a 1in steerer (or my 204 is, trek sells it with a shim to use 1 1/8 stems) and I doubt the multitrack is (though i doubt this is a huge advanatge for tourer). Check brazeons. Is the frame built in waterloo? Check weight, the 520 may be heavier (build stronger) or lighter. Check weld quality, the welds on my 520 are better than I've seen on most treks (not as cleans as the meticulous ones on my titus, but then they weld TI for a living).
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Old 05-03-06, 05:49 AM   #4
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The 720 has a 1-inch threaded steerer since it is an older bike, approximately late 90's with cantilever brakes and grip-shift 21-speed drive train. There are two braze-ons for fender and rack in the rear and a braze-on for fender on the fork. The fork does not have the boss for a rack on the side. There are bosses for two water bottles. The frame is "Designed in Waterloo Wisconsin" . The welds actually quite decent and paint is very nice.

That's a good point about the frame weight. I'll see if I can weigh mine.
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Old 05-03-06, 08:20 AM   #5
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Chainstay length

The chainstays on my Multitrack are shorter than that of a 520 by about 1". That said, I have used my Multitrack for many years to tour on. Works great.
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Old 05-03-06, 09:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supertick
The chainstays on my Multitrack are shorter than that of a 520 by about 1". That said, I have used my Multitrack for many years to tour on. Works great.
Interesting! I measured the chainstays first. My 720 has a 21'' frame with 17.7'' (450mm) chainstay length as measured center of bottom bracket to back of dropout opening.

520 geometry can be found here: http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...id=1432000&f=8

I even saw pictures of some 720 Multitracks with side bosses on the fork for racks!
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Old 05-03-06, 09:59 AM   #7
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As I understand it basically the 520 replaced the 720 as a tourer. You might enjoy this sight.

http://www.vintage-trek.com/
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Old 05-03-06, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoborracho
As I understand it basically the 520 replaced the 720 as a tourer. You might enjoy this sight.

http://www.vintage-trek.com/
But the touring 720 and the multitrack 720 discussed here aren't the same bike.
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Old 05-03-06, 02:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPolak
The 720 has a 1-inch threaded steerer since it is an older bike, approximately late 90's with cantilever brakes and grip-shift 21-speed drive train. There are two braze-ons for fender and rack in the rear and a braze-on for fender on the fork. The fork does not have the boss for a rack on the side. There are bosses for two water bottles. The frame is "Designed in Waterloo Wisconsin" . The welds actually quite decent and paint is very nice. That's a good point about the frame weight. I'll see if I can weigh mine.
My 1995 520 frame is marked:

Tru-Temper OX
Trek Design
Double-butted Cro-Moly
Made in USA

The frame on mine is beautifully Tig-welded and painted a flawless Black Forest Green, with tasteful gold decals. I think it is beautiful and will never sell it.
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Old 05-07-06, 08:03 AM   #10
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I just measured the chain stay spread on my budget Trek 720 Multitrack and it's 135mm. O test-mounted a wheel from my Specialized FSR mountain bike with XT hubs and a 9-speed XT cassette - IT FITS!

So, let's review... Trek 720 Multitrack has the same geometry, quality paint and welds, and it takes 135mm mountain hubs just like a real touring bike. It's not made in US as some foreign-market Trek 520s are not and the frame may not be double-butted. So, to sum it up, it makes a heck of a low-dollar medium-distance touring machine with a few easy upgrades.
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