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  1. #1
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    What chain model does the Trek 520 use?

    I have a Trek 520 (the 2007 model) on order through my LBS. While the bike is on its way I'd also like to order a supply of spare chains through mail order, but I'm unclear on which exact chain make/model the Trek 520 uses, and the LBS didn't know when I called them. The Trek web site doesn't say.

    So, does anyone know? Is it the Shimano HG-73, for example?

    Also, I've been wondering about this: when you buy Shimano chains like the HG73, does the new chain come with spare pins, or do you always need to have a supply of the Shimano 9-spd replacement pins?

  2. #2
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    Uh, why does this matter to you? Any 9-speed chain will do, whether its from Shimano, Whipperman, SRAM, KMC... I prefer the quick connect models myself.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubes
    Uh, why does this matter to you? Any 9-speed chain will do, whether its from Shimano, Whipperman, SRAM, KMC... I prefer the quick connect models myself.
    I just like the idea of being consistent, particularly in this case where by using the same kind of chain every time I can hopefully gain a better sense of how many miles I should put on each one before replacing it.

    So, does anyone know what model of chain the 2007 model of the Trek 520 ships with?

    Again, the Trek web site doesn't say.

  4. #4
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    In that case, your best bet may be to contact Trek directly and ask them. Or you could replace the chain immediately when you get your bike with a known brand/make, though that seems wasteful.

    The only rule for replacing chains is that you should replace it whenever you need to, i.e. the chain becomes stretched. 12 links should equal 12 inches exactly; the conventional advice is to replace the chain when 12 links reaches 12 1/8 inches. You should be aware that different riding conditions--weather, load, the mix of gears you use most often--can cause this to happen at different mileages, even if you always used the same manufacturer's chains.

  5. #5
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubes
    Uh, why does this matter to you? Any 9-speed chain will do, whether its from Shimano, Whipperman, SRAM, KMC... I prefer the quick connect models myself.
    i'm with dubes ... you will probably find that this is where most companies will save a bit of money and use a lower grade/quality chain, so when the stock chain wears out or even just wears down a bit, replace it with a better model, no matter which brand ... i replaced the stock chain on my trek 520 with a better model sram chain which has a rather handy dandy quick connect link ...

    i use a flow on effect ... i put the new chain on my trek 520, the slightly worn chain from the trek goes on my mtb, the slightly more worn chain from the mtb goes on my beater ... this way, eventually each bike gets an upgrade!!!
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  6. #6
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    Hmm... These are good points.

    So, what kind of chain would you be inclined to recommend for a Trek 520 (9-speed with Shimano drivetrain), if chain price weren't an object but chain reliability, and quality of ride/shifting were?

    In doing a little more research since originally posting my observation is that even the top-end chains by Shimano and SRAM aren't that expensive: that seems like a silly place to save money.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blimble
    Hmm... These are good points.

    So, what kind of chain would you be inclined to recommend for a Trek 520 (9-speed with Shimano drivetrain), if chain price weren't an object but chain reliability, and quality of ride/shifting were?

    In doing a little more research since originally posting my observation is that even the top-end chains by Shimano and SRAM aren't that expensive: that seems like a silly place to save money.
    Blimble, short of going all out for one of those Whipperman stainless steel chains (which are supposed to last quite a bit longer than a standard chain), you'll likely get the best bang for the buck in the middle of the pack. Speaking in terms of SRAM's lineup--only because I'm more familiar with their chains than other manufacturers--the SRAM 951, 971, and the two versions of the 991 reportedly will give you the same reliability/longevity, but the 951 is a mundane grey color, the 971 is a prettier nickel color, and the 2 versions of the 991's are both prettier and will save you some weight (especially the 991 hollowpoint, which as the name suggests uses hollow chain links).

    I'd be willing to bet that the stock 520 comes with something like the Shimano equivalent of the SRAM 951: a decent performing chain that should give you plenty of good miles, but nothing terribly fancy. If looks are important (and who says they're not? ) then something equivalent to the SRAM 971 may be more your preference. Stepping above the SRAM 971-equivalent level isn't really necessary for touring folks who aren't likely to care about saving a few ounces on the chain after we've accessorized our bikes with racks, fenders, lights, Brooks saddles, etc.

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