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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 11-29-06, 12:13 AM   #1
StuckInMud
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trek 520 - new colour

Black is back and oozes sexiness. I think I might just save my money for this one.
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Old 11-29-06, 01:11 PM   #2
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Hey, I just bought a 2007 Trek 520 for my upcoming trip around the world! They have upgraded the brakes and downgraded some less important components from the 2006 model.
I think the suggested retail price is $1240 but I lucked out and got a brand new one with the promotional price of $1000. The gears feel funny but I guess it'll take time to get used to it.
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Old 11-29-06, 02:06 PM   #3
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mine arrives tomorrow!
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Old 11-29-06, 03:40 PM   #4
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Black is excellent whereas the green was ugh! However, the 32s all around seem a bit much.

It would be nice if a wee-bit smaller chain ring than 30 was provided OEM (for a bailout gear lower than 30x32). Putting on a XT triple crank and a tighter cluster would be great and would provide more closely spaced gears for the first and second rings.

Sure does not seem that a bike optimized for loaded touring really needs a 52x11. When the decision is made to go with the trade-offs of friction shifting as stock equipment, why as a mfg do you try to be all things to all people with a tall gear that you could only use going downhill with a tailwind? When you've got a lot of weight on the bike, you already can coast downhill in a tucked positon at a speed that is faster than most bikers will ever desire to peddle.

P.S., you 'gotta love those 36-spoke wheels . . . I wish I had the time to really use a bike like that.

Last edited by wagathon; 11-29-06 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 11-29-06, 03:45 PM   #5
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On my way across Canada last summer, the Trek 520 was the most common touring bike I came across. I would change out the rear rack though because most 520 riders I met had busted their stock rack. Oh, and maybe swap out for a mountain or trekking triple crankset. Still, a black 520 (even with a busted rear rack) would still be quite sex.
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Old 11-29-06, 05:40 PM   #6
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my trek 520 is a 1998/99 model ... a rather nice deep metallic blue ... but that black sure looks real nice ...
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Old 11-30-06, 04:44 AM   #7
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I also have a '98. I absolutely love the gearing because I usually ride with little weight on the bike. Mostly just long day trips - no 'tours' yet. The 52 ring really makes it fly. I think Trek did a fine job of designing those gears into the 520. They know that even a dedicated tour bike will not tour very much. So, I think they added some fun-factor.
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Old 11-30-06, 06:22 AM   #8
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I agree. I have a '93 and really like the gearing also. I actually like riding it more than my CF roadie. Is that bad??? I really don't seem to be any slower on the 520. I like hills much better due to the gearing.
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Old 11-30-06, 09:33 AM   #9
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That black sure is pretty.... I used to have the 2001 metallic blue, but it got hit by a car, and now I have the 2006 metallic green. I liked the blue better. Wish I had the black.

I did the common mods: swapped out the crank for a MTB crank, tubus racks all around, fenders, different pedals and saddle. Also haven't used the stock tires from my new one, as I was doing a part-dirt tour in OZ and wanted more traction. They will go out at some point, though.

JCM, I can't agree with you. "They know that even a dedicated tour bike will not tour very much" This bike is purpose built for loaded touring, Trek has lots of other recreational / day ride / club / race bikes in its product lineup. This is their only tour bike. Why not make it appropriate for its inteded use? If you buy it and use it for something that it's not made for, and like it, that's all cool, but why not make it work perfectly for what it's supposed to work for? The gearing is a known problem in the touring community. ???

Anna
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Old 11-30-06, 12:37 PM   #10
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Valygrl,
I agree with you on your premise: lots of other products by Trek, and that they do sell it as a dedicated tour machine. So, why the tall rings? It's a fair question, to be sure.

I was just parroting some discussion I heard at the Bike Expo in Seattle last summer on touring machines and their relative components. Some of the folks seemed to be somewhat divided over certain marketing strategies vs product over-lap. Apparently, and surpising to me, Trek gets bashed by some people who don't like the fact that they are the Big Guy now. I think they do ok by me. I simply ride Treks because they were the right bike at the time I was looking for a bike. My 520 just popped up on the radar long enough for me to buy it used. It could have been virtually any other tour bike.

I suppose if I were to actually mount-up-and-go, I might change my rings. But, maybe not. I'm a very strong rider and it's alot of fun to be able to open it up on a bike that rides like a cloud.
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Old 11-30-06, 12:39 PM   #11
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I won't be touring more than a couple days at a time. I have a 9 to 5 and it makes it hard to take off a lot of time to do a tour. I like a touring bike because of it's toughness. I'm probably wrong here, but I've been scared of cracking my CF road bike and AL beats me up. Steel is a good compromise to me. Plus a good touring bike works well for most anything. I use mine to commute, tour and the weekend rec ride with the wife. Does a great job. What's nice is if we stop at a roadside market, I can easily get something if I need and strap it to the rack. Can't do that with my road bike.... Touring bikes rock! Especially this 520
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Old 11-30-06, 02:07 PM   #12
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One word for you, my man:

Titanium
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Old 11-30-06, 02:13 PM   #13
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Titanium's the thing - n'less you ain't got no bling. Doo-Wap Doo-Wap Doo-Wap.
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Old 11-30-06, 02:14 PM   #14
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Yeah, but it's much more expensive than steel. I just bought my wife a 2005 Terry Isis Titanium a few days ago. She's very excited. Anyone make titanium touring bikes?
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Old 11-30-06, 02:48 PM   #15
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Litespeed Blue Ridge is titanium and close to $4,000!
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Old 11-30-06, 03:10 PM   #16
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heh, yeah, but knobster has a CF, that's spendy too. knobster, you're going to have to ride your carbon bike now to keep up with your wife! why do you think it's not durable enough? if you're too scared of cracking it to ride it, it's just garage art.

i wouldn't want a ti tour bike - too wiggly - although, come to think of it, my first tour was on a titanium lightspeed mountain bike that I borrowed from my sister.

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Old 11-30-06, 03:40 PM   #17
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Yeah true, but my bike is still half the price of that Lightspeed. I do ride that bike sometimes when I'm feeling a little sluggish. I like being able to ride on gravel roads or down rail beds and if I fall on the 520, no big deal. I'm not too sure about the CF bike. I do have it on Craigslist... Might be a bad time for that though.

Edit: BTW, sticking with the Trek theme, it's a Trek Pilot 5.0
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Old 12-01-06, 11:10 AM   #18
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Trek changed the color of their 2007 520s to black, maybe REI will get with the program and change the color of their Randonee to something other than 'coffee'! Great bike for the $$$, but needs a color update!
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Old 12-01-06, 01:52 PM   #19
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Interesting how people see things differently. I searched high and low to get my willow green 520 because I think black is a boring color. I think the "coffee" color of the Randonee is a great color for a touring bike and certainly identifies the bike to its manufacturer/distributor.
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Old 12-01-06, 03:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleK
Interesting how people see things differently. I searched high and low to get my willow green 520 because I think black is a boring color. I think the "coffee" color of the Randonee is a great color for a touring bike and certainly identifies the bike to its manufacturer/distributor.
I agree. I bought my 520 used and thought hard about painting it, but personally I like all the nicks and scratches on it. Looks like it's been somewhere. I like the green also.
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Old 12-01-06, 05:11 PM   #21
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just got my 520 yesterday and i'm horribly concerned that it's too small for me! that'll learn me for taking the word of a brother who works in a bike shop ont he other side of the country! still, it rides beautifully, i jsut wouldn't want to have to ride it for mroe than a few hours until i've tweaked things a little.

the black is dang sexy though.
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Old 12-01-06, 07:33 PM   #22
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oh, serious bummer! Can you exchange it? It would be worth it, nothing is more important in bike than fit.

good luck.

anna
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Old 12-02-06, 07:16 AM   #23
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Especially in a long distance touring bike. Yeah, it might not bother you on 20 mile rides, but when you get into riding 50-100 or even more rides, it'll make your life hell. Like Anna said, if you can exchange it, do it now before you go on your first tour.
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Old 12-02-06, 08:23 AM   #24
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Rear Rack different on 520?

Just got my new 2007 Trek 520 yesterday. Pretty cool lookin' in black.

One thing I noticed was that the stock rear rack is different from previous models. Seems the angle of the front support is straight verticle, whereas in previous models is was more angled.

Just wondering if this is an upgraded rack - I know Trek has received a lot of complaints on the quality of the stock rack, so maybe they changed it??

Anyone have an idea?

Attached so you can see the difference are images of the 2006 model vs. the 2007:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2006 Trek 520 small.jpg (12.8 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg 2007 Trek 520 small.jpg (13.3 KB, 119 views)
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Old 12-02-06, 11:50 AM   #25
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Meh. That rack does look flimsy. Even compared to my cheapy Delta. I've loaded up 60 lbs and more of groceries on my Delta rack and not had any problems... I don't think I'd even try it with that rack on the Treks.

edit: That said, that newer rack does look better than the old one.
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