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  1. #1
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    Cannondale T2000 vs Trek 520

    So, im planning to do a tour of New Zealand, prob take about 3 months. Never toured before..ever! Ive done heaps of research on bikes, pannier, tent, etc, etc. One LBS has a Cannondale T2000 and another has a Trek 520. I dont know which to choose??

    I test rode both, the T2000 feels more manuverable (or is it less stable?) & looks nicer (the 520 is old school...like i used to ride that style when i kid!). The 520 feels solid and stable. I noticed that climbing unseated caused some instability, but if u put your butt back on the seat, its rock solid again. It also has bar end shifter which is a bit weird to me, i found that its too easy to overshift and also the front derailer is a friction shifter, and i think its also heavier than the T2000. And then there is price. The Cannodale T2000 is more exp, but the Trek 520 is on sale about 25% off. They're both touring bikes, but they seem so different, and that kinda makes it harder to compare them if that makes sense.

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    They are both great bikes....either one will be fine. You will get used to and even love those bar end shifters.

    The Trek would be easier to work on in the field. (it may be the easiest production bike to work on currently made). Trek has made a nice steel frame touring bike for what? 30 years now? Great bikes.

    The Cannondale is well.... it's a Cannondale! An American made. alu frame bike that's known the world over for quality. Europeans even love 'em.

    My quess is that over the years you'll own the bike, these are somewhat lower cost bikes that offer great value.

    Feel safe buying either one.

  3. #3
    jcm
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    Getting used to the bar-end shiofters takes, what? Five minutes? Easy to replace, too. Old school? Nothing wrong with a proven design. It's longevity speaks for itself. Frankly, I think the new black 520's are rather racy looking in street trim. If they are still putting the Big Triple on them, you'll find that the 520 is a fast, fun all-around bike that is as comfortable to ride around unloaded as you can get.

    Some people say that the alum bikes are best when loaded, but can be a bit harsh as an all-rounder. Consider how much time will be spent just ridin' as opposed to touring. My one alum bike is a roadie with CF forks and seat stays. Otherwise I would find it pretty stiff. My '98 Trek 520 rides like a Gran Tour Sedan, loaded or not.

  4. #4
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    If you make it to New Zealand and bike my way you can drop in if you like Im sure we can find you a bed
    what time of the year are you planning to come ?

    As for the bike either would be good the I would recommend that you get the lowest possible gearing on either of them eg a 34 on the back and if its a road crank on the front then 26 as both seem to be a liitle high geared and there a quite a few hills here but then it depends on how much gear you are carrying

  5. #5
    Senior Member EZ-SportAX Curt's Avatar
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    I have an 2006 T2000 and I was looking at both bikes at the same time too. I didn't like the barend shifters on the 520 at all, seems like my knees came to close to them on the up stoke, I thought the rear rack was weak, too thin. Then I rode the T2000 feel in love after the first mile, can't beat the brakes and shift levers all in one, top notch rims for heavy riders like myself. The only thing I didn't like about the T2000 is theres no give to the front fork at all, can be a ruff rider at times. And the rear rack on the T2000 is too wide at the drop outs to hook up a Bob Yak. I went to the Trek store and bought me a TREK EXPEDITION RACK and even bought the Trek interchange trunk and rear panniers, looks real nice on the bike and my Bob Yak even hooks up now.
    Curt

    Cycle Genius RDX Raven with Fairing and a EZ-Sport AX with Shimano 36H XTR hubs with DT-Swiss spokes, Fairing, Finders, Rear Rack, FSA 53/42/30 Crank. Action Bent Tadpole. Cannondale T2000 Touring Bike. Gary Fisher 293 29ER Mountain Bike. Gary Fisher Marlin 26ER Mountain Bike, and 1 Bob Yak.

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  6. #6
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    So, im planning to do a tour of New Zealand, prob take about 3 months.

    <> You lucky so and so <>

    Never toured before..ever!

    <> Do at least a couple warm up trips, a weekender and then 3 or 4 nights if you can. <>

    Ive done heaps of research on bikes, pannier, tent, etc, etc. One LBS has a Cannondale T2000 and another has a Trek 520. I dont know which to choose??

    <> There are better touring bikes out there, if you can afford them. I like the Waterford Adventure but it'd wind up costing you twice as much. Both of those are nice bikes, I'd pick the 520 <>

    I test rode both, the T2000 feels more manueverable (or is it less stable?) & looks nicer (the 520 is old school...like i used to ride that style when i kid!). The 520 feels solid and stable.

    <> Solid and stable are exactly what you want in a touring bike <>

    I noticed that climbing unseated caused some instability, but if u put your butt back on the seat, its rock solid again. It also has bar end shifter which is a bit weird to me, i found that its too easy to overshift and also the front derailer is a friction shifter,

    <> You get used to bar end shifters quickly, but having gotten that out of the way.. I use brifters. Look
    on the net for deals. Ask the dealer how much it would be for him to put brifters on <>

    and i think its also heavier than the T2000. And then there is price. The Cannondale T2000 is more exp, but the Trek 520 is on sale about 25% off.

    <> I'd replace the rack on the 520 with a Blackburn Expedition; if I was going on a big tour, and the wheels are nothing special. If you are a big guy, you might want to look at getting the dealer to swap wheels at the time of sale. <>

    They're both touring bikes, but they seem so different, and that kinda makes it harder to compare them if that makes sense.

    <> Yup, it makes sense. They are both good bikes, but as you note, they go about the job differently.
    You will be adding a ton of weight in the form of tent and sleeping bag and food and... The difference in weight between the bikes is prob a couple pounds. You really won't notice the difference between a 56 pound bike and a 58 pound bike.

    Picking the right bike is about picking the bike that fits the best. Which one would you want to spend 12 hours on? <>

  7. #7
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    Lots of good advice here. I did my first solo tour on my brand new 520 in new zealand. Definitely get lower gearing than stock - I had 26 in front, 32 in back, and midway through purchased a 34 tooth cassette, b/c the hills in NZ are so darn steep! (Bike parts are a lot more expensive in NZ than in the US.) I don't know the gearing on the cannondale, it might have the same issue. The bar end shifters are good, b/c if your shifting gets a little messed up you can put it in friction mode, and still shift, whereas if it gets messed up with sti, you have to know how to adjust it.

    RE: bike handling: Stabilty is very important in a touring bike. it's going to feel entirely different when you put your touring load on it. This goes double for standing/climbing - i always feel weird standing/climbing with a load for the first half-hour or so, then it feels OK. You get used to it.

    Whichever bike you get, experiment with weight distribution front/rear. I find my trek is a lot more stable with about 8-10 pounds in each front bag. For the front paniers, it's important that they weigh about the same, but in the rear it doesn't matter as much.

    Also agree that you need to put sturdier racks on it... but the c'dale doesn't have racks, right? so that's a wash.

    I can't tell where you live - are you from NZ? If not, here's a few items about camping in NZ:
    If you stay in holiday parks (=campgrounds=RV parks) you don't need a stove, they have kitchens, but you do need something to cook in/with (pot, fork).

    Don't miss Wanaka, it's like queenstown but with 1/3 the tourists. Bring real rain gear, and add fenders to either bike - it rains a lot on the west coast.

    There's a great local guidebook "Pedaler's Paradise" which gives distances, road grades and services in all the towns. Very useful.

    The folks in NZ really are super friendly.

    DOn't miss hokey-pokey ice cream. I might have to go back there just for that.

    You will have a blast.


    anna
    ...

  8. #8
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    Cannodale

    I have a 2005 T2000 with about 8,000 miles on it. It has served me very well and I am overall very pleased with it. Only problem I have encountered is a blown up bottom crank arm bearing set this was after many days of rain on a Pacific NW route around the Olympic Peninsula. It is also my daily commuter and has been rather bombproof.

    Scott

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    I am planning my first tour also in the western half of the US next spring and i have also had a problem figureing what bike to buy. the 520 or the t2000 I have ridden treks for the last 20 years mostly road bikes. I like the stock gearing on both although the cannondale is a little lower running a 48/38-28 with the trek running a 52/42/30. the rear is comprable. the tires on a stock 520 are 700/28 cc this i find a little narrow where the current 2007 model of the t2000 runs 700/37. i think i would try to see if they could load the bikes down for you then see which bike you want... after a test ride. i have been riding with alluminum forks for years as a commuter on my road bikes and i really never notice a differance in them as i did when i owned a steel but then the front wasn't loaded down either... personally i am leaning towards the cannondale at the moment.. but we will see other bikes makers in that price range you might want to consider is the jamis and the surley. I hope that helps...
    Kevin

  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Good post, Tuffwolf. I forgot about the gearing and tires. The dealer should be able to swap the crank for little or no cost at the time of sale. As far as tires go, these look incredible...

    http://schwalbetires.com/node/1201/ok

  11. #11
    Slowpoach
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Don't miss Wanaka, it's like queenstown but with 1/3 the tourists. Bring real rain gear, and add fenders to either bike - it rains a lot on the west coast.
    Wanaka is nice. In fact, the whole South Island is beautiful. In fact, New Zealand is great. You'll have a great trip.

    I think Monteith's is even better than hokey pokey ice cream.

    Re bikes - the Cannondale T2000 is a seriously nice bike, ready to go as is. If you can afford it, it is noticably better than the T800. You might want to add a front rack, and mudguards - NZ can be pretty wet in some areas.

    A road tourer is perfect for NZ.

    The Trek has a non-compact frame and more front wheel clearance, so if you are short you may find it has more "space" than the smaller-sized Cannondales (I am becoming more and more convinced that the Cannondale is a bike for big people). If you are short you might want to look at an LHT which uses 26" wheels in smaller sizes.

    You shouldn't have any problems with spare parts, and the road network is good, so neither the Trek's tyres nor the Cannondale's STIs should be a concern reliability-wise.

    Get whichever bike fits better and feels better. There are many posts comparing the two - do a search - but in the end, you should buy the bike that fits best off the rack.

  12. #12
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    Both are good touring bikes, and I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Depending on the years, the Cannondales use a compact road triple with 48-38-28 or 48-36-26. It could be fairly easy to swap a 28 for a 26 (if that's the case), but especially if you already have the 26 and don't need ultra low gears, the stock gearing is decent.

    As Anna (Valygyrl) said, stock gearing on the 520 is definitely more for the sports commuter or group rider than for fully loaded touring. With stock gearing, you won't ever use your 52 and will long for lower gears. So if you are strong and like high gears, have the gears swapped for 48-38-24 (the lowest that fit on a 105 crankset) or ask for a Sugino compact triple with 48-36-24. And if you really want low gears, go all the way and have your crankset replaced by a mountain one. Either of these options are relatively cheap if you negociate them at the time of purchase.

    For the record, I have a 520 and really enjoy it, whether it's for commuting with a light load, doing long day or night rides, or doing loaded touring. I have done a few tours with my daughters in tow on a trailercycle + child trailer. I never had any "handling" or "stability" issues, but I very rarely stand. BTW, you should ask yourself how often you will stand with a loaded bike? Probably almost never if you have low enough gears.
    As for gearing, I have an XT crankset (I would have gone for the cheaper LX, but XT was what the LBS had in stock at a price too good to refuse) with 44-34-22 chainrings. And I have a custom 12-34 cassette. Even when I ride solo, I rarely use gears higher than 44/14... IOW, I'm not running out of high gears?


    As for bar-end shifters vs STI, there are a few issues: price, convenience, reliability and flexibility.

    – I ride with relatively high bars (tops roughly level with saddle)... and mostly on the drops; bar-end shifters are therefore very close to my hands, and I find the learning curve steeper with STI. STI are easy to use from the hoods, but I find that position too extended, very ackward for my wrists and very unsafe/unstable when the road is rough, so each time I have used STI, I have the other hand firmly clenched in the drops...!
    Using bar-end shifters from the tops or hoods means a bit more hand travel, but it's nothing serious or nothing to loose your balance; only you can decide whether you like it or not.

    – STI sometimes break. Not that much an issue for commutes or for rides that last only a few days, but it could be a problem for a cross-country ride. There are of course workarounds, but it's one less worry with bar-end shifters. I once had a bar-end shifter failure (after 30 000 km ; the plastic doesn't like -30 C weather), but the shifter continued to work fine in friction mode.

    – Front is friction. For touring (as opposed to racing), I find it a major advantage. STI works great with standard gearing, but the further away you are from Shimano standards, the more finnicky STI becomes, and the less gears you can reach without hearing some chain noise. With bar-end shifters, you can fine-tune the position of your shifters so that all cogs are useable with all rings. I'm not suggesting to use and abuse cross-chainring situations, but it can be done.

    Finally, I don't know how the 520 is sold in Australia, but the rear rack they install on it in North America is flimsy and has a "good" reputation for premature failures. I have installed it on an Addams Trail-a-Bike (since sold) where it has been used for minimal loads. So do yourself a favour and get good racks.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    Im from the land of OZ. Unfortunantly there isnt too many choices in touring bike here. As fas as i know, only cannondale, trek, fuji and custom built LHT's (ie $$$). Also seen a specialized tricross.

    Im quite heavy atm, at 115kg, and i know i would basically die if i rode NZ with this much weight. Im going in Jan 08, so im trying shed a least 20kg before then.

    Its going to be fully self-supported. Front n rear panniers, tent, etc.

    The cannondale has 48/36/26 front and 11-34 rear. The trek has 52/42/30 front and 11-32 rear. So most ppl think the cannondale gearing is ok..right? And the trek is too high..so best to swap out the front..right? And does the length of the crank arm matter much? the cannondale has a hollowtech cranks which is the same one on my mountain bike, but the trek is a 105.

    And just to throw another cog into the works..what about disc brakes on touring. NZ is very hilly, right? So image descending in the rain with a fully loaded bike..disc brakes would be nice..no? That said, there are ZERO disc brake touring bikes available in OZ. Although i could get a kona dew deluxe and swap the flat bar to drops?

  14. #14
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    I have ridden with the sti shifters for years now and never had a problem with them they are very affective if you are riding on the hoods bar end shifters are good but you have to be in the drops to use them so i would say that depending on how you ride would determine a lot on which shifters you use.. as for reliability i have about 8000 miles on my trek 2100 with commuting in all kinds of weather and have never missed a shift.. and a good bike mechanic should be about to set it up for what ever gearing that you are using.. but like any index system when you put new cables on ride and use them for a couple hundred miles then have them readjusted and other than cable breakage you should never have a problem with them...

  15. #15
    Senior Member DukeArcher's Avatar
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    Got myself a '07 520 and I'm completely happy with it. replaced a lot of stuff but NOT the tires or gearing and I've not noticed any problem. I have used the highest gear frequently and the lowest gear gets me up even the steepest of hills, but maybe that's just because I'm an extremely awesome, muscley hard-nut.

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    i stand corrected the 520 doesn't have sti not sure where i was looking at the specs that indicated the sti shifting..

  17. #17
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    ppyo, (caveat, i'm a lot lighter than you), I had no problems with the v-brake style brakes on the 520, in NZ. You might bring along a 2nd set of brake pads, as continuous braking in the rain erodes the pads very quickly. I don't know about disc brakes and rack interactions, could be messy.

    FOr the 520, you should be able to swap for MTB cranks when you buy the bike, the stock front derailleur is fine, and swaping to a 34 in the rear also requires no other modifications. For crankarm length, look to whatever you are riding now +/- 5mm, should be OK. I ride 165 on my roadie and 170 on my tour bike (I'm 5'2) and both are fine. If you go with an STI bike, ring-swapping would require a lot more adjusting.

    I actually stand quite a bit on my loaded bike, not necessariily b/c I have to but to change position, give my knees a break. However, when I rode in NZ, I hadn't swapped for the MTB crank yet, and found myself standing out of necessity (and, uh, er... um... walking) quite a bit - it's really seriously steep there. Kinda like Tassie.

    I'm getting all nostalgic for the south....


    anna
    ...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppyo
    Im from the land of OZ. Unfortunantly there isnt too many choices in touring bike here. As fas as i know, only cannondale, trek, fuji and custom built LHT's (ie $$$). Also seen a specialized tricross.

    Im quite heavy atm, at 115kg, and i know i would basically die if i rode NZ with this much weight. Im going in Jan 08, so im trying shed a least 20kg before then.

    Its going to be fully self-supported. Front n rear panniers, tent, etc.

    The cannondale has 48/36/26 front and 11-34 rear. The trek has 52/42/30 front and 11-32 rear. So most ppl think the cannondale gearing is ok..right? And the trek is too high..so best to swap out the front..right? And does the length of the crank arm matter much? the cannondale has a hollowtech cranks which is the same one on my mountain bike, but the trek is a 105.

    And just to throw another cog into the works..what about disc brakes on touring. NZ is very hilly, right? So image descending in the rain with a fully loaded bike..disc brakes would be nice..no? That said, there are ZERO disc brake touring bikes available in OZ. Although i could get a kona dew deluxe and swap the flat bar to drops?
    I would think that at 95-115kg in addition to the 15-25kg that you will have on the bike, that the stiffness of the Cannondale Aluminum frame won't be a factor. Neither the 520 or the T2000 are designed for disc brakes so if you really think you need them, you had better start doing some more research. We are starting to see some of the touring bikes coming out with disc brakes but the big manufactures have yet to move in that direction. From what I can tell the stock gearing and tires on the Cannondale are better suited for touring. The brifters vs bar-ends debate could go either way but I can see that brifters have become popular--probably because they have become the defacto standard for road bikes.

    Having said all that, I own a 1994 Cannondale T700 with bar-end shifters. The shifters work fine for me. And with over 50000 km on the T700 using it as an all round commuter/tourer, I do not have any problem with the "stiffness" of the bike and my riding weight is about 75kg.

    I don't think that you can go wrong with either the 520 or the T2000. It seems like you would need to swap out more components with the 520 but hey seem minimal. Personally, I would like to stick with Cannondale but I would try out both loaded first if possible.

    Good luck...

  19. #19
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    HI theres a guy selling 2003 trek 520
    says he says he has 64 cm as well 58, 54, and 49

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/List...x?id=100268926

    also as for a tourer with disk brakes I see that they have
    http://bikesfortransportyeah.wordpress.com/tag/touring/
    at http://www.cheekytransport.com.au/

    and on there site http://www.viventebikes.com they say that it has the mounts for the disk brakes on there
    and tubus racks etc

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuffwolf
    the tires on a stock 520 are 700/28 cc this i find a little narrow
    Trek 520 stock tires are 700x32 not 700x28.
    Click on "full specs"

  21. #21
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    Flats to drops
    Forget about swapping flats to drops.

    Where to shop
    If in Melbourne see St Kilda cycles, Abbotsford Cycles or Brunswick St Cycles (they have Cannondale T800 and T2000, Fuji and Allegro tourers built up for test rides).

    If in Sydney, see Cheeky Monkey (or whatever they;re now called after their move). They are very very good and you should visit their website for ideas, no matter where you are.

    If in Cairns, there is only one bike shop with touring bikes, I forget what it's called but its at the North end of the main part of town on the main road.

    Dunno about other towns, except in Tassie the only touring bikes are the ones under tourers.

    Brakes
    Basically on a road-style tourer you're looking at cantilevers, probably Avids, which means you need your handlebars high enough to allow you to descend on the drops, because otherwise you won't get enough power through your levers on downhills.
    Don't let them sell you too small a bike (like I did, and have regretted it since, as I've mentioned in previous posts). You need to be riding in the drops a lot of the time, but in a relaxed position, so you need a really high head tube, so you need a bigger bike than "standard" Beach Road roadie bike fit.

    You can get V-brakes to work with drop bars on a custom build with various adapters/levers, but forget about it unless you go custom - which you can't if your'e leaving in 2 months.

    Forget about discs unless you're prepared to risk a cyclocross bike (fine for gravel and mud, not fine for carrying loads).

    Seriously consider a flat-bar bike. You will get better brakes (V-brakes) and at 115kg you're probably a bit tubby (sorry) and will find riding in drops a little harder, even if you are flexible. (Or make the bars nice and high, as above).

    Bottom line in Australia at 115kg with 2 months to go:
    - Buy the biggest Cannondale T2000 you are comfortable on. Make sure the bars are high enough and that you don't have (too much) front wheel to toe interference. The Fuji and Allegro will be too flexy. The Mongoose isn't as good frame- or equipment-wise. (Or, get a LHT if Abbotsford or Cheeky have the frames in stock (which they generally do), you can go with trekking bars and V-brakes this way.)
    - Get a Surly or Tubus front rack, stick with the T2000's Blackburn rear rack. Ortlieb panniers, or old Bunyips or Wilderness Equipments if you can find them - Abbotsford Cycles might still have them in stock.
    - Everything else stock, unless the saddle and stem are no good after you've had a couple of weeks to get used to them.
    - Ride the bike lots and then get the shop's top wheel mechanic to true both wheels, off the bike, and tighten them, even if it costs an extra $20 each (which it shouldn't for a $2700 purchase). They will check the cables and brake/derailleur adjustment as part of the service, but you need to make sure they do the wheels right.
    - Grease all the bolts. They will stick in the frame, and the small Allen heads strip really easily.
    - Add extra bottle cages, checking that the bottom one dosen't interfere with the front wheel (and mudguards if you go with them) (which you should in July in NZ).

    (Edit)
    I see Cheeky have a new bike, as cdstg mentions.
    Last edited by Cave; 05-21-07 at 08:36 AM.

  22. #22
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    Oops, I somehow thought you were going in July. I was wondering what on earth you were thinking going to NZ in winter for a bike tour...

    January gives you more time to look at the options and try out a few more bikes, maybe even get a custom LHT build.

    I still think the T2K would be good if the size and price are right.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonradNYC
    Trek 520 stock tires are 700x32 not 700x28.
    Click on "full specs"
    actually i have seen both my local bike shop has one with a set of 28s and another with a set of 32's and the 520 with 32's had sti shifters... and it wasn't a custom job the bike shop couldn't tell me why the differance said they came that way.

  24. #24
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    after a little research it seams that if you get a 520that is tiawanies made instead of the american made version the 520 comes with sti i am not sure why that is... and i must have been looking at a spec for a diff year on the wheels not sure why the store has 28s on the one....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuffwolf
    after a little research it seams that if you get a 520that is tiawanies made instead of the american made version the 520 comes with sti i am not sure why that is... and i must have been looking at a spec for a diff year on the wheels not sure why the store has 28s on the one....
    think that was the 520e - came in a lovely shade of purple but it seems to have been removed from the trek site down here in oz. was an alloy frame with brifters - there's one been sitting at my lbs in hawthorn gradually dropping in price for an eon now.

    to the op, if you're buying the 520 i'll second all the calls to change out the rack and the wheels before you even get out the door of the shop. the bar-ends aren't as hard to adapt to as some might seem to be suggesting and in terms of your knees knocking them it kind of comes down to how wide you are more than anything. i was up near 115kgs (at about 194cm - which hasn't changed i think) when i got my 520 and always found that my knees always operated on the inside of the drops (if that makes sense) so it was more a concern of whether your knees would hit the flat bar section of the handlebar rather than the shifters. i'd imagine if you've got a wider frame things might be different. another plus on bar-ends - if i can notice, identify and alleviate a problem on something mechanical then it must be utterly idiot-proof.

    i've had a real rough time with the wheels - had to have them shop-trued about 5 times in 6 months and am looking pretty seriously at getting a different set.

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