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Old 03-02-14, 02:27 PM   #101
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Are you certain that the 2014 Trek 520 uses plastic rings/fittings?


I expect, as before , the crankset's outer chainring they get from Shimano has a trouser guard of plastic ,
but the actual chainring is of course Metal.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-02-14 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 03-04-14, 03:56 PM   #102
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I am considering a 520 as an everyday, every ride type of a bike. I was considering a CrossRip but I like the steel nature of the 520. I also like the retro 2014 look. I can deal with bar end shifters. How does this bike perform when it's NOT loaded up and packed for a cross country trip?
I own two 520s, an 89 and an 04. Both bikes are used for touring, as well as day rides. The 520 makes an excellent general use bike. It is comfortable for all day rides and not so beefy that taking it for a spin on the local MUP is a burden.

As for unloaded handling and ride - I also have a Lemond Zurich in the Fleet. One of the spine bikes. it's a full Ultegra equipped bike and very light. Compared to the Zurich the 520 has slower handling. That's because of the heavier tires, and wheels as well as the longer wheel base, and more relaxed fork angle. The slower, more relaxed handling of the 520 is most noticeable after spending time riding the Lemond. OTH, the Zurich can feel down right twitchy if ridden right after the 520. Though there is nothing at all wrong with either bike's handling.

Owning the 520 means i can have one bike that fills multiple roles - it's a touring bike and general recreation bike. And, if i decide i want to do a Brevet, century, or charity ride it's the bike that gets pulled off the rack.

Last edited by tom cotter; 03-05-14 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 03-10-14, 01:18 AM   #103
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Hi Kris7047th,

Are you certain that the 2014 Trek 520 uses plastic rings/fittings? Can anyone else confirm? Also, looking at the specs of 2012/2013 Trek 520 vs 2014, which other components are deemed inferior? From what I can tell as a notice, it looks like the brakes, seatpost, headset are better on 2013, but the 2014 may have better tires (all weather edition)?
I got to compare my bike to the new one that had just come in. The rings definitely looked like a hard plastic.
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Old 03-10-14, 01:31 AM   #104
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is that unusual for trek? like a first? seems kind of weird to be using hard plastic rings.. were you able to touch it to confirm it didn't feel like metal?
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Old 03-10-14, 09:10 PM   #105
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I'm a happy guy. I just joined the 520 club. A member sold this at a great price and even threw in an Ortlieb handlebar bag and set of Ortlieb Bike Packer panniers. It's at the LBS getting a lookover and tune-up although it appears to be in very good shape. Based on the badge, it's likely a 2003, 2004 or 2005. I'm adding a Brooks saddle and I have Racktime front and rear racks which I'll put on.

I want to replace the tires. I'll be using the bike for recreational riding, commuting and some inn to inn touring. Next year I look forward to some self contained weekend to week long rides. I have a few other bikes so it will be in the recreational and commuting rotation. I love my Contis on my road bike so I'm looking at Conti Top Contacts. Any other suggestions?

Thank you.

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Old 03-10-14, 10:25 PM   #106
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I was able to compare my 2012 alongside the 2014 and I am so glad that I bought the 2012. There are plastic rings/fittings instead of the metal brass colored ring right above the fork and at the seat post as seen on my bike. Trek made some minor "downgrades" on the 2014. Oh .. the chain guard is really thin plastic compared to the heavier one that was on previous years.



It had been raining that day and I had a cover on my seat. I am so glad that I went with a double kick stand. I use my bike to do just about all of my grocery shopping.
Heh. Kris7047th, I have the same pump in the same spot on my 520. It's a good spot for it!

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Old 03-11-14, 06:52 AM   #107
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Heh. Kris7047th, I have the same pump in the same spot on my 520. It's a good spot for it!

I was advised to put a plastic covering/bag around the pump to prevent mud/water etc from working into the pump's internal parts. The last upgrade I did was a double kick stand. I dropped my bike a few times when it rolled away from me thinking I had it secured/leaned properly. I just got tired of having to lean the bike on something and times there wasn't anything .. so the added weight was a trade off for the safety of my bike. Might want to look into Relevate Designs customs bags. They are pricey but they are USA made, still hand made mainly for fat-bikes but they are quality and very lightweight. The *gas tank* and the seat bag would be ideal for the Trek 520

http://www.revelatedesigns.com/



BTW .. your seat should be level.

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Old 03-11-14, 07:01 AM   #108
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is that unusual for trek? like a first? seems kind of weird to be using hard plastic rings.. were you able to touch it to confirm it didn't feel like metal?
Felt like a hard plastic to me. They sold the bike.


I wish Trek would offer disc brakes on the 520. I have come to LOVE the disc brakes on both of my mt bikes .. they are so much more responsive.

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Old 03-11-14, 03:01 PM   #109
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I'm a happy guy. I just joined the 520 club. A member sold this at a great price and even threw in an Ortlieb handlebar bag and set of Ortlieb Bike Packer panniers. It's at the LBS getting a lookover and tune-up although it appears to be in very good shape. Based on the badge, it's likely a 2003, 2004 or 2005. I'm adding a Brooks saddle and I have Racktime front and rear racks which I'll put on.

I want to replace the tires. I'll be using the bike for recreational riding, commuting and some inn to inn touring. Next year I look forward to some self contained weekend to week long rides. I have a few other bikes so it will be in the recreational and commuting rotation. I love my Contis on my road bike so I'm looking at Conti Top Contacts. Any other suggestions?

Thank you.

I prefer Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus. I have them on 2 singles and one tandem. Never a flat. Comfortable quiet ride too. That seats awefully high isn't it?
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Old 03-11-14, 05:51 PM   #110
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I prefer Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus. I have them on 2 singles and one tandem. Never a flat. Comfortable quiet ride too. That seats awefully high isn't it?
You're absolutely right about the saddle height. This was the seller's picture. The seat is also tipped too far up. I may need a few spacers, but the fit will be made right.

Thanks for the Schwalbe recommendation. It's the only alternative to the Contis that I'm considering.

Besides my positive experiences with Continentals I like that I can get them as folders so it'll be easy to throw one in my bag so I'm ready should a catastrophic tire event occurs in the middle of nowhere. I'll never forget doing the Bike Ride Across Georgia a few years ago when they routed us over two miles of potholes, gravel, fist sized rocks and horribly cracked concrete. It was barely walkable let alone rideable. There was a bike dealer at the end of the road selling tires and tubes. There had to be fifty or more tires in the 55 gallon garbage drum.

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Old 04-01-14, 11:57 AM   #111
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Finally Finished!

Hopefully, I have properly uploaded these pictures of my just completed Trek 520. I took a brand new frame, had S&S couplers added, new pearlescent paint and airbrushed logo work, clear coated, and then finished it off with Ultegra derailleurs and triple crank, 10 speed cassette, Brooks B-17 saddle and matching bar tape, Tubus rear rack, Wahoo speed and cadence sensor, Koala magnetic cages and bottles, and a SON 28 dynamo, with USB, head and tail lights. Also is a picture taken from her first ride just outside one of our Provincial Parks. It was a whole 34 degrees for the 20 mile ride, but the bike was flawless and it was so great to see other bicyclists, a motorcycle, snowmobilers, pedestrians with strollers, and cross country skiiers all in one outing! Take that winter!
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Old 05-04-14, 08:54 PM   #112
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Looking to join the 520 club. A used 520 in 60cm seems to be difficult to find!

LuckySailor, I see that you have an uncut steerer tube on your *awesome* 520. My understanding is that Trek cuts the steerer tube. How did you accomplish this?
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Old 05-05-14, 10:14 PM   #113
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Rode my first 520 today. It was a 2008, 58cm frame. I found it to be too small and have confirmed I need a 60cm.

I have read alot of impressions of this bike. Coming from a racing style bike, I enjoyed the stability as opposed to the twitchy feel of a racing bike. Barcons were not too bad, would take some getting used to.

It would be interesting to ride a newer 520 and get a feel for the lower gearing.

The hunt continues!
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Old 05-07-14, 12:02 PM   #114
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Looking to join the 520 club. A used 520 in 60cm seems to be difficult to find!

LuckySailor, I see that you have an uncut steerer tube on your *awesome* 520. My understanding is that Trek cuts the steerer tube. How did you accomplish this?
Welcome to the Forum! Not the club, as you don't own a 520 yet! I took the usual suspects for a test ride when I was looking for a touring bike- LHT, Salsa Vaya, considered a Co-motion, and considered changing out the fork on my mountain bike. Long story short, I loved the ride of the 520, but didn't like the gearing, I wanted S&S couplers, Dynamo, etc. Taking a stock 520 and changing things at the LBS still came with a high price tag, and no couplers. At their suggestion, lets see if the Trek rep can get us a frame only. Trek has frames kicking around for warranty replacements, so they provided a frame to the LBS to sell me-and thus it came with an uncut steerer-which is a great thing, because when using the aero bars, if they were any lower I couldn't use them as there is just too much pressure on my neck. So Trek probably cuts the steerer tube because they don't sell frame only-that would make sense. One annoyance is that now the bar end shifters can contact the top tube, and potentially will chip the paint and airbrush work. Not cool! I will be applying some UV stable helicopter tape to the TT in an effort to preserve a silly expensive paint job! I did not find that the bar ends were hard to get used to. I thought the same thing until I actually took the 520 on a 30 mile test ride. Easy. In retrospect, I may have been even happier using down tube shifters, but it never entered my mind until delivery date. Duh! I had no idea there were so many details to consider until you design and build a bike! Good luck scoring a frame!
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Old 05-07-14, 01:46 PM   #115
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Hopefully, I have properly uploaded these pictures of my just completed Trek 520. I took a brand new frame, had S&S couplers added, new pearlescent paint and airbrushed logo work, clear coated, and then finished it off with Ultegra derailleurs and triple crank, 10 speed cassette, Brooks B-17 saddle and matching bar tape, Tubus rear rack, Wahoo speed and cadence sensor, Koala magnetic cages and bottles, and a SON 28 dynamo, with USB, head and tail lights. Also is a picture taken from her first ride just outside one of our Provincial Parks. It was a whole 34 degrees for the 20 mile ride, but the bike was flawless and it was so great to see other bicyclists, a motorcycle, snowmobilers, pedestrians with strollers, and cross country skiiers all in one outing! Take that winter!
Pretty awesome!

Who did the S&S coupler installation?
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Old 05-07-14, 02:20 PM   #116
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Arvon Cycles in Tofield, Alberta. Close to Edmonton. May I suggest Bilinky Bikes in Pittsburg for you? Closer, no cross border issues, etc.
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Old 05-07-14, 03:30 PM   #117
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Arvon Cycles in Tofield, Alberta. Close to Edmonton. May I suggest Bilinky Bikes in Pittsburg for you? Closer, no cross border issues, etc.
Thanks.
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Old 05-07-14, 10:58 PM   #118
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Bought a 2008 520 today, will pick it up tomorrow. I rode it today for an hour, felt good!! Will get a fit done and suspect that the stem will need to be replaced. I will also replace the inner chainring from a 30 to a 26. I had my bike mechanic look it over and he could find very little wrong with the bike. I am stoked!

The bike I bought is a 58cm. As I was unsure of frame size, I rode my friends 60cm. This was too big, as standing over the top tube was almost uncomfortable.

LuckySailor, that is an interesting approach to getting a 520 frame. I will keep that in mind.
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Old 07-25-14, 10:20 PM   #119
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Looks like the 2015 Trek 520 comes with disc brakes. Anyone seen one or ridden one?

2015 Trek 520 Disc | Buckingham Bikes
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Old 07-26-14, 09:57 AM   #120
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I just did my first multi-day self-supported tour, something I have wanted to do for at least 35 years! There is my Trek 520 at the top of Mount Madonna Road. I think it is a 1983 model. I bought it 5 or 6 years ago in Madison WI with the plan of eventually using it as a tourer, but for a while it was my winter commuter bike. I decided I didn't want to have it rust from the road salt, so I bought a cheap Raleigh to use instead.

The bike was left out all winter a couple of years ago, here in Gilroy CA, while I was teaching in Brazil. It got pretty rusty, but the owner of Sunshine Bikes in Morgan Hill fixed up the cables so that it worked ok, and it performed flawlessly on this tour.

At some point I installed bar-end shifters, which I love. And a day before the tour, I replaced the front wheel, since the old one was 27" and I wanted to use 700c Vittoria Randonneur tires to avoid flats. That new front wheel made creaky noises the entire tour!

I averaged 60 miles per day, not bad for my first tour, and being an overweight 52 yr old guy with high blood pressure.

I love this bike for touring. The only change I'm likely to make is to try to find one or two lower gears somehow.
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Old 08-01-14, 10:11 PM   #121
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Well, well, well... It's finally happened! Check out this photo from Trek World Japan:



Notice anything new?

Ladies and gents, I give you the Trek 520 Disc, new for 2015! There weren't any details on the website beyond the fact that it's still steel, but this is something I've been suspecting since I noticed on Trek's dealer site that the 2014 models are all selling out, with a note about a "new product" becoming available in September.

Personally, I have no plans to replace my beautiful bronze 2013 520, but it's cool to think that, if I want to, I could at least switch out the fork and front wheel someday to accomodate a front disc brake. Meanwhile, there's also news of a new model called the 920 Disc, which is designed to be an off-road touring rig. Very intriguing, that.
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Old 08-02-14, 01:59 AM   #122
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Honestly, the biggest advantage of disc brakes (for me) is that I can run a caliper with road cable pull along with an integrated shifter (Campy Ergo, in my case)... the mini-v approach just doesn't cut it while screaming down hill on a loaded bike. I'm likely to buy one in a few years (definitely not the 2015 black, can you say bland?)... until then, my 2002 is running strong.
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Old 08-02-14, 05:07 AM   #123
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Well, well, well... It's finally happened! Check out this photo from Trek World Japan:



Notice anything new?

Ladies and gents, I give you the Trek 520 Disc, new for 2015! There weren't any details on the website beyond the fact that it's still steel, but this is something I've been suspecting since I noticed on Trek's dealer site that the 2014 models are all selling out, with a note about a "new product" becoming available in September.

Personally, I have no plans to replace my beautiful bronze 2013 520, but it's cool to think that, if I want to, I could at least switch out the fork and front wheel someday to accomodate a front disc brake. Meanwhile, there's also news of a new model called the 920 Disc, which is designed to be an off-road touring rig. Very intriguing, that.
Ooooooh, aaaah. That's pretty sweet. I love the new brakes and the blacked out paint.

Needs fenders. Trek should come up with a genuine set of nice fenders.
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Old 08-02-14, 05:51 AM   #124
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Ooooooh, aaaah. That's pretty sweet. I love the new brakes and the blacked out paint.

Needs fenders. Trek should come up with a genuine set of nice fenders.
Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you there. Bontrager's basic NCS fenders aren't bad, but they're a tad flimsy. I have their Interchange Nebula fenders on my 520, which are pretty nice (matte silver aluminum vs. black plastic, with good coverage), except those have been discontinued for about two years now. Alas...
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Old 08-02-14, 06:47 AM   #125
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I love my 1994 Trek 520. I have 42mm Conti Contact tires, straight mountain bike style handlebars, twin mirrors, Fluxient head lamp, a small speaker and mp3 player mounted on the handlebars. I've rebuilt it twice and ridden it throughout the Northeast, Florida, Michigan & the Pacific Northwest. Looking forward to a California coast ride this fall.

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