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Mint '90 Trek 520

Old 07-07-11, 09:00 AM
  #1  
amgarcia
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Mint '90 Trek 520

I have the opportunity to purchase a mint 1990 Trek 520 with description as follows:

"Its in great shape. I picked it up around a year ago with my Schwinn Voyageur. The guy bought it for his wife and the went on one mini tour then it sat in the garage. It will need new tires since Im guessing there dry, But other than that its mint."

I've been considering picking up a Surly Cross Check frame and moving over my 2002 KHS Flite 300 components to have as a solid all around bicycle. I'd like to get into some more long distance riding as well.

Considering all of this, what would you pay for a mint 1990 Trek 520? He wants $525.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:23 AM
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I never trust anything that claims to be "mint." Especially in the bike trade.

That said,we need much more info,and pics.What size is the frame? Component set-up?
Where are you?

And that said, 525 seems quite high. I'd expect to pay that or more for a vintage 720, but not a 1990 520.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:30 AM
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I'm in Austin, TX, and I'm pretty sure that its a 54 cm frame. The components should all be stock.

Components can be found here:

https://vintage-trek.com/images/trek/90Trek/90Trek.pdf

Pictures aren't available, but I'm going to see it tomorrow. I wanted to know what everyone thought in case it really is in the condition claimed.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:40 AM
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Also, I don't believe there was a 720 that year. The 520 seems to be "the" touring model in 1990.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:13 AM
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Despite being a nice bike, there is no wow factor with a 1990 Trek 520.

And beyond dry tires, it would need fresh grease unless you want to grind out those long miles.


Depending on how much of the rehab you can do yourself versus pay a shop to do, that bike is in the $200-$300 range.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:18 AM
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amgarcia
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Thanks for the responses. Please, keep 'em coming.
I've read forums on here with similar bicycles going for as high as that, sometimes higher, on eBay. Do you attribute that on lack of knowledge?

Would you prefer to have a Surly Cross Check with reused Sora components?
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Old 07-08-11, 07:29 AM
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I just bought a 56cm Trek 1100 in Austin for about half that, but it wasn't mint. It did, however, clean up well and was all straight, smooth and true, no cracks, no runs and no errors. With new tape and pedals, rides like a dream. I don't know what year it was, but it was at least 10+ years old (I think) with the original tires still usable. So you could offer him less.
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Old 07-08-11, 07:56 AM
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cant compare aluminum treks to the steel ones.
Also, that is jut a true temper frame, not a reynolds 531. He's asking the highest side of reynolds 531 frame price for that bike, probably because he looked up "520" online. The frame material and small details of each model year, and frame sizes are why you see some bikes commanding a premium on ebay.

I find that ebay does a good job of setting the market or many bikes as wishy washy and those with lack of knowledge don't bid effectively.

It does have cantis and eyelets so that's good and will make a nice tourer, but its not on par with the older offerings. I'd value it at $375 but of course market location is important as well. If it were reynolds 531 it should warrant $500. For that pricing it had better have new cables and housings, new tires and grease.

Its a bike worth having if its your perfect size and you really want a tourer. Its not a bike worth that type of premium, especially when the owner only hauled it off the garage wall and dusted it off. You may not be able to convince him of that though so you may still wait some time.

Last edited by thenomad; 07-08-11 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 07-08-11, 02:48 PM
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I just bought a trek 520 from the 90s but mine was in poor condition... and will take lots of time and new tires, tubes, cables, housing, saddle, bar tape, and chain. With all that and my time I hope to fix and sell it down the road for around $350.
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Old 07-08-11, 04:31 PM
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I would pass. I try not to pay top of the ebay history pricing for bikes. Ebay auction prices are very erratic, and sometimes bidders are pretty stupid. I just don't follow them.


And on any bike where the obvious visible stuff has not been maintained (tires), then I assume the stuff I can't see hasn't been maintained either: wheel bearings, bottom bracket, and headset. I've bought a lot of bikes over the years, and have found this to be the case hundreds of times.

Bikes often are ignored for a decade or more. While on the surface, they can look great, typically they will need a thorough service to be road worthy. If you can do that, great. If you pay a shop, such a service (including tires) around here would be over $250.

Last edited by wrk101; 07-08-11 at 04:40 PM.
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