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1989 Trek 520

Old 07-08-14, 08:07 PM
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1989 Trek 520

Hey guys! I got this 1989 Trek 520 from my local bike shop. The eBay listings for these are all over the place, so I'm wondering what you all think It's worth! It's all original, and has no visible rust. The only non-original component are the saddle and bar tape. Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-08-14, 08:09 PM
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Here's a few more pics.
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Old 07-08-14, 08:39 PM
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Why are you asking - to see if you got a good deal or you want to sell it? I would say it is worth between $300 and $400.
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Old 07-08-14, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
Why are you asking - to see if you got a good deal or you want to sell it? I would say it is worth between $300 and $400.
I'm not really looking to sell it at the moment. I'm more interested to know more about how much it's worth because I only paid $150 for it and it's my first vintage bike. It's currently the only bike I own and ride.

I forgot to mention, I have the original Blackburn rear rack as well as the original reflectors too.
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Old 07-08-14, 08:58 PM
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$150? That's a deal and a half! Nice looking bike/nice snag!
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Old 07-08-14, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
$150? That's a deal and a half! Nice looking bike/nice snag!
Thanks! It's definitely a nice ride, and I love it! My struggle is that I'd like to fit Some more modern components on it (I hope that's not a sin), but I wonder if I would just be better off getting a newer bike than trying to upgrade this one. Unfortunately, money is tight so I may just have to wait a few years (college kid).
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Old 07-08-14, 10:15 PM
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that being one of the lugged frames I think it is worth keeping and upgrading if you want to. I have a later 95 and find it is a very comfortable bike. I wish I had the lugged frame. Especially at that price.
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Old 07-09-14, 09:31 AM
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I have one of these, same year and color. I also got a great deal on it. I'd go ahead and refurb all the bearings and grease. Looks great. I agree it's worth about $400.

I moved the downtube shifters to bar ends using Silver shifter pods from Rivendell--that was a great upgrade.

The freehub is uniglide, so if you want to replace the cassette, remember to get a new hyperglide freehub body too!

FYI I don't think that's the original saddle.
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Old 07-09-14, 03:26 PM
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Here's a link to the 1989 catalog, if you're curious.

http://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...d/1989trek.pdf
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Old 07-09-14, 03:30 PM
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Usually bike stores charge top dollar for used bikes so you did very, very well. This is a great bike @$150.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:40 PM
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It's worth what someone in the local market is willing to pay for it...

As is, with mid-tier and obsolete components, I don't see how it can possibly command $400 even if you just put on a new cassette, chain, cables/housing, tape, rubber, etc. Personally, I'd value it at around $200 as is... that's the most I'd pay for it unless you can justify a higher price with upgrades.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:44 PM
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I think the shops around here would be asking something in the neighborhood of $400 for a bike like that. $150 is a nice price for that bike, IMO, and a great price from a shop.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by headloss View Post
It's worth what someone in the local market is willing to pay for it...
I completely understand that! I've been toying with the idea of trying to trade up to a ride with more modern components, but like I said, money is tight.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I think the shops around here would be asking something in the neighborhood of $400 for a bike like that. $150 is a nice price for that bike, IMO, and a great price from a shop.
The guy that runs our local shop is incredibly generous. When my friend first found it, he figured the shop wanted at least $300 for it, but he was wrong! Lucky me!
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Old 07-09-14, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by headloss View Post
. . .

As is, with mid-tier and obsolete components, I don't see how it can possibly command $400 even if you just put on a new cassette, chain, cables/housing, tape, rubber, etc. Personally, I'd value it at around $200 as is... that's the most I'd pay for it unless you can justify a higher price with upgrades.
Mid-tier and obsolete? This is a touring bike and a classic one to boot. Touring bikes, moreover, tend to command a premium for lots of good reasons one of which is that older touring bikes are not obsolete. Touring bikes simply haven't changed as much as racing bikes have over the years.

The parts mix on this bike are pretty nice and it's easy to find replacements. The frame is high quality. I wish I could find a touring bike this nice in my size at $150-200.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:28 PM
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Thanks for the support bikemig! I love that this thing is so rock solid and dependable, and even really comfortable! But I'd also like to have a good entry-level bike with some newer Shimano components on it that I can upgrade over time. Does anyone have any suggestions in that area?
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Old 07-09-14, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Mid-tier and obsolete? This is a touring bike and a classic one to boot. Touring bikes, moreover, tend to command a premium for lots of good reasons one of which is that older touring bikes are not obsolete. Touring bikes simply haven't changed as much as racing bikes have over the years.

The parts mix on this bike are pretty nice and it's easy to find replacements. The frame is high quality. I wish I could find a touring bike this nice in my size at $150-200.
Is it a touring bike? or a collectors bike? I mean, it depends on how you want to market it and what the target audience is.

The most important thing for a touring bike, is reliability... might be time for a new wheel set, maybe not. Downtube shifters are a plus, for someone that knows how to use them. Sq. taper BB isn't a negative. The quill is OK, some prefer it, others prefer the ability to swap out an oversized handlebar. Will it fit a modern 135mm mtb/touring hub without cold setting? That's a potential issue for a wheel swap (one that you might need on the road while on tour, at that). Nothing wrong with canti's, but v-brakes are the norm on touring bikes made five years ago and everything is (mostly) going to disc now...

It's not worth $400 except to a collector. For $400, you should be able to find a used (more recent 520), or a Jamis Aurora, or any number of touring bikes that are half as old as a 1989. Figure most touring bikes retail for around $1200 and are worth half of that (minus any upgrades) a decade later.

Sure, you can ride a twenty-five year old touring bike. I'm sure the frame is solid. Would you want to though? Assuming that you can find a better option for $400? I, personally, would not. Like I said, it's worth what someone is willing to pay. You are willing to pay more than me. More power to you. I'm just giving an honest critique.

My 2002 520 (advertised as 2004) was bought for $450. It was in nearly mint condition and stored indoors... fwiw. I've since put about $500 into it.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Mid-tier and obsolete? This is a touring bike and a classic one to boot... I wish I could find a touring bike this nice in my size at $150-200.
+1!

As a touring bike, it's already pretty well outfitted although not state of the art. Tune it up, throw some racks on it, and hit the road! If I was lucky enough to be the guy who bought that for $150, the only change I'd consider making is replacing the downtube shifters with bar end shifters. That's simply a matter of preference, though, as the shifters on that bike are perfectly fine.

Down the road, when it comes time to replace the cassette, upgrade to a Hyperglide freehub body and cassette. Maybe, maybe upgrade from a 7-speed rear if there's money to burn.

Originally Posted by mechgingeneer View Post
My struggle is that I'd like to fit Some more modern components on it (I hope that's not a sin), but I wonder if I would just be better off getting a newer bike than trying to upgrade this one.
If you want a racier bike or you simply want a newer ride (and there's nothing wrong with that), you shouldn't have a problem selling this bike at a markup. Put the proceeds toward the bike you really want. (In the meantime, ride the @#$% out of this thing!)

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Old 07-10-14, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by headloss View Post
It's worth what someone in the local market is willing to pay for it...
This is such a useless comment, yet someone makes it in almost every thread. We should put a sticky at the top of the forum that says, "Yes, we know it's worth what someone will pay for it. Stop repeating it."

Originally Posted by headloss View Post
As is, with mid-tier and obsolete components, I don't see how it can possibly command $400 even if you just put on a new cassette, chain, cables/housing, tape, rubber, etc. Personally, I'd value it at around $200 as is... that's the most I'd pay for it unless you can justify a higher price with upgrades.
Anyway, I read this and your comment below. I refer you to your own comment above. I assure you in a good market this bike could be sold for $350-$400. It doesn't matter much that you're not willing to pay that much when other people are. Steel touring bikes are particularly hot right now, for some reason, and this one is a particularly sought after model.
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Old 07-10-14, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
This is such a useless comment, yet someone makes it in almost every thread. We should put a sticky at the top of the forum that says, "Yes, we know it's worth what someone will pay for it. Stop repeating it."
How's the air up there?

The fact of the matter is that it varies by market, time of year, and what else is available... no one on an internet forum can say what a bike will sell for in a given market unless they live in said market... so saying that it's worth what someone will pay for it is good advice and I really don't care if you disagree.

I've lived for at least a year in the following cities: Philadelphia, Charleston, Albany, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, and Pittsburgh... I've seen a lot of CL ads. I also watch ebay a lot. I have a good idea what bikes go for so it's not just my opinion but my opinion based on market knowledge.

Thanks for giving my opinion even more weight by arguing with me. Your arrogant attitude is just the icing on the cake. Thank you for talking down to me, isn't the internet wonderful?
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Old 07-10-14, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mechgingeneer View Post
I completely understand that! I've been toying with the idea of trying to trade up to a ride with more modern components, but like I said, money is tight.
I'm just trying to give you an honest opinion... and it's my opinion based on what I've seen. I'm preparing you for the worst case more than the best case; apparently some people here take issue with that...

FWIW, some objective non-opinion based info:

I looked at the past auctions on ebay and jotted down the listings that were vintage and included the year. I didn't include shipping which seems to range from about $50 to $150 depending on seller... so there's that, in regards to what someone is willing to pay (and also assuming that the bikes weren't picked up locally).

1984 $205
1983 $228
1985 $330
1990 $389
1989 $500
1990 $550
1995 $750

So, yeah, $400 looks to be around average. The last one is a serious outlier, you'd have to be an idiot to pay $750 for a 95 unless you really liked the paint.

If you look at the Bicycle Blue Book (which I take with a grain of sand for the reason I posted above, it varies too much from one city and/or time of the year to another... blue book value is reasonable as it is built on CL postings, ebay listings, etc. but it can't account for all variables and it's next to impossible to say what is like-new vs what is fair on any objective scale).

Blue Book only went back as far as 1993, but it still gives you an idea.

$273 (Like-New)
$260 (Excellent)
$234 (Good)
$174 (Fair)

My personal opinion is that in most markets, you can probably get $300-350 for it if everything is in working order, nothing needs replaced, no rust, etc. I personally think that is your best case scenario which is solely based on MY experience. The reason that I don't think you will get $400 plus is because you start to compete with newer frames/components at that point... lots of <10 year old touring bikes going in the $500-600 range, so why would someone pay the same for something that is more dated unless it has a classic/vintage value to the buyer? They're out there, for sure, and ebay proves that you could actually get >$500 for a 1989 Trek 520. Whether you will or not, has a lot to do with luck and location (even if lostarchitect takes exception to my saying so).

My 2cents... now worth a dime. Based on what I know (i.e. touring bikes, not vintage bikes).
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