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My 1984 Trek 520 Touring

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My 1984 Trek 520 Touring

Old 05-30-10, 10:14 PM
  #1  
Absenth
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My 1984 Trek 520 Touring

With the exception of the seat, pedals and electronics, this is as it was purchased by my dad, new in 1984. I still have the pedals/clips and Avocet Racing seat it had on it, but can't stand to ride with either.

What do you think?







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Old 05-30-10, 10:33 PM
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I think I'm very very jealous.
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Old 05-30-10, 10:36 PM
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Why is it photographed with the black background? Are you trying to sell it or something?

If so, best upgrade and move to C&V for sale. Just your friendly neighborhood FYI.
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Old 05-30-10, 10:37 PM
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Nah, It's dark out, or I'd have photographed it against a tree. I figured nobody wanted to see my shelf full of misc. Crap, or gun safe.
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Old 05-30-10, 10:44 PM
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Same exact bike I have I really like the frame, and am currently modifying it heavily.
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Old 05-30-10, 10:49 PM
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love it
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Old 05-31-10, 12:48 AM
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Trek 520 is one of the legendary touring frames. It, along with the Miyata 1K, have been instigators of much bike lust among the have-nots.

You really can't do much better for a touring bike. How does it fit you?
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Old 05-31-10, 12:53 AM
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I have owned a 1984 Miyata 1000 and a 1991 Trek 520. The 520 is the only bike I have ever regretted selling.
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Old 05-31-10, 07:40 AM
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Great bike, extremely versatile. I've seen it in touring, cyclocross and road trim, and it was excellent at everything it was asked to do.
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Old 05-31-10, 07:53 AM
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I love it. I have a 87 520 myself, And it has provided many miles of joy.
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Old 05-31-10, 09:30 AM
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Maddox, I guess I got lucky. My dad and I are similarly built. The bike seems to fit me pretty well.

I'll admit I had asked the folks at the bike shop what it would take to put more modern hardware on the bike. After a brief discussion on how cool really vintage bikes are, with vintage hardware I think when it's time for something more modern to come my way I might just add a Surly Long Haul Trucker to my garage.
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Old 05-31-10, 09:49 AM
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The LHT is pretty well recommended. If it's a contest between throwing money at this bike, and buying the LHT with modern stuff on it up front, it might well be best to build up the LHT exactly how you want it, rather than deal with the quirks of old school parts. As it is, I bet that 520 has lots of life left in all its parts, and, if it was me, I'd bug me to no end to pull off perfectly good parts. [Save saddle and pedals.]

What are you planning on doing? The 520 should be in pretty good shape as it is, for touring at least. It's what, 6 speed freewheel out back, and non-indexed shifting, right? The only thing I can see wrong on the bike, for loaded riding, to me at least, is the small difference between the larger two chainrings, and the smallest one. I could see myself wanting those spaced differently--but then again, I've never done loaded touring.
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Old 05-31-10, 10:19 AM
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My plans for the bike are more recreational rides with the family on bike paths. A once a week commute to and from work, (at least until I'm in good enough shape to pick my daughter up from daycare with the bike as well.) And I'll be towing my daughter in a cart for the first couple summers.
it's got a 6 speed freewheel, and a triple ring up front. The gearing is currently Half Step Gearing. "Major shifts occur in the back, fine tuning done on the front ring"
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Old 05-31-10, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by supton View Post
The only thing I can see wrong on the bike, for loaded riding, to me at least, is the small difference between the larger two chainrings, and the smallest one. I could see myself wanting those spaced differently--but then again, I've never done loaded touring.
That's a 'half step and a granny' gearing and it does take a while to master the half step part and the trick is to get used to shifting the front about as often as the back. The granny is a bailout ring and with the biggest cog back there should be fine on climbs. It was a very popular touring setup for a while, before the emergence of MTBs and their cranksets
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Old 05-31-10, 11:32 AM
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I love my '88 520. While I have used mine as a platform for some experimentation, I don't see any need to upgrade anything on the bike. It remains a fine touring bike. While your frame is a little heavier than later models, it is up to the task of some heavy hauling. If you look at "modern" tourers, like the LHT, there really hasn't been a whole lot of advancement in touring bike technology over the last 25 years. You might consider putting on some bar-end shifters and changing out the middle chainring, if you don't like the half step setup. I would definitely get a Brooks saddle, but that is just me.
Some day you might need to replace the Helico hub, since replacement parts are hard to find, but until there is a problem, I would just ride it.

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Old 05-31-10, 11:40 AM
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I had an '84 520. It was a very nice riding bike. the ST cyclone II was an exceptionally nice shifting setup. I flipped it as it was just a little too small for me. The Helicomatic never gave me any trouble, but if I was serious about keeping the bike would have replaced it and the Matrix Safari wheels which had non-stainless steel spokes. The paint on that era of Treks was wonderful, I believe they used 2 part Imron which holds up very well with age.
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Old 06-01-10, 06:08 AM
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Interesting gearing setup. I think I'm biased by our short (but steep) hills around here. Thanks for filling me in on this gearing setup.
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Old 06-01-10, 03:46 PM
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Absolutely gorgeous bike. I sold many of them, in the past. I have been looking, with no success, since January for an older 520,620, 720. Still drooling looking at the pics. What's not to like about this bike ? Perhaps you should try a hybrid bike.
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