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Trek 520 Project Bike

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Old 06-24-11, 09:12 AM
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septacycles
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Trek 520 Project Bike

There is a trek 520 for sale locally... I'm going to take a look at it... price sounds like a good deal but sounds like bike needs lots of TLC and replacement wheels and parts.

Is it worth $150 and all the parts and effort to fix, refurbish and flip? I can do all the work and have lots of parts that might work.

Link to add http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/bik/2459196034.html

My main concern is the fact that the seller says the rear axle is broken... I can fix that but I'm concerned about what broke the axle in the first place... maybe the frame is not straight? or the dropout are not parallel?

My question is what causes a broken axle and what should I look for to indicate larger problems with the frame.

thanks

Ian
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Old 06-24-11, 09:39 AM
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Bump, watching this one also, 53 is close enough that I would like to take it for a ride. May be able to work something out with you Ian if you have most of th parts.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:49 AM
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Touring bikes hold value pretty well because there aren't a lot of them out there. They sell good around me. I don't think it's worth buying to flip unless you have the parts to repair it already. I think those go for around 300 or so in good condition (all markets are different though). So you have to decide if 150 + parts + repair + time = what you can get for it.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:49 AM
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Hey JD,

I think it would be a good bike to work on... but all those stickers and a broken axle speak to a bike that was maintained and treated very poor. I'm eager to take a look in person just waiting for the guy to call me back. There was a trek 620 in Denver last week that was in much better condition for $150 but it went like lightning.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:10 AM
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"Caveat Emptor" (buyer beware)

A) Are the top tube and down tube buckled? Check for "wrinkles" up near the head tube.
B) Are the front forks bent out of shape?
C) Dents in the frame tubing that are covered up by stickers?
D) Are there major "hops" in the wheels? May need to re-lace a pair of wheels with new rims.
E) Components functioning? Original? If not, adequate replacements?

"True" touring bikes are few, and far between. IMHO... this sounds like a nice catch for somebody looking for a frame in that size for personal use, and who can source needed parts and handle the work themselves. BTW, if it is any good...it probably sold while you were typing this posting.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by septacycles View Post
Hey JD,

I think it would be a good bike to work on... but all those stickers and a broken axle speak to a bike that was maintained and treated very poor. I'm eager to take a look in person just waiting for the guy to call me back. There was a trek 620 in Denver last week that was in much better condition for $150 but it went like lightning.
If you get a chance post up your impressions after you get a look at it. I'm stuck at the office all day and can't take the time off to ride downtown till later this evening. But the above post is probably right, if it is a good deal it will be gone by tonight. One of the problems of living in a bike savvy town is the rarity of good deals on craigslist.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:44 AM
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Just talked to the seller... going to take a look in about 20 min. I asked about the broken axle... he said he put a used axle in the rear hub because the old one was worn... then he lent the bike to a friend got it back and was riding it... and discovered the broken axle.

He may have been riding it with a broken axle for a week or so... could that cause any frame damage?

I'll post what I find after I take a look.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:56 AM
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Cool, I just remembered that I have a shimano axle and 9spd casset from the boulder swap. Have to go dig that out later.
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Old 06-24-11, 11:17 AM
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To me its all about the condition of the frame: paint, decals, no dents, no major scrapes. Assuming that is good, then everything else can be corrected.
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Old 06-24-11, 11:53 AM
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This could be an alright deal if you were getting it to rebuild and ride yourself, but there might not be much of a profit margin there for flipping it with time spent fixing & cleaning it up and new parts.

You can get a replacement axle from the rear wheel but the hub races might be shot if he was riding it with a broken axle and it would probably be cheapest to get a good wheelset from a donor bike.
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Old 06-24-11, 12:17 PM
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I just picked it up... I took some quick pics with my phone...




Frame is in good shape no dents or dings... just a some paint chips in places you would expect... nothing major. components are in decent shape but will need cleaning. I'm not thrilled about the biospace cranks but I'll give them a chance and let someone else decide to switch it out if and when I sell it.

Needs... tires, cables, tubes, saddle, bar tape, and a new rear axle. I think it will clean up nice. Has Shimano Deore front and rear deraileurs which are the original.

Its a good frame and I can work with the components and have every thing else it needs so... I think it was a good buy... not a steal but in my town its hard to find really good deals.

I also bought a blue french frame from the guy stella frame from the 1970? Paint is rough but frame is solid.
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Old 06-24-11, 01:01 PM
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As long as you do the work yourself, I think you will do fine flipping the bike. Just manage your parts/consumables spending carefully. I have flipped a couple of vintage 520s, for anywhere from $350 to $375. So that gives you room to make a nice profit for your efforts. Small size is a plus!
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Old 06-24-11, 01:13 PM
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I need the list of crappiest places to ride a bike and start reading those craig's list adds.

Hopefully it was well bought, I'm still interested to try the fit when you take it as far as you want to go.
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Old 06-24-11, 01:26 PM
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remove the stickers, a little rubbing compound or Meguiers polish on that frame and it might shine up nicely.

Looks to me like it might have been ridden up and over the Himalayas around Katmandu, and then dragged up and down a few more mountains. Treks: they take a lickin'!
Biopace: I have a winter commuter, 650B wheels, 1x7 drive train. I swapped out the front chainring for one I found at the volunteer shop- a Biopace (cause it had the tooth count I wanted). I've had no issues nor have I noticed one way or the other that they are different.... gets me going and that's what counts.
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Old 06-24-11, 05:01 PM
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It is a 1988 model with a Reynolds 531 frame. This bike came with a Blackburn rear rack.

Last edited by cycleheimer; 06-24-11 at 05:06 PM.
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