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1983 Trek 520 with modern components

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1983 Trek 520 with modern components

Old 04-29-13, 10:07 AM
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1983 Trek 520 with modern components

Hey everyone, I'm a fairly new rider, looking for a decent enough used touring or road bike. I've been borrowing a friend's bike, but it's time to move on. I'm looking for one that could support a regular commute of ~5 miles to/from work, as well as weekend rides of 50+ miles. I live in a hilly city, if that has any effect on your recommendations.

I found this 1983 Trek 520 with modern components on CL, and I'm wondering what people think. I've done some searching through the forums and found some info on 1983 Treks (generally people say that with original components they should go for $200-$300). Is $500 reasonable? Do the new components look good from what you can tell?

Originally debuted in 1983 and still made today nearly 30 years later with hardly any changes, the Trek 520 is a solidly built touring/road bike. This bike has been stripped down and rebuilt with all modern components. Steel CroMo frame, originally made in Waterloo, Wisconsin.

Complete Shimano Tiagra drive train. (9sp.)
Shimano Tiagra shifters (triple on the left)
Shimano Front Brake / Tektro long reach Rear brake
Shimano Tiagra Bottom Bracket
Shimano Tiagra Crankset
600c wheels
Ritchey 42 cm drop handle bars
Adjustable 1" threaded stem
Approximately 54cm. (frame is actually designed in inches)

Last edited by redpoint; 04-29-13 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Advice from another poster
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Old 04-29-13, 10:29 AM
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Bike looks fine to me but, I don't see much of this one that smells like a touring bike.

Looks like a nice round town bike though.

But $500 seems a bit much. Is the 520 one of the collectables?

With no additional info and if I was looking I would offer $200.

BTW: If you post a URL to a bike and it is really a good one at a great price, highly likely one of the readers will snag it out from under you while you wait for responses to your post... I know at least two readers who admit to lurking here just so others can do their shopping for them.
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Old 04-29-13, 11:07 AM
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Components look good and if that bike fits you it'd be a solid ride. As for the price, $500 is a little high but you're going to have a heck of a time convincing the seller to go lower I think.
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Old 04-29-13, 11:15 AM
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Personally I want a pair of those 600c wheels (as per the CL ad). The seller sunk some money into the bike which might make it harder to low ball this. While I think the price is high, I'd check it out. It might be worth $500 to you if the the bike is in prima shape, it fits you, and you need it or want it badly enough. Touring bikes don't come up as often as other bikes and sellers often demand a bit more for them.
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Old 04-29-13, 11:26 AM
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I might pay up to $300 for it, all the hard work is done if you want a "modern classic", but there is nothing particularly special about the components or the frame. 9sp Tiagra works well, and the 520 isn't a bad frame, but neither are particularly rare. Above $300 and I'd be in the market for a Reynolds 853 Trek (Lemond), despite the lack of lugs.
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Old 04-29-13, 11:34 AM
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$500 seems reasonable to me if the components aren't scraped up, dirty, and everything looks well put together. Its hard to judge by the photos, though.
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Old 04-29-13, 11:35 AM
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In my opinion the Trek 520 is a very nice touring frame. Also in my opinion the Tiagra is barely passable. Finally, in my opinion, the adjustable stem is fugly.

I think the price may be a bit high, but am unfamiliar with your market. I will say that a new 520 goes for over a grand, as does a new Surly Long Haul Trucker.

If you are stuck on a Trek 520, it may be worth it to you. I would look out for other chromo frames and set one up just the way I like it. In fact I did. After riding a few different vintage bikes, my current daily rider is a '86 Centurian Elite RS fitted out with modern brakes and a 9 speed drivetrain.

It comes down to two things. What do you like in the bikes you've ridden, and how patient (vs. rich) are you?

Finally, if you are really open minded, (and preferably under 6'2") you may want to check out the dropbar classic mountain bike thread. While vintage road bikes were cheap when I started buying them (I got the centurion sans wheels for $55) they have gone up a bunch. Nowadays, the bargain C&V ride appears to be a totally rigid mountain bike with dropbars, and barend shifters. It does require a little hunting of the bins at the local bike recyclery.
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Old 04-29-13, 11:47 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm not extremely attracted to the vintage aspect - it just seemed like a decent deal for what I've heard is a reliable bike with updated parts. I wish I were more patient, but I have a long ride coming up in about two weeks, and I'd like to have my own bike. I'm looking pretty much entirely at used bikes, as $500 is the top end of my budget currently.
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Old 04-29-13, 01:29 PM
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The 520 is a very good all-around frame, used for cross, touring, and plenty of road riding.
Tiagra is no slouch, and I didn't check out the pictures or the components, just the notes from others, and shoota is in line.

A Tiagra STI bike, of 520 quality, simply put, $200 is low, $500 is high.
In between, how bad to you want it, what can you do with/to it, and how does it fit.
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Old 04-29-13, 03:18 PM
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Keep in mind the 1983 Trek 520 is not the hardcore touring bike that model was to become.

It was a sport/touring geometry with decent tubing, and decent components.

While there's probably something to be said about the modern components being the value of the bike- the draw of the bike is the cache of the 520 model name-

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Old 04-29-13, 03:53 PM
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500$ wouldn't be much if the components are not used or used a little bit, but i believe it is not in great shape. Also, I can't see the wheels spec. For that money you can find some nice frame and fork for 150$ and you have 350 $ to buy components which you want( 100-120 wheels, 150-200 drivetrain and 50-70 for stem/bar/sp/saddle)
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Old 04-30-13, 04:28 AM
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I feel like $500 is high, for my area anyway. You can have a fully restored '85 trek 460 for $300 or a '85 miyata 1000 for $400. For the $500 and under budget there is a lot of C&V to be had around northern va.
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