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Old 08-10-17, 10:15 AM   #1
garevigi
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Trek 520 1994

Hi Guys,

This is my second post on BikeForums.com, the first one provided alot of insight, so I thought Id ask a question here again.

I am looking to get into touring in Michigan 200-300 mile camping rides. I don't know much about bikes.

Would this 1994 Trek 520 be a good bike to get started/last me sometime? I am not sure of the disadvantages of having an older bike such as a bike designed in 1994. Could anyone offer some insight? and if it is good, is $375 a fair price?

I am not allowed to post URLS yet, so just provided the summary of the bike from the Craigslist post.

"Up for grabs is my 1994 Trek 520. Has full lx drive train. Its is a 53.5 (21) frame and was made in USA. I would not hesitate to ride on a tour as it sits. I got it a few years ago and it was like new (original owner bought it and never road it). Has some scratches and scuffs from riding but it is an awesome bike, im selling t because I have to many bikes. Does not come with Brooks seat or Bell. Any Questions Email or call me Me. NO TEXTS!...NO LOWBALL OFFERS! "

Thanks so much in advance, you guys are awesome.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:21 AM   #2
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Link help, since I looked at that yesterday

https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/b...253748969.html

Looks really clean, bummer it didn't come with the Brooks. I can't speak to the value at that price, but it is a price I would have been happy to pay when I was looking for a touring bike last spring. It would suit you well, my uncle has toured all over the state on one.

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Old 08-10-17, 10:34 AM   #3
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The first question - does it fit you? If yes, the price is not way out there. If no, keep looking.

It is was a 23/58cm; I'd purchase it.

If you would consider flat bars, our local Jamis dealer Specials ? Tread Bikes has the Coda Sport for $324- Check locally, and test ride before purchase.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:41 AM   #4
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I am 5'9, so I think the bike would fit well. Wouldn't be sure until I got out there and jumped on it, its about 50 miles away.

Would the bike last a good amount of time if I was riding it everyday? Is there a downfall to owning a 90s bike vs a newer version?
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Old 08-10-17, 10:55 AM   #5
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Would the bike last a good amount of time if I was riding it everyday? Is there a downfall to owning a 90s bike vs a newer version?
Yes and not really. That bike, if properly maintained, will outlast you. The only thing that bike really gives up to a newer bike is that it is 7 speed v 8/9. Not a huge deal in my book, but that is up to personal preference.

Or, to put it in another way, if I weren't already in trouble for buying two bikes in the past couple weeks, I may well have taken a look at it already! At 5-9, it would likely be a decent fit for you.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:03 AM   #6
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Very solid deal, that bike will not last long at that price. You can tour around the world on 3 x 7 gearing. If it fits, buy it.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:07 AM   #7
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IDK mechanical condition , so
overhaul all bearings clean and re grease, and replace cables and housing to return it to like new condition..

of course one recurring issue used bike buyers have is stuck seat posts and stems, pull and re grease those too.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by garevigi View Post
I am 5'9, so I think the bike would fit well. Wouldn't be sure until I got out there and jumped on it, its about 50 miles away.

Would the bike last a good amount of time if I was riding it everyday? Is there a downfall to owning a 90s bike vs a newer version?
Everything on a bike can break or wear out, but odds are it will outlast your interest in riding it. The main issue with owning/riding an old bike is the availability of replacement parts, and repair costs which may escalate if you cannot obtain compatible 24-year-old bicycle components.

Here's a pdf of 1994 Trek manual with geometry info on page 39. Advertised bike has a 56.5cm ETT.

That's a pretty good deal (if it fits you) for a legit touring bike in what looks to be good condition. Act fast or the decision will be made for you by someone else.

Last edited by seeker333; 08-10-17 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 08-10-17, 12:28 PM   #9
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It is the best bike in the world.......Oh wait I guess Im slated because its mine!!!!!!
I think it will work out for you but we shall see.
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Old 08-10-17, 09:09 PM   #10
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I purchased the bike... couldn't have asked for a nicer person to give my hard earned cash too, even ended up buying one of his T-shirts made with his hand made screen press of his artwork.

Thanks for the guidance everyone!
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Old 08-11-17, 07:18 AM   #11
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IDK mechanical condition , so
overhaul all bearings clean and re grease, and replace cables and housing to return it to like new condition..

of course one recurring issue used bike buyers have is stuck seat posts and stems, pull and re grease those too.
In most cases yes, but this bike is good to go. I maintain my bikes well. Also glad you are happy with it.
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Old 08-11-17, 07:27 AM   #12
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So, lets see the bike AND the shirt!

And thanks again for saving me from getting scolded for bringing home another toy
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Old 08-11-17, 07:27 AM   #13
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I just work in a shop that sells bikes.. as a touring place most arrive with their full kit,
the 1 520 in the shop sold after being there, for years, to someone hit by a car.
the at fault motorist did the right thing and paid for the replacement , & ER bandages.
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Old 08-11-17, 08:51 AM   #14
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I purchased the bike... couldn't have asked for a nicer person to give my hard earned cash too, even ended up buying one of his T-shirts made with his hand made screen press of his artwork.

Thanks for the guidance everyone!
So how about a ride report, please!
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Old 08-11-17, 04:00 PM   #15
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I have an identical 94 Trek 520 that I bought new. I've upgraded the components and made other changes over the years. Currently a Deore XT 3x10 qroupset but LX hubs. Sun Rhyno Lite rims, 37 mm Schwalbe Marathons & flat handle bars. I've never had any difficulty obtaining replacement parts & it's still my primary long distance bike after 23 years. I usually get a few centuries in each year, I just rode it 85 miles here in the Catskills yesterday. My friendly mechanic at the LBS loves it and says he'd rather have it for touring than some of the newer bikes. I'm sure you'll have many great rides with your 520!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 520 at Devils tombstone 1.jpg (100.3 KB, 145 views)

Last edited by hfbill; 08-12-17 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 08-11-17, 05:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garevigi View Post
I am 5'9, so I think the bike would fit well. Wouldn't be sure until I got out there and jumped on it, its about 50 miles away.

Would the bike last a good amount of time if I was riding it everyday? Is there a downfall to owning a 90s bike vs a newer version?
As mentioned, if maintained itll last a long time.
If the shifters fail or the cassette wears out, you could change both to 8 or 9sp without having to change the derailleurs or crank.
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Old 08-15-17, 08:30 AM   #17
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Well?? Have you taken it on any adventures yet?


Rich
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Old 08-20-17, 04:05 PM   #18
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I found a trek 520 on Craigslist:

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/d/trek-520-touring-54cm-ex-cond/6272375820.html

It says 7 speed in the description but I emailed the seller and it appears to a late 90s model. When did they switch from 7 speed to 8 or 9? Also, how does this one look?
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Old 08-20-17, 06:56 PM   #19
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I found a trek 520 on Craigslist:

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/d/trek-520-touring-54cm-ex-cond/6272375820.html

It says 7 speed in the description but I emailed the seller and it appears to a late 90s model. When did they switch from 7 speed to 8 or 9? Also, how does this one look?
Looks like it was a pretty sweet deal, since it went in under three hours
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Old 08-20-17, 07:32 PM   #20
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Those 520s are one of the best bikes Trek has ever made. They are justly renowned in bike touring groups. Good find!
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Old 08-29-17, 05:38 PM   #21
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I found an early 2000s model for sale and it is a 56 cm frame. How do the 520 frame sizes run? I am about 5-5 to 5-6 and want to see if it will fit me.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:45 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by hfbill View Post
I have an identical 94 Trek 520 that I bought new. I've upgraded the components and made other changes over the years. Currently a Deore XT 3x10 qroupset but LX hubs. Sun Rhyno Lite rims, 37 mm Schwalbe Marathons & flat handle bars. I've never had any difficulty obtaining replacement parts & it's still my primary long distance bike after 23 years. I usually get a few centuries in each year, I just rode it 85 miles here in the Catskills yesterday. My friendly mechanic at the LBS loves it and says he'd rather have it for touring than some of the newer bikes. I'm sure you'll have many great rides with your 520!
What kind of kickstand is on your bike? I can't quite tell from the picture. Been looking for some sort of chainstay/dropout setup like that. I bought a 1993 Trek 750 used (same frame as the 520 but original flat bar setup) and converted it to a drop bar touring set up and love it...it fits perfectly and handles great. However, the bike came with a normal Greenfield kickstand that scratched the hell out of the paint, especially where the BB lug meets chainstay; so I removed it and fixed the paint. I have a 2016 Trek 520 with kickstand plate integrated into the dropout and it works pretty slick, but it would be nice to have a kickstand for my 750 as well since it's now my favorite bike.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/wA2b47qe3YzN9kLY2
https://photos.app.goo.gl/4x3OIFdtRbAF1A5H2

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Old 08-31-17, 02:08 PM   #23
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What kind of kickstand is on your bike?
I've got these on a couple bikes: https://www.niagaracycle.com/categor...yABEgIndPD_BwE

They work well, and there is a little plastic thing that goes around the stays before you clamp it down in part to protect the pain.

On my old 610:
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Old 08-31-17, 02:33 PM   #24
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I've got these on a couple bikes: https://www.niagaracycle.com/categor...yABEgIndPD_BwE

They work well, and there is a little plastic thing that goes around the stays before you clamp it down in part to protect the pain.

On my old 610:
Thanks. BTW, like the pic...classic retro beauty in the foreground contrasting new in the back.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:45 PM   #25
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Thanks. BTW, like the pic...classic retro beauty in the foreground contrasting new in the back.
Huh, never thought of that. It was simply the shop we stopped at on the Belgium trip to buy fenders.

Still kick myself for not buying a jersey there as a souvenir!
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