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Thoughts on the new Trek 520

Old 09-04-18, 01:02 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by khutch
There is no mention of mainland China in the snippet that you quote either. It is ambiguous. A whole lot of people use "China" to refer to both countries so if neither mainland nor Taiwan is specified the text is ambiguous and potentially both were meant. Taiwan is officially the Republic of China, ROC, while mainland China is officially the People's Republic of China, PRC. Anytime neither of those abbreviations are used we cannot be certain of the author's intent unless the broader context makes that clear.
the only folks i know of who refer to taiwan as china are chinese government officials and rabid nationalists.

i think the point is the author is likely trying to be ambiguous if not specifically meaning mainland china. the broader context: taiwan has a reputation for quality work. china is known for counterfeit carp.

i may be wrong, but i'm unaware of any international conglomerates advertising products as "quality made in mainland china."

"made in taiwan" can be a mark of quality workmanship. "made in china"? 哈哈哈哈哈哈哈!
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Old 09-04-18, 03:14 AM
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I read in an old MTB forum , when it comes to frame building, China is the new Taiwan and Tawain is the old Japan .
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Old 09-04-18, 03:15 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by BigAura
As an early-teen kid my father taught me brazing and I enjoyed building & repairing bikes, mini-bikes, and go-carts. Fun times, but I didn't keep it up, and seemingly not applicable to todays market.
i welded on factories on and off for 33 years. You can have it.
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Old 09-04-18, 04:27 AM
  #104  
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For what its worth, I have a couple Chinese-made frames. The wife and I have a pair of Motobecane Boris fatbikes, and she has a Motobecane 29er hardtail. The component group is about as cheap as you can find - low end Tekto brakes and cheap Shimano. They are assembled with power tools, so every nut is as tight as a welldigger's butt, so they need complete breakdown and reassembly after purchase.

I have found ZERO problems or complaints with the frames. The welds are as tight and precise as I've ever seen (certified welder long ago), and probably done by a machine anyway. Bottom line is, I'd buy a Chinese-made frame again.
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Old 09-04-18, 07:01 AM
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520 no longer a touring bike?

Maybe not axed, but repositioned as a commuter all round bike rather than a dedicated tourer. That would be a shame. I know many people who have 520's and love them for touring.

Originally Posted by Ghazmh
I wonder if we'll see the 520 axed in a few years? These changes aren't in keeping with what makes a touring bike a good touring bike IMHO, feel free to disagree. It'll do the job but it's too many compromises.

Last edited by raria; 09-04-18 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 09-04-18, 07:13 AM
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Huh?

Originally Posted by khutch
No, I knew better, just lost sight of the fact that it was only the fork people were objecting too I guess.
Then I think you'll need to better explain your post below better as I thought your entire post below was based on you thinking the 520 is now an all alu framed bike.

Originally Posted by khutch
...
I am just guessing that it appeals primarily to the young of course. It is also intended to be a better fit to the gravel/adventure/one bike to rule them all trend that has been all the rage lately (but perhaps peaked already?). It could end up being a mistake for them, it could be the right bike at the right time. We will see and since I am not a stockholder I am not worried! If they made a mistake here I would imagine that the steel framed 520 will reappear shortly. If not then yeah, it could be gone forever.
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Old 09-04-18, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by raria
Then I think you'll need to better explain your post below better as I thought your entire post below was based on you thinking the 520 is now an all alu framed bike.
I'm guessing he meant steel throughout, i.e. fork included. People refer to frameset as frame pretty often. For wonks like us that can be confusing.
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Old 09-04-18, 02:11 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
the only folks i know of who refer to taiwan as china are chinese government officials and rabid nationalists.
...
i may be wrong, but i'm unaware of any international conglomerates advertising products as "quality made in mainland china."
We know different folks then I suppose, or work in different industries.

Mainland Chinese factories are capable of making products at as high a quality level as any in the world. If you source a product from the PRC you have to be careful who you choose to make it and you have to watch them carefully just as you would with any factory in any country. I have no idea where any particular bicycle brand gets its various models but I do know that when someone says "China" it is unclear what they mean unless you ask for clarification.
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Old 09-04-18, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by raria
Then I think you'll need to better explain your post below better as I thought your entire post below was based on you thinking the 520 is now an all alu framed bike.
I am sorry for the error about the frame but my post was written on the assumption that there are many things about the new 520 that put it in the "do not buy, do not recommend to your friends" category with traditional touring bike enthusiasts. The new 520 violates several "rules" and is clearly aimed at a different crowd. Maybe Trek has made the right call, for them, and it will succeed. Maybe it is as horrible a mistake as most of you say it is. I only know that the changes that so many hate cannot have been done by accident, they have to be intentional, and there is only one reason a company ever changes a product and that reason is to make more money. If they got it wrong and it turns out to be an Edsel with cup holders that only fit new Coke containers then they will shortly reintroduce the classic 520. I hope that clarifies it for you, even with the mistake about the frame material I think that should have been clear enough in the original post.
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Old 09-04-18, 05:45 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by khutch
We know different folks then I suppose, or work in different industries.

Mainland Chinese factories are capable of making products at as high a quality level as any in the world. If you source a product from the PRC you have to be careful who you choose to make it and you have to watch them carefully just as you would with any factory in any country. I have no idea where any particular bicycle brand gets its various models but I do know that when someone says "China" it is unclear what they mean unless you ask for clarification.
anything made in China has a 'made in China' tag on it.
anything made in Taiwan has a 'made in Taiwan' tag on it.

I havent found it to be confusing or unclear.
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Old 09-04-18, 08:09 PM
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No need to apologize

I had thought you knew something about the new 520 that we didn't. I have not seen the 2019 model in a shop as yet.

Originally Posted by khutch
I am sorry for the error about the frame but my post was written on the assumption that there are many things about the new 520 that put it in the "do not buy, do not recommend to your friends" category with traditional touring bike enthusiasts. The new 520 violates several "rules" and is clearly aimed at a different crowd. Maybe Trek has made the right call, for them, and it will succeed. Maybe it is as horrible a mistake as most of you say it is. I only know that the changes that so many hate cannot have been done by accident, they have to be intentional, and there is only one reason a company ever changes a product and that reason is to make more money. If they got it wrong and it turns out to be an Edsel with cup holders that only fit new Coke containers then they will shortly reintroduce the classic 520. I hope that clarifies it for you, even with the mistake about the frame material I think that should have been clear enough in the original post.
No n
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Old 09-05-18, 11:32 AM
  #112  
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I do live within a few hours of Trek HQ but so do several million other people. No insider information here. Just a case of this thread leading to reading about a lot of bikes with aluminum forks and most of them have aluminum frames like my 920 and I forgot that the new 520 fork is the only frame member that is aluminum.
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Old 09-26-18, 05:40 PM
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Just a thought on the new drive train. Since Shimano is well known for trickle down technology with every new drive train they unveil, and the fact that Deore as its stands is now a 10 speed drivetrain groupset apparently (with some 9 speed Deore stuff still around for sale), it is VERY likely that that today's Alivio drive train is yesterdays Deore. With the decision to keep the bike as a 9 speed drive train over a 10 speed then the Alvio would have been the king of that particular hill and why the 520 has Alivio. Also, aren't 9 speed chains (like for like) generally more durable than 10 speeds? I have a Trek FX3 with an Alivio rear derailleur. Since I bought the bike new this past Spring I have put nearly 2,000 km of mainly relatively hilly city commuting km's on it (lots of shifting) and the drive train has been solid with relatively crisp shifts and no adjustments needed to date! (not even to account for initial cable stretch!).


The anxiety of an aluminum fork I think is being far over blown. Trek puts an aluminum fork on their bike that has bigger tire clearance than the previous iteration and then to show their confidence in it gives it a stock front rack. They want you to load this sucker up! Aluminum forks have been around for a very long time and have proven to be quite durable if done properly.


Bontrager has come a long way with their tires and really upped their game in this department over the past several years IMHO. The tires they have put on this bike are one of their best offerings to date (as advertised) for durability and flat/pinch flat protection. Also being wider than the previous iteration (38 vs 32) they will be more comfortable at the expense of a tiny bit of efficiency on top of a wider tire also being less likely to flat (generally). I would have every confidence in the stock tires holding up if not as well, a close second, to Schwalbes well regarded touring tires.


Brifters - if you're going somewhere distant and you're in doubt you can swap these out for bar ends. If you're running hilly or constantly changing terrain where lots of shifting is neccessary you may prefer them for comfort/convenience. I think in todays world this may be more of a personal choice than one of durability. Of course if you want to build a bike to survive the apocalypse perhaps you need bar ends....
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Old 09-26-18, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by speyfitter
The anxiety of an aluminum fork I think is being far over blown. Trek puts an aluminum fork on their bike that has bigger tire clearance than the previous iteration and then to show their confidence in it gives it a stock front rack. They want you to load this sucker up! Aluminum forks have been around for a very long time and have proven to be quite durable if done properly.
I'm not concerned about the aluminium fork's durability, but rather the road buzz it may transmit back to me as the rider.
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Old 09-27-18, 02:06 PM
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But this isnít a rock hard riding AL Specialized race bike from 95í-2000s running 25mm tires. This is a fork designed for long riding days and running much higher volume tires. The princess from Princess and the Pea might find a harsh ride, but I doubt most people would. One thing you probably will be able to notice is not hauling an extra pound 50mi/day. I still say itís an upgrade.

The brifters on the other hand, no thanks. Durability is of high importance.
That does make me slightly consider using brifters on my bike and just bringing along a set of bar ends. Maybe someday.
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Old 09-27-18, 04:46 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by 3speed
But this isnít a rock hard riding AL Specialized race bike from 95í-2000s running 25mm tires. This is a fork designed for long riding days and running much higher volume tires. The princess from Princess and the Pea might find a harsh ride, but I doubt most people would. One thing you probably will be able to notice is not hauling an extra pound 50mi/day. I still say itís an upgrade.

The brifters on the other hand, no thanks. Durability is of high importance.
That does make me slightly consider using brifters on my bike and just bringing along a set of bar ends. Maybe someday.
brifters are pretty darn reliable. Especially if you do the lube thing to the internals at a certain point down the road and then regularly. Plus they are just plain damn fun to ride with, and make a nice bike to ride, especially given that folks buying this thing arent going to be going to Ubekistan with it, mostly regular folks doing short trips and whatnot.
If someone is interested in go to the 'stans, they wont buy this bike.

oh and yes, I agree completely on the fork and tires importance to the factor.
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Old 09-27-18, 07:05 PM
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Iím sure youíre right about the brifters reliability. Theyíve been making them for a while now... Iíd still probably carry a bar-end shifter in with my tools, just to make me feel better. Itís small and doesnít weigh much.
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Old 09-27-18, 07:50 PM
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Could pretty much be your last bicycle purchase for life... not sure why they went to an alloy fork-- must be for added strength to carry the weight of front paniers and handle forces of disk brakes. My trek tourer had downtube shifters. I bought some end of tube shifters and tried'm out but took'm off and gave'm away.
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Old 09-28-18, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC
Could pretty much be your last bicycle purchase for life... not sure why they went to an alloy fork-- must be for added strength to carry the weight of front paniers and handle forces of disk brakes. My trek tourer had downtube shifters. I bought some end of tube shifters and tried'm out but took'm off and gave'm away.
Why would you want that? That's a curse!!!
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Old 09-29-18, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by linus
Why would you want that? That's a curse!!!
True, true but, I was thinking about possibly this would be the bike if you wanted just one that did it all...
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Old 10-04-18, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC
True, true but, I was thinking about possibly this would be the bike if you wanted just one that did it all...
That's just a nicer way to say one that does nothing particularly well.
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Old 10-04-18, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by linus
That's just a nicer way to say one that does nothing particularly well.
Not a particularly good tour bike? I don't agree with you there. I'm not a fan of end-of-tube shifters but I concede downtube shifters would be way too dťclassť ...
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Old 10-04-18, 06:00 PM
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I fully understand the adversion to the Alivio derailleur, however it really is not all that bad and will last a good long time. I have one on one of my commuters and it has performed perfectly for the 4 years it has been on it. Although Deore should be a tougher longer lasting mechanism and this is of utmost importance when out in the middle of nowheresville, the Alivio is surprisingly good at a fairly low price and I would trust it on a cross country trip at least once.
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Old 10-04-18, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by linus
That's just a nicer way to say one that does nothing particularly well.
I generally disagree, though that might be true of the 520.

It's seems true that no one bike (or one anything) will do everything exceptionally well. It can't be both exceptionally light and fast, and also stable and durable. It can't be both a great, fast road-bike and a great off-road bike, etc.

But one bike can be reasonably good for many applications even if it isn't great for everything. A good touring bike can be reasonably efficient, durable, reliable, and usable for a variety of roads and terrain even if it doesn't do any of these things exceptionally well. An efficient road-bike can't handle gravel and single-track, while a mountain bike won't be efficient on pavement.

Unless you're someone who wants a bike for every need/occasion (I'm not), many of us just want something suitable for many applications even if it doesn't do any single thing exceptionally well. For many of us simplicity and functionality are paramount, which is why I prefer simple and functional bar-end shifters over brifters. There is very little that can go wrong with bar-ends and they are easy to field-service. If an integrated shifter brakes in the field, you're pretty much SOL.

Last edited by AlanK; 10-05-18 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 10-05-18, 12:21 PM
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In a Bike Tour destination place , more people have already bought their 520,
and brought-shipped, or rode it here , than arrive expecting to buy one, here..
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