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Rack from Trek 520 fails

Old 11-07-03, 11:47 AM
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Rack from Trek 520 fails

Earlier in the year I got a Trek 520.

The rear rack that came with it was not impressively strong looking, so I replaced it with a Jannd rack.

I took the original rack, which is labelled as a Trek product, and put it on my mountain bike. I use this bike mostly for commuting, and usually carry my stuff in a backpack. The rack was rarely used and even then only to carry a "day" pannier with a jacket and tools.

A few days ago, the rack broke near the rear dropout. I never crashed the MTB or put the rack under stress, so it appears to have failed for no good reason.

My LBS replaced the rack, for free, without hassle. But it's another Trek rack.

So far my experience with the 520 is very positive. The price ($1000) was good, and the LBS switched out the crank (105 for an LX) at no price. I later decided I didn't like the rack or the tires (which I replaced with Continental Top Touring). If I'd know that I wanted these upgrades at the time of purchase I could've saved some money over the cost of purchasing them seperately.

Anyway, after about 825 miles of riding, including a single-day ride of 100 miles with about 25 lbs of gear (test ride), and several lightly-loaded rides in the 50-75 mile range, I can say I really like my 520.
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Old 11-07-03, 02:19 PM
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Congrats on your 520!

Yeah, I have heard often about the OE racks on Treks and C-Dales being poorly built... seems that they either fail from bad welds or low grade material.

The best bet are steel constructed racks-they chip and rust pretty easy-but they last forever generally.

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Old 11-07-03, 02:26 PM
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Yeah, I've been worried about the rack on my 520 also, but luckily nothing's gone wrong with it yet. I've been riding it every day with small panniers just to hold some food, tools, and a jacket.

Like you, after 1000 miles I can surely say the bike is great, although I do have an issue with the Cane Creek headset. Maybe I should replace the rack before something happens, throw a Chris King HS on there, and I'll be set.
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Old 11-07-03, 02:36 PM
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I had not heard of that rack breaking before, but it wouldn't surprise me that much, as the welds are similar to those of my old 1980 Blackburn rack. That rack had been replaced 3 times for free in the first weeks or months I had the bike... until an acquaintance re-welded the rack. The welds were not as nice, but they still work.

The general complaint about the Trek rack is its lack of rigidity. If it is the same as in 2000, you can improve its strength by lowering the adjustable legs as low as possible and tightenight the set screws. Also, it might be a good idea to use beefier struts to attach the rack to the seatstays, especially on a low-frame bike.
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Old 11-08-03, 08:42 AM
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Go out ang get yourself a Blackburn rack if you want something that's going to last.
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