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Do you prefer riding your Trek 520 more than other bikes you own?

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Do you prefer riding your Trek 520 more than other bikes you own?

Old 04-19-04, 10:20 AM
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Krispy
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Do you prefer riding your Trek 520 more than other bikes you own?

Do you prefer to ride your Trek 520 more than your other bikes?

I bought my 520 to be used as a touring bike and a bike to ride for long day rides but I've enjoyed riding it so much that I have been riding it more than my other bikes including my Litespeed Arenberg! I really wasn't expecting that it would become my favorite bike especially in such a short time.

A couple of weeks ago there was an organized mountain bike ride at one of the local trails to raise money for a fellow cyclist who was mowed down by a car. Instead of driving my mountain bike to the trail on my roof rack I made a 45 mile road ride out of the deal by riding my 520 from my house to the event to make my donation.

Last week I road my Litespeed to one of my club road rides and by the time the ride was over I wished I had ridden my 520 instead. This weekend we were having 25-30 mph winds and instead of riding my mountain bike on the trails like I normally would on a windy day I decided to battle the wind on my 520 and enjoyed it!

I really donít think Iím being fanatical about it. I think that itís simply a matter of the 520 giving a much more comfortable and enjoyable ride when compared to my Litespeed. The 520 has a more relaxed geometry, longer wheel base, and the ability to use wider tires which give the 520 a more comfortable and stable ride. Also my neck pain has been drastically reduced by the fact that I can set my handle bars level with my saddle on the 520. (When I raised the bars on my Litespeed it made the bike feel unstable at higher speeds.)

The trade off has been that the 520 is considerably heavier than my Litespeed and requires more effort to keep up with my friends who are all riding lightweight bikes. On these rides my Litespeed would be the more appropriate bike but instead Iím actually thinking about finding slower friends!

Any 520 owners with similar experiences?
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Old 04-19-04, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Krispy
Do you prefer to ride your Trek 520 more than your other bikes?
I like to use my 520 to do what it was designed to do: comfortably carry a touring load for long distances.

When I made a 150-mile, two-day trip a couple weeks ago, I found the bike to be great. I wasn't trying to go fast, and just pedaling along, taking a break here and there, and taking my time.

I find the bike kind of sluggish for unloaded trips. And I prefer to commute on my MTB with slicks.

So no, I don't like my 520 that much beyond its intended purpose. Maybe a 2nd set of lightweight wheels would make the bike a little livelier.
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Old 04-19-04, 04:28 PM
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Yes, I do like to ride my 520 more than my other bikes. I've had mine for about 6 weeks now, and I have about 880 miles on it vs. the Cannondale, which has around 420. I also have a grocery run bike with English racer uprights, rack, wire baskets, fenders, etc., that I like a lot, too. But the 520 seems to be my favorite. Tell me, Krispy, what do you mean by raising the bars up to seat level? Are you replacing the stem or just turning the bars upward?

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Old 04-19-04, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanmonk
Tell me, Krispy, what do you mean by raising the bars up to seat level? Are you replacing the stem or just turning the bars upward?
On which bike, the 520 or the Litespeed? On the 520 I'm using the stock Bontrager stem on the uncut steerer tube and the top of my handlebars are at saddle level. The bars are not turned up.

On the Litespeed I bought a different stem with a different angle to get my bars higher. Because the steerer tube has already been cut the highest I can get them is 3 cm below the saddle. I have less pain in my neck with this setup but the bike now feels less stable at speed. It may not actually be any less stable but it "feels" that way to me so I think I'll lower it back down and only ride this bike on short club rides and such when my neck isn't giving me pain.
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Old 04-19-04, 10:44 PM
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Krispy,
the same thing happened to me, i had a 520 and an Airborne Zeppelin (ti racer), and i slowly realized that i liked the 520 geometry better even for unloaded trips (racers i think handle too responsive(twitchy) and the rider's position too aggresive) so to make a long story short i sold the zep and got a Carpe Diem. This bike has a relaxed fit like the 520 but much faster for unloaded trips (or less tiring, depending on your priority)
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Old 04-19-04, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bokes
Krispy,
the same thing happened to me, i had a 520 and an Airborne Zeppelin (ti racer), and i slowly realized that i liked the 520 geometry better even for unloaded trips (racers i think handle too responsive(twitchy) and the rider's position too aggresive) so to make a long story short i sold the zep and got a Carpe Diem. This bike has a relaxed fit like the 520 but much faster for unloaded trips (or less tiring, depending on your priority)
I agree that the relaxed geometry makes a big difference. If a person is not actually using the bike in competitive events then there isn't really much sense in riding a bike that isn't comfortable. I have a feeling that I'll end up doing something similar myself in the not too distant future. It had already crossed my mind several times in the last few weeks but I was cringing at the thought of buying another bike so soon. On the other hand if I could build up my strength enough to hang with my friends while riding the 520 then Iíd save myself a lot of money and ultimately be in better physical shape.
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Old 04-20-04, 09:00 AM
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I'm a big fan of the 520. I've been riding them since 1988. The 88 520 was used as a primary bike until two years ago. Then I tried to make my too small 96 520 fit. I finally decided life was too short to be uncomfortable on a bike and bought a new 04 520. I looked at alot of bikes before buying the new 520, all of them more expensive. In the end I couldn't justify spending substancially more on what might be a marginally better bike. I did come close to buying a T2000.
Over the years I've gradually given up my assortment of racing bikes as they sat unused in the garage. I never done loaded touring and maybe I never will. But I do ride long distances and that's where the 520 shines. It's not fast, or glitzy. It's more like a comfortable pair of shoes. And it's dependable. It's perfect for it's intended purpose, comfortable long distance riding.
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Old 04-20-04, 10:03 AM
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I ride my 520 as a commuter everyday. I do ride it much more than my other bike, because I don't want to commute on knobbies and without panniers!

It is an amzingly durable bike though. I have had it for about 4,000 miles, and have only replaced the brake cables, and never adjusted the shifting. I have only had two flats on the stock tires and one broken spoke. Nice track record in my opinion.
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Old 04-20-04, 10:43 AM
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Do I enjoy riding my Trek 520 more than other bikes I've owned? Gee. I don't know. I've only had it 3 days. But I've already put 80 miles on it. Ask me again in a week.
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Old 04-21-04, 05:18 PM
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Hey Krispy! I'm new to this site but not to touring. I've owned a Schwinn Le Tour Luxe since 1986. I bought the Trek 520 back in Oct of 2003 and haven't been off of it yet! I went with Trek mainly because you can't find touring rims in the 27" size anymore, and with the 20,000 or so miles on the Schwinn I was getting worried about rim life. I still ride the Schwinn around the neighborhood on training rides. The two things I changed on the Trek was Tires and Stem. I have the Conti top touring 2000 tires (which I love) and went with the Look ergo stem because I wanted a more upright position (The stem is the best thing I've ever spent money on) I've put it through the paces from one extream to another and the stem dosen't move a mm. Oh and went with the Brooks B-17 because I'm used to a leather seat. I tried several other bikes to compare with the Trek 520 to no avail, the only bike to come somewhat close is the Waterford touring series, but no Cigar! (Schwinn offspring). To sum up an allready lenghly reply is; The Schwinn is like a 1950's Jeep and the Trek is like a Rolls Royce.
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Old 04-21-04, 05:55 PM
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I like my 520 better than any other bike I've ridden. Perfect for what I use it for every day.
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Old 04-22-04, 06:09 AM
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[QUOTE=Krispy]Do you prefer to ride your Trek 520 more than your other bikes?

QUOTE]

Most days, I do. I like my road bike for some recreational riding, and the mountain bike's what it is, but the 520's my favorite bike overall.

It's comfortable, reasonably fast, and *tough*. It's a great practical bike. With the Arkel panniers I'm ready for anything.
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