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New Trek 520 Review

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New Trek 520 Review

Old 12-02-18, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
...you can rip that bandaid off and hurt just once instead of continually being disappointed when looking at touring bikes.
I like this.
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Old 10-15-19, 08:30 PM
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I'd be interested in hearing about the ride quality of the new aluminum fork versus the old steel. I wore out my last pair of brifters in 5 years versus the bar ends on my 520 still going strong after 10 years, so that right there is reason enough to look elsewhere. I also wonder if the materials of the alivio derailleurs will last 10 years like my Deore set has.
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Old 10-15-19, 08:57 PM
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I just looked at this bike at one of the local shops. I like how Trek copied the graphics from their late 70s bikes; that is a classy touch.
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Old 10-15-19, 10:21 PM
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Compact geometry, brifters, disc brakes, alu fork, Alivio ... is this some sort of joke, a parody? I'd expect this would be some generic China brand sold at Walmart.
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Old 10-16-19, 11:11 AM
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I just picked one up as a commuter and touring bike. Here are some thoughts (disclaimer, I've never owned a touring bike before this):

  • With the Bontrager 38mm tires at approximately 55 psi the ride is quite smooth and forgiving. I don't know if this is the tires, frame or both. I am 5'-10" 170lbs.
  • I saw mention of concerns over the alloy fork - of the impacts that get through the ones to my hands are not the worst, I feel more through the saddle and not much vibration makes it into my hands and arms.
  • The ride feels stable possibly at the expense of some in tight maneuverability. Quite good for my intended use.
  • I haven't yet tested it with much load, just my commuting load which fits in one pannier.
  • I really like the racks. They seem strong and versatile.
  • Somehow I broke the dork disc on the second day. I cut it off and double checked the derailleur low limit. All seems well now.
  • It rolls fast enough for me. I was expected to lose a fair amount of speed from my aluminum road bike with 23mm tires but it's not as much as expected. When at speed it feels nearly as fast, acceleration is slightly muted compared to the road bike though.
  • The paint and overall look and finish is very sharp in my opinion. Good combination of utility and retro looks. The paint is metallic but not gaudy.
  • The gear range is great, although the last jump on the cassette between the two lowest gears could be tighter. It's a little alarming when you drop to lowest and for a moment it feels like you may have dropped the chain. Maybe I'm just being silly here. I could easily sacrifice that 11 tooth cog for an intermediate cog to fill that gap.
If anyone has any questions about the bike feel free to ask.

Last edited by Wiggle; 10-16-19 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 10-16-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hfbill View Post
Trek lost me in 2009 when they decided to change the 520 to a compact geometry frame, thereby loosing the horizontal top bar. I might have been tempted to get a newer 520, mainly for the disc brakes, but because of the compact frame and some other factors, like the inferior quality of the steel & the components etc, I just keep overhauling & upgrading my '94 520 every few years. No regrets.
Found myself in a similar position. I have a 2007 model Trek 520 and a 2004 model Trek 520.

I don't have an inherent need to get a new bicycle, but prior to my extended 2016 trip, I took a look at the new Trek 520 models. I'm definitely a fan of disc brakes and so was similarly tempted. I replace components as the wear out and sometimes proactively before an extended tour - so I wasn't as concerned on the component choices. However, the frame dimensions were the big thing that had me overhaul my 2007 Trek 520 instead.
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