I just completed a cross country tour with my 520 and had zero problems. It worked flawlessly.
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2013
Strengths: It has a smooth ride and the top tube slants so that the stand over height works better for me. The bike is a stable secure ride. I had no problems with the drive train.
Weaknesses: The tires were marginal. The 700cm wheels did not stay true when under load and touring in Europe. The spokes started to break after a few years of light use with a few trips in between. I am only 160 pounds and so with gear the load on this bike was only 210 to 215 pounds. When your bike fails on tour it feels like a betrayal. No room for a wider tire.
I would not re-buy this bike. I do not think the wheels are strong enough. The rack was adequate but just barely. I am going with 26 inch wheels and at least 36 spokes on my next bike. Also it could be just a problem in Florida but, rust is an issue with this bike. I think this is a good bike for nice roads with light loads and short hauls.
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2013
Strengths: simple and easy to ride
Weaknesses: The tires (Bontrager) that came on the bike were junk. They would go flat if you looked at them cross-eyed -- including one fun ride when I had 4 flats in 10 miles. (No glass was involved, just road side pebbles and one thorn) A VERY poor tire for a touring bike.
The crank bearings failed in less than six months of light riding. The shop where I bought the bike replaced them for free (Bike Gallery, Portland OR) -- possibly because I had a fit, but they said the bearings weren't covered by the Trek warranty because the failure was considered "normal" wear and tear. In what junk-shop world is bearing failure in perhaps 300 miles (I did very little riding at the time) considered "normal"?
The bike shop told me I could expect to replace the crank bearings every year (or more often if I ride very much) This is not a bike I would recommend for anyone.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 27, 2011
Strengths: great ride, or I wouldn't have gone to all the trouble and expense, fits me perfectly, great comfort and stability, I can ride a hundred miles, hop off the bike, shower and I'm ready for sushi...
Weaknesses: orginal 2006 rim cracked after 6K, seat post was miss shaped and kept slipping down, had road gearing, btw, road crank & 135 mm spacing, no spacer drive side, 5mm spacer left when converting to outboard bearing, to keep the chain line correct. front brake squeal, switch to shimano BR-M330 pads stopped front squeal. drilled hole in bottom bracket to drain
Hi second review of my Trek 520, 2006 19" frame. I've got about 16,000 miles on the bike. OK, here is what i've done. Brooks b17 saddle, schmidt dyno front hub and lumitec light system (peter white), rebuilt back wheel and front with velocity synergy rims, morningstar seal, krytox grease, in the rear LX hub (silent now, may never need further service), salsa moto ace 120mm 25^ stem, planet bike fenders, conti gatorskin 77 x 32's, michelin A2 tubes, cane creek V brake levers, planet bike fenders, kalloy seat post,salsa seat clamp, phil wood outboard bearings, deore 48/36/26 170mm crankset, deore lx front derailiur, several chains cn-7701 & sram, rivendale front bag, trek rear bag with drop down panniers
Strengths: The original Deore component group was probably the best cost/benefit group ever. My bike still has the original shifters (silky smooth light action, brakes (more than adequate with better pads)and derailleurs.
Weaknesses: Original rims/wheel build was suspect. I built up a set of MA-2s that are still going. Cockpit was very restrictive. I replaced the original 7 cm stem and 42 cm bars with a 9 cm stem and 46 cm Nitto noodle bars. When riding unloaded, there is a bit of flex in the BB, but this is likely a geometry characteristic.
I also replace the seatpost saddle to improve body positioning and comfort. I have no idea which saddle or pedals the bike originally came with. There are a few good 27" tires that can be found but not generally available.
Purchased new in 1987. This bike has toured through Europe and the US. After a few changes for fit, it became a suitable companion. This bike has now been repurposed as a commuter as I can't seem to part with it!
Come to think of it...I bought my road bike in '86 and my mtn bike and 520 in '87 and I'm still riding all 3!
I just pick up a trek 520. I am planning on doing a ride from tampa to key west with this bike. I only got about 10 miles but the seat getting the boot. the rest of the bike is great. I also own a stache7 from gf and few unicycles too. I'll post pictures in the morning.Read More »
What are your opinions of the [URL="http://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker"]Surly LHT[/URL], [URL="http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/touring/520/520/"]Trek 520[/URL], [URL="http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/touring"]Fuji Touring bike[/URL] and the [URL="http://www.nashbar.com/bike ... Read More »
I have been making up a list of new bikes that I am considering buying. On that list is a Trek 520. I ended up buying a 1986 520, I figured I could find out if I really like that 520.
My question is has the frame geometry changed from 86 to 2011? Will the 86 tell me if I will like a 2011 or no ... Read More »
Been gone awhile but looking forward to riding again.:)
Since I am now out of shape, :blush2:, and I am still a 24/7 caregiver for my wife, short rides are the only way I can get back in the saddle. However, a nice ride out the Silver Comet would be nice sometimes as well as maybe a few lon ... Read More »