Trek 520 Touring Bike

4.44/5 (45 Reviews)
MSRP : $1429.99


Product Description

Frame Material: chromoly
Frame Angles: 71.0 head, 73.5 seat
Sizes: 17", 19", 21", 23", 25"
Colors: Rainforest Green
Fork: Trek
Rear Shock: Not applicable
Brake Levers: Dia-Compe 287
Handlebar: Bontrager Select
Stem: Bontrager Race
Headset: 1 1/8" threadless Cane Creek C1
Front Der: Shimano 105
Crankset: Shimano 105 Triple, 30/42/52 teeth
Rear Der: Shimano Deore LX SGS
Pedals: Shimano PD-M520 SPD
Tires: 700 x 35c Bontrager Select


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Reviews 1 - 5 (45 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mike heit a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2014

Strengths:    bulletproof bike, rode 12 years approx 30,000 kms rebuilt cassette few times as i never wash my bike and change the chain every 5 to 6 thousand kms. The power train gave me no trouble. I accept the cassette ware damage due to sand etc in the chain so I cannot blame the bike. This is my pickup truck. I find it unbelievable that other reviewers with very low milage had problems.
The 520 is probably the most common touring bike in our club with 600 members and very few complaints. Cross Canada tour cycling club. A touring bike is built to be trouble free and basic.


Weaknesses:    I have racing bike that is 15 lbs but once one accepts what a touring bike(about 28 lbs) is (pickup truck vs a sports car) there are no complaints. I often use it for my winter bike on Vancouver island. The bar end shifters are trouble free. The bearing in the steering column probably need replacing but all other moving parts are working fine. I ride it in the rain and on good crushed stone trails. I upgraded the wheels, handlebars and seat posts, not that i needed to - just wanted to lower the weight a few lbs.

Bottom Line:   
My typical tours are 10 to 28 days with 15 to 20 lbs of luggage. I use marathon plus tires that are heavy but mostly flat free. Have never adjusted the spokes but obviously have adjusted the cables and changed the rubber in the brakes. I wore thru the front wheel due to small stone chips embeded in the brake rubber.The bike can get water in the frame but very little if any damage. I had a hard time taking the seat post off to pack the bike for air travel. The 105 components and gearing are great for touring. With 27 gears I can climb a wall as one just can spin in lowest gear with no issues about my knees. I'm 69 years old and just back from 28 day tour of Europe. THe last few years I use my high end race bikes for daily rides because they are supper light. However as a touring bike there are none better. I would recommend this bike for a touring bike and buy a lighter bike for fast pack riding.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   trek 5.9, bmc race machine, various cheap mountain bikes and older classic racing bikes



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Booger McSmoot a Commuter

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2014

Strengths:    Bullet-proof. Stable. Low Rolling resistance. Dead Sexy

Weaknesses:    Heavy. But if you want a racing bike, buy a racing bike

Bottom Line:   
As an entry level Clydesdale (205 lbs) I rode my 520 around Lake Huron last summer. 1025 miles in 14 days. 50 pounds of panniers and I did not have a problem. Still have all my spokes. I rode on Schwalbe Marathon tubes and tires and cannot say enough about them. I have put air in them twice since July 2013. Also added a Brooks B17 saddle, SPD pedals and raised the stem 2 inches. This is my daily commuting bike in the pothole capital, Pittsburgh and I love it. It actually rolls better than my Trek 1000 road bike. Top speed on the 520 is 47 mph!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Great Allegheny Passage

Purchased At:   Trek Pittsbugh



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Reid Robinson

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2013

Strengths:    It's problem free.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
I just completed a cross country tour with my 520 and had zero problems. It worked flawlessly.


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by david martin

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by oldguy

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"?


Bottom Line:   
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.



Reviews 1 - 5 (45 Reviews Total) | Next 5

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