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!
Strengths: srength of frame and components it will take a lot of abuse. ride and handling are vary good for touring bike wether loaded or not.
Weaknesses: not many, maybe gearing could be a little lower for touring. but this does help when riding with a group of faster riders. seat didn't really bother me too much but i did change it out with a brooks b17 like so many others.
I've used it for everything from loaded tours to hauling kids around in a trailor on a sunday morning club ride. i wore out two trailors by the way still the same bike. have only had to replace a streched chain and 2 tread bear tires. have a 2nd set of rims with tires 25mm's that i throw on and then i ride with the faster rides 19mpph avgspd. love this bike and if it ever wares out i'll get another.
Strengths: Comfortable and bulet proof. Great gearing (27 ratios)
Weaknesses: This bike comes with linear pull brakes (V-Brakes), which I like, but it dones not have ANY in-line adjusters. The only way to adjust the brakes is the loosed the nut the secures the cable to the brake arms and adjust the lenght of the cable. This is difficult to do in a shop, much less on the side of the road. Great braking power - just difficult to adjust.
I bought this in May 2010 (2010 model)bike as a tourer, and so far, I love it. After about 150 miles of 'breakin', I rode it 450 miles across the state of New York along the Erie canal. It came very well equipped with a sturdy rear rack and quick release half fenders.