Strengths: Bullet-proof. Stable. Low Rolling resistance. Dead Sexy
Weaknesses: Heavy. But if you want a racing bike, buy a racing bike
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!
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
My shoes seem to twist around more and more in the pedals. I can still pull up as hard as I can and they won't release, but I would like to cut down on the free twisting motion that has developed. I cannot figure out how to adjust that, just the screw to tighten or loosen the interface.Read More »
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I had a chance to swing a leg over a 520 and put on about 25 miles on it today, and have a few thoughts about the new ride.
In short, it's fun, pretty amazingly versatile, and has clearance for tires to do just about anyth ... Read More »
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 »
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