Trek 520 Touring Bike

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

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 49  
[Feb 11, 2019]
siewhong


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

I’ve had my Trek 520 for close on 20 years. It’s an old friend with whom I have had many adventures. Like the Times ad - takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. It’s like an apocalypse bake for me. All else is dead but my Trek will keep rolling.

Weakness:

I can’t think of any. It has what I need and nothing I don’t need

Price Paid:
850
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2001
[Jul 15, 2018]
AnnieF


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Excellent range of gears especially for women with the lower top chain ring of 48. Responsive frame. Good wheel hubs, I get a great freewheel. Love the control offered by the disc brakes. Good saddle. Not too long.

Weakness:

Weight doesn't bother me though it does some. Bar end changers took a little getting used to but I appreciate how much more comfortable they are for small hands. Thrilled with this bike, best I've owned for years.

Price Paid:
1000
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2018
[Aug 24, 2016]
Lindsey

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

All around great bike for touring and has been one of the most reliable touring bike models for years.

Weakness:

if you plan to ride considerable distances then do yourself a favor and replace the tires. I rode across the US with a few friends who keep the stock tires and out of the four tires that started the trip only one made it. We had a day where one tire got 7 flats! Get a good touring tire like a marathon or a gatorskin.

Great bike for a tour after you replace the tires.

[Oct 15, 2014]
mike heit
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used:

trek 5.9, bmc race machine, various cheap mountain bikes and older classic racing bikes

[Jun 05, 2014]
Booger McSmoot
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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!

[Oct 20, 2013]
Reid Robinson

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

It's problem free.

Weakness:

None.

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

[Oct 19, 2013]
david martin

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

[May 11, 2013]
oldguy

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

simple and easy to ride

Weakness:

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.

[Nov 27, 2011]
Jerome Greenberg
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

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...

Weakness:

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

Similar Products Used:

1984 trek 520 retired in 2006 @ 33,000

[Nov 26, 2011]
K6JRS
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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!

Similar Products Used:

For upcoming int'l tours, I will be buying a Surly LHT with 26" wheels. My wife and I will have identical bikes to minimize tools/spare parts.

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