Trek 520 – Touring Bicycle Evaluation – Bicycle Touring Professional

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Bicycle touring may be executed on nearly any sort of bike. After a number of 100-mile days, nevertheless, having the appropriate touring bike will decide whether or not your physique can stay as much as the calls for of life on the street.

That mentioned, the Trek 520 caters to the touring bike scene with its chromoly metal body that provides the proper mixture of flexibility, consolation and sturdiness wanted for long-distance bicycle touring. The stretched out geometry is good for staying snug on the bike and on the similar time lets you get in a superb aerodynamic stance for optimum velocity. The 520 is ideal for long-distance bicycle excursions or for the each day commute. Its basic touring geometry has stood the take a look at of time and is taken into account a cult basic by many. Having been round for the reason that 1970’s, The Trek 520 has earned its place in bicycle touring historical past.

The Bike

Trek solely affords one touring possibility – the Trek 520, which is altered every year with a brand new paint coloration and exterior design. Whereas the paint might change, the elements haven’t different an excessive amount of all through the latest years.

The Trek 520 MSRP is about at $1,429.99 USD.

It is available in 5 totally different body sizes: 48, 51, 54, 57, 60cm. I’m 5’8” with a 30” inseam and the 54cm matches me excellent.

The included elements are nice for touring proper out of the field. The Shimano Dura-Ace bar-end shifters are low upkeep and straightforward to repair on the go. In the event that they do break, they’re additionally cheap to interchange in comparison with different types of shifters. (My mates shifter broke in a minor crash on his Cannondale T-1 and the associated fee to interchange the damaged half was nearly $500. He was capable of swap to bar-end shifters for beneath $100 USD – together with labor.)

The wheel set on the Trek 520 is sturdy and capable of take a heavy load even on delicate trails, with Bontrager Race Lite Laborious-Case 700x32c tires which are large sufficient so as to add cushion but capable of maintain good velocity.

The bike additionally comes with a Bontrager Again Rack Deluxe (a rear rack) that’s good for masses lighter than 20lbs.

The inventory brakes maintain their energy and are capable of cease your fully-loaded bicycle, even when touring at excessive speeds and in downhill eventualities.

The Buy

I went about buying this bike first by spending a superb period of time researching touring bikes on-line. After hours of analysis I had narrowed my decisions to the Surly Lengthy Haul Trucker and the Trek 520. My subsequent step in buying the bike was looking for a retailer that had one among these bikes in inventory to check drive. I couldn’t discover any native shops that had the Surly Lengthy Haul Trucker in inventory. I rapidly found that touring bicycles may be exhausting to search out in lots of native bike retailers.

After calling about 20 shops that carried Trek bicycles, I got here throughout Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica, CA that stocked the 520, and it simply so occurs they’d my measurement! I took the bike for a take a look at drive and cherished the consolation and stability of the bike. I used to be offered! I used to be capable of decide mine up in 2010 for slightly below $1,050 USD (together with tax) as a consequence of some minor chips within the paint on the highest tube.

The recommended retail worth of the Trek 520 is somewhat steep for my part, as a result of there are comparable bikes of comparable high quality that promote for much less. Nonetheless, the 520 is specialty bicycle, which considerably justifies its worth.

Expertise With The Bike & Upgrades for Lengthy Distance Touring

I bought my Trek 520 within the spring of 2010 with plans to make use of it as a touring bike, street bike and commuter. I had by no means owned a street bike earlier than, as I used to be primarily an avid mountain biker on the time, so the Trek 520 had a very totally different really feel for me. After a number of longer rides, nevertheless, I used to be hooked! I cherished that I may cowl 50-80 miles in a day with out being exhausted.

After many lengthy rides to coach for my month-long Canada tour that I did in the summertime of 2010, I invested in some upgrades. Whereas the bike is about up for touring, I made some upgrades to satisfy my particular driving/touring wants. The most important improve for consolation I’ve made was the saddle. The Trek 520 comes with a good inventory saddle, advantageous for 60-mile rides, however after doing a number of 80-100 mile days in a row, I made a decision an improve was a worthy funding. After doing my analysis I made a decision on leather-based Selle An-Atomica. It’s the greatest seat I’ve ever sat on! After correct adjustment and wear-in it appears like driving on air.

Quickly after that I added Shimano 520 SPD pedals. Subsequent, I put in a set of Kevlar lined Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700 x 35c tires. With the brand new tires I’ve solely had one flat in 3,500 miles. My buddy purchased the identical tires for his Cannondale touring bike and was capable of experience over 6,000 miles on one set earlier than changing them. I additionally upgraded the inventory fenders to SKS fenders. They provide so much higher protection for driving within the rain and dusty situations.

The inventory rear rack is sweet for carrying 20lbs or much less. I carry my tent and all my gear on my bike whereas touring so I made a decision to improve to an Axiom rear rack and bought Axiom Low-rider entrance racks to hold my 35-40 lbs value of tenting gear and garments. To carry my gear I invested within the Axiom journey collection panniers – back and front. Every thing mounted very nicely, and the bike has adequate braze-ons and welds for mounting heavy responsibility racks.

The one improve I’ve all the time considered is decrease crank gears. The inventory gear ratio of 48/36/26 is somewhat excessive if you’re utilizing the bike to hold heavier masses on longer journeys with mountains. My full load together with the bike weighs in at near 70lbs, whereas the bike itself weighs in at 27lbs. On lengthy mountain passes, it certain could be good to have a decrease gear to modify into.


If I needed to say one factor unfavorable concerning the bike, I’d say the paint job will not be with out its flaws. In 2010, after I bought the bike, a rusty root-beer coloration was the one coloration possibility. For some, the colour alongside might need been sufficient to show them away from the bike. The brownish coloration of my bike has grown on me, nevertheless, and the metallic brownish/orange excessive gloss paint actually stands out within the solar.

The issue that I’ve seen, nevertheless, is that the metallic paint chips off simpler than some other bike I’ve ever owned. An simply chipped paint job, after all, will not be what you need in a touring bicycle that may be uncovered to the weather for lengthy durations of time. Whereas the paint could also be chipping, there isn’t a single spot or chip that has began to rust. You must also keep in mind that the present fashions paint is totally different and I’ve not heard if it nonetheless suffers from paint chipping.

Would I Advocate The Trek 520 Touring Bike?

I’d extremely advocate this bike when you have the cash to speculate, and are severe about bike touring. You positively get your moneys value. The bikes sturdiness, type and luxury positively justify the value. I additionally get feedback on the type of the bike steadily; lots of people benefit from the basic look of it. That is probably the most snug bike I’ve ever ridden. The metal body and geometry of the bike minimizes the bumpiest of roads and may tackle some delicate dust trails – even when absolutely loaded.

The Trek 520 is able to holding a whole lot of weight, taking a beating and popping out like a champ. I’ve nearly 4,500 miles on my 2010 Trek 520. Aside from re-greasing and tightening the underside bracket, new brakes, new chain, fundamental upkeep and tuning,  it rides identical to the day I purchased it!

Conclusion and Score

Trying again I’ve had no regrets or any main technical points with the Trek 520. I’ve additionally but to return throughout any main complaints from fellow bikers that personal this explicit bicycle. On a Scale of 1 to 10, I’d give this bike a 9. The sturdiness of the paint and the truth that the bike is barely overpriced when in comparison with comparable bicycle fashions are the one issues holding the 520 again from being an ideal 10. The Trek 520 is and can proceed to stay a basic alternative within the bicycle touring world.

About The Creator: Justin Bernstein is a 23-year-old scholar at Cal State Channel Islands the place he works part-time as a bicycle technician. Justin says he enjoys something that has wheels and notes that bicycle touring has allowed him to see some wonderful locations and meet some nice individuals. “I really like touring by bike and plan to by no means cease driving!”


You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Trek 520 – Touring Bicycle Evaluation – Bicycle Touring Professional  
Arsenal begin talks to sign 22-year-old with 9 goals and 11 assists last season *  Croire: Comment allez-vous composer avec le stress, les peurs et les incertitudes qui augmentent sans cesse dans votre… *  Apple releases third developer beta for iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and more *  *-* Croire: Comment allez-vous composer avec le stress, les peurs et les incertitudes qui augmentent sans cesse dans votre… *  Luna guitars HEN O2 SPR Guitare Folk électro-acoustique *  Liuer 2PCS Mat Tapis Température Adjustable Chauffage Chauffant avec Réglage de la Température Tapis Chauffant pour… *  -*-   Trek 520 – Touring Bicycle Evaluation – Bicycle Touring Professional *Trek 520 – Touring Bicycle Evaluation – Bicycle Touring Professional