Choosing a touring bicycle; Trek 520
For our 4th touring bike option I’m going to go with a very well-known touring bicycle, the Trek 520 from Trek Bicycles. Please comment if you have ever ridden, owned, or know anyone who owns this bike. Email photos of your setup to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and have them posted on this site.
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Chainstay Length- 450mm or 17.7 inches
Tires- Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase, 700x32c
Components- Deore LX
Weight- 27 pounds
The Trek 520 is a very well-known touring bike with a great reputation in the middle area of the price range. This bike is often used when comparing the lower-end and higher-end models and is a great place to start when looking for a quality bike. I’ve ridden a Trek 4800 and a Trek 7.2 on tours before and was more than happy with their performance. I’ve heard the 520 more than lives up to its reputation as a quality, strong, and reliable touring bike.
The issues with this bike include an uncomfortable stock saddle that is far too hard for many riders and slightly sub-par racks and fenders (mud-guards) that can’t support big weight. The strengths of the bike include it’s stability, strength, and smooth ride.
I suggest comparing this bike to the Cannondale Touring 2, as the price is right on.
I’m giving the Trek 520 a low value rating because I don’t really like what you get for this price. $1,300 and you’re still only getting entry-level Deore LX components. It comes in slightly ahead of the Cannondale Touring 2 because the Trek has a complete LX line, whereas the Cannondale swaps in some cheaper components with the LX.
Quality. There aren’t many complaints about the Trek 520.
Compliance. This bike is a truly dedicate touring bike. It is basically ready to go.