Author Topic: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?  (Read 491 times)

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Offline Lovegasoline

Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« on: October 13, 2020, 08:36:35 pm »
Greetings members,
This post regards a 2010 Trek 520 with all stock equipment (Avid Single Digit 5 brakes and 700c rims) that needs some parts and outfitting for touring. This is the redesigned frame profile with sloped top tube - root beer brown - which preceded the disc brake versions. Although riding at present is relegated to NYC commuting the plan is to eventually tour.

Brakes
The brakes don't have inline barrel adjusters. I need to put in new cabling all around and would like to introduce them ... I've heard mention of noodles with built in adjusters or inline barrel adjusters. Any experience/opinions on this?
I'd also like to add an interrupter brake lever for the front brake (at least for city use) as I'm virtually always gripping the top of the bars. Any issue with doing that on this bike's brake system?
FYI, ordered Kool Stop brake pads to replace worn out stock pads.


Tires
I'd like swap tires to Schwalbe Marathon Supremes in the foreseeable future and go with as wide a tire that will fit the stock rims/frame to dip my toes in the compliant tire scene, hoping this will tame the NYC streets a touch and also make longer rides more enjoyable vs. the stock rubber.  This is also an area where I've not been able to find any reliable info even though I've inquired off and on for several months (and Schwalbe's nomenclature only complicates matters): what's the widest size of the current production Schwalbe Marathon Supremes that will fit this bikes frame and stock rims? Note, Schwalbe seems to have redesigned both this tire and it's sizing in very recent years so size info that's not up to date may not apply?

Schwalbe currently sells these sizes:
32-622 (700 x 32C)
37-622 (700 X 35C)
42-622 (700 x 40C)


Fenders
Looking for good fitting full fenders front and rear, lightweight.
Any suggestions?


Racks
Also, the stock rack besides being to rickety isn't cutting it as it doesn't support the full width of the panniers (Back Rollers) so the latter swing around into the spokes ... already had this happen a few times and it's chewed up the plastic lower bar on the left pannier. 

I'd like to use the Tubus Evo on the rear as it seems solid and well liked.
Which front Tubus front rack would work best with this bike and Ortlieb Sport Rollers?


Pedals
I'd like to swap them for something durable, comfortable, yet grippy enough. I've only road in tennis shoes.

Thanks so much for any advice, suggestions, or observations!

Offline canalligators

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 11:10:08 pm »
Brakes: KoolStop is a good idea.  Inline barrel adjusters are of limited use.  Once adjusted, brakes usually hold their adjustments well.  They do not require tweaks after setting up, like gears sometimes do.

Fenders: I really like the Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders.  They are aluminum and are sturdier than their plastic fenders.  The plastic fenders aren't bad, but these are much more reliable and more durable.

Racks: I don't know the specific models, but spend the money on good racks.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2020, 01:03:51 am »
I have exactly the same make, model, year and color bike as you.

I adjust the brakes as they wear down by taking up more cable at the bolt. It's pretty simple. You don't really need exact adjustment anyway. Somewhere close is good enough. An adjustment every thousand miles is usually good. Takes just a minute.

Interrupter brake levers aren't my cup of tea. You have limited braking power from them, they are unnecessary, and they might get in the way of your handlebar bag.

I've used Schwalbe Marathon XR (no longer made), Marathon Supreme and Marathon Mondial, usually in 700x37 size. The folding Mondial are my favorite. I don't like the wire-bead Mondial. The size of tires that will fit in the frame is not limiting (within reason), but the size of tire that will allow fenders may be.

I'm not a huge fan of fenders. The little half fenders that come with the 520 are good enough for me.

I use the Tubus Cargo on the rear and the Tubus Tara on the front, both with Ortlieb roller classic bags. All solid as a rock.

I ride in SPD pedals and wouldn't do anything else.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 11:36:38 am »
I have a Trek 520 2017.

Tires: I use 700x37 Marathan Supremes. Bigger may fit but I don't know if would make much difference in use. (Fenders reduoce tire cleareance.)

Fenders: I use Cascadia plastic.

Racks: Much prefer Evo over Cargo. On front, tried Tara; wouldn't fit.

Pedals: https://www.rivbike.com/collections/pedals/products/mks-rmx-sneaker-pedals

Offline Lovegasoline

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2020, 04:31:57 pm »
Brakes: KoolStop is a good idea.  Inline barrel adjusters are of limited use.  Once adjusted, brakes usually hold their adjustments well.  They do not require tweaks after setting up, like gears sometimes do.

Fenders: I really like the Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders.  They are aluminum and are sturdier than their plastic fenders.  The plastic fenders aren't bad, but these are much more reliable and more durable.

Racks: I don't know the specific models, but spend the money on good racks.

Hi canalligators,
Thanks for the tip on inline cable adjusters for brakes, one less thing to deal with.
Do you happen to know the size of the Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders (is your bike a Trek 520 or something other)?

Offline Lovegasoline

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2020, 06:30:24 pm »
I have exactly the same make, model, year and color bike as you.
...
I'm not a huge fan of fenders. The little half fenders that come with the 520 are good enough for me.

Hi John,
I'm relieved to finally come across someone with this particular generation of 520  :). I may have to pick your brain a little.

I thought the 2009 was the one year it came with fenders (shortys) although I may be mistaken(?) otherwise the 2009-2011 models appear identical. Mine is fenderless.

Quote
I adjust the brakes as they wear down by taking up more cable at the bolt. It's pretty simple. You don't really need exact adjustment anyway. Somewhere close is good enough. An adjustment every thousand miles is usually good. Takes just a minute.

Interrupter brake levers aren't my cup of tea. You have limited braking power from them, they are unnecessary, and they might get in the way of your handlebar bag.

I was thinking of doing this only for city use as my hands are practically always on the top flats of the bars.
Also, I think the frame is the largest size(?) I have long legs and arms but shorter torso and I'd like to look into shorter stem options.

I read this somewhere but I don't see it on my bike:
"In addition, the front brake lever has a small push pin (not sure what else to call it) that, when pushed, allows for more play in the brakes when compressing the brakes to remove the noodle."
Does that sound familiar to you?

Quote
I've used Schwalbe Marathon XR (no longer made), Marathon Supreme and Marathon Mondial, usually in 700x37 size. The folding Mondial are my favorite. I don't like the wire-bead Mondial. The size of tires that will fit in the frame is not limiting (within reason), but the size of tire that will allow fenders may be.

I use the Tubus Cargo on the rear and the Tubus Tara on the front, both with Ortlieb roller classic bags. All solid as a rock.

I ride in SPD pedals and wouldn't do anything else.

Yes, I need to figure out the widest tire that will fit my rims and with fenders.
BTW, do you know if the stock rims have a single shallow scored groove on their braking surface?   

The Marathon Mondial looks like a great option for taming more varied surfaces.

Glad to know the Tara front rack will fit.  :)
I like feature of the Cargo's wider top surface esp. for city riding and wish the Evo Logo incorporated that.

Offline Lovegasoline

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2020, 06:32:37 pm »
I have a Trek 520 2017.

Tires: I use 700x37 Marathan Supremes. Bigger may fit but I don't know if would make much difference in use. (Fenders reduoce tire cleareance.)

Fenders: I use Cascadia plastic.

Racks: Much prefer Evo over Cargo. On front, tried Tara; wouldn't fit.

Pedals: https://www.rivbike.com/collections/pedals/products/mks-rmx-sneaker-pedals

Thanks for the info.
Any idea on the size of your fenders?

Offline Lovegasoline

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2020, 06:41:38 pm »
After searching for a tour bike forever I finally got lucky with this Trek 520 on Craigslist 2 yrs ago ... an older gentleman a dozen blocks away was selling his, stored in his brownstone's basement which looked barely ridden. He bought it new to ship to Costa Rica to do a week long supported bike tour with his son, but hasn't ridden it since as he's not a bicyclist and needs the space. Even the bar tape was practically new.

...

Fast forward 2 years use in NYC:

The brake shoes are now worn and Kool Stops arrive tomorrow. The rear brake feels 'grainy' and a little rough so I plan on doing all the bike's cabling (in fact it was always sluggish in response and sometimes the brake arms wouldn't spring back fully open so I disconnected them when I first got the bike) any suggestions on what product to use?
Chain stretch is still within spec. Other than adjust the brakes and lubing the derailleurs I've not done any other significant maintenance.

I did get a good sized ding in the rear rim hitting a pothole with lowered air pressure - it does slightly effect the trueness of the rim - I'm not sure if it's going to be a problem or if it can be corrected.
Based on the bike's age even though being well cared for (although I've put lots of NYC miles on it the past 2 years) is it advisable to undertake additional maintenance such as lubing wheel bearings, headset, crank bearings and/or replace any parts/springs, etc.?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 06:53:07 pm by Lovegasoline »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2020, 07:13:23 pm »
I thought the 2009 was the one year it came with fenders (shortys) although I may be mistaken(?) otherwise the 2009-2011 models appear identical. Mine is fenderless.

The Trek archive is a wealth of information about particular years and models:

https://archive.trekbikes.com/us/en/2017

I checked my records and I see that I have a 2009, not a 2010. But it is metallic root-beer. I got thrown off because you mentioned the color, and I thought root beer was only available in one year. The archive shows that both the 2009 and 2010 came in that color. The 2009 was the first year they reduced the crankset to 48/36/26, thus making it a true touring bike for the first time (even though they claimed it as such forever).

I was surprised to see in the archives that it looks like 2009 was the only year they included those short fenders. Maybe they weren't too popular.

I read this somewhere but I don't see it on my bike:
"In addition, the front brake lever has a small push pin (not sure what else to call it) that, when pushed, allows for more play in the brakes when compressing the brakes to remove the noodle."
Does that sound familiar to you?
Nope, I don't know what that is.

BTW, do you know if the stock rims have a single shallow scored groove on their braking surface?
Yes, my rims have that groove. Well the front one does. My rear rim split apart in the middle of my second tour, so I had to have a new one built at a small bike shop in the middle of northern Minnesota. I was quite disappointed to only get about 8000 miles out of that rim. The bike shop guy agreed that it shouldn't have failed that soon, but doubted that Trek would do anything about it.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 07:15:04 pm by John Nelson »

Offline Lovegasoline

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2020, 07:33:01 pm »
I thought root beer was only available in one year. The archive shows that both the 2009 and 2010 came in that color. The 2009 was the first year they reduced the crankset to 48/36/26, thus making it a true touring bike for the first time (even though they claimed it as such forever).

Yes, my rims have that groove.

John,
Yeah 2009 is the year they redesigned the bike with a new frame.
FYI 2011 also is the same Root Beer brown color and shares the same specs with 2009/2010 (except no fenders ... not sure how well they work but they look minimal and unobtrusive which I like). These three model years appear to share identical specs but for the fenders.
I believe it was in 2012 they did a color change to bronze and I think it got a better rack ... I detest the stock rack on mine.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 07:37:02 pm by Lovegasoline »

Offline dkoloko

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2020, 10:39:30 am »
I think my fenders are 45mm.

Offline Lovegasoline

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2020, 03:52:13 pm »
I think my fenders are 45mm.

Thanks dkoloko.
Do you (or anyone else) have any idea if the 2017 frame/fork is the same as - retains the dimensions of - the 2009-2012 frame (except for the modified mounts to accommodate the disc brakes)?

Offline dkoloko

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2020, 09:47:35 am »
I can only say I had a 2008 Trek 520 which seemed very similar to my 2017 except for disc brakes.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2020, 05:03:01 pm »
I read this somewhere but I don't see it on my bike:
"In addition, the front brake lever has a small push pin (not sure what else to call it) that, when pushed, allows for more play in the brakes when compressing the brakes to remove the noodle."

Some versions of Shimano brifters had that button to open the brakes when taking off the wheel (to repair a flat tire, for instance).  Many road brakes have a cam to do the same job, and of course with cantilevers you can unhook the cable to open them up.  I have no experience with discs or V-brakes.