Author Topic: Trek 520 vs Carpe Diem?  (Read 5155 times)

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Offline Hcole

Trek 520 vs Carpe Diem?
« on: March 30, 2005, 07:03:35 am »
I'm getting ready to buy my first Touring bike. I was pretty set on the Trek 520, but the Airborne Carpe Diem also seems to be a good deal. From what I gather, the 520 is sturdier, but a bit slower. The CD also has a relaxed geometry, like the 520, but is lighter and faster. It's a tiny bit pricier, and because it's not steel is less durable and more difficult to repair. Is all that correct? What other important differences are there? Most importantly, does anybody have a preference between the two, and why? Thanks,


Offline wanderingwheel

Trek 520 vs Carpe Diem?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2005, 08:22:17 pm »
I own a Trek 520 so I may be a bit biased here, but I fail to see how the Trek 520 will be appreciably slower than the Carpe Diem, especially with a full touring load.  I also doubt that the Carpe Diem is more than one pound lighter than the Trek.

If you expect to use the bike for loaded touring, the Trek is proabably a better bet because it has longer chainstays and a better touring fork.  Long chainstays will help prevent you from kicking your panniers with your heel.  The Trek has a true touring fork, but the Carpe Diem's only fork with low-rider mounts is carbon fiber, which probably works fine but doesn't give me any warm-fuzzies.

Where did you find the Carpe Diem for the same price as the Trek 520?  The Carpe Diem frame alone retails for $1200, which is the about the same price as the complete Trek.  Building up the Carpe Diem into a complete bike will probably cost at least $800, unless you have a lot of spare parts laying around.  For $2000 there are many other great touring touring bikes that you can begin to consider.


Offline RussellSeaton

Trek 520 vs Carpe Diem?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2005, 10:56:25 pm »
The Airborne Carpe Diem titanium bike is about $2450 with 105 components.  The Airborne Carpe Diem aluminum bike is about $1650 with 105 components.  The Trek 520 is about $1100 with 105 components.  The Cannondale T800 aluminum bike is about $1200 with Tiagra and other Shimano components.  The Cannondale T2000 aluminum bike is about $1600 with Ultegra/105/XT and other Shimano components.

Personally, I think the lower priced of the above bikes gives the best value.  All will provide the same functionality.  All are strong enough.  All have acceptable components.  All will be irrelevant compared to the sights you see, people you meet, times you have, etc.

As for one being lighter, faster, etc. compared to the others, maybe.  But all of them are trucks.  
None of them compare to a very nice high end racing bike.  The heavier frame, heavier fork, stable straight line steering, of a touring bike do not allow it to feel nimble and lively like a racing bike.  These attributes allow it to carry weight over bad roads and stay in a straight line.  Which is great for a touring bike.

I had a 1991 Trek 520 toruing bike and used it for many, many thousands of miles.  It was a faithful truck.  Heavy, stable, durable, pretty trouble free.  I recently replaced the Trek 520 frame and fork with a better fitting Redline aluminum frame and fork.  Most components transferred over.  Even though the new frame and fork are several pounds lighter, the whole bike is still heavy and stable.  And I am sure will provide faithful service in the future.  I have other road racing bikes for fast and light riding.