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  1. #1
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    Trek 520 Touring Rig Review

    After ogling pics of Trek's concept bikepacking ride, I had a chance to spend some quality time on a Trek 520 today.

    Trek 520 Touring Rig Review-9521791461_ed4856f682_z.jpg

    While it might seem more road-touring oriented at first, I was surprised to see that it had tons of tire clearance. These are 32s...I think 40s would fit.

    Trek 520 Touring Rig Review-9524572646_173f004a66_z.jpg

    I was also pleasantly surprised to see how versatile it was on varying surfaces. Even with the 32s, it was pretty happy on gravel and doubletrack.

    Full thoughts are over at the blog. Thanks to North Central Cyclery for the demo.

  2. #2
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    what's this concept bike you speak of?

  3. #3
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    Trek 520 Touring Rig Review-1119925_10151634641346799_413449166_o.jpgTrek 520 Touring Rig Review-1146189_10151634641276799_543131369_o.jpg

    Trek Packasela

    Quote Originally Posted by ScaryJerry View Post
    what's this concept bike you speak of?

  4. #4
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    Great review, thanks! I'm a mountain biker looking to get into some touring, gravel road adventuring and longer commuting. I really like the looks of the 520 plus my LBS is a Trek dealer.

  5. #5
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    Trek 520's have been around for ages. Some other similar bikes are the Jamis Aurora and the Surly Long Haul Trucker, but the 520 predates both of those. Honestly, I'm surprised Trek still makes it, but glad to hear they haven't let it go after all these years.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawfarm View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Trek Packasela
    So the concept is dual racks, panniers and fenders w/ drop bars and a handle bar bag???

    Sounds like what folks have been using for decades.

    What's novel?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  7. #7
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    I have a Trek 520 and yes, it will fit 700x40 no problem. I think you could even go up to 42s. I haven't used it as a bikepacking rig, but I think it would be a great (albeit heavy) bikepacking rig for gravel or road trips.

    If the above pictures are Trek's answer to the Fargo, they're about 7 years behind the power curve, lol. It looks like a drop-bar 29er, but those look like road drops, not Mtn like the cowbell or woodchippers. The rack options are ok, but I'd rather see an optional set of quality bags than heavy racks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    Trek 520's have been around for ages. Some other similar bikes are the Jamis Aurora and the Surly Long Haul Trucker, but the 520 predates both of those. Honestly, I'm surprised Trek still makes it, but glad to hear they haven't let it go after all these years.
    Other than the LHT (Long Haul Trucker) the 520 is pretty much the go to road touring bike. Even with the recent rise in popularity of the Salsa Vaya, the 520 can still hold it's own. It's like that old saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikernks View Post
    I have a Trek 520 and yes, it will fit 700x40 no problem. I think you could even go up to 42s. I haven't used it as a bikepacking rig, but I think it would be a great (albeit heavy) bikepacking rig for gravel or road trips.

    If the above pictures are Trek's answer to the Fargo, they're about 7 years behind the power curve, lol. It looks like a drop-bar 29er, but those look like road drops, not Mtn like the cowbell or woodchippers. The rack options are ok, but I'd rather see an optional set of quality bags than heavy racks.
    I too am surprised that Trek hasn't stayed in front on the whole bike-packing specific rig like the others have. I do notice the tapered tubing for this bike, what that does or plays into bike-packing/touring I have no idea....

    As far as the tires go, Surly has their new 700 x 41 Knards that look like a great tire for all around use.

  10. #10
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    Another great choice for a touring bike is the Soma Double Cross. I built one up about 4 years ago, and have lots of great rides! They are available with disc brakes or without and offer many price points.

    I used to own a Trek 520 as well, and after riding both... well I still prefer the Soma. Either way, you can't go wrong with either.

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