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602Re: [rootsradicals] Touring x- trek 520

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  • John Speare
    Sep 30 1:21 PM
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      On 9/30/06, majorhahn <cannonsculpture@...> wrote:

      > Does anyone use the x with a touring bike? I have a vintage 1983 trek
      > 520 in really wonderful shape. Back then it was trek's fast touring
      > bike, with triple ring, relaxed angles and 5.5 cm of fork offset (low
      > trail). Would this work well for a fast xtracycle? It seems most
      > people are using them on mbts, but I really do not like riding mbts
      > anywhere but on single trails. I am 6' 3" and the 26" wheels even when
      > slick seem terribly slow and clunky and disproportionate to my frame.
      > If you have pictures of your touring x please send. Thank you.

      The 1983 Trek 520 is a great bike -- for the reasons you mention, but
      also, in my opinion, because it uses the standard gauge 531 tubing,
      which makes for a lively ride. It's really not a touring bike in the
      generally accepted view of "touring" bikes, which have long
      chainstays, beefy tubing, high trail, beefy brakes... the 1983 Trek is
      more modeled after great randoneuring bikes of the past. A poor man's
      Herse or Singer.

      Personally, I think the Trek would be a bit whippy with the xtra load
      in the rear. If you've ridden the Trek with a load only in the back
      (saddle bag or panniers), you'll notice that it's near impossible to
      go no-hands (due in part to the low trail you mention). Seems to be
      optimal when loaded from the front. Another issue would be wheel size.
      YOu can put 700c wheels on the 1983 Trek 520, but you can't fit wide
      tires on it if you still want fenders (in the front anyway, as you'll
      be using the xtracycle for the rear). You can wedge 28mm tires up
      front with Bertoud fenders, but I wouldn't load that up much. You also
      have horizontal drop outs and a rear spacing of 126mm on the Trek.
      Neither of those items are showstoppers, but all this adds up to a
      fussy build, which is not what you want with the xtracycle in my

      Maybe sell the trek and get a Karate Monkey? Or other 700c'd bike --
      maybe the volpe, or newer 520 that takes fatter wheels?

      Good luck.

      John Speare
      Spokane, WA USA
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