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Trek's "Bombproof" 520 Turing Bike Is Affordable Steel With a Capable Design
As technology advances, so do our toys. However, another common occurrence due to booming tech is the use of old materials in new ways. One manufacturer doing some experimentation of their own is Trek, and steel is the chosen material.

Trek's "Bombproof" 520 Turing Bike Is Affordable Steel With a Capable Design

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Folks, before you is a machine simply known as the 520. It's a touring bike from one of the world's renowned cycling manufacturers, Trek. While this crew may need no introduction, it should still help to know that they've been around since 1976. In that time, they've risen to the top of this industry.

The 520, on the other hand, is said to be Trek's "longest-running models." Once you're done reading this short article, you, too, will understand why.

To kick things off right, you've picked up that this bike is completed using steel. Trek's butted Platinum Series steel is used to ensure the bike is, as they say, "bombproof." Even if a bomb were to destroy your beautiful machine, the price tag of 1,829 USD (1,634 EUR at current exchange rates) wouldn't make you feel too bad about the loss.

While you may be asking yourself why you should be interested in a steel bike, it's pretty straightforward. First of all, there's the price. Second, unlike aluminum and carbon fiber, steel first bends on a molecular level before breaking. Aluminum and carbon first break before a visible bend is witnessed.

Being a touring bike, Trek also made sure to add countless mounts to the cycle. Nearly every tube on this trinket features mounts so that you can add a cargo rack to the rear, a cargo rack to the front, several water bottles, and more cargo options in the frame triangle.

Best of all, the cargo racks you see in the images are included in that rate I mentioned earlier. All you may need to pick up on your own are fenders, lights, and bags.

As for the drivetrain, Trek ensures ample shifting range for the roads you encounter with nothing more than Shimano Sora. A front derailleur will help control three speeds, while the rear derailleur will be controlling nine speeds on an 11-36T cassette. You'll find a pair of TRP Spyre C mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors for braking.

Because touring riders usually spend quite the amount of time on their bike and hauling gear, Trek made sure to create a relaxed geometry for 520. However, secondary components like the saddle, seat post, and handlebar are dialed for comfort and from in-house Bontrager.

While bikes like these rarely feature a suspension, you'll be relying on a pair of Bontrager H1 Hard-case Ultimate tires sitting on Tubeless Ready Affinity Disc rims. You're normally running tires with 700x38c dimensions, but 520 does offer the possibility to add 29 in tires with a 2 in cross-section. To achieve this, however, you'll need to dump the fenders.

This last feature also helps 520 be the bike you could use for winter riding. Think about it; larger tires mean a more plush ride. It also means more potential grip on roads that may have seen recent precipitation, snow, or freezing temperatures. Although, for that last one, you may want some studded tires.

Sure, you won't have any internal cable routing, and the bike does end up weighing 31.4 lbs (14.2 kg), but, with a low cost and solid building materials, 520 appears to be the sort of bike that you won't feel bad for destroying over the years. Something to consider if you're looking for a budget machine ready to get you moving more.


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