August 31, 2020
Trek Turns the Legendary 520 Into a ‘Grando’ Gravel Tourer
The Trek 520 has been around since 1983. Jeez, really? That long? The steel-framed workhorse started out life as a general road bike, and, because of its rugged, simple design, quickly caught on as a biketouring rig. It rides easily and smoothly, is festooned with mounts, can shrug off nasty weather, and is very unlikely to fail the rider.
They updated the bike a few years back, and then, for 2021, have gone full tilt into the gravel adventure category with the Grando version of the 520 Disc.
It’s the same chromoly steel frame as the 520 Disc, same alloy fork (a bit of a head scratcher there), same mechanical, as opposed to hydraulic disc brakes for easy field maintenance, but with Shimano’s GRX shifting and bigger, wider tires. The regular 520 comes with front and rear racks, but the Grando has only a Bontrager Carry Forward mounted upon purchase. The bike supports 275 pounds, including the rider. Depending on your size, this is a bike that can carry a whole lot of weight, relatively comfortably.
520s have a huge following and many people build them in fascinating ways. This is a cool setup right out of the box if you wanna forego all the fun and frustration of building a gravel-oriented 520 from a Craigslist find.
Retail is $1,679.