1984 Trek 520 Touring Bike 53cm Wisconsin Built @Pedal Revolution Custom Refurbished Bike Update

Pedal Revolution receives used bicycle and bicycle parts donations from which we rebuild, refurbish, and transform them into mixture of customized new/used bikes ready for another long life of service and companionship. The bikes that we receive are a wide range of shapes, styles, and sizes which makes consistency a challenge. Pedal Revolution rebuilds a handful of these bikes each week and puts them on the sales floor for your perusal. We also post them complete with image, size, description and price on our blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you are dreaming of the perfect used bike (rebuilt with a robust assortment of new parts to ensure long term service and reliability) from Pedal Revolution, your best bet is to check our blog periodically or follow us on Facebook or Twitter where you will receive the updates on used bikes on a weekly basis.

This 1984 Trek 520 Touring bike was a recent donation to Pedal Revolution and we had the opportunity to rebuild it and update some of the components.

The early generation American built Trek bicycles have a healthy following. They were constructed in the Trek facility in Waterloo, Wisconsin throughout the 70’s and 80’s with top notch quality. Lugged steel construction was the technology of choice at that time and the bicycles produced in that era exhibited a fine balance of form and function.


Below are images of the bicycle in it’s donated condition:


Compared to many of our donated bikes, this one was in good shape. The parts were mostly original and of good quality initially. We replaced the wheels with a contemporary 700c wheelset with double walled rims, stainless steel spokes, and sealed bearing hubs. The chain and freewheel were replaced as well as all cables, housing, and brake pads.

Below are photos of the original Maillard Helio Matic hubs and proprietary freewheel. The bearings where worn and the freewheel interface was a proprietary design that would not allow for replacement.


Detail of the Helio-Matic interface:


The original wheels and tires were a 27 x 1/8 size which was standard during the era of this bike. Wheels and tires in the 27″ size are still available but are an outdated size that aren’t in much use today. We replaced the originals with the contemporary 700c size to give a wider range for tire choices. Fortunately, the original SunTour cantilever brakes were still in good shape and had a reach range to fit the modern wheel size.


Below are the original SunTour brakes with the old hardened brake pads.


Brakes cleaned up with new Koolstop pads installed and durable Panaracer Pasela touring tires mounted to the new wheels:



Part of the rebuilding process involves stripping the bike down to the bare frame to inspect for possible damage. This frame was in perfect shape with even the lovely original paint intact.

Next we checked out the bottom bracket and headset and decided that their condition was very good but that new bearings and fresh grease were necessary to keep them going for many more years of service. Below is the crank and deconstructed bottom bracket (with original yellow grease!).


New grease and bearings!


The original handlebar set up was modified to get the rider in a very upright position utilizing a taller technomic stem. Below is a close up of the original cockpit with cool black and white splatter tape.


We opted to bring the bars down to a still upright-but level with the saddle height range and swapped the original stem and bars for a Soma Sutro stem and Soma Highway One compact handlebar. New Tektro compact reach aero levers and “Denim Blue” Deda bar tape were added to finish it off.



The original crank is an early touring style with a wide gear range. We replaced the original single sided pedals for double sided MKS touring pedals.


Original Trek headbadge.


Lastly, a new saddle was installed and all shifters and brakes tuned.

Below is the finished bicycle ready for a whole new career as someone’s faithful companion.


trek23 trek22 trek20

1984 Trek 520 Touring bike. 53cm Seat tube by 54cm top tube. Sized for someone 5’5″ – 5’8″.



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