Trek started making bicycles way back in 1976, and it all began with a steel touring bike. That bike lives on in the 520, the company’s longest-running model, and which has just been updated for 2015. It’s joined by brand new 720 and 920 models, joining a rapidly growing touring/adventure/gravel category of bikes that blur many lines.
The 520 is your classic touring bike and features a Platinum Series double butted steel frame with a chromoly fork. Some of the key updates include new optional disc brake mounts, which are proving a popular addition to modern day touring and adventure bikes. The 520 also comes as standard with a rear rack and all-weather tyres.
The 520 Disc costs £950 and is specced with a Shimano Trekking groupset with a triple chainset and 11-32 9-speed cassette. There's a Deore rear mech and Alivio front mech (mountain bike components) and Hayes CX Expert mechanical disc brakes with Tektro brake levers. Bontrager Tubeless Ready 36-hole rims are fitted with 32mm Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case tyres.
Following on from the updated 520, is the brand new 720. It has a more traditional road bike geometry and is designed for lightweight touring and comes with a low-mounted quick-release front dry-bag system. It looks the sort of bike that could be pressed into service as a daily commuter, an Audax bike, and longer multi-day adventures with only the essential luggage needed. Credit card touring is how Trek describes it. Travel fast and light is the idea here.
The 720 Disc costs £1,275 and uses a 100 Series Alpha aluminium frame that is DuoTrap S compatible, and has rack and mudguard mounts and internal cable routing. The fork is a Trek touring carbon disc item. The groupset is Shimano 105 with a compact chainset and 11-32 cassette, wheels are Bontrager with tubeless-ready rims and they’re fitted with Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case Lite 28mm tyres. Brakes are TRP HY/RD discs.
The 920 is designed for more exploring and off-road adventures. It’s built around mountain bike 29er wheels and mountain bike groupset, with a stiff and lightweight aluminium frame. Trek say it’s “built to take riders into the unknown and get them back safely.”
Costing £1,375, the 920 Disc features the aluminium frame we mentioned, partnered with an aluminium fork, and fitted with Bontrager XR1 29x2in tyres and a SRAM X7/X5 mountain bike groupset, with TRP Hylex hydraulic disc brakes. It comes pre-fitted with racks front and rear.
“Adventure is about exploring and seeking out what you don’t already know, and developing these bikes was a very similar experience,” said David Studner, Assistant Product Manager for the City Bikes category.. “The kinds of riders who participate in adventure cycling today are pioneering new ways to explore by bicycle. We wanted to develop modern solutions to support their adventures reliably and efficiently.”
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.