The most popular page ever on this site, by far, is the [one about my Trek 520]( touring bike which I bought in Toowoomba, in Australia, where I live. Here it is – on my feral driveway. ![graphics1](/blog/2006/08/10/520_at_2000km/1.png) A couple of regular readers were annoyed that I strayed from the normal fare of word processing and XML but it brings me a steady stream of Googlers. I might figure out how to start up separate feeds for technical posts and cycling posts. Maybe. Anyway, there will be a couple more cycling posts coming soon. We have a new bike in the shed that I **need** to talk about. One of the nice things about posting about the Trek 520 was meeting one Simon Troman online. He emailed me with some advice about the numb toes I was getting from the [Specialized Body Geometry Comp MTB shoes]( Simon suggested that this might be due to soft soles, causing the shoe to flex over the pedal. Not in this case – my shoes are very stiff. Subsequent discussion suggests I should try moving the cleats back a bit. I haven't tried that yet. I have a feeling my toes might hit the mudguard (fender) if I do. But with thick socks in winter I have not been doing the shoes up as tightly as I did in summer with no socks and I'm having fewer problems with the toes. Simon works for a Canberra bike shop part time. I've never been there, but based on Simon's willingness to help me out over the net I'd recommend a visit if you happen to be shopping for a bike in Canberra. Try [Bike Culture in O’Connor]( They can sell you a Trek, I gather. Anyway, at around 7 months of age the bike has now done 2000km, mostly on the home, school, work, shops, home run so I thought I'd give an update. Everything still works, as you'd expect from a decent bit of machinery. In contrast, the \$340 Apollo mountain bike that preceded it was was starting to show its age after this kind of mileage with gears not shifting properly and brakes a bit funny, not to mention the broken back axle (but then it was carrying me and a 20kg kid 15km per day 3 days a week). The Trek 520 doesn't look new anymore – there are a few scuffs on the frame from bike racks, and collisions with children and the like. A few minor issues: 1. Handlebar tape is getting a bit uneven – maybe this is normal. 2. Mudguard is a bit bent. This is due to the impact of an enthusiastic six-year-old on the way home from school in [Queen's Park Gardens, formerly known as the botanic gardens]( I said “You know I'm riding beside you, don't you ...”. We tangled on the “you”. Nobody was seriously hurt. He got a good jab from the end of the drop handlebar. 3. Went through the first set of front brake pads (right down to the metal) in 1500km. The guys at [Bikeline in Toowoomba]( were astounded, as I don't do that much seriously downhill riding, but I worked out that it was from riding with my kids. I come home from school, about 1km, with brakes on just about all the way a few times a week. And maybe I'm a bit timid on some of the other downhill pitches around Toowoomba. 4. One of the little plastic covers fell off one of the STI gear/brake levers. It appears to serve no function anyway, except maybe micro-aerodynamics. 5. The Bontranger Race Lite (700x32) tyres are really hard to get off and on the rim. I found this out when I broke the valve on the front tyre (more than once) because I only had a hand pump. Then I broke the plastic tyre levers I bought when I got the bike. Then the tyre would not seat properly until I got a real pump and pumped it up to 110psi. Kids, get a proper floor pump with a pressure guage. It was amazing how far under the recommended pressure **all** our bikes were. 6. And those tyres are a bit slippery in the wet. Not that it rains much here, but when it did a couple of weeks ago I had a couple of little wobbles. I assume a bit of practice would be needed to know how far they can be pushed. 7. Then I got my first puncture, and in the process of replacing the tube I: - Blew up a tube with a spectacular gunshot-like crack at about 100psi while I was pumping. I assume it was pinched somewhere. - Bent the lip of the rim outwards presumably with tyre levers. I bent it back in with a hammer and a pair of pliers, as per the instructions [here]( It's pretty straight now, but I had to adjust the brake pads to clear the wobbly bit. Next step is to buy a trailer, to make trips to the markets, supermarket, nursery, hardware store, and picnics  a bit easier. True, I can put a whole box of apples on the front rack of the Apollo. And a big load of veges in the back panniers. And more in a backpack. But a trailer would be simpler. And I could hitch it to the 520. I like the look of the [BicyleR Evolution trailers.]( I have no desire to have  an [xtracycle](