10 things to know when selecting your next Touring Bike
Choosing your bicycle is a difficult decision, but you can help narrow down your search by applying your own filters.
- Cost (High budget or Low Budget)
- Terrain (Paved surface, Allrounder or typically gravel mud tracks)
- Duration of your tour (weekend getaway, A few weeks, Months or long term)
- How you like touring (Camping or rather staying in hotels, Cooking or eating at restauraunts)
From this you make the following decisions, write them down!
- Price range, what is yours?
- Terrain you will encounter on most days (mud, gravel, pavement, bicycle paths)
- Short tour, Intermediate tour, extended tour, World tour
- Self supported, Cooking but staying in Hotels, Camping but prefer to eat at restaurants.
Your bicycle selection is dependent on the above.
- I would not buy our super strong and heavy bicycle if you never plan on camping or bringing a stove/kitchen with you. Stay lighter and faster up those hills.
- Alternatively, if you are setting yourself for an unsupported world tour, then make sure your bicycle is strong, can carry all your gear, and has sufficient threading mounts for water bottles and racks. If your tour is more off-road then your bike tires and setup will also vary.
PRINT YOUR BICYCLE TOURING BRIEF HERE – Fill this out, get yourself thinking and use this to find a starting point for your research. Or bring this to your local bicycle store to continue the discussion
Design brief factors to consider.
- From an ultralight carbon fiber racer to a heavy duty steel frame bicycle. The decision will reflect where you plan on riding, how you want to ride and how much you are willing to pay. Don’t forget, for world tourers, if your frame cracks then steel is your best hope of finding a repair.
- Gear system sizing, the number of teeth of each gear or model of your Rohlhoff will determine how you can best climb those hills or find that optimal cruising speed. Remember an average touring speed is between 25-13km/h on a flat road. Hugely dependant on wind, incline etc etc.
- Jasi and I both altered our setup differently. I preferred the butterfly handlebar design, where Jasi preferred the moustache design with horns. Every tour and person is different
Bag carrying system
- Bikepacking, you will be looking to attach more of the load directly to the frame of your bag, at your handlebars and under your seat.
- Bicycle touring, depending on your tour, you will be attaching your load on your bicycle via racks.
- Ultralightweight, credit card tourers, you might only want a light backpack with just the essentials. Enjoy your comfortable hotel bed and restaurant dinners.
- Clip shoes, adventure shoes or just your favourite runners. Your shoe should match the pedal you choose. Don’t stress too much here, pedals can always be varied later
- Do you see yourself punching out Km’s or rather a leisurely cruise. If so, have your bike setup for your specific riding style
- Find whatever is comfortable for you. “Brooks” has a strong grip on the market, but if it dosent work for you, try whatever suits!
Tyres, variety and size
- This will depend on the terrain, desired level of puncture resistance and if you want a 26 inch wheel or larger (Serious consideration for world tour, click here for more info)
- V-brakes, mechanical Disc brakes, Hydraulic disc brakes and more variations. Depend on maintenance, performance, and compliance with your wheel.
- If you have your heart set on a colour, style, specific componentry, then write it all down.
PRINT YOUR BICYCLE TOURING BRIEF
Now you have a rough design brief of the bicycle, now you should start looking at whats our there!
you want here are some comparison websites that are constantly updating and provide further bicycle specific info.
You may also want to build your bicycle up, piece by piece. A great way to get to know your unique bicycle.