Touring - What bike to use for a tour
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08-01-08, 03:44 PM
I want to go touring in europe for up to three months. I would like to camp when possible so intend to carry a sizable load including my camping and cooking needs as well as other essentials such as tools, clothes, food and maps etc.
I am naturally considering buying a touring bike as my racing bike (a dawes gire 200) is unlikely to be suitable for the load I will need to carry. I have a good amount to spend and so was looking at offerings from koga and thorn, as I am interested in the rohloff speed hub, and dont want to be worrying about over loading but i worry about taking such expensive bikes away incase they get stolen.
what sort and price of bike have people toured on? is it necessary to purchase a top of the line bike? are my fears about broken spokes unfounded when touring on make shift tours such as MTB and cheep touing bikes?
Ill be the first of many to recommend the surly long haul trucker. It comes built for 985, or get the frameset and pick everything yourself.
08-02-08, 02:17 AM
Yes. It is possible to break spokes on a loaded bike--particularly on the rear wheel. That's why dedicated touring bikes frequently use 36 spoke wheels. Towing your gear on a trailer can be a way to finesse this problem.
The two bike brands you mention are among the most reputable names in touring...Hard to go wrong with one of these. However, people have toured on practically every conceivable bike.
Just do it.
Here is a link of fully loaded touring bikes http://www.fullyloadedtouring.com/ so you could get an idea of what people tour on.
My wife and I use aluminum hybrids and they have held up quite good so far. There are several reasons for using the cheaper bikes, but I wont explain all here, check out our page for more details.
08-02-08, 04:38 AM
It's best to travel on a bike designed and built for touring, although it's possible to do a tour with almost any reliable and solid bike. There are a lot of decent touring bikes out there. See what fits you and what meets your needs.
It's also possible to get a good hybrid, make a few modifications and use that for touring. An older style mountain bike, one without a front or rear suspension system, can work wonderfully well if your tour is going to take you over a lot of rough gravel roads and trails.
Purchase a new Surly LHT, tour Europe, sell the bike just before you return home. Import fees and VAT (Value Added Tax) taxes make Surly bikes prohibitively expensive in Europe. Someone will be very happy to pay you more for your Surly LHT than you paid for it and they will be getting a deal as well. Go ahead and list it for sale advising them to pick the bike up where you intend to return home from Europe.
08-02-08, 10:00 AM
If you get a 56 or 58cm and visit Stockholm look me up! But I would prefer a 57cm Bleriot... ;)
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