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Old 06-25-07, 11:25 AM   #1
jp173
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Road Bike vs. Touring Bike

I've seen references in threads to "touring bikes", making a distinction between that type of bike and a road bike.

Can anyone please point me to some material that explains the differences between them? I'm thinking of doing a VBT 6 day tour in early fall and I'm wondering if I would be better off with a touring bike (I have a Trek Pilot 1.2 now).

Thanks.
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Old 06-25-07, 11:49 AM   #2
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"touring bikes" should have fittings for fenders and racks and multiple water bottles, geometry that allows for stable handling when loaded and that allows heel clearance with rear panniers, clearance for relatively wide tires, etc. Brakes should be suitable for loads. Gearing should be appropriate for varied terrain - triples are common. Should be set up so that the tourist is able to ride comfortably all day. "Touring" is a descriptive term for bikes that has been around for decades. The label "road bike" has come into use only relatively recently and is somewhat ill-defined. A touring bike would be quite different than a road-racing bike but a road bike isn't necessarily a racing bike. Confusing, isn't it? A classic touring bike would look quite unlike a mountain bike - but some folks tour on mountain bikes - or even hybrids. How about a recumbent touring bike? Makes sense to me.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:00 PM   #3
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Unless you're going to actually be carrying your luggage on your bike, my guess is that your Trek will do just fine. Remember when most road bikes were called "10-speed racers" even though most people just used them to ride around on? Well, the same still seems to hold as most bikes above entry level are still often written up in the brochures as being great for "competition", etc.

I use my Specialized Sequoia about the same way as everyone else that I see out there, but it is sometimes called a "light touring" bike mainly because it does have fittings for racks & fenders. I think your Pilot is in about the same class and will do fine for the type of touring where your gear is carried for you in a sag wagon.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:14 PM   #4
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Most touring bikes have a longer wheel base and are much studier for the weight of extra's.

Your trek will do fine unless you are going to carry alot.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:15 PM   #5
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When I was in Savannah, GA this spring, I happened to be standing on the dock when a very tired looking guy rode up on a bike. Turns out that this was the finish line for his Southern Tier, from LA to Savannah. I mention it because he was riding a Raleigh road bike with very little gear on it. He did the Tier solo and without support.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:31 PM   #6
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The Pilot 1.2 should do find for this type of touring.

I have a Trek 1800C (predecessor to the Pilots) and it does great on these types of tours. I have a rack on the bike for a small trunk bag to carry those extras needed. Unless you're carrying everything (tent, clothes, etc) on your bike the Pilot should be suitable.

I plan on doing two week long supported tours later this summer on the Madone. I intend to put a small handlebar bag on the front or use a Camelbak with some storage space since all I need to carry are items I might need on the road for the day.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:53 PM   #7
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SAG supported fast touring of 100 to 150 miles/day with a light road-bike, large saddle bag for repair kit and rain jacket. (Credit card touring)
Non supported multiple day fast touring, 100 to 150 miles/day. Same as above but add a saddle stem mounted Treck bag for more stuff. (Credit card touring)

Touring with tents, sleeping bag, clothes for wide range of weather, use sturdy touring bike with panniers.

I do all I can think of to get by with the first two arrangements.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:55 PM   #8
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You'll find the salient information toward the end of the page on this link to Sheldon Brown's site.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ta-o.html
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Old 06-25-07, 02:51 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone!!!
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Old 06-26-07, 10:42 AM   #10
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Here is my touring bike. Note how different it is compared to your typical road bike.

I occasionally will tour with a group but I also self-support solo so my bike must be able to not only carry me but an additional 30 to 40 lbs of gear as well.
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Old 06-26-07, 12:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
Here is my touring bike. Note how different it is compared to your typical road bike.

I occasionally will tour with a group but I also self-support solo so my bike must be able to not only carry me but an additional 30 to 40 lbs of gear as well.
A traditional touring bike wouldn't include any PVC plumbing pipe. Is that a backpack hanger?
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Old 06-26-07, 12:45 PM   #12
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JP

As I recall, VBT has a "road bike" that has triple chain rings and a pretty relaxed geometry which makes them pretty similar to touring bikes. So go with your road bike or take the bike they provide. Of course, it has been awhile since I went on one of those tours. Also, most of their tours are not that challenging so you should do fine on your own bike. Even on their hardest tours, you are not doing anything really hard.

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