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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 10-12-16, 02:12 PM   #26
HTupolev
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
My question was why that gap is there.
1-While weight does matter, you get proportionally less improvement for weight savings on a touring bike versus a racing bike. If you had a magic racing bike that weighed zero pounds, it would feel pretty crazy to ride; if you had a magic touring bike that weighed zero pounds but was carrying 30 pounds in back and 20 pounds up front, it would still handle more or less like a loaded touring bike. So the appeal in spending thousands of dollars to shave off a couple pounds is less.

2-A lot of the cost of high-end racing components is for aero designs; box-section rims are a lot cheaper to make than sophisticated fairings! While aerodynamics always matters, at lower speeds it's a proportionally smaller factor in total drag on the bike. Since touring is usually a much lower-speed activity than racing, touring bikes get smaller benefits than racers do from aero gear. So the appeal in such improvements is less.

3-The more expensive something is, the harder it is for people to stomach beating the crap out of it. Touring bikes are more difficult to pamper than racing bikes: you usually don't have your full array of quality cleaning tools and such when you're touring, and it's far less convenient to choose to do things like only ride in dry weather.

4-Market size. It's easier to profit in an ultra-high-end market when, after R&D and manufacturing setup costs, you expect to sell 200 ultra-high-end units and not 4.

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I don't see any reason to not use them for touring.
5-Replacement part availability and compatibility. If a road racing bike breaks down and you can't find a quick repair, you'll have to either cancel the ride that day or hop on a different bike. If your touring bike breaks down and you can't find a quick repair, your tour is halted. There's more at stake!
Compatibility is a lot better in lower-end, simpler, (and vintage) parts. If I've got friction shifters and a 7-speed cassette, and I drop my bike on my rear derailleur and bust it up, any cheap MTB derailleur would work perfectly as a drop-in replacement. If you drop your bike on a Di2 derailleur, you'll have to find another Di2 derailleur to get that functionality back (or replace your entire drivetrain with whatever's available).
I recently built up a bike with a 7/8-speed Acera rear derailleur, old unlabeled front derailleur supposedly ordered by Bridgestone through SunTour or something, SunTour barcons, 6-speed SunRace freewheel, vintage Sakae triple crankset, and a SRAM 8-speed chain. Aside from limit screws, the whole drivetrain worked perfectly first try with no adjustment.

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Also building a frame so heavy that it handles poorly does not make for a quality touring bicycle.
Even with front and rear loads of tens of pounds, it's possible to design a bike's geometry to handle this stably, and even heavy (rigid) touring forks are usually on the order of like 2 pounds. Heavy frameset is not something that inevitably causes poor handling.

Last edited by HTupolev; 10-12-16 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 10-12-16, 02:18 PM   #27
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The other thing is that there's pretty much no competitive aspect to touring so there's nobody who is willing to pay out the ass for any small improvement that'll let them "win".
That is probably on the verge of changing, both state side and internationally. Check out Trans Am Bike Race and Transcontinental Bike Race. 'Fully loaded' tour racing. I've the idea for several years now of a 48 states race that would be unsupported, unlike Race Across America. Admittedly it comes down to being in shape and knowing what your doing not so much on the equipment for something like these ideas but these guys are going all out in both races just like do in RAAM.
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Old 10-12-16, 02:20 PM   #28
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I find carbon to be a superior product.
I agree, but only up until you need to work on things in the field. You're way more likely to break things by over torquing than with some other frame materials, and I don't carry a torque wrench on me.
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Old 10-12-16, 02:40 PM   #29
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1- Does the market make what it wants to sell to the customer, even though it's inferior.
2- Does the market make what the customer wants to buy, A superior product.
I find carbon to be a superior product.
I disagree with your analysis within the range of bicycles.
Any smart manufacturer that is in business for selling products to the masses will make the product that the masses want. Read this forum and see what people are asking for. They want a smooth riding bike. They want a bike that smooths out the rough roads. From what I have always heard the best material to use for that is steel, not aluminum and not carbon fiber.

Manufacturers are also in business to stay in business. If they want to be able to market the best, aka the most customers, then they also have to give good warranties with their bikes. The problem comes in with when the bikes break down. Sure carbon fiber is a lot better today then what it was back in the 80s and 90s but carbon fiber is still weaker and more likely to break then steel...unless I'm mistaken. If they don't want to have to replace frames, aka cost them money, then they want to build frames that will last the long haul and give the best ride for the least buck. This isn't carbon fiber.

Stop and put yourself into the CEOs seat of the manufacturer and stop and think about what you really want to do if you want to be able to sell the most bikes and not have to replace them. Tourists aren't riding unloaded bikes, they are riding fully loaded bikes and you read the trip reports of some of these people that are carrying 60, 80, even 100 pounds of gear on their bike that is going to cause the frame to break down faster, especially on bumpy roads or off road even for that matter. Would you want to be trying to sell an expensive bike up against another manufacturer that is selling a cheaper steel frame that is going to last longer and handle the load better and ride smoother because the frame material is better designed to absorb the shock.

If you stop and think about for a while you'll realize why they do/make what they make. If you want something different than like other guys stated in your other post go out and have it custom made. The way you have 'your' bike is to buy the frame and then assemble it with the components you want. It will be your bike built your way.

No person, and not even any two tours are the same and have the same bike that would be the best bike for the trip. My first three trips I rode I Specialized Allez Comp, mostly single speed...actually the third trip I was using a flip flop hub with chain tensioner so I was completely single speed for the entire 5000+mile trip. I was using a backpack to haul the 40 pounds of gear around. Last years trip I was using a Specialized Secteur with rack and kitty liter buckets hauling 30 pounds of gear for 8400 miles. Until shortly before the trip I was going to be using the Allez Comp riding it fixed gear. I got too good of a offer at the local bike shop for an unsold 2010 Secteur for $25 over cost(think I paid $550 for it) still new with warranty and I took it and got it prepped for the trip and used it instetad. Given the trip, at least part of it I'm glad I wasn't on the fixed gear. Yeah I would do fixed gear for a long haul trip.

There is no bike out there, expect maybe one, that can claim to one size fits all...both all purposes and all people. You have to make the bike to your liking. I don't think I would do another fully assembled purchase again. I would order the frame and then assemble it my way.
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Old 10-12-16, 02:40 PM   #30
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Right now everybody is trying to get into 29ers and off road riding so the prices on those bikes will start climbing while the road bike should start falling due to dropping demand. You have to learn to watch the market to know how to time your purchases so you aren't trying to but an in demand item right before the demand drops off and the prices start falling.
Yeah...not gonna happen. 105 spec'd road bikes wont suddenly cost $800 at bike shops just because adventure bikes have become more popular.
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Old 10-12-16, 02:56 PM   #31
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Simple. What will the market let the manufacturers charge for the product. If the market will let the manufacturers charge more...they will. Like I put in your other post it all comes down to how well you market the product. If you make people want your product even though its junk you can sell a ton of the product from the get go but when your product starts to fail then no one will believe you in the future. If you 'upsell' market the product and make it sound like its great than you can sell it for whatever you want to sell it for. The skies the limit. Until people find out you are nothing but a ripoff they will continue to buy your overpriced piece of junk, no matter what product you are selling. Once they learn the true quality of your product...you'll be out of business. Marketers know how to upsell anything.

Right now everybody is trying to get into 29ers and off road riding so the prices on those bikes will start climbing while the road bike should start falling due to dropping demand. You have to learn to watch the market to know how to time your purchases so you aren't trying to but an in demand item right before the demand drops off and the prices start falling.
As a person who is working industry, this is not true. Demand does not dictate the MSRP prices. They will stop the production altogether.
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Old 10-12-16, 02:59 PM   #32
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+1 post.26 @HTupolev
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Old 10-12-16, 03:40 PM   #33
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It's my understanding carbon is stronger than steel, and lasts longer. It's how they break that's the problem. There's nothing magic about steel. A ruined bike is toast no matter it's made of. Luckily it just doesn't happen enough to worry about what material to use. Nothing wrong with carbon. A Touring carbon bicycle can and has been successfully done.
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Old 10-12-16, 04:42 PM   #34
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It's my understanding carbon is stronger than steel, and lasts longer. It's how they break that's the problem. There's nothing magic about steel. A ruined bike is toast no matter it's made of. Luckily it just doesn't happen enough to worry about what material to use. Nothing wrong with carbon. A Touring carbon bicycle can and has been successfully done.
Yup!

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Old 10-12-16, 04:47 PM   #35
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frankly I am not sure I understand this conversation.

there IS A SUPPLY FOR ULTRA LIGHT CARBON TOURING BIKES. just google and you'll find builders that will design a custom frame for you. and put whatever component you ask. interestingly, one such carbon frame builder shows bikes in a variety of "touring" settings rather than the more lycra-clad rider(s)-on-the-competition-circuit.

there is (very) little demand for top end touring bikes. so little that no one has bothered mass marketing such bike.

---


Amazon is a very useful tool to learn about meaningful markets. They list close to 7,000 bike models. A couple of observations. First, touring is not even a category. Second, the median price of a bike is way below $1 000 across all categories but the Electric and Recumbent. In the Road category, the median bike (ie. half of the bikes sell for more and half sell for less) is listed at less than $600.

Type...........Models........Max Price......Median
Mountain.......1,010.........5,000..........442
Road...............832........12,000..........585
BMX................305.........1,080...........329
Hybrid.............341.........3,200...........399
Folding............364.........3,200...........564
Comfort...........126.........4,471...........399
Cruiser............916.........2,650...........220
Electric.........2,296.........5,860........1,560
Unicycles.........456.........1,000.............80
Tandem.............17.........2,200...........420
Recumbent.........31.........3,500........1,400


It should be obvious that the average touring bike is, in fact, a higher end bike. Based on the my understanding of numerous reviews and comments made here and elsewhere, the stock LHT would qualify as a mid range entry. Let's say a median, at the very best (more than half of the dedicated tourers are priced higher). The LHT retails for something close to $1200, i.e twice the median road or mountain bike...
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Old 10-12-16, 04:52 PM   #36
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A Touring carbon bicycle can and has been successfully done.
Huh? I'm not familiar. Please post link.

I'm in agreement that carbon fiber touring bike would be most interesting and will happen someday. Right now I think steel is the way do something like this:

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Old 10-12-16, 05:33 PM   #37
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one such carbon frame builder shows bikes in a variety of "touring" settings rather than the more lycra-clad rider(s)-on-the-competition-circuit.
I looked at the site and I'm not seeing touring examples, at least as we generally use the term on this site.
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Old 10-12-16, 05:34 PM   #38
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Amazon is a very useful tool to learn about meaningful markets.

....

It should be obvious that the average touring bike is, in fact, a higher end bike. Based on the my understanding of numerous reviews and comments made here and elsewhere, the stock LHT would qualify as a mid range entry. Let's say a median, at the very best (more than half of the dedicated tourers are priced higher). The LHT retails for something close to $1200, i.e twice the median road or mountain bike...
Mostly useless.

These numbers include really cheap bikes in nearly all of the categories.

In Germany, people often tour on "hybrids" that aren't that expensive.

The Windsor Tourer is fairly popular and it's around $600.

Save Up to 60% Off Touring Bikes | Commuting | Commuter Bikes | Windsor Bikes - Tourist

The $1250 LHT is an "average" touring bike like a $2500 carbon Synapse is an "average" road bike.

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Old 10-12-16, 05:48 PM   #39
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That is probably on the verge of changing, both state side and internationally. Check out Trans Am Bike Race and Transcontinental Bike Race. 'Fully loaded' tour racing. I've the idea for several years now of a 48 states race that would be unsupported, unlike Race Across America. Admittedly it comes down to being in shape and knowing what your doing not so much on the equipment for something like these ideas but these guys are going all out in both races just like do in RAAM.
No, not really.

This sort of racing is more an off-shoot/extension of randonneuring. (Randonneuring is, already, an extreme form of touring.)
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Old 10-12-16, 05:52 PM   #40
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There is a huge gap between the cost of touring vs road and mountain bicycles. My question was why that gap is there. The point I tried to make was what would a touring bicycle be if it were in the cost and material range of a top end road bicycle. Not anything about should you spend that much.
There is only a gap if you ignore custom touring bikes.

The market for road and mountain bicycles is huge. The "tail" of this market that buys expensive bicycles is a large number of people.

The market for touring bicycles is small. The "tail" of that market isn't really big enough to sell expensive factory touring bicycles.

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True enough. And there's the whole discussion about panniers vs bikepacking also, wt & aero alike.
But carbon has proved its value and viability in bicycle frames, components, wheels. Electronic shifting as well. I don't see any reason to not use them for touring. Of course other than the size of the market pretty much requires custom frame & fork. Seems like it could be done though.
Because they are expensive and don't provide much benefit for their cost.

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1- Does the market make what it wants to sell to the customer, even though it's inferior.
2- Does the market make what the customer wants to buy, A superior product.
I find carbon to be a superior product.
I disagree with your analysis within the range of bicycles.
There are a lot of people who are willing to spend $2500 on a carbon road bike.

There is a tiny number of people who are willing to spend $2500 on a touring bike (of any material).

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-12-16 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-12-16, 06:09 PM   #41
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'Fully loaded' tour racing. I've the idea for several years now of a 48 states race that would be unsupported, unlike Race Across America.
Racing is the bi-polar opposite of Touring, IMO. that you want it to head that way.
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Old 10-12-16, 06:22 PM   #42
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There are dress pants and there are blue jeans. Dress pants cost more, look prettier, are made of finer fabrics and are made by more talented tailors.

Only a fool would argue dress pants are better for working on the farm but then again, one would actually have some barnyard experience to know that.
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Old 10-12-16, 06:30 PM   #43
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I looked at the site and I'm not seeing touring examples, at least as we generally use the term on this site.
you are right. I wrote "touring" settings. Maybe I should have emphasized the word "settings" as well. And add that those bikes have no rack, no pannier, no handlebar bag, bell, headlights, etc.

My point is that if you want a custom carbon frame to build a touring bike, you can easily find a builder.

(I would personally question the wisdom of such a decision, but everyone is free to think/spend as he/she wishes)
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Old 10-12-16, 06:40 PM   #44
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Mostly useless.

These numbers include really cheap bikes in nearly all of the categories.
Useless!?! This is what it is.

Most bikes are very inexpensive. A back of the envelope calculation based on the NDBA annual report pegs the average price of a new bike at $165.(6.2 Billions in sales, 47% of which are bikes, numbering slightly under 20M units). This meshes very well with Amazon's listings.
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Old 10-12-16, 07:06 PM   #45
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Useless!?! This is what it is.

Most bikes are very inexpensive. A back of the envelope calculation based on the NDBA annual report pegs the average price of a new bike at $165.(6.2 Billions in sales, 47% of which are bikes, numbering slightly under 20M units). This meshes very well with Amazon's listings.
I'd love to see photos from your tours.
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Old 10-12-16, 07:09 PM   #46
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Its Going to Be a Long Winter of speculation threads..
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Old 10-12-16, 08:16 PM   #47
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to feed these long and cold winter nights, why not leaf through Cycling About's Touring Bicycle Buyer's Guide?

I've captured a page that should shed some light on the touring bike market. Note that the author writes that the cheapest bike in the guide is listed at $629. The author opines that bikes retailing for more than $1500 provide little additional performance or durability. The most expensive bike listed is the idWorkx ($5,500 - on the builder site you can purchase a titanium/pinion travel configuration for $9,200, and add options that will push the price to close to $12,000. Carbon rims for those who like carbon....)

The LHT is indeed below the median (29 entries are cheaper, 46 more expensive), albeit at $1500, well positioned at the upper edge of the "accelerated degree of durability" box. (i.e. most bang for the buck at high bang level)

---

back to the original intent of the thread -- there seems to be a sweet spot at around $1500, above which more money brings little in return, at least from a mainstream perspective. Bikes priced above usually offer four types of improvements. (1) custom geometry, (2) improved cosmetics (3) lighter material such as titanium and/or carbon fiber (4) pinion or rohloff systems and eventually belt drive. (The total price is increased by racks and panniers, saddle and several peripherals).

care to discuss the merits of these potential improvements?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Price_and_value.jpg (97.1 KB, 138 views)

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Old 10-13-16, 12:34 AM   #48
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1- Does the market make what it wants to sell to the customer, even though it's inferior.
2- Does the market make what the customer wants to buy, A superior product.
I find carbon to be a superior product.
I disagree with your analysis within the range of bicycles.
I find Carbon to be superior to steel as well, but only in certain applications.

I have 3 bikes (fully MTB, Road, CX) which are all carbon frames, but my everyday commuter, which is also my touring and grocery getter is made from steel. There are so many different forces from all kind of angles (rear and front rack just for starters) on a touring bike that I wouldn't be able to ride with peace of mind on any of my carbon bikes. I think the carbon frame, that would just let me swing my leg over the frame and ride it without care still needs to be build.

Also field repair is a big plus with a steel frame and not having to worry about torquing down a screw too much. I can take my touring bike apart and put it back together without having to use a torque wrench. Big plus.
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Old 10-13-16, 05:36 AM   #49
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Useless!?! This is what it is.

Most bikes are very inexpensive. A back of the envelope calculation based on the NDBA annual report pegs the average price of a new bike at $165.(6.2 Billions in sales, 47% of which are bikes, numbering slightly under 20M units). This meshes very well with Amazon's listings.
Yes, most bikes are very inexpensive. So what?

Cheap mountain bikes are really just cheap bikes that look like mountain bikes. That doesn't tell us much about real mountain bikes.

Usually, really cheap bikes are just generic bikes used rarely for short distances. Their "type" doesn't really matter.

Touring bikes are odd because there are not really any cheap lookalike "touring" bikes. Cheap hybrids are cheap touring bikes but have a different name.

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-13-16 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 10-13-16, 05:46 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post


to feed these long and cold winter nights, why not leaf through Cycling About's Touring Bicycle Buyer's Guide?

I've captured a page that should shed some light on the touring bike market. Note that the author writes that the cheapest bike in the guide is listed at $629. The author opines that bikes retailing for more than $1500 provide little additional performance or durability. The most expensive bike listed is the idWorkx ($5,500 - on the builder site you can purchase a titanium/pinion travel configuration for $9,200, and add options that will push the price to close to $12,000. Carbon rims for those who like carbon....)

The LHT is indeed below the median (29 entries are cheaper, 46 more expensive), albeit at $1500, well positioned at the upper edge of the "accelerated degree of durability" box. (i.e. most bang for the buck at high bang level)

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back to the original intent of the thread -- there seems to be a sweet spot at around $1500, above which more money brings little in return, at least from a mainstream perspective. Bikes priced above usually offer four types of improvements. (1) custom geometry, (2) improved cosmetics (3) lighter material such as titanium and/or carbon fiber (4) pinion or rohloff systems and eventually belt drive. (The total price is increased by racks and panniers, saddle and several peripherals).

care to discuss the merits of these potential improvements?
This is the "law of diminishing returns".


This is true for road bikes as well (though the "sweet spot" might be higher).

The LHT is probably not at the median of purchases.
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