Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-18-07, 05:36 AM   #1
Bike-a-Boo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Bike-a-Boo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Burlington, ON
Bikes: 2006 Trek 7.3 FX, 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa, Batavus Entrada, MEC Origami Folder
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Touring Bikes Not Made Anymore??

Hi All,

I'm in the early stages of shopping for a new bike for touring. At one LBS, I was told that they no longer carry touring bikes. I could order one from them (Trek), but I wouldn't have the opportunity to test ride it.

And LBS #2, I was told that the model they used to carry (Giant) are no longer manufactured. The guy also went on to say that many manufacturers are no longer offering a touring model.

What gives? Are touring bikes really falling out of favour? If so, what's a new tourer to ride instead?
Bike-a-Boo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 05:53 AM   #2
natelutkjohn
Cheesmonger Extraordinair
 
natelutkjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 417
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bike shops just don't like us self-reliant types - it was like pulling teeth to get a Trek 520 from my local shop 4 years ago - haha
natelutkjohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 06:50 AM   #3
George
Senior Member
 
George's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Katy Texas
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix
Posts: 5,390
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
I called Trek 2 weeks ago, and the person I talked to said, they only sell about 1, Trek 520, every 3 years.
__________________
George
George is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 07:51 AM   #4
robo
Senior Member
 
robo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Bikes: 1990 Burley Bossa Nova, 1992 Paramount PDG-70, 1993 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2005 Jamis Dakar XC Pro, 2007 Rivendell Bleriot
Posts: 1,081
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The vast majority of bike shops just stock the type of bike they think they can sell fast to people who walk in the door knowing nothing about bikes. The current thing seems to be 'anything made of carbon fiber'. Previously, the 'thing' was mountain bikes, and before that, believe it or not, touring bikes.

Unfortunately very very few bike shops cater to educated, interested cyclists... because they are the tiny minority and therefore the money lies elsewhere, with the masses.
robo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 07:55 AM   #5
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Posts: 18,064
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
I would say that touring bike are seeing an upswing in popularity. The touring bike is never going to be as hyperpopular as mountain bikes or the latest carbon fiber unobtainium race bike but it has it's place. The popularity of the Surly LHT has almost single handedly reenergized the market. As little as 3 years ago, you had the choice of 4 'real' production touring bikes (not cross bikes repurposed for touring). Those were the Trek 520, Cannondale's two bikes - the T800 and T2000, and the Fuji Touring.

The problem with the touring bike market - and I'm guilty of this as anyone - is that we touring bicyclists tend to be skinflints! We hang on to these bikes for far longer than we should...like 20 years... and don't go shopping for new ones. My first true touring bike I bought in 1983. I bought my second one in 2003. In the same time period, I bought 18 other bikes - most of which were mountain bikes. The technology changes, and improves, so much for them that you really need get a new one to keep riding.

Another part of the equation is marketing. Bicycle companies want to market race bikes and race technology in either mountain biking or road biking. It's sexy. You can go very fast for a couple of hours and get lots of excitement. It's testosterone charged! You can have the very same bike that ____ (place your favorite racer's name here) rides! Get out there and buy one now!

With touring bikes you have to sell the idea that you are getting a bike that is heavier and you are going to put more stuff on it. Not an easy sell. If the marketing departments were smart...and not filled with exracers or racer wannabees...they'd market the touring bike as a perfect commuting vehicle - which it is. "Go green and here's how" kind of thing. They make much more sense than a cross bike since they are designed to carry stuff and last forever.

Touring is a thinking person's sport. You aren't beating the competition...you are the competition! It takes more mentally and nearly as much physically, to ride a bike over long distances carrying your tools of survival as it does to race day in and day out but you don't have the support system that the racers do. Real touring - letting go of your safety net, going it alone, depending on your own wits and skills- scares the crap out of most people! In 2005, my daughter and I did 3 weeks along the Lewis and Clark. When she got back to college, the racer dudes were more then impressed by her trip. They never would have thought of doing it! The questions she got were along the lines of 'How could you ride all day like that?' And this was from guys who think nothing of doing a 60 or 70 mile training ride...but they do it with a coach and a support van.

The one other thing to consider is that tourist don't necessarily fit the emaciated racer look (think Triplets of Bellville) that is oh so sexy. We tend to be more middle age, middle class, 'clydy' if you will. Who wants to sell recreational equipment to 'those people'
__________________
Stuart Black
New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 08:27 AM   #6
Shemp
Senior Member
 
Shemp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes: Cannondale T2000, Gary Fisher Sugar2, Trek Madone 5.2SL
Posts: 858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Besides popularity and trends as an issue, how many people buy a second touring bike or upgrade touring bikes? A mountain biker may go from a $400 hardtail to an $1000 hard tail to a front suspension to a full suspension bike. A roadie may go from an aluminum bike to a aluminum carbon mix to all carbon fiber. Once you buy a touring bike, you're pretty well set. People ride a touring frame forever, and short of buying a different brand, you can't buy a higher end tourer through most. Components may change, but how different is today's 520/T800/T2000 from the same ones made a decade ago?

When I was shopping a few years back, the local Trek dealer told me to make the 4 hour round trip drive to the Trek Store in Wisconsin to try it and then come back and he'd order it.

I more or less stumbled into another shop out of town that had a T2000, in my size no less, sitting on the floor. Wasn't there to look for a tourer, but it caught my eye. Granted it had sat there for two years, but that's how I found mine.
Shemp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 08:41 AM   #7
Marylandnewbie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Bikes: Fuji Supreme
Posts: 1,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would look around other shops. My LBS maintains some interest in touring so they usually have a Fuji Touring around and will now order Surly LHT (either frames or complete) for customers. While never a huge market, some shops still look at bikes for other things than racing. I lucked out and bought a 20-year-old Fuji Touring from Craigslist before I was completely seduced by a new Fuji Touring. I held out from doing a test ride on the new Touring because I knew I would be hooked. Now I have a very similar bike for a whole lot less money -- its the best of both worlds!!
Marylandnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 08:42 AM   #8
GJD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 72
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think what these arguments are missing the fact that quality LBS make their money on service, and not selling the bikes. It becomes even more lucrative when a buyer returns their bike regularly for servicing. An LBS that caries one or more touring bikes is a sign that they place an importance on service since they know that not only will they own this bike for a long time but can return for regular servicing. In my region, the best LBS have many good touring bikes to offer. One even builds their own (Bertrand).

Sounds to me Bike-a-Boo that you need to shop for the right LBS first.
GJD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 09:07 AM   #9
Shemp
Senior Member
 
Shemp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes: Cannondale T2000, Gary Fisher Sugar2, Trek Madone 5.2SL
Posts: 858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GJD
I think what these arguments are missing the fact that quality LBS make their money on service, and not selling the bikes. It becomes even more lucrative when a buyer returns their bike regularly for servicing. An LBS that caries one or more touring bikes is a sign that they place an importance on service since they know that not only will they own this bike for a long time but can return for regular servicing. In my region, the best LBS have many good touring bikes to offer. One even builds their own (Bertrand).

Sounds to me Bike-a-Boo that you need to shop for the right LBS first.
That's a bit (quite a bit) unfair for most shops. Most shops aren't exactly high profit, so judging a shop by whether it can afford to have a few thousand dollars of stock on the floor that may or may not sell in the model year, and may not even be the right size for the right buyer is a little harsh. I don't like that and found it frustrating, but I understand that.
Shemp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 09:35 AM   #10
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are plenty of touring bikes. You just need to do a little more research. Since touring bikes are a bit of a niche in the cycling world, you should look at more than the biggest three or four manufacturers.

Some places to start:

REI (Novara brand)
Surly
Bruce Gordon
Rivendell

Many other small custom or semi-custom builders.
supcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 10:03 AM   #11
Shemp
Senior Member
 
Shemp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes: Cannondale T2000, Gary Fisher Sugar2, Trek Madone 5.2SL
Posts: 858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
There are plenty of touring bikes.
But there aren't plenty for a shopper to try out first.
Shemp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 10:46 AM   #12
BostonFixed
Banned.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Old touring bikes are practically a dime a dozen and fantastic.
BostonFixed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 11:09 AM   #13
Bike-a-Boo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Bike-a-Boo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Burlington, ON
Bikes: 2006 Trek 7.3 FX, 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa, Batavus Entrada, MEC Origami Folder
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shemp
But there aren't plenty for a shopper to try out first.
That's the thing. I'm new to this and I definitely want to try out as many as I can. This is the advice I hear over and over when it comes to buying a bike.

Maybe I will have to look into the used market. The idea makes me a little nervous, since I don't know a whole lot about bikes (I'm learning!), but maybe it is the way to go, anyway.
Bike-a-Boo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 11:13 AM   #14
Mariner Fan
59'er
 
Mariner Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alexandria, IN
Bikes: LeMond Maillot Jaune, Vintage Trek 520 (1985), 1976 Schwinn Voyageur 2, Miyata 1000 (1985)
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Old touring bikes are practically a dime a dozen and fantastic.
That's were I'm going. I'm on the hunt for one right now.
__________________
Mariner Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 11:22 AM   #15
Tom Stormcrowe
Out fishing with Annie on his lap, a cigar in one hand and a ginger ale in the other, watching the sunset.
 
Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida
Bikes: Techna Wheelchair and a Sun EZ 3 Recumbent Trike
Posts: 16,120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike-a-Boo
That's the thing. I'm new to this and I definitely want to try out as many as I can. This is the advice I hear over and over when it comes to buying a bike.

Maybe I will have to look into the used market. The idea makes me a little nervous, since I don't know a whole lot about bikes (I'm learning!), but maybe it is the way to go, anyway.
Bike A Boo, I tour on a 20 year old Schwinn Passage.....it holds up well, and is simple. The Passage is a purpose built touring bike, by the way.
__________________
. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
Tom Stormcrowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 11:55 AM   #16
BostonFixed
Banned.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
That's were I'm going. I'm on the hunt for one right now.
I gots 4 in my basement right now..

Last edited by BostonFixed; 05-18-07 at 12:24 PM.
BostonFixed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 11:58 AM   #17
Mariner Fan
59'er
 
Mariner Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alexandria, IN
Bikes: LeMond Maillot Jaune, Vintage Trek 520 (1985), 1976 Schwinn Voyageur 2, Miyata 1000 (1985)
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Bike A Boo, I tour on a 20 year old Schwinn Passage.....it holds up well, and is simple. The Passage is a purpose built touring bike, by the way.
Yea, thanks to you I've got the bug to get one of my own!
__________________
Mariner Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 12:17 PM   #18
dansel1953
Look 4 Tour Companions
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Long Beach, CA
Bikes: Trek 520, Univega GranRecord
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tour bike last forever

The problem with tour bikes is that once you buy one you won't buy another because they last forever. You might upgrade components but not the entire bike. Go to the TREK site--TREKBIKES.com and see if you can find another LBS or one within reasonable distance that has your size in stock. There are other bike manufactures that have touring models (Surly, REI, etc.) but for the money, in my opinion, the Trek 520 is the best value.
dansel1953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 12:54 PM   #19
Tom Stormcrowe
Out fishing with Annie on his lap, a cigar in one hand and a ginger ale in the other, watching the sunset.
 
Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida
Bikes: Techna Wheelchair and a Sun EZ 3 Recumbent Trike
Posts: 16,120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
Yea, thanks to you I've got the bug to get one of my own!
Good!
__________________
. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
Tom Stormcrowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 01:03 PM   #20
shakeelium
Let's Coast!
 
shakeelium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Berkeley, CA
Bikes: 1980s Ishiwata Bianchi SS conversion, 2005 Fuji World
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just recently bought my first "serious" touring bike, and saw the same thing. Most bike shops don't really know touring at all. More than once a salesperson at a LBS tried to sell me an aluminum road frame when I described what I was looking for.

On the flipside, you're probably one of the very few people looking for a touring bike in any single locale. That means that you don't have to worry about someone else snapping up that tourer you found. I was able to get a great deal on a 2005 Fuji World that had literally sat in stock at a LBS for more than a year and a half before I picked it up last week. I asked why it sat so long, and the sales guy said that "No one goes touring anymore or wants a heavier touring bike."

I figure that Surly will probably up production on the LHT over the next several months/years. When I initially tried to order an LHT, the LBS was shocked that they were out of stock at QBP. Word gets out quick!
shakeelium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 03:58 PM   #21
fat_bike_nut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Francisco!
Bikes: 2010 Surly LHT (main rider and do-everything bike), 2011 Bike Friday NWT (back-up bike and multi-modal)
Posts: 909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Geez, tell me about it. I can't find any shops with touring bikes on the floor except REI where I live

And the attitude is generally, "We don't stock those on the floor because they take too long to sell." So, the only time I ever find a touring bike is from either:

1) stores that specialize in selling touring-based equipment (I've only found a grand total of ONE store in SoCal so far, and that was in HOLLYWOOD, of all places!)

or

2) somebody putting in a deposit for a tourist and never showing up. This happened recently for a 2007 Trek 520 that the customer never came to pick up. Unfortunately, it was 2 sizes too small for me. 1 size too small...I could probably wing it. 2 sizes too small? Fahgettaboutit!
fat_bike_nut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 04:17 PM   #22
mkauffman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Columbus, OH -- Randolph, NJ
Bikes:
Posts: 226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I didn't realize that I was so lucky to go to my LBS and get to try not only one, but two touring bikes. Granted they were both 520's but different sizes. The one that fit me was even already sold! Never occured to me that they were difficult to come across.
mkauffman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 06:06 PM   #23
bsyptak
Luggite
 
bsyptak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Realistically, they should probably start to call them commuting bikes. There are far more bicycle commuters than tourers, though the ideal bike is virtually identical. Market them with racks, fenders and panniers. But only sell them as basic bikes. Let people buy the racks, fenders and panniers as they choose. The marketing taglines should read something like, "this is the replacement for your car" or something similar. I'm sure the touring market would be OK with this new naming convention and marketing angle, probably even welcome it if it would result in more "commuting" bikes in the shop.

The commuting bike is similar to the touring bike. Nothing fancy, but purposeful. Able to take everyday use and abuse. Last forever.

One thing I'm surprised about is why every shop doesn't carry at least one Surly Cross Check or LHT. They are available from QBP (parts catalog every shop orders from), so everyshop could carry one. It's a solid bike and one that would suit many a would be commuter. Put fenders, rack and panniers on it and see if anyone bites. Come on, those bikes rock. I went into a shop the other day that specializes in steel road and city bikes. I asked them why they don't carry at least one Surly Cross Check. They said they are too heavy. Come on, these guys also had the Jamis Satellite and Aurora in there. The bikes are virtually the same weight. But Surlys are obviously more desirable.

Whatever. Maybe the only Surly owners are the ones on this forum. Maybe I have it all wrong.
bsyptak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 07:33 PM   #24
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 46,238
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 336 Post(s)
You're Canadian ... buy Canadian!!

Surely you can find some Marinoni dealers in your area!

http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/EN/Bikes/index.htm
http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/EN/Bikes/Touring/Turismo.htm
http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/EN/Bikes/Touring/Fango.htm


Or contact Mariposa:

http://www.mariposabicycles.com/


Or maybe Devinci:

http://www.devinci.com/9786_an.html


Think outside the Trek/Giant box.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-07, 08:29 PM   #25
Highcyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oregon Coast
Bikes: '07 Surly LHT
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyptak
Realistically, they should probably start to call them commuting bikes. There are far more bicycle commuters than tourers, though the ideal bike is virtually identical. Market them with racks, fenders and panniers. But only sell them as basic bikes. Let people buy the racks, fenders and panniers as they choose. The marketing taglines should read something like, "this is the replacement for your car" or something similar. I'm sure the touring market would be OK with this new naming convention and marketing angle, probably even welcome it if it would result in more "commuting" bikes in the shop.

The commuting bike is similar to the touring bike. Nothing fancy, but purposeful. Able to take everyday use and abuse. Last forever.

One thing I'm surprised about is why every shop doesn't carry at least one Surly Cross Check or LHT. They are available from QBP (parts catalog every shop orders from), so everyshop could carry one. It's a solid bike and one that would suit many a would be commuter. Put fenders, rack and panniers on it and see if anyone bites. Come on, those bikes rock. I went into a shop the other day that specializes in steel road and city bikes. I asked them why they don't carry at least one Surly Cross Check. They said they are too heavy. Come on, these guys also had the Jamis Satellite and Aurora in there. The bikes are virtually the same weight. But Surlys are obviously more desirable.

Whatever. Maybe the only Surly owners are the ones on this forum. Maybe I have it all wrong.



I have an LHT and it rocks my world! I can't think of anything I'd rather commute on. Really, if you're not actually racing, I think weight is a non-issue.
Highcyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:53 PM.