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  1. #1
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    Best Touring bike?

    Hi I'm swapping my OCR C3 carbon bike for a touring bike soon. So I need your help picking which touring bike would be right for me. I want a touring bike that is

    -just as fast and easy as a road bike (or NEARLY is fine)

    -can handle at least some off road maybe a pile of gravel there and dirt there.

    -Has a stem like a road/trialthon bike where you can go into a downright position (sry I forgot what those stems are called).

    -I weight 230 lbs but hopefully I trust famous brands like Cannondale, Giant, and Trek that can hold me up. (i'm also committed to losing those pounds)

    comfort, virbration ,wheels, gears, shifters are not as important as my 4 traits above.

    Price range: maybe somewhere below 1799.00

    so far the ones I like are Trek 540 and Cannondale Touring 1 and i'm sure you guys have other great brands in mind!

  2. #2
    Senior Member carkmouch's Avatar
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    Check out the Surly Long Haul Trucker, I have one as well as many on these forums, it seems to be a solid touring bike.

  3. #3
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    your not going to get a touring bike that 's as fast as your carbon road bike the angles are completly different.
    i ride a thorn sherpa touring bike pictures of it somewhere on the forum,it will tip along no problem super smooth ,but i cant ride it as fast as my carbon look kx light but then again i bought it for touring not raceing.
    prefaired choice of frames for touring is steel better ride over longer distance ,xt shimano groopset excellent,sunrhyno wheels and schwalbe marathon plus tyres excellent,brooks b17 special saddle great ,paul canti brakes fantastic,anyhow thats if you want to go the custom route as i did but what ever your choice dont buy rubbish it will get you in the end honest ,have fun bye bye now....

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chansnewbike View Post
    Hi I'm swapping my OCR C3 carbon bike for a touring bike soon. So I need your help picking which touring bike would be right for me. I want a touring bike that is

    -just as fast and easy as a road bike (or NEARLY is fine)

    -can handle at least some off road maybe a pile of gravel there and dirt there.

    -Has a stem like a road/trialthon bike where you can go into a downright position (sry I forgot what those stems are called).

    -I weight 230 lbs but hopefully I trust famous brands like Cannondale, Giant, and Trek that can hold me up. (i'm also committed to losing those pounds)

    comfort, virbration ,wheels, gears, shifters are not as important as my 4 traits above.

    Price range: maybe somewhere below 1799.00

    so far the ones I like are Trek 540 and Cannondale Touring 1 and i'm sure you guys have other great brands in mind!
    It's a Trek 520 Look at the Cannondale Touring 2 also. It's has a better touring component package, in my opinion, then the Touring 1. The frames are the same...which is the most important bit...and the Cannondale frame is a very good frame for us large sized people.
    Stuart Black
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chansnewbike View Post
    -just as fast and easy as a road bike (or NEARLY is fine)

    -can handle at least some off road maybe a pile of gravel there and dirt there.
    Almost any bicycle can handle the occasional rough road. I once took a mountainous logging road on 23 mm slicks. It was not ideal, but no problems. No spills, no punctures. I took it slowly, and walked my bike over the sandy parts.

    If you like to ride fast, consider a sport tourer rather than an expedition tourer, and get the lightest strong wheels that you can afford. The geometry of a sport tourer is closer to that of a racer, and light wheels should make the bike more responsive and faster. If you go this route, balance weight and strength when choosing wheels. Don't skimp on spokes.

    And don't go overboard to get speed. I like to ride fast, too, and zip along nicely on 32 mm tires. And don't undervalue gearing and comfort. It's no picnic walking up every monster hill and/or riding in pain!

  6. #6
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    Surly LHT "Long Haul Trucker" Fully built in the 1K+/- price range and it's highly respected as a "real" touring bike.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=57360&dateline=1197386754[/SIGPIC]
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  7. #7
    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    There are some really nice unobtainium bikes coming out next season, they should fit the bill. Otherwise a Thorn Audax or Ribble Audax would probably do.
    Travelling without inertia

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    I should be a salesman for Rocky..........
    But I can't help but suggest the Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30.
    Lots of pics in this forum.

  9. #9
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    I can't rave enough about my Long Haul Trucker. A lot of bang for the buck.

    I'm 230lbs and it has handled everything I've thrown at it so far.

    I think you'll have a hard time finding a touring specific rig that will be as fast or *easy* (whatever that means) as a road bike.

    Good luck

  10. #10
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Touring bike pr0n here.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  11. #11
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    Are you looking for a touring bike as a bike that will be tough around town, or one that you will frequently load up for extended trips?

    If you just want a tough bike that could handle some touring every now and then expand your search to include some cross bikes too, like the Surly Cross Check of even the Soma Double Cross (the Soma fork even has lowrider rack mounts). Both will handle a load pretty well and ride a little sportier unloaded. If you do decided on a sport tourer or a cross bike be sure to check for heal clearance! This is often over looked when searching for a bike that will have a rear rack and bags.

    If you plan to load it up a lot, touring bikes are great. I did a TransAm trip with a friend last summer, me on a 520, her on an LHT. After putting both bikes through the paces and looking at their parts spec, I think the LHT is a better deal. It's spec'd a little better for a touring bike (IMO), and the wheels held up much better. The only weak spot was the tires.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by acantor View Post
    Almost any bicycle can handle the occasional rough road. I once took a mountainous logging road on 23 mm slicks. It was not ideal, but no problems. No spills, no punctures. I took it slowly, and walked my bike over the sandy parts.

    If you like to ride fast, consider a sport tourer rather than an expedition tourer, and get the lightest strong wheels that you can afford. The geometry of a sport tourer is closer to that of a racer, and light wheels should make the bike more responsive and faster. If you go this route, balance weight and strength when choosing wheels. Don't skimp on spokes.

    And don't go overboard to get speed. I like to ride fast, too, and zip along nicely on 32 mm tires. And don't undervalue gearing and comfort. It's no picnic walking up every monster hill and/or riding in pain!
    Hmmm, looks like a sports tourer is what I've wanted. Basically i'm trying to get the best of both worlds

    - a touring bike

    -a racing bike

    -just take off the rack and maybe change the wheels for ligters ones and "WAlla!" You got your self BOTH.

    That may seem impossible but I want a "cross" of the two including the ability to handle off some off roads and potholes (although I know they're not made for that).

  13. #13
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Which touring bike is best?

    Answer: The one that feels comfortable to ride day in day out. Make and model is totally meaningless.... if you aren't comfortable riding, you aren't having fun riding & you won't have a good tour.

    Since it appears you are in the higher end market for touring bikes, I suggest test ride several brands and the pick the one that feels the best to you.

  14. #14
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    I guess I will do that Blake but at the same time desire those traits (if it's even possible). What are some good sport tourer bikes that fit my style?

  15. #15
    Senior Member AlanK's Avatar
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    This has been discussed many times on this forum. Here's my 2 cents for what it's worth:

    Full-on Touring bike: If you're planning on any long-range, loaded touring this is the best way to go. The most durable type of road bike you can get. However, it's also just about the heaviest and slowest road bike you can get. If you get this type of bike and don't wind up doing any expedition touring, it's still a works as a comfortable, reliable ride, it's just not as fast an nimble as most riders want in a daily rig.

    Sport-touring: Great for commuting, recreation, and light-to-moderate touring with a light-to-moderate load (20 pds or less). Faster and more nimble than a loaded-touring model, but somewhat less durable. If you know you won't be doing any expedition tours, I'd go this route. However, if you get this model and later decide you want to do long-range tours, you'll kick yourself because it can't be used with heavy loads the way a full-fledged touring rig can.

    Hope this helps. AK

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Forget finding a compromise bike. Get the right bike for the job, you'll be happier in the long run.
    Gary Fisher Sugar 2
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chansnewbike View Post
    Hi I'm swapping my OCR C3 carbon bike for a touring bike soon. So I need your help picking which touring bike would be right for me. I want a touring bike that is

    -just as fast and easy as a road bike (or NEARLY is fine)

    -can handle at least some off road maybe a pile of gravel there and dirt there.

    -Has a stem like a road/trialthon bike where you can go into a downright position (sry I forgot what those stems are called).

    -I weight 230 lbs but hopefully I trust famous brands like Cannondale, Giant, and Trek that can hold me up. (i'm also committed to losing those pounds)

    comfort, virbration ,wheels, gears, shifters are not as important as my 4 traits above.

    Price range: maybe somewhere below 1799.00

    so far the ones I like are Trek 540 and Cannondale Touring 1 and i'm sure you guys have other great brands in mind!
    When you say "comfort, virbration ,wheels, gears, shifters are not as important as my 4 traits above.", I see a contradiction as comfort and gears are really important parameters for a touring bike.

    I'd say that the bike you're looking for doesn't exist because it's contradictory. A touring bike and a racing bike are real different. Racing tires and tires that can handle gravel properly are different, as many other aspects of the bike - position, saddle, chainstay length.

    I believe your solution is one of these four propositions:

    1) Keep your carbon bike and buy a good touring bike, like the Surly LHT. You'll have two bikes that can each do their job real good.
    2) Keep your carbon bike and get a trailer for touring. With larger (assuming you can fit larger ones) tires (700x28), you'll be able to negociate gravel properly and tour safely - as long as you limit your downhill speed.
    3) Sell you carbon racer and get a sporty hybrid like a Spec. Sirrus. You'll be able to tour, albeit with some compromises, and race with some compromises. Two sets of tires and the bike will be two different bikes.
    4) Same as 1, but instead of forking out a lot of cash, get an old Rockhopper or something similar and make it into a touring bike.

    As for "famous" brands, if you get your bike at a decent bike shop, you'll get your money's worth. There are many interesting and really nice bikes made by smaller companies.

  18. #18
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    Cyclocross.

  19. #19
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Impossible dream.

    There has to be a compromise , speed over comfort.

    A touring bike needs to be comfortable, or else you will stop touring and the bike will just hang in the garage.

    To satisfy your needs, 2 bike are required,

    that's how I met the needs.

    george
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Raffi's Avatar
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    My 2 cents

    I found the LHT to truly be a "TRUCK" and as heavy as one.
    My Trek 520 Rocks. Comfy, fast, takes a beating well! Besides, it looks great!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    My touring bike is by Devinci. It does almost everything you want. It's not as fast as your carbon road bike, but it's still quite responsive.

    I've got 32 mm tires and I can handle gravel roads and dirt trails. If I want to go for rougher roads, I believe I could get 50 mm tires on without any problems. I find this bike comfortable whether I'm riding it around town or taking it on a fully loaded tour.

    Devinci is a Canadian company and their bikes are durable enough to handle all sorts of road and off-road conditions.
    Life is good.

  22. #22
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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  23. #23
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp View Post
    Forget finding a compromise bike. Get the right bike for the job, you'll be happier in the long run.
    +1

    If you are camping, get a touring bike like the LHT or 520.

    If you are going to do lite touring (motels, B&Bs) you can go with a sports bike.
    The most underappreciated bike in the world is the Surly Pacer. It's a great bike the company sabotaged on their website.

    At 230, and rugged, I'd go for the LHT. If you can, keep the OCR so you'll have a go fast bike. Touring bikes are great; especially for a muscular clydesdale. But they are also slow.
    Old Man Maine

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffi View Post
    I found the LHT to truly be a "TRUCK" and as heavy as one.
    My Trek 520 Rocks. Comfy, fast, takes a beating well! Besides, it looks great!
    Indeed, my LHT weighs in at about 36lb including front+rear racks, bottle cages, cyclometer, head and taillights. I don't find the weight to be a problem though. The bike is stable and solid as a rock.

  25. #25
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffi View Post
    I found the LHT to truly be a "TRUCK" and as heavy as one.
    My Trek 520 Rocks. Comfy, fast, takes a beating well! Besides, it looks great!
    And that's why I give LHT the thumbs up for a big, strong guy. Btw, the 520 is just
    not fast. It's a nice bike, decent tourer, but fast??
    Old Man Maine

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