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Old 07-27-09, 07:41 PM   #1
syahirax
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what makes a roadbike a touring bike?

hey all,apologize for my ignorance.but as been mentioned above,what makes a normal roadbike a touring bike?
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Old 07-27-09, 08:31 PM   #2
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Fitness for purpose.

For credit card touring, just about anything with wheels will work for your touring bike.

For self-supported touring, the ability to mount racks and panniers becomes important. A certain sturdiness for supporting the extra weight becomes important. Longer chain stays help keep your heels from striking the rear panniers. And so on...

For expedition touring in remote places, extreme sturdiness and the ability to locally source replacement parts become paramount.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:40 PM   #3
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I'd add that touring bikes generally have clearances for taking wider tires and fenders. You can always still use narrow tires when appropriate, but it's good to have the option for wider ones if you want to tour on a variety of surfaces.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:41 PM   #4
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so...obviously, my Fuji Team RC nor my Specialized Ruby Sworks would work well for touring....not really any way to attach racks to either, so i have no idea how i'd carry anything...IF i wanted to use either, is there any way to do so (cc tour mostly)? i do have an '80's Lotus Excelle and a Felt cx bike to choose from.....thinking about some kind of tour in the not too distant future......
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Old 07-27-09, 08:41 PM   #5
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Great definition xyzzy834.

Built for comfort not speed is one big diference.
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Old 07-27-09, 09:07 PM   #6
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As general principles, a a touring bike will have:

• somewhat upright position
• long chainstays and long wheelbase
• rugged frame /components
• ability to handle wide tires and fenders
• rack mounts
• sturdy wheels
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Old 07-27-09, 09:37 PM   #7
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A rear rack and a pump turns a road bike into a basic touring machine. Everything else is personal preference and income dependent.
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Old 07-27-09, 09:54 PM   #8
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okay,basically right now im using my old Look roadbike(7 speed exage action,with biospace cranks etc) for daily commuting.Planning to touring by this bike in october/november.Not that far,just maybe it takes up like 2-3 days.What other things that i might could add up for this bike?Currently im using 23c with normal taiwanese made wheelset,planning to upgrade soon.Does normal rigida wheelset good?
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Old 07-27-09, 10:42 PM   #9
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. . . . IF i wanted to use either, is there any way to do so (cc tour mostly)? . . .
Hey WP, you might take a look at what Scootcore and zzzWillzzz used for their Mammoth Lakes trip earlier this month over on the SoCalBF. I believe Scoot uses a Brooks saddle that has strap tabs for a caradice type bag. If you're not going to be out for extended periods, that might be sufficient. But for longer trips, steel frames with longer chain stays provide a little more cushion, and rack mountings provide a little more capacity. I'm sure there are many good suggestions here if you search.
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Old 07-28-09, 03:49 AM   #10
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you could use a bike cargo trailer or a rucksack but i would not advise the rucksack because they become very restricting and even the top quality ones become uncomfortable after long distances.
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Old 07-28-09, 04:39 AM   #11
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I think the most important factor is comfort in the saddle over weeks of 10+ hour days. That means a more upright position that a TdF bike, but a comfort bike won't be much help in a week of heawinds. Unless you bail on the weather, you won't get to choose it. I don't find the frame on my MTB all that comrortable over hundreds of hours, they aren't designed for that so why should they be.

I had a Peugeot touring bike back in the 70s, and it didn't come with any BOs, even the downtube shifters were on a little band. So there isn't any reason to discount a bike just because it doesn't come BOed for racks or fenders.
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Old 07-28-09, 06:39 AM   #12
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One of the most important factors for making a road bike into your touring bike is the fact that you have a road bike in your garage and you want to tour. Just do it.
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Old 07-28-09, 06:40 AM   #13
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If it doesn't have a Brooks saddle, a Yehuda-moon-worthy handlebar bag, and stuff bungeed to the racks, it's not a touring bike.

Seriously: You can, of course, tour on anything, including trikes, unicycles, etc. That said, ruggedness, comfort, the ability to mount racks, and gears low enough for climbing under load are the features that make touring more enjoyable.
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Old 07-28-09, 07:03 AM   #14
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Well, so long as you have a bicycle that works, pretty much anything can be a touring bicycle within limits (e.g. if you use a credit card for touring, then your road bike will do!). Assuming a touring bicycle differentiates itself from a "normal" road bicycle by the virtue you can carry stuff and be self contained (a very rough definition admittedly), I'd say the definition of a touring bike not only comes from the ad copy and bike name, but also:

-longer chain stays so that there is less likelihood of your heels hitting your panniers when you pedal
-generally more ruggedness (translates to more weight) than a usually lighter road bike
-more braze ons for front and rear racks
-more water bottle mounts
-usually equipped with fenders
-usually equipped with at least rear racks
-sometimes a spoke holder and a pump peg.
-frame and fork can accomodate wider tyres
-more likely to be a less aggressive riding position
-comes equipped with wider tyres usually
-comes equipped with sturdier wheels (e.g. no 24 count spoked aero wheels! More likely to be at least 32h.)
-usually does not have calipre brakes -usually has cantis/v's/discs so that it can accommodate wider tyres and fenders
-generally lower gearing so that you can spin a heavy load up a hill.
-based on this forum, a Brook saddle, but I disagree!

Course, one or more of any of the above may not be present, but it certainly doesn't mean the bike isn't a very capable tourer. But I think if you described a bike with all the features above, common consensus would be it is a touring bike. Aside from the longer chainstays and saddle, I also think the above would apply to recumbents as well.

fyi: I think most people consider a Raleigh Sojourn to be a touring bike; yet read the ad copy for this bike on the Raleigh website.... as far as I can tell, not a single mention of the word touring, and it is under a general classification of "road"! I really wonder why they did that, seems strange to me.
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Old 07-28-09, 08:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigeyy View Post
-longer chain stays so that there is less likelihood of your heels hitting your panniers when you pedal
Another advantage to longer stays is greater stability while loaded. That goes for the geometry in general on a well designed touring bike, it will handle as good or better when fully loaded then when it is not. A road bike which is not designed to be loaded can having some handling issues when loaded.
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Old 07-28-09, 08:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by syahirax View Post
okay,basically right now im using my old Look roadbike(7 speed exage action,with biospace cranks etc) for daily commuting.Planning to touring by this bike in october/november.Not that far,just maybe it takes up like 2-3 days.What other things that i might could add up for this bike?Currently im using 23c with normal taiwanese made wheelset,planning to upgrade soon.Does normal rigida wheelset good?
I would suggest figuring out what you need to carry. I wouldn't take off on a long trip without carrying the minimum of: tire levers, patch kit, multi-tool, cell phone, mini-pump, rain jacket, clothes, water bottle, and a couple of snack bars. If you are planning on staying in hotels and eating at restaurants, that is probably all you need, and any road bike can handle carrying that stuff in small bags on the handlebars and saddle.

If you need to carry camping gear and food, getting a bike trailer is probably the easiest thing to do. Carrying that much stuff on a bike really requires front and rear racks and panniers. 36 spoke wheels also become preferred to handle the extra weight. Not every road bike is capable of mounting front and rear panniers, and the cost of racks and panniers will probably be as much as a bike trailer.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:26 AM   #17
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Aah, good catch, thought I'd got everything!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurdFerguson2 View Post
Another advantage to longer stays is greater stability while loaded. That goes for the geometry in general on a well designed touring bike, it will handle as good or better when fully loaded then when it is not. A road bike which is not designed to be loaded can having some handling issues when loaded.
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Old 07-28-09, 07:03 PM   #18
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Addition

Hi

Might I add 3 braze ons for 2 water bottles and one fuel bottle. Less drop on the handle bars. Bar end shifters so if you want to add a handle bar pack you can still shift.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Nigeyy View Post
Well, so long as you have a bicycle that works, pretty much anything can be a touring bicycle within limits (e.g. if you use a credit card for touring, then your road bike will do!). Assuming a touring bicycle differentiates itself from a "normal" road bicycle by the virtue you can carry stuff and be self contained (a very rough definition admittedly), I'd say the definition of a touring bike not only comes from the ad copy and bike name, but also:

-longer chain stays so that there is less likelihood of your heels hitting your panniers when you pedal
-generally more ruggedness (translates to more weight) than a usually lighter road bike
-more braze ons for front and rear racks
-more water bottle mounts
-usually equipped with fenders
-usually equipped with at least rear racks
-sometimes a spoke holder and a pump peg.
-frame and fork can accomodate wider tyres
-more likely to be a less aggressive riding position
-comes equipped with wider tyres usually
-comes equipped with sturdier wheels (e.g. no 24 count spoked aero wheels! More likely to be at least 32h.)
-usually does not have calipre brakes -usually has cantis/v's/discs so that it can accommodate wider tyres and fenders
-generally lower gearing so that you can spin a heavy load up a hill.
-based on this forum, a Brook saddle, but I disagree!

Course, one or more of any of the above may not be present, but it certainly doesn't mean the bike isn't a very capable tourer. But I think if you described a bike with all the features above, common consensus would be it is a touring bike. Aside from the longer chainstays and saddle, I also think the above would apply to recumbents as well.

fyi: I think most people consider a Raleigh Sojourn to be a touring bike; yet read the ad copy for this bike on the Raleigh website.... as far as I can tell, not a single mention of the word touring, and it is under a general classification of "road"! I really wonder why they did that, seems strange to me.

+1 This pretty much sums it up. Many of these items are "negotiable", but they're pretty standard.

I toured with an old 10-speed Raleigh Gran Prix in the 70's. It worked, but I struggled up hills - wished I'd had a granny gear - and I had to push my panniers all the way back on the rack and my heels still hit occasionally. Longer chainstays would have been nice.

You can tour with a lot of different kinds of rigs, but there are reasons for all of the things listed above.
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Old 07-29-09, 12:18 PM   #20
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I took my road bike touring and it worked great. It's a Schwinn bike of some kind I bought used for $115. I am light though - 92 lbs, and I packed really light as well. I think it was a lot faster and easier this way, and I was able to cover lots of miles a day (115 miles my longest day no problem).

My fully loaded rig... well missing a water bottle that I dropped xD


I think if you're light and you plan on packing light a road bike will work great. ^_^

Last edited by Strawbee; 07-29-09 at 12:31 PM.
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