Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    SpeedFreak
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The OC
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Le Champ Ti
    Posts
    652
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Is A Touring Bike Right For Me?

    I wanted to get some advice from people who are not so uptight about road riding. I figure this forum would be appropriate. 

    Iíve been an avid roadie for years now. Iíve been riding road bikes since HS, did the Mtn bike thing in the Ď90ís, but realized that my heart belongs on the road. I donít like mud and too much dirt very much! Anyway, I currently ride a Ti road bike for fitness and for fun, about 4 times a week. I normally just ride it for a couple of hoursóno long rides. The longest ride Iíve done in the last year was 60 miles and Iím happy with that.

    I had a mountain bike that I just sold. It was a FS bike and I rode it 99% on the road. I rode my Mtn bike mainly around town and into very light trails (hard packed dirt/grass). I loved the comfort of the mtn bike, and the ability to go over stuff on the road I wouldnít dream of doing on my beloved, road/racer bike. Having said that, I hated climbing hills on the mtn bike! Even with the granny gears, it felt so heavy and so incredibly slow! Unfortunately, I live in a hilly area so climbing is just part of riding. Also, every time I transitioned over to my mtn bike the controls felt unfamiliar so I had to think and re-learn the shifting because mine had trigger shifters while my road bikes had the STI brifters. I probably rode my mtn once a week, and then my road bike 2-4 times a week.

    This leads me to my question. I really want to combine the speed of my road bike and the comfort, strength, and go-anywhere ability of my mtn bike. Iíve been looking at city/urban bikes with flat bars and 700c wheelsets. A lot of them look like mountains bikes with thinner wheels, others look like road bicycles with fat tires. These are all good but I keep going back to touring bikes. It seems that the Touring bikes have the road bicycle handlebar, which I really prefer over the flat bars, and the one that has caught my eye has the STI brifters. However, I have no plan to actually tour. My line of thought is a Touring bike will give me most of the stuff I like about my mtn bike and my road bike, and would also make for a great commuter bike, and the occasional beach cruise. I originally wanted the Fuji Touring but would also consider the Windsor Tourist because I prefer the STI brifters.

    Is this a good idea to get a Touring bike for my use? Should I consider some other Touring bike or type of bike?
    Palomar01

  2. #2
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,801
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, but I'd probably look at an aluminum or TI cross style bike for your needs.

  3. #3
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
    Posts
    24,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A true touring frame has a longer wheelbase and may feel less responsive to you. As rogerstg mentioned, you may be happier with an xcross frame, like a Surly Cross Check or similar, that has a shorter wheelbase but can still take wider tires.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Further North than U
    My Bikes
    Spec Roubaix, three Fisher Montare, two Pugs
    Posts
    1,548
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you ride a full carbon fiber bike? If not you owe it to yourself to try one. It may give you the comfort and smoothness you want. Throw on some 28c tires and it can be a very smooth thing.

  5. #5
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,415
    Mentioned
    21 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Touring bikes make great all rounders and come in a lot of flavours from lighter rando oriented builds to burly "lets ride around the planet" kind of bikes.

    Cross bikes evolved from these and share some of their qualities... they are extremely robust, lighter, and can handle some significant rubber between the forks and stays so you can switch between narrow road tyres and more aggressive cross tyres.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,420
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Touring bikes come is several varieties.
    Light-touring ones are built pretty much like midrange road bikes but with more tyre clearance (28mm) and a set of threaded eyelets for rack and fenders. they use long drop caliper brakes and 130mm axles.
    Std touring bikes use cantilever brakes more more clearance (32-40mm), strong tubes, front pannier mounts, longer chainstays and MTB style 135mm axles. They generally ride OK unladed and make good all-rounders.
    Expedition tourers use fatter tyres, lower gears, longer chainstays, more bottle cages and generally work best when loaded.

    Other types of "allrounder" include cyclo-cross which use cantilever brakes, higher bottom bracket and often lighter build than std tourers. racing CX bikes are lighter and lack any threaded eyelets. There are some purpose built commuter bikes, often using disk brakes with drop bars.
    Obviously the transmission of all these bikes can be changed to suit but generally light and cx use compact doubles, std tourers use road or MTB triples, expedition use MTB triples.

    Decide on your tyre width , gear range and whether you want threaded eyelets for utility.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pearland, Texas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
    Posts
    5,726
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Palomar01, I've been a roadie for decades and recently built my first touring bike. Basically a true touring bike is a big rigid mountain bike with long chainstays. I've been riding the T bike alot lately and it doesn't handle as nimbly nor spools up to speed as quickly as a roadie, but it's not designed to do this, but rather handle most any road surface while carrying a heavy load. I've even taken it off road, but it's no good for steep decents, but I have a mountain bike for those rides.

    A CX bike is a mixture of a road frame and a touring frame, borrowing from both. Not quite as rugged as a touring bike, but not too different from a roadie handling wise. In a way it's a jack-of-all-trades, master of none when not used for it's intended purpose.

    Brad

  8. #8
    SpeedFreak
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The OC
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Le Champ Ti
    Posts
    652
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks all.

    I looked at a few CX bikes. I really like them and seems to fit my needs. I guess I need to test ride. How does a CX riding position compare to a Touring bike? I don't really want a road bike riding position when I'm on a bike other than my road bike. That's my point of getting a bike that is different without it being too different. Not sure I explained that properly.

    Yes. I do want a do-it-all bike that is more road bike oriented in performance. I also want this bike to have the ability to change into a good commuter, and this is one of the reasons I was leaning towards the Tourer (but not a full on heavy duty tourer). I don't mind loosing some of the handling response of my roadbike. If I want maximum peformance I will ride my dedicated road bike.
    Palomar01

  9. #9
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,384
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My first suggestion would be to try and tweak your current road bike. Install the widest tires your frame/rims will accept; raise and shorten the stem; try a Brooks saddle. That will get you at least some of the advantages and feel as a touring or cross bike.

    If that doesn't do it for you, I would test ride the following classes of bike:

    ē "Plush" or "endurance" road bike (Specialized Secteur/Roubaix; Cannondale Synapse; Giant Defy etc)
    ē Cross bike with road tires
    ē Touring bike

    The plush bikes will kill lots of road buzz but will otherwise handle like, and have the components of, a standard road bike. The touring bike will be very comfortable but will handle like a big heavy truck, and is more likely to come with non-caliper brakes, triples, bar-end shifters etc. The cross bike will be in between those two.

    The cross has one other advantage, namely that it's a little more suitable for dirt and gravel due to a higher bottom bracket.

  10. #10
    SpeedFreak
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The OC
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Le Champ Ti
    Posts
    652
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by digibud View Post
    Do you ride a full carbon fiber bike? If not you owe it to yourself to try one. It may give you the comfort and smoothness you want. Throw on some 28c tires and it can be a very smooth thing.

    I have a Ti road bike. It's "comfortable", smooth, fast, handles like a dream, etc. I love it. Love the STI controls. Love the efficiency. Totally in love with its looks. I think I love this bike too much!

    I am looking for a 2nd bike to supplement my Ti road bike. But I want one that can be more rugged without being saddled with mountain bike tires, suspension, weight, etc. I also want the similar controls to my road bike and the multiple position of the "Rams Horn" handlebar.

    So yeah--CX bike or Touring bike. I do think the Touring bike (light touring) would be better for longer term ownership because it can do more things better (become a dedicated tourer if I so desire and/or a dedicated commuter with fenders).
    Palomar01

  11. #11
    SpeedFreak
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The OC
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Le Champ Ti
    Posts
    652
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    The touring bike will be very comfortable but will handle like a big heavy truck, and is more likely to come with non-caliper brakes, triples, bar-end shifters etc. The cross bike will be in between those two.

    The cross has one other advantage, namely that it's a little more suitable for dirt and gravel due to a higher bottom bracket.
    I thought a Touring bike would handle more like a road bike with added stability?

    I'm not looking for the same handling as my road bike. It handles really quick and very responsive. I want something more relaxed but not "like a truck".......hmmmm....maybe I need to look more into the CX.....
    Palomar01

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Huntington Beach
    My Bikes
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi, '08 Surly Cross Check, '06 Specialized Rockhopper
    Posts
    371
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Definitely, cyclocross or light touring. The Vaya Ti or even regular Vaya would be nice. A cross-touring hybrid like a Bianchi Volpe would be nice. There is always the ultra versatile CrossCheck. I have one, but I am going to sell and get a Vaya. Other ideas: Salsa La Cruz, Soma Double Cross (or whatever they replaced it with), Kona Jake the Snake.

    Most Cyclocross bikes have a relaxed geometry similar to a touring, but a little closer to rode. The Path in Tustin can order pretty much any of the ones I listed and are a pretty good shop.
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  13. #13
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,780
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd recommend test riding some bikes. Some people find a touring bike fun to ride, others not so much. Me, if I am not hauling gear I ride something else. For the use you describe, I personally would probably buy a cyclo-cross bike.

    That said some touring bikes are more "road bike like" than others. One of the ones with a shorter wheelbase and shorter chain stays might work out well depending on what you want.

    Edit:
    Forgot to mention... No reason a CX bike can't also be used for touring too.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 05-20-11 at 01:50 PM.

  14. #14
    SpeedFreak
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The OC
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Le Champ Ti
    Posts
    652
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    Definitely, cyclocross or light touring. The Vaya Ti or even regular Vaya would be nice. A cross-touring hybrid like a Bianchi Volpe would be nice. There is always the ultra versatile CrossCheck. I have one, but I am going to sell and get a Vaya. Other ideas: Salsa La Cruz, Soma Double Cross (or whatever they replaced it with), Kona Jake the Snake.

    Most Cyclocross bikes have a relaxed geometry similar to a touring, but a little closer to rode. The Path in Tustin can order pretty much any of the ones I listed and are a pretty good shop.
    Great! Thanks for the suggestions. Tustin is very close to me so I can give them a visit

    Surly Cross check and Salsa Vaya....gotta check those out. Thanks.
    Palomar01

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4,306
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Not all touring bikes or cross bikes can take fat tires, if that's what you're looking for. Surly Cross-check can go up to 45mm without fenders.
    As far as comfort goes the Specialized Tri-Cross is definitely worth a test ride. Some touring bikes are nice unloaded and some are kind of like riding a bus. I'd go for a particular bike and not a category of bike. I've got a Cross-Check set up to carry stuff but if 90% of my riding was unloaded and I wanted something for packed dirt roads the Tri-Cross would be it.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,368
    Mentioned
    50 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For lots of users a Cross bike is a lighter weight touring bike
    with a little higher Bottom bracket..

    pretty interchangeable in function .. load up a light frame and it will flex ..
    ride a heavyer tube set bike and It will be solid feeling..
    if well built of good material choice
    either will be fine..

    Add in the Disc Brake hub option, and there are the
    commuter road/cross/touring blends .

    It's a bouillabaisse..

  17. #17
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Shanghai, China
    My Bikes
    2013 True North custom touring; 2009 Unicycle.com Club Uni; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport
    Posts
    1,639
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A lot of people, myself included, tour on cyclocross bikes. The only draw back is less stability when loaded. I cannot ride without hands when there are front panniers on my Cross Check.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  18. #18
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In the wilds of NY
    My Bikes
    Box Dog Pelican, Raleigh Sojourn, Specialized Secteur, 1991 Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    1,305
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Palomar01 View Post
    I thought a Touring bike would handle more like a road bike with added stability?

    I'm not looking for the same handling as my road bike. It handles really quick and very responsive. I want something more relaxed but not "like a truck".......hmmmm....maybe I need to look more into the CX.....
    A true touring bike rides best when loaded down. As that's not apparently what you want, a CX or sport-touring ( essentially a road bike that can take wider tires and has rack mounts/etc ) seems to be the way to go.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  19. #19
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,384
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Palomar01 View Post
    I thought a Touring bike would handle more like a road bike with added stability?
    In terms of handling, a few factors are involved.

    Most touring bikes will have long wheelbases and long chainstays, a more upright position, and a normal BB height. The cross bike won't have as long of chainstays/wheelbase and a lower handlebar height, so it will be more responsive. In theory the higher BB raises the center of gravity, but I've never found this to actually affect handling.

    So in my estimation, it goes sort of like this.....

    RESPONSIVE -- 20" wheeled bike > track bike > crit bike > "standard" road bike > plush and racing-cross bike > non-racing cross and rando > touring -- STABLE

    I think you'll pick up on this, for the most part, in test rides.

  20. #20
    Here's a Quarter... trafficcasauras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    My Bikes
    iro phoenix
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    listen to your heart. get a cheapo mountain bike. put some slicks on it. enjoy. touring.

  21. #21
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,481
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Unless you plan to do loaded touring or commute with heavy loads, I would not get a touring bike. A better option, IMHO, would be a sport touring bike like a Salsa Casseroll, Soma ES or Gunnar Sport. A sport tourer will be lighter and more responsive riding than a full touring bike, but would have room for larger tires, mounts for fenders and racks, and a more relaxed geometry than a racing bike. If you think you will also be riding the bike on dirt roads, gravel, unpaved paths, then a cross bike might be a better option -- altho the Salsa Casseroll would also fit the bill because it has canti brakes and clearance for tires up to 38 mm.

    I have owned a Bob Jackson World Tour that I bought for commuting 3 years ago. It is a full touring bike and can handle heavy loads, but it is frankly not as fun to ride as my other road bikes. The frame is very stiff and it feels slow. I recently bought a new Salsa Casseroll and it is a much better commuter and all-around bike for my purposes. It is lighter, more responsive and fun to ride. It is the smoothest, most comfortable frame I've ever ridden, and I've owned more than 10 road bikes over the years. I can easily average 1-1.5 mph faster on my commute riding the Casseroll compared to the World Tour.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    djb
    djb is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Montreal Canada
    Posts
    3,836
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    another total recommendation on cross bikes here.

    Last summer I got a Specialized Tricross and love it for all the reasons you state that you are looking for in a bike. It can take wide tires if I want (I run road 28s on it) it has a triple and a longcage rd , 11-32 cassette. Rear rack, front rack, sti brifters, 3 water bottle holders, cantis work alright-better with softer pads on them. Mine is only a middle model (Tiagra) and with its components weighs about 25 lbs, so nothing special but it rides nicely, climbs well, is reasonably fast (if you ride fast a lot or not ever going to hit real steep stuff, a tighter cassette might be more fun, a 11-25 or 27)
    Mine fits me very well so is completely comfortable, I too prefer drop bars and can ride it all day, for many days in a row.

    There are lots of cross bikes out there that are lighter, with lower components, higher components, carbon this, carbon that, alu frames, steel, quite a range of budget depending on what is important to you, components wise.
    I like how the Tricross handles also, quicker steering than my touring bike, climbs and accelerates better, its stable at speed (Ive had mine only up to 70k or 45mph but it was uneventful)
    I also like how a cross bike is tougher, as they were made for bashing around cross tracks.

    Specialized specifically changed their cross bikes this year, Crux are teh new "cross" bikes, more aggressive geometry, etc, but they still sell the Tricross--which I think is a great idea as these type bikes are a neat mix of road and sport touring.

  23. #23
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have an idea here; you love road bikes, but you want wider tires and a more relaxed position, right? Then I would just get a road bike with wider tires and a more relaxed position. Try this one

  24. #24
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    My Bikes
    '77 Fuji S-10S, '82 Fuji Team, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '08 Scattante CFR, '12 Jamis Sputnik, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT
    Posts
    2,395
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Older Steel Tourer

    My suggestion, since you appear not to be in a rush to purchase one, would be to scour your local Craigslist for a 1980s steel tourer. Fuji (America, Touring Series, Saratoga), Miyata (1000), or Trek (620 or 720) in your size frame. The rest can be replaced incrementally as you and the bike get to know one another. Stay away from anything French due to thread and diameter compatibility issues...

    Modern tourers function fine, but don't have the ride quality of the classic touring bikes. If you can find a Miyata or Trek 720, you'll be in heaven.

    We build up a 1983 Trek 620 for my wife, and it rides fantastically, sublimely. I have a 1988 Saratoga that's a bit of a truck, but unloaded and with narrower tires, it moves out nicely, too. Very comfortable for long rides.

    My two cents...

    Phil G.

  25. #25
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,481
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    My suggestion, since you appear not to be in a rush to purchase one, would be to scour your local Craigslist for a 1980s steel tourer.
    Easier said than done. Finding a used 1980s touring or sport touring bike in good condition and the right size can be difficult. First, there is a limited supply. Second, there is an active market for old steel, lugged bikes and they get snapped up by college kids, fixie fans, etc. I searched for a used Miyata, Univega, Lotus touring for a couple years and never found a decent one for a good price in my size.

    Besides, why bother buying an 20-30 year old frame when you can buy a brand new Salsa, Soma or Surley for $500 or less? However, if you luck into finding a nice old Japanese sport touring frame for a good price, go for it, but it might not be any cheaper in the long run if you have to replace a lot of parts.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •