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  1. #1
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    traditional touring bike vs trekking vs cyclocross

    Ok ,I made a lot of progress researching articles, reading reviews, asking other people. I want a bike for loaded touring, as well as commuting. It's a pity hungarian bike dealers have very tiny scale of brands...
    So for that money, I could buy a decent cross-trekking (without anything) trekking bikes ( with a rack and mudguards) and a mid quality touring bike , and last but not least : a cyclocross

    Trekking (rack mudguards) options:
    Trans Arctica | Kross - Rower górski, rowery trekkingowe, rowery miejskie
    Bergamont Horizon 4.4 Gent, black/grey/lime matt 2014 BGMHORIZON4.4G Kerékpár
    Trekking - KTM BIKE INDUSTRIES
    Cross-Trekking bikes
    Bergamont Helix 3.4 EQ Gent, black/grey/white matt 2014 BGMHELIX3.4EQG Kerékpár (incl. mudguards)
    Trekking - KTM BIKE INDUSTRIES
    REAL touring bikes:
    Tour - Ridgeback
    Raleigh - Gran Tour (top of my budget)
    Cyclocross ( very good all-round bikes with mount, rack options)
    Specialized Bicycle Components
    Revolt 2 (2014) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
    Looking forward for oppinions, advices

  2. #2
    dbg
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    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    If you're looking for opinions, I prefer no suspension and no disc brakes. Steel with large-ish tires --no smaller than 700x32 although I also prefer 26" format to eliminate toe overlap with fenders.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  3. #3
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    cyclocross bikes are often set up as race bikes. Check to see that you are comfortable on it and that it has the attachment points you need for racks/fenders etc. Beyond that, its a compromise of what you value most.

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    I would, if it passed a detailed scrutiny, buy the Raleigh. It is a real touring bike, which means it should be fine for commuting where riding is a priority. I wouldn't leave that bike locked up overnight at a rail station, but if I was riding long distances to work, and had safe lockup, I would use it.

    For road, or smooth trail based loaded touring, that is the type of bike I prefer.

    Trekking bikes are also a good choice for your two uses. But what you have there are comfort bikes, not serious trekking bikes. Examples of serious bikes are Thorn, and Tout Terrain. The idea with a trekking bike is a touring bike based on MTB technology. So as with thorn, the tire size was more in the 2.0, rather than the 1.5 diameter. The handle bars and frame are more of an MTB thing, but stretched out for comfort. MTBS tend to have short handling based wheel bases, which are not comfortable for longer rides. Trekking bikes tend to be 26" wheel based. But even before teh 29er craze there were euro trekking bikes that had say manitou front suspension that were built around 700c wheels. I would say the default with trekking bikes is no suspension, but there are some very fancy suspended models. Some of these bikes are expensive, but a trekking bike does not have to be expensive. The main thing is that they are serious bikes, with a passion for real technology, and no compromise in riding position. All that said, one could argue that Hans Stucke's 3 speed is almost closer to a comfort bike of a simple kind.

    Cross bikes are a joke. Maybe somewhere deep in the psyche people believe the "cross" thing relates to cross-over, or all purpose. No this is a racing bike, based on a very narrow use even for a racing bike. Given that any bike can be used for touring, if you can stay comfortable on it, and with the gearing and such it is not the worst choice. If a person was a serious cross racer, and wanted to tour on that bike I could see the point, but there is nothing about the cross bike that suits touring better than the similarly pricey touring bikes do. There is a fad quality to cross bikes, but that is for people who buy on emotion and aren't serious. I imagine most people would think that X-cross was more sexy than touring, and find the bikes more appealing. But that shouldn't be the case if you are actually touring. If a cross bike comes set up from the factory with really great touring package, then what the heck kind of bike is it really.
    Last edited by MassiveD; 04-03-14 at 11:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    I can't help much with bike specifics, but I can give you my perspective on types of bikes.

    I have a touring specific bike, a cyclocross bike, and a lightweight road bike. I have done extensive touring on both the touring and the cyclocross bikes. I have done long tours on both bikes that were close to 6000 km on each of the bikes. Any bike is a compromise, but they are also investments. A touring bike tours loaded exceptionally well, but is overkill, and is only marginally suited for many other uses. A cyclocross bike will do almost anything acceptably well, but not anything exceptionally well.

    Look at the attributes of each bike, and determine where you want to compromise the most. If your main riding will be commuting with an occasional tour, pick a bike that will work the best for the majority of your riding and still be able to tour. Or one that is an excellent touring bike if touring is your primary use.

    I agree with dbg that suspension forks are not necessary, although they are popular in Europe. I've also observed that the trekking bikes are very popular there, as are straight bars. The "touring" bike that most of us are familiar with here in the U. S. fit more the type you depicted as touring. I did a very non-scientific survey while riding in European countries, and about 90% of the touring cyclists used straight bar bikes similar to the trekking bike you show.

    If I had to have only one bike it would be my cyloscross bike. It is my do everything bike, and the bike I ride the most. I use it for everything from pulling a trailer filled with groceries to faster rainy weekend club rides (it has fenders). I'm planning on taking it on our next long tour this summer, rather than the heavier "touring bike", a LHT.

    Having said all that, I'm not sure the differences are all that great. Personal preference and economics are also important factors.

    A cyclocross bike disguised as a touring bike



    Last edited by Doug64; 04-03-14 at 12:56 PM.

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    I see... but brands like thorn and tout terrain are not available in hungary.You said that cross bikes are a joke. I don't know what do you mean by cross, the cross-trekking or the cylcocross which is similar to a road bike. I understand that it's a new fashion but I've seen a lot of forums where people said they made month long trips very comfortable with (for example a Specialized tricross) cyclocross bycicles. The other one the Revolt 2 is a "grind gravel" ( that's a laugh) it's unique and a mix of everything.... but does it mean it's a bad one?Or you just dislike the whole category?

  7. #7
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    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/_gener...4/Revolt_2.jpg
    It slightly different from a "traditional" cylcocross frame, very unique.... but I don't know how good is it for my purposes... 20y old boy before college wants a month tour in Hungary, then use it as a commuter till next summer

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Longer chain stays and heavier frame materials on a touring bike frame.


    Koga-Miyata of NL has a lot of dealers , they make a turn key touring bike , can you get as far as Romania?

    they say theres a dealer there Koga // Find dealer

    My 04 WTR 26" tires, IGH, has to be ordered thru their Signature Program ,

    these days The sliding rear dropout design is better, .. now .


    but brands like thorn and tout terrain are not available in hungary
    there are freight companies shipping all over Europe , so that is no excuse..


    Q: are all those bikes you listed available for you to test ride ? Go do that first.


    Touring is the Thing you do , a Bicycle is just a tool to let you go places and look around on the way .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-04-14 at 05:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post

    Cross bikes are a joke. Maybe somewhere deep in the psyche people believe the "cross" thing relates to cross-over, or all purpose. No this is a racing bike, based on a very narrow use even for a racing bike. Given that any bike can be used for touring, if you can stay comfortable on it, and with the gearing and such it is not the worst choice. If a person was a serious cross racer, and wanted to tour on that bike I could see the point, but there is nothing about the cross bike that suits touring better than the similarly pricey touring bikes do. There is a fad quality to cross bikes, but that is for people who buy on emotion and aren't serious. I imagine most people would think that X-cross was more sexy than touring, and find the bikes more appealing. But that shouldn't be the case if you are actually touring. If a cross bike comes set up from the factory with really great touring package, then what the heck kind of bike is it really.
    My previous post was being written when you posted, and I did not see it until now.

    I disagree and somewhat agree with portions of you post. I did modify the gearing on the cx bike so that it has the identical drive trains as my LHT and Cannondale T2. Stock gearing was not what I wanted for touring, or general riding for that matter. I custom built the LHT, so it had the gearing I wanted from the start. However, I also changed the gearing on the Cannondale T2, which shows that even a "real" touring bike may not meet everyone's needs right out of thee box. I live in very hilly, you might even call it mountainous country, and I like low gears. What I like about the Bianchi Volpe is its weight and quicker handling. However, the shorter chainstays may not make it as useful for touring for people with big feet

    I had it long before I had any "real" touring bikes, and It is still my favorite bike. I am also very serious and did not buy it on emotion

    Another opinion:https://urbanvelo.org/bianchi-volpe-review/
    Last edited by Doug64; 04-04-14 at 06:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    You'll tour for a month then do short(relative)commuting the rest of the time. Consider a light weight road bike pulling a trailer for the tour. Gearing on the road bike may need adjusting depending on the terrain and your pedaling strength. The road bike will be much more responsive(fun)when unloaded than any of the others. FWIW, I have a 20 lb time trial bike(tt)for local riding, but would not hesitate to hook up a trailer for touring.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    To a great extent it depends on your personal preferences. It also depends of how heavy you pack. For me the cross bike would be more suitable for the very features that make it less suitable to some riders. I pack for camping and cooking, but pack VERY light. I find that makes a cross bike or older road race bike ideal. I am getting to the point where a full on race bike starts to looks pretty good as long as it is fitted with lower gearing.

    So if you carry 50 or 60 pounds of stuff, a full on touring bike probably makes sense. If you carry only 30 pounds of stuff a cross bike is starting to look good. If you carry 20 pounds the cross bike is looking really good IMO. If you pack lighter yet a cross bike or even a road bike start to really come into their own.

  12. #12
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    Look at Surly Bikes,,just for some ideas.
    I ride a Surly Ogre,,with front rear panniers,fenders/mud faps.
    50 622 tires( 28 in Europe) flat bar disk brakes,,no front shock,,rigid fork.
    Real comfortable

    Or would save a bit more and get the Rahliegh Sojurn.
    Cross bikes. I had to much toe overlap on front tire with fenders.
    While doing cornering and pedaling.
    Last edited by flash63; 04-03-14 at 11:40 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by martonkaa View Post
    I see... but brands like thorn and tout terrain are not available in hungary.
    My main point listing those brands was to give you some sites to look at that have the top notch trekking bikes on them. So that you can see how they are different from these other bikes that are also using that name Koga is another that sell a real bike. Also, some older MTBs have wheel bases the same as standard tour bikes. They can be a good basis for a non-fancy trekking bike. However, they do not fit me well, there is often some variable in their geometry that negates the wheel base. Usually the headtube angle when combined with the handlebars.

    You said that cross bikes are a joke. I don't know what do you mean by cross, the cross-trekking or the cylcocross which is similar to a road bike. I understand that it's a new fashion but I've seen a lot of forums where people said they made month long trips very comfortable with (for example a Specialized tricross) cyclocross bycicles.
    I probably overstated that. These are the 4 points to understand:

    1) On the internet there is always someone for who a bad choice was fabulous. Maybe they aren't picky, or are tough, or for the first time they lucked into fit. etc...

    2) You can tour successfully on any bike. Before I wreaked her, my wife used to go on a trip somewhere, buy a one speed coaster bike from the salvation army, and make a 6 month camping tour, then sell the bike and go home. Almost any bike can be a touring bike.

    3) Bike design means something. There is a reason why cross bikes are the way they are and touring bikes are different. The differences may be small, and if one already had the cross bike it might not be worth it to spend 1-2K on something different, particularly given 1 or 2 above. No criticism to you, but why do people for whom every bike is the same as every other bike even ask the question about which is better. You either care about the details of design, and why certain things are the way they are, or you don't.

    Of course there are lots of different types of touring, and in the Surly lineup, to take an example, there are certain bikes that are not the LHT that are better for certain other kinds of touring than the LHT is. Some people prefer other frames for light touring, and obviously for off road. But for your two specified uses I think a touring bike is likely better.

    4) Obviously the big thing is you are spending money for a new bike. At that level you should be able to get a bike designed for your actual use. When i bought my first bike, stores didn't have MTBs, Fixies, City bikes, Cargo bikes, etc... There has never been the variety available that is in stores today, but people still seem to want to buy bikes designed for something completely different.

    5) The thing is, a lot of people ask for something "reasonable": "I woud llike a light, cheap bike, that will carry a heavy load, fold for storage, and be good for my club races". They often throw in 2 or 3 modest wants, that sound reasonable, but are completely contradictory. So what are the makers forced to do? Add a set of rack mounts to a cross bike... So the thing is that is like candy to the mind that can't decide what it's real needs are. So to some people, adding rack mounts to a cross bike, magically makes it a touring bike too. To me, it is a compromised cross bike, assuming it was even a cross bike in the first place. The smart thing is not to look for compromise gear but decide which use is the most important and go for that one. OF course there are dual uses that are synergistic, of close. I use my MTB for running around town, there are few things an MTB is less suited for, but it works fine because that secondary use is not demanding, and I can take it on the trail a lot better as an MTB.

    I think a lot of people find touring bikes boring. But it is really one of the most highly evolved forms of the custom or specialized bike. I like to get it right.

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