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difference between touring and road bike

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difference between touring and road bike

Old 03-24-22, 01:10 PM
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Frenzen
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difference between touring and road bike

So I am looking into doing long distances of riding a bike and I like the look of vintage bikes and they appear to be cheaper too. Can anyone explain to me what I should look for in a vintage bike to make it more useful for touring. I read other posts something about touring geometry which is relaxed head tube and seat tube angles. However, I do not know what these things means and would like some guidance and I know that racing bikes are more uncomfortable while touring bikes are the opposite and more stiff but not sure what to look for when looking online at bikes (and knowing if a back rack can be installed etc)?

I was looking at marinoni special from 90s as touring bike, but wasnt sure if its doable

Thanks!

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Old 03-24-22, 01:18 PM
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Check for rack mounting eyelets on the front and rear dropouts--this is one of the easiest ways to see if you can mount racks (although you can often do so on bikes without eyelets). The chainstays will also be longer, with a several-inch gap between the rear tire and the seat tube (on a classis steel racing bike, the distance between rear tire and seat tube might be less than the width of your index finger). Of course, you'll want a triple chainring. Yes, the frame angles will be more relaxed--think 75 degree angles instead of 73. You can check this with an angle gauge, but eventually you will just "see" it.
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Old 03-24-22, 01:28 PM
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The chainstays on a touring frame are also going to be longer, giving more clearance at the seat tube for larger-diameter tires and perhaps fenders. Longer chainstays also provide a longer wheelbase, giving a more stable platform for the extra load.

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Old 03-24-22, 01:41 PM
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You may want to start here: The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes

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Old 03-24-22, 01:41 PM
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If you can manage touring with a front rack only I think way more sporty bikes become viable. Pclips will help you on a vintage bike but Blackburn made some tice front racks that used only fender eyelets and brake bolt. I've used this style combined with a large saddle bag. It's now my favorite way to tour.

Crappy pic but this was a super loaded bike that handled fine.
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Old 03-24-22, 01:51 PM
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This is a nice concise writeup about bike geometry with comparisons between racing and touring geometry. I am not a frame builder or an expert, but the general ideas presented here jibe with my rudimentary understanding and might help you as you're determining which frame to buy.

https://www.cyclingabout.com/underst...rame-geometry/

Here's a sample of what's on the linked web page:

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Old 03-24-22, 02:50 PM
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You'll also find quality vintage touring bikes tend to hold their value more than road bikes of the same vintage.
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Old 03-24-22, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenzen View Post
So I am looking into doing long distances of riding a bike and I like the look of vintage bikes and they appear to be cheaper too. Can anyone explain to me what I should look for in a vintage bike to make it more useful for touring. I read other posts something about touring geometry which is relaxed head tube and seat tube angles. However, I do not know what these things means and would like some guidance and I know that racing bikes are more uncomfortable while touring bikes are the opposite and more stiff but not sure what to look for when looking online at bikes (and knowing if a back rack can be installed etc)?

I was looking at marinoni special from 90s as touring bike, but wasnt sure if its doable

Thanks!
I have this less uncommon Marinoni Sports Tourer, and it does pretty well with panniers on the rear rack. Note the rear tire clearance to seat tube. I tend to tuck rear panniers as far forward as possible, just clearing my heels, which keeps the handling from getting weird. AFAIK, the Marinoni Specials are typically racing geometry.


I had mods done (another big Thank You! @gugie) to the fork of this Miyata 912, same model as @52telecasterís orange one above, that make it a nice touring bike, too. Itís the black one with red front panniers and the big rando bag at the end of this group on a chilly trip down(wind!) the Willamette Valley with other C&Vers several years ago. I intentionally brought more than needed to evaluate its touring capability - great! Notably, my touring tends to be of the motel style, no sleep-on-the-ground any more for me.
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Old 03-24-22, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenzen View Post
So I am looking into doing long distances of riding a bike and I like the look of vintage bikes and they appear to be cheaper too. Can anyone explain to me what I should look for in a vintage bike to make it more useful for touring. I read other posts something about touring geometry which is relaxed head tube and seat tube angles. However, I do not know what these things means and would like some guidance and I know that racing bikes are more uncomfortable while touring bikes are the opposite and more stiff but not sure what to look for when looking online at bikes (and knowing if a back rack can be installed etc)?
While touring bikes do have slacker angles for more stable handling, the chainstay length (and wheelbase) are longer in touring bikes. Part of that is to keep your feet from hitting the panniers but the longer dimensions also keep the load between the axles which also increases stability. Chainstays of 17.75” (450mm) are just barely long enough to classify as a “touring bike”. More classic touring bikes have lengths of 18” (460mm).

Top tubes are usually a little shorter on touring bikes as well which gives them more upright riding positions.

A good way to check a road bike for touring length is to check the distance between the seat tube and the rear tire. For a classic touring bike, you should be able to put 3 fingers in the space between the seat tube and the tire. Sport touring will take 2 fingers. Race bikes often have less than one. Here’s a race bike. See how short it is and how little room between the seat tube and tire


This is a cyclocross bike but it is similar to sport touring bikes. You can also see the shorter top tube.



And, finally, a classic touring bike. It’s really long and laid back. Not the most exciting bike to ride but excitement isn’t what you are looking for when you put a bunch of gear on the bike. What you can’t see is the stronger tubing used throughout which makes the bike less flexible.

An exciting fast bike becomes more than just “exciting” with a touring load. It can become quite scary.




I was looking at marinoni special from 90s as touring bike, but wasnt sure if its doable
Looking at pictures of a Marinoni Special, I’d say it is a road bike. It might be a great bike for other purposes but not for carrying a load.
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Old 03-24-22, 04:07 PM
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Cruise through here: Show us your Vintage Touring bikes
Many styles.
You say long distances? How much gear will you be taking on the bike with you? If you will be starting at less than 100 mile trips, and then gradually increase that distance, find a nice C&V bike that has clearance for 28 mm tires and start riding ASAP. Then you will know more about you needs and desires for your next bike. As you pointed out, they are not "expensive".
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Old 03-24-22, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
What no one else has addressed yet is chainstay length. While touring bikes do have slacker angles for more stable handling, the chainstay length (and wheelbase) are longer in touring bikes. .
Did I miss something in post #3?
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Old 03-24-22, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Did I miss something in post #3?
Oops. Yours is the TLR
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Old 03-24-22, 09:29 PM
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That helps me make more clear, thanks.
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Old 03-24-22, 09:49 PM
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I generally understand that the basis for judging whether it is a touring bike or a professional road bike is to look at the length of the chain and the distance between the steel pipe and the tire in the rear seat.
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Old 03-25-22, 01:31 AM
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Old 03-25-22, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Oops. Yours is the TLR
How about post No. 2?
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Old 03-25-22, 07:05 AM
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The main difference to me is comfort and stability response. Longer wheelbase, more trail, shallower angles, and most importantly room to mount wide tires. Racing bikes have shorter wheelbases and anything built in the last 30 years won't take a 35-40 mm width tire and until recently, most were limited to 25 mm if you were lucky
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Old 03-25-22, 08:15 AM
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Brakes have already been mentioned but I'll provide some specifics. Most road bikes are marketed as "go fast" bikes and until recently used skinny tires and short reach caliper rim brakes. These brakes when measured from the center of their mounting post to the center of their brakes pads would in the 40 to 50mm range. Touring bikes were designed to use fatter tires that requires different brakes - often cantilever or V brakes. These provide more tire space. Sport Touring bikes are similar to a touring bike except maybe lighter tubing (because it isn't going to carry as heavy a load). If it uses caliper rim brakes, they had more clearance under the brakes and their reach would be in the 47 to 57mm range. Just in case it isn't obvious, the frame determines which kind of brakes can be used and one type can't be exchanged for another. If you are getting a touring or sport touring frame, what you don't want is one with 39/49mm brake reach.

On a touring bike the cyclist position tends to be more upright. Their handlebar height might be about the same as their saddle They are looking around instead of being more aerodynamic and perhaps drafting the bike in front. This higher handlebar position probably requires a larger frame. If I was looking for a vintage sport touring bicycle for myself that uses a quill stem, I would want one as big as I could straddle the top tube comfortably. There are exceptions but many common quill stems did not allow for them to be raised very high up. They were made for racing bikes where the handlebars might be 5 or more cm lower than the saddle.
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Old 03-25-22, 08:29 AM
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I also notice in a lot of classic touring bikes and especially for randonneur bikes, the head tube is really long, which makes sense to accommodate a large handlebar bag or front rack bag. It this intentional or is it just coincidence that the rider is very tall?
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Old 03-25-22, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
I also notice in a lot of classic touring bikes and especially for randonneur bikes, the head tube is really long, which makes sense to accommodate a large handlebar bag or front rack bag. It this intentional or is it just coincidence that the rider is very tall?
I donít think that the head tube on touring bikes are particularly long. Small sized touring bikes have short head tubes and still use handlebar bags while large size touring bikes have long head tubes. Handlebar bags or front racks arenít really a consideration when making the frame.
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Old 03-25-22, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A good way to check a road bike for touring length is to check the distance between the seat tube and the rear tire. For a classic touring bike, you should be able to put 3 fingers in the space between the seat tube and the tire. Sport touring will take 2 fingers. Race bikes often have less than one. Here’s a race bike. See how short it is and how little room between the seat tube and tire

DD
thanks a lot especially about the tip about how long the chainstay needs to be, shorter top tubes and the 3 finger trick between seat tube/tire. In the first photo there is barely any space between seat tube/tire and second one maybe 2 fingers but the third is obvious that there is plenty of space
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Old 03-25-22, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
I also notice in a lot of classic touring bikes and especially for randonneur bikes, the head tube is really long, which makes sense to accommodate a large handlebar bag or front rack bag. It this intentional or is it just coincidence that the rider is very tall?
I have noticed this same thing and it frustrates me because to fit my handlebar bag on a front rack and maintain room on the tops for my hands, I need to position the rack way out front and/or use a short stem and or raise my stem beyond my preferences.
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Old 03-25-22, 02:06 PM
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I found a nice looking Torpado but unfortunately chainstays is 440 mm, so it is out of the game. I have found velo sport prestige but these dont look like touring bikes either although some kinda do. Other one I am looking is Peugeot PB9
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Old 03-25-22, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenzen View Post
I found a nice looking Torpado but unfortunately chainstays is 440 mm, so it is out of the game. I have found velo sport prestige but these dont look like touring bikes either although some kinda do. Other one I am looking is Peugeot PB9
Why would you consider 440mm out of the game? For a sport touring bike that is an ideal length. For a true touring bike with rear panniers I would want the chain stays to be even longer like at least 450 mm.

For comparison most racing frames have chainstay lengths around 415 mm depending on how they are measured. Typical road frames might be just a tad longer. Most touring bikes have head and seat tube angles around 72ļ . Traditional road bikes are 73ļ or more.

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Old 03-25-22, 03:17 PM
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Yep. Doug what Said.
440 is pretty long. My Medici and my Centurion have 410mm chainstays. My Motobecane Grand Jubile which is characterized as a touring bike has 440mm chain stays.

Looking for pictures of this Torpado.
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