Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Is The Touring Bike Slowly Dying Out?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Is The Touring Bike Slowly Dying Out?

Old 06-05-23, 10:46 PM
  #26  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,266

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 735 Times in 474 Posts
Yes. Because people figured out that corporate marketing segmentation was largely nothing but that, and figured out that one can tour on a range of bicycles. Indeed, touring expanded to include many types of bicycle travel, not only the old stodgy panniers front and back method.

You can still see remnants, relics of that bygone era in the rigid attitudes of the stalwarts who insist on and persist with, for example, a triple crankset and racing-inspired minutely spaced cogsets. The traditional touring bike may be a thing of the past, but old habits and mindsets live on.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 06-05-23 at 11:14 PM.
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 06-05-23, 10:55 PM
  #27  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
Posts: 2,532

Bikes: 2013 Custom SA5w / Rohloff Tourster

Liked 356 Times in 264 Posts
No wonder when so many are saying that 29 lbs is TOO HEAVY, LOL. And nutty ideas like a 1x that is NOT with a Rohlof14.
And dead ends like thru axles and hydro brakes.
GamblerGORD53 is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 01:26 AM
  #28  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
And dead ends like thru axles and hydro brakes.
What are disadvantages of thru axles? (Asking as a mountainbiker, new to touring)
rootsandstones is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 02:28 AM
  #29  
Senior Member
 
elcruxio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Turku, Finland, Europe
Posts: 2,555

Bikes: 2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Liked 369 Times in 247 Posts
I think the big question is then, how would the thru axle get bent / damaged while the hub and/or dropouts remained intact, aside from a manufacturing flaw or the like. Then again you'd preferably ride your bike enough before touring with it to notice such a flaw. The axles have large enough threads that over torquing them to failure would require a really long lever, which you hopefully wouldn't carry on tour. And if you do destroy an axle like that, well that's your problem, not the system's.

Luckily thru axles typically use quite common thread pitches (not always, know your thread pitch) so if against all odds a thru axle does get damaged beyond repair in the middle of nowhere, you can bodge a fix with a long bolt that has the same thread pitch. And if that fails, using a QR. I don't recommend that, but since a QR and thru axle work in the exact same manner, a QR that's threaded through the dropouts and hub should work as a temporary emergency fix. Perhaps avoid using the brake on the wheel the fix is implemented on.
elcruxio is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 04:40 AM
  #30  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,919

Bikes: Several

Liked 780 Times in 575 Posts
Originally Posted by rootsandstones
What are disadvantages of thru axles? (Asking as a mountainbiker, new to touring)
There pretty much aren't any in a touring context IMO. They are simple, safe, and reliable. I am fine with the QR axles even on my disc brake bike that has them, but I'd just as soon have through axles on any new bike I buy.

BTW, while some complain that hydraulic brakes are an issue, I hve found them to be more trouble free than cable operated rim brakes. Other than replacing pads when they wear out mine have been pretty much zero maintenance.
staehpj1 is offline  
Likes For staehpj1:
Old 06-06-23, 05:25 AM
  #31  
Junior Member
 
azbackpackr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona and Needles, California
Posts: 101

Bikes: Surly Disc Trucker, Salsa Journeyman, 05 specialized stumpjumper full susp.

Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
People often think that to go touring/bikepacking or backpacking, by definition, it has to be long and grueling. But it doesn't. I have done quite a few one-night bike tours and overnight backpacking trips. They were memorable and fun, and fit into my time schedule as well.

I am sad the Trek 520 went away.

Last edited by azbackpackr; 06-06-23 at 05:39 AM.
azbackpackr is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 05:30 AM
  #32  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: US
Posts: 811
Liked 184 Times in 120 Posts
I've found the Kona Sutra to be the most versatile bike I've ever owned.
Chuck Naill is offline  
Likes For Chuck Naill:
Old 06-06-23, 05:42 AM
  #33  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 4,083
Liked 2,097 Times in 1,314 Posts
8 speed with bar ends is not a few years old, it is from another millenium.

I'm not sure why people worry about broken axles anymore, I have not broken an axle since ditching freewheeled hubs in the late 80's. A 17 mm thru axle is simple and strong. Has any road rider here broken one? I had bolt on solid Phil axles on my free wheel hubs and those were the only ones that did not break, I used to carry a spare campy axle before buying those. That is 40 year old stuff.

The traditional touring bike has been dead for decades, it just doesn't know it yet.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 06:19 AM
  #34  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,266

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 735 Times in 474 Posts
Originally Posted by azbackpackr
People often think that to go touring/bikepacking or backpacking, by definition, it has to be long and grueling. But it doesn't. I have done quite a few one-night bike tours and overnight backpacking trips. They were memorable and fun, and fit into my time schedule as well.

I am sad the Trek 520 went away.
...or that to go touring one needs to bring everything and the kitchen sink, thereby necessitating an ocean liner of a bicycle and all manner of stuff.

Just last week i finished a three-week, literal cross-country tour of South Korea carrying no more than 4kg of stuff, and i could have probably gotten it down to 3.5kg. On an inexpensive folding bike. With 16" wheels.

Maybe when your bike is a hammer, all tours look like nails?

Last edited by Ron Damon; 06-06-23 at 06:24 AM.
Ron Damon is offline  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 06-06-23, 06:57 AM
  #35  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,737

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, Alex Moulton AM, Dahon Curl

Liked 1,933 Times in 1,113 Posts
Originally Posted by prairiepedaler
"Aww man, the Trucker is discontinued!?"
Surly for whatever reasons decided to say "we have discontinued the LHT and are introducing a new model, the Disc Trucker". I think any other company would have just said "this year the LHT has been upgraded to fit disc brakes". But I'm surprised, then, that Surly didn't change the name of the bike again when they tweaked the geo and went to through axles. Shrug. Their company, their branding decisions.
tcs is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 07:17 AM
  #36  
Junior Member
 
azbackpackr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona and Needles, California
Posts: 101

Bikes: Surly Disc Trucker, Salsa Journeyman, 05 specialized stumpjumper full susp.

Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That sounds fun! I have seen folks touring on folding bikes. Looks very doable.

Last edited by azbackpackr; 06-06-23 at 07:19 AM. Reason: Because I don't know how this forum functions, am trying to figure it out.
azbackpackr is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 07:25 AM
  #37  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,539
Liked 729 Times in 466 Posts
Originally Posted by M Rose
What is Treks new Touring model? The 520 is discontinued. From my understanding Trek has gone to adventure touring bikes with a more MTB feel (the 1120 and the Farly 9) or the gravel geometry of the Checkpoint.
I wondered the same thing when I found out the 520 was discontinued. It looks like they've just ceded that narrow market segment to others (like Surly). There just aren't enough people buying full-on touring bikes to make it worth their time. It was their only steel bike so the 520 has been an oddball in their lineup for a long time. They even tried rebranding it as a "gravel bike" with the 520 Grando but it must not have sold well enough to justify keeping it. Toward the end they used an aluminum fork. I don't know when that started, but that was the beginning of the end and ruined its credibility as a serious touring bike anyway.
Jeff Neese is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 07:52 AM
  #38  
I don't know.
 
RB1-luvr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: South Meriden, CT
Posts: 2,122

Bikes: '90 B'stone RB-1, '92 B'stone RB-2, '89 SuperGo Access Comp, '03 Access 69er, '23 Trek 520, '14 Ritchey Road Logic, '09 Kestrel Evoke, '08 Windsor Tourist, '17 Surly Wednesday, '89 Centurion Accordo, '15 CruX, '17 Ridley X-Night, '89 Marinoni

Liked 945 Times in 492 Posts
The increased popularity of unpaved rail trail touring might have something to do with the declining number of road touring bikes available. Even though a road touring bike is more than adequate for unpaved rail trail touring, I'm seeing more mountain-bike-ish, gravely touring bikes being used where I ride.
RB1-luvr is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 08:00 AM
  #39  
Senior Member
 
elcruxio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Turku, Finland, Europe
Posts: 2,555

Bikes: 2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Liked 369 Times in 247 Posts
Originally Posted by Ron Damon
...or that to go touring one needs to bring everything and the kitchen sink, thereby necessitating an ocean liner of a bicycle and all manner of stuff.

Just last week i finished a three-week, literal cross-country tour of South Korea carrying no more than 4kg of stuff, and i could have probably gotten it down to 3.5kg. On an inexpensive folding bike. With 16" wheels.

Maybe when your bike is a hammer, all tours look like nails?
So if I'm touring with my wife and two children, could you advice how we would able to accomodate into 4kg for both adults a trailer, a child seat, tent for 4, cooking gear and utensils, clothes, rain gear, hygiene products, food and water for 4, diapers for 2 and a potty.

If we leave our helinox chairs at home, will our every camp site have a picknick table and chairs we can use. If we leave out cooking gear, how badly will that hit our budget? If we leave out the tent, can we afford to stay at a hotel every night?

I just assumed you know the answers to all these questions as you so confidently told everyone how tour correctly and thus you must know everyone's situation and preferences distinctly.
elcruxio is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 08:08 AM
  #40  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 4,743
Liked 1,236 Times in 802 Posts
Gravel Bike = New Touring Bike.

Pretty simple.
prj71 is offline  
Likes For prj71:
Old 06-06-23, 09:46 AM
  #41  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,411

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Liked 1,532 Times in 1,193 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs
Surly for whatever reasons decided to say "we have discontinued the LHT and are introducing a new model, the Disc Trucker". I think any other company would have just said "this year the LHT has been upgraded to fit disc brakes". But I'm surprised, then, that Surly didn't change the name of the bike again when they tweaked the geo and went to through axles. Shrug. Their company, their branding decisions.
I am not sure when the disc trucker came out, but the 2014 catalog lists both the LHT (page 6) and the Disc Trucker (page 7). For quite a few years they sold both.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 06-06-23, 10:06 AM
  #42  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Northeastern Oregon
Posts: 249

Bikes: 2021 Trek Verve 2 Disk

Liked 119 Times in 80 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I wondered the same thing when I found out the 520 was discontinued. It looks like they've just ceded that narrow market segment to others (like Surly). There just aren't enough people buying full-on touring bikes to make it worth their time. It was their only steel bike so the 520 has been an oddball in their lineup for a long time. They even tried rebranding it as a "gravel bike" with the 520 Grando but it must not have sold well enough to justify keeping it. Toward the end they used an aluminum fork. I don't know when that started, but that was the beginning of the end and ruined its credibility as a serious touring bike anyway.
I have the Grando… and out of the box it wasn’t a very good gravel grinder adventure bike. After new handlebars, dropper post, and a few other upgrades it makes a decent gravel bike.
I personally don’t see a problem with the aluminum fork which started in the mid teens from what I could find with my research.


M Rose is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 10:46 AM
  #43  
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,476

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Liked 2,124 Times in 1,384 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
It looks like they've just ceded that narrow market segment to others (like Surly). There just aren't enough people buying full-on touring bikes to make it worth their time.
Trek makes about 300 models of bikes so it probably isn't that. Trek and Specialized especially are big enough to pretty much control what their market wants through marketing

I do think the part of the stell+pannier segment that overlapped with white collar commuter bikes has been stolen away by gravel bikes. Commuters still need to carry their lunch and clothes but they need less and less to carry around letter sized paper or bigger laptops
​​​
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 11:08 AM
  #44  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 4,743
Liked 1,236 Times in 802 Posts
Originally Posted by azbackpackr
I am sad the Trek 520 went away.
The market determines which bikes stay and which bikes go.

Trek does have this though...

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b.../1120/p/33304/
prj71 is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 11:12 AM
  #45  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GhostRider62
8 speed with bar ends is not a few years old, it is from another millenium.

I'm not sure why people worry about broken axles anymore, I have not broken an axle since ditching freewheeled hubs in the late 80's. A 17 mm thru axle is simple and strong. Has any road rider here broken one? I had bolt on solid Phil axles on my free wheel hubs and those were the only ones that did not break, I used to carry a spare campy axle before buying those. That is 40 year old stuff.

The traditional touring bike has been dead for decades, it just doesn't know it yet.
On my mountainbike I have 12 mm rear axles since like forever and never broke one. My friend overjumped something on a downhill track, his rear wheel exploded (rim totally bent, half the spokes broken) and the axle was still intact.
rootsandstones is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 11:19 AM
  #46  
Senior Member
 
Trakhak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 5,844
Liked 3,373 Times in 1,911 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I wondered the same thing when I found out the 520 was discontinued. It looks like they've just ceded that narrow market segment to others (like Surly). There just aren't enough people buying full-on touring bikes to make it worth their time. It was their only steel bike so the 520 has been an oddball in their lineup for a long time. They even tried rebranding it as a "gravel bike" with the 520 Grando but it must not have sold well enough to justify keeping it. Toward the end they used an aluminum fork. I don't know when that started, but that was the beginning of the end and ruined its credibility as a serious touring bike anyway.
The change to an aluminum fork might have represented an effort to increase their touring bike sales in Europe. Judging from the bikes on offer from European bike companies, European touring riders have less of a problem with aluminum frames and forks than Americans.
Trakhak is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 11:44 AM
  #47  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,411

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Liked 1,532 Times in 1,193 Posts
A friend of mine bought a Trek 520 about a decade and a half ago. He did not tour, he wanted a steel frame because he felt that his aluminum frame bike was too stiff on the road bumps, he lived in a rural area with bumpy roads. He was very happy with the Trek. I asked why he bought the Trek instead of a different brand, he said the only bike shop in his community was a Trek store. Trek at that time only made one steel frame, the 520, everything else was aluminum or carbon, and he was not in the price range for carbon.

I have known people that commuted to work that liked touring bikes, not for load capability, but for the handling. Touring bikes often have a geometry that holds a straight line better without having to think about it. And a commuter can be just as bored on the way home from work as a rider on a long tour can be bored after 6 or 7 or 8 hours in the saddle, day after day. When the mind wanders, you want a geometry that holds a straight line.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 06-06-23, 05:23 PM
  #48  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,266

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 735 Times in 474 Posts
Originally Posted by elcruxio
So if I'm touring with my wife and two children, could you advice how we would able to accomodate into 4kg for both adults a trailer, a child seat, tent for 4, cooking gear and utensils, clothes, rain gear, hygiene products, food and water for 4, diapers for 2 and a potty.

If we leave our helinox chairs at home, will our every camp site have a picknick table and chairs we can use. If we leave out cooking gear, how badly will that hit our budget? If we leave out the tent, can we afford to stay at a hotel every night?

I just assumed you know the answers to all these questions as you so confidently told everyone how tour correctly and thus you must know everyone's situation and preferences distinctly.
Go back and read my post. You are obviously out on a rampage. I didn't tell people how to tour correctly. Don't be deliberately silly. Instead, I mentioned one possible, different way of touring that many people don't ever imagine. Funny how you read that wrong.
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 05:25 PM
  #49  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,266

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 735 Times in 474 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I am not sure when the disc trucker came out, but the 2014 catalog lists both the LHT (page 6) and the Disc Trucker (page 7). For quite a few years they sold both.
That's right. The LHT and Disc Trucker coexisted for several years.
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 06-06-23, 09:16 PM
  #50  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Northeastern Oregon
Posts: 249

Bikes: 2021 Trek Verve 2 Disk

Liked 119 Times in 80 Posts
Originally Posted by prj71
The market determines which bikes stay and which bikes go.

Trek does have this though...

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b.../1120/p/33304/
and the Farley 9
M Rose is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.