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 07-19-23, 11:21 AM
  #101  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,368

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1534 Post(s)
Liked 1,619 Times in 948 Posts
Perhaps the bikes are better for off road now than decades ago, but cars are smaller now than they used to be.
American cars yes, vehicles not so much. Many consumers have switched from passenger cars to pickups and SUVs. GM, Ford and Stellantis are all basically light truck manufacturers now. With safety rules barring riding in the bed of pickups, they have gained length with 'crew cabs'. The American pickups of 2023 are noticeably larger than those of ~25 years ago.

Lack of quiet pavement? I'm sorry that's others' experience. Here in Parts Unknown, rural road commissioners have been on a tear the last several decades, paving county and local roads. You can make surprisingly long tours riding mostly paved country lanes.

Last edited by tcs; 07-20-23 at 10:54 AM.
tcs is offline  
Old 07-19-23, 11:21 AM
  #102  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,343
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 411 Post(s)
Liked 445 Times in 235 Posts
Originally Posted by mams99
It's actually a PITB... it's hard to find touring specific bikes and even knowledgeable bike shops push the gravel bikes and know NOTHING about touring bikes. So, I keep searching for a touring bike secondhand in my size, location, and price range. HAH!!! Not much luck!
Necessity is the mother of invention. Having to tinker with older bikes can take your skills to the next level. My Trek 720 is a blend of old an new better than anything I could find in the marketplace at a fraction of what a high end touring bike would cost me.

What you do is ride any half suitable bike you can get your hands on. While riding, being mobile, and in no rush, keep scanning for those gems out there. You can quickly browse craigslist and Marketplace by keying on road frames with cantilever studs and a healthy gap between the rear wheel and seat post. Whatever it may be listed as, that's a touring bike right there. For me it also has to be lugged steel but that's just a personal preference.
abdon is offline  
Old 07-19-23, 02:59 PM
  #103  
Full Member
 
HelpSingularity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: San Diego, California USA
Posts: 285

Bikes: 1974 Masi GC, 1982 Trek 728 (aka 720), 1992 Trek Multitrack 750

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 109 Posts
Originally Posted by mams99
It's actually a PITB... it's hard to find touring specific bikes and even knowledgeable bike shops push the gravel bikes and know NOTHING about touring bikes. So, I keep searching for a touring bike secondhand in my size, location, and price range. HAH!!! Not much luck!
I stumbled across a '92 Trek 750 Multitrack.
It is a so-called "hybrid".
Double butted chrome-moly f&f, can fit up to 42-622 or so tires, 38s easy with fenders, triple crank, cantilever brakes.
I put drop bars on it, front and rear racks and it is now my deluxe touring bike.
It handles my lard a$$ and a full, self contained load just fine.
So if you haven't already, expand your search to steel (yes, I'm biased ) "hybrid" bikes from the '90s.
Good luck with your search.
HelpSingularity is offline  
Likes For HelpSingularity:
Old 07-19-23, 06:04 PM
  #104  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,368

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1534 Post(s)
Liked 1,619 Times in 948 Posts
Originally Posted by HelpSingularity
I stumbled across a '92 Trek 750 Multitrack. It is a so-called "hybrid". Double butted chrome-moly f&f, can fit up to 42-622 or so tires, 38s easy with fenders, triple crank, cantilever brakes. I put drop bars on it...
I did that with my 1997 Trek 750. Pretty much a half-price 520 (well, since the conversion parts came out of the big-ol'-box-of-parts-from-under-the-workbench). Loved that bike. It was stolen out of my garage. Anyway, this is a tcs recommended conversion, if you can find an old db steel Trek hybrid (IIRC at the time they were calling these 'cross bikes') with cantilever brakes.

Last edited by tcs; 07-20-23 at 10:57 AM.
tcs is offline  
Old 07-19-23, 06:46 PM
  #105  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 10,790

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.

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3269 Post(s)
Liked 1,340 Times in 1,052 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs
American cars yes, vehicles not so much. Many consumers have switched from passenger cars to pickups and SUVs. GM, Ford and Stellantis are all basically light truck manufacturers now. ....
A lot of the SUVs do not impress me. An SUV used to be a Jeep Cherokee or Wagoneer, Ford Bronco, Chevy Suburban or Blazer, International Scout, etc.

Now a lot of the SUVs are basically a station wagon, or in some cases a hatch back. I have an older Volvo XV90, bought it used, I thought it was a station wagon when I was looking at it to buy, but they said it was an SUV. But I used to have a Land Rover D2, if it does not have a low range on the transfer case, I do not consider it to be an SUV.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 07-19-23, 07:58 PM
  #106  
gna
Count Orlok Member
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,812

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Raleigh DL1, Schwinn Winter Bike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 91 Posts
Originally Posted by HelpSingularity
I stumbled across a '92 Trek 750 Multitrack.
It is a so-called "hybrid".
Double butted chrome-moly f&f, can fit up to 42-622 or so tires, 38s easy with fenders, triple crank, cantilever brakes.
I put drop bars on it, front and rear racks and it is now my deluxe touring bike.
It handles my lard a$$ and a full, self contained load just fine.
So if you haven't already, expand your search to steel (yes, I'm biased ) "hybrid" bikes from the '90s.
Good luck with your search.
I just looked on my local Craigslist. One is for sale for $160 by a local flipper. No doubt one could be found even cheaper. Certainly a possibility.
gna is offline  
Old 07-20-23, 10:14 AM
  #107  
Full Member
 
HelpSingularity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: San Diego, California USA
Posts: 285

Bikes: 1974 Masi GC, 1982 Trek 728 (aka 720), 1992 Trek Multitrack 750

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 109 Posts
Originally Posted by gna
I just looked on my local Craigslist. One is for sale for $160 by a local flipper. No doubt one could be found even cheaper. Certainly a possibility.
$160 may or may not be excessive. I have no problem paying a premium if the paint/bike is in great condition.
The sting of paying a little extra will be long gone as you continue to ride and gaze upon your 30 year old steed that is still looking sharp.
HelpSingularity is offline  
Old 07-20-23, 10:26 AM
  #108  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,168

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 812 Post(s)
Liked 1,393 Times in 896 Posts
Recently saw a 5 rider group making their way down the highway on 102F afternoon. They looked well and were just a few miles out from shelter if needed. Four of the bikes were Ebikes and fully loaded. Three were not pedaling?

I take note that what ever style bike we loose or migrate to will evolve after the Big EMP. Luckily all the bikes I have now are ready for it.

Either way ridding is fun. We will adapt and overcome.

No... The touring bike is here to stay as long as we are allowed to tour... But that's another story...
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 07-20-23, 11:09 AM
  #109  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,368

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1534 Post(s)
Liked 1,619 Times in 948 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Now a lot of the SUVs are basically a station wagon...
Yep, a lot of today's SUVs and Crossovers are just station wagons with a spiffy, more marketable name.

We're over 100 comments in this thread, many debating if today's bike packing, gravel and all-road bikes are just touring bikes with a spiffy, more marketable name.

"Get on your bikes and ride." - Brian May
tcs is offline  
Likes For tcs:
Old 07-21-23, 07:21 AM
  #110  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,858

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '03 Poprad, Lemond '03 Wayzata DB conv(Poprad), '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(pur new), '88 GT Tequesta(pur new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly, 1993 Trek 970 DB conv, Trek 8900 DB conv

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 738 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 775 Times in 456 Posts
Originally Posted by HelpSingularity
I stumbled across a '92 Trek 750 Multitrack.
It is a so-called "hybrid".
Double butted chrome-moly f&f, can fit up to 42-622 or so tires, 38s easy with fenders, triple crank, cantilever brakes.
I put drop bars on it, front and rear racks and it is now my deluxe touring bike.
It handles my lard a$$ and a full, self contained load just fine.
So if you haven't already, expand your search to steel (yes, I'm biased ) "hybrid" bikes from the '90s.
Good luck with your search.
Did the same. Started with a '91 Trek 750 and built a drop bar touring bike for my girlfriend. We've done 5 tours with it, self-contained-camping as well as credit card. She uses a 4-pannier + trunk bag setup. It runs 3x8 Claris and Schwalbe Big Ben tires in 700x38 with fenders. She loves the bike. In the early 90's the 750 and Trek 520 had the same geometry.
fishboat is offline  
Old 07-21-23, 08:32 AM
  #111  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Maryland
Posts: 94

Bikes: Pedego Stretch 2016 (electric cargo bike for around town and grocery shopping, Small surly Ogre (2015), Bianchi Advantage (46cm) 1993, Bike Friday NWT, 2005

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 15 Posts
But a quick question. I "sorta" did that with a Hybrid Bianchi Advantage. It works and is comfortable, but I really felt I was missing a front rack option that was EASY to deal with. With cantilever brakes, the options for a front rack were limited and while I got it to work, when I removed the front tire and this the supports of the front rack, things just flopped around, making it difficult to put in the car.... Maybe that's my bigger problem - I use a Honda Fit hatchback to haul my bike when I go for a ride.

Have you found ways to transport your bike without having to undo everything? It's one of the reasons I'm leaning toward a newer bike with more brazons.
mams99 is offline  
Old 07-21-23, 09:49 AM
  #112  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 10,790

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.

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3269 Post(s)
Liked 1,340 Times in 1,052 Posts
Originally Posted by mams99
But a quick question. I "sorta" did that with a Hybrid Bianchi Advantage. It works and is comfortable, but I really felt I was missing a front rack option that was EASY to deal with. With cantilever brakes, the options for a front rack were limited and while I got it to work, when I removed the front tire and this the supports of the front rack, things just flopped around, making it difficult to put in the car.... Maybe that's my bigger problem - I use a Honda Fit hatchback to haul my bike when I go for a ride.

Have you found ways to transport your bike without having to undo everything? It's one of the reasons I'm leaning toward a newer bike with more brazons.
You might be able to find a new fork that has the fittings. The fork rake or offset should be about the same on the replacement fork, and the length from the crown headset race to the axle should also be about the same length, otherwise handling could be off with a replacement fork.

I just found this with a google search, it has the data in the internet listing that you would need to compare to your fork.
https://www.jensonusa.com/Surly-Cros...rk-700C-1-18-2
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 07-21-23, 12:21 PM
  #113  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,168

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 812 Post(s)
Liked 1,393 Times in 896 Posts
Originally Posted by mams99
...Have you found ways to transport your bike without having to undo everything? It's one of the reasons I'm leaning toward a newer bike with more brazons.
Yep... The pack-able full size touring bike that's friendly to transport... I think we all have been working on that one and it's a worthy quest.
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 07-23-23, 06:46 PM
  #114  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,343
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 411 Post(s)
Liked 445 Times in 235 Posts
Originally Posted by Pratt
Maybe because the category "touring bikes" used to be any bike that was used for touring. Now there seems to be a metastatic proliferation of categories according to whether functionally equivalent bikes have 26, 27, 29 inch wheels, flat or drop bars, rim or hydraulic brakes, front, rear, or frame racks, black or tan bar tape, etc.
Not really. The touring bike has been well defined since before the first golden age of bicycles in the 1890's. The oldest cycling club was the bicycle touring club, established in the 1880s. In 1896, John Foster Fraser and two of his buddies set off from Britain to travel around the world on their bicycles. They covered approximately 19,237 miles in two years and two months, traveling through seventeen countries and three different continents. His stories inspired several generations of Cyclo tourers. In reality what we know as road bikes diverged from the initial touring bike, and mountain bikes were not invented until the late 1970's.

​But for a very long time now cyclo touring has been a niche market compared to the volumes seen by road and dirt bikes. Heck for a while mountain bikes even managed to eclipse road bikes in the late '80s.

Bottom line you can tour on anything, but there are well defined agreed features on what makes a good touring bike
abdon is offline  
Old 07-24-23, 04:36 AM
  #115  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1,012
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 387 Post(s)
Liked 426 Times in 253 Posts
Live and learn, thanks for the education!
Pratt is offline  
Old 07-24-23, 05:47 AM
  #116  
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.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mams99
It's actually a PITB... it's hard to find touring specific bikes and even knowledgeable bike shops push the gravel bikes and know NOTHING about touring bikes. So, I keep searching for a touring bike secondhand in my size, location, and price range. HAH!!! Not much luck!
I found a surly disc trucker in my size, 46 cm. I wanted a Trek 520 disc. I have looked and looked all over the Internet for a small one, either a complete bike or frame. Size 48 cm. That's the smallest one they made. All the people who glibly say "Oh, just buy something online, or a frame," have not tried to find a small one. There are lots of mediums and larges available in different brands. I have looked on eBay and other places.

I noticed that REI still makes one. I didn't even know that when I bought the Surly. Oh, well. I'm in the process of getting the racks and bags and things.
azbackpackr is offline  
Old 07-24-23, 07:14 AM
  #117  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,368

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1534 Post(s)
Liked 1,619 Times in 948 Posts
Originally Posted by abdon
The oldest cycling club was the Bicycle Touring Club, established in the 1880s.
1878. 1883 renamed Cyclists' Touring Club. 2016 renamed Cycling UK.

Fun fact: the first (known) bicycle race was held on May 31, 1868, in Paris.

Last edited by tcs; 07-24-23 at 07:23 AM.
tcs is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.