Author Topic: Touring Bikes?  (Read 2496 times)

Wallace

  • Aye!
Touring Bikes?
« on: 05 January, 2022, 02:49:17 pm »
Looking to do a bit of touring this year. I will require a new bike for this journey, problem is, there are so many to choose from, and some great content out there.

Currently, I am leaning towards the Trek 520, it's their longest running build, has an alloy fork and steel frame this year. Does weigh a bit though.

The Trek 920 looks good also, which I prefer, thought about frame only and a self build, but no idea how to build that up with parts to make a robust and reliable tourer. That would be a bit of research

The plan is, either around Scotland, or, ferry from Newcastle to Denmark, and then the Ferry from Denmark to Iceland, for a few weeks cycling and fly fishing.

What touring cycle would you recommend and why?

Happy New Year Folks!

Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #1 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:20:41 pm »
All  touring bikes " weigh a bit", especially now they have disc brakes.

Have  you  looked at the Geneisi/ Ridgeback models?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #2 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:25:53 pm »
Classic answer would be Surly (Disc) Trucker. Kona Sutra seems very good too. I'm very happy with my Specialized Sequoia, though it certainly does "weigh a bit" (and I don't think they sell it in the UK anymore).
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #3 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:27:30 pm »
One assembled yourself to suit your own needs/fantasies/desires.  A great deal of fun can be had procuring new or second hand parts and frame to build it up.  This experience will be of great use should anything go wrong while on your travels.  An off the peg machine will always be some manufacturer's idea of what might suit - or what bits they have in abundance.

I recently assembled one such (another one) for myself because, with the sale of a couple of machines, I found I had almost everything needed to build another - just needing a frame and a rear hub, so I bought a 531 frame from about 1990 and a Shimano 105 hub.  I made sure that the frame I bought had 130 rear ends so that it would be compatible with shop built wheels if I needed something while on tour.  I deliberately wanted it to be a low key build using downtube levers (that I had) instead of Ergo/STI that I use elsewhere.  These were my choices.

Wallace

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Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #4 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:29:19 pm »
Have  you  looked at the Geneisi/ Ridgeback models?
[/quote]

Genesis look good, but it gets complicated with their 10, 20 and 30 models... and then there is flat bar or drop bar? Mmmm! Cheers!

Wallace

  • Aye!
Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #5 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:33:53 pm »
One assembled yourself to suit your own needs/fantasies/desires.  A great deal of fun can be had procuring new or second hand parts and frame to build it up.  This experience will be of great use should anything go wrong while on your travels.  An off the peg machine will always be some manufacturer's idea of what might suit - or what bits they have in abundance.

That's an excellent piece of advice, I never got round to fettling much over the decades, usually when I have an issue it goes to the LBS... Being self sufficient and knowing the build inside out, would be useful when out on a limb... Good philosophy...

Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #6 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:34:33 pm »
You need to check the idea of travelling to Denmark direct by ferry. As far as I am aware the only direct ferries are for freight only.

Wallace

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Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #7 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:41:43 pm »
You need to check the idea of travelling to Denmark direct by ferry. As far as I am aware the only direct ferries are for freight only.

Cheers, will check again...

BFC

  • ACME Wheelwright
Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #8 on: 05 January, 2022, 05:02:42 pm »
Traditional high spoke count wheels (like 36 spoke) give the best general reliability and ridability in case of a broken/damaged spoke. Combined with offset rim on the rear its about the strongest and roadside servicable wheels.

You may want to consider hub dynamos if you are travelling/sleeping off grid and want to keep electronics working - not a cheap upgrade and best to do the install yourself so you know what to look for if the system plays up or wiring gets damaged (typically when parked up or in transit).

With the build best to do it yourself or find a local bike fettler whose willing to train you and has most of the occasional use tools.

Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #9 on: 05 January, 2022, 05:40:27 pm »
The two major UK touring specialists are Spa Cycle and Thorn, both worth a look
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s225p0/Bikes/Touring
https://www.thorncycles.co.uk/bikes

You might also find some options among the reviews on the Cycling UK website
https://www.cyclinguk.org/taxonomy/term/6946

Wallace

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Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #10 on: 06 January, 2022, 09:22:20 am »
Traditional high spoke count wheels (like 36 spoke) give the best general reliability and ridability in case of a broken/damaged spoke. Combined with offset rim on the rear its about the strongest and roadside servicable wheels.

You may want to consider hub dynamos if you are travelling/sleeping off grid and want to keep electronics working - not a cheap upgrade and best to do the install yourself so you know what to look for if the system plays up or wiring gets damaged (typically when parked up or in transit).

With the build best to do it yourself or find a local bike fettler whose willing to train you and has most of the occasional use tools.

Agree, 36 spoked wheels... The (@) has 32 I think, which means a self build if I go that route, would give an option to fit 36h wheels, would need to research best touring wheels with threw skewer... Cheers...

Wallace

  • Aye!
Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #11 on: 06 January, 2022, 09:25:03 am »
The two major UK touring specialists are Spa Cycle and Thorn, both worth a look
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s225p0/Bikes/Touring
https://www.thorncycles.co.uk/bikes

You might also find some options among the reviews on the Cycling UK website
https://www.cyclinguk.org/taxonomy/term/6946

Cheers, the thorns are top rated...! Problem at present is getting a bike, not a lot out there... 

Wallace

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Re: A Touring Bike List
« Reply #12 on: 06 January, 2022, 09:27:22 am »
All  touring bikes " weigh a bit", especially now they have disc brakes.

Have  you  looked at the Geneisi/ Ridgeback models?

The Genesis Tour looks very robust, flat bar option also, 10, 20 or 30?

Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #13 on: 06 January, 2022, 09:52:59 am »
This bloke knows what he's talking about considering the miles he's put in over the years

https://tomsbiketrip.com/which-touring-bike-should-i-buy/
They laughed when I said I was going to be a stand-up comedian. They're not laughing now.

Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #14 on: 06 January, 2022, 09:56:05 am »
Check out the Fairlight Faran as well for a great all-rounder and robust touring/gravel bike.

https://fairlightcycles.com/product/faran-2-frameset-deposit/


Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #15 on: 06 January, 2022, 10:20:31 am »
Take a look at HP Velotechnik (HPV) Streetmachine GTe. A great touring bike. Like cycling in a reclining chair with full suspension and a high load capability, very fit stability and very well engineered/ built.

Wallace

  • Aye!
Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #16 on: 06 January, 2022, 12:36:02 pm »
This bloke knows what he's talking about considering the miles he's put in over the years

https://tomsbiketrip.com/which-touring-bike-should-i-buy/


Very very helpful website, cheers for that... Its certainly made me think about terrain, and bike capability, or my capability... I think the 520 is still in the running, the 920 too as a self build...

Wallace

  • Aye!
Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #17 on: 06 January, 2022, 12:37:48 pm »
Check out the Fairlight Faran as well for a great all-rounder and robust touring/gravel bike.

https://fairlightcycles.com/product/faran-2-frameset-deposit/

Yep, that is very nice, not sure about the wheelbase, could be more bikepacking orientated, but very nice indeed...

Wallace

  • Aye!
Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #18 on: 06 January, 2022, 12:39:01 pm »
Take a look at HP Velotechnik (HPV) Streetmachine GTe. A great touring bike. Like cycling in a reclining chair with full suspension and a high load capability, very fit stability and very well engineered/ built.

Interesting, but not my cuppa, and could be tricky offroad... Cheers...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #19 on: 06 January, 2022, 12:52:38 pm »
Take a look at HP Velotechnik (HPV) Streetmachine GTe. A great touring bike. Like cycling in a reclining chair with full suspension and a high load capability, very fit stability and very well engineered/ built.

Interesting, but not my cuppa, and could be tricky offroad... Cheers...

Yes, along with the Azub Six, the SMGTe is an excellent touring bike, and far better at carrying luggage and not hurting the rider than any upright.  Reasonably train-friendly.  Being designed for unmade roads, it's about as good off-road as a two-wheel recumbent gets (the limiting factor is mostly the rider's nerve, followed by the diameter of the 20" wheel).  But when the going gets tough, it's not a bike you want to have to push for any real distance.

Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #20 on: 06 January, 2022, 01:24:06 pm »
Take a look at HP Velotechnik (HPV) Streetmachine GTe. A great touring bike. Like cycling in a reclining chair with full suspension and a high load capability, very fit stability and very well engineered/ built.

Interesting, but not my cuppa, and could be tricky offroad... Cheers...

Yes, along with the Azub Six, the SMGTe is an excellent touring bike, and far better at carrying luggage and not hurting the rider than any upright.  Reasonably train-friendly.  Being designed for unmade roads, it's about as good off-road as a two-wheel recumbent gets (the limiting factor is mostly the rider's nerve, followed by the diameter of the 20" wheel).  But when the going gets tough, it's not a bike you want to have to push for any real distance.
But it is a nice bike to ride on surfaced roads including our incredibly potholed roads. Used to ride it on the canal. Narrow slicks on wet grass and muddy ruts. Entertaining!

Bear in mind it's still just a bike. Learn to ride it you should be capable of riding more than easy roads. It's just the hills that you suffer on. Until your recumbent legs kick in of course.

I love the stability and planted nature when fully loaded. 135 litres of kit on it and when riding it handled as friendly as when unladen. But you've got to want to ride a recumbent as there's a learning and training aspect to first riding them. Train your legs that is.

Wallace

  • Aye!
Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #21 on: 06 January, 2022, 04:00:45 pm »
[quote  Train your legs that is. [/quote]

It does look a capable machine, after being away from cycling the past three years, its certainly time to get the legs back into shape... Maybe on a more traditional tourer... Thanks...

ElyDave

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Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #22 on: 06 January, 2022, 04:15:54 pm »
Check out the Fairlight Faran as well for a great all-rounder and robust touring/gravel bike.

https://fairlightcycles.com/product/faran-2-frameset-deposit/

I've had my eye on one of these for a while as well, as a general tourer/audax/gravel bike, they have a lot going for them in that respect.

With other peoples experience i'm moving away from the idea of titanium in favour of Al or steel. Now just need an excuse, or a wodge of unexpected cash
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #23 on: 06 January, 2022, 04:18:24 pm »
The Surly Disc Trucker is the default choice.  Sadly no rim-braked LHT any more.

Thorn tourers are stodgy to ride unloaded and can be fugly (they really love headset spacers!) but they do handle really well with a ton of gear on them.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Touring Bikes?
« Reply #24 on: 06 January, 2022, 04:21:26 pm »
[quote  Train your legs that is.

It does look a capable machine, after being away from cycling the past three years, its certainly time to get the legs back into shape... Maybe on a more traditional tourer... Thanks...
[/quote]
To be fair it's probably is one for when you've done a bit first. A few tours and after you've had a run of cycling. Even when I was commuting every day the switch to recumbent was hard.  I was upright fit but recumbent uses the legs a bit differently.

I. Like genesis tour de fer personally or Spa cycles bikes are very traditional which suits some. Surly disc/long haul trucker I've read is a no compromise tourer which you might not like if you're using it a lot unladen as a commuter or day ride bike. If that's your main use then croix de fer might be a decent option. Have a look at sonder bikes too if backpacking or light touring is your thing. Both off and on road options from sender. I like the trek 520 but there's not many around in the UK right now it seems. A bit harder to get than the others. An outside the mainstream option is from giant. Can't remember the models but there's a European style touring bike option with flat bars and a few gravel bikes with front and rear rack versions. No idea how good they are because there's something a bit different about giant bikes I can't put my finger on. Can't work out if designs are very dated or just a different take on modern design.