Author Topic: Which touring bike?  (Read 3608 times)

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Offline Guncutter

Which touring bike?
« on: September 03, 2010, 07:47:18 am »
I'm not a year round cyclist so all the bike specs etc really mean nothing to me.

I'm looking to get a touring bike for a 2-3 month trip, location as yet undecided, but probably in New Zealand or the USA, and I'm considering one of the following Ridgeback tourers. The Ridgeback Horizon, Voyage or Panorama.

http://www.bikedock.com/home?page=shop.product_details&product_id=4296&category_id=21&flypage=flypage-bd.tpl

http://www.bikedock.com/home?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-bd.tpl&product_id=4416&category_id=21&keyword=ridgeback+voyage

http://www.bikedock.com/home?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-bd.tpl&product_id=4379&category_id=21&keyword=ridgeback+panorama

Any input appreciated, as I don't really have a clue what I'm looking for!

I know that one of the models comes complete with panniers, I believe it is one of the cheaper models, but I can't remember which one and the website doesn't say. I mention this in case this is a factor to consider in any decision.

The more expensive one is probably out of my price range but I COULD stretch to it if i'm going to get significantly more for the money...

Thanks!

Offline rvklassen

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 09:13:49 am »
Don't go with the one labelled "Road bike" - the Horizon.  The gear range isn't suitable for touring.   The Voyage looks like a better deal than the Panorama.  While the Panorama has some higher end components, all the most important parts are taken care of.  On close inspection of a photo on Evans Cycles site, I note that the Voyage does have braze-ons for a front rack, so if you want a front rack you can add one.  And such a rack is going to be well under $100 (sorry, I don't know how to get the pound sterling symbol on my keyboard).   

A good set of panniers will set you back a sight as well; keep in mind that they will last 20-30 years, at least.  Good ones, that is (on the scale of Arkel or Ortlieb, depending on your style).  Cheap ones might last the trip, and cost half as much - or less.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 10:35:40 am »
Agree the Horizon is out, this time on the basis of the tires.  If it comes with 700x25s, a 28 is going to be tight (if even possible), and the 32s I like will be right out.  If I were going to buy one and start touring the next day, I'd probably go for the Panorama, since it includes clipless pedals and the front rack.  I'm guessing there's £150 right there.  Also 9 speeds, since 8 speed may be difficult to find if you need parts (at least in the US).

You might pose this question on uk.rec.bicycles.moderated, and see what the suggestions are from there. 

Prices seem high, compared to Left-Pondia.  The Voyager looks like it's priced comparable to the Trek 520 or Surly Long Haul Trucker, but those are spec'ed closer to the Panorama.

How are you going to get into shape for touring, if you don't normally bicycle?

Offline DaveB

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 10:58:09 am »
Someone who is not well versed in bikes (".....so all the bike specs etc really mean nothing to me." and "I don't really have a clue what I'm looking for!") really shouldn't even consider buying a bike over the internet.  

Find a bike shop that has knowledge of touring bikes and let them advise you.  Be specific as to what you want the bike for and what your expected budget is and let them help you select something suitable.  You are much more likely to get the bike you need and will have the shop's help getting it set up to fit you and have their follow-up service if you need it.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 11:09:14 am »
If I were going to buy one and start touring the next day, I'd probably go for the Panorama, since it includes clipless pedals and the front rack.  I'm guessing there's £150 right there.  Also 9 speeds, since 8 speed may be difficult to find if you need parts (at least in the US).
Clipless pedals are great, but for one who describes him/herself as not a regular rider and unfamiliar with specs, toe clips are just fine.  In fact, if you pay the extra for the bike that comes with clipless pedals (which is a bit odd - usually bikes of a grade for which clipless pedals are de rigeur come with no pedals, so you can choose your standard), that means adding in the price of compatible shoes.

And the front rack is a matter of choice.  Some folks can pack very compactly and don't need one.  Others do. 

Finding parts for 8 speed is not a problem yet.  Besides which, unless this is a truly epic tour, the likelihood of needing drive train parts is not particularly high.  We are talking a £400 difference.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 01:19:38 pm »
I am going to go out on a limb. 

If this is a one time event, maybe you should build a relationship with a bike store where you are going to ride.  Shipping costs on a bike are truly awful, and if you are only going to do this one time, maybe you should buy the bike when you land, and sell it before you return.

You will need to plan, and make arrangements for the dealer to have what you want when you land.  You have presented yourself as a non rider, so you won't know what you are missing if the bike is OK as opposed to really great.  This is a mostly US forumn, so we can give you excellent advise on what to buy here.  I have no idea what gets sold in New Zealand.  You need to have a surplus of time on your hands to pull this off.

If you think touring is going to become a way of life for you, then disregard my advice.
Danno

Offline Guncutter

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 07:38:29 pm »

Thanks folks, all very helpful and appreciated.

I see I haven't given you all the facts!  I don't consider myself a cyclist as I don't cycle regularly, if at all, I generally run or circuit train for fitness....

However, I have previously cycled San Francisco to LA on a road bike in 2009, averaging 80 miles a day.  I just got the bike, trained for the trip, did the trip, loved it, but never really continued with the cycling once I got home for various reasons.

Obviously, once I got to Big Sur, I realised that a road bike was not ideal for touring!  And so I want to get the right bike for the job this time around where I'm planning something like the Southern Tier Feb-May 2011 (not confirmed yet, just one option I'm looking into).  I would hope to do more touring in the future also.

I think I will steer clear of the options posted above, the consensus seems to be that they aren't ideal, and seek something else in the UK/Ireland - and try some UK forums as suggested.

I think I will take the time and effort to visit a shop with knowledge of tourers (if I can find a place in Northern Ireland) and get properly fitted etc, as suggested.

Thanks all.

Offline ducnut

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 11:13:51 am »
I think I will take the time and effort to visit a shop with knowledge of tourers (if I can find a place in Northern Ireland) and get properly fitted etc, as suggested.

You have all of Ireland out your back door? I can't imagine what that must be like. WOW!

Good luck with your search and trip.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 01:08:21 pm »
People from our side of the pond would pay good money to go to Ireland and tour.

I guess that the grass really is greener over some one elses septic tank.   :)
Danno

Offline canali

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 09:16:02 pm »
just got a note from salsa in my inquiry into a true allrounder (good for both touring and randonneuring) and was told to hold off as they're coming out with a new and interesting concept for their 2011 line...''won't be steel'' is what i was also told (and hopefully no aluminum...then TI????)

Offline Guncutter

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2010, 07:09:09 am »
People from our side of the pond would pay good money to go to Ireland and tour.

I guess that the grass really is greener over some one elses septic tank.   :)

 :)  Ha, a good point, and a lap of my island is also on the cards at some stage but I could do that anytime I guess, with a week or two off.

 I want to do something bigger with the 3 months I have, while I have the chance...

Offline DaveB

Re: Which touring bike?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2010, 08:36:01 am »
just got a note from salsa.....as they're coming out with a new and interesting concept for their 2011 line...''won't be steel'' is what i was also told (and hopefully no aluminum...then TI????)
If it really is Ti, plan on doubling your original budget.