Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: TwoWheeledExplorer on May 16, 2021, 04:40:59 pm

 
Title: What Happened to the "Adventure" Bikes?
Post by: TwoWheeledExplorer on May 16, 2021, 04:40:59 pm
A couple of years ago, so-called "adventure bikes" were the big thing. Trek had the 920, REI, the Co-Op ADV 4.2, Specialized, and others had entries in that market niche. Now they are as scarce as hen's teeth. What happened?  Were they victims of COVID, or just poor sales? Inquiring minds want to know, because I would still give my eye teeth for a 2006-'07 Novara Safari, but I would take a 920 or ADV 4.2 as an acceptable alternative if I could even find one.
Title: Re: What Happened to the "Adventure" Bikes?
Post by: John Nettles on May 16, 2021, 07:00:55 pm
My guess is poor sales.  They realized that the market for true adventure riders is very small.  How many people take truly off-pavement tours where there is no resupply points for multiple days and so they have to carry 4-5 days or more of food and multiple days of water.  Think people doing Round the World (RTW) tours.  These bikes typically carry over 100# when fully loaded. 

I have a true adventure bike, a Thorn MkII, that is a "go anywhere" bike in addition to way too many other bikes.  The problem is while the Thorn can go anywhere, it is heavy enough that I only use it when I do tours like the above, which doesn't happen very much.  Even then as I age (sucks), lugging very heavy bikes up a steep gravel hill causes me to quickly lose all desire to ride those types of roads since I am basically either coasting or walking.  The bike is willing but in my case the engine is a bit under powered.  Think of these type of bikes as a Ford F-350 Dually Crew Cab with an 8' bed.  Great for when you are out in the countryside literally going overland while hauling stuff but not so good in city driving where most people live. Most people would rather drive a Camry or a F-150 with a short bed.

That said, if I were going to do a RTW or even an extended third world tour, I would use my Thorn.  Other bikes to definitely consider are the Co-Motion Divide, Van Nichols Deveron (Pinon), or Surly has a few bike models that are used for RTW tours.

Gravel bikes are somewhat similar and are very popular with new riders right now.

As far as finding your dream bike that is no longer made, there is eBay.  Just do a saved search and it will automatically notify you when someone is selling one.  For instance, there have been 4 Trek 920s sold on eBay in the last few months.  You just have to be patient.

Tailwinds, John


 
Title: Re: What Happened to the "Adventure" Bikes?
Post by: staehpj1 on May 16, 2021, 07:52:48 pm
I'd have called your Thorn an expedition bike and said an adventure bike and gravel bike were the same thing, but maybe I am just not in touch with the terminology.  I do know that some gravel bikes are billed as adventure bikes by some retailers.  I think REI listed the Cannondale Topstone and an adventure bike for example.
Title: Re: What Happened to the "Adventure" Bikes?
Post by: Iowagriz on May 16, 2021, 08:10:31 pm
Victim of success... Salsa Cutthroat,  2022 models announced and mostly unavailable immediately. 

Anything bikepacking related is hard to get your hands on right now.  Seems to be due to COVID success.  To me that is the Adventure category.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What Happened to the "Adventure" Bikes?
Post by: BikePacker on May 17, 2021, 07:49:08 am
because I would still give my eye teeth for a 2006-'07 Novara Safari, but I would take a 920 or ADV 4.2 as an acceptable alternative if I could even find one.
Yeah ... not a single Novara Safari on EBay at the moment;
however, there is one Novara Randonee.
Title: Re: What Happened to the "Adventure" Bikes?
Post by: wildtoad on May 28, 2021, 12:23:53 pm
Adventure/touring/bikepacking/gravel/hardtail mtb/drop bar mtb/et al. 

There are still several great options out there for bikes that fit the "adventure" mold. COVID has been brutal on supply chains, of course, and that has much to do w/ current lack of availability.  I would recommend expanding any search beyond the confines of Trek, REI and other mainstream brands, but if your heart is set on a Safari, ebay/craigslist will eventually deliver. 

There are several smaller brands that are putting out some great bikes in the category...but those that rely on outsourced production have been hit particularly hard w/ COVID supply...and they don't always have the sway of big brands ($$$$) to get in line for production.