Author Topic: Bike for Supported Touring  (Read 7564 times)

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Offline KEW

Bike for Supported Touring
« on: March 16, 2006, 06:09:45 pm »
I'm going to buy a bike to ride cross country with van support.  Am I better off with a traditional touring bike even though it won't be fully loaded, or a lighter-touring bike which would be faster but not as durable?  Would appreciate any specific recommendations.  Thanks.


  • Guest
Bike for Supported Touring
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2006, 07:38:07 pm »
My 2 cents would be that if you never plan to carry anything other than your own bod and you plan to be on pavement 100% of the time, get the best road bike you can afford.  The better the bike - until about $2500 (basic carbon / Ultegra) - the easier and more fun it will be for you to ride it.  If it fits, you can ride all day!  (If you get fancier, weight goes down, but costs goes way up - fast!!)

Offline DaveB

Bike for Supported Touring
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2006, 10:28:55 am »
A light touring or even a pure road bike will be plenty durable for unloaded touring or even credit card touring and will be more fun to ride than a heavy-duty loaded touring bike.  

Avoid low spoke count boutique wheels and your bike should be up to anything you will do.

Offline Luca

Bike for Supported Touring
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 05:25:31 pm »
Essentially all the bike is transporting is you - tools, supplies, clothing,
and a rest stop and repair shop, will always be a few feet behind so a
wide range of bicycle types would up to the task: rigid MTB, cyclocross,
road, or hybrid. It's crucial that the bike and its components conduce
to relaxed and comfortable riding over the long haul. A minor
discomfort at the 5 KM mark can develop into agonizing pain 150 KMs
down the road, so it's recommended that you log a few miles on your
prospective tourer before embarking on the real thing. Don't set out
without having dialled the bike in or riding a century or two.

You need not resort to a dedicated tourer; any frame that's durable,
comfortable, and versatile (can accommodate larger tire sizes, fenders)
will do. But, off the top of my head, a couple of framesets come to
mind that are inexpensive and versatile: a) Surly's Long Haul Trucker <> is a touring specific frame  
b) Jamis Nova <> is
technically a cyclocross bike but is definitely up to the rigors of
touring. (Too bad the 2006 model has dropped the low rider bosses on
the forks).

Last summer I toured 2200 KM unsupported on an older Nova. Please
refer to the photos at for a few shots of
my touring setup. Bikes of this ilk are versatile enough to be employed
in a variety of capacities (commuter, utilitarian, recreational), and
deliver much value for the money.

Many older 27" wheel steel road bikes of bygone years sported ample
tire clearance and a full complement of braze-ons as standard
features; I would not hesitate to tour on these bikes (after an overhaul).

Durability should not be a concern if you avoid 'stoopid light'
aluminum frames and excessively light and exotic components. I avoid
Al frames because of their finite fatigue life-spans, am partial to steel
rigs, and tour on (at least) 36 spoke wheels. Another preference of
mine: 700c wheels over 26" MTB hoops for road touring; the larger
diameter roles more smoothly over road irregularities. Stick with the
tried and true.

The amount of gear you're carrying, tire pressure, and road surface will
chiefly determine the 'speed' of whatever bike you choose. You'll find
that a bike that's a kilo or two lighter will be of little moment after
you've topped your water bottles and you're loaded with a lunch,
camera, and some clothing. Do not overly concern yourself with speed;
it's a tour not a race; the important issues are comfort, durability and


Offline KEW

Bike for Supported Touring
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2006, 09:25:51 pm »
Thank you all for your advice.  I ended up getting a Trek Pilot, and changed the wheelset to get 36 spokes.

Offline alfonso

Bike for Supported Touring
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2006, 02:03:39 am »
I'd love to know how you're liking the Pilot: I've been considering one.

Offline KEW

Bike for Supported Touring
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2006, 10:24:34 pm »
Sorry for the delay but I wanted to give the Pilot 5.2 a good test drive before responding...after 100 miles yesterday and 40 miles today, the Pilot responded beautifully to the challenge.

The Pilot handles hills easily; well balanced on the way up and terrific control on the way down. My son (who also bought a Pilot 5.2) and I both noticed a big difference between my previous Cannondale and the Pilot 5.2. The Pilot is definitely the best bike I have ever owned.

Test drive a few bikes as every cyclist is different. After trying many different bikes, we found the Pilot 5.2 to be our favorite.

Offline alfonso

Bike for Supported Touring
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2006, 01:08:03 am »
Thanks for the comments, KEW.