Author Topic: Touring bike recommendation  (Read 3252 times)

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Offline rickalodge

Touring bike recommendation
« on: February 02, 2010, 01:53:47 am »
Just wondered if anyone had a recommendation for a touring bike for an experienced rider, though not touring for 20 years or so, who would like to undertake 3-7 day tours, staying in motels (i.e., light load), over moderate terrain (California, mostly).  I've heard the Trek 520 is good.  Would love to get used bike to save $$$.  Any comments???

Offline Bikearound

Re: Touring bike recommendation
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 07:14:45 am »
Spend a little time reading the touring forums and you'll see which bikes are popular for touring and what people think of them. For finding a used bike, keep an eye on Craigslist and use words like touring or vintage in your search. Also check out: Surly LHT, Co Motion Americano, Trek 520, Raleigh Sojourn, Rivendell , Bruce Gordon BLT,
Nashbar, Koga Miyata World Traveler just to name a few. The key is to find bikes that you can ride beforehand to make sure they fit you. I think you'll find that finding bike to test ride is going to be the hardest part because not many bike shops carry touring specific bikes so it's hard to ride numerous brands to see what you like best.
Good Luck


  • Guest
Re: Touring bike recommendation
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 07:15:23 am »
Take a look in the Gear Talk discussion for dozens--nay, hundreds-- of comments about both new and used bikes and many pointers to articles about selecting a bike for touring. The best of those, IMO, are on the ACA web site.


Offline mucknort

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring bike recommendation
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2010, 11:03:20 am »
Because you will be credit-card touring on paved roads, you have a lot more options besides the conventional touring bikes. A cross bike or a hybrid bike would probably also suit fine. Decide how you want to carry your stuff (e.g., rear panniers only, front panniers only, trailer, seatpost rack). A lot depends on how light you think you can go. Can you get under 10 pounds? If so, then almost any bike would do, probably including whatever one you're riding now.

Having said all that, get a touring-specific bike if availability and budget permit.

Offline whittierider

Re: Touring bike recommendation
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2010, 01:08:44 pm »
John has a good point.  For light credit-card touring, you don't even need rack-mount eyelets, and you can use a rack that just clamps onto a round aluminum seat post, or a handlebar bag, or even use a very large seat bag and no rack at all-- or some combination of these.  The Mountain Wedge III seat bag from Jandd Mountaineering has about 450 cubic inches, and, by itself, seems to be just enough for a 3-day CC tour:

At the extreme, there are seat bags with over three times that much volume, kind of like having a duffel bag hanging back there, but it has internal metal supports to keep it from swinging and sagging:

These are the Carradice Camper Longflap (on the left) and Super C (on the right).

Having the weight up so high is not ideal for handling, but you adapt your handling method and then you don't think about it.  I say that partly from experience, as the first picture above is of my own bike.  Although not with a heavy load, I had it up to 53mph recently, and could have gone a little faster if there hadn't been any traffic.  I couldn't feel the bag back there.  A big seat bag will give you less wind resistance than panniers too.

Here's a seat-post-mount rack from Topeak, with a 20-pound load limit:

Offline rickalodge

Re: Touring bike recommendation
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2010, 11:49:54 pm »
Many thanks to all who replied.  I appreciate the info as the last time I owned a touring bike was about 20 years ago!  Thanks again for all the ideas.