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Photo by Adam Coppola
Boo Cycles does not have a touring bike available at the moment, but there are three reasons I want to talk about them today.
Remember that classic country song by Crystal Gayle, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue?" You don't? Oh well, regardless, in a twist on its title, in Michigan they could soon be singing, "Don't it make my blue roads green?"
One reason I have always been drawn to touring bikes is because they manage to withstand the test of time in many regards. They avoid trends, incorporate ideas that have been proven by time, and through simplicity, look very classy. The Raleigh Sojourn is stylish, yet unassuming from top to bottom, and the steel frame and fork comes with all the bells and whistles you would hope for in a touring bike. Spare spoke holders, pump peg, full fender and rack eyelets, three water bottle mounts, long wheelbase, and a slightly sloping top tube, which makes mounting and dismounting the bike a little easier.
Welcome to the second segment of internal hubs. Last week I took a look at the innovative NuVinci hub, as well as the very popular Rohloff Speedhub. This week, I'll check out two more competitors on the market that are a little more economical for the everyday rider.
If you want more great tidbits about the happenings in bike travel, you should definitely sign up for our free e-newsletter, Bike Bits, which is edited by Mac McCoy, our intrepid field editor.
Last week I received an email containing the link to an intriguing story in Scientific American, titled "How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road." According to the author, Linda Baker, "In the U.S., men’s cycling trips surpass women’s by at least 2:1. This ratio stands in marked contrast to cycling in European countries, where urban biking is a way of life and draws about as many women as men — sometimes more.
While we haven't seen a lot of domestic riders in the U.S. using internal hubs, our European and around-the-world cycling contingents have been heavily spotted with this style of drive train over the years. Why haven't internal hubs become widely used for touring? For starters, it's an aftermarket product that goes against the current standard. When you purchase a bike with a cassette and derailleur that works just fine, it's hard to put down more money on something that is already functional.
Throughout the weeklong Interbike show, I noticed a few emerging trends among all the bikes and bicycle pieces and parts. One such trend is the concept of building a bike that could take you across the country on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail one year, and down the spine of the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route the next. You can call them dual-terrain, all-purpose, or all-arounders—but whatever you choose to call them, the following three are examples of this new style of bicycle.