Touring Bicycles: Selection

Explore which bicycles are best for bike touring and travel using these blog posts, articles, reviews, and external resources. 

Photo by Jesse Merz

Video Review: Riding the Space Horse
Video Review: Riding the Space Horse

In this video, Adventure Cyclist magazine contributor Patrick O'Grady takes a look at the All-City Space Horse. The full review appears in the February 2013 issue of Adventure Cyclist.

Touring Bike Buyer's Guide
Touring Bike Buyer's Guide

Adventure Cyclist began publishing practical advice for buying a touring bike in 1996. The articles have covered all kinds of bikes that can be used for bicycle travel — true touring bikes, mountain bikes, tandems, recumbents, cross bikes, etc. They have also included lists of manufacturers that make these bikes and their contact information. Despite the amount of time that has passed since many of these articles were published, we think they still contain a lot of useful information and advice. We hope you find them useful.

How to Buy a Recumbent Bike for Touring

by John Schubert. Imagine sitting back in your most comfortable chair as the mountains and rivers glide by. While your legs move at the effort level of a brisk walk, every muscle above your hips is relaxed, your fingertips occasionally flexing to make a steering correction. At the end of the day, you experience almost none of the stiffness and soreness that "regular" cycletourists suffer. This is why recumbent cycle tourists are fiercely loyal to their bikes.

Choosing a Bike for the Great Divide

by Larry Diskin. If you are planning to go a long way on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, you will depend a great deal on your gear. There are few services such as bike shops, outdoor stores, hospitals, and commercial accommodations available on the route. Since there are few opportunities to purchase equipment or have repairs done, you will depend largely on what you bring with you. Careful selection of equipment will pay off during the trip.

2012 Light Duty Touring Bikes
2012 Light Duty Touring Bikes

For my last few tours, I have only used rear panniers and a handlebar bag for gear storage, so I've had light duty, or randonneur style bikes on the mind. Just a quick note, when I talk about light touring, or randonneur bikes, the characteristics I'm referring to place us somewhere between road bike geometry and pure touring bike geometry. They would have shorter chainstays than a touring bike, a tall headtube, wide tire clearance, and often only rear rack mounts. Here are a few of the bikes I have really been keying in on as of late.

Tout Terrain Silkroad Goes to Baja
Tout Terrain Silkroad Goes to Baja

Once in a long while the Gods of Cycling just smile down on you and say, "We have made you suffer enough. We have made you ride to work through too many snowstorms and scheduled too many of your biking 'vacations' during record breaking heat waves. To make it up to you, we're going to give you a perfect 15-day bicycling tour through Baja, Mexico and we're going to let you try out a Tout Terrain Silkroad while you're there." For a minute it seems too good to be true, but then you just decide to smile and go with it.

Touring Bikes Under $1500 (2011 edition)

Why $1500? It seemed like a good round number that included a lot of cool bikes with great builds at a reasonable price. Today's post is sort of an addendum to that list; it includes some bikes that I missed last year, plus some new bikes for the 2011 season.

How To Find The Perfect Touring Bicycle
How To Find The Perfect Touring Bicycle

I get emails all the time from people who ask: “I'm planning to go on a bicycle tour sometime soon. What kind of touring bicycle should I get?”

Interbike Roundup Part 1: New 2012 Touring Bikes
Interbike Roundup Part 1: New 2012 Touring Bikes

If you're interested in a new touring bike for next year, there's some great news. The pool of available bikes is on the rise! Here's a sampling of four new touring bikes for 2012, aimed at four different styles of touring.

Touring Aboard a Cyclocross Bike
Touring Aboard a Cyclocross Bike

The other day I received a great question over the phone from a cyclist who said she could really take on just one bike. She wants it primarily for fast-paced road riding, but she'd also like it to be worthy of loaded touring. Having been in a similar situation in the past myself, I suggested the route I chose: a cyclocross bike.

Purchasing a Used Touring Bike

While buying a new bike can be fun and exciting, it can also be very intimidating when you start looking at $900 price tags before you even start adding in racks, panniers, and other touring equipment. This isn't always in an individual's desirable price range, especially when they are just trying to get their feet in the door.

Mountain Bike for Road Touring?
Mountain Bike for Road Touring?

At least once a week, I receive an email or phone call from someone asking if its okay to ride a mountain bike for their tour, whether it be a weekend trip or a cross-country tour. The quick answer to the question is absolutely, but here are some reasons behind the answer, and ways you can go about making it happen.

Trek 520
Trek 520

Trips back home to Iowa always bring me back to my cycling past. Familiar roads, memories of RAGBRAI, and my first true touring bike, a Trek 520. The Trek 520 was first introduced in 1983, and continues to make its way through the production line as one of the most popular touring bikes today. With a large following, there seems to be no slowing down for this model.

Raleigh Sojourn Touring Bike
Raleigh Sojourn Touring Bike

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.