August 20, 2011
It isn't easy to look ahead to next year's touring season, especially when we're still in the middle of the current season, but I'm going to do it anyway. The motivation behind this is that a lot of bike companies are starting to slowly release their 2012 offerings as the industry trade-show season opens up. Since bicycle touring doesn't always chase trends and receive a ton of hype, it can be a little hard to dig out the new offerings for next season. But there are a few bikes worth mentioning as a sneak preview for things to come.
First up, the Specialized Tricross is by no means a new bike, but Specialized seems to be giving it a new image. What used to be their top end cyclocross bike just a few years ago, now features both front and rear rack mounts, in addition to large gear ranges. And it's being billed as a commuter/light touring bike. There are three different build options with this bike, with the price ranging from $990 to $2000. Specialized still doesn't have a dedicated touring bike, but considering how many dealers they have around the country, it is good to see them offering this option.
Fat bikes are starting to emerge as great options for unique styles of touring, which were featured in the June 2010 issue (pdf) of the Adventure Cyclist magazine, in addition to Salsa's own blog. The first of two new bikes worth mentioning in this category is the much-anticipated Surly Moonlander. While most fat bikes tend to roll 4" wide tires, the Moonlander steps it up to 4.5" inches, providing a little more traction and float over loose sand and snow. Salsa also looks to be adding to the growing fat bike scene by offering a titanium Mukluk, in addition to their already very popular aluminum Mukluk.
Those are just a few bikes we have our eyes on right now. The Interbike trade show is less than a month away, and we'll be excited to talk about more new products as that event unfolds.
TOURING GEAR AND TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead.
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