Touring Bikes, Adventure Bikes

 

 

Classic British Touring Bike

 

 

26" Wheeled Touring Bike

 

 

Touring & Adventure Bikes

Ready for the world


The classic touring bike is the product of decades of evolution and literally millions of cycling miles. Over the years it has incorporated innovations and quality improvements in just about every area of component design, but in its purest form it remains the same - a classic bike for distance. Robustly constructed out of high quality steel, tourers are designed for people who like to use their bike to travel.

Touring bikes are reliable platforms for carrying luggage, whilst smooth road tyres on large 700c wheels make them fairly swift. The classic English style of tourer also features racing-style drop handlebars which allows for multiple riding positions, and these are set in a slightly more upright position than that found on road racing bikes, allowing for a much greater degree of comfort on longer rides. For more challenging expeditions, involving rougher trails and unmetalled roads consider the newer breed of adventure bikes such as the Salsa Fargo or a model with a 26" wheel option such as the Heritage or Long Haul Trucker, which are both available in either 700c or 26".

Steel: the Real Deal

Unlike most bikes, most touring bikes are still made of steel.

Steel is real... say the purists, and steel tourers are only made out of high quality branded steel tubing from the like of Reynolds (Ridgeback, Genesis), Tange (Salsa) and Dedacciai (Condor). In some configurations the best of these steel alloys will better the lightness of quality aluminium alloys and will certainly result in frames that are lighter than the cheapest aluminium frames. High quality steel bicycle tubing has an inherent springiness making for a comfy ride, as the frame will soak up all the small jolts and vibrations that one is likely to encounter on the roads. By comparison, a rigid aluminium frame will feel harsh and tiring on a long day's ride (which is one reason why so many aluminium bikes have suspension these days).

Thus the logic of classic touring bikes begins with the steel frame. Because more compliant steel frames have their own element of suspension it is feasible to run thinner, higher pressure, tyres. Their low rolling resistance will more than compensate for the small weight penalty. The absence of suspension also delivers another advantage - simplicity. Simplicity is highly desireable if you are looking for a bike that will take you to far away places, or are planning extended trips away from home - as Surly says "repair carbon fiber in the middles of Mongolia? Good luck with that!"  This principle also extends to other aspects of touring bike design such as the gears.

So... simple, resilient, versatile and steel. In a country which you can traverse without hardly touching a main road, tourers are probably the ideal vehicle to explore the great British countryside.

 

Key Features of Classic Touring Bikes

Fairly fast and rugged
Sporty but not aggressive riding position
Classically with steel frames
Partially equipped
Derailleur gears with touring ratios
Can handle some gentle offroad
Stable load carriers
More comfy for long distance than flat bar road bikes

Brands to consider

Ridgeback, Condor, Genesis and Surly.

Alternatives

If you fancy something lighter and faster - Road/Race Bikes
If you fancy something more upright - Comfort Hybrids

Great for…

Long distance cycling, day rides and longer commutes. Racing style handlebars allow you to tuck in your arms and get their head down and go, whilst their fairly robust construction will allow them to put up with the long term abuse that these bikes will inevitably suffer in such pursuits.

Not ideal for…

Speed. Most touring bikes are built for ruggedness and comfort - for leisurely long distance exploring - whether for a day ride in the British countryside or a transcontinental expedition. At the lighter end of things (Condor Heritage), they will be pretty swift, though they will never approach the flat out performance of a road bike. If you want a bit of both, then look at the sportive types featured in our road bike section (such as the Fratello). If you are looking for more adventurous off road journeys, then look at the more fat tyred variants such as the Vaya, Fargo or the 26" wheeled version of the Long Haul Trucker. The lighter, more classic models, such as the Voyage and the Heritage are certainly robust enough to cope with fireroads or smooth bridleways as part of a larger trip, but not recommended if you actively seek out this kind of terrain.

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2016 Ridgeback Panorama
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,149.99

The Ridgeback Panorama is the top bike in the World range and elder sibling to the Voyage. At its heart is a frame made from butted Reynolds 725 tubing, which is light yet strong enough to pull off...

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2016 Ridgeback Voyage
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£849.99 Now only £649.99

The Ridgeback Voyage has been a roaring success and, as far as we have found, thoroughly deserved its plaudits. A classic tourer with butted Reynolds 520 steel frame (same as 525, but made under...

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2017 Genesis Day One 10
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£599.99


Genesis Day One 10 With its efficient, low-maintenance singlespeed drivetrain and powerful, consistent disc brakes, the Day One 10 might just represent the ideal urban commuter.
One speed to rule...

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2017 Genesis Day One 20
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£799.99


The Genesis Day One 20 brings all the associated benefits of singlespeed riding with it’s single, ultra-efficient optimised chainline and adds the practicality of Shimano’s Nexus 8sp...

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2017 Genesis Tour de Fer 10
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£999.99


The Genesis Tour de Fer 10 represents a vision of affordable escapism; a bike designed for the sole purpose of carrying rider and luggage long distances efficiently and in comfort, without leaving...

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2017 Genesis Tour de Fer 20
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,499.99


The Genesis Tour de Fer 20
The bike you’d turn to if you were to quit your job and embark on an impromptu pedal-powered world tour!
The premium Tour de Fer - sporting a lot more kit and an...

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2017 Ridgeback Expedition
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£849.99

The Ridgeback  Expedition is a very affordable flat bar classic. A beefy, bomproof expedition mount with a butted Reynolds 520 steel frame (same as 525, but made under quality-controlled licence...

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2017 Ridgeback Panorama
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,149.99

The Ridgeback Panorama is the top bike in the World range. At its heart is a frame made from butted Reynolds 725 tubing, which is light yet strong enough to pull off fully-laden touring with ease....

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Condor Heritage
Condor
Touring & Adventure Bikes
Complete builds from £1249.99

The Heritage is  contemporary bike with traditional accents - a robust mile eater, featuring a classic Tange 1 1/8” steel fork. Using the same front triangle as the Fratello, the...

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Ridgeback Tour
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£599.99

The Ridegback Tour will give you an eminently respectable touring package for the very affordable price of only £599.99. 24 speed touring ratio gears with a bottom of around 24"; Shimano...

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Surly Disc Trucker complete bike or frame
Surly
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,299.99

As with its sister model, the Disc Trucker is a very thoughtfully specified, heavy duty traveller's bike. We'll let Surly themselves elaborate below, but take note here of the following details:...

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Surly Disc Trucker complete bike or frame
Surly
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,249.99

As with its sister model, the Disc Trucker is a very thoughtfully specified, heavy duty traveller's bike. We'll let Surly themselves elaborate below, but take note here of the following details:...

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Surly Long Haul Trucker complete bike or frame
Surly
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,149.99

The Long Haul Trucker is a very thoughtfully specified bike that will appeal to to the cyclist who really likes to travel. We'll let Surly themselves elaborate below, but take note here of the...

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