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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2017 Genesis Day One 20
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£799.99 No only £649.99


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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2018 Genesis Day One 10
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£699.99


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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2018 Genesis Day One 20
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£949.99


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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2018 Genesis Day One LTD
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,299.99


The Genesis Day One LTD 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...

Read more

2018 Genesis Tour de Fer 10
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,199.99


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...

Read more

2018 Genesis Tour de Fer 20
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,499.99


The Genesis Tour de Fer 20
Premium flat bar tourer and as such comes in cheaper than the drop bar TDF30, but with a similar spec starting with the Reynolds 725 Heat-Treated chromoly frame.
Ready...

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2018 Genesis Tour de Fer 30
Genesis
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,799.99


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...

Read more

2018 Ridgeback Expedition
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£949.99

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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2018 Ridgeback Panorama
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,399.99

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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2018 Ridgeback Ramble 1.0
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,149.99

The Ridgeback Ramble 1.0 is the more economical version of this all purpose traveller; but one that makes few compromises. Shimano 18 speed Sora is in its current incarnation a nicely finished and...

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2018 Ridgeback Ramble 2.0
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,349.99

The Ridgeback Ramble 2.0 is the premium version of this traveller and will get you up hill and down dale, both on and off road with ease. Featuring the silky smooth Shimano 20 speed Tiagra groupset...

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2018 Ridgeback Tour
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£749.99

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

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2018 Ridgeback Voyage
Ridgeback
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£849.99

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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Condor Heritage
Condor
Touring & Adventure Bikes
Complete builds from £1549.99

The Heritage is Condor's signature steel touring bike - modern, but with a distinctly traditional look and feel. A robust mile eater, featuring a classic Tange 1 1/8” steel fork. Using the...

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Gazelle Ultimate Marco Polo T30 men's
Gazelle
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,899.99

The Gazelle Ultimate Marco Polo T30, probably the ultimate adventure trekking bike. Whether you plan a leisurely day out on the local Sustrans cycle route, a self-supported trans-continental tour, or...

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Gazelle Ultimate Marco Polo T30 women's
Gazelle
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£1,899.99

The Gazelle Ultimate Marco Polo T30, probably the ultimate adventure trekking bike. Whether you plan a leisurely day out on the local Sustrans cycle route, a self-supported trans-continental tour, or...

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Gazelle Ultimate T30 men's
Gazelle
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£999.99

The Gazelle Ultimate T30, is the lightest trekking bike in the Gazelle range, combining the super-light, super-strong Ultimate frameset with a comprehensive Deore groupset, offering light and...

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Gazelle Ultimate T30 women's
Gazelle
Touring & Adventure Bikes
£999.99

The Gazelle Ultimate T30, is the lightest trekking bike in the Gazelle range, combining the super-light, super-strong Ultimate frameset with a comprehensive Deore groupset, offering light and...

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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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