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I'm planning to buy a bike for use only in summer, mostly on 100% flat terrain (being The Netherlands). However, I would also like to be able to use it as a packing mule and go into the mountains for a week, on-road, once a year.

If you take Giant, they have the Expedition LT for the latter. But, it does come with a hefty price tag (€ 1900). Giant also has the Aero RS1 (€ 1300) and RS2 (€ 900). The RS1 having a completely different frame, being lighter (which is not relevant for me, since 1 kg on 30 kg of bags won't make a difference).

I know that the Expedition has better Shimano sets, hydraulic disc breaks (although I have my doubts about disc breaks; spoke shearing forces, complexity), etc, but I was just wondering how a bike like the Aero RS2 holds up when going into the mountains, on-road, once a year for a week. It does have mounting holes for front bag carriers, so at least in that sense, it's prepared for it, but they do call it a 'lite trekking' bike. I just wonder if that means something, or if that is only to give credence to the existence of higher priced ones.

The only thing I may actually miss, is the hydraulic breaks, for their better control. Giant has other bikes too that have hydraulic breaks, like the Futuro RS1, but its front fork has no mounting holes for bag carriers, and it has suspension (which I don't like climbing).

  • So long as the bike can securely mount your racks, the only concern for "occasional" on-road mountain riding would be the gear ratio, but that depends a lot on what you mean by "mountain" and what your physical strength/stamina is. You do need to have good, reliable brakes, but that's mainly a matter of having the right pads and not foolishly "riding" your brakes for long periods of time. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 12 '14 at 17:47
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If you're going on road, a hybrid should be fine (like the Aero RS2) - the gearing and tire size and handling should be reasonable provided you don't go too high on the weight. I'd probably not load it too much though (for that you want something intended for touring). At 30 kg of stuff though, I think I'd look for something more touring bike-y than the Aero RS2 - its part of Giant's casual series and carrying 30 kg of stuff isn't really in the casual realm and you could likely do better for 900 euros in that realm.

A more reasonable option overall would be to buy a bike that works well outside the week of mountain touring, and rent a bike for the week long mountain trip.

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  • Well, I've been looking at Koga, Giant and Canondale, and the touring bikes all seem to be around 1600-1900. Would you happen to know a specific model/series? – Halfgaar Jul 12 '14 at 18:26
  • @Halfgaar we tend not to get into specific products on here, as they can get obsolete quickly. Also if three of use responded, one would say Giant, one would say Koga and one would say Canondale, and you'd be none the wiser! I think Batman's answer is very much along the right lines. Broadly speaking you'll get what you pay for, and if you're looking at spending €1000 or more, you should end up with something decent. – PeteH Jul 12 '14 at 20:45
  • Also, bike pricing is market particular. and there are a great deal of good used bikes (even touring bikes) out there. – Batman Jul 13 '14 at 5:13

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