I am biking the Pacific Coast from Vancouver, BC to San Diego this September. I am looking to purchase a new bike, but I am struggling with the choices.

I enjoy racing with friends on weekends. On an average weekend, I might bike 80 miles and will sustain and 25mph pace. I regularly participate in relaxed races, like the Portland Century. I also bike to work.

In an ideal world, I'd purchase a race bike and a touring bike, but unfortunately, I cannot afford both. I need to purchase a bike that is capable of making a 1850 mile journey, but also sporty and speedy enough to satisfy my weekly needs. I'm really lost and I'm not sure what bike fits both these requirements.

Any tips, pointers, or advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

Few other tidbits of information: - I could potentially purchase a trailer for the trip, so I don't have to purchase a bike that has bIke bag capabilities. - I'm willing to sacrifice comfort on my trip for a bike that will meet my needs in the future.


  • 1
    Welcome to Bicycles @Peter. 25mph (40kph) is a solid pace to sustain on your own. What bike do you currently have, and what problem do you see with touring on it?
    – andy256
    Jul 30, 2015 at 1:58
  • 1
    Surly cross-check or Salsa Vaya. Jul 30, 2015 at 3:28
  • I don't get the one bike thing to do both. You currently have a bike that meets yous weekly needs.
    – paparazzo
    Jul 30, 2015 at 8:24
  • does it have to be an upright, and how much of a concern is budget? To sustain 25mph solo I'm assuming you have a decent racing bike now, but it sounds as though you need to replace it or will be selling it to buy the new one?
    – Móż
    Jul 30, 2015 at 8:55
  • You can get a Surly Cross Check but you probably need to get a new set of tires if you want to go fast.
    – azer89
    Jul 30, 2015 at 11:46

3 Answers 3


I have pretty similar cycling needs as you. I love to race, but still commute over 250km per week in bad weather, so I needed a durable, sporty bike, on a budget. After doing a LOT of research, I bought a Verenti Defense WR2.1 Sora 2015.

Hope this answer helps, I have done over 4000km in 4 months on this bike in terrible weather (Ireland) and have also mounted rear and front panniers. Therefore, in my opinion, this is defiantly a sporty bike as well as a workhorse.

P.S. Comes with mudguards, rear rack mounts, 25mm tires (only had 2 punctures so far), etc.

  • 1
    Do you know how large you can go with tires? Is there room for fenders?
    – dlu
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:49
  • The fenders are supplied with the bike and I have to say the clearance is pretty tight, in order to reduce spray, but I would say max 28mm tires, if you go any larger, don't think you will be able to fit fenders. Jul 31, 2015 at 9:28

Get a randonneur or cyclocross bike with eyelets for a rack. Stevens Namura, Focus Mares AX 3.0, Ridley X-Bow, Rose PRO DX CROSS …

Use it with 23mm road tires as a road bike. Install a rack and some 32mm tires (Schwalbe Marathon Racer, Vittoria Randonneur Hyper) for touring. Some people would also add fenders and a dynamo hub. My longest trip was 3200km through Scandinnavia with ~12kg of camping equipment on the rear rack of my Focus Mares 2009. Perfect if you are touring light and fast.

For more luggage weight or “relaxed” riding you’d probably have to start with a real touring bike like the Surly Long Haul Trucker (long chain stays for more luggage, eyelets for a lowrider rack on the fork, robust steel frame …).


I personally hate panniers on my bike, especially the front, so I would certainly go the trailer route and make the bike one I could race with. Racing bikes are generally divided into two or three types. Criterium bikes are the most twitchy and stiffest, often with very low handlebars. Road racing bikes are a bit mellower, like what riders use on the Tour de France. Some manufacturers sell Paris-Roubaix bikes built a bit tougher and often with some sort of shock-absorbing construction to make the ride more comfortable but with the same geometry as the road racing bikes. Any of these bikes would be capable of the 1850 mile ride you're going to do.

It might be nice to get a reversible stem so that it's easy to have the handlebars higher for the long rides and lower for racing. For longer distances I like the bars approximately level with the saddle or an inch lower than the saddle. For racing I like them about 4 inches below the saddle height.

For frame materials, carbon fiber is king. I've ridden steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon and there's something about carbon that allows it to be stiff and compliant at the same time. Of course it's expensive; you can't have everything. Steel and titanium are close seconds, so if you're on a budget, go for steel. Aluminum can be okay, but it's a harsh ride compared to the others so the long rides will be more fatiguing.

More important than frame materials are the brakes and shifters. Ultegra is my minimum and if I can't get a new bike with Ultegra at the price I need, then I would buy used. 105 is functional too (I haven't tried the 11sp 105 so I can't pass judgement on that), but I would rather ride a harsh aluminum frame with Ultegra than a nice carbon frame with anything less than 105. To be clear - Ultegra = great, 105 = good, Tiagra and under = unacceptable. Maybe I'm elitist, whatever.

I got my wife a new (previous year) carbon BMC with Ultegra for $1800, just as a point of reference for pricing.

Hope this helps and I hope you have a good trip on your new bike!

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