2

Just researching some bikes online and, being from the UK, I cannot find any bikes on US websites called 'touring bikes', as we'd commonly call them in the UK. By this, I mean bikes which come with front/rear racks for panniers and (usually) drop handlebars, along with a steel frame for extra durability but a bit more weight.

I have seen gravel bikes come up a fair bit but am not sure that they are the same thing as many don't appear to have front/rear racks.

I have done Google Image and Pinterest searches but I'm still confused.

Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Steve

  • Are you sure it's not Google doing localization? I'm in Finland and the first hits for "touring bike" are to bicycling.com (US-based publication) and surlybikes.com (US-based brand). The bicycling.com article lists several bikes exactly as you describe from US-based brands. – ojs Aug 16 '19 at 15:33
  • I had that initially but then found some US bike shops. Maybe I'm just being dumb... Will have another look. – Stephen Beale Aug 16 '19 at 15:39
  • I'd say (primarily paved) "bicycle touring" is moving towards mixed terrain "bike packing" where frame and saddle bags are replacing the traditional rack-n-pannier set up. – Paul H Aug 16 '19 at 16:24
  • 1
    Most touring-suited bikes do not come with front rack already installed, but instead have braze-ons to accommodate a post-purchase installation. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 16 '19 at 17:05
  • 1
    Some 'gravel' bikes come with pannier attachment points, also try 'adventure' – Argenti Apparatus Aug 16 '19 at 17:35
2

It seems that the manufacturers themselves may be a bit confused as to what to call them.

Starting from a known set of bikes that I (and you) would consider touring bikes, I found:

(Cannondale makes a bike they claim is a touring bike (the "Touring Apex 1") but it's an aluminium frame, so I discount it. But they also don't have a proper category for it, and it only shows up in the total listing of all road bikes.)

| improve this answer | |
  • Good to know it's not just me being slow! Thanks for this response, much appreciated. Cheers – Stephen Beale Aug 16 '19 at 15:49
  • The thing is there's touring and touring. An Al frame with a light rear rack and relaxed geometry would do if you're staying in hotels with frequent resupply stops. Add decent tyre clearance to a comfortable steel frame and you might want to market it for gravel/adventure road even if it can take front racks. The LHT is what you might call a heavy tourer, like my Genesis which rides nicely with 35kg of luggage on board. Categories overlap and picking the right ones can make a big difference to sales – Chris H Aug 16 '19 at 20:59
  • @ChrisH The 4 I mentioned are all comparable US-brand bikes that fit the description of a "touring bike" proposed by the OP. That was the primary reason for selecting them over the Cannondale, since the OP specifically said "steel frame." – DavidW Aug 16 '19 at 21:14
  • @DavidW yes, my comment was directed to the OP as much as to you, and the important bits were the first and last sentences - definitions vary, overlap, and don't line up exactly with specs. – Chris H Aug 16 '19 at 21:30
0

Yes, touring bikes are available in the US. However, bicycle touring (and commuting) is not as common here as in the UK and Europe for the most part, so they are a little bit less common.

REI has a section specifically dedicated to touring bikes: REI Website

I owned one in high school - unfortunately it was stolen the first day of college.

What defines a touring bike is like you said - but I would add that rather than including the pannier racks, it should have the holes for mounting (as many of the REI bikes do).

| improve this answer | |
  • Hmm. REI has a good rep. in general, but I question how well they know bikes. This is listed as a "touring bike" but it's carbon, is lacking in braze-ons (only 1 at the rear axle, which is a pain if you want both rack and fenders; I've tried), and the clearances look tight for most decent aftermarket fenders. – DavidW Aug 16 '19 at 18:36
  • There are several options that make it compatible for touring - maybe just not the ideal bike: -Warbird geometry places the rider in a position that can be maintained for hours on end over bumpy B-roads and loose surfaces, drastically reducing fatigue -Fenders mounts allow for longer, more pleasant rides in wet weather -Compatible with the Salsa Wanderlust rack (not included) when using the optional Salsa rack-lock seat collar (not included) – tuxtuxtux Aug 16 '19 at 19:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.