Are touring bikes worth the cost?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Little Stereo, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Little Stereo

    Little Stereo New Member

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    What advice is out there about touring bikes? I'm looking to do a trans-American bicycle trip and don't see any significant difference between the frames and wheels of a road bike and those of a touring bike, the only noticeable difference I've seen is in price. Is it just a lack of popularity that drives the price of touring bikes up, or is there another factor I am not aware of? Can I convert a road bike frame into a touring bike just by simply changing a few things (gears, brakes -for fixing luggage racks/panniers on the frame, etc.)? If there are any long distance riders reading this please let me know your thoughts
     
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  2. John M

    John M New Member

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    True touring frames (those made to carry the weight on the bike) have a longer wheelbase, which is more stable with loads. Longer chainstays means more heel clearance with large rear panniers. The touring frame will also have the braze-ons to directly bolt the racks to the frame without extra hardware. There may be bosses for cantilever brakes (more stopping power, which is needed when loaded), also clearance for wider tires and fenders on both the front and back.

    You can equip any frame with the low "touring" gears. If you want to carry the load on the bike, then a touring frame is going to be better than a typical road frame. Another option for a trans con length trip is a pull behind trailer like the BOB, which you can use with pretty much any bike.

    As far as the high price--likely due to lack of demand making it a "specialty" product. Plus riders looking to ride across the country or do other loaded touring rides aren't usually looking to cheap out on their equipment.
     
  3. cyberpep

    cyberpep New Member

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    +1 I agree with JOHN M
    When you have 50 lbs of gear loaded on your bike you then appreciate the true value of a great loaded touring bike.
    I would give up my Cannindale T2000 for any other bike.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    OK, I have an old Huffy Stingray that I'll trade you for your Cannondale T2000!:D

    +2 with what everyone else has said up to this point.
     
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