Which bike for touring. A newbie!



halfmoonman

New Member
Jan 11, 2011
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Hi,

I'm pretty sure this is a much asked question, so apologies in advance!

I'm planning a tour around Europe and maybe further afield starting in May.
I'm pricing bikes at the minute, at the moment I have a 5 tonne heap of metal!
The problem is I have no idea what bike I should be looking for, no shops stock touring bikes any where near me,
so gonna have to buy blind, the only website with a good selection seems to be Evanscycles.com
I don't mind spending money for a good bike as I'm sure I'd regret it after a few months cycling if I bought something cheap!
I'm ranting a bit!! Basically what is the best bike to get for such an adventure?
Looking at the evanscycles website I'd get the Kona sutra 2011 just because it looks pretty!!
Surely thats not the best way to pick though!!
Also I'm a little over six foot one what size would suit!

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Andrew
 

cloudhead

New Member
Jul 8, 2010
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Hard to say since there is no one touring bike for everyone. Best thing I have learned is to get a bike based on the route you plan on taking, and to make sure the bike can be repaired and maintained as easily as possible along that route. For example, if one of the disc brakes goes out in an accident, how easily can it be repaired in Nowhere Land? Make sure a caliper or something can be attached as an alternative. Other important factors are wheel size (different standards in different regions) and frame material (steel is real when it comes to touring, since its repairable, at least to get to the next big town, with a basic torch).

I'd get to reading...Most touring bike shops are happy to have a long distance communication and will ship. Eyeballing that Kona, it looks like a very stiff frame, and several bells and whistles which may or may not be what you are looking for. Im not sure of that rear dropout either... It looks like something off a PK Ripper stunt fixie. I've noticed a trend of making touring bikes with extreme strength, which often results in a dead ride. A Touring bike should feel lively and be able to flex a bit with the load (IMO).

In my region, Rivendell is king: http://www.rivbike.com/ The Sam Hillborne bike is a great lifelong touring bicycle at a decent price for its offerings.

Many people love the Surly Long Haul Trucker: http://www.surlybikes.com/frames/long_haul_trucker_frame/ , so much that it has a cult following

Nice thing about Rivendell and Surly is that they still bend their forks, which takes up a lot of the road shock.

Also check Peter White cycles for more great reading about touring (and some amazing bikes and components) http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/

Another emerging business that makes some great reproductions of classic touring parts is Velo Orange: http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/


Personally, I am 6' 7" and I ride a 1985 trek 720 26.5" frame with an updated component set tailored for the mountains near me. Some think the Trek's Reynolds 531 frame is too lightweight for touring, but after 25 years, the frame is still holding up beautifully, even after some mods to get it up to date. And I'd keep an eye on the used market--with a little homework, you can acquire a beautiful hand-brazed bike thats just begging to go back out on the road (and turn some heads) with just a little bit of restoration.

Hope this helps. Sorry if its confusing, but the more you learn about your route and the equipment available for it, the more you'll know about what your perfect touring bike will be. However, in a pinch, I'd go with Rivendell.

-Court
 

halfmoonman

New Member
Jan 11, 2011
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Thanks for your reply.
Your spot on in the get reading comment,
learning more and more every minute.
Its just a pity in Ireland its so hard to come by a shop that sells dedicated touring bikes.
The search shall continue!
 

cloudhead

New Member
Jul 8, 2010
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Check out Thorn Bicycles in UK... They focus on steel, durable adventure cycles and the phone calls are probably a lot cheaper :)

http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/index.html
 

halfmoonman

New Member
Jan 11, 2011
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Just been offered a Dawes Super Galaxy
Says he thinks it around ten years old.

[COLOR= rgb(165, 42, 42)]Incl bike fully built as is,with 1 front pannier bar bag incl map[/COLOR]
pouch,2 x rear panniers all carradice super c (black) and lowe alpine
rain cover and brooks b 17 (as new) I'd have to get 900 euro no less.


[COLOR= rgb(165, 42, 42)]Its immaculate all round.[/COLOR]

Hardly used by the look of it

Front sti shifters are badly scratched,and its a triple with
everything working perfect, its basically ready for touring right now
except for some lights

Tyres are as new schwalbe marathons

Wheels are handbuilt double butted spokes

Titanium screws used where possible for weight reduction

Stem is 110mm quill type

2 x water carriers with screws for a 3rd on underneath

Waiting on pictures, but to me it sounds quite expensive for an old bike.
Am I right or wrong??
 

nuliajuk

New Member
Dec 5, 2009
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Looking at their website, a new Dawes Super Galaxy would go for about 1600.00. It's the top of the line in their touring bikes. If you're also getting panniers, that cuts out one expense right there. You could try talking him down in price. Assuming it's the right size, it could be a really good buy. A top of the line used bike, well cared for, is a better purchase than a cheap brand new one for the same price because it will have had better components and frame materials right from the start.