Been having a look at bikes that I could travel around france on and have found some really good deals on road bike that can carry luggage. I have also seen quite a few touring bikes, these seem to be a lot more expensive than road bikes. I was wondering why standard touring bikes cost a lot more than standard road bikes and if it's worth paying the extra money.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
Many if not most road bikes use standard frames build in the far east whereas most touring bikes tend to be hand built. (Yes it's a generalisation but it's not that far from reality).
They (touring bikes) tend to be sturdier and designed to carry loads whereas road bikes are designed to go fast. A bit like the difference between a thoroughbred racehorse and a cart horse. Wheels tend to be 32 or 36 spoked rather than 20/24; the gearing is lower and more suited to shifting yourself and a loaded bike.
Back to the equine analogies: it's horses for courses.
Personally I don't think it's worth paying the extra money.
Touring bikes give you:
More relaxed geometry - comfortable all day
Stronger - for load carrying
Braze-ons for panniers
Kudos - among other tourers
You can get all of the above with either a cyclocross bike or an old steel mountain bike. (a Specialized Hard Rock Sport circa 1995 will get you more points among cyclo-tourists than any of your Surlys)
What kind of bike you need depends a bit on what kind of touring you plan to do
- all tarmac or some tracks?
- travelling light or heavily loaded? (4 major components to this (1) how long are you going for? (2) what do you expect the weather to be like? (3) where will you be sleeping - hostels / campsites / wild? and (4) are you cooking for yourself or eating out?)
- How remote will you be? The further from civilisation (and a bike shop) the sturdier (and simpler) the bike you'll need.
I use a Specialised Tricross which is very good for touring.
ps - if you're on a budget go second hand. Especially valid for touring bikes which are built like tanks and go on for years.
I've always vaguely assumed it's because there's no real market for "entry level tourers" because most people who want to do basic touring on the cheap already have a bike that's fundamentally up to the job - they'll make do with a hybrid or a hardtail or a road bike. Whereas road bikes and mountain bikes are a bit more specialized, so there's more point getting one even if it's fairly bargain basement...
> I've always vaguely assumed it's because there's no real market for "entry level tourers" because most people who want to do basic touring on the cheap already have a bike that's fundamentally up to the job - they'll make do with a hybrid or a hardtail or a road bike.
Sounds sensible, but I also think that you can get a pretty decent hybrid these days with no suspension that would do excellently for touring for 300 quid or so taking the bottom of the market. It does seem that if you want drop bars, be that touring, road or cyclocross, you have to be willing to pay quite a lot more these days.
I can't quite remember, but my hybrid was about 500. It was bought for year round commuting here in Finland (need frame clearance for studded tyres plus a lot of the cycle paths are gravel) but I've done some bikepacking with it and it has been perfect. If I decided to ride to Morocco tomorrow or something similarly epic, I'd take it without a second thought. But of course it doesn't have the drops which it seems classic style tourers still do.
Was looking to buy a good day in day out winter, summer whatever commuting bike last year and thought that a tourer would fit the bill nicely.
I too noted the quite noticeable price difference between a tourer and a road bike with added rack etc. When asking dealers about this I mainly got the answer that people who know that they want a tourer are more discerning. Going through the two bikes side by side the tourer had a much higher specification. From memory things like Reynolds 853 frame LX group set as opposed to no name frame and low end Shimano group set.
If you looked at it like for like taking into account the additions on a tourer i.e rack then road bikes and tourers are about similar in price for any given set specification.
Tourers have a much more relaxed geometry and made from good old steel for long hours in the saddle over pot holed and cobbled streets. Road bikes tend to have a more aggressive geometry and lighter stiffer frames for short fast rides. There is of course more to this than that but its a good starting point.
I think people have covered some of the price difference.
The difference in the bike is geometry and the reason mtbs and hybrids work well is they are similar (cross bikes even more so). A good tourer will fly well like a road bike, cope with trails like a mtb and do it all heavily loaded without the handling suffering. If anything some get better.
Some tourers look a lot like mtbs and can take mtb tyres and are aimed at real back country remote touring. Others look more like road bikes.
Bikes are just like their gears, they overlap, so choose the one that covers your range of use.
Although if you're serious you'll need one for each situation ;-)
(who just got a luggage scale from lidl and found his road bike (size 58) weighs 6.6 kilos ).