Touring Bikes: 17 of the Best Travel Bicycles under 2000$
Are you looking for a reliable touring bike? Round-the-world bicycle tour? Weekend bikepacking? A list of great travel bikes for a reasonable price
Are you looking for a reliable touring bike to carry you and your belongings on a round-the-world tour? Or maybe you want an everyday commuter bicycle that can also be a perfect companion for short trips.
Are you willing to spend some money but don’t want to sell a kidney?
Well, in this article we collected some of the best touring bicycles priced under 2,000$ (or Euros, more less the same nowadays). Some are well known touring machine, tested by many adventurers all around the globe, while some are less known but absolutely worth a look. A few have a shorter gear range, take that in mind if you’re considering the Pamir or the Himalayas.
Most of these bicycles are made out of steel, a material that most tourers prefer to the lighter aluminum. Aluminum nowadays is not as weak as it used to be, but it’s hard to weld in case of frame cracks.
You’ll probably never need to have the frame repaired, but if you do you’re more likely to find someone who can weld steel than someone who can weld titanium or aluminum, let alone carbon.
Of course, this list is far from complete, let us know in the comments if you have other suggestions, we’ll be happy to add that to the list.
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How we compile our gear guides: during the almost 10 years of cycloscope.net our team personally tested dozens of similar pieces of gear. For what we can't test personally, we involve other people in the cycling community to give their feedback and opinion about gear they have used. Our decade-long experience in bicycle touring enables us to find the key cons and pros of every product we mention.
What is a Touring Bike?
Essentially speaking, a touring bike is a bike you make tours on, by tours we usually mean multi-day unsupported trips.
Traveling by bike without any support vehicle means you’ll have to carry your necessary belongings with you, which on longer trips might be quite some stuff (check the essential gear for bike touring), so a travel bike should be designed to carry loads, even heavy ones, comfortably and safely.
Besides that, it’s likely that on your bike trip you’ll face very different road conditions, from gravel to smooth tar to even single tracks (if you’re an adventurous person)
In order to do all this, a touring bike features certain characteristics in its frame geometry and choice of components:
Long wheel-base, or at least long chain-stay geometry: the longer the frame, the more stable is the bike, longer frames absorb vibration better thus making for a more comfortable ride.
A long wheel-base helps you avoid the annoying heel-to-pannier contact without shifting the panniers back too much and so losing the center of stability (the weight should be centered with the back axle).
A sign of a long chain-stay is the length of the rear fork, while the wheelbase is made longer also by the bent angle of the front fork, called rake. A longer rake means a more accentuated bent, this is sometimes referred to as a lazy fork.
A lazy fork also offers some cushioning for the vibrations while making the bike a little less agile (steering is slower). A long chainstay may also help in fitting larger tires.
Strong and stiff frame: this may be hard to get at a first sight. How do you know if a frame is strong or not? First of all the material: titanium is stronger than steel, that is stronger than aluminum, that is stronger than carbon (at least that’s usually true). Check this article to understand more about welding and brazing.
Rack and bottle cage mounting points: unless you opt for the trailer solution or the bikepacking setup, your bike should be equipped with mounting points for front and back racks. Well, you can also just go with one rack (front or back, your take) if you pack light.
Wheels, those have to be strong – more spokes more strength
Tires have to be wide, especially if you want to go on gravel roads comfortably
Rider’s Position has to be more upright compared to road or gravel bikes. Speed is not important when bike touring, what matter most is comfort.
What kind of touring would you like to do with your bike? Cross continent? Weekend trip sleeping in B&Bs (called credit card touring)? One or two weeks all off-road? Smoothly paved cycling paths? This question really matters in the choice of a touring bicycle.
Expedition Bicycles are those designed to go around the world in all kinds of terrain and conditions. They usually have classic geometry with horizontal (or slightly sloped) top tubes, mid-wide tires (standard usually at 2″) to handle both pavement and gravel, fenders not to get wet, long wheel-base for stability, ample range of gears, steel frames (more comfortable and easier to fix), common components for widespread availability.
Light Tourers give their best under reduced loads, usually have narrower gearing, are often made of aluminum to reduce the weight. Those are ideal for easy tours on cycling paths.
Bikepacking bicycles – does did not really exist until a few years ago, since bikepacking is just another way to put luggage on a bike. But since this style of bicycle travel is becoming more and more popular, several manufacturers are trying to build bikes that are specifically designed for this purpose. They usually have a lot of brazed-on mounting points for bikepacking cages, and to add water bottles in odd places, since the frame diamond is usually occupied by a frame bag. They also have wider tires for a more off-road use and a more aggressive geometry, a bikepacking trip is often shorter than an expedition.
Randonneur or endurance bikes are road bikes with drop bars, comfortable frames (steel, aluminum or even carbon), which will take mudguards and a lightweight pannier rack if required. They have shorter chainstays and stiffer forks, more similar to road bikes. Those are designed to carry very light loads and are often used for multi-day self-supported endurance races.
Everything changes, even bike traveling. Sometimes those changes are dictated by marketing, but also new ways of traveling come out and the touring bikes are being adapted to that.
With the raising of bikepacking, people are going more and more off-road with loads, sometimes trying to get lost on single tracks previously reserved only to mountain bikers and hikers. Specifications of bike designed for this purpose are usually:
Tubeless tires for added puncture resistance
Wider tires to tackle sandy tracks and washboards
Smaller front chainrings and bigger cassette pinions, prioritizing low gear while giving up on maximum speed – we are seeing more and more a single front chainring, to eliminate the front derailer and one shifter
Another recent trend is unsupported endurance multi-day races, where riders cover very long dinstances, sometimes across continents, at very high speeds and spending lots of hours on the saddle. Bikes designed for this purpose usually look like road bikes, are made of alloy or carbon, carry light loads and have heavy gear – prioritizing speed.
For 2021, many brands opted for carbon forks, aggressive gravel-ready geometries and larger tire clearance.
We’ll try to cover a bit of all these types of bikes in our list of the best touring bikes under $2,000, with the exception of endurance race bikes, which would require a further article.
The Kona Sutra is well known and appreciated in the universe of long-distance bicycle tourers. It’s a reliable machine that has delivered adventurers in the most remote corners of the world. The range of components are just perfect for bike touring, Shimano stuff is easy to find everywhere in the world, so no hassle for replacement and servicing.
The 2021 version goes for a single front-chainring, a new trend taken from the gravel world, that is contaminating the classic bike-touring world. The range of gear is still ideal for most conditions, max-speeds can be lower, but do you really care?
The new Kona Sutra features SRAM components instead of the classic Shimano. SRAM is by no means inferior in quality, but availability might be rarer.
This is a touring bike we met often during our bike trips around the world, a real classic.
Genesis Tour de Fer 20 2021 Touring Bike (+/- €1,600)
The bike you’d turn to if you were to quit your job and embark on an impromptu pedal-powered world tour! Build-wise, Genesis has dressed the frame with durable, no-nonsense components that they knew from personal experience are tour/expedition worthy and should last the sorts of high-mileages for which the bike was intended.
The spec list should, by all accounts, read like a cyclo tourist’s wishlist; even going so far as to include an SP dynamo hub with B&M front and rear lights! Expedition-ready straight from the box – just add a rider, luggage and a strong sense of adventure.
We personally know several long-distance bike travelers owning a Genesis Tour de Fer and everyone was happy about it.
Genesis Tour de Fer 20 Specifications:
Reynolds 725 Heat-Treated chromoly
Genesis full Chromoly
PT-1770 EC34 Upper / EC34 Lower
Shimano Deore FD-T6000-L-3
Shimano Deore RD-M6000-SGS
Shimano Deore SL-M6000 3X10spd
Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite
Shimano Front – DH-3D37 Dynamo hub / Rear – FH-M4050
One of the few alloy options in this list, the newly updated bike touring machine by Cannondale is incredibly lightweight for a travel bike at only 9kg! It features a carbon fork that might turn up someone’s nose, and indeed I will be careful using this nice bike for extreme expeditions under full loads.
The overall geometry of the frame is designed with versatility in mind. With a chainstay of 430mm you could do the manual wheelie, snap the bike through tight corners or simply enjoy the stable and relaxing position in town.
The seat-stay tubes join the seat tube at the same height of the top tube line, creating with the chainstay tubes a good looking and extraordinarily classic rear triangle.
This is not the classic cross-continent touring bike, but an interesting option for endurance bikepacking or gravel adventures. Performance touring at its best, this ain’t your typical beast-of-burden but a train ticket to see the world in a whole new way. Ideal for those seeking a lightweight adventure machine that could double as a speedy commuter. Comes equipped with tubeless-ready rims and tires.
Stanforth Kibo – Expedition Touring Bike (+/- $2,000)
The Kibo is Stanforth’s touring tank, a 26″ wheeled expedition bikes designed to carry heavy loads, for long distances, on every kind of terrain loaded touring. There are four base models: the Kibo, the Kibo+, the Kibo Dirt Drop and the Kibo Rohloff:
The Kibo is the first model, featuring 620mm wide raiser bars
The Kibo+ is the standard Kibo with a few extras. These include the XT crankset, XT hubs, and XT V-brakes
The Kibo Dirt Drop is the drop bar version
The Kibo Rohloff can accommodate the famous and belove hub gear (the Rolhoff indeed)
Like all Stanforth bikes, the Kibo can be customized to suit your needs, from gearing to handlebars, stem, brakes, and even geometry. Kibo frames are hand-made in England from air hardened Reynolds 631 steel. The frames are assembled with the highest degree of skills and care to maximize the strength.
The components are top-notch, carefully selected with expedition bike touring in mind. They include quality parts from Nitto, Velo Orange, Shimano, Paul Components, and Brooks.
Other very interesting models from Stanforth are the Skyelander, inspired by a classic touring/randonneur style, ideal for tours of moderate difficulty as well as a daily hi-end and stylish commuting – the Stanforth Conway, the light tourer, designed specifically for endurance rider Sean Conway and his record-breaking expedition. Ideal for bikepacking setups – and the newly designed Stanforth Pamira, a super touring-tank.
A great expedition tourer for those who like custom made and tailored bikes
Lugged frame hand built in England. Reynolds 631 main frame, Reynolds 525 stays. Reynolds 631 fork. Quill & ahead versions available – N.B. horizontal top tube on quill version & sloping top tube on the ahead
Threaded for quill – Stronglight A9 alloy 1″. Threadless for ahead – Tange Technoglide J27 1 1/8″
Shimano Dura Ace 9 speed bar end shifters (friction/index)
Shimano Deore XT
Shimano Deore XT triple 9 speed 44/32/22
Shimano HG50 9 speed 11-34
Black Tektro CR710 cantilevers, Deore V brakes or TRP Spykes disc brakes
TRP drilled hole RRL SR (or TRP if choosing V brakes or discs)
26″ 36h Ryde Andra (all wheels are hand built)
Shimano XT hubs 36h black or dynamo hub upgrade
Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour 2.0″ or Continental Race Kings 2.0″
Black Tubus Tara lowrider on the front and Tubus Cargo on the rear
SKS black Chromoplastic 55mm
Trek 520 Disc – Touring Bike (+/- $1,400)
The Trek 520 is a steel touring bike made for the open road. It’s the longest-running model in Trek’s line-up, and it’s built to carry rider and bulky gear on long journeys. Rack and mudguard mounts, a wide range of gearing for climbing (48X36X26T x 11/36t) and a stable touring geometry make suited for loaded multi-day trips and comfortable all-day adventures.
Built of a combo of materials, chromoly steel frame/alloy disc touring fork, it feauters mid-range Shimano Sora brake/shift levers, Bontrager Tubeless Ready wheels with puncture-resistant tyres, an included front and rear rack and all-weather disc brakes.
The 520 is a comfortable steel workhorse that’s capable of everything from daily rides to expedition tours. It’s ready for adventure right out of the box.
Classic and tested mid-range heavy loaded tourer – slightly lighter thanks to the alloy fork
The trek 920 is one of the most popular bikes of the last few years – maybe for its cool and aggressive look, maybe because the design follows the market trends, maybe because is a great and versatile bike.
Tubless ready tyres, hydraulic disc brakes, 2 speed chainrings (42/28t), the 920 looks ready for any kind of trail… although it looks a little bit too fancy for my taste. The hydraulic disc brakes are ideal for extreme trails but I won’t take them on a round-the-world expedition (I already explained why somewhere else in this article).
The 920 comes set up with Bontrager Duster Elite 29er wheels, and clearance for up to about 29×2.25”, the frame is an 100 Series Alpha aluminum w/rack + fender mounts, while the fork is the Trek Adventure alloy disc – so full alloy here.
The bike has a very low and stretched position, with a 100mm long stem, giving the impression to be catered more towards single-day adventures than extended expeditions.
Bontrager Elite, 31.8 mm, 7-degree, w/computer and light mounts
Bontrager Duster Elite Tubeless Ready, 15 mm front, 142×12 rear
Bontrager XR1, 29×2.00˝
Bontrager Evoke 1.5
Bontrager, 2-bolt head, 27.2 mm, 8 mm offset
Surly Disk Trucker 2021 Touring Bike (+/- 1700$)
Since 2007, when the Long Haul Trucker was first introduced, Surly has been identified as the quintessential touring bike. After the success of the Long Haul Trucker, in 2012 Surly launched the Disc Trucker.
Like its predecessor, the Surly Disk Trucker is an iconic drop bar touring bike suitable for carrying cargo. It is designed to travel long-distance on mostly paved roads, but several tourers enjoy with no regrets the off-road capabilities given by the very well-known 100% Surly 4130 Chromoly steel.
No other bike has been loaded by tourers like the Surly, and the new Disk Trucker 2021 inteends to mointain the brand in the paths of its traditions. While everyone is “innovating” Surly stays its ground, with some small but interesting geometry changes.
Surly Long-Haul Trucker, 4130 Chromoly, lugged and brazed.
Surly Truckstop Bar
Promax 31.8 4 bolt
ProMax 27.2 350L non-offset
Shimano Sora 3×9
Shimano Sora R3030
Shimano Alivio M4000 SGS
Shimano Alivio, 11-34t, 9 speed
Shimano Alivio 48x36x26t
Novatec 12×100, 6 bolt, 36H
Novatec 12×142, 6 bolt, 36H
Alex Adventurer 2
Surly ExtraTerrestrial 26 x 46
Ridgeback Panorama 2021 Touring Bike (+/- €1,200)
The beautifully designed 2021 version of the Panorama by Ridgeback is another very nice 700c (28″) world-tourer option. Built from high-quality Taiwan Cr-Mo, it has the classic three bottle cage mounts and low rider front rack braze-on.
A flat-bar version called Ridgeback Expedition, featuring slightly different components, is a few bucks cheaper – while the Ridgeback Voyage is a budget (less than 900 Euros) alloy version, mounting a Shimano Claris groupset.
Another classic well-conceived tourer with all the bolts and nuts for cross-continent journeys
Ridgeback AS-007 XS-S, 90mm M, 100mm L, 110mm XL, 120mm
Shimano Sora ST-T3030
Shimano Sora FD-R3030
Shimano XT RD-M771-SGS
Shimano Sora ST-T3030
Jalco DC20/DC22 36H
Shwalbe Marathon GG 700x35c
Shimano FC-T4660 48-36-26T
Shimano CS-HG400 11-34T
Cinelli Gazzetta Della Strada – Randonneur/Light-Touring Bike (+/- $1,300)
Inspired by the heroic days of cycling in the 1950’s the Gazzetta Della Strada is reminiscent of a time when road racing still meant, potentially, unsurfaced roads and gravelly climbs.
The Gazzetta Della Strada gives the contemporary rider stable handling and clearance for mudguards, whilst maintaining a short enough wheelbase for immediate response in accelerations, an all-together lively riding experience. The bike has rapidly achieved the status of a true cult bicycle.
The front carrier rack is very useful for a small backpack or handbag but this is not a bike for fully loaded touring. With its limited gear range, calliper brakes, and more compact frame, the Gazetta is a versatile randonneur to be doubled as a light tourer.
Whilst the bike itself has a traditional look, the geometry is more modern, with a semi-sloping top tube adding comfort. New Selle San Marco Regal leather saddle, techno leather bar tape co-ordinated with the seat and silver accessories add a touch of precious shine, as in the glory years of Grande Ciclismo. Assembled with the new Shimano Claris 8-speed group. Beautiful as well as functional, the Gazzetta Della Strada is perfect for everyday commuting or easy touring adventures.
Great for those retro-looking-lovers looking for a fast commuter and light tourer at a very interesting price
This is a very interesting and innovative bike, with amazing specs and a great price tag. The Adventure 725 by the British manufacturer Ribble Cycles (in business since 1897) features a weird-looking thin Reynolds 725 tubing with a very “contemporary geometry”.
Handcrafted from steel which is renowned for offering the most compliant of rides as well as being a highly durable material due to its high tensile strength, the carefully profiled tubing also results in the lateral stiffness not being compromised. This carefully thought-out geometry also offers the maximum balance between control and long-distance and mile eating comfort (at least according to Ribble).
The mammoth tyre clearance for tyres up to 2.8” on it’s 27.5 wheels is absolutely great for those who want to venture on sandy tracks, this is one of the widest tire options in this list.
Added versatility is given by the several mounting points for racks (that can be doubled to use bikepacking cages like the Blackburn Cargo), three bottle mounts, and fender mounts. The 11/42T 10-speed cassette gives a great granny gear that should be able to bring you up the steepest tracks.
The Ribble Adventure 725 is an innovative adventure bike great to tackle extreme roads in comfort
Bombtrack Audax 700c – Ultralight Bikepacking bike (+/- $1,500)
Bombtrack completely redesigned the Audax for 2021, targeting specifically the bikepacking market with new gravel-ready geometries. The Audax is a pretty cool rig, designed with adventure and touring in mind.
Its road-ready but relaxed geometry makes it a great choice for those who love ultralight bikepacking, maybe riding incredibly long distances in a day.
The natural dampening characteristics of the steel take out a lot of the road “buzz” letting your arms relax as you eat up the miles. At the core of the Audax is the full CrMo frame, with double-butted tubes, providing a light and strong endurance road machine.
The full-carbon fork, equipped with fender and rack mounts, guarantees readiness in steering while saving a few pounds of weight.
The dropouts and seat stays are ready for a rear rack, and, thanks to the longer chainstays, there is plenty of heel clearance when panniers are mounted. Upfront, the taller headtube is a little bit easier on the back muscles, and the longer trail length means the steering is far less “nervous” than on a race bike.
Thanks to the Shimano 105 compact chainset and 11-34T cassette, it does not matter where your Audax takes you, there are plenty of gears to climb those hills. The Audax a high-versatility rig, happy as a gravel, a touring bike, and as an urban/city bike.
Ideal for multi-day self-supported endurance races and fast paced bikepacking trips
Full carbon, TA, 1.1/2” – 1.1/8”, with fender / cage mounts
RITCHEY COMP STREEM III drop bar, 31.8 mm, 5° backsweep
SHIMANO 105 ST-R7020 STI hydraulic
SHIMANO 105 ST-R7020 STI 2 x 11
SHIMANO 105 BR-R7070 flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes with 160 mm rotors
BOMBTRACK LYER forged aluminium crank, direct mount interface (SRAM compatible), 30 mm spindle
aluminium, subcompact, 48 / 32 T, direct mount spider
SHIMANO 105 CS-R7000 11-speed, 11 – 34 T
SHIMANO 105 FD-R7000
SHIMANO ULTEGRA RD-RX800-GS, clutch, medium cage
BOMBTRACK TAU sealed disc hub, 12 x 100 mm thru-axle
BOMBTRACK TAU sealed disc hub, 11-speed, 12 x 142 mm thru-axle
WTB ST i25 double wall, TCS 2.0, 32h
BOMBTRACK COMP saddle
WTB BYWAY TCS 650B x 47C, tubeless ready
Weight (size M)
10.8 kg (size M)
120 kg (including rider)
Specialized Sequoia Elite – Adventure Travel Bike (+/- $1,400)
The Specialized Sequoia 2019 goes above and beyond what is typically expected from a bike, providing you with the opportunity to venture out into the wilderness. The Sequoia’s path to adventure starts at the frame, which is constructed from Premium Cr-Mo and stainless steel tubing. These materials are coveted for their strength, respectable weight, and tuned ride quality.
The Sequoia takes this a step further by selecting tubes that are specific to each frame size, further ensuring that every frame rides exactly as intended. Of course, this is only a piece of the equation, with the next being its dedicated Adventure Geometry.
This geometry is unique in that it skews the line between a traditional road bike and a dedicated touring rig. You’ll find an ample wheelbase and low bottom bracket for control, but the chainstays and tube angles ensure that you’ll be able to travel efficiently and quickly, regardless of whether or not your rig is loaded.
Digging into the details, the frame is outfitted with an ample number of mounts for water, racks, and fenders. For the build the Specialized Sequoia features reliable parts perfect for facing a wide array of terrain, these include a mix of sturdy Shimano components, fuss-free mechanical disc brakes, and hand-built Hayfield wheels that are cased in wide, 2Bliss Ready tyres.
For the latest version, Specialized chose to follow the latest trends in adventure gravel bikes reducing the number of speeds to only 9 but with a huge granny 42t pinion as lower gear. The front derailer thus disappears, leaving you with a single 38t chainring, the maximum speed is thus limited to below 40km/h. The advantage is simplicity, fewer things can go wrong when you have fewer components.
The size-specific tubing, ensures that every frame is strong, light, and capable, while riding exactly as intended regardless the size. The aggressive adventure geometry that provides ample confidence over rough and smooth terrain, alike. The frame is equipped with fender & rack mounts.
The full carbon fork features eyelets for fenders or bikepacking cages, and it’s strong enough to withstand medium/heavy loads without any problems. It’s light-weight and features internal cable routing for your lights.
This expedition machine has been one of our favorite since it was introduced in 2016, tough and dependable and willing to go wherever you’re willing to pedal, the Beyond has proven itself on countless journeys.
The new 2021 Beyond by Bombtrack has seen some interesting modifications from the previous models.
A single-speed chainring (30T) and a 12 speed 10-52T is the new drive train of choice, a great set of gears capable of bringing you up the steepest and roughest hills. The carbon fork reduces the weight but still offers triple cage mounts.
Another novelty of the 2021 Beyond is the Jones Loop Bar, although Bombtrack still offers different handlebar options, this will be the standard now. The Jones might seem a little weird, but they offer more hand positions, helping the shoulders and upper body stay relaxed for hours in the saddle.
The Magura hydraulic disk bakes ensure state-of-the-art stopping power, but we know hydraulic brakes are prone to failure and difficult to service while on a bicycle tour in remote areas.
Designed as a bike packers dream, the Beyond features mounting options for front and rear racks as well as up to five bottle cages. All mounted to a Columbus steel frame with carefully selected tubings, to do the most important job of an adventure bike, to be strong and light. The geometry of the bike gives a comfortable and stable riding position even when loaded.
The Bombtrack Beyond is just what I would use for extreme off-road bikepacking expeditions
BOMBTRACK BPC full carbon, TA, 1.1/2” – 1.1/8”, triple cage mounts, internal hub dynamo cable routing
JONES H-BAR LOOP 710 travel bar, 31.8 mm, 710 mm
MAGURA TRAIL SPORT hydraulic
SRAM GX-EAGLE 12-speed trigger shifter
MAGURA TRAIL SPORT 4 piston front, 2 piston rear with 180 mm rotors
SRAM DESCENDANT aluminium crank, Boost DUB
SRAM EAGLE X-SYNC 2, narrow-wide, 30 T
SRAM XG-1275 EAGLE 12-speed, 10 – 52 T
SRAM GX EAGLE, clutch, long cage
BOMBTRACK GRAD sealed hub, 6-bolt disc
WTB ST i45 double wall, TCS 2.0, 32h
WTB RANGER TCS TOUGH / FAST ROLLING 29” x 3.0”, tubeless ready
Weight (size M)
13.7 kg (size M)
165 kg incl. rider
Salsa Fargo – Bikepacking/Gravel (+/- $2,400)
Salsa attacks frontally the bikepacking market with its latest version of the classic Fargo. Far from the traditional geometries that characterized the Salsa Fargo in the past, the Fargo 2022 meets all the recent market trends for off-road touring: wide tyres (up to 2.6″), small chainrings (36/26t) and big grannies in the back (10 speed 11-34), aggressive geometry, and carbon fork.
The new Salsa Fargo gives the rider a well-balanced mix of rollover, traction, and bump absorption. The Firestarter 110 carbon fork, has a dual set of Three-Pack mounts on each fork leg, low rider rack mounts, and internal dynamo hub wire routing. It is also available with an Apex drivetrain for $2,499. Both feature the Salsa trademark Woodchipper handlebars.
An amazing off-road adventure machine – great for extreme bikepacking trips
The Marrakesh is the classic steel expedition beast of burden from Salsa. It features Deore components, which are my ultimate favorite for expedition bike touring, thanks to the availability of Shimano parts and the sturdiness and efficiency of the Deore series.
The 700cc frame is made of externally and internally butted 4130 Cobra Kai Chromoly tubeset, and features the interesting alternator dropouts delivering great drivetrain versatility; set them all the way forward for the nimble quickness of a short wheelbase or set them back for more stability.
Additional frame features are the spare spoke mount, located on the top of the left chainstay, and the kickstand plate (check the best kickstands here). The fork features a straight 1-1/8 steerer, stainless double-eyelet dropouts, low rider rack bosses and Three-Pack bosses.
Other touring bikes from this brand include the carbon Fork Salsa Vaya and the alloy frame Salsa Journeyman, available either in a flat bars version or with woodchipper drops.
Classic cross-continent expedition tourer with all the right bolts and nuts
The 2021 Bend R5 by Polygon has been completely redesigned to match the latest trends in touring/bikepacking. What used to be an alloy touring bike has been turned into a heavy-duty gravel/monster-cross: carbon fork, single chainring, lower rider’s position.
An interesting and aggressive rig, designed for long-distance touring in mixed terrain, the lightweight ALX (aluminum) frame is complete with water bottle mounts, clearance for fenders, wide touring tires, and front & rear racks; giving you a lot of places to secure your gear.
It features SRAM Hydraulinc Disc Brakes, which are a nice add-on for this price range, although many experienced bike tourers (me included) do not recommend hydraulic brakes for expedition touring to developing countries. Hydraulic brakes are prone to failure, difficult to fix, and rare to find spares, the brake power though is absolutely great.
The Polygon Bend RIV is a mid-range all-terrain touring bike which could be a nice choice for those who like aluminum frames
The latest version of the Cinelli Hobootleg Geo for 2021 angled the top tube even more, for a longer wheelbase, mounts new hyper-flared drop bars, and a carbon fork full of eyelets for a whole lot of possible bikepacking setups.
Three years of tests with expert bike tourers BeCycling, on demanding roads of the Americas, lead to a revisited geometry and added the necessary features for this bike to be a pioneer in the explosive sector of self sufficiency travel.
The sloping frameset is made of Columbus Cromor triple-butted steel, this means no-bullshit great-quality Italian steel – definitely another tier compared to the Taiwanese materials used by many touring bike manufacturers (eg. Surly).
The frame is treated with anti-corrosion to provide reliable protection against the elements, adventure bikes shouldn’t rust. It features three bottle-cage and CNC rear dropouts, designed to support the disc-brake clamps. It has the obvious eyelets for rear rack and fender that every gravel designed for touring should have.
The maximum tyre clearance allows up to 3.0″ tire to fit in, with a choice between 29 and 27.5 – of course tubeless-ready, just as the trend commands. The use of fenders or certain models of rear carriers will reduce the clearance a few inches (of course), unfortunately Cinelli doesn’t state the max clearance with fenders.
A touring bike, (or travel bike) is designed to carry loads, even heavy ones, comfortably and safely, for long distances on (almost) any kind of terrain. In order to do all this, a touring bike features certain characteristics in its frame geometry and choice of components. The most important components of a touring bicycle are the frame and the wheels, immediately followed by the drive train (gears).
How is a Touring Bike different from any other bike?
Touring Bikes have the following charateristics: .Long wheel-base, or at least long chain-stay geometry: the longer the frame, the more stable is the bike, longer frames absorb vibration better thus making for a more comfortable ride. .Strong and stiff frame .Rack, Fenders and 3 bottle cage mounting points .Wheels, have to be strong – more spokes more strength .Tires aree wider, especially if you want to go on gravel roads comfortably .Rider’s Position is more upright compared to road or gravel bikes. Speed is not important when bike touring, what matter most is comfort.
Are Gravel Bikes good for touring?
Gravel Bikes are good for bikepacking or light touring but not for fully-loaded long distance cycle touring. They are not designed to carry heavy loads.
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