Last Updated on

A Detailed List of the Best Cheap Touring Bikes for Those on a Budget
19 travel bikes for all types of touring – compared!

Getting to know the “bicycle touring enthusiasts” on-line community, I’ve got the feeling that too many people assume you’ll need expensive gear to get on a bicycle tour or bikepacking trip, especially when talking about touring bikes.

Let me say that straight, that’s not true. Although there is no doubt that, as a rule of thumb, you get what you pay for, that doesn’t mean you necessarily need the top-notch quality on the market.

My first 25,000km were done on a 1936 Royal Nord, a museum piece of a bicycle. Antique more than vintage. The President (that’s the name of the bicycle) wasn’t specifically designed for loaded touring, but it ended up handling it amazingly.

Let’s also face another truth, the great majority of people won’t embark on multiple years journey, mainly weekend tours, everyday commuting, and once-a-year longer trips. Do you really need to invest 2,000$ in a killing touring machine?

Maybe you fancy that, nothing wrong with it, but for those on a tight budget (like us) we put together this list of Touring Bicycles mostly priced under 1000$ (some are a few bucks more). Not all of this bikes are specifically designed for touring, but they feature some characteristics that make them suitable, at least for a light touring style.

Of course, this list is far from complete, let us know in the comments if you have other suggestion, we’ll be happy to add that to the list.

Contents hide


Information about these bicycles have been taken from the brand and retailer’s websites, just some comments are my own. This is not intended to be a review article but just a list of cheap touring bicycles.

Disclosure: Some of our articles contain affiliate links, that means we might receive a small percentage compensation if you purchase one of the linked product within a certain time frame. This comes at no additional cost for you and helps us keep this website up and running. (as an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases)

Gear Up for your next big bicycle trip

What is a Touring Bike

A touring bicycle, or travel bike, is a bicycle specifically designed for covering long distances on multi-day bike trips, this means that touring bikes are built to carry loads.

Some are called “light tourers” and give their best under reduced loads, like bikepacking style, while others are usually referred to as “expedition bicycles” – meant to be as sturdy as a bike can get and carry the rider on transcontinental bike trips, on every kind of terrain and under heavy loads. To avoid wobbling under all this weight, touring bikes have specific kind of geometries, which we’ll describe later.

Touring bikes are usually more comfortable than their gravel or road counterparts, allowing the rider a more upright position which relieves stress on the backbone.

Touring bikes are also usually much heavier, especially expedition bicycles, but the bike weight doesn’t matter much when touring, one kg difference will just be one more pack of pasta, does that really make a difference in a 50kg rig?

In the process of selecting a bike for traveling the first thing you need to consider is: 

  • What kind of touring would you like to do with that? Cross continent? Weekend trip sleeping in B&Bs (called credit card touring)? One or two weeks all off-road? This question really matters in the choice of a touring bicycle.

We have provided a short sentence to describe the ideal use of each of the touring bikes listed in this article to help you navigate this complex world and make the right purchase for your needs and budget.

budget touring bike for travel

What are the most important components of a Touring Bike?

Each component plays an important role in the performance and reliability of the bike, of course, but the most important are certainly the frame and the wheels. These are in charge of holding the weight of rider and luggage, they should be as strong as possible.

The Frame: How to recognize a frame suited for bicycle touring

The most important component on a touring bike is no doubt the frame.

The characteristics of a touring frame are:

  • 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 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). Second, check the weldings: clean and nice welding is more likely to be stronger than an ugly one. Check this article to understand more about welding and brazingThird, again geometry: a diamond frame is usually stronger than a step-through frame, while a mixte frame may be as strong as a diamond one. Confused, check here to understand more about frame types. A weak frame may be too flexible, and start wiggling when loaded, especially on downhills, this is dangerous.
  • 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. About the bottle cage, you can always strap one up with zip ties if the frame doesn’t have the holes, I did this on my 1936 bike, and traveled 25,000km with it. Having more than a bottle mount is nice but not as important as others state.

One more thing about the frame, a really important one: size. It should go without saying that all kind of bikes has different sizes for different riders. Some beginners confuse the size of the frame with that of the wheel (26″, 28″ etc), the wheel size has nothing to do with the overall size of a bike, the frame is the only thing you should get in the right size. Check this to know the right frame size for you.

Wheels: the second most important component of a touring bike

Wheels are the second most important part of a touring bike, they hold all the weight and are always under stress. Cheap touring bikes sometimes save on rim quality, but most are equipped with at least 36-spokes rims. More spokes more strength.

There’s plenty of debate whether a touring bike must be 26″, 28″ or whatever, don’t overthink that, they are all fine… It’s true that in some countries it might be hard to find spares, but we are in bet territory here – in some countries 26″ is more common than 28″, some other are the other-way-round. To be sure always carry a few spokes among your bike touring spare parts for your trip. Learn more about touring rims here.

Touring tires are also a game-changer, Schwalbe Marathon is no-match in our experience – we rode so far (July 2019) 15k kilometers on our latest pair, never had a flat and still looking good (P.S. in Africa!). The first things you’ll want to upgrade in a cheap touring bike are definitely wheels and tires.   

The importance of Drive Train for Bicycle Touring

The more gears you have, the better you’ll challenge every hill. Try to have a triple crankset in the front and at least a 7-speed cassette in the back, 9/10 speed, of course, will give you smoother shifting, allowing you to better keep your cadence. The price of more gears is the strength of the chain, 10-speed chains are thinner than 7-speed, thus more prone to failure.

Hi-end front and rear derailleurs are not really needed in the world of loaded bicycle touring. You’ll be fine even with the cheapest Shimano SIS or Tourney, although a Shimano Deore will give you more reliability and fewer headaches.

The front derailleur is less important, that’s why a mix of different Shimano (or SRAM, or Campagnolo) series it’s often found on commercial bikes. I advise to choose Shimano for one simple reason, you’ll find replacement everywhere, literally. Here’s the Shimano Parts hierarchy if you’re curious.

Cranks are really not so important, the main difference between expensive cranks and cheap ones is the weight, we’re talking about few grams, that really won’t make any difference when for loaded bike touring. Same goes for the cassette. Choose the wider range of gears you can figure out, that’s it.

Shifters: not so important.

9 Cheap Steel Touring Bikes

Almost everybody agrees that steel is the best material for a touring bicycle’s frame. Steel is sturdy, reliable and can be easily welded but it’s slightly heavier than aluminum. There are not so many options for cheap steel touring bikes, here’s what I found.

Steel Frames

Fuji Touring Road Bike – 2020 [+/-] 900$

touring bikes under 1000

The Fuji Touring road bike has been around for decades and has delivered riders and their belongings to beautiful vistas and camp spots all over the world. It’s one of the best and reliable deals we found, for its price tag and mid-hi range components.

For starters, the Touring bike features a super comfortable Reynolds 520 CrMo steel frame, which absorbs road vibration. Rack and fender mounts make it easy load up your gear and there’s even a spare spoke holder. Touring style pedals keep your feet in place for maximum efficiency.

The Fuji Touring bike is equipped with Shimano 27-speed drivetrain (the back derailleur is a Deore XT in the 2019 version), Vittoria Randonneur tires, and STRP Spyre C Mechanical Disc Brakes.

With a 2.1″ maximum tire clearance the Fuji Touring is an all-terrain expedition bike that can carry you and your load everywhere in the world

Fuji Touring – Features

  • Custom-butted Reynolds 520 chromoly frame with rack and fender mounts
  • Chromoly fork features low-rider fork mounts
  • Shimano Deore/Deore XT 27-speed drivetrain
  • Microshift bar-end, 9-speed shifters
  • Vera Terra DPM 18 wheels with Vittoria Randonneur tires
  • STRP Spyre C Mechanical Disc, Flat Mount, 160mm centerlock rotors
Check Availability and Latest Price

Jamis Aurora 2019 Touring Bike – New Entry! – [+/-] $800

jamis aurora 2019 touring bike

Jamis Bicycles is an American distributor of bicycles in the market for over 30 years. Their bikes are designed in the USA and built in China and Taiwan.

The Aurora is a good bike, halfway between a light-tourer and an expedition bike. If only it would’ve had a wider tire clearance (max 700x35c) and a slightly longer chainstay, it would have been a great cross-continent. This doesn’t mean you can’t cross a continent on a Jamis Aurora, just that it will not perform like a real all-terrain on dirt and bumpy roads.

This bike offers the always reliable and light Tektro 992 cantilevers. Bar-end shifters are a good solution, more resistant to damage than STI shifters because they’re mechanically simpler and you can turn off the indexing in the event of a bent hanger or dropout that prevents the shift indexing from working properly.

The Jamis Aurora is a great touring bike for first-timers and those who like to tour mostly on tar roads

Jamis Aurora – Features

  • Frame: Reynolds 520 double-butted chromoly main tubes with SST tubing diameters, double-tapered cromo stays, an extended head tube with reinforced collars, forged dropouts, fender/rack eyelets and 3 spoke carrier
  • Fork: Lugged semi-sloping chromoly with canti bosses, low-rider carrier braze-on, forged dropout with fender eyelets
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Sora FD-R3030 with 28.6mm alloy clamp
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Sora RD-R3000GS
  • Shifters: microSHIFT bar-end shifters with index or friction option, 27-speed
  • Chain set: FSA Alpha Drive, 48/36/26T, 170mm (47/50/53/55) 175mm (57/59/62)
  • Brakeset: Tektro 992 forged alloy cantilevers with Tektro RL340 road brake levers
  • Wheelset: Alex ACE19 eyeleted double-walled rims, 36H, Shimano Tiagra RS400 hubs with QR and 14g stainless steel spokes
  • Tyres: Vittoria Randonneur with Double Shielding puncture protection, 700 x 32c
  • Tyre Clearance: Max 700x 35c
  • Saddle: Jamis Touring Sport with pressure relief cut-out
  • Weight: 13.5 kg
Check Availability and Latest Price

Pinnacle Dacite 1 2019 Touring Bike – New Entry! [+/-] $1000

pinnacle dacite 1 travel bicycle

Pinnacle is the own brand of British bicycle retailer Evans Cycles. Started in 2006, Pinnacle is now a well-established manufacturer of urban, hybrid and cyclocross bicycles.

Their touring bike, the Dacite 1, seems a quite nice and versatile bicycle for travel. An aggressive geometry with the sloped top-tube, a wide rande of gear, plenty of eyelets, and mechanical disk brakes.

It comes equipped with Tubus rear rack and a mid-range drive train. The components are one step behind the Fuji but its design is captivating and offers a comfortable riding even on rough terrains.

Nice choice for a mid-range tourer capable of round-the-world bicycle travel 

Pinnacle Dacite – Features

  • Frame: Seamless heat treated double butted Cr-Mo
  • Fork: Cr-Mo blade and 1 1/8 steerer w/2 x bottle cage eyelets
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Altus M371 dual pull, 28.6mm band on
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Acera M3000 9 Speed
  • Shifters: Sunrace R96 Indexed Bar End
  • Chain set: Shimano T3010 44/32/22T, S – 165mm, M/L – 170mm, XL – 175mm
  • Brakeset: Tektro Spyre mechanical discs w/160mm rotors
  • Handlebars: Pinnacle 6061 alloy adventure road bar, 130mm drop, 8 degree flare
  • Rims: Alex Volar 2.1 700c, 32H
  • Hubs: Shimano M525 QR, 6 Bolt, 32H
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial DD 700 x 35c
  • Saddle: Pinnacle race mens
  • Accessories: SKS Longboard mudguards and Tubus Logo Classsic Rack (26kg Load Capacity)
  • Extra Features: Front rack compatible, Tubus Tara is our recommendation
  • Weight: 13.9kg Including Mudguards & Rack
Check Availability and Latest Price

Genesis Smithfield 2017 [+/-] $600 – Currently out of stock

Cheap steel touring bike

The Genesis Smithfield 2017 urban commuter has a classic steel look, split top tube and internal Shimano Nexus/Alfine gearing, the lines are clean, but purposeful. Designed for year-round urban riding, the Genesis Smithfield comes equipped with full-length mud guards so that the city muck stays where it belongs.

Powerful disc brakes make stopping a breeze, no matter what the weather. A lightweight Shimano Nexus internal hub gives you a full range of gears so you can deal with traffic, hills and pottering along at your leisure. Thanks to the rack that comes as standard, plenty of mount-points, stable geometry, and relaxed riding position the Genesis Smithfield will allow you to rely on it even for a few-months-long trip.

The Genesis Smithfield is a reliable commuter bike that will double just great as a light tourer along the European cycling paths.

Genesis Smithfield – Specifications

  • Frame: Genesis Mjölnir Seamless Double-Butted Cromoly
  • Fork: Cr-Mo Unicrown Disc
  • Headset: Prestine PT-1606 1-1/8″ semi cartridge
  • Shifters: Shimano Alfine SL-S503 / 8 speed RH
  • Chainset: Samox AF22 / 40T / S, 165mm / M-XL 170mm
  • Cassette: Shimano SM-GEAR 20T freewheel
  • Rims: Jalco XCD22 / 32h
  • Hubs: Joytech D041DSE/Shimano Nexus SG-C6001-8speed 32h / front / rear / centre lock
  • Spokes: Steel 14g
  • Tyres: Kenda Kwest 700x35c 30TPI w/gumwall
  • Brakes: Shimano BR-TX805 mechanical brakes w/ Shimano SMRT20 160mm rotors
  • Brake levers: Tektro CL-330A-RS
  • Handlebars: Genesis alloy / 630mm width / 32mm rise / 46deg backsweep
  • Stem: Genesis AS-007 / + 12deg / 70mm
  • Pedals: NW-91K
  • Extras: Commuter mudguards and pannier rack
  • Weight: 14.54 kg
Check Availability and Latest Price

Bobbin Scout Hybrid Bike [+/-] $1,000

Bobbin touring cheap under 1000

Another steel option: the Scout is a retro racing-tourer with bags of style and character. If you’ve been seeking a fantasy on wheels, step this way. A Cro-mo steel frame, bar-end shifters, cantilever brakes and hammered mudguards, Scout is a machine to get carried away on. Unfortunately, it comes with a limited 16-speed drivetrain, but can always be upgraded for more demanding tasks.

The lugged steel frame is ready to fit a carrier rack and bottle cages for all your expedition requirements while the rat trap pedals are toeclip-ready.

The Bobbin Scout is a retro-tourer best suited for light touring and bikepacking

Bobbin Scout – Specs:

  • Mudguard Mounts: Yes
  • Rear Rack Mounts: Yes
  • Number of gears: 16
  • Bottle Cage Mounts: Double
  • Wheel Size: 700c (622)
  • Wheelset: Weinmann rims laced to forged alloy hubs
  • Brake Levers/Gear Shifters/Front Derailleur/Rear Derailleur: Shimano Claris
  • Brake Type: Cantilever
  • Brakes: Dia Compe levers
  • Brake Callipers: Tektro Canti brakes
  • Chainring Size: 48 Tooth, 32 Tooth
  • Cassette Range: 12-32 Tooth
  • Tyres: Kenda Gumwall tyres
Check Availability and Latest Price

Marin Four Corners Touring Bike – 2019 [+/-] $550

touring bikes under 1000

This stylish gravel is capable of some hardcore touring and currently on sale here for a bargain price! With a frame and fork crafted from double butted chromoly steel, the Four Corners is as much a work of steel art as it is a fully-functional touring bike.

The comfort oriented geometry makes the going a little easier compared to other gravel bikes, thanks to the tall headtube and wide, stable wheel base. Full rack and fender mounts give you plenty of provisions for carrying your gear and staying dry. 

Marin went with the reliability of a Shimano Sora 3×9 drivetrain, not a top of gamma but great for touring. Shimano has a reputation for ease of service all over the world, so in the unlikely even something should go wrong, it’ll still be easy to fix.

The robust gearing gives you plenty of options to get a fully loaded bike over just about any mountain pass, with minimal gear overlap and easy maintenance. Mechanical disc brakes provide powerful, all-weather stopping performance, and doublewall alloy 32-spoke wheels setup with Schwalbe’s Silento 700×40 tires.

The Marin Four Corners is a gravel best suited for short adventurous tours – it can also be a round-the-worlder if the rider fees it comfortable enough

Marin Four Corners – Specs

  • Brakes: Tektro Spyre-C Road Mechanical Disc, 160mm Rotor
  • Cassette: Shimano HG300 9-Speed, 11-32T
  • Crankset: Shimano Sora Hollowtech II, 50/39/30T
  • Fork: CrMo, Fender and Rack Eyelets, IS Disc
  • Frame: Double Butted CrMo, 700C Wheels, Utilitour Geometry, Fender and Rack Mounts
  • Front and Rear Derailleur, Levers and Shifters: Shimano Sora
  • Pedals: Trekking Platform
  • Tires: Schwalbe Silento, 700Cx40, Reflective Sidewall, Kevlar Puncture Protection
  • Wheelset: Marin Aluminum, Double Wall, Disc Specific, 6-bolt disc
  • Tire Clearance: 700×42
Check Availability and Latest Price

Dawes Super Galaxy 2019 [+/-] $1,000

Dawes Super Galaxy 2019 (+/- €1,000)

dawes super galaxy 2019 touring bike

The Dawes Super Galaxy 2019 Touring Bike features a reliably strong, yet light 4130 Chromoly frame and forks. The geometry is configured to give enhanced comfort even through those long days in the saddle.

It is equipped with 27 speed Shimano STI Alivio gears, Tektro CR-510 cantilever brakes, Alex double-wall alloy rims, Shimano hubs, and Schwalbe tyres. Those long journeys are made more comfortable with a Dawes Tour Gel saddle and chromo plastic mudguards.

Dawes Super Galaxy – Specs

  • Derailleurs: Shimano Sora FD, Shimano RD-T4000 Alivio 9spd
  • Shifters: Shimano ST-3500 STI Levers 27spd
  • Chain set: Shimano FC-M371 170mm Crank
  • Chain rings: 48-36-26T Chainrings
  • Brakeset: Tektro Alloy Cantilever brakes
  • Handlebars: 380mm wide (43cm), 400mm wide (48cm), 420mm wide (53cm), 440mm wide (58cm) Stem:A-Headset Stem, alloy, 80mm reach
  • Headset:FSA 1 1/8″ Aheadset
  • Rims: ALEX Ace19 Double Wall Alloy, with CNC braking surface Front Hub:
Check Availability and Latest Price

Ridgeback Voyage 2018 Touring Bike [+/-] $900

Cheap touring bikes

This light tourer from Ridgeback has good reviews across the web. The Voyager retains its classic riding Reynolds 520 tube set, making it a great gateway into long-distance riding, designed for long periods in the saddle in remote locations.

Brazed down tube cable stops mean traditional gear levers can be used if needed. All complete builds use a square taper bottom bracket to allow replacement with a more readily available cup and axle unit. It is supplied with a sturdy four point rack and full mudguards.

A light tourer suited for long-distance rides on paved roads.

Ridgeback Voyahe – Specs

  • Frame: Reynolds 520 Cro Mo
  • Fork: Cro Moly / mudguard eyelets
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Sora FD-R3030
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M591-SGS
  • Shifters: Shimano Sora ST-R3030 3×9 speed
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-HG300 / 11-34T
  • Brakeset: Tektro 992AG cantilever
  • Handlebars: Ridgeback alloy /125mm drop x 70mm reach / XS-S, 400mm / M, 420mm / L-XL, 44cm / 31.8mm barbore RR
  • Stem: Ridgeback AS-007 / + – 7deg / XS-S, 90mm / M, 100mm / L, 110mm / XL, 120mm
  • Headset: FPD Dozer-1189
  • Rims: Alex Ace-19 / 36h
  • Hubs: Shimano T3000 36h
  • Tyres: Continental Contact 700x32c
  • Weight: 14.1 kg (47cm)
Check Availability and Latest Price

Ridgeback Expedition 2019 [+/-] $1,000 – To Update

touring bike ridgeback expedition

The Ridgeback Expedition has been tested by many tourers around the globe and proven its reliability. The 2019 version moves back to disc brakes after a short parenthesis on hydraulic brakes, not well appreciated by long-distance tourers for the problem the can bring when they need to be fixed (especially the low availability of spares in remote areas).

About Ridgeback

Ridgeback has spent the last 27 years designing and producing bikes exclusively for UK riders and their environment.

Split across seven series, their wide range of touring, commuter, leisure and kids bikes feature high-quality Aluminium, Steel or Titanium frames which are precision welded by hand and built to last. Each frame also undergoes anti-corrosion treatment and electrostatic painting for increased durability.

The Ridgeback Expedition is a real cross continent touring bike out of the box.

Ridgeback Expedition – Specifications

  • Frame: Reynolds 520 Cro Mo
  • Fork: Cro Moly / mudguard eyelets
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Alivio FD-T4000
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M592-SGS
  • Shifters: Shimano Deore: SL-M590 3×9 speed
  • Brakeset: Shimano BR-M315 / SM-RT26 160mm rotor
  • Headset: FPD Dozer-1189
  • Rims: Alex DP-17 / 36h
  • Hubs: Shimano M475 36h 6-Bolt Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon GG 26×1.75in
  • Weight: 15.1kg 6

Aluminum Frames Touring Bicycles

More and more people nowadays opt for aluminum bicycles for their tours. The days of the proverbial aluminum weakness are gone, and modern alloy materials are more than capable to handle the weight of a heavy tour. The main point of strength is for sure the lightweight of the frame, while the downside is the difficulty in welding possible cracks.

Aluminum is the preferred material for hybrid and trekking bikes, some of them look well suited for touring.

Aluminum Frames

Trek FX 2 Disc Hybrid Bicycle – New Entry! – [+/-] $600

travel bike Trek FX2 Disc

Trek is definitely one of the biggest players in the bicycle market, their range of products is huge and covers almost every cycling discipline.

Proper touring bikes from Trek, like the 520, 920 and 1120, are out of the price range covered in this article – but we feel like mentioning this hybrid urban/trekking bike since it has all the characteristics of a light tourer and can suit the needs of those who don’t have space or budget to own more than one bike.

The hydraulic disks might be a weak point for extended bicycle touring, but that’s not what this bike is made for. The FX2 is easy to accessorize with racks, a kickstand, fenders, lights, etc. Like every Trek hybrid, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty and supported by a wide network of retail partners.

Other interesting features are the compatibility with DuoTrap S cadence sensor (which allows you to track your performance), and the stem-integrated mount for lights and devices

Very convenient for those who are looking for a commuter that will double as a tourer for short adventures

Trek – Specs

  • Frame: Alpha Gold Aluminum, DuoTrap S compatible, internal cable routing, flat mount disc, rack & fender mounts, 135x5mm QR
  • Fork: FX Alloy, flat mount disc, rack mounts, 405mm axle-to-crown, ThruSkew 5mm QR
  • Front Hub: Formula DC-20, alloy, 6-bolt, 5x100mm QR
  • Rear Hub: Formula DC-22, alloy, 6-bolt, Shimano 8/9/10 freehub, 135x5mm QR
  • Rim: Bontrager Connection, alloy, double-wall, 32-hole, schrader valve
  • Spokes: 14g, stainless
  • Tire: Bontrager H2, wire bead, 30 tpi, 700x35c
  • Shifter: Shimano Altus M310, 8 speed
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Tourney TY710, 34.9mm clamp, top swing, dual pull
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Acera M360, long cage
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc, flat mount, 160mm rotor
  • Weight: 11.95 kg / 26.34 lbs
  • Weight limit: maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 300 pounds (136 kg)
Check Availability and Latest Price

Giant Escape 2 Disc Sports Hybrid Bike 2019 – New Entry – [+/-] $550

Giant Escape 2019 budget travel bicycle

Another budget option for another versatile commuter-tourer. The Escape City Disc is a fun efficient bike that’s versatile enough for city commutes or longer rides to build up your fitness.

Stable geometry and a wide range of gears make it easier to tackle hilly terrain even when your racks and cargo bags are loaded. It’s designed with neutral upright positioning which helps you navigate city streets or crowded bike paths.

Might need an upgrade on wheels, since 28 spokes seems a bit weak for loaded touring. The hydraulic disk brakes are a plus if you are traveling in first-world countries where you can get services. I’ll swap them for mechanical if you plan on going somewhere more remote

A cheap option for easy bike touring and comfortable commuting – ideal for those on a budget

Giant Escape – Features

  • Frame: ALUXX-Grade Aluminum
  • Fork: alloy (with low-rider rack mount)
  • Saddle: Connect Comfort
  • Shifters: Shimano Altus 3×8
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Tourney FD-TY710
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus RD-M310
  • Brakes: Tektro M275 hydraulic disc F[160 rotor] R[160 rotor]
  • Rims: Giant GX28 disc wheelset
  • Tyres: Giant S-X2 puncture protect 700x35mm
  • Extras: Giant aluminum light trekking carrier/Matte Black plastic fenders
Check Availability and Latest Price

Giant Toughroad SLR GX 3 Hybrid Touring Bike  2019 [+/-] $1,000

Giant Toughroad Gravel Touring bike
Giant touring bike under 1000 dollar

From the Taiwanese colossus Giant, here’s a 700cc gravel that looks well fit for touring. Equipped with wide tires, Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, and low gearing it seems a good match if you want something that could handle off-road stretches easily. It comes with Extras X-Defender Front and Rear Rack and it’s available in four different sizes.

The specimens listed in he various linked websites are slightly different, double check before purchasing. The hydraulic disk brakes may be a downside for touring, since they are proven unreliable, would be batter to swap them for mechanichal ones.

A great lightweight gravel well equipped for multi-day adventures

Giant Toughroad – Specifications

  • Frame: ALUXX SLR -Grade Aluminium
  • Fork: Composite ALUXX OverDrive Steerer
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra
  • Brakes: Giant Conduct Hydraulic Disc/Tektro mechanical disc brakes
  • Wheels: Giant S-X2 Disc Wheelset
  • Seatpost: Giant D-Fuse Composite (should absorb vibration, according to Giant)
  • Cassette: SRAM PG1020 11×36
  • Crankset: SRAM S1000 28/42
  • Hubs: Giant Tracker Sport
  • Tyres: Giant Sycamore 700x50mm Anti-Puncture
Check Availability and Latest Price

Cube Travel Urban Bike 2019 [+/-] $850

Cube Urban Best Cheap touring bikes

The well known German brand Cube, has given this masterpiece of versatility a relatively lightweight, comfortable frame based around 29er wheels, whilst keeping everything that made earlier versions of this touring bike so popular. The result? A cool commuting bike well suited for light touring.

If you don’t mind an aluminum frame, these bike seems a great deal for all it comes with: Shimano hub dynamo, kickstand, lights, racks, fenders and even a bell.

Comfort and safety were near the top of the list when Cube developed this bike and they built in plenty of frame clearance for extra wide tyres.


Cube used a compact geometry for this light, stiff aluminum frame – and selected double-butted tubes. The result is a sporty and efficient ride position. The head and seat tube junctions were joined with Cube’s Smooth Welding technology for a clean appearance.

State-of-the-art technology includes a tapered headtube, and Cube ensured that the rigid aluminium fork is stiff enough to remain stable even when loaded with luggage. The 3D forged dropout makes fitting disc brakes and a Cube kickstand simple and they’ve provided bottle cage bosses on the seat tube and downtube – perfect for long rides.


The robust, reliable Shimano transmission has 27 gears, providing a wide enough range to cope with all kinds of riding situations. Tektro’s HD-M285 hydraulic disc brake should work well enough.

The lighting system – supplied with power by the Shimano hub dynamo – conforms to tough German StVZO standards. Busch&Müller’s Toplight Flat+ rear light even includes a parking light function, while the latest Lyt headlamp has 15-lux of power to illuminate the road ahead. A belt drive version is available (the one in the picture).

All-in-one bike for commuting, leisure touring and trekking

Cube Travel Urban – Features:

  • Frame: Aluminium Superlite Trekking Sport 29 Taper Double Butted
  • Fork: Aluminium Rigid Fork 29″ Tapered
  • Headset: FSA Orbit 1.5B ZS-1, Semi-Integrated, Top 1 1/8″ Bottom 1 1/2″
  • Handlebar: Cube Rise Trail Bar, 680mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M592, 9-Speed
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-M370, Top swing, 31.8mm
  • Shifters: Shimano SL-M370, Rapidfire-Plus
  • Brake System: Tektro HD-M285, Hydraulic Disc Brake (160/160)
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-M371, 48x36x26T, BB-UN100, 175mm, Chain guard
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-HG200, 11-34
  • Rims: Cube EX21, 32H, Disc, Tubeless Ready
  • Front Hub: Shimano DH-3D32, Hub Dynamo, QR
  • Rear Hub: Cube K68R
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Almotion, performance, kevlar, 55×622
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Viper
  • Front Light: Busch&Müller Lyt 1781
  • Back Light: Busch&Müller Toplight Flat Plus
  • Kickstand: Cubestand Cmpt
  • Mudguards: SKS Pro 29 Black Shiny
  • Bell: Humpert
  • Carrier: Standwell Bag Carrier
  • Weight: 15.45kg
Check Availability and Latest Price

Dawes Karakum 2019 [+/-] $800

Best Cheap aluminum touring bicycle

About Dawes

Not so famous among the tourers, nevertheless Dawes has a more-than-a-century-long history in making bikes, deserving a spot in the UK bicycle manufacturing Olympus.

The Dawes Karakum 2015 Touring Bike features a lightweight alloy frame and Chromoly fork. Distinctive because of the butterfly handlebars it offers unrivaled comfort with multi riding positions on those long tours. A roll call of quality components consists of Shimano Alivio 27 speed gears, Shimano hubs, Shimano V-brakes, Schwalbe Silento II tires, and an ultra-comfy Dawes saddle.

Good touring frame able to circumnavigate the world – some updataes might be worth

  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-M430 Alivio 9spd
  • Shifters: Shimano SL-M390 Rapidfire 27spd
  • Chainrings: 48-36-26T Chainrings
  • Cassette: Shimano 9spd Cassette 11-32T
  • Brakeset: Shimano BR-M422 Alloy V
  • Brakes Rims: ALEX Ace19 Double Wall Alloy, with CNC braking surface
  • Hubs: 36H Shimano FH-RM70 Quick Release, alloy
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Silento II 700 x 32C  

A step-through “ladies” version of this touring bike is also available

Dawes Galaxy 2019 [+/-] $700

The Galaxy is designed to open a whole new world of touring for those on a budget. With a 6061 alloy frame and chromoly fork you’ll experience a quality ride and still be able to carry your kit on board. The Galaxy AL is ready for anything with its Shimano 24 speed gears, Schwalbe tyres, luggage rack and mudguards. An ideal starter bike for long jaunts.

The Dawes Galaxy is great entry level touring bike for those who like drop bars.

Dawes Galaxy – Specs

  • Frame: 6061 Alloy
  • Fork: Chromoly
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Claris FD-2303 3spd
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Claris RD-M360 Acera 8spd
  • Shifters: Shimano ST-2400 STI Levers 24spd
  • Chain set: 170mm Crank / 48-38-28T Chainrings
  • Cassette: Shimano 8spd Cassette 11-32T
  • Brakeset: Tektro Alloy Cantilever brakes
  • Handlebars: 380mm wide (43cm), 400mm wide (48cm), 420mm wide (53cm), 440mm wide (58cm) Stem: A-Headset Stem, alloy, 80mm reach
  • Rims: Double Wall Alloy, with CNC braking surface
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon with GreenGuard 700 x 35C
  • Accessories: Alloy rack, Full Chromoplastic Mudguards
  • Weight: 14.0 kg

Frame: 6061 Alloy Fork: Chromoly

Check Availability and Latest Price

2 Suspension Forks Travelers Bikes

Suspension fork bikes are not very common among long-term tourers. Despite that, they are well appreciated by occasional tourers who seek comfort, also on uneven surfaces. We also met some long-distance travelers who love that cushioned feeling.

The biggest downsides of suspension forks are the added weight and the possibility of failure. If you can cope with that, take a look at these deals.

Suspension fork bikes are not very common among long-term tourers. Despite that, they are well appreciated by occasional tourers who seek comfort, also on uneven surfaces. We also met some long-distance travelers who love that cushioned feeling.

The biggest downsides of suspension forks are the added weight and the possibility of a failure. If you can cope with that, take a look at this deals.

Suspension Fork bikes

Cube Touring 2018/2019 (+/- 550€)

Cheap suspension touring bicycle

The Touring has everything you need for cycling – no more, no less. Cube intentionally ditched complicated features with this model, but not the ergonomics. That’s why it’s the perfect bike to simply get on and cycle away without having to spend any time getting to know it first. The Touring is a great all-rounder with a comfortable ride position.


The light, double-butted aluminum frame features Cube’s Efficient Comfort Geometry, specifically developed for touring bikes to provide a comfortable ride position with the best energy transfer to make the best possible use of long days in the saddle.
The Touring has bosses for bottle cages and for Cube’s ingeniously simple Cube kickstand, while internal cable routing helps reduce maintenance and keep gearshifts smoother for longer.


The Cube Touring has been built in accordance with StVZO regulations. The LED lighting system up front and the small but powerful red LED at the rear both get their power seamlessly from the hub dynamo – which means they’re ready whenever needed, regardless of the weather.

Good for light touring, also off road – I won’t put too much weight on the front fork


  • Frame: Aluminium Superlite Trekking Comfort Double Butted
  • Fork: SR Suntour NEX, 63mm
  • Headset: FSA No.10, Semi-Integrated
  • Handlebar: Cube Comfort Shape Bar, 680mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-TX800, 8-Speed
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-M310, Top swing, 31.8mm
  • Shift-Brake-Levers: Shimano ST-TX800
  • Brake System: V-Brake
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-T801, 48x36x26T, BB-UN100, 175mm
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-HG200, 12-32T
  • Rims: Cube SX24
  • Front Hub: Shimano DH-C3000, Hub Dynamo, Nut
  • Rear Hub: Shimano FH-TX800, Nut
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Spicer, Active, 40×622
  • Front Light: LED 15Lux
  • Back Light: LED Steady Light
  • Kickstand: Cubestand Cmpt
  • Carrier: Standwell Bag Carrier
  • Weight: 15.8kg

Available also at Tweeks Ctycles and Tredz.

Check Availability and Latest Price

Ghost Square Cross 1.8 Trekking Bike [+/-] $560

Cheap suspension touring bicycle

This all rounder offers some unique technical features such as the Ghost central suspension fork, integrated cable routing, super-stiff fenders, and a fully integrated rack carrier which accommodates all common panniers.

All frames in this line feature the revolutionary sandwich belt-drive-ready dropout, enabling you to start simple and upgrade over time as you choose. The high-quality equipment guarantees years of use for both every-day commuting and weekend excursions.

The Ghost Square Cross 1.8 is an ideal commuter that can easily double as a light/mediom tourer


  • Frame: Square Trekking
  • Forks: SR Suntour SF13 CR-7V A 700C 40mm
  • Chainset: Shimano FC 371 48-36-26
  • Brake/Shift Levers: Shimano 390 SL
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano 191
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio 9-Speed
  • Cassette: Shimano 11-32
  • Rims: Mach 1/810 622×19
  • Front Hub: Shimano Hub Dynamo
  • Rear Hub: Ghost QR
  • Tyres: Michelin Protek, 42-622
  • Front Brake: Magura HS 11
  • Rear Brake: Magura HS 1
  • Mudguards: Ghost/Wingee
  • Rear Light: Herrmans H-Trace
  • Front Light: AXA Echo Switch
  • Kickstand: Hebie
  • Rear Rack: Ghost
  • Weight: 15.9kg/35lbs
Check Availability and Latest Price

Old But Good – a couple more cheap touring bikes

Here are a few old models which are actually a bit hard to find now. We leave it here in case you find a good second hand deal or some local or on-line clearance sale.

Raleigh Royal 2017 [+/-] $ 720 – Currently Hard to Find

touring bikes under 1000

A classic British touring bike. Built with a full CrMo frame and fork, Shimano Claris groupset with a wide range triple chainset to get you up those long haul climbs. Full 4130 CrMo Steel frame has the classic forgiving ride of steel and Classic touring geometry for full loaded travelling.

Equipped with Shimano Claris 24 speed groupset with STI levers and powerful Tektro Oryx cantilever brakes. The limited number of gears though, make this not a great choice to climb step ranges while fully loaded.

  • Frame: Raleigh CrMo Steel Touring frame
  • Fork: Raleigh CrMo
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Claris
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Claris 8-speed
  • Number of Gears: 16
  • Shifters: Shimano Claris
  • Brakeset: Tektro OryxRims: Accedo Touring double wall rim
  • Hubs: RSP Alloy
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon 700c x 32mm

Nashbar Touring Bike [+/-] $930 – Currently Unavailable

Touring bike under 1000

The 2017 Nashbar Touring Bike features a chromoly frame and fork and a very good set of components. A Shimano 3×9-speed drivetrain with Microshift bar end shifters ensures gear changes quickly and precisely, while the 48/36/26T chainrings and 11-34T cassette provide gearing options to ascend/descend whatever mountain range is in your path.

The 700×32 Vittoria Randonneur tires are top notch. Furthermore, the Nashbar Touring Bike comes equipped with an alloy rear rack, while the front fork is equipped to handle a low-rider front rack (not included).


  • Frame: Elios butted chromoly, English thread bottom bracket, 135mm rear axle spacing, 2 bottle cage mounts
  • Fork: Elios Hi-Ten chromoly, 1-1/8″ steerer, Low-rider rack braze-ons
  • Crankset: Shimano Deore FC-M591, 48/36/26T chainrings, Crank arm lengths: 49cm/54cm=170mm; 56cm/58cm/64cm=175mm
  • Cassette: Shimano Alivio HG400 9-speed, 11-34T
  • Shifters: Microshift bar end, 3×9-speed
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Alivio T4000, 28.6mm clamp
  • Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore M591, Direct attachment, 9-speed
  • Levers Tektro RL520 aluminum
  • Handlebar: Aluminum, 31.8mm diameter, Widths: 49cm=40cm, 54cm=42cm, 56cm/58cm=44cm, 64cm=46cm
  • Brakes: Tektro RX6 linear pull
  • Tyres: Vittoria Randonneur, 700×32, 30 TPI casing, Reflective stripe on sidewalls
  • Wheelset: Rims: 700c Alex aluminum, 36H, CNC-machined sidewalls;
  • Hubs: Shimano Deore T610 front/rear w/ quick release, 135mm rear axle spacing;
  • Spokes: 14g stainless steel, 3x lacing pattern
  • Rack Mounts: Front and rear

Gear Up for your next big bicycle trip
Read it later! Save it on Pinterest (pass the mouse over the image)
best touring bikes under 1000


Stay in touch while we get lost! Follow us on Social Media

Sharing is caring!

4 Responses

  1. Bill McCown

    This is a nice listing, with bikes that I’d never have given a second thought to, but are viable as tourers. One comment though; Most bicycle companies, and most bicycle shops, still do not understand bicycle touring and it shows in their photographs. Many, if not most, of the bicycles shown here feature handlebars that sit below the saddle height. Touring riders usually prefer handlebar heights well above the saddle height, much like “comfort” bicycles. Applying pressure to ones palms over long days in the saddle tends to foster carpal tunnel syndrome and painful riding. This is why shifting rider weight back by raising the bars makes sense.

  2. Tom Catt

    Left out de Windsor tourist ,i hv put over 6,000 miles on mine with zero problems, , and yes handlebars should B higher on touring bicycle’s 4 all day comfort

  3. Sérgio Loureiro

    Why is the article’s photo picturing a Koga Miyata, if its list does not even contain a Koga brand bicycle?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center