Stanforth Bikes Best for Touring

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Cheap Touring bike under 1000

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.

Disclaimer:

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. Some of the links down below are affiliate links, that means if you purchase something from those linked websites we might get a small commission that will help us maintain this blog. Happy shopping!


If you’re looking for something more high-end check out:

18 Touring Bicycles priced under 2,000$

The Best Framebuilders in the USA – Handmade Touring Bikes

The best custom bicycles for touring worldwide

here are also some:

Entry-Level Woman-Specific Bicycles

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 – 2018 (+/- 900USD)

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

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
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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.

the Aurora 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

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

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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 

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

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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.

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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 chromoplastic mudguards.

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: Shimano 36H HB-T4000 Quick Release
Front Tyre: Schwalbe Marathon with GreenGuard 700 x 32C
Weight: 14.1 kg

Ridgeback Voyage 2018 Touring Bike (+/- 893€)

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 rdes on paved roads 

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)

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 pharentesis 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

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 definetaly 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 carathersistics 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

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

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
 
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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

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 absorbe vibration, according to Giant)
Cassette: SRAM PG1020 11×36
Crankset: SRAM S1000 28/42
Hubs: Giant Tracker Sport
Tyres: Giant Sycamore 700x50mm Anti-Puncture

distributed in UK and Europe by Tredz – while here at Cyclestore you’ll  find the old but great SLR 1 version.

This bike is also available at treefortbikes.com

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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.

Frame

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.

Components

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

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

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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 its 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 tyres 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
Chain rings: 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
 
 
 
     

Dawes Galaxy 2019 (+/- €700)

Best Cheap touring bicycle

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

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
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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 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.

Frame

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.

Components

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

Features:

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.

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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

Features:

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

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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).

Specs:

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


If you’re looking for something more high-end check out:

18 Touring Bicycles priced under 2,000$

The Best Framebuilders in the USA – Handmade Touring Bikes

The best custom bicycles for touring worldwide

here are also some:

Entry-Level Woman-Specific Bicycles

Gear Up for your next big bicycle trip
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best touring bikes under 1000

 

 

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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.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  3. Sérgio Loureiro

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

    Reply

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