Road or touring for long distance cycling?

robxsterrobxster Posts: 9
edited December 1969 in Workshop
Hi, i'm currently looking at road bikes for doing long distance cycling between b&bs and hostels. I've read in places that you want to carry as little as possible on these journeys, so would a road bike be better than a touring bike which lets you carry lots of luggage?

Thanks,

Robin

Posts

  • PirahnaPirahna Posts: 1,315
    You might want to fit mudguards and a rack, tricky on a road bike. If you don't want to go for a heavyweight tourer have a look at bikes which are aimed at Audax and which should have the necessary braze on fittings to take a couple of accessories.
  • CPeacheyCPeachey Posts: 1,057
    You need to carry your luggage on the bike and not on your back so a rear rack is usefull. The main difference between road and touring bikes is the tyre width, gearing and accessories. (mudguards etc) The amount of luggage you carry is down to you, not the bike. Road bikes are likely to be geared too high for leisurely riding, they may not have fittings for a rack and mudguards and the tyre clearance may not let you fit a wider (28/32mm) tyre.
    How far is "long distance" and whats likely to be your average speed? Are you going to wash your kit each night? Will it rain? (waterproofs, mudguards, spare dry clothes needed) Are you going into the hills?
    Chris
  • robxsterrobxster Posts: 9
    Long distance as in 60-80 miles a day for several days. Average speed would be about 15mph i think. I guess i would need a spare change of clothing, spare inner tube, map and some food and a phone. Would not be worried about mudgaurds as i don't mind getting dirty.

    All in all i intend to travel light.

    Cheers
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    quote:Originally posted by robxster

    Long distance as in 60-80 miles a day for several days. Average speed would be about 15mph i think. I guess i would need a spare change of clothing, spare inner tube, map and some food and a phone. Would not be worried about mudgaurds as i don't mind getting dirty.

    All in all i intend to travel light.

    Cheers


    An Audax/Sport tourer is the way to go, put a triple or wide double on it and a rear rack or a saddlebag. I do both light weight and fully loaded touring on my sport tourer, here it is set up for loaded touring with tent, sleeping bag etc. If I do credit card touring I only need the saddle bag and its not quite as stuffed.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/502297229/
  • "as i don't mind getting dirty."

    Make sure you book your accommodation in advance then - and carry quite a few spare clothes!



    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    Yeah - Bought a Condor Fratello recently - superb for that sort of thing.
    Other nice ones:
    Van Nicholas/ Condor Gran Fondo (Titanium frame), Mercian, Thorn.
    Steel and Titanium alloy bikes are generally considered more comfortable than Aluminium alloys.

    These bikes generally have deep drop forks and slightly longer chainstays to allow mudguard fitment. This has the benefit of making them slightly less whippy due to the longer wheelbase, however the sports tourers are generally lively enough.
    Bear in mind this means that you need deep drop brakes, if not using cantilever or V-brakes. Campag. don't make deep drop calipers.

    Triple chainset would be useful as already mentioned.
    I run 25C GP4000 tyres.
    Racks - I use a Tubus (www.tubus.net) although there are some fancy Titanium racks I spied on the bikeplus website.
    Sprocket wise, I run a 13-29
    Wheels: Get yourself a decent rear wheel to take the weight - Something like a 36H Mavic Open Pro. with some sturdy spoking would be nice, though plenty of other options out there.
    Saddle wise, a lot of people rate the Specialized Toupe and the Fiziks. Some swear by Brooks, however they need to be looked after more than a plastic saddle.

    Consider your lighting requirements if riding after dark - If you need a front Dyno-hub, better to do it up-front and not end up having to buy a new front wheel! Battery/LED systems are pretty good - The latest Topeak LED system will run for up to 47Hrs on the optional battery!
  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    quote:Originally posted by robxster

    Hi, i'm currently looking at road bikes for doing long distance cycling between b&bs and hostels. I've read in places that you want to carry as little as possible on these journeys, so would a road bike be better than a touring bike which lets you carry lots of luggage?

    Thanks,

    Robin


    A Dawes Galaxy will cut the mustard. I've done Land's End to John O'Groats and the reverse journey at 60 - 70 miles per day and found the relaxed geometry of the Galaxy to be ideal for a comfortable ride. I use the Galaxy for 100km AUdaxes too especially when inclement weather is forecast or if the terrain is lumpier than 'undulating'.

    I'd be quite happy doing a tour as you described using a Carradice longflap saddlebag though i normally go the whole hog and cycle camp with four panniers.
  • sufferingpetesufferingpete Posts: 524
    For youth hostelling I try to be minimalist, one change of clothes and a pair of trainers, Therefore can get my stuff in a Carradice saddle bag supported from the seat tube with their SQR system. I then just use my road bike in summer. No mudguards fairly light. In winter I use my winter bike which is basically an Audax bike Mudguars and a triple.

    I think if you fit a rack and panniers you will fill them and spoil the light weight feel.


    Racing is rubbish you can't relax and enjoy it- because some censored is always trying to get past.
    Racing is rubbish you can\'t relax and enjoy it- because some censored is always trying to get past.
  • Philip DavisPhilip Davis Posts: 965
    There are hundreds of bike models out there ranging in a continuum from ultra light racing bikes to incredibly tough and heavy expedition touring bikes. So its simplistic to talk in terms of 'road vs touring'. Likewise, one persons 'lightweight touring' is another persons 'everything but the kitchen sink' type of tour.

    From what you are describing, you would want something along the lines of a lightweight touring/audax type bike. There are numerous variations on this (see this months Cycling plus review of 4 light touring bikes as an example). You really need to clarify your budget and what type of riding you are looking for, and I'm sure people here would be able to give more specific advice (not that anyone will ever agree of course).

    I hate to advocate drugs, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.' Hunter S. Thompson

    I hate to advocate drugs, violence or insanity to anyone, but they\'ve always worked for me.\' Hunter S. Thompson
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Audax/light tourers tyically have long drop caliper brakes. Tourers use wider clearances with cantilever brakes. The calipers tend to work better (with drop-bar levers)if you can cope with the limit on clearance (32mm tyres).

    Mudgaurd and rack threaded eyelets are pretty essential on any non-race bike. You don't have to fit all the accessories but if you do, the best way is using bolts rather than clips.The downside of these eyelets is a couple of grams weight.
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    quote:Originally posted by MichaelW

    Audax/light tourers tyically have long drop caliper brakes. Tourers use wider clearances with cantilever brakes. The calipers tend to work better (with drop-bar levers)if you can cope with the limit on clearance (32mm tyres).

    Mudgaurd and rack threaded eyelets are pretty essential on any non-race bike. You don't have to fit all the accessories but if you do, the best way is using bolts rather than clips.The downside of these eyelets is a couple of grams weight.





    The 32mm limit is left way behind with these super long reach side pulls. I use long reach Shimanos on my bike as 32mm works for most of my riding

    http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/brakes/15026.html
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    I think an important consideration is how much you like mountains. If you are the type that wants to do some tough Alpine climbs why not go ultralight with a racing bike and just a Carradice SQR Tour and a bar bag? Then you can have fun overtaking all the people with triple chainsets and four panniers.


    What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway
  • robxsterrobxster Posts: 9
    Thanks everyone for your input.

    I have decided to not restrict myself and get a touring bike that can be fitted with a rack.

    I'm pretty set on buying a dawes audax sport tomorrow as i test rode a similar dawes touring bike today.

    Buying it from bikehut i get œ100 of free accessories :).

    Robin
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    quote:Originally posted by Eurostar

    I think an important consideration is how much you like mountains. If you are the type that wants to do some tough Alpine climbs why not go ultralight with a racing bike and just a Carradice SQR Tour and a bar bag? Then you can have fun overtaking all the people with triple chainsets and four panniers.


    It's even more fun overtaking the naked racing bikes on your fully loaded touring bike.
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    May be to late but check out the Kenesis Racelight, about the same price as the Dawes, I like mine it has the required braze ons and is comfortable on 100+ mile rides.

    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/index.asp


    He who spins lasts longest
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • robxsterrobxster Posts: 9
    Not too late as i've decided to think a bit more about it.

    But i don't know about being able to try a kenesis bike, i haven't seen any in my local bike shops.

    The main reason i wanted a dawes is because i can try them in my local shop and they have a lot of dawes tourers.
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    You generally buy a Kenesis frame and then spec the parts to your buget although cycling + did do a test on a ready built one early this year(maybe last year). Your LBS should be able to do this for you, or wiggle can do it.
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.a ... 5360026633

    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/index.asp


    He who spins lasts longest
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • As far as mudguards are concerned a cheap pair of 'SKS raceblades' will fit to almost any road bike.

    If you are taller than 5'8" then a Carradice Saddlebag will be enough.Alternatively you can do a search on this forum for for bags like this which attach with a rack to your seat post. http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.a ... 5360012458

    I have a Specialized Allez '05 which I can stick a rack on as it has the neccessary braze-ons. An audax bike would probably have stronger wheels.

    I suppose the big question is do you think you may do more one day rides (possibly join a club and do the odd sportif)
    OR is there a chance you may want to do longer tours needing small panniers in the future???

    Have a look at Pearson cycles website . They do a price for helmet, shoes etc incl with bike. You could get them to put a cheap 'compact chainset' on which is easier to pedal up hills etc when you are carrying a small amount of gear.

    Good luck.
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