Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

What touring bike?

Roger_ThisRoger_This Posts: 136
edited September 2008 in Tour & expedition
This topic pops up every five minutes in the Road section, but I haven't seen much discussion here, so here goes:

I currently use a non-suspension Specialized Hardrock fitted with Nimbus tyres for touring, but I'm now considering switching to a 700c bike, maybe one of the Edinburgh Bike tourers. I just wondered if it would be worth the expense? My current bike is comfortable on tracks as well as road but maybe a bit on the heavy side. I'm also not convinced about drops.

Thoughts?

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    What are you looking to get out of the change? Simply switching to 700c for the sake of having bigger wheels isn't worth it.

    I don't know how heavy the Specialized Hard rock is. You could consider getting a lighter frame (eg Planet-X Kaffenback or a Cotic road rat, or a Surly) but what you'd gain in weight you'll lose in go-anywhereness.
  • dafrukdafruk Posts: 125
    Having previously toured on a mountain bike with flat bars the best thing I found when I recently switched to a road style tourer was the variety of grips on the bars which keeps your hands from aching so much.

    I bought the Country Traveller which seems pretty good value and reviewed well on this very site.

    Not taken it any big trips yet but has performed well with a couple of panniers on out for a day trip. I've found it very stable, with a decent top end of gears so you're not crawling along when unlaiden.
    FCN 7- Tourer, panniers, Lycra and clipless

    What is this game you speak of? Of course I'm not playing...
  • meagainmeagain Posts: 2,331
    "Average" tourers won't be much (if at all) lighter than a rigid "atb". And if not bothered about drops I'd have thought little to be gained by changing. FWIW I don't find that drops give more USEABLE positions than flats with the right bar ends do.
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    Like the others, I find it hard to see what you will gain, unless you want to go for quite heavily laden tourning. I've met several people touring happily on Hardrocks. The main disadvantages are the very rigid frame and the limited heel clearance for larger panniers. Its also quite a tight geometry so a long day in the saddle will be a little more tiring I think than a more comfy purpose built tourer. But if the set up suits you, then I'd suggest spending your money on things like ergon grips and cane creek bar ends (they make a straight bar bike much more comfortable), and maybe lighter, stronger wheels, especially the rear wheel.
  • dafrukdafruk Posts: 125
    meagain wrote:
    "Average" tourers won't be much (if at all) lighter than a rigid "atb". And if not bothered about drops I'd have thought little to be gained by changing. FWIW I don't find that drops give more USEABLE positions than flats with the right bar ends do.

    Almost definitely true, as I said in my post above, I'd just used a flat bar with no bar ends and my hands always itched (not quite sure how to explain it but this is probably closest) after a fortnight tour.

    You might want to look into butterfly bars which seem to be fairly popular with tourers on the continent as they may give even more "usable" hand positions.

    I think you can get them to fit on mtb frames as well, so save yourself a lot of upgrade costs.
    FCN 7- Tourer, panniers, Lycra and clipless

    What is this game you speak of? Of course I'm not playing...
  • Roger_ThisRoger_This Posts: 136
    Thanks all for the replies, think I'll bung on a pair of bar ends and stick to the Hardrock (I have cane-creek look-alikes on my other bike - very comfy and about half the price). You're right about the heel clearance Gyatsola, but I reckon I can live with that. Cheers.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    My Saracen Skyline runs well when fully loaded and pretty fast when not. £600 bike when new but I picked it up as new for £250. Evidently same bike as Dawes, built in the same factory. Quality machine but would be tempted to change sora gearing.


    Jim
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