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This is why I need this forum

linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
I am mrsconfused about all the different bikes you can get

What is a touring bike exactly? Is an audax bike a touring bike?

When I am free of needy dependents (a while yet, but I like to dream), one of the things I would like to do is take off around Europe for a bit.

What would I need to get? Obviously Frank and Gladys will be sad to stay home, but I feel a new companion for that adventure would be needed.

And just how big does my jar of coppers need to be?
Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
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Posts

  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    Look at the bike subsections on evans website, you need at least one of each :D
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
    Well that is my argument yes, but I am a teacher - long holidays for lots of adventures, but on a slight shoestring!
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    A touring bike (as compared to a racer) has a more upright, relaxed geometry (frame angles and stuff) so it's comfier on long days in the saddle. And mounting points for front and rear racks for lugging your luggage. And lower gears for lugging that luggage up the steep hills that tourers usually end up on (at least mine does!). And fatter tyres and springier frames for soaking up bumps in the road.

    Bloody hell I sound like I know what I'm on about :shock:
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    edited February 2009
    I tend to wikki/google questions like that then post on this site to clarify that I understood what I just read.

    Touring bike - Standard Road bike geometry (not compact) but designed to carry addition wieght of heavy panniers (urgh). These have the large rear triangle and standard length headtube - tend to be heavier than their race bread counterparts.

    Road bike - (Specialized Tarmac, Giant TCR) Standard road bike or compact frames, stripped down, light and stiff to go long distances very quickly - intended to race and were referred to as racers in my day.

    Sportive - (Giant SCR, Specialized Allez) slightly longer headtube for more upright riding position.

    Audax (Specialized Robaix) - Like a Sportive but tweaks here and there to increase the comfort as you ride fast over long distances.

    I may be wrong.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    You teachers earn a fortune I've seen it ont' tele!

    Audax bikes are like tourers but a bit more racey I think proper tourers are made for serious load lugging. Check the gear reviews there's been a glut of them reviewed recently.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
    Fortunes are all relative I guess

    I think I earn quite well actually, and I can't complain.
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Linsen,

    A touring bike is a road bike designed for comfort over distance, rather than speed. These days, as bikes get progressively more extreme, it tends to mean a bike designed for "loaded touring", ie tent, stove, sleeping bag, pots, utensils, food, clothes, toolkit, kitchen sink... It'll be strong and have some very low gears.

    For lighter touring (hostel? B&B?, Hotels?) you can cut A LOT of this baggage out, and use a "light touring" bike. Maybe lighter, closer gears, no front panniers?

    An Audax bike ought to be the same sort of thing but carrying even less (day kit), as you'd expect to be home at the end of the (long) ride... Good for supported touring with a sag-wagon.

    It should be evident that there's a fair bit of overlap!

    Cheers,
    W.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    linsen wrote:
    I am mrsconfused about all the different bikes you can get

    What is a touring bike exactly? Is an audax bike a touring bike?

    When I am free of needy dependents (a while yet, but I like to dream), one of the things I would like to do is take off around Europe for a bit.

    What would I need to get? Obviously Frank and Gladys will be sad to stay home, but I feel a new companion for that adventure would be needed.

    And just how big does my jar of coppers need to be?

    Ah ha, what you need is this:

    2 of your kids with driving licences.
    2 lovely fast sportive bikes
    1 large camper van
    several mobile phones

    You and hubby cycle. Kids drive behind you with the Van/meet you at agreed points. The van holds all your kit, you're free to cycle unencumbered.

    Job done. :D
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    linsen wrote:
    I think I earn quite well actually, and I can't complain.

    Apart from about a lack of bikes - which is understandable, my wife doesn't understand :(
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    linsen wrote:
    I am mrsconfused about all the different bikes you can get

    What is a touring bike exactly? Is an audax bike a touring bike?

    When I am free of needy dependents (a while yet, but I like to dream), one of the things I would like to do is take off around Europe for a bit.

    What would I need to get? Obviously Frank and Gladys will be sad to stay home, but I feel a new companion for that adventure would be needed.

    And just how big does my jar of coppers need to be?

    Great idea, young lady (but don't be fooled by the Low Countries - the sidewinds are something else). Anyhoo, take a look at this site:

    http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Alternatively, audax bikes are like racers but a little less racier as they have to have guards, but audax rides are slightly different from sportives as they have time limits for both upper and lower times. Sportives will more like a full blown racer than an audax will be.

    Proper tourers are designed to go anywhere with anything, are usually made from steel (like reynolds tubing) so that they can be repaired easily and can take the loads of lugage. they will often have extra water bottle bosses under the down tube, braze-ons for light brackets and carrying spare spoke. Wheels will be much sturdier with 36 spokes and slight wider rims to accomodate fatter tyres to give a more comfortable ride.
    SC61.10a: FCN 3, with clip-on guards for winter
    Uncle John: FCN ?? knobblies, or 'fat' slicks n guards

    If you haven't tried these things, you should.
    These things are fun, and fun is good.
  • linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
    linsen wrote:
    I am mrsconfused about all the different bikes you can get

    What is a touring bike exactly? Is an audax bike a touring bike?

    When I am free of needy dependents (a while yet, but I like to dream), one of the things I would like to do is take off around Europe for a bit.

    What would I need to get? Obviously Frank and Gladys will be sad to stay home, but I feel a new companion for that adventure would be needed.

    And just how big does my jar of coppers need to be?

    Ah ha, what you need is this:

    2 of your kids with driving licences.
    2 lovely fast sportive bikes
    1 large camper van
    several mobile phones

    You and hubby cycle. Kids drive behind you with the Van/meet you at agreed points. The van holds all your kit, you're free to cycle unencumbered.

    Job done. :D

    By jove I think you have something there........

    Only 9 years to wait.

    Oh, and do they have to agree to do it or can I force them somehow?
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • Alternatively one can take the kids with you on there bikes or in-tow, trailer bike stylie.

    My 11yr old wanted to go cyclo-touring in Holland this year (not that we normally tour or anything), but because of the awful exchange rates we have decided to do the C2C this summer. That'll be me, with amost of the lugage, my wife, my daughter and my 8 yrs son. My son has been happily completing 20mile ride since he was about 6, but this Summer will be more of a challenge with a daily milage of 25-30 miles per day for 5 days. However, a little training before hand during Easter and Whitsun should see us ready, then who knows where in 2010 :D
    SC61.10a: FCN 3, with clip-on guards for winter
    Uncle John: FCN ?? knobblies, or 'fat' slicks n guards

    If you haven't tried these things, you should.
    These things are fun, and fun is good.
  • The March edition of Cycling Plus has a review of tourers and I believe they rated the Pearson Compass highly. I've always fancied the idea of a Thorn Raven with Rohloff gears as a retirement project but not sure about the flat bars.
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    Linsen, I've turned the Giant into what I intend to be a light tourer by adding mudguards, rear rack, Marathon tyres etc - it also has brazings for a front rack but I haven't tried that yet. I have looked at Thorn in the past and they seem to be the definitive tourer.

    The number of bike you require is always n+1 where n= current number of bikes
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Touring bikes are just like road bikes except for the frame, the wheels, the transmission and accessories.
    They are not just for riding on the road, you can tackle tracks and trails, unsurfaced farm tracks etc
    The transmission usually borrows from MTBs so you get small gears to haul loads up steel hills.
    These days there are three basic varieties of tourer:
    Light tourers (aka Audax), can take light panniers, good for weekend hostelling or longer ultra-light tours on road.
    Medium/Club tourers. typical of Cyclist Touring Club riders, eg Dawes Galaxy. Good for everyday riding and a couple of weeks loaded touring. Can have a go at most types of touring.
    Expedition tourers. Specially designed for heavy loads and rough tracks so can be a bit weighty when unladen. Thorn are the specialists in this style.
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    MichaelW wrote:
    Touring bikes are just like road bikes except for the frame, the wheels, the transmission and accessories.

    Different, then? :P
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    MichaelW wrote:
    Touring bikes are just like road bikes except ...
    The transmission usually borrows from MTBs so you get small gears to haul loads up steel hills....


    I think this is a result of availability rather than desireability- back in the day, Touring Bikes had their own dedicated componentry, however they are now a niche product, rather than a mainstream one and hence have to make do with what's available at a reasonable price.
    ATB groupsets arn't ideal for a touring rig, but "road" (ie racing :-( ) ones typically don't have the range or "depth" needed for loaded touring.

    You can get a good compromise by mixing components but it's not cost effective for a manufacturer to do so, so tends to be the preserve of custom builds.

    Cheers,
    W.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,050
    This is my tourer, steel frame and forks, large tyres, 14 gears with down tube shifters for simplicity eventually i will be fitted with additional bottle cages, frame pump, pannier racks, a dynamo light and several other lighting systems and a handlebar bag or man bag.

    3273628907_7916bf8c1f.jpg
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,050
    and saddle bags
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    Don't get too bogged down in the specifics of what is an audax/sportive/tourer etc.

    Think about what you are planning to do on your dream holiday - are you going to be riding fully loaded with camping gear and be totally independent? Or, are you going to be 'credit card touring', with just a change of clothing or two and stay in B&Bs or hotels?

    If its the former, you might want to look for something with front and rear pannier mounts, relaxed geometry and a very wide gearing range - ie. a proper-job touring bike like the Thorn Club tour.

    If its the latter, then almost anything with rear pannier and mudguard mounts and enough clearance for fattish 28c tyres will do.

    Naturally, there is plenty of cross-over in what these bikes will do. You also have a choice of steel, aluminium or titanium. And, believe it or not, Pearson make a carbon 'audax' bike with rack and mudguard mounts :shock:

    If you are really looking for a special treat, which will fit perfectly and do everything you want, then you could consider having something custom built. Google Argos, Chas Roberts, Dave Lloyd - there are others as well - and you'll find the world is your oyster.

    Just don't forget to tell us about it :D
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    itboffin wrote:
    This is my tourer, steel frame and forks, large tyres, 14 gears with down tube shifters for simplicity eventually i will be fitted with additional bottle cages, frame pump, pannier racks, a dynamo light and several other lighting systems and a handlebar bag or man bag.

    3273628907_7916bf8c1f.jpg

    Sweet :D
  • linsenlinsen Posts: 1,959
    Google Argos

    wow now there is an idea - I wonder if they have them in their laminated catalogue of dreams?

    :wink:
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    linsen wrote:
    Google Argos

    wow now there is an idea - I wonder if they have them in their laminated catalogue of dreams?

    :wink:

    I hear they are going to take Halfords on at their own game and start selling Cervelos

    :wink::wink:
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,050
    Would that be the same as the "laminated book of dreams"
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • itboffin wrote:
    This is my tourer, steel frame and forks, large tyres, 14 gears with down tube shifters for simplicity eventually i will be fitted with additional bottle cages, frame pump, pannier racks, a dynamo light and several other lighting systems and a handlebar bag or man bag.

    3273628907_7916bf8c1f.jpg

    That's a cool bike. Envious of that and your ability to makle large brown paper bags stand upright.
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    Hi Linsen,
    You need to decide what type of touring the bike is to be used for and then select the best bike for that job.

    My personal view is that a steel frame is best as it takes a lot of the sting out the road - important if you will be spending hours in the saddle day after day. (I also like steel 'cos I'm an old fart and steel is what old farts like :x ).

    Light weight (credit card) touring which is nearly all on road can be achieved on almost any light road bike with 700C wheels.

    As you increase the strain on the bike by packing heavier loads so you want wheels with more spokes and fatter tyres. If you are going to be carrying a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, food spare clothes etc then it is worth thinking about a 26 inch wheeled bike - especially if you intend adding to the strain by making long off-road treks. If you think you will be carting even bigger & heavier loads then consider shifting the cargo onto a trailer (a Bob Yak is the choice for this)

    Saddle choice is personal - just make sure e you get one you are happy with. If you have any doubts at all then make sure it gets plenty of testing before the tour. Personally I'd go for a Brooks and so would lots of other people but the best guide is your own experience.

    Drop handle bars offer lots of hand positions and will probably be your best choice unless you are mainly travelling off road.

    Lights - be careful here. A hub dynamo is good and means you will always have lights when you need them but why would anyone cycle tour in the dark in Europe? Distances between stopping points are never so great that you cannot reach a village, town or camp site before sunset. After dark you can't se the countryside so there is no point in travelling at that time. In Europe battery lights or a bottle dynamo will get the job done. In more exotic/remote areas a hub dynamo can become essential.

    Transmission in Europe can be anything you can maintain and get spare parts for. On that basis a reasonable Shimano or Campag group set will do well. A Rohloff hub gear will also be fine in Europe and beyond as it should be almost maintenance free.

    It is worth watching the second-hand market for a good second hand steel bike such as the Dawes Sardar or a Dawes One Down. For a new steel tourer then Thorn Cycles is an obvious company to talk to. They have an excellent range of bikes and can give you advice which is second to none - especially if you can talk with Andy Blance. (That could be a problem if he happens to be cycling in some far flung corner of the planet - as he often is!).

    Make sure the frame has the lugs for mudguards and carriers and that your heels will clear panniers when pedalling. Kicking the panniers with every chain wheel revolution is not gonna be much fun as it will continue every minute of every hour of every day .....)

    The rear rack should be something robust like the Thorn, Tubus or Blackburn touring racks and low riders (same makes again) are the best option if you want luggage on the front wheel as well as the back.

    Ortlieb is the choice for panniers. In reality you will be able to use something slightly less robust but much cheaper if you are touring Europe for no more than a few weeks at a time.

    There are plenty of Rims which can be used for touring but if you are carting very heavy loads then Sun Rhyno's are the "choice". They are bomb proof but heavy.

    Tyre choice has to be Schwalbe marathons or Schwalbe marathons or alternatively Schwalbe marathons. Get the version most suited to the terrain you will be riding and, for a few weeks in Europe, one spare folding tyre should be enough. In more remote regions of the World I would take more.


    I hope this helps - best of luck
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    A friend of mine toured around the South Island of NZ well over 10 years ago now. But, these are the sort of sights you'd encounter:

    3276640198_3910e9ec0e_m.jpg
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Sigh. I would love to cycle NZ. Cycling and Wine, mmmmmmmm.

    *Dreams & Drools
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • "Cycling and wine". Isn't that what Cadel Evans does at the Tour de France?
    Dan
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