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First Tourer

BenjoBenjoBenjoBenjo Posts: 3
edited December 2009 in Tour & expedition
im looking at getting my first serious bike. My budget is around £800, right now im only planning several light European adventures. Im currently looking at the Trek 520 and the Novarra Safari, but im having serious problems trying to find anyone who stocks either. I realise the safari is very hard to get in england.

thankyou for any help you can give


  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    What about a Dawes Galaxy for under £800 (if you use the extra Roughstuff discount) at Spa Cycles - or if you want STI shifters, theDawes Horizon for about £530.
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    I was considering a Dawes Galaxy but went for a Claud Butler Dalesman instead, which has STI shifters and a better spec than the Horizon (Deore/105 as opposed to Sora/Alivio). It was £750 when I got it 2 years ago at Evans.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Yes, the Dalesman would be better, nearer £900 now - most tourers seem to have gone up a load in the last year :(

    Other possible bikes: Ridgeback Horizon (under £600, Alu frame), Ridgeback Panorama (looks good, around £1k, steel frame), Byercycles Aravis (steel frame, same as Hewitt's Cheviot) around £950, Jamis Aurora - if you can find one, Thorn

    I have just ordered a Condor Heritage, its a bit (or maybe a lot) over budget, but every aspect of the build can be specified so you can tailor price and spec, (and even the frame can be custom built and painted for +£150). The bike got a 9/10 in C+ last year.

    My preference would be for a purpose made steel tourer, but my g/f tours with me on a £550 Trek 1.2 triple, it handles a medium pannier load really well and is very stable, has rack mounts (rear) and mudguard mounts and reasonable clearance.
  • You could do a lot worse than a Dawes Horizon and at £530 it's a steal. You can then spend the money saved on other bit's and bob's.

    I've done roughly 9000 miles (more to come too) of fully loaded touring on my 2007 Horizon (Alu frame) and the bike has been fantastic. The Sora/Alivio combination has also been more than reliable.
  • BE1BE1 Posts: 27
    Trek 520 at bike plus

    last one 21 inch

    I hope this helps :D
  • thanks for all the help. I think i will go for a trek 520, but still havent found anywhere that stocks them in any quantity.
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    Is the Raleigh royal any good nowadays?..
  • The Raleigh Royal appears (from reading owners posts not personal experience) to be a decent enough bike but let down by a couple of details:
    - quality of paintwork
    - availability - they have been like hens' teeth

    Best budget tourer is the Ridgeback Voyage. I had one for a year and did 5,000 miles on it. No-one has said a bad word about them. Similar spec to the Dawes Horizon (slightly better) but shorter top tube than the Dawes, which seems to suit most people. Also comes in more sizes.
  • the dawes are good values at spa, an outrageous rip-off at RRP.

    For a grand i'd go for a custom build, speak to your local bike shop.
  • Dawes Galaxy every time: tried, tested and trusted. Nuff said.
  • I have been looking for a decent tourer for a ride from England to Italy next year. I am happy to spend up to about £1300 and was going to go for a Hewitt Cheviot SE. The reviews I have seen have been excellent however is it really £500 better than the Dawes Galaxy listed above? I don't just want to throw money away. :?
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    The Dawes (regular) Galaxy with bar end shifters has Reynolds 631 tubing, the Super and Ultra (which have STI's) have 853 (best?), the Cheviot SE has 725. I can't speak of the differences from personal experience, but the higher series tubes do cost more and should give weight / strength advantages, so on the face of it the Cheviot may be overpriced c/w the Galaxy. However, you get a personal fitting service and individual spec (if you want it) and superb wheels versus some that you'll probably want to replace.

    Just this week I got a Condor Heritage. I wanted a decent steel frame and STI shifters but the Galaxy Super/Ultra's were more expensive. The frame is Italian made Dedacciai Sat 14 steel which is apparently somewhere between Reynolds 725 and 853. You could get one specced with Tiagra for about £1300 with handbuilt wheels. You can get any spec you want, including custom sizing (£100) and colours (£+50).
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    If going for a tourer its important to get the perfect sizing for you especially if picking up a second hand bargain.Recently got a Galaxy a 2nd hand but a bit on the small size..Changed the stem/quill but still doesnt feel the perfect beast its reputed to be.
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