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Low cost Touring bike advice

Mitch123Mitch123 Posts: 2
edited March 2017 in Tour & expedition
Hi folks.
I am looking a little advice on low budget touring bikes.
I have a road bike (cinelli) but looking something I can load up with panniers and head off for a few days in the spring around Ireland. (Same idea again in the summer).
Plan to stick to roads/ toe paths.
I spotted the Raleigh Royal at £400.
Anyone got experience of touring bikes and advice to give?



  • Hi pal.

    When I was a bit skint I managed to pick up a Raleigh Randonneur from ebay for £200 back in 2007. I had a wee scout for you and there were no randonneurs that cheap, but there was a Dawes Super Galaxy for £350.

    My own experience of touring was that once I'd tried it once I didn't want to go on any other type of holiday. I now have a Thorn Sherpa which will soon be upgraded with fancier bits and bobs, but I digress.

    What I'd be tempted to do, if I were you, and on a budget, would be to look for one of the more reputable and proven touring bikes on e-bay and then, if you later fancy upgrading parts (wheels etc) you can, rather than getting a whole new bike.

    Alternatively I guess there are decent offerings from the likes of Ridgeback etc with their hybrid offerings. Stick a rack on one of those and you'll be fine.

    All the best amigo.
  • mea00csfmea00csf Posts: 558
    Another option is a mountain bike with slick tyres. Gives you more options of where you can go, and you'll already have the low gearing for going uphill carrying a load. Depending on how strong you are, how much you load up and the terrain, standard gearing on a road or hybrid bike might be nightmare!
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    I first started touring on a hardtail mountain bike, just make sure it has mounts for the rack and disc brakes are not necessary. I would add bar-ends or swap to a butterfly bar as you need plenty of hand positions.
  • If you're only adding panniers and heading off for a few days on road then the Dawes suggested above will be a far better bet than a mountain bike even with slicks. Check out Ridgeback as well and Adventure do a cheap touring bike (Flat White)

    See ... wing-list/
  • mea00csfmea00csf Posts: 558
    If you're only adding panniers and heading off for a few days on road then the Dawes suggested above will be a far better bet than a mountain bike even with slicks. Check out Ridgeback as well and Adventure do a cheap touring bike (Flat White)

    See ... wing-list/

    Haha, of course a dedicated touring bike will be a better bet than a converted mountain bike for touring! They're probably harder to come by though! A well fitting mtb with slicks and rigid fork would be my second choice because of the gearing.

    For my TransAm I chose to make the adjustments to my good mtb bike rather than buy a cheaper tourer (mtb was built and specced by me and was a combi of xt and deore, so would have cost a lot to get a comparable tourer). I bought new wheel with dyno hub, slick tyres and a rigid fork. The pace of touring and the weight you carry means I never felt I was at that much if a disadvantage.

    Key thing is, don't let the bike cost stop you!
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    I started off touring in the mid 1980s on a rigid mountain bike and switched to a proper touring bike a few years later. Either is fine but a touring bike will be quicker on the road and more comfortable. Its geometry will give you safe handling with a load and it should have the braze ons to fit front and rear racks without bodges.

    That Raleigh Royal looks a decent buy but the gearing is not suitable for loaded touring with a 48/38/28 chainset and 11-28 cassette. That gives you an overdrive top gear only suitable for pedalling downhill and a bottom gear of 27in which is only adequate for lightly loaded B&B touring. It would be much too high for carrying camping gear. Ideally, particularly if carrying a load in hilly terrain, you need a bottom gear of around 23in or lower. That could be achieved by sticking an 11-32 cassette on the Raleigh or a 24 tooth little ring on the chain set.
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    My touring bike is a Dave Yates tourer now but when I started touring a mountain bike was much cheaper and easier to get. I agree ideally a tourer is best but a hard-tail MTB with rigid forks and rack mounts (hard to come by now) makes a good starting bike to tour on. Unless you are going on a long tour and are camping you should not need a front rack.

    As mea00csf said don't let the bike cost stop you and if you are only going on a short tour staying in b+bs a b....y great saddlebag may be enough.
  • nickicenickice Posts: 1,924
    Ever thought about a trailer? I have a Bob Yak but I'm pretty sure Decathlon and Edinburgh Bicycle do a cheaper version. However, if it's only for a few days, a proper touring bike is not really necessary (a hybrid with a pannier rack is fine)
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    I have cycled alongside raleigh royals and they seemed fine on tour , although I would also think 27inch too big for the steep hills. You should not hesitate to walk when the legs are stressed. That is proper touring style and approved by Thomas Stevens.

    I have also toured on mtb , hybrid , road bike with a pannier rack added, original mark 1 dahon folder (weird that was) later 20inch dahon and super galaxy. Obviously the galaxy is best at it but whatever you ride will determine what you should do on it and it will be fun. I doesn't matter what you do if you are on your own.
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman ... =slideshow
  • pnevpnev Posts: 236
    Why don't you just use your Cinelli?

    11-32 cassette or 11-34 if your mech will adapt, new chain and then some bikepacking gear like the Topeak Midloader and Backloader.

    Heavy duty touring equipment is just not needed for a few days cycling around imo
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