Touring bike choices

Well I guess like plenty of us, my thoughts are turning to being able to enjoy getting out and about on the bike for more than a day or two. I've always taken my road bike to a base and done day rides but I'm keen to do some longer distance touring in future. Therefore it's time to get a bike to make it possible. I'm scratching my head over options at the moment not having ever owned anything with panniers. I like the look of the Cinelli HoBootleg Easy Travel, the Surly Disk Trucker and the Genesis Tour De Fer 10 but none ticks all the boxes.

I'm thinking that fully laden, it's going to be useful to have plenty of low gears (so a triple would be good) and and also I'll be on the brakes a lot going downhill (alps/pyrenees) so at least one disk brake seems like a good idea. I'm also thinking of using mtb style brake levers and basic thumb shifters as I find braking on hoods or drops is hard on the hands at the best of times. Obviously with these specs being fairly unique, I'm possibly looking at getting a frame and building the bike myself. For info I'm a lightweight rider <10stone 5'8" and looking to do mostly road touring but possibly on poor roads and gravel for some sections.

Any thoughts on this?


  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,197
    I would recommend the Croix de Fer 10. I got one when I was planning to do ride London 5 years ago, and love it. It's a decenbt all rounder. The only -ve was not being able to get a mudguard on the front with the 35mm CX tyres. But I tend to use 28mm as a winter road tyre now, so not really an issue for touring/gran fondo's.

    As it happens, I have just put a triple Sora set up on it. It would be aa cheraper change on the flat bar model than on my drop bar verion. But it's good "out of the box" as a Tourer. I think they still come with a 11-30 cassette, but a 11-34 will fit if you need it, with a longer chain.

    Many may not agree with me, but I think the steel fork makes for a better ride than a carbon one. My ADV 8.8 has a carbon fork and is noticeably less comfy at the handlebars, despite the wider tyres.

    If you are going for a self build, the CdF I a good frameset and can usually be found discounted.
  • heavymentalheavymental Posts: 2,000
    Yes the Genesis do look like good options. Is the Tour de Fer the same as a Croix de Fer? I'd looked at the Tour de Fer but I've always liked the Croix de Fer.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,476
    I've been looking at this for a wee while but haven't been able to make a decision (there is no rush for me).

    If you want a "name" then the bikes the OP are reasonable options but you may get more bike for your money if you look at Spa cycles.

    But you want to spend some money have a look at Shand cycles.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,197
    I haven't compared geometry but the build on the TdF 20 (as the OP likes flat bars) looks decent, with the dynamo and lights.
  • heavymentalheavymental Posts: 2,000
    edited 27 March
    mrfpb said:

    I haven't compared geometry but the build on the TdF 20 (as the OP likes flat bars) looks decent, with the dynamo and lights.

    I'm still not sure on bars. My partner has a Surly Disc Trucker and I had a go on that this morning and found the position means that a long time on the drops is probably fine and bar end shifters aren't that bad. But it was heavy! I'm wondering about a titanium frame but I think it'd have to be second hand to save cash.

    EDIT: Croix de Fer (rather than Tour de Fer) is looking like a good option. Plenty seem to come up for sale so I'm going to keep my eyes out for a frame or maybe a reasonably priced full bike I think. Also like the look of the Sonder Santiago. There's a few options but the CdF does seem to be an easy buy as there's a few around for sale.
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