Touring bikes have become very popular in recent years for their comfort, durability, and load-carrying capability. A new trend among cyclists who use these bikes for short tours or commuting is to replace the original parts of the bike with more aggressive parts that are used on road bikes.
Mostly this means putting on narrow tires with slick or serrated surfaces, fenders for rainy days, and possibly even a speedometer. But for most people, these changes are enough to turn their touring bike into an almost perfect road bike. So Let’s read Touring bike vs Road Bike
Touring Bike vs Road Bike (Differences)
The basic difference between a touring bike and a road bike is that the former is designed for comfort and control, while the latter prioritizes speed and performance. Touring bikes are designed to look like normal city bikes, while road bikes have a sportier look. The height of the handlebars, the length and shape of the brake levers, and the style of gear shift levers are usually identical on both types.
Touring bikes are heavier than road bikes and can be found with either drop or flat handlebars. Road bikes may also have drop handlebars, but the other major difference between these two types of bikes is gearing. While Touring bikes tend to have lower gears for easier climbing, road bikes tend to be geared more closely spaced for faster speeds. The main reason that someone would choose to use a touring bike over a road bike is so they don’t have to worry about descending since this type of bike will be significantly heavier than one specifically designed for speed and efficiency on flat roads. That said, the luggage capacity of worth bikes means many people prefer touring bikes for multi-day trips.
A racing cyclist will tell you that the main difference between a racer’s road bike and their touring bike is the saddle. Racers prefer racing saddles, which are much harder than regular seats because they provide more comfort for very long rides. But if you don’t plan on covering huge distances at high speeds, you can easily use your road bike rear rack with its regular seat.
Tourists don’t care about high speeds, they are more interested in comfort and practicality. Touring bikes are generally equipped with front racks for luggage, which makes them great for traveling or commuting to work with a laptop computer bag. You can even put small children on these bikes; they provide very comfortable seats for short rides.
If you plan on taking your bike for a longer journey, you’ll probably want to consider making some of the changes described above. Racing bicycle components are lighter and more durable than standard parts, which is why they are preferred by racing cyclists. But since most people don’t race their touring bikes even if they use them for that purpose, lighter isn’t necessarily better. In order to make their bikes more versatile, many cyclists replace the standard triple chain wheel with a compact double system (50-34 teeth), which allows them to fine-tune their gear ratios for different riding conditions. This way you can go up hills at higher speeds and still be able to pedal along comfortably on flat surfaces.
Changing your standard derailleur hanger with a direct-mount type is another popular change. This will allow you to attach accessories to the bicycle frame without having to use separate mounting brackets, which are much more difficult to remove. If you plan on commuting by bike, this would be an especially great help because it allows you to carry all kinds of things on the front or back racks.
Can You Use A Road Bike For Touring?
Touring on a road bike will require some adjustments and modifications so I would advise against trying this the first time around. The geometry of a road bike is fast and nimble which makes it great for shorter day rides. Touring on one can be challenging because you have to stand up in order to handle the weight of your gear when climbing hills or fighting headwinds.
If you are not particular about the type of bike, then I would recommend that you purchase a sturdy road bike first. You can always upgrade later for your next tour. If you are tight on budget, then consider buying used or checking out bicycle shops for discounts periodically. Just remember that there are plenty of options to choose from so don’t limit yourself because of the price tag. When it comes to touring, you should never settle for less than what you need!
Are Touring Bikes Slower Than Road Bikes?
NO, Touring bikes are not slower than road bikes. It’s not so much that touring bikes are slower than road bikes but more because of the cyclist and not the bike. A heavier rider on a lighter bicycle will be faster than a lighter rider on a heavier bicycle, regardless of whether it’s a road bike or a touring bike.
A bicycle is simply a machine that converts human effort into propulsion. The harder the rider pushes, the faster the cycle goes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a lightweight racing bicycle for racing or an aluminum frame, a heavy-duty steel-wheeled touring bicycle designed to take loads of camping gear, and luggage and efficiently transport a cyclist across the country.
Touring bicycles are designed to support a rider and all his/her gear over long distances, which means that there needs to be a certain amount of ‘give’ in the ride that allows for small roads, dirt roads, or paths less traveled as well as potholes and other road hazards as you find on roads less traveled.
Why Are Touring Bikes So Heavy?
The biggest reason is that they have to be able to carry up to 200 pounds of weight and absorb road vibrations from bad roads. To do this you need very large tires, sturdy frames, and forks, and they’re often equipped with heavy-duty racks, fenders, and deep-dish panniers.
There are lighter bicycles out there that can support this weight but they require skill to ride. Touring bikes sit in the middle ground between mountain bikes and road bikes; they need to be efficient enough for continuous riding while off-road, yet sturdy enough to handle bad roads with ease.
Wider tires are also another reason for the extra weight. Standard road and tire width is between 23mm and 28mm, but touring bikes usually use tires between 32mm and 35mm. This gives the bicycle a much wider profile which adds air volume needed for greater buoyancy when riding up hills.
Touring bikes also often come with racks that are capable of carrying a lot of weight. The only types of racks that can carry a full camping load (about 30 pounds) are heavy-duty rear racks made from thick steel rods and metal lugs that attach the racks to the bike frame. And even then, these racks will need to reinforce able support struts to hold them up.
Is A Touring Bike Worth it?
As a cyclist, you have probably wondered if a touring bike might be right for you. Touted as the most suitable bike for cycle touring, a true road bike can be quite expensive and an entry-level rig doesn’t always cut it for long, extreme tours. If you’re tired of buying new bikes or paying your LBS to upgrade standard road bikes to fit your needs, it might be time to look into purchasing a dedicated touring bike.
What Exactly Is A Touring Bike?
- A standard road bike frame with 700C wheels and drop handlebars.
- It has the capacity to mount fenders and pannier racks on its sturdy rear triangle.
- Its geometry is more relaxed than a road bike, making it more suitable for carrying luggage.
- It has braze-ons (lugged mounts that attach the components to the frame) for accessories such as fenders and rack mounts.
- Standards include 700C wheels, 26mm tires, drop bars with bar end shifters, and a triple crankset, which is less expensive than a road bike.
Who Needs A Touring Bike?
A true road bike can make for a good touring rig if you don’t mind the lack of braze-ons and clearance for fenders and panniers. If you think a true road bike will not suit your needs as a tourer, you should consider a cyclo-touring bike. These are road bikes with dropped handlebars for comfort and upright positioning; they can also be fitted with fenders.
There are three types of touring bikes:
- Long Distance Bike: The length of the wheelbase and the angle of the fork create a stable bike that can carry heavy loads.
- Commuter Bikes: The geometry is the same as a road bike, making it efficient for long rides while still being lightweight and fast.
- Off-Road Tourer: A mountain bike geometry with 700C wheels that works well on trails and dirt roads. It has clearance for fenders and wide tires that can tackle rough terrain.
A touring bike is a great alternative to a standard road bike, but what if it doesn’t fit you properly? Since a true road bike has a more aggressive geometry, proper fit can be difficult to achieve on the rack of an LBS. Instead, opt for one of these quality online retailers:
Are Touring Bikes More Comfortable?
Yes. Touring bikes are more comfortable than other types of bikes because their frames and geometries (more on frame geometry below) allow the rider to sit in a comfortable upright position. This is great for longer rides, because oftentimes while riding you will be relaxing and not straining your muscles. Being relaxed allows you to ride longer and enjoy yourself even more!
Touring bikes allow for more comfort and enjoyment during long rides because of their different frame geometry, which means that the angles at which they are built change from other types of bikes. Touring bikes usually have a longer top tube (the horizontal bar between the seat and the handlebars) than road or mountain bikes; this allows riders to sit up straight without having to hunch or lean forward. Additionally, their shorter stems (the stem connects the handlebars to the front fork) allow for more comfort and less stress on your arms.
While all types of bikes are designed with different purposes in mind, touring bikes are specifically designed for long rides so you can sit up comfortably rather than be in an aggressive riding position. Tourist bikes are more comfortable than other types of bikes because of the design and geometry of their frames which allows riders to sit in a relaxed upright position for longer rides. Touring bike specs may vary but they all offer the same level of comfort and mileage for any type of rider.
How Long Does A Touring Bike Last?
A touring bike truly lasts about 50,000 miles (80,400km) to 80,000 miles (128,700km) as long as its owner is willing and able to keep it in top condition. Touring cyclists often don’t have time to do the maintenance required to keep a touring bike working well, and most end up abandoning their bikes after a few years of neglect. But a good touring bike with low mileage can last for decades if it’s properly maintained. Many bicyclists who replace their tour cycles opt for lighter, simpler commuters rather than high-end touring bikes.
Tour bikes are large, heavy, and designed to withstand the conditions of extended road riding. They work well for this purpose, but they’re not always ideal for daily commutes. The wear and tear on a touring bike means that it typically has a far shorter lifespan than other types of commuter bicycles. Touring bikes often require more maintenance than most riders are willing to devote to them.
This means that most tour bikes end up at the bottom of their owners’ garages and shed after a few years, and they’re replaced with new tour bikes. By contrast, many commuters ride great distances every day and spend more time on their rides than most touring cyclists do. The commuting bicycles typically used for such distances are built for speed and endurance, not heavy-duty durability. Many commuters ride lighter, simpler bikes that aren’t as durable as tour bikes but cost far less to maintain.
Touring bikes are more comfortable and practical for long rides, while road bikes offer higher performance for people who need to get somewhere fast. Putting them together lets you enjoy both worlds – a high-performance racing bike and a multi-purpose city bike.