Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bike Touring

I've been asked about what bike is best for touring.

And my answer is always - "Ride whatever bike your are riding now".

Bike touring is not a race where you need the state-of-the-art, aerodynamic, sub 1-kg frame with campy gruppo bike.

What you need is a durable and reliable bike that will take you to places.

An aluminium frame is light but a steel is more comfortable and easier to repair. Make sure it has eyelets for rear rack. You need it if you are not pulling a trailer.

You can carry more load and ride off road with fat tire and 32/36 spokes rims. Customed wheel is not advisable.

In my opinion, fenders are one of the important parts of a touring bike if not the most important! Get a good saddle. Remember that saddle brand doesn't give you saddle sore, but wrong positioning of the saddle does.

There you go. If you are comfortable riding on road bike or a mountain bike, both can be your 'touring bike'.

But the more upright your riding position, the more comfortable it will be when riding for hours. Hence, mtb & folding bike gets my vote.

Forget about branded bikes like SURLY, BROMPTON, KOGA-MIYATA, KTM, SEVEN etc. Yes they are all great bikes, but they cost a bomb.Unless you are touring the world and have tonnes of cash to burn.

Don't worry about the weight of your bike. Bike touring is about carrying load and moving at reasonable speed. Nevertheless, I suggest that you travel light.

Additional accessories e.g, Bike lock & lights are important. Others is optional but good to have e.g. bike mirror, handheld GPS & speedometer.

So you can plan your bike touring now. It's not the distance nor the speed but the journey itself.

Bring a camera to record your trips becuase photos of old bike tour will always be good motivation to plan for next trip.

Enjoy riding!

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