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Old 11-15-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
superj
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what is a touring bike?

ok, i was reading in another section and someone mentioned a touring bike instead of a road bike and it made me think, what is the actual difference?

i am interested because i have a hybrid that i love and a road bike that i like a pretty fair amount but its a tad too tall for me so i need to find something that fits properly. i hear a touring is like a road bike but built a little heavier duty? they are made for more time in the saddle versus just being a speed machine?

fill me in, i am interested because a touring might actually be for me versus a road bike. the road bike skinny skinny tires kill me with our horrible roads in corpus christi texas. i have cuts and gashes in the roadie tires from who knows what where as my old school hybrid has a bit wider tires and some heavier traction and zero tire damage at all.

i am going to google and read but am very interested in what you guys, my forum amigos, have to say.

thanks



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Old 11-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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Touring bikes are intended for heavy loads, not sprints and cornering. They're also designed for all day comfort. A good touring frame also has all sorts of tabs for mounting racks, as well as V-brake, cantilever, or disc brake options. Oh, and wider tires.



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Old 11-15-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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so, basically the same shape but heavier duty with wider tires? that sounds good to me. that is my one gripe on the road bikes is the tires are so skinny that the bad roads here are tearing them up monthly. i already replaced the brand new front tire and am waiting on a replacement rear tire because of all the cuts in the rubber that i am getting bubbles from the tube trying to push the tears open.

and what kills me is i watch when i am riding and try and avoid all hte junk in the road so i don't know what did this.

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Old 11-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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Same shape, different (less aggressive, more relaxed) geometry.

As far as tires, read this.

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Old 11-15-2012, 06:31 PM   #5
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A touring bike might be thought of as a more-practical roadie. You can attach fenders and racks, as Hack pointed out. The racks give you the ability to carry a whole lot in panniers, or less attractively by strapping stuff right to the racks.

As a result, you'll find touring bikes are geared lower to allow you to schlep your cargo up steep grades. This obviously costs some the top end gearing, but it hasn't been a big deal for me - I can still exceed 40mph downhill with a couple of cogs left over in back. I ride a 2011 Novara Safari.

Because they're made to carry heavy loads, many touring bikes also come with heavier-duty brakes. Mine came stock with highly effective rim brakes, but has all the mounts needed for discs. It's cool to have the option of using either. Not all touring bikes are like this, though.

Again due to heavy loads, most touring bikes come with heavier-duty, more robust rims - double-walled and with heavier-gauge spokes. The rims (and bike frames) are often also designed to mount wider tires.

That brings us to tires. Touring-specific tires are, again, designed to handle heavy loads and to go long distances without flatting. As a result, they tend to be heavier and sport more rolling resistance than racing tires. Between the added tire width and toughness, a set might be just the thing to fix the tire cutting issue referenced in he OP. That's gotta drive you nuts

I still recommend rolling with heavy-duty tubes loaded with slime or its functional equivalent. When it comes to slime and presta valves, a few manufacturers DO make presta valves with removable-valve cores so slime can be added.

You do not, of course, have to ride a touring bike loaded. It's just nice to have the option to do so. It's wonderful to walk into a store in cycling gear and buy something you couldn't possibly fit on a regular bike - you see which clerks are paying attention vs. working on auto-pilot. The facial expressions from those who do notice are often quite amusing

In short, touring bikes rule, though I may be a bit biased since I'm not a racer-type

If you are the racer-type, I might point out that building the muscle to ride a heavier bike does great things for your ability to accelerate and handle a lighter roadie when the time is right.

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Old 11-15-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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When I went to pick up a used Trek, they had a Long Haul Trucker parked next to it. Racks, fenders, bar-end shifters, it had the works. And it was my size. Sadly, not for sale.

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Old 11-15-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Industry_Hack View Post
When I went to pick up a used Trek, they had a Long Haul Trucker parked next to it. Racks, fenders, bar-end shifters, it had the works. And it was my size. Sadly, not for sale.
Too bad. It's had to go wrong with a LHT from what I've seen of others' reports. Great bike.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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In all fairness, I need to finish 3-4 of the project bikes floating around the house before I can bring home any more. That would also help with cash flow.

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Old 11-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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Here are some differences between touring bikes and racing road bikes not previously mentioned. Unfortunately, Surly's frame geometry pages are down today, so I can't get all the LHTs info.

These numbers compare a 54 cm Trek Madone with a 54 cm Trek 520.

1. Tourers have longer chain stays so heels clear the panniers as you pedal. Madone 40.7 cm / 520 45.0 cm

2. Tourers have longer wheel base for greater stability Madone 98.5 cm / 520 104.5 cm

3 Tourers have a bigger trail for greater stability. Madone 5.5 cm / 520 7.1 cm

4. Tourers generally have higher spoke counts for stronger wheels. (not for Madone and 520, but typical spoke counts would be 34 vs 36 )

5. Most tourers will accommodate wider tires than other road models in the same manufacturer's line.

6. Tourers are geared much lower so you can haul big loads up big hills.
Madone has a 53/39 and 11-28 (10 cog) for 37.7 gear inches vs 520, which has a 48/36/26 and 11-32 (9 cog) for 21.9 gear inches.

An LHT has a 48/36/26 and 11-34 (9 cog) for 20.6 gear inches.

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Old 11-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #10
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It should be noted that although you swap wheels and add racks and fenders to many road bikes, plus modify the gearing to be more hill-friendly, it's items 1-3 as well as 5 that are specific to touring bikes.

That info might come in handy for anyone looking to do some touring on a budget.



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