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Touring bicycle

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A touring bicycle is a bicycle either specially designed for, or modified to handle bicycle touring. What makes a touring bike different from other bicycles is its ability to carry gear on racks mounted to the front and rear of the bicycle frame. Other commonly found differences are a longer wheel base with sturdier wheels for carrying more weight, mudguard/fender mounting points, triple water bottle mounts and a frameset that allows for wider tires.Contents Types of touring bicycles
Touring bicycles are available in many different types, such as road, trail, recumbent and tandem.
Road tourers
Road tourers are usually built around 700c wheels which are the same diameter as a racing bicycle but typically the touring bike will have wider rims and clearance in the frame for wider tires. This is the classic touring bike. Prior to the 1980s almost all touring bikes were built on 700c or similar, but now obsolete, 27″ wheels.
Recently some builders, especially Thorn Cycles of England, have attempted to popularise the 26″ mountain bike wheel size for touring bikes, whether intended for off-road or on-road use. Other builders such as Roberts and Hewitt have followed suit and offer 26″ wheeled touring bikes alongside conventional 700c wheeled machines. Claimed advantages of the slightly smaller wheel include additional strength, worldwide tire availability, lighter weight and lower rolling resistance. Some touring bicycles, such as the Surly Long Haul Trucker are built around 26″ or 650c wheels in smaller sizes and 700c wheels in larger sizes as the larger wheel can compromise touring geometry in a small frame.
In practice most 26″ tires are made for mountain bikes so are too wide, heavy and deeply treaded to be useful on a road touring bike. Few lightweight, narrow tires are available for 26″ wheels, which negates any weight advantage from the smaller rim and shorter spokes. Rolling resistance is hotly debated; theoretically a 26″ fat tire (say 38 mm width) has less rolling resistance than a narrow 700c tire (28 mm width being typical for touring) due to lower casing deformation, but the larger 700c tire will roll better on rough roads, is lighter and has less aerodynamic drag. In any case, the difference in diameter between the two sizes is only in the order of one inch (25 mm) or 4%, so it should not make a drastic noticeable difference.
There are numerous variants on the traditional road tourer depending on the weight carried and the type of terrain expected. They vary from very lightweight bikes, little heavier than racing bikes to exceptionally tough and heavy bikes designed for carrying very heavy loads over the roughest roads. The former are often called audax bikes while the latter are sometimes referred to as expedition touring bikes. For expedition touring, mountain bikes are frequently used, these can usually be easily adapted to touring by the addition of panniers and road tires.
Recumbent Tourers recumbents are very different in that the rider sits in a seat that»s reclined to some degree. The rider»s legs are in front of them and these bikes either have above seat or below seat steering. Depending on design, the ability to carry gear on the front wheel may be very limited or absent. Tandem tourers
Tandems are bikes built for two riders and many couples tour on them. They can make it easier for two riders of different abilities to ride together but the tandem frame doesn»t allow for any more luggage than a single bike does. This limitation can be overcome by pulling a trailer.
Touring bike Specifications touring bicycles are usually equipped with luggage racks front and rear, designed to hold panniers or other forms of luggage. Because of the increased weight requirements and reliability demands, touring bicycles typically use road handlebars and saddles for long-distance comfort, combined with rugged hubs, heavy-duty rims and 36-spoke wheels to provide the durability, reliability and wide gearing essential for loaded touring. Sometimes instead of panniers bicycle trailers are towed behind for carrying the gear; these are sometimes preferred as they provide a low center of gravity and can be detached easily.
Touring bicycle frames typically have a long wheelbase and stable steering geometry, with numerous attachment points for luggage racks, fenders (mudguards), lights, water bottles, tools and spare parts. Chainstays must be long enough to accommodate panniers without interfering with the rider»s heels during pedaling, and the entire structure must be stiff enough to safely handle long, fast descents with the machine fully loaded.
For gearing touring bicycles traditionally employ wide-ratio derailleur gears, often with a very low-speed «granny gear» for loaded ascents. However in recent years, because of their robustness and very low-maintenance, internal-geared hubs have become popular.
Touring bicycles are usually equipped with cantilever brakes or linear-pull brakes, instead of the caliper brakes used on racing bicycles. The need for mudguard (fender) and wide tire clearance precludes the use of typical dual-pivot road brakes, which would be excessively large and flexible if made to fit a touring bike. Some newer touring bicycles use disc brakes, because of their superior stopping power and improved performance in wet weather. However, tourists are inherently conservative in equipment choice because of the need to repair and source parts a long way from home.
Thus, touring bikes trade off some speed for extra utility and ruggedness. This combination of features is popular with commuters and couriers as well.

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