What is a Touring Bicycle: Detailed Guide
There are many types of bicycles on the market today, each with their own specific purpose. A touring bicycle is one that is specifically designed with touring and adventuring in mind. Touring bikes have been modified to handle the challenges and adventures that come along with long rides over various terrains.
A touring bicycle has been designed with certain characteristics to ensure that the rider can embark on any journey with the utmost of comfort and performance. They are made to be specifically hearty and firm in their frame to tolerate various and changing terrains.
They typically have a longer wheel base to offer more stability and comfort for the rider.
In addition, they are built to be able to carry heavier loads and to avoid any interaction between the pedals, the rider, and the luggage.
There are several mounting points for the luggage as well, enabling riders to find the best position for their bags.
The frames on touring bikes are typically made of more flexible material to allow shock absorption, and again, increase comfort for the rider, especially over long distances.
The wheels on touring bikes are also of the heavy duty variety and capable of handling the most difficult of landscapes.
Although it is common to consider touring bikes and mountain bikes to be similar, if not the same, there are several characteristics that differentiate the two types of bicycles.
While touring bikes are made for long distances, over various terrains, they are mostly used on pathways already forged, such as roads and trails. Mountain bikes cross all terrains and have big tires to accommodate any terrain, managed or unmanaged.
Of course, any bike, as long as it fits the rider can be used for touring and enjoyment, the different uses of these two types of bicycles has afforded them subtle differences in design.
For example, touring bikes have curved, drop handle bars like those that are on racing bikes. Mountain bikes, in contrast have handle bars that stretch strait out. Drop handle bars, while being excellent for comfort and position over long trips, do not always provide the precision handling those straight out as on the mountain bikes.
Wheels are another difference in the two bikes. Touring bikes, while having heavy duty frames on the wheels, do not usually have as big of wheels or as knobby of tires as mountain bikes have as they are usually kept on managed surfaces.
Another difference is when using both bikes for touring; mountain bikes will often feel slower than touring bikes due to their heavier suspension, big tires, and the ability to lock the suspension over managed roadways and trails.
Each type of bicycle, touring and mountain, have pluses and minuses that make them appealing for riders.
Touring bikes are usually lighter in frame, yet able to carry additional loads, fitted to various mounts, for rider comfort.
Their frame, while longer and leaner provides more stability over long rides. In addition they have tires that have heavy build, but are also smoother and able to roll easily over roadways and trails. They are not, however, ideal for off road adventures and lack the added handling offered by the straightened handle bars of the mountain bike.
Mountain bikes are excellent for off road treks.
They are built with heavy frames and suspension to absorb trails that are managed and those that are not. They have large knobby tires to take the wildest of terrains and handle bars to offer the best in handling and steering.
These bikes, while being capable of also being used for touring, often can feel slower than a touring bike on the road and don’t usually offer the mounts for additional luggage.
A touring bicycle is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to embark on a long, adventurous ride. They are built for the journey, with long, lightweight frames and mounts for luggage. Mountain bikes, on the other hand, are built for the wilderness with big tires, heavy suspension, and shock absorbers.
A rider has many choices to help ensure they find the perfect bike for their dreams, passions, and adventures.