Put-downs from lycra-clad roadies aside, cycle touring is enjoying something of a renaissance.
And with the UK’s first Cycle Touring Festival kicking off next month, it’s easy to see why legions of tarmac speed freaks are ditching the carbon wheelsets and aero frames for bump-taming steel steeds and a set of sensible panniers. Even the Guardian newspaper has declared cycle touring cool, so we suppose it must be!
Now – your two wheeled adventures start with…two wheels! And a frame, and all the other bits that make up your touring bicycle.
Just as mountain and road biking has its little sub-disciplines, so too does touring. The bike you choose will be largely dictated by the scale of your undertaking, so it’s well worth talking through your plans with us for some expert recommendations.
But, for a start, here’s our three picks for cycle touring steeds —
For road touring, we’d recommend the Genesis Tour de Fer (above), which comes expedition-ready and equipped for long-distance load-carrying. Disc brakes guarantee stopping performance even in the wet, pannier racks are fitted as standard and mountain bike-based gear ratios make spinning up hills with loaded bags a cinch.
Another one to consider for tarmac duties is Surly’s Long Haul Trucker. The bike has gathered a devoted following – and with good reason. A low bottom bracket and long chainstays ensure comfort and stability, and the frame provides for plenty of tyre clearance, as well as leaving room for mudguards. Eyelets and bosses make the bike compatible with a wide range of gear-carrying attachments.
For rougher stuff, have a look at something like the Genesis Longitude. This fully rigid and semi-fat steel-framed monster rolls on 29″ wheels and is built for adventure, equally at home tearing up single track as it is on multi-day bike-packing adventures. Ample frame clearance means you can compensate for the lack of suspension by beefing up the rubber with some big 2.4″ tyres. The geometry is long and low for assured handling and stability.
For cycle touring advice, or to discuss a purchase, call us on 01497 822 419, or drop us a line at [email protected]
As well as cycle touring bikes, we stock a complete range of clothing and equipment, including Ortlieb panniers and Cateye cycle computers.
For self-guided cycle touring packages – including bike hire, luggage transfers and accommodation, visit our sister company’s website www.droverholidays.co.uk.
The Cycle Touring Festival takes place 1st-3rd May at Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire. More info here.