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Choosing Your First Touring Bike

Bike touring is certainly one of the most exciting trips one could make in our relentless search for adventure. However, one important thing is knowing how to choose a bicycle for touring. Getting one that suits your needs would make the trip even more thrilling.

Different bikes on the market serve various purposes. Hence, you should choose your first touring bike based on your preferred reason for riding. The Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike, known for its rugged frame, would come handy for mountain tours.

Besides, you can enjoy your road tours with the amazing 700cc wheels of the Schwinn Phocus 1400 Road Bicycle for Men and Women. Choosing your first touring bike would depend on what type of tour you’re taking. Nevertheless, this guide would help you choose the best touring bike that’ll suit your biggest touring fantasies.

Bike Touring Buyer’s Guide

We all would love to ride a fancy bicycle to tour around town or up the hills. Yet, the big question you’ll need to answer is – what type of tour are you taking? Whatever your reason may be, here are some factors you should consider when getting your first touring bike.

Touring Terrain

What type of terrain tickles your fancy the most; on-road or off-road? This factor would help inform the kind of bicycle you’ll get for the tour.

If the road looks better for you, your best bet should have small tires and drop bars. But if you’d prefer the highlands and dusty trails, you should get a bicycle suited for the off roads. A mountain bike with large tires and wider handlebars fits the bill.

Moreover, you should consider your touring destination when choosing a bike for touring.  Whether it is Itchimbia Park urban Adventure,  Provence Bike Tour, or any other location,  always look up the product that sells well in your region of choice. In most developed countries where you’re likely going to tour, spare parts may differ, affecting the replacement of damaged components.

Countries like Japan, the US, the UK, Australia, South Korea, or New Zealand wouldn’t have problems replacing parts. But in developing nations, it may pose a slight challenge when replacing high-end gears like 700cc wheels, disc brakes, or frames. So, if you are in such regions, it’s best to use low-tech components that are easily replaceable, like rim brakes and steel frames.

Frame Material

When it comes to frame material, steel is one of the most used. The reason is that steel is partly flexible and slightly rigid, which makes for enjoyable ride quality. It allows for the needed shocks and vibrations that make the ride smoother and more pleasurable.

Furthermore, steel is rugged and durable as it can travel longer miles without the slightest crack or fatigue. And even when it has any dent, you can easily get a repair anywhere you find yourself. You can also go for Aluminum frame bikes which are a bit lighter than their steel components. Thus, most touring bikes come with aluminum frames because it’s faster and sturdier than most other materials.

A good example of a sturdy frame bike is the Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike. Its durable aluminum frame gives it the speed and lightness to be fast and the rigidity to tour dirt roads. The steel fork combo makes the bike even more rugged and reliable.


Whether you’d be riding light or with a big sac of essentials, the weight of the bike determines how exciting your tour will be. You already know that the lighter the bike, the faster you go and the friskier you ride.

More so, bikes with aluminum frames can be both light and sturdy at the same time, giving you the best touring feeling. Steel frame bikes are also good but a bit weightier than others. However, you should be mindful so that you don’t forego durability when seeking lightweight.

The lightweight frame offers powerful performance and goes at an amazing speed on both flats and hills.

Wheels for Bike Touring

On the wheels for touring, we consider the number of spokes and Wheel size.

Wheel Size

To get the best wheel size, answer the question, what type of tour are you going to take? Different wheel sizes suit either on-road or off-road touring. When going on developed world tours, the best wheels would be the 700cc as it is the perfect size for touring roads.

They offer the best and most comfortable rides and give you a wide variety of compatible components. Parts like rims frames and replacement tires easily fit on a 700cc wheel bike. Besides, they offer more resistance than smaller wheels because they suit them for all flat roads. These wheels are more efficient and gracefully glide over potholes and gravel due to their huge width.

Nevertheless, touring in underdeveloped or developing regions requires a stronger and more durable wheel size. On this note, the 26-inch wheel bikes are the most ideal to use for touring because you can replace them with ease when they spoil. Due to the remote conditions of these states, bicycle components may break, so you need something sturdier.

The 26-inch wheel would handle a more thumping effect than the 700cc because they have shorter spokes. This factor gives them room to hold a bigger weight and thrive on rough terrain without cracking. Moreover, you can get the tires and rims almost anywhere globally, so no fears of non-availability.

The Schwinn Phocus Road Bicycle for Men and Women fits the bill for most touring expeditions. The bike comes with a 700cc bike which gives you that needed smooth riding and a comfortable trip. It has an aluminum frame which accounts for its lightweight and extra sturdiness.

Number of Spokes

You have to consider the wheel strength when going on a bike tour as it helps to shoulder your entire weight. The more the spokes, the stronger the wheels. Therefore the number of spokes is an important factor to look out for when choosing your first touring bike. Thus, you should opt for a bike with at least 32 spokes. But if you’ll be touring with heavier loads, go for a 36-spoke bike.

Also, look out for how many times the spokes cross as it counts for more sturdiness. So, if the spokes don’t cross two or three times, you may want to check out other touring bikes.

Brakes for Bike Touring

The brakes are important in a touring bike as it helps pull you to a stop in split seconds. You can see the effort it takes to stop a running man, not to talk of pulling over 150kg of weight to an abrupt stop. This calls for durable and strong brakes.

You may opt for Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes when it comes to touring bikes. Rim brakes are the best when it comes to touring in developed nations of the world because they thrive well on flat paths. They apply the force of braking to the rim’s flat sides and the calipers that mount the fork and frame. They are lighter than disc brakes.

Another good thing about rim brakes is that they are affordable with easy maintenance requirements.

On the other hand, disc brakes apply the braking force to the rotors attached to the hubs. This kind of brake is what you’ll see on many touring bicycles on the market. It’s an ideal component for bikes used on off-road ridings. One of their selling points is that they have a larger stopping surface and provide more stopping power when engaged. They are also reliable in wet regions as they engage fast, even in moist riding conditions. Disc brakes are compatible with wider tires and have a lesser build-up of heat.

Vilano Diverse 3.0 performance Hybrid Road bike is a good example of a disc brake touring bicycle. The bike has amazing stopping power with an upright handlebar to improve comfort. It offers a more efficient performance thanks to the hydroformed alloy hybrid frame and fork.

Frame Geometry

Bike travelers who go on numerous tours don’t just consider the bike’s stability but also the frame’s geometry. The reason is that you need to be comfortable riding for long hours. As such, the bike’s design should guarantee absolute comfort to riders.

The wheelbases of touring bikes are mostly longer than normal road bikes, enabling stress-free handling and steering. Besides, the chainstays should be longer on touring bikes as it allows an extension for second riders on touring expeditions.

One recommended bike with a good frame geometry is the Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike. It comes with compact frame geometry and compact handlebars, making for more power when riding. Also, its optimized frame geometry gives the bike more efficiency and luxury for riders.


Gearing gets complex when you start taking into consideration the gear inches and cogs. Some people love complexities and want to know those details. But we believe you do not need those details to choose a bike with the ideal gear system for your needs.

Touring bicycles would have the appropriate gear system, which 3x crankset with a 9-10 speed cassette is best in this case. Below are the other factors to take into consideration.

Quality of Components

Since touring involves pedaling over a long distance, choosing components that resist wear and tear is the right way to go. I often advise clients to avoid buying the lightest or newest riding components in the market and go for the proven options available.

Easy or Hard gears

Fitting your bike with simple gears makes it a tad easier maneuvering through a steep mountain pass while touring. Gear with a lower gear of 20 gear inches is simple and makes touring easier.

Use Simple Gears

Smoother shifting and a wider gear range are the few advantages you get from using a gear system with high-end specialized components. But fixing this type of gear system is often difficult, as it requires special skill and training. Although the internal hubs often stand the test of time, there is no telling what could happen during your biking tour. For this reason, you should go for the simpler gear systems that are easier to fix and with less expensive components.

Bike Saddle

Touring is a long-distance event, and you do not want to cover those miles in an uncomfortable saddle. Riding on one over a long period leads to saddle sores.

The biggest saddle factor to put into consideration is the saddle material. There are two main saddle leather materials; Leather and Synthetic saddles.

Leather saddles are good for touring because they take the form of your butt for 500+ miles. They are also durable when maintained properly.

Synthetic saddles, on the other hand, require little or no maintenance. They are cost-effective. The downside to synthetic saddles is that they do not last as long as leather saddles. The synthetic materials also break down quickly and are usually less comfortable.


Your budget is often the deciding factor in determining the type of bike you get. But a small budget does not mean you should get a poor-quality bicycle for touring. A small budget should make you more prudent in spending and decision-making.

While the best touring bikes are priced at around $1,000, you can get a reliable touring bike with great quality below that price.

Wrap Up

Bike touring is one of the journeys of adventure every biker would love to embark on. However, the success of any bike tour depends on the efficiency and durability of the touring bicycle. Thus, before you pick a bike Tour location, it’s necessary to know how to choose a bicycle for touring.

So, what type of tour are you taking? Our all-encompassing guide points to the vital factors to consider when choosing your first touring bike. Well, I guess nothing is stopping you from going on bike touring. If you are looking for the most exciting touring spots to take your first purchased bike, visit gobicycletouring. They have numerous touring locations, depending on what you want.