Confused about bike types

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by jethro10, 15 May 2018.

  1. jethro10

    jethro10 Über Member

    Lake District, UK
    Up until about now, i've been an MTB'er. I built my own bike about 10 yr ago, hard tail, 26"wheels and about 10 and a bit Kilo. £1,500 ish if I remember rightly.
    I now find myself changing to "I think" touring bikes. I want one for shortish, but multi day trips, with rack, mudguards, paniers etc for a tent and the like, plus ok for trips to the shops for a bit of shopping now and then - approx a 6 mile round trip.

    Seems touring bikes (flat bars for me) fit the description - was thinking hybrid, but seemings not, as touring bikes have mudguards, racks (or fittings for such).

    Am I about right here?

    Plus, a big plus, we seem to be looking at 14-15Kg. Is that right? I would have though MTB's with shocks and the ruggedness would have been heavier. I'm shocked then that touring bikes seem to be generally heavier?
    Budget about £1,000 to £1,500.
    Is building your own an option here?

    Generally I'm lost.

  2. Many hybrid bikes have the braze-ons for fenders and racks, as well as the longer chain stays for the panniers heel strike clearance.
    Trek 720:
    Cycleops and raleighnut like this.
  3. KneesUp

    KneesUp Veteran

    As @Dogtrousers suggests, get some rigid forks for your hardtail, fit some slicks and you're off - unless I suppose it's a more modern MTB frame with no guard / rack mounts (which you can work around) or short chain stays (which you can't).
  4. Hugh Manatee

    Hugh Manatee Veteran

    Another suggestion might be to look at old rigid mountain bikes. Back in the early 90s and even before this, mountain bikes were made to be versatile. Even my racey Saracen Kili Flier Comp had eyes on the dropouts and brazed rack mounts.
    With slick 1.3 tyres fitted it is fast enough on roads. A shorter stem (a 150mm was fitted as original) gives a less extreme and more comfortable position and old Durango bars a multitude of hand positions.
    7 and 8 gear Shimano stuff goes on forever.

    Have a look around to see what's available.
  5. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    I use a Hybrid for touring.
    Pat "5mph" and Gravity Aided like this.
  6. I built this little beasty for my daughter: mini tour.jpg

    Based on a 16" Kona Smoke with 26" wheels. As it turns out she didn't get on with the drops so it's now equipped with a nice light backswpt bar similar to a 'North Road' bend. A rigid steel mountain bike makes a stonking touring bike, perhaps not so fleet as a 700c bike, but totally bombproof. As she has limited mechanical skills I built this for comfort and reliability not speed. And it will, if she ever wants to, cope with some off roading.
  7. OP

    jethro10 Über Member

    Lake District, UK
    Work around?
    Are you talking just bolt on frames for paniers etc?
    As for the rest of it all, seems like there is no hard and fast rule.
    Would larger than 26" wheels not make it a lot more efficient? - I have no idea, but wonder why they generally have larger wheels?

    I'm more than happy to convert my MTB, kinda attached to it...

    Gravity Aided likes this.
  8. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    One of the reasons you have seen touring bikes that are quite heavy is they are usually made from steel.

    Steel is heavier than aluminium, but many people will tell you it gives a more comfortable ride.

    Flat bar tourers are a bit thinner on the ground than drop bar, but Spa in Harrogate can sort you for £1,000 or so.

    Worth a trip across because - if they like the look of you - they will let you try two or three bikes.

    Spa test rides are also proper test rides in that you are allowed to have the bike long enough to do some miles.
    Gravity Aided and raleighnut like this.
  9. KneesUp

    KneesUp Veteran

    You can get pannier racks that attach via the QR skewer if you have no mounting points, and you can get seat clamps with the top mounts, or you can use P-clips at the top, or you can bodge it another way if you have a monostay (as I have). You can also mount via the cantilever bosses if your frame has them - Blackburn and Old Man Mountain are good for this.

    26" wheels are stronger than 700c. I don't think much has been proven in terms of 'efficiency' though. I suppose a 26 has to turn faster than a 700 for a given speed, so there might be more air resistance, but who is in a hurry when touring?
    Gravity Aided likes this.
  10. uphillstruggler

    uphillstruggler Veteran

    Half way there
    IMG_4179.JPG @jethro10

    Where about a are you?

    If you have a decathlon near by, they have a flat bar road bike with all of the necessary braze ons for about £300 ish iirc EDIT: bit more expensive than my memory serves

    Might mean you get to keep your MTB for other purposes.

    This is how I approached touring, it's a early 90's Mtb that Ive messes around with .

    Heavy but strong as an ox
    Last edited: 15 May 2018
    raleighnut, mickle and Gravity Aided like this.
  11. OP

    jethro10 Über Member

    Lake District, UK
    I think I'm getting there, knowledge wise. Forgot about Decathlon. I live in the Lakes, so will pop across to Gateshead one in a few weeks - worth a look.

    I'm certainly going to be in no rush - i'll be retiring :-)

    Last edited: 15 May 2018
  12. Afnug

    Afnug Everything you can imagine is real

    Gravity Aided likes this.
  13. The difference in rolling resistance between a 700c and a 559 (all other things being equal) is so small as to be virtually unmeasurable.

    Of all the forces slowing you down - air resistance accounts for about 80% of it at around 20mph. The remaining retarding forces are split fairly evenly between: mechanical drag - of hub/bb/pedal/jockey wheel bearings and rolling resistance, that is, the energy required to bend your tyre rubber over the surface of the terrain your riding on.

    It used to be a simple choice - 700 tyres were available in high quality materials, low thread count and therefore fast / efficient, whereas 559 tyres were, even in the same model, heavier and more robust. And therefore slower. So long distance tourers were invariably specced with 770c hoops. With the advent of better quality tyres for the 559 standard, heralded by Schwalbe's 'Big Apple' which introduced supple sidewalls and high quality construction in a balloon sized tyre the overall performance differences between the two sizes narrowed substantially. Thorn, Surly, Rivendell all make 559 variants of their traditional steel tourers.
  14. Brains

    Brains Guru

    My first Touring Bike was a converted MTB.
    After two long trips and 1,500 touring miles I'd gained enough knowledge to know what I realy wanted.

    So I then ordered a Thorn Nomad
    (They still make them, the current MK III is not as goood as the original Mk I, but will still get you anyplace on the planet)

    If you have time on your side and know your frame measurements, then scouring e-bay may bring up either a good tourer or a good MTB frame to build into a tourer.
    Gravity Aided and Heltor Chasca like this.
  15. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Nice, is it on 26" or 700c wheels, this is my Ridgeback Hybrid (700c wheels) rebuilt to 'Fast Flat Bar' spec and used for touring (as well as commuting, shopping etc.)
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice