Touring Bike or adapting hybrid

CentralCommuter

Active Member
Hiya,
Ive been looking at a touring bike such as the Genesis Tour De Fer 30. I quite fancy going away for 2 or 3 days when I can and my carbon Cube is probably too lightweight for strapping it with luggage!

I do have a GT Traffic 1.0 (pic attached). I do find I can do longer distances more comfortably on a drop bar than I can on a flat bar, but I’m wondering if to save £2,000 on a new bike I could just adapt the hybrid for the purpose. I buggered about with the mudguards too much and now they don’t really fit well, so would need to replace them. I’d need a pannier rack for the front too. The only thing that concerns me is getting the bike comfortable enough for longer distances. When out on it at the weekend, I felt like I had the seat at the right height for my leg length, but the handlebars were much lower and I was basically leaning forward and putting my weight through my hands. Not sure if I could change this much.

Anyway, kind of thinking I should at least attempt some short tours and see how I get on before investing money in a new tourer - as tempting as it is!!
 

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vickster

Legendary Member
Why do you need so much luggage for 2-3 days? Are you camping?

If you want a tourer, go secondhand? Eg one of the Dawes range?
2k seems a lot for occasional use (since when did a a Tour de fer cost £2k?)
if you must have new, Spa do a 725 steel tourer for around a grand
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s225p2983/SPA-CYCLES-725-Steel-Tourer
 
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andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
If you aren't camping*, a Carradice saddlebag will hold more than enough, and a Bagman QR only requires that you've about 15 mm of free saddle rail available, so your Cube will still be usable (the same as it would be if you ate too many pies, and put on a stone).

* camping can be done, but not with cheap gear.

For the GT, try shifting the saddle back, so that your centre of gravity doesn't move forward of the BB.
If the CofG is too far forward you've got to stop yourself toppling forward by leaning on the bars; if you are properly balanced, you don't. Ideally you should be able to lift your hands off the bars, leaving your body position unchanged, and carry on riding (subject to having the confidence to ride no hands for a short while).
 
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OP
C

CentralCommuter

Active Member
If you aren't camping*, a Carradice saddlebag will hold more than enough, and a Bagman QR only requires that you've about 15 mm of free saddle rail available, so your Cube will still be usable (the same as it would be if you ate too many pies, and put on a stone).

* camping can be done, but not with cheap gear.

For the GT, try shifting the saddle back, so that your centre of gravity doesn't move forward of the BB.
If the CofG is too far forward you've got to stop yourself toppling forward by leaning on the bars; if you are properly balanced, you don't. Ideally you should be able to lift your hands off the bars, leaving your body position unchanged, and carry on riding (subject to having the confidence to ride no hands for a short while).
Yeah, definitely couldn’t do that. Will need to play about with the seat.

I liked the idea of camping and therefore taking everything I needed for a Friday - Sunday on the bike, but if not doing this where would I keep the bike overnight if staying hotel/AirBnB etc?

for the GT I definitely need a better seat as the stock is crap.
 

Cymro74

Active Member
Hybrids are fine for short tours and for trying touring for first time. Consider staying at b&b so you just need a change of clothes and can reduce weight.

Yes a proper tourer will carry more but only buy once you are sure you will get use out if it. Look at Spa cycles tourers for good value and design.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Yeah, definitely couldn’t do that. Will need to play about with the seat.

I liked the idea of camping and therefore taking everything I needed for a Friday - Sunday on the bike, but if not doing this where would I keep the bike overnight if staying hotel/AirBnB etc?

for the GT I definitely need a better seat as the stock is crap.
In your room :okay: (or a secure lock up at a cycling friendly place)
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
I've found hybrids are fine for touring.

That's how I do it, for weeks at a time, sometimes. .

I like the option of going a bit off road to find good camping spots, slightly chunkier build, wider bars, and sturdier tyres gives that imo.

They've usually got attachments for panniers.

Keeping the gear you take nice and light, is a good investment.

But probs best to find out of you like it first, before splashing out to much cash :okay:
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
The only way to really know is to try it.

Use what you got - if it wotks out, great. If it isn't so hot, then buy a tourer for next time. Either way, we don't have crystal balls.
 

Edwardoka

Serene Doge
I would agree with most of the advice above - hybrids are absolutely fine for touring - but will add one thing not mentioned, you can get bar ends for your flat handlebars, which provide you with an extra hand position and flexibility, which ultimately gives you more comfort over a longer period of time. I would recommend trying those before splurging on a shiny new purpose-built bike.

I'm sure other more experienced people will tell me I'm talking hogwash, but regarding the front forks, while they have lowrider rack eyelets, I'd personally be a bit wary of putting too much load onto generic forks - they're described as "hydroformed alloy raked legs, disc brake tabs, rack and fender eyelets, steel steerer" - but no mention of what alloy the legs are. I presume it's aluminium otherwise they'd say.

For a fully loaded touring conversion I'd probably replace the forks with steel forks from a respected brand.
The LBS that did my conversion gave me Surly Disc Truckers. Expensive, but worth the peace of mind, although if the pre-conversion bike had rack eyelets I might have thought twice about handing the money over :laugh:
 
OP
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CentralCommuter

Active Member
Thinking about it, I actually have a pair of Ergonomic GP3 that I took back off the bike when I was trying a bit of off-roading with it. I also took off the original handlebar which was probably better for longer distances and put on a straight MTB one.

This afternoon I shall put the original handlebar on, the Ergon grips, the mudguards and a set of Marathon Pluses I have for it, and move the seat back. I can then give it a wee test run and see how it is for comfort.

As I have a pannier rack and one Ortlieb pannier, I’m going to try and pick up another and maybe a handlebar bag and that should be enough without getting a rack for the front. Then I’ll just need some camping stuff!
 
Location
Kent Coast
I would have thought that the GT would be fine for beginner touring, but if it were me I would make a couple of adaptions:
An adjustable stem for the handlebars, so you can try to reach a more comfortable, more upright riding position.
Short bar ends, or maybe something like ergon grips with the integral short bar ends, to give you a variety of hand positions.
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
Is this a solo tour? It sound like you are (fairly) new to camping. If so, I'd probably leave the camping until you've got a couple of tours under your belt and know if you like it. Camping requires much more planning and hard work, both before and during the tour. And a couple of rainy nights and/or the wrong/too much equipment could soon sour your enjoyment.
 
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