It is the most heterogeneous bicycle category that exists, ranging from the basic models to the Mtb, up to and including the variants of city bike options.
Which are the best bikes for cycle tourism?
Regardless of the design philosophies followed by the manufacturers, the key elements for a tourism product are the reliability, comfort and load-carrying capacity, all of which are commensurate with the bicycle’s character. There are models with which to travel after having taken a sabbatical year and are now ready to face difficult terrains and foreign idioms, or bicycles with which to ride a few hours among the poplars along the river bank.
The weight is not the discriminant variable, especially when it comes to a bicycle intended for wide-ranging tourism. Saving kilograms is always a good thing, of course, but not at the expense of robustness and ease of repair. In this regard, the steel frames and aluminium still take the lion’s share – whereas in other areas they have now been supplanted by carbon components – the slightly tessellated shell are ideal to deal safely and easily with dirt and disc brakes… becoming more and more popular, but they are not “required.”
Better, in some cases, to rely on indestructible V-brake or disk with mechanical controls rather than refined, but delicate in the event of impact or fall, hydraulic drives. And the wheels? From 26 (or 29) inches to deal with long stretches off-road, given the increased availability of spare parts and wide section tires, 28-inch, racing bike style, in the case of daily distances of over 100 km mainly on asphalt. Indispensable are the lights, the luggage racks and a serious saddle.
If one opts for fast release pedals, it is better to lean towards the Mtb derivation models, given that the shoes for the fat wheels are more comfortable and effective in walking phases.
Here are 3 tourism bikes which are top-class for all adventures and budgets.
- Bianchi Camaleonte 5. It is a real hybrid bike with aluminum frame and road casting wheels coupled with a mountain bike handlebar and a relaxed saddle position. The rigid carbon fork comes with the 30-speed Shimano Tiagra gearbox, V-brake type brakes and 28 mm Hutchinson Nitro tires. Equipped with hooks for both the fork and the chassis, it is ideal for long distances on asphalt and costs € 1,190.
- It’s not a “simple” beast: Cannondale’s Touring Ultimate comes from the American brand of racing bikes, and is characterized by the aluminum frame, the rigid alloy and the Shimano RS785 hydraulic disc brakes with rotors 160 mm in diameter. Schwalbe Marathon Plus SmartGuard shells, particularly resistant to punctures, are equally reliable with Shimano Ultegra (2x11v) with compact 50/34 crankshaft and 11-32 sprocket pack. Price of 2,699 euros.
- Cinelli Hobootleg. One of the most sophisticated tourism models on the market, the ideal trait d’union between cyclocross and trekking, as well as a Guinnes World Record’s bicycle having traveled around the world in 144 days, along with Paola Gianotti. Chassis and fork are made of triple thick Columbus Cromor steel. It can be equipped with tires up to 40 mm. Shimano Deore (3x9v) gearbox with 48/36/26 crankshaft and sprocket 13/34. 12.6 kg and costs 1,441 euros.