You want to invest in a travel bike, but you are hesitating as to what bike to choose? Several types of bikes are susceptible to convene.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the possible choices.
As always in the matter of bikes, everything will depend on the type of road surface you will ride on…
Ideally, you can have 4 different bikes for every type of itinerary…But we don’t always have the budget or the room for that!
Usual types of bikes
- You pedal on the road=> the road bike is an excellent yield from the thin tires, the lightweight frame, and optimized position (aerodynamic because the stem is not very adjustable in height).
- You ride on paths => The Hybrid Bike will offer a good yield/comport compromise, especially if you opt for front suspension, which will save you the vibrations and possible pins and needles in the hands and/or arms. However, between a low quality suspension and none at all, the difference in comfort cannot always be felt.
=> Final detail: the choice of tyres, these can be slick, or more « notched » to better suit a earthy or even muddy terrain.
- If you choose uneven terrain (steps, rocky terrain and/or technical) => The Mountain Bike will be the most adapted. However, as with a road bike, your position is demanding, with a stem which is very little or not at all adjustable. Notice that it can be unpleasant for people who are not used to this kind of position.
However, since he who can do more can do less, nothing is stopping you from going on the road with a mountain bike. But don’t be surprised if you are overtaken by road bikes, because your yields won’t be the best !
Types of bikes in the matter of bike travelling
It is a hybrid between the road bike, the cyclocross bike and the hiking bike. It is characterized by a sportive usage, disk brakes (more efficient braking than V-brakes especially in wet weather), tyres and wheels adapted to a mixed surface from forest paths to tarmac.
NB: For your information, there exists an E-bike variation.
With a steel frame and 700c wheels, it’s the traditional travel bike, but which is not very adapted to rough terrain such as forest paths. This type of bike is more adapted to the road or stabilized paths « clean » and quite smooth (which don’t shake much).
The 26’’ travel mountain bike
(for the neophytes, 26’’ designates the size of the wheel)
It is generally a steel bike which can go anywhere, both comfortable and robust. It is perfectly adapted to long distance travels and, main advantage, equipped with standard pieces, replaceable on every continent. It is a very popular bike, especially, for the small budgets. Why? Because it is easily mountable from a steel frame which can potentially be recuperated anywhere. It can sometimes be a recuperation bike! It’s really by excellence the bike which represents the best “he who can do more can do less “.
The monster Cross
It’s a newcomer in the universe of travelling, (picture on the right) more technical and much more expensive, it also allows you to pass everywhere, but demands a big autonomy when it comes to reparations.
In any case, if you want to travel with a bike, it will be necessary to make sure that you can fix luggage rack (above the rear wheel, or even the front wheel, depending on the length of stay and the amount of business tou bring with you) in orcer to place saddlebags (this usually assumes the presence of attachment points –even if there are strategies to remedy their absence) …
Notice that another alternative to saddlebags, you can also opt for a trailer dedicated to carrying luggage like bob yak trailers (unlike those dedicated to the carriage of young children).
NB: Regarding bob yak trailers, be careful, there are several models depending on whether you intend to attach to a 26-inch mountain bike, or a road bike or hybrid bike (with wheels of 700/28 inches) … what is the difference? The length of the drawbar (part joining a vehicle and the towed load). Know that these trailers are attached to the axis of the rear wheel, via a wider quick coupler, supplied with the trailer).
In any case, we do not advise you to use backpacks … Indeed, it is not useful to support the weight of it on your body, while your bike will have no shear on the shoulders, and that it will not make it sweat either!
In the worst case, a simple tensioner will allow you to fix your backpack on your rear rack …Giving more comfort for you and your back … When one foresees 3, 4 or even 6 or 7h of saddle, it is unneeded to add useless constraints and inconveniences! Then everyone will find their preferred formula, and adjust according to their preferences, proceeding by trial and by error!
PS: Feel free to keep an eye on Facebook, it often happens that the bike manufacturers offer free “hardware test” days, which allows you to test high-end bikes without breaking the bank, in order to confirm or infirm your decision.
Once your bike found, you may contact our travel agency Véloccitane, specializing in bike tours in South West of France. So hear you soon… or enjoy your trip !
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