What is a Touring Bike?

Photo of a cyclist riding a touring bike beside a lake

Touring bikes are designed to cover long distances in comfort while carrying luggage.

For these reasons they have relaxed geometry frame and usually drop-handlebars to allow the rider to adjust hand positions on a long ride.A rack is fitted to allow the attachment of rear panniers, and the forks usually have mounting points for fitting a front rack/panniers. There will also be mounting points on the frame for 2 – often 3 – water bottle cages. Touring is thirsty work!

Touring bike frames are made of metal not carbon. Their forks are almost always made from steel. This adds more weight to the bike but the idea is this: If you are in the middle of nowhere on your round-the-world ride and you bend the steel fork, a local blacksmith should be able to fix it. However, snap a carbon fork and you’re out of luck!