touring bike

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Anonymous's picture

Would a touring bike be more comfortable / forgiving than a road bike for a beginner road rider? Is it more stable? Is a touring bike better for someone with a heavier build?

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)

"A touring frame has a more ""relaxed"" geometry than a road frame so you tend to be a little more upright and comfortable. Also, a touring frame is built to accept wider tires, which will smooth out rough roads better than thin, high-pressure tires (and will be a little more stable). Touring frames tend to be steel, which many people find to be a more comfortable ride than, say, aluminum. However, touring bikes are not built for speed (not necessarily a bad thing, just something to keep in mind).

All that being said, the single most important factor in being comfortable on a bike is getting one that fits you properly. I used to have a carbon fiber road bike that I thought was the cat's meow. But I wanted to do loaded touring, so I eventually bought a custom steel touring bike. From the first time I rode it, I knew I would never ride the carbon bike again because I realized it didn't fit me and I had always been riding in pain. Having a properly fitted bike enabled me to ride faster, even though the touring frame should have been slower than the road frame. (Not that you have to go custom - just make sure the bike shop spends the time to fit you right. If something doesn't feel comfortable, go back and have them tweek it until it does.)"

Anonymous's picture
Etoain Touru (not verified)
But, but, but...

"Touring bikes tend to be more comfortable.

On the other hand:

They also tend to be heavier, and to corner slower and with less agility thanks to their longer wheel base. They add weight and the wheels provide more rolling resistance. Since they have many more spokes (to help them carry heavier panniers) than fast road bikes, the wheels tend to be heavier and to create some wind resistance, too. Extra pounds and resistance to crank uphill.

On the other hand:
They are more stable, and get you over ruts in the road that might trap a thin racing tire.

On the other hand:
""A man with three hands needs a very strange bicycle.""
--Cousin Radovan

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