I’ve created this resource to make known all of the bicycle touring manufacturers in the world, to discuss the different types of touring bikes available and to provide you with my unbiased opinion of each product at it’s given price. Some brands produce complete bikes, and others framesets only, which I’ve made sure to mention.
I’ve also made a:
- Complete List of Tandem Builders and Manufacturers; and
- Complete List of Touring Bikes Available in Australia
Different Types of Touring Bicycle
This type of touring bike is ready to take racks and bags, however is best suited to lighter loads and road-only use. Typically you will find 700c wheels with narrow tyres, similar geometry to a road bike and higher gear ratios: all of which are perfect for what they are designed for: the pavement.
Trekking bikes are based on a ‘hybrid’ bicycle and are most popular with European brands. They are often designed around light loads, equipped with a rear rack only, a suspension fork, an aluminium frame and gear ratios suited to sealed roads and bicycle paths. They take a bit of speed from the light touring category and make it super upright and comfortable.
This category of touring bike is essentially a mountain bike, with provision for racks and water bottles. Most often made from steel, MTB Tourers are aimed at the off-road and bikepacking crowd because of the generous tyre clearances on offer. But be aware, these bikes are truly jack-of-all-trades; some users find the head tubes too short, the geometry unstable with panniers and the chainstays too short. This is the price you pay for a bike that can shred off-road.
A long distance touring bike is designed around bike travel on all types of terrain, and is capable with heavy loads. Most often steel, long distance frames are stiffer than anything else available because they use heavier frame tubing in larger diameters. They have a wide range of gear ratios to get you up the steepest hills, provision for a front rack, three bidon cage mounts, long chainstays for ample heel clearance and a stable long wheelbase. You will be able to mount touring specific tyres over 40c (700c) or 2.0″ (26″) in these frames.
Premium Long Distance
We have added this category to highlight brands which build the most capable, high end touring bikes. Products you will see in use include the Rohloff 14 speed hub, Pinion gearbox, Gates Carbon Belt Drive and Schmidt dynamo hubs.
I mention frame geometry a number of times in this resource. If you are interested in understanding everything about bicycle frame geometry for touring bikes, make sure you read our article, Understanding Bicycle Frame Geometry.
Touring Bikes Around the World
Here’s our list of bicycle touring manufacturers around the world, by country of origin (not manufacture) – many are available in multiple countries and regions.
Allegro (Long Distance) – T1 (steel) – $1595 AUD
Our take: Allegro is a company with good ethics (environmental and social). It’s T1 is a decent bike with some nice parts. If you’re planning on riding through areas with hills, the gearing ratios are not suitable (why is it using a road double crankset, double shifters and a double front derailleur?!).
Velosmith (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Jota, Cycletouriste, Great Southern (steel) – $4650 to $6360 AUD
Our take: Made to order, these Aussie bikes are very classic in design, offering high-end parts and a very personalised build process.
Vivente (Long Distance) – Anatolia, Deccan, Patagonia, Gibb (steel) – $2299 to $3649 AUD
Our take: Built by a bicycle tourer for tourers. We love everything about them, and welcome the addition of a Rohloff model!
Wayward Bike Co (Long Distance) – Nullibor, Cape York (steel) – $499 to $1599 AUD
Our take: This new Aussie company is pumping out two steel tourers with great touring geo. You can choose frameset or complete, disc or v-brake.
KTM (Trekking / Premium Long Distance) – Life Series (aluminium / steel) – 799€ to 3399€
Our take: Better value in the higher end (relative to other brands), our pick of the bunch is the Life Lontano with the Pinion gearbox. It recently won a Eurobike award!
Brodie (Long Distance) – Argus, Elan, Elan Vital (steel) – $1249 to $2099 USD
Our take: Nice looking, good value, disc equipped touring bikes. Barend shifters on the Argus and Elan – this feature, the mid-price and the lower gear ratio of the Elan make it the best buy.
Devinci (Light Touring) – Caribou 1, 2 (aluminium) – $949 to $1499 USD
Our take: More road bike than touring bike in geometry. The smallest ratio is 1:1 which can sometimes be too hard for heavily loaded touring. The chainstay is short; leaving little room for heel clearance. Suitable for road touring.
Kona (Long Distance) – Sutra (steel) – $1499 USD
Our take: Great value steel touring bike with lots of great parts including now an MTB crankset. The Kona frame has evolved over the years to now be quite a refined ride – we just wish they’d lengthen the chainstay 25mm!
Marinoni (Light Touring) – Turismo, Turismo Extreme (steel) – $2200 to $2800 USD
Our take: A really nice quality Columbus steel frame however be aware it’s more road bike (in geometry) than touring bike. The chainstays are short for a tourer and the lowest ratio is quite high (1:1).
MEC (Long Distance) – National (steel) – $1350 CAD
Our take: A decent steel frame touring bike with some great parts for the price. Just note that it doesn’t have the lowest gear ratio (1:1) and uses the less reliable but more convenient STI shifters.
Norco (Long Distance) – Cabot 1,2 (steel) – $995 to $1415 CAD
Our take: Great value steel touring bikes from Norco which are disc ready. These models use road triple groupsets meaning 10spd cassettes, 1:1 minimum ratios and STI shifters. These bikes would make great road tourers.
Opus (Long Distance) – Largo, Legato (steel) – $1099 to $1299 CAD
Our take: These touring bikes do come with slightly short chainstays, STI shifters and not quite a low enough gear for loaded touring (1:1), but still look like decent touring bikes for the price.
Rocky Mountain (Long Distance) – Sherpa 30 (steel) – $1300 USD
Our take: Rocky’s Reynolds 725 steel frame and its geometry looks great. It does come with STI shifters and quite a high minimum ratio (1:1) however, so some mods would be required to get it up steep hills and make it a tad more reliable (friction shifters).
Pelago (Long Distance) – Stavanger (steel) – 1799€
Our take: A really neat and classic looking steel touring bike, however it is somewhat limited with 34-32t smallest gear.
Alex Singer (Light Touring) – Grand Tourisme (steel) – 6000€
Our take: Very classic in its design, this road tourer comes with lots of gorgeous parts (mudguard and racks!), and of course is available at a gorgeous price!
B’Twin (Trekking) – Riverside 7 (aluminium) – 649€
Our take: This budget trekker comes with hydraulic rim brakes, dynamo lighting, suspension with lockout and a whole bunch of great parts for it’s price!
Gilles Berthoud (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Colibri, Evasion, Scirocco, Blizzard, Diagonale, Marathon, Aventure, Nomade, Rebelle, Enta, Eole, Epervier (steel) – 2800€ to 6000€
Our take: Very nice touring bikes, mostly built with classic in mind. GB do models for everybody, everything from touring bikes which are practically road bikes to round-the-world ready builds.
Gitane (Long Distance / Trekking) – Vision (aluminium) – 699€
Our take: This aluminium bike is a great price for a bike with such decent touring parts. You’ll find dynamo lighting, multigrip bars, properly low gears (26-34t!) and some racks thrown in to get you going.
Peugeot (Trekking) – CT02 (aluminium) – 899€
Our take: Perhaps a bit expensive for what it is, this bike does come decent parts including dynamo lighting, multigrip bars, disc brakes, a wide gear range (26-34t!) and front and rear racks.
Rando Cycles (Long Distance) – Globe Trotter, Tourer (steel) – 1999€
Our take: Lovely frames made by Cyfac and Patria. Custom spec’d with some nice parts.
Bottcher (Trekking / Premium Long Distance) – Trekking, Safari, XXL, Evolution, Trek Lite, Expedition (steel or aluminium) – 629€ to 3499€
Our take: A very diverse touring range, offering models in the low-end with average parts, right through to bikes with high-end Pinion gear systems.
Corratec (Trekking) – C29er, Fashion, Sunset, Harmony (aluminium) – 499€ to 1599€
Our take: Relatively good value for money with dynamo lights, guards, racks etc.
Cube (Trekking) – Kathmandu, Delhi, Touring, Touring Pro (aluminium) – 799€ to 1699€
Our take: Trekking bikes with decent parts. We aren’t sure about the sensibility of integrating an aluminium rack to their frames, however stiff they are.
Da Silva (Trekking) – ST-80, Cintra, Da Gama (steel) – TBC€
Our take: Great looking steel frames (especially the step-through and lugged frames) with lots of nice goodies.
Ghost (Trekking) – Trekking Series (aluminium) – 599€ to 1499€
Our take: Relatively good value for money, the picks of the bunch would be in the 1000€+ range, where you get Alfine internal gear hubs, or Shimano XT componentry.
Gudereit (Light Touring / Trekking) – Sportline, Trekkingline – 449€ to 1999€
Our take: Decent aluminium light tourers and trekking bikes with brilliant parts for the price.
Hercules (Long Distance) – Alassio, Alassio Comp, Alassio Travel (steel) – 749€ to 1499€
Our take: Nice looking steel frames with a good touring geometry. The prices seem reasonable too!
Intec (Long Distance) – T03, T04, T06, T07, T08 (steel) – 1190€ to 2200€
Our take: Intec make some unique bikes, notably their step-through and lugged frames. Like a lot of German bikes you’ll notice that they do not come with drop handlebars. The build quality seems good and their bikes very competitively priced.
MaxCycles (Long Distance / Trekking) – Twenty Six Man, Titanium, SX Lite (steel, aluminium, titanium) – 699€ to 4039€
Our take: This manufacturer offers different part specs with each frame, making any purchase very customisable. I especially like the Twenty Six series.
Maxx (Trekking) – Crossmaxx, XXL (aluminium) – 999€ to 2399€
Our take: Very nice looking trekking bikes with lots of parts options for premium parts, and even a frame option that will suit a rider up to 210cm.
Norwid (Long Distance) – Spitsbergen, Aaland, Skagerrak (steel) – € to €
Our take: Simple steel bikes with a bunch of robust parts. The fillet brazed Spitsbergen is the pick of the bunch – it looks perfect for a RTW trip.
Patria (Premium Long Distance) – Terra, Ranger, Turios, Petite, Randonneur (steel) – 1590€ to 3990€
Our take: Really nice steel frames with premium parts. One of the best German bike manufacturers in the touring field.
Poison (Trekking / Long Distance) – Atropine, Cyanide (aluminium), Quinine (steel) – 799€ to 2649€
Our take: German made trekking bikes which look quite capable. Rohloff and Belt Drive models to boot.
Riese und Muller (Long Distance) – Homage, Delite (aluminium) – 1499€ to 3699€
Our take: If you’re after a dual suspension touring bike, these are it. Riese und Muller bikes have racks built above the suspension creating ‘sprung weight’. The result? Suspension dampening that works effectively! The only other brand that offers a bike similar is Tout Terrain.
Rose (Long Distance / Trekking) – Activa, Black Water, Black Creek, NPL, Multisport, Multispeed (aluminium) – 1195€ to 2799€
Our take: Possibly the biggest trekking range from any manufacturer, Rose make some decent bikes in the mid range. We like their 26″ touring bike, the Activa and find the dual suspension NPL a tad strange…
Schauff (Premium Long Distance) – Sumo (aluminium) – € to €
Our take: These unique touring bikes are designed for heavy and tall riders, using oversized brakes, headtubes, cranksets and more. The biggest frames will fit riders of up to 210cm.
Staiger (Trekking) – Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont (aluminium) – 699€ to 3499€
Our take: If you’re after a trekking bike with a front suspension fork, you’re looking at one of the best places here.
Stevens (Long Distance / Trekking) – Soverign Lite, Camino XT, Camino R14, P18 (aluminium) – 2299€ to 2999€
Our take: Not the best value for money, but lots of nice parts are packed onto Stevens frames including Rohloff hubs and Pinion gearboxes.
Tout Terrain (Premium Long Distance) – Silk Road, 5th Avenue, Grande Route, Panamericana, Tanami (steel) – 1990€ to 5390€
Our take: One of our favourite bicycle touring companies, Tout Terrain are always pushing the boundaries with their parts and design. The use of Pinion gearboxes and Rohloff hubs exemplifies this.
Trenga (Trekking / Light Touring) – GLH, MLS (aluminium) – 1599€ to 2599€
Our take: Very well spec’d trekking and light touring bikes. The frames look very well made, with triple-butted aluminium tubing.
Utopia Velo (Long Distance) – Herring Gull (steel) – 1799€ to 2799€
Our take: Strong high-end touring bikes with all the bells and whistles.
Velo de Ville (Long Distance) – Premium R650 (steel) – 1599€ to 2699€
Our take: Decent steel touring bikes with the option for premium parts like the Rohloff hub.
Velotraum (Premium Long Distance) – Cross Crmo, Cross 7005, DreiXL – 1690€ to 3890€
Our take: High-end aluminium and steel bikes which are heavily field tested and feature parts such as Pinion and Rohloff. Being two metres tall, I like that Velotraum make an XXXL frame with a 700mm top tube!
VSF Fahrrad Manufaktur (Trekking / Light Touring / Long Distance) – T-series, TX-series – 499€ to 2699€
Our take: Probably the best value low/mid/high-end touring bikes around: they come with all the good stuff including Schmidt and Rohloff hubs!
Upon researching, we’ve found an overwhelming number of trekking bikes coming out of Germany, so we’re going to list just their names: Atlanta, Bergamont, Bulls, Focus, Kalkhoff, Kettler, Kreidler, Morrison, Ortler, Pegasus, Rabeneick, Steppenwolf, Wanderer, Winora, Zoulou.
Bob Jackson (Long Distance) – World Tour Frameset (steel) – £550
Our take: Classically designed touring frames with LOTS of paint options. If you’re wanting to build a new classic – take a look.
Claud Butler (Light Touring) – Regent, Malvern (aluminium) – £599 to £699
Our take: These budget bikes come at a budget price. You can choose between cantilever brakes or upgrade to disc brakes for an extra £100.
Condor (Long Distance) – Heritage Frameset (steel) – £599
Our take: The Condor uses triple butted Dedacciai tubing and traditional touring geometry. We wouldn’t mind a ride!
Dawes (Long Distance) – Galaxy Series (steel) – £599 to £1799
Our take: Dawes represent good value, as the higher end frames use Reynolds tubing and decent parts. The frame geometry is great for touring. Be aware that Dawes only come in three or four sizes – so large and small riders might miss out!
Dynamic Bicycles (Light Touring) – Tempo (aluminium) – £845
Our take: The only shaft driven bikes in this list, Dynamic make a chain less bicycle suitable to flat terrain because of the gearing limitations of the Alfine 8 speed internal hub.
Enigma (Light Touring) – Ethos (steel) – £1999
Our take: Enigma produce both custom frames and complete bikes. Their Ethos features road caliper brakes, short chainstays and a road crankset, making it suitable for light touring only. However, being custom we have seen examples of RTW tourers built with Rohloff hubs.
Genesis (Light Touring) – Croix de Fer, CdF (steel) – £849 to £1999
Our take: Genesis offer nice steel frames (there’s even a stainless one!) with a cyclocross type geometry that’s suitable for light touring. All of the models have mounting points for front and rear racks.
Hewitt (Long Distance) – Cheviot (steel) – £1299
Our take: The Cheviot is similar to the other British bikes in that it uses Reynolds tubing, drop handlebars and has a sensible part spec for the price. For long distance riders, we recommend swapping the STI shifters for some barend shifters.
Kinesis (Light Touring) – Tripster ATR (titanium) -£2349
Our take: This titanium bike has been designed as a lightweight multi-purpose bike (cyclocross/gravel grinder), but really, the geometry lends itself well to bicycle touring. With a set of rear panniers, or perhaps some bikepacking kit, this would make a speedy tourer.
Mercian (Long Distance / Light Touring) – King of Mercia, Professional, Pro Lugless, Vincitore (steel) – £2240 to £3820
Our take: Beautifully made bikes from a builder who’s been doing touring bikes longer than most. Our pick for touring is the King of Mercia Tourer (£3218) which comes with cantilever brakes and an XT drivetrain.
Orbit Cycles (Long Distance) – Harrier Expedition, Harrier Fast Tour (steel) – £1190 to £1795
Our take: Two different bikes, one a 26″ expedition bike and a 700c road tourer. Choice of butterfly handlebars or drop handlebars. That makes these bikes relatively good value with a heap of options.
Oxford Bike Works (Long Distance) – Model 1, Model 2, Model 3 (steel) – £850 to £2000
Our take: Great value Reynolds steel 26″ tourers with an exceptional warranty. We particularly like that you can buy a refurbished frame off these guys for environmental reasons. We do find the chainstays on these frames rather short (35mm less than many other brands) and same with the headtubes (at size 58cm, we think the bike could use 70mm more headtube!).
Pashley (Light Touring) – Clubman Country (steel) – £1495
Our take: Possibly one of the most classic bikes on this list, the Clubman features a lugged frameset, stainless fenders, a leather saddle, downtube shifters and gumwall tyres to complete the look. The gear range isn’t particularly wide, but if you’re after a classic, here is your bike.
Raleigh (Long Distance) – Gran Tour, Sojourn (steel) – £645 to £1100
Our take: We love the Sojourn! The geometry is great: 460mm chainstays and it’s long wheelbase are perfect. It comes with a Brooks saddle standard as well as good gear ratios, disc brakes, barend shifters, a 9s drivetrain and a solid steel frame. The Gran Tour represents great value for money.
Revolution (Long Distance) – Country Traveller, Country Explorer, Country Premier (steel) – £499 to £799
Our take: Super good value touring bikes using decent quality steel frames, drivetrains and disc brakes on the upper models. Choose from butterfly or drop handlebars.
Ridgeback (Long Distance) – Tour, Voyage, Journey, Panorama (steel) – £599 to £1249
Our take: Nice Reynolds steel frames with decent geometry available at a good price. The bikes are all spec’d with STI shifters, which are something we’d change.
Roberts Cycles (Long Distance) – Clubman, Cumbria, Transcontinental, Roughstuff (steel) – £1295 to £1395 (Frameset only!)
Our take: Roberts bikes are found on the road all around the world! They have a decent reputation in the touring bike world and their custom frames are available at a reasonable price.
Roux (Long Distance) – Etape 150, 250 (steel) – £480 to £699
Our take: The 250 is an incredibly good value disc steel touring bike. The only changes we’d recommend are to a wider range cassette and to some barend shifters. The 150 uses a road double crankset, so it may not get you up every hill. These bikes are in our article: Build a Round-the-World Touring Bike on a Budget.
Sabbath (Light Touring) – Silk Route (titanium) – £2000
Our take: If you’re after a titanium tourer, the Sabbath looks the goods. The only things we’d change are the STI shifters and we’d upgrade to v-brakes.
Spa Cycles (Long Distance) – Ti Tourer (titanium) – £1580
Our take: This titanium bike looks nice with a decent part spec. It comes with STI shifters which we would recommend changing, but if a well priced titanium bike is what you want, this is the one to get.
Thorn (Premium Long Distance) – Sherpa, Nomad, Mercury, Club Tour (steel) – from £1299 to £2139
Our take: Thorn have one of the best reputations out there. Their bikes are all semi-custom; you can pick and choose the bars, wheels, saddle etc. They spec the bikes well for the price and have many features unique to them. We recommend getting a disc fork with the purchase of any Thorn so that you can benefit from using disc brakes too.
Ideal (Trekking) – Travelon, Ezigo (aluminium) – 390€ to 599€
Our take: These budget trekkers offer a pretty decent kit for the price.
Bianchi (Light Touring) – Volpe (steel) – $1299 USD
Our take: This bike is on the cusp of being a touring bike. The geometry of the bike is much more ‘cyclocross’ or ‘road’ than touring, which results in short chainstays are steep angles. It can fit a front and rear rack and seems like a nice frame (although it mightn’t be all that stiff in the front end), so we’ve included it.
Bressan (MTB Trekking) – Terranova (steel) – $ USD
Our take: Essentially a steel mountain bike with racks and butterfly handlebars, this bike looks solid enough for off-road touring.
Cinelli (Long Distance) – Bootleg Hobo (steel) – $1799 USD
Our take: Cinelli’s steel touring bike is nice and simple; a good alternative to a bike like the Surly Long Haul Trucker. It features sensible touring parts including a wide gear range, barend shifters and Tubus front and rear racks.
Masi (Light Touring) – CX Triple (steel) – $899 USD
Our take: With 430mm chainstays, this is much more of a road/cx bike than a dedicated tourer. It does have rack provision and it is steel however.
Fuji (Long Distance) – Touring (steel) – $1089 USD
Our take: A really good value steel touring bike available in many countries with a decent swag of parts.
Alton (Budget / Light Touring) – Turista (aluminium) – from $350 USD
Our take: Basic touring bikes available only in Korea.
Miso (Budget / Light Touring) - Burgos (steel) – from $350 USD
Our take: Basic steel touring bikes available only in Korea.
Samchunly (Budget / Light Touring) – Rider (aluminium) – from $450 USD
Our take: Basic touring bikes available only in Korea.
Avaghon (Long Distance) – Series 26, Series 28 (steel) – 1599€ to 2899€
Our take: These steel lugged bikes look really nice and come with everything you need to ride. The high end bikes are Rohloff and Belt equipped!
BeOne (Long Distance / Trekking) – Randonneur, Crossover Series (aluminium)
Our take: The randonneur model has a decent geometry for bicycle touring, despite being specced with road bike gearing options (STI shifters and a road double crankset). It also comes with a front and rear rack to get you on the road.
Gazelle (Trekking) – Arroyo, Fuente, Descende, Medeo (aluminium) – 899€ to 1499€
Our take: Gazelle is most famous for their tradition Dutch bikes, but they also do some nice aluminium trekking bikes. They are all step-through for ease of use and use a great quick release adjustable stem to fine tune your positioning.
Idworx (Premium Long Distance / Trekking) – Off Rohler, Easy Rohler, Easy Transport (aluminium), Easy Rohler Ti, Off Rohler Ti (titanium) – 2695€ to 6140€
Our take: Very high end aluminium/titanium tourers and trekking bikes with brilliant part specs. The titanium frames are built by the crew at Lynskey USA.
Koga Miyata (Long Distance / Trekking) – WorldTraveller29, Traveller (aluminium), Randonneur (steel) – 1699€ to 3666€
Our take: We love the steel Randonneur. A great high-end frameset with a well thought out spec including a 40 spoke rear wheel! The aluminium frames look great too.
Multicycle (Trekking) – Extreme, Extreme Rohloff (aluminium) – 2099€ To 3499€
Our take: The Extreme is perhaps a bit overpriced and is running SRAM gearing (who are not known for reliability). It’s equipped with lots of accessories stock but most notable are the 48 spokes front and rear!
Pilot (Premium Long Distance) – Trekking (titanium)
Our take: Pilot custom build every bike, giving you the option to use whatever wheel size or gear setup you like. They’re absolutely stunning bikes too!
Poppink (Long Distance) – M02d, T08d, T08r (steel)
Our take: This company offers three different models: one with 26″ wheels, one with 28″ wheels and a 26″ Rohloff bike. The specs are bombproof too – it’s not that often that you get such good rims (Ryde Andra 30) on stock bikes!
Santos (Long Distance / Trekking) – Travelmaster (steel or aluminium), Trekking (aluminium) – £1700 to £3200
Our take: One of the most popular bikes for European round-the-world cyclists, Santos use lots of high-end gear including Rohloff hubs and belt drive systems in their builds.
SNEL (Premium Long Distance) – Safari, Serengeti, Savanne, Sahara (aluminium or steel) – 1550€ to 3550€
Our take: Very customisable high-end bikes with lots of options. The size range is very extensive too.
Van Herwerden (Premium Long Distance) – Twenty 6, Twenty 8, Roadmaster C (steel) – 2199€ to 2975€
Our take: These customisable steel bikes out of The Hague feature very sensible touring parts (wide gear ratios, strong rims) on bikes with either 26″ or 28″ wheels.
Van Nicholas (Premium Long Distance) – Pioneer, Amazon (titanium) – 2488€ to 6493€
Our take: Very, very nice titanium touring bikes with all the good bits! The price reflects this…
Vittorio (Long Distance) – Klassiek, Randonneur, Globetrotter, Tourfiets (steel) – 2100€ to 4500€
Our take: These classically designed bikes utilise all kinds of frame building techniques, including lugs, welding and fillet brazing. Most of them are made to order.
Creme (Light Touring) – Lungo (steel) – 1099€
Our take: This is a really cool looking touring bike with classic styling. The parts are dressed to match the style. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a very wide range of gears.
Kross (Trekking) – Trans-series (aluminium) – 599€ to 999€
Our take: If you’re after a budget trekking bike with suspension forks, check these out.
Unibike (Trekking) – Vision, Voyager, Expedition, Globetrotter – 500€ to 850€
Our take: More budget trekking bikes from Poland – check out the range if you’re after a suspended trekking ride.
Bicitaller Russafa (Long Distance) – Cicloturismo (steel)
Our take: This small company out of Valencia puts together just a handful of bikes every month. Everything is made to order, but they most often build their touring bikes to a classic steel style.
Orbea (Trekking) – Travel, Comfort (aluminium) – 389€ to 1249€
Our take: Budget trekking bikes are available from this predominately road and MTB manufacturer.
Aarios (Premium Long Distance) - Expedition, Discovery, Experience (steel) – 2765€ to 6390€
Our take: High end bikes with high end features. Roll with 26″ wheels and a conventional drivetrain, or use a Rohloff and Gates Carbon Drive. There are nine size options for each model, so you should get a great fit on an Aarios.
Canyon (Trekking) - No Limit, Street, Globe (aluminium) – 1300€ to 1700€
Our take: Smart looking aluminium trekking bikes with a choice between internally geared hubs and derailleur systems, and a rigid fork and suspension fork.
Diamant (Trekking) – Elan Series (aluminium) – 699€ to 1699€
Our take: These trekking bikes represent good value for money, featuring nice parts including Shimano XT, Selle Royale and Supernova in the high-end builds.
HiLite (Premium Long Distance / Trekking / Light Touring) – Pinion, Trekking, Randonneur (titanium) – 4100€ to 11600€
Our take: Amazing looking titanium bikes that are completely customisable with any parts you’d like. Watch that price though!
MTB Cycletech (Trekking / Premium Long Distance) – Papalagi (aluminium / steel / titanium) – 1099€ to 3599€
Our take: This brand has been making premium touring bikes for nearly 30 years. The parts are all of a high standard, so you should expect a long life out of any of these.
Simpel (Trekking / Premium Long Distance) – Optimist, Frischluft, Wegwarts (aluminium or steel) – 1400€ to 2900€
Our take: Great looking bikes at an equally good price, all with a high attention to detail. I love how customisable the spec and colours are.
Tour de Swisse (Trekking) – Trekking (aluminium) – 2000€ to 3980€
Our take: This brand offers lots of colour and gearing options for their bikes, and specs them with premium parts.
Villiger (Light Touring) – Verzasca (aluminium) – 1600€
Our take: Nice parts and clean looking frameset if you’re after a light tourer.
Giant (Trekking) – Expedition Series (aluminium) – 1799€ to 2299€
Our take:As far as we are aware, this model is only available in Europe. These Giant’s include bunch of great parts (Rohloff or Shimano XT) attached to a reasonably well-made aluminium frame. We are intrigued as to why Giant use a chain tensioner instead of an adjustable dropout, but that’s not really the end of the world.
All City (Long Distance) – Space Horse Frameset (steel) – $575 USD (frame)
Our take: This steel frame is usually built up as an all day road bike, but has been designed around carrying loads of 20lbs (9kg) on the front and 30lbs (13kg) on the rear, making it ideal for long distance / light touring. The geometry is relaxed and the chainstays relatively long.
Bilenky (Long Distance) – Midlands, Tourlite (steel) – $3700 to $4675 USD
Our take: Great looking frames from a very reputable single and tandem touring bike builder!
Bruce Gordon (Long Distance) – Rock ‘n’ Road, BLT (steel) – $1725 to $3349 USD
Our take: Somewhat good value with colour matched stems, these classically built bikes sure look the goods!
Cannondale (Trekking) – Tesoro-range (aluminium) – 899€ to 1899€
Our take: Lightweight aluminium trekking bikes from the original smooth weld manufacturer. Very clean lines and paint jobs!
Cielo (Light Touring) – Tanner Good Edition (steel) – $2799 USD
Our take: This beautifully made bicycle represents great value considering the quality of the frame and parts. The Tanner Goods Edition actually comes with bags, although we wouldn’t think they are very useful for bicycle touring.
Co-Motion (Premium Long Distance) – Pangea, Divide, Americano (steel) – $3925 to $7848 USD
Our take: We have a soft spot for the US manufactured Co-Motion bikes, given that we ride one. We believe that their touring bike builds are some of the best around. If their single frames are anywhere near as stiff and comfortable as our tandem – you’re up for a killer ride.
Fairdale (Light Touring) – Weekender (steel) $479 to $1199 USD
Our take: Neat looking steel road/touring bike. Doesn’t quite have the lower gears covered, but the frame/fork look nice.
Gunnar (Long Distance) – Grand Tour Frame (steel) – $1025 USD (frame)
Our take: Nice steel touring frames available in a wide range of sizes and colours – or completely custom if you so desire.
Jamis (Long Distance) – Aurora (steel) – $1499 USD
Our take: A decent competitor to the Surly Disc Trucker, the Jamis comes with nice matching guards and great parts for the price. Our only concern is that the smallest gear may not be low enough for steep climbs with heavy panniers.
KHS (Long Distance) – TR101 (steel) – $1099 USD
Our take: Another great value steel bike with some great parts including v-brakes / road bars as stock items!
Lynskey (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Backroad, Cooper CMT, Viale (titanium) – $3247 to $4761 USD
Our take: These guys make titanium touring frames for some of the manufacturers above. Think about it, if Lynskey weren’t good at touring frames, these manufacturers wouldn’t buy them! If you’re wanting titanium, it’s hard to look past Lynskey.
Motobecane (Budget / Long Distance) – Gran Turismo (steel) – $699 USD
Our take: At the listed retail price, you can do much, much better than this. We have consistently seen this bike available at $699 however making it one of the best value touring bikes in the world. This bike we suggest as a base bike for building a round the world touring bike on a budget.
Nashbar (Budget Long Distance) – Steel Touring, TR1 (steel) – $699 to $749 USD
Our take: More amazingly good value touring bikes are available from Nashbar. They both use STI shifters which may not be for you, but are cheap to swap out. These bikes we suggest as a base bike for building a round the world touring bike on a budget.
Novara (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Safari, Randonee (steel) – $899 to $1199 USD
Our take: Brilliant budget steel touring bikes by REI using trekking handlebars, a wide gear range (including lots of low gears) and more.
Redline (Light Touring) – Metro Classic – $1150 USD
Our take: These steel bikes with provision for racks are a bit short in the chainstay, but will still be a really capable bicycle for touring. We love that it uses disc brakes and comes at a decent price point!
Rivendell (Long Distance) – Sam Hillborne, Atlantis (steel) – $2600 to $3900 USD
Our take: Classically designed touring bikes which really look the part. The build specs offered are very sensible for touring. The Atlantis is made in house at Rivendell.
Rodriguez (Long Distance) – The Adventure, UTB Adventure – $2700 to $6000 USD
Our take: Really nice looking touring bikes, which are fully customisable depending on your desires.
Salsa (Long Distance / MTB Touring) – Fargo, Vaya (steel or titanium) – $1699 to $3950 USD
Our take: Some of our favourite off the shelf touring bikes, Salsa offer great steel offerings at the lower end and titanium in the upper end. The Fargo lives almost in a touring bike category of its own (Co-Motion Divide is there too), whilst the Vaya mimics the geometry of standard long distance touring bikes.
Seven (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Expat SL, Expat S, Expat (titanium or steel) – $2000 to $3600 USD (Frame only)
Our take: If you’re after a titanium touring bike, it’s hard to go past Seven. For years they’ve put together frames that are touring capable, using butted titanium tubing to keep the weight down without compromising strength. Is saving a few hundred grams out of the frame worth the extra few thousand dollars? That’s up to you.
Specialized (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Source Series (aluminium), AWOL Comp, AWOL (steel) – $800 to $2600 USD
Our take: The AWOL is a steel touring bike new for 2014. It has a great frame geometry and disc brakes which we like, but uses STI shifters and a road triple crankset which don’t give you the reliability or gearing you may need on a long tour. The AWOL comp uses a road double crankset and SRAM gearing, so we think you should give this more expensive model a miss. The Source-series is best suited to light loads and pavement use.
Soma (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Saga Frameset, San Marcos Frameset (steel) – $499 to $949 USD (Frameset)
Our take: Soma’s are classically designed frames which represent great value. The Saga is round-the-world capable, and for lighter duties the new San Marcos looks fantastic.
Surly (Long Distance / MTB Touring) – Long Haul Trucker, Disc Trucker, Trucker Deluxe Frameset, ECR, Troll, Ogre, World Troller – $949 to $1399 USD
Our take: With one of the best frame geometries for an all purpose touring bike, the Surly Long Haul Trucker sets the standard. Not only is it affordable, it comes with a sensible part spec. HERE is our review. Surly also have a bunch of popular MTB Tourers in their range, including the ECR with 3.00″ tyres!
Terry (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Coto Donana Tour, Coto Donana Vagabond (steel) – $3500 to $3850 USD
Our take: One of the only female specific brands available, Terry have one long distance touring bike and a light touring bike made by Waterford Cycles in the USA. These bikes have shorter top tubes and women’s specific handlebars/saddles.
Traitor (MTB Touring) - Slot (steel) – $1399 USD
Our take: This 29er MTB tourer is similar to a Surly Ogre, or a Salsa Fargo with MTB geometry, a steel frame and lots of mounting points for water and racks.
Trek (Long Distance) – 520 (steel) – $1429 USD
Our take: We really like the 520, especially with the retro Trek decals on the 2014 model! It employs lots of decent parts which will get you where you want to go, however it is a more expensive bike than it’s better spec’d rival – the Surly LHT.
Velo Orange (Long Distance) – Campeur Frameset (steel) – $500 USD (Frameset)
Our take: A classically-styled frame, the Campeur looks incredible with a vintage silver part spec. In addition, the frame geometry is near perfect in our opinion.
Waterford (Long Distance / Light Touring) – Adventure Cycle, Sport Touring (steel) – $TBC
Our take: Some of the best touring bikes in the business, custom built to your every need in Waterford, USA.
Windsor (Budget Long Distance) – Tourist (steel) – $599 USD
Our take: A similar bike at a similar price point to the Nashbar/Motobecane, this budget bike would require few upgrades to make it round-the-world capable. Read about them HERE.
Have we missed anything? Leave us a comment.