A Complete List of Touring Bicycle Manufacturers with Pricing

Alee October 1, 2013 55

This list has been a labour of love.

We've created this resource to make known all of the bicycle touring manufacturers out there, to discuss the different types of touring bikes available and to provide you with our opinion on each product. Some brands listed produce complete bikes and others framesets only.

We also have a:

- Complete List of Tandem Builders and Manufacturers; and

- Complete List of Touring Bikes Available in Australia

Different Types of Touring Bicycle

Light Touring

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

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.

Long Distance

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.

Tout terrain silkroad Xplore pinion

Frame Geometry

We mention frame geometry a number of times in this resource. If you are interested in understanding everything about frame geometry, 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.

Australia

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 and employ high-end parts. We have never come up against one, but would love to check one out someday soon.

Vivente (Long Distance) – World Randonneur (steel) – $1749 AUD

Our take: Built by a bicycle tourer for tourers. We love everything except the front disc / rear vbrake. Why not just do one or the other?

Canada

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).

France

Alex Singer (Light Touring) – Grand Tourisme – 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!

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.

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.

Germany

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.

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.

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…

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.

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!

Great Britain

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.

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.

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.

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!).

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.

Raleigh Sojourn

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 wish they would adopt disc brakes on their bikes, but maybe they move to the 20th century soon.

Italy

Bianchi (Light Touring) – Volpe (steel) – $1299 USD

Our take: This bike is on the cusp of touring bikes. 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.

Cinelli (Long Distance) – Bootleg Hobo (steel) – $1799 USD

Our take: This bike is not yet available but looks great. It unfortunately doesn't have any low range gears (1:1 is the smallest) and uses STI shifters – making it not the best drivetrain for climbing or reliability.

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.

Japan

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.

Korea

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.

Netherlands

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!

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!

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.

Van Nicholas (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…

Poland

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.

Spain

Orbea (Trekking) – Travel, Comfort (aluminium) – 389€ to 1249€

Our take: Budget trekking bikes are available from this predominately road and MTB manufacturer.

Switzerland

Villiger (Light Touring) – Verzasca (aluminium) – 1600€

Our take: Nice parts and clean looking frameset if you're after a light tourer.

Taiwan

Giant (Trekking) – Expedition Series (aluminium) – 1799€ to 2299€

Our take: A bunch of great parts (Rohloff etc) attached to a reasonably well made aluminium frame. We are intrigued as to why Giant use a chain tensioner instead of an adjustable dropout. As far as we are aware, this model is only available in Europe.

USA

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.

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) – 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.

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) – Long Haul Trucker, Disc Trucker, Trucker Deluxe Frameset – $949 to $1399 USD

Our take: With one of the best frame geometries for a long haul touring bike, the Surly sets the standard. Not only is it affordable, it comes with a sensible part spec. HERE is our review.

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.

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.

 

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  • Mirjam

    Wow! great list!
    You can get the Multicycle with a Rohloff too ;-)

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Thanks Mirjam.

  • andymario

    Hi! Great review, we are looking for a new touring bike for my girlfriend and this list is perfect! Actually I’m riding a 2011 Cube Touring (bought used for €400!) and I never had a problem, also when doing long tours (did all southern Scandinavia last year, heavy loaded). In Italy the most known touring bike is the “Bressan terra nova” (look out for the crappy website). Last week I tested it in Expobici (biggest cycle expo in Italy), and looked like a great bike. Price around 1500€/2000€ (too expensive for us!). Bye and safe travels!

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Thanks. I’ll add Bressen when I can gather a bit more information on them.

  • Michael

    Opus bikes of Canada has the Legato and Largo.

    http://opusbike.com/en/bikes/road/touring

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Thanks Michael.

  • Jacqueline Edwards

    Great compilation! I’ve been trying to see a Raleigh Sojourn in the flesh while in the UK but no-one seems to keep them in stock! It would be to replace my 28 year old Raleigh Carlton Courette that has done brilliant service and many many miles without a hiccup. You missed the company that made Peter’s bike. It is a Mercian, also crossed the world in the mid 1980s and still going strong. Tom uses it sometimes now. Custom-made by Mercian, a small company in Derby, UK, and they still make them. A beautiful bike, with Campagnolo components. Check their website for yourselves: http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Can’t believe I missed out Mercian! Thanks for your help.

  • Michael

    The Kona Sutra’s MSRP is $1499 USD, not $1199 USD.

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Many thanks.

  • Michael

    Surly has 3 other touring bikes: the ECR, Troll, & Ogre.

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      I’ve intentionally missed these out. Having ridden 2/3 of these Surly’s loaded with gear, I feel that these bikes are NOT suited to long distance touring, but more towards MTB / bike packing. Yes, they can handle racks but, no, they don’t handle heavy pannier weight very well (compared to the LHT).

      • Michael

        I haven’t ridden them. Would you mind elaborating? What made you come to this judgement?

        • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

          Sure thing.

          These bikes are a ‘jack of all trades – master of none.

          Here are three reasons in particular:
          - The front end is not stiff enough: With front pannier bags, the Troll and Ogre both demonstrated an inadequate amount of stiffness; I could physically see the front section of the frame waving under me. When I turned corners, the bikes were not direct at all with their steering.
          - The chainstays are short: The Ogre and Troll have 30-40mm shorter chainstays than I’d recommend for a touring bike. Firstly for heel clearance, and secondly for stability.
          - The head tubes are not long enough: On the bikes that I’ve ridden, the riders have almost had to put more spacers above the stem than the headtube is long! This is most likely a different story for shorter riders, but a problem none-the-less for most tourers who need their bars as high, or higher than their saddle.

          The ECR (which I haven’t ridden) is a 29+ bike, meaning it employs 3inch tyres and an MTB double crankset. It is a mountain bike with rack mounts at the most.

          • Elio

            I recently purchased a Surly Troll. I agree with the chainstays problem but having the right rack (i.e. Tubus Logo) resolves the heel clearance issue and stability is maintained. I have an 18 inch frame so the head tube fits well with a butterfly handlebar but I cannot say for bigger frames. I haven’t put front panniers but I think they would stabilize the bike since most of the weight falls in the rear. The lower top tube with the mini triangle is perfect to mount or dismount the bike with heavy load. Another plus for the Troll is the off-road and mountainous ride which the bike handles brilliantly being much more nimble than the LHT, but that’s just me.

  • Chris Protopapas

    One listing for France, the country where cycle touring was born?

    Maybe we can start with Gilles Berthoud: http://www.gillesberthoud.fr/anglais/index1.php

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Can’t believe I missed GB after showing one of their bikes in the Eurobike 2013 gallery. Thanks.

  • Michael

    Norco of Canada also makes the Cabot 1&2:

    http://www.norco.com/bikes/road/road-endurance/cabot/cabot-1/

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Thought Norco stopped building touring bikes years ago! Ta.

  • Hugo

    Great work, extremely helpful, thank you! You may want to include the “Rose” manufakturer from Germany http://www.roseversand.de/, with models like the Activa

  • Ray

    You have missed Waterford Bikes, maker of the fabulous Adventure Cycle: http://waterfordbikes.com/w/

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      We initially had them on the list, but decided that they were more a custom builder rather than a complete bike priducer.

  • Vintagetourer

    Hi …excellent compilation. Nice work.
    Two quick thoughts.
    -Bike Friday Eugene Oregon is missing. We have their New World Tourist models. Long distance, short distance, light weight, heavy weight, fast, slow do anything bikes. Brilliant. Big hearted bikes with small wheels. They are legendary world touring bikes.
    -And thank goodness Thorn do not have disc brakes on their touring bikes or I wouldn’t have bought a Sherpa expedition bike. The ceramic coated rims and V brakes are almost as quick as discs but nowhere near as temperamental.

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      I’ll leave Bike Friday out of this one. We’ll have to put together a folding bike roundup too!

      Regarding disc brakes – have you used a set of Avid BB7s on a loaded touring bike? Heaps more power again than a set of carbide rims (exponentially better in the wet!), and as reliable as brakes come.

      • Vintagetourer

        Yes Alex … I have Avids on my MTB and have done a short, loaded tour on it. They are very good but I wouldn’t want them on my touring bikes. I prefer components which are not only effective and durable, but I can also fix (or get fixed) reasonably easily. I wouldn’t know where to start to fix Avids under field conditions. This says more about me than Avids or any disc brakes. The stopping power is not hugely different in my experience.
        The foldability of the Bike Friday is a bonus. Even without the folding function they are a strong, comfortable bike with excellent ride and touring quality. The frame geometry and gearing are brilliant. The BFs are an excellent tourer which happens to fold, rather than a folder which is an OK tourer. Like CoMotion which are from the same town, they are true blue American made bikes, so perhaps worth allocating to your U.S. list rather than a special folding category. There aren’t many folding bikes which are really versatile touring bikes like BFs.

      • olee22

        I’m interested in the folding bike roundup!

  • Jamesw2

    I have a Motobacane Gran Turismo and from the first ride I have had issues with the wheel shifting under breaking and acceleration. The wheel shifts to the left and rubs on the chain stay. I finally fixed the issue by bolting (3mm) an angle bracket to the right side and put the skewer through a hole on the bracket.

    The dropout is facing forward some what ( bad idea) and have gotten the run around with bikes direct about the issue

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      We hope you get everything sorted our soon!

      • Jamesw2

        It will when i get my Disc Trucker

    • Soon-to-be Gran Turismo owner

      I notice that the “gallery of pics” for the Gran Turismo on the BD site, dated June 2010, show what appear to be holes for adjusters on the rear dropouts. Would inserting adjuster screws help stabilize the axle?

      • Jamesw2

        No! Not in my case it did not. (wrong direction) I used an angle bracket drilled a hole for the three mm bolt and a hole on the other angle for the skewer. I got rid of the QR skure and used one with an allen bolt.
        Another option I thought about was to epoxy a metal block on the drive side with a threaded hole and use a bolt to push a block against the axle. ( the block would need to be machined as the same radi as the axle)

  • Richard Delacour

    Arrrghhhhh! I just came across this list of touring bike manufacturers, and am gutted to find out that my company is not on there. We’re called Oxford Bike Works, and we make a 26″ wheel steel-framed tourer made of Reynolds tubing. Can someone change the list to include us please. We reckon we’re the best value touring bikes in the UK, but if people haven’t heard of us it doesn’t matter how cheap we are! Check us out at http://www.oxfordbikeworks.co.uk

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Richard

      Thanks for dropping by. We’re happy to have added Oxford Bike Works to the list. While we’ve got you here, we’re interested in some of the geometry choices you’ve made for your frames.

      - You chainstays seem very short for a touring bicycle. Is there any reason you’ve built your rear ends on the short side, as we know that heel clearance can be an issue with panniers?

      - Your headtubes are really short, and hence require a lot of spacers to get the handlebars to the right height. Why are your headtubes so short compared to other touring frame manufacturers?

      Cheers.

      • Richard Delacour

        Hi, thanks for your reply. We are a very small company with limited resources, and I decided that I wanted one frame design that whilst primarily was a touring design, could be applied to other uses. It also guarantees greater flexibility in the number of riding positions that can be adopted, and whilst most favour a more upright riding position, its not always the case. Having said that, I wasn’t aware that the head tube was appreciably shorter than the Thorn Sherpa. The chainstays are a little shorter than you would expect on a tourer, but we’ve had no feedback that heel clearance is a problem, and it wasn’t our experience whilst testing, so we didn’t lengthen the the chainstays after the prototypes were delivered.

        Its really useful to have feedback like this, as we are a new company and it really helps us move our brand and range forward.
        The key area where I think we win is on price, and that is what we’re really trying to do – bringing a Reynolds steel tubed tourer with decent wheels to the market for £850 sterling opens up a whole new range of customers to us (we hope)!

        • olee22

          Can it be that you didn’t had any complaints because those people don’t even buy from you?

          I’m in the search for our next long distance touring bikes, and I’d be interested in the price range you mention. However, I check the geometry on the web and below 45 cm chainstay, I don’t even consider the bikes.

          My wish is 46 cm (similarly to the article), as pannier clearance was a big issue on most trekking/touring bikes I tried. Below 45 cm, I have to move the panniers really to the back, in a fiddly position.

          On my current bike the chainstay is 42.5 cm, with a Tubus Logo. I have to move panniers in a strange pushed-away position to able to pedal without hitting the pannier. My VauDe Cycle 22 panier has to be configured in an awkward way. One hanger is on the edge, the other is in the middle, to be able to move the bag as far as possible from my feet. It works, but it’s not stable.

  • Mark

    Where are all the recumbents?

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Hi Mark

      Unfortunately I do not have any technical knowledge of recumbent bicycles, so I wouldn’t even know where to start. If you do have a comprehensive understanding of everything recumbent touring, I welcome you to put together a list and we can publish it under your name,

      Alex

  • Victor

    WOW, that is the most extensive list I have come across… Couldn’t find a mention of http://www.bergamont.de/ though, from a quick look their bikes are suspiciously cheap, gonna try to do some more digging…

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Hey Victor. We are missing lots of German trekking brands – will update this when I get some time! Alex

  • Dirk Van Hulle
    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Thanks Dirk.

  • engelson

    You forgot the oldest and probably best touring bike we have in Switzerland : the Papalagi, made by MTB Cycletech (http://www.mtbcycletech.com/core/shop/front/prodlist.php?parmx=cGclM0Q4JTI2bGFuJTNERw%3D%3D&parmz=f5424d8d8b8dc0feaeab6da8a59b63ed). They’ve been making it for nearly 30 years now.
    It has a beautiful steel frame and is available in (almost) any version you may wish to find. V-brake, disc, Rohloff, Pinion, Reynolds 853 steel, Reynolds 931 stainless steel, titanium, on so on…
    Would be nice to see it in the list.

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Thanks very much.

  • Alex

    You have missed the Surly Troll.

  • David Hernández García

    Decathlon Spain (B’twen Riverside 7) Shimano XT-DEORE Hydraulic Brakes Magura HS 11… (Nice price, 750€)

    http://www.decathlon.es/bicicleta-trekking-riverside-7-id_8070411.html

  • Nikos

    What about IDEAL ?

  • Nikos

    very handy list!! thanks

  • ericonabike

    Thank so much for this site, a treasure trove of valuable info. I wonder if folding bikes wouldn’t merit a mention or even a section of their own. To many it may sound ridiculous the very idea of world touring in a folding bike but they have many advantages, easy to carry on planes or buses if needed or to hotel rooms to keep secure. They are getting better and better and there are models designed for touring and with all the specs up to Rohloff, hub dynamos etc. A minimum od 20″ wheels allows for decent stability and very compact folding like the Tern Link P24 TR, But even the Reise Muller Birdy Touring Rohloff with 18″ looks very reliable. If you plan to do a lot of off road there are folging bikes with 24 and 26 inch wheels. They are centainly less sturdy and would slow down your tour when rolling but theu open up new alternatives, like combining with public transport or other means.

    Just watch this guys, they do it with a Brompton with 16″ wheels, too small for touring beyond perfect first world tarmac though:

    http://vimeo.com/27302646

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alee Denham

      Hi Eric. Don’t worry, we’re sold on folding bikes, but wanted to keep this list as pure as possible so that people looking for a new bike don’t have to look past brands that won’t suit them. A folding list (and associated resources) is coming!

  • Lee

    The Fuji Touring isn’t Japanese…It’s American.

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alee Denham

      I debated where to put Fuji, but ultimately chose Japan as that is where it was founded and operated for 90% of the companies life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuji_Bikes

  • beneventura

    I seriously doubt Dawes represent better value than Stevens – perhaps some lazy journalism here? The component spec isn’t great on still pricey lower end Galaxies and the frame flex when loaded can be v. disconcerting on downhills. Where are the cheaper bikes with Rohloff hubs, pinion gear boxes and as good a frame as the Stevens? There are many more expensive bikes listed here that just aren’t as good.. so an odd conclusion.

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alee Denham

      My words across different manufacturers are not intended to be directly compared, especially across markets. Stevens trekking bikes feature at the upper end of the market, so naturally, they will not represent great value for money. Their XT spec’d trekking bikes can be double the price of other similarly spec’d German brands! Dawes may not be the best touring bikes, but they offer a lot of bike for your money in the British market.

  • olee22

    The Rose Activa Pro 2014 has 46.5 cm chainstay… finally.

  • Adam r

    What about a surly troll. Stiff front fork.