The Many Manners of Touring

 by Connor

    It looks as if yearly on this business, somebody comes out with one other sub-category of biking to distinguish their product or their expertise from the others. Be it the appearance of the “down-country” mountain bike (Brief journey, slack geo), to the “all-road” bike (only a gravel bike?), everybody needs to call their slice of the pie. 

    Velo Orange has been making touring bikes since its inception. Granted we have supplied totally different specs and kinds over time, however the moniker by no means actually modified all that a lot – life’s less complicated that means. Our Go Hunter could also be our one exception to this, being what would extensively be outlined as an “all-road” bike, however it could nonetheless take entrance racks, fenders, baggage, and 650Bx42mm tires. 

Kevin’s Go Hunter, sans Rando Rack

    Nevertheless, in as we speak’s biking world, even touring (maybe essentially the most common and least-finicky taste of biking) is not secure from subdivision. There’s Credit score Card Touring, Sport Touring, Conventional Touring, Bike Packing, Nomadic Touring, and Randonneuring, simply to call a couple of. So what offers? You are placing your stuff in your bike and staying someplace – is it not all the identical? No. At least that is what Scott tells me, so let’s dive in.

    Whereas mountain bike categorization is usually based mostly off of quantity of suspension journey, geometry, and body kinematics, the variations in touring bikes appear to be based mostly extra on how a lot stuff you carry, and fewer on the place you are going. From what I can glean, right here they’re listed from lightest to heaviest load:

Credit score Card Touring

Gentle, quick highway touring bike. You perhaps have a small handlebar bag with a change of garments, you are staying at resorts/BnBs, and also you’re paying for every part (meals, shelter, utilities) on a bank card, therefore the title. In idea, you may step exterior your door along with your bike and bank card and go for a tour.

Sport Touring

Barely extra gear, maybe it is a longer journey, a couple of extra adjustments of garments, and you will be staying at a number of locations. Nonetheless a lighter obligation bike, designed much less for load carrying, and extra geared in direction of velocity.


That is in all probability the “quickest” type of touring since you’re coping with a time restrict. Just like Sport Touring, however with extra paperwork. See Scott’s weblog publish right here.

Conventional Touring

Extra tire clearance, perhaps you are hitting barely rougher roads, carrying your full load together with your meals and shelter. Assume racks and two to 4 panniers.


You are absolutely loaded, happening and off highway, operating wider, knobby tires. You possible aren’t operating racks, hanging baggage fore and aft, and also you’re tenting in distant areas not essentially put aside for tenting. About as distant because it will get.


Maybe a little bit of a backlash from bikepacking baggage and its usually occasions over-complex system of straps, pads, huge saddle baggage, extra straps, lashes, plastic holders, and straps, basketpacking is a contented medium between the practicality of conventional touring baggage and the out-of-the-way-of-obstacles afforded by bikepacking baggage. Via, you do want a entrance rack and basket, so there are some onerous mounting factors to remember for these looking for rougher terrain.

Nomadic Touring

You’ve gotten bought your entire possessions and now indefinitely are touring, driving the place you please, making dwelling the place you roam.

    So perhaps it does have a bit of bit to do with the place you are going. I really feel like most “Bikepacking” bikes I see have extra in frequent with trendy lengthy wheelbase hardtails than they do conventional touring bikes, and so they’re usually pictured in distant, wild areas with no hint of civilization in sight. Regardless of this, they’re nonetheless far eliminated in essence from mountain bikes. 

Scott and Melissa’s setup throughout their Iceland tour

    I’d problem anybody to persuade me that what we name the “trendy touring bike” is not only a gravel bike with ins and outs bolted onto it. Endurance geometry suitable with flat or drop bars, extensive tire clearance and a bit of room for fenders and/or baggage? Certain appears like a gravel bike to me. Recalling that gravel bikes had been as soon as your low season cyclocross bikes with large tires squeezed in, and that the early ‘cross bikes had been cantilever tourers with knobby tires glued on. You see how issues start to appear a bit of muddled?

       Photograph Credit score: 
Alan Hills driving his Peugeot UO-8 in an early-1970’s cyclocross race. If you have not learn his 50-year saga within the ‘cross scene, it is undoubtedly a must-read for fanatics, and will be discovered right here.

    I feel that the trendy tendency to categorize every part has its advantages – it permits folks, ideas, and designs to face aside and differentiate themselves from the group. Regarding bikes, nevertheless, does it not additionally create a whirlwind impact the place there are too many classes to select from? I recall my time as a motorcycle mechanic and salesperson again when the gravel growth exploded. The typical buyer did not know what to make of this new class. Was it a highway bike, a ‘cross bike, or a hybrid (or a mixture of all three)?  The shopper is typically misplaced in a sea of subdivisions and thus finally delay by the method of shopping for a motorcycle.  

    This begs the query; does touring (and biking as a complete) profit from this sort of categorization? Or is it simply one other barrier to entry for people enthusiastic about biking and/or extra particularly, touring? I would love to listen to your ideas.


Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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