Before proceeding to find out whether touring bikes are good for commuting or not, let’s take a look at what is touring actually. The touring cycles are a part of bike types that people use for various reasons. It is a specially designed bi-cycle or bike for cyclists or bikers that can be robust, compatible with any season, comfortable, and sufficiently capable of carrying a heavy load. Besides the qualities like versatility, toughness, luggage racks, bottle bags, fenders, reliability, and racks, a biker can use it on multi-day trips and for long rides too.
So, you see the excellent quality, durability, comfort and other specifications make a touring bike perfect for in-town or off-town commuters in-built. Moreover, a touring bike can be used for off-road cycling but is not as impactful as gravel or MTB. The touring bike got types, specifications, and a lot more versatility than your thought.
So that now we are going to discover things like its type, as a commuter bike, compare to other bikes, its tracking path, durability, and so many questions & answers about bicycle touring.
What Types of Touring Bikes Are There?
The classical style touring bikes are featured with a steel frame body, drop bars type handlebar, and a lot of drivetrain up to 30-gears. It has usually got 700c wheels with 35-mm width tyres. But touring bikes have a lot more variation in their types, that’s why it is reliable, rugged, and able to haul from on-road to off-road drive as well as commuting. Let’s take a glimpse over different types of touring cycles or bikes.
- Sport Touring Bike: It is a lightweight touring cycle with lighter wheels and narrower tyre sizes of 25 to 28 mm (1- 1.125-inch). In this style, slightly heavier tires with a relaxed frame geometry that can carry a light load are described as Credit Card Touring Bike and Road Touring Bike.
- Road Touring Cycle: It features 700c (622m) wheels same as a Road-racing bicycle.
- Mixed Terrain Touring Bike: The name tells its all specifications. It is a mixed design bike between MTB and Road bike, well known for speed, monster cross, efficiency, balance, and off-road cycling.
Typically, mixed terrain has 700c or 650b wheel size. Though they are slightly heavier in weight compared with a sport touring, can carry a medium weight load easily. Also, there are varieties in their wheel size that have been found in the modern market.
- Collapsible or Folding Touring Bicycle: This is a specially designed bike which has typically built with 20-inch wheels (406 mm rim size). But current folding bikes are found in 16-inch, 17-inch, even 26-inch, or 700c wheel sizes.
- Expedition Touring Bike: Yes, they are much heavier than any other types we have talked about here. And, it is slightly more uncomfortable for daily commuting. Expedition touring got variants in traditional touring depending on carrying the extra load and the terrain we want to expedite.
- Specialized Touring Cycle: There are also some variants in the touring cycle that can be seen in the market like Recumbent touring, and Tandem touring To this day, there is plenty of experiment and creativity applied to every type, and style of the cycle/bicycle/bike, or motorcycle/motorbike.
So, Are Touring Bikes Good for Daily Commute or Commuting?
Yes, absolutely almost every type of touring bike or cycle is good for daily commute. For understanding this reason, I have simply described to you the touring types just in the above section. As you are already well-known that touring bikes are versatile and varied in design and specifications. Also, they are well-fit for any weather or path (paved/unpaved). So that, for the daily commute and city rides, or long rides- touring bikes are one of the popular choices you have got in the bunch of bikes.
But you should choose your touring bike depending on your tour type. For your better understanding, I am going to put here the names of the bicycle touring types:
- Day touring
- Lightweight touring
- Ultralight touring
- Bikepacking/Mixed Terrain Cycle-Touring
- Fully loaded touring
- Supported touring
- Expedition touring
- S24O or The Sub-24-hour Overnight Touring
⇒ The Trek-520, the Fuji touring, Genesis Tour De Fer 10, Trek 920, Surly Disc Trucker, Giant Toughroad SLR-1, and Kona Sutra are the popular touring bike names that can be also used as a commuter bike. Anyone can use them for a half or full-day ride from 30 to 70 miles .Some of them may be costly in price but you can select your desired one depending on your pocket if you know the right method of choosing the touring bike for commuting.
The next part of this content will definitely help you to select the perfect touring come commuter.
Right Method to Choose the Perfect Touring Bikes
First of all, when you are using a touring bike as a daily commuter, then the preferences will be a little bit different from selecting the best touring bike. So, here I and my partner Mike have figured out some key points to consider over our bike renovate daily experience when you are going to select a touring bike for commuting.
- Lightweight: The weight should not be so heavy that it can cause a big issue when you are on the way. The preferable weight of your touring should be between 11 to 14 kg.
- Riding Path: The riding path or trail of your commuting really matters in that case. Double wheeled trailers are not suitable for rugged mountain paths. In this case, an MTB should be your commuter.
- Brake Types: Rim brakes are so ancient and unfit for a road, MTB, or a touring type bike. So the braking style should be disc type which is the best reliable and sufficient braking style in this modern era of cycling.
- Wheel Size: For a touring or a commuter-type bike, the preferable wheel size is 700c or 650b, which means 26-27 inches.
- Tire Width: If your wheel size is okay, then you can choose any tire width up to 35 mm or even 2-3 inches more.
- Tire Size: Touring, Commuter, Hybrid, and City bikes are generally featured in tire sizes from 25 to 44mm. And the road bike which can be used as a Commuter bike has used tire size around of 28-mm width. But yes, some commuting bike that is influenced by mountain bike design will take up to 44-mm tyres.
- Spokes Number: At least 32-spokes with a proper wheel is the general recommendation for a touring cycle who will be going to be a commuter as well. But if you are an off-track rand rugged track rider, then 36-spokes is a better choice. It will also allow you to carry some extra load.
- Gears: Choose simpler and easy gears rather than a hard, complex but lucrative ones. Got me? Well, 20-inches gears are good to go if you are an inch lover. Although you can choose up to 30-gears depending on your preferences and as a commuter too. Also, check out the gear materials and components so that they can ensure efficiency and durability when you want to ride like 500 miles.
- Frame Materials: In this case, Chromoly Steel is a popular item for its durability, strength, quality, and ensuring a safe ride always.
- Frame Geometry: This term is properly understood by anyone if you are well-educated about manufacturing engineering. Most touring get a longer wheelbase than a road bike because of the flexibility, stability, and comfort. But I suggested you? Take a ride before purchase and feel if the handlebars could make you feel comfortable or not. Don’t trap in over geometrical explanation. It’s you who are going to ride this sweet beast.
- Fenders: Bike fenders are not the mandatory item for any bike. But if you are going to commute on muddy, slippery, or in the rain, then it will help your bike much cleaner and ensure the bike’s longevity.
Shortcut Method If You Are in a Hurry!
- A Touring Bike tire size varies from 25mm to 42mm. Some heavier duty touring cycles feature 26 inches MTB wheels with even bigger tire sizes. Moreover, some touring cyclists use traditional designs that have featured rim brakes with a V-type braking Style.
- If you are a European, or anyone who wants to choose the right cycle parts like rim, brakes, and tyres to fit your wheels easily, then you can check out the labeling of ISO 5775 (Internationational Standard). This labeling is originally developed by the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO).
What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Touring Bike for Commuting?
Benefits as a Commuter:
- Touring bikes can run over off-road.
- Touring bikes give a lot of options like carrying stuff, lots of braze-ons, clearance for fenders, and likewise cool stuff.
- It is typically built to take a bit of a beating, so anyone won’t need to baby it.
- You can commute from 5 miles to 50 miles, even more in a single-day ride.
- Its versatile design, robust frame, wheels, and handlebars make it a popular commuter.
- The low-gear touring with its strength and clearance mudguards allows you to add one or even more extra racks to carry your daily pieces of stuff.
- You can comfortably use it for shopping.
- Last but not on the list, it is less attractive than a mountain bike and racing bike, so that you won’t have to worry about theft!
Drawbacks as a Commuter:
- This is not a genuine commuter-type bike. So sometimes it may hassle you on your long trail unpaved trail.
- It will not feel okay if you are willing to commute on a hill track.
- It may refuse to carry an extra overweight load when you want to go for a long distance.
Touring by bicycle means a self-contained cycle trip for pleasure and relaxation. So a touring bike contains some extra benefits which have made it more versatile. And when you want to use touring bikes for commuting, then you need to be aware of some facts.
In this article, I have covered almost everything related to this topic- its type, advantages, disadvantages, selecting the right touring cycle for the daily commute, and basic things. Yes, a touring bike is a good selection for commuting or city rides.