Best Touring Bikes [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on June 9, 2021

Check out the results fast – here are our review winners

Looking for a top-notch bike that will take you through your lengthy, fun-packed touring adventure as far as your legs can take you? As well as giving you enough space to stow all your essentials needed for your voyage?

Well then, a touring bike is what you need. 

Touring bikes are brilliant for multi-day rides, hopping from town to town, city to city, wherever the ride takes you; you need a reliable bike that’s up for the job and provides ultimate comfort, stability, and pedal efficiency, and all the in-between. 

However, any touring cyclist will tell you that finding a bike that is comfortable and will not feel like you’re carrying a heap of rocks behind you of all your belongings is no easy task. Finding a high-quality touring bike that distributes weight evenly and offers ultimate comfort is a challenge.

But don’t let that put you off…

To make things easier for you, I have spent 9 hours researching and hunting down the most versatile touring bikes, which offer long periods of comfort, evenly distributed weight, and fun for days of riding on end. My top 8 picks are pretty awesome!

Here’s a pro tip before we get started: Now, while endurance bikes offer comfort across long distances, they are closer to being a racing bike than touring bike; you should look out for the relaxed geometry and versatility when on the hunt for touring bikes, so they’re ready to tackle any terrain that comes in your path. 

I will go into this in more detail shortly, but for now, here are my top picks for you! 

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:

2.7k
Reveiws considered
6
hours spent finding
16
Products compared
10
articles studied

My Selection Of The Best Touring Bikes For The Money

1.

Cube Touring Pro Bike 2021

best touring bikes under 1000

Cube is back at it again with a brilliant new touring bike for 2021, these bikes have taken the world by storm and are especially favored by touring cyclists in Europe, and there’s no wonder as to why this bike is pretty amazing. 

High quality and low weight is the heart of touring bikes. Cube’s double-butted aluminum frame, designed with comfortable geometry, makes long days in the saddle feel like a breeze. This bike is agile, nimble, and intuitive in handling, making it perfect for touring! 

The touring pro is an ideal entry-level bike for any rider as it is easy to use and comes in five different sizes to ensure you get the perfect fit. Evert frame features an elegant luggage carrier that I thought was a nice touch and eased heavy loads. 

But that’s not all… 

This bike is one of the most reliable touring bikes you’ll find on the market; with Shimano 3×8 gears, you can get to where you’re going with complete comfort. This bike comes with some pretty practical accessories too, such as a dynamo-powered lighting, full-length mudguards, a kickstand, and a neatly integrated carrier; you’ll be ready for anything!

All this, and it comes with disc brakes for complete confidence of breaking power and stability, for under $1000, I don’t think you can beat this hidden gem! After long hours of riding this bike, you’ll thank me. 

Pros

  • Front and taillights
  • Smooth ride
  • Comfortable
  • Shocking absorption

Cons

  • None so far

Latest deal: Cube Touring Pro Bike 2021

2.

Surly Disc Trucker 26" Bike

Surly Disc is an A-class touring bike that has been newly redesigned to offer versatility and dependability on daily commutes or multi-day adventures. It is a spin-off of the much loved Surly Trucker but with disc brakes for confident braking power in all terrains. 

The multitude of braze-on mounts and fork blade three-pack mounts means that the disc trucker is capable and reliable when running rear bags, hauling heavy loads, and offering even weight distribution for ultimate comfort when riding. 

This bike can even stow water bottles and even a pump peg on the frame itself!

The frame itself features a low bottom bracket, long chainstays for comfort and stability while loading down. It is also made from Cromoly Steel and comes equipped with a Shimano Deore XT 10-speed drivetrain, meaning you get ultimate performance for long periods. 

This bike comes in either the 26″ inch option, which can take 2.1″ tires, or the 700c option to handle 42mm tires. Whatever design you prefer, you can guarantee that you’ll be getting a top-quality performance. 

This bike is designed to go the distance.

Pros

  • A comfortable and reliable ride
  • Confident riding experience
  • Durable and dependable performance
  • Great hand placement and sitting position

Cons

  • No real disadvantage yet

Latest deal: Surly Disc Trucker 26″ Bike

3.

TREK 520

best steel touring bikes

TREK 520 is a steel touring bike made for the open road; it is one of Trek’s longest-running models in their lineup and offers reliability; it is built to carry you and your gear on the longest journeys. 

A successful touring adventure is one packed with beautiful views, and when you’re not touring, you’re constantly researching and craving your next adventure on the open road. Everyone deserves a touring bike capable of carrying heavy loads and offers bucketloads of comfort on long trips, and brilliant for everyday rides. 

You can go when the open road calls.

The road-smoothing Chromoly steel frame, alloy disc touring fork with a ThruSkew captured quick release skewer, and a wide-range 27-speed drivetrain makes this bike brilliant for hauling heavy loads up steep climbs balancing out the weight for long hauls. 

But that’s not all…

With all-weather disc brakes, tubeless-ready wheels, and puncture-resistant tires, you can ride with complete confidence, push the limits, and take on bigger adventures no matter the conditions. There’s no better way to venture out in the world than in the saddle!

This bike includes both front and rear racks to stow your kit for long rides easily. Plus with the ThruSkew ensures that the front wheel will never drop out intentionally while also making it easier to remove the wheel without removing the cargo.

The 520 is ready for adventure right out the box; it makes heavy load expeditions a breeze, and it makes a super fun ride! 

Pros

  • Internal cable routing
  • Chromoly steel frame for comfort
  • Lots of mounting points
  • All-weather disc brakes

Cons

  • Steel has been known to rust

Latest deal: TREK 520

4.

Ribble Adventure 725

Coming in at number four is a personal favorite mine by Ribble. The Adventure 725 has natural compliance with the Reynolds 725 steel frame, super-smooth gear shifting, and the premium SRAM GX Eagle 1 x 12 speed set up, making it the perfect combo for touring.

I personally love personalizing my bike to make it my own, and with Ribble, you can change the colors, the design to make it unique to you. Plus, this, paired with the amazing components that make up the design, will always make this touring bike a winner. 

Where do I begin?

Well, the 1×12 speed version of SRAM’s 1x groupset offers a huge range of 11-50T cassettes s, and the latest DUB technology bottom brack system offers increased pedaling efficiency and reliability. The x1 groupset also ensures low-maintenance and go-anywhere riding. 

The Mavic Crossmax disc wheels are renowned in the industry for their reliability and tubeless-ready capabilities. This makes them the obvious choice for touring bikes. Paired with the WTB Ranger 2.8 tires means that this bike can go anywhere with grip and comfort. 

But here’s the kicker:

The Adventure 725 has been selected for comfort and load carrying capabilities. The level loop bars offer a comfortable riding position while offering extra stability when hauling heavy loads, along with offering multiple fitting options. 

This bike is fitted with a WTB Koda saddle that takes care of comfort and is a consistent confidence booster on technical routes to top it all off. This paired with the Carbon adventure fork, lightens all the rugged roads and tracks that the open road takes you.

If you’re interested in comfort for long rides over speed, you need to give this one a go! 

Pros

  • Great strength to weight ratio
  • Durable and stiff
  • Comfort
  • Smoother ride

Cons

  • None as yet

Latest deal: Ribble Adventure 725 

5.

Fuji Touring Disc Bike

If you’re looking to delve deep into the open road, explore new terrain, or even a new country on two wheels, then the Fuji Touring Disc Bike is the one you should go for. This bike is super versatile comes with all the essential components you need for confident touring. 

Whether you’re looking to use this bike for your daily commutes or exploring rugged terrains off the beaten path, Fuji Touring Disc will be your best friend for all your adventures. 

This bike is ready to roll over multiple terrain types and in all weather conditions with the Tektro disc brakes and to roll over durable double-wall rims and 700x35c tires. You’ll be ready for whatever the open road throws at you! 

I’m not finished, though…

Fuji’s endurance frame geometry makes each ride super comfortable and puts you in an ideal position for riding mile after mile, hour after hour, day after day. Each pedal stroke offers efficient riding. Plus, the cables are routed inside to improve aerodynamics and add durability to the cables.

In terms of the frame, Fuji is fitted with a Reynolds 520 double-butted, heat-treated Chromoly steel frame that is designed to provide comfort for long periods. Despite steel being heavier than aluminum or carbon, it is the best frame for touring as it provides the highest level of comfort.

You’ll be picking up the miles and not even realize how far you’ve gone; you’ll be that comfortable!

Pros

  • Awesome performance
  • Great grip
  • Stopping power
  • Clean look

Cons

  • None so far

Latest deal: Fuji Touring Disc Bike

Best Touring Bikes Buyers Guide

While buying any type of bike, one should be careful about the components. One should consider every factor so that you wouldn’t regret getting the bike. Every component of the bike should be of high quality, and it should have positive ratings.

Many factors make any product top-rated, such as cost, reviews, ratings, features, etc. While buying a touring bike, one would prefer comfort over all other things as it matters in the long-distance ride.

You should get a bike with good features, and that should also provide a comfortable riding experience. Here are some factors you should consider to get a top touring bike. I’m here to break down everything you need to look out for and things to consider to ensure you’re getting the very best bike for the price and for your needs. 

Let’s jump in gang!

Things To Check When Buying A Touring Bike: 

The following are some recurring features that are available in all the products mentioned above:

Comfortable Ride: While buying a touring bike, comfort matters as one has to travel long distances. If the bike provides a comfortable, smooth, and reliable ride, it would be easy for the rider to go and enjoy the long-distance ride.

The comfortable ride makes it easy for the rider to ride easily. Many factors are responsible for comforts, such as the seat, handlebar, lights, and components. Most of the products mentioned above have a great comfort level, making them a great choice for you.

Quality of Components: The components of the touring bike should be of good quality. It should provide a smoother and more comfortable ride, which could only be possible if the components are of good quality. The disc brakes, forks, and drive train systems are some components that are responsible for providing a good and smoother riding experience.

Most of the products mentioned above in the article come with great features and components. They all provide a great riding experience because of the components that make them a considerable choice for you.

Ratings and Reviews: The ratings and reviews make the product bad or good as experienced customers. You should see the ratings and reviews to get the best product.

I always take the reviews with a pinch of salt because sometimes the poor ratings result from the issue with shipping rather than the product itself; if most reviews are good, that is a good indication of quality.

Frame material: While touring, you’re planning for a long trip, and a bike that can be primarily used for adventures, steel is probably your best choice as it offers resilience and comfort. Now while steel is more prone to rust, it is still the better choice.

You may need to spend slightly more as this will dictate how lightweight the frame will be as well as the strength and character you end up with. You will notice most touring bikes use ‘Chromoly’ steel as it is brilliant for touring bikes as adds extra strength.

If you’re looking for a touring bike that is ideal for other kinds of riding, then going for aluminum or carbon may be better as it offers more speed than a steel frame would. Still, if speed is not in your interest and you would much rather be comfortable for long periods, then steel will be your best friend.

Wheelbase: For other kinds of riding, we often prefer keeping the weight low and have more aerodynamics when it comes to the wheels. If you’re looking for speed, then sure, these factors are essential, but it’s not really necessary for those looking to pick up some serious mileage.

You should look for a strong wheelbase in touring bikes as then you can guarantee that your wheel will arrive in the same condition as you left. More touring cyclists don’t care how fast they’re going but rather comfort and durability for long miles and reliability on new terrain.

Tires: In past years, touring bikes utilized rim brakes that did the job for road-based tours, but they have switched up for rim brakes in recent years as they offer superior stopping power in all kinds of weather conditions. 

Disc brakes don’t reply on the rim to stop the bike; this also reduces the risk of rims becoming worn and adds durability as the debris doesn’t build up on the pads. I would definitely recommend opting for disc brakes for confidence in braking power, especially when carrying heavy loads.

Some disc brakes look odd on steel frames, but it is definitely worth it for the reliable braking power. 

Luggage and accessories: All touring bikes should come with pannier racks fitted and fenders, and some even come with lights. These may come in handy but add to the additional weight.  

I would recommend going for removable accessories like mudguards and racks so you can easily remove and fit them as and when you need to, this keeps the weight low as they’re removable when you don’t use them. Luggage mounts are super important for longer rides.

Geometry: Touring bikes have the most relaxed geometry you can find; after all, they need to be comfortable for days on end of riding. They tend to have a taller head tube and a shorter top tube for a more comfortable upright riding positiion.

This tends to be more comfortable on your back, and you won’t need to change your position to feel comfortable constantly. I would recommend getting handlebars that offer multiple hand positions to prevent hand fatigue. 

Frequently asked Questions

The following are some of the questions people frequently ask:

Should I get a touring bike?
If you like to travel a lot and plan tours frequently, then the touring bike can be a great choice. Touring has features that make them specifically for touring purposes. Such bikes are purposefully durable, comfortable, and stable to be easy to travel long distances with ease.

Are touring bikes fast?
The touring bikes have frames and geometry that make them stable and provide comfort and durability. Such bikes aren’t quite up to fast pace line riding because the weight of such bikes is quite higher than a regular bike because of the heavier duty wheels and tires.

The fast left or right transitions of these bikes are slower than a road race-based frame.

Why are touring bikes so heavy?
In comparison to non-touring bikes or regular bikes, the touring bikes are heavier. There are many reasons for this, such as these bikes have stronger and heavier frames and wheels to provide comfort and more safety.

These things make the bike heavier, but the bike remains predictable and stable under load.

Why do they call touring bikes dad bikes?

In the 80-90s, touring bikes were also referred to as ‘dad bikes’; dad bikes were high-end mountain bikes with little cruisers with pannier storage on the back. They were in an upright position and provided a comfortable ride. 

Summary

The frame of the touring bike features a relaxed geometry. These bikes have a taller head tube and shorter top tube to provide comfort and a more upright riding position. While choosing a touring bike, you should consider which type of ride you’re choosing.

If you want the bike to take on hills, you need a cassette with larger sprockets on the back. Some touring bikes provide easy gearing even having a triple chainset. There is a standard external gear system for the majority of touring bikes, including the chain, chainset, and the cassette.

Disc brakes on such bikes are responsible for offering better braking performance in all weather conditions. If there are rim brakes, then adjustment and maintenance become easier. There will be no maintenance needed if the brakes are hydraulic disc brakes.

The saddles play an important role in touring bikes as they are responsible for providing comfort and durability. One should get the one that has padded saddles. The unpadded can also be good if you get used to them. The products mentioned above in the article can be awesome choices for you if you want to get a good touring bike.

Enjoy your touring adventures! 

Alex Bristol

Content Manager at Pedallers

ABOUT

Alex is a cycling expert at Pedallers and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.