Touring bike: what is it and how to choose?

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touring bike
What is a touring bike? How to choose it? Which are the best? Discover this and more in our article.


You have decided! You are ready for your bike touring travel, but you feel that something is eluding you! Of course… you don’t have your touring bike yet!

Ok! Your travel bike is definitely the most important thing to have if you want to travel on two wheels (of course 😅)!

As you would already have seen on the web, not all bikes are equal and suitable for this type of trip.

If you don’t know where to start when choosing your bike, read on to find out which cycle touring bike is right for you!

What is a touring bike and what does it look like?

what a touring bike is and what it looks like

The touring bike is your faithful companion on long distances and difficult terrain.

These are the elements that distinguish a touring bike:

  • Reliability
  • Comfort
  • Lightness
  • Load capacity

This is all you need! These features are essential to ensure that your journey is pleasant, comfortable, long-lasting and as self-sufficient as possible.

Our advice is to opt for a steel frame, both because of its light weight but also because it is easy to repair in the event of problems.

And don’t forget a good saddle! The comfort of your saddle will be essential for long journeys, as you will have to sit on it for a large part of your journey.

Having established that these elements will take you far, let’s get down to serious business!

What questions should you ask yourself before buying your bike?

How to choose a touring bike? (4 questions to ask yourself before buying)

Choosing the right touring bike for your needs can be easier than you think if you ask yourself the right questions!

Before considering the purchase of a (not very cheap) bicycle, it is necessary to consider whether your cycling trips are just for an occasional holiday, or an investment that will last for a long time.

Obviously we recommend the purchase of a good touring bike if you plan to use it for many trips and for life.

If, on the other hand, you just want a different, one-off holiday, we recommend hiring your own bike.

Bikeit makes it easy to rent the right bike for you: you can choose from a wide range of bikes and e-bikes, depending on the level of difficulty of the route and your physical fitness.

Rent the right bike for you and your trip on Bikeit

But let’s get back to choosing your touring bike, and start with the first question we think you should ask yourself.

1. What kind of roads will I face on my journey? (paved or unpaved?)

The terrain and type of roadyou face on your trip can greatly determine the type of your touring bike:

  • if your journey is mainly on asphalt roads, you could opt for a bike that is more like a racing bike, lighter, with finer wheels and tyres, and with curved handlebars to improve aerodynamics;
  • on the other hand, for unpaved roads and rough climbs, it’s a good idea to choose a bike with a more compact and lightweight frame, stronger wheels, a comfortable saddle and straight handlebars to dampen vibrations.

2. Do I need a trolley or panniers for my touring bike?

What kind of cyclist are you?

Will you be carrying several items of luggage and will you be independent throughout the trip or will you choose to travel light, perhaps taking advantage of a luggage transport service?

In relation to this, you will need to opt for a bike with adequate provisions for inserting a trolley and for hanging your panniers, or not.

3. Can the bike be easily dismantled for transport by train or plane?

How will you reach the first stage of your itinerary and how will you return home once you have reached your destination?

If you think that your means of transport will not be solely by bicycle, but you will have to rely on public transport frequently, we certainly recommend that you choose a bicycle that can be easily dismantled.

4. Are the components easily available in the countries where I will be travelling?

And finally, don’t forget that the unexpected is always around the corner (we hope not, of course 🤞)!

So it’s a good idea to make sure that the essential components for your bike are readily available in the countries where you decide to travel, so that your journey can always go smoothly!

So, what are the bike touring bikes chosen by Bikeit that are right for you and a good compromise for every cyclist?

Best touring bike: the 3 best for value for money and versatility

We won’t be exhaustive in offering you these touring bikes because every cyclist and every need is different, but, we have selected for you the best touring bikes that, in our opinion, stand out for value for money and versatility (therefore, suitable for every cyclist):

1. Cinelli Hobootleg

Cinelli Hobootleg is the perfect steel bicycle for adventure. Winner of the Guinness World Record for round-the-world cycling, it is one of the most reliable adventure bikes around:

  • Its triple-butted steel frame and fork are certainly synonymous with reliability, comfort and durability.
  • It can be fitted with wider tyres to ensure effectiveness on all types of terrain.
  • And finally, it features a very robust luggage rack set capable of carrying heavy luggage up to 40 kg at the rear and 18 kg at the front.

In short, the bike is ready to go with you to go fast and strong as far as you want.

It weighs a total of 12.6 kg and costs just under €1500.

2. Trek 520

The Trek 520 is a touring bike designed and built for off-road use.

The perfect model to accompany you and your equipment on the longest adventures:

  • The aluminium fork mounted on a steel frame, the pivot safety system and the wide range of ratios make climbing and your general ride much easier.
  • The touring geometry and rack attachments make it the ideal choice for carrying large loads on multi-day tours, or for comfortable Sunday adventures!

The 520 is built to last and is super reliable in the long term. It has an affordable price tag of just over €1300.

3. Giant Toughroad SLR GX1

The Giant Toughroad SLR GX1 is perfect for all adventures, you really will be ready for anything:

  • This adventure bike features an aluminium frame and a composite fork for light weight and all-terrain reliability.
  • It can also be fitted with a luggage rack thanks to the eyelets on both the fork and the rear axle, making it ideal for either a short day trip or a multi-day adventure.

The watchwords are comfort and stability thanks to its geometry.

And the price is really wow, all these features for 1099€.

Used touring bike: yes or no?

used touring bike

Used bicycle touring bike, why not!

It’s certainly a good way to buy a quality bike without breaking the budget.

Our advice in this case is not to make an impulse purchase but to carefully consider several factors:

  1. always ask about the origin of the bike, especially to avoid the unpleasant misunderstanding of buying a stolen bike or one of dubious origin;
  2. never forget to check the bike’s condition, and don’t stop at appearances or the favourable price;
  3. so ask them to show you the receipt if you are buying from a private individual, including the bike manual, warranty (if still valid) and frame number;
  4. Also, avoid flea markets and overt announcements: “I’m selling my brand new bike!”.

It would be better, in our opinion, to buy it from a trusted dealer and official websites dedicated to the sale of used bicycles.

With a careful assessment of your bike, you can play it safe and buy your first professional touring bike at a very affordable price!

Ebike: the electric bicycle for bike touring suitable for everyone

touring ebike

The e-bikeis a revolution in cycling and guarantees absolute comfort.

This wonderful innovation has brought even the less experienced and physically prepared closer to the beautiful world of cycling.

Thanks to the e-bike, you will no longer have to fear fatigue and will be able to explore even the most difficult routes and discover incredible places that can only be reached by bike.

This type of bike is equipped with an electric motor that is only activated when you operate the pedals, helping you to pedal with less effort.

The mechanical gearbox lets you adjust the speed and effort of your pedalling, and you can also choose the level of electric assistance according to the route you have to cover, your fitness level and how much effort you want to put in.

The advantages of using an e-bike are certainly:

  • Versatility, perfect for both longer and more demanding journeys and for avoiding city traffic.
  • The speed and convenience, you can reach up to 25 km/h and you can really park it wherever you want.
  • Due to its green nature, the electric motor is eco-friendly and also does not emit sound, preventing noise pollution.
  • It is good for your health, avoiding sedentariness.

So, if you think the world of cycling is too far away from you, the e-bike is definitely the perfect solution! The e-bike is the bike touring for everyone, even families!

It can be a really good investment for your Sunday rides and everyday life, as well as for longer and more demanding cycling trips.

Have you ever tried one?

Rent the best touring bikes on Bikeit

Every route and every cyclist has its own travel bike!

As we have already pointed out on several occasions, each route has its own characteristics that are more or less suitable for one type or another of travel bike.

A route can be characterised by more unpaved and impervious terrain or more paved and easy, as well as different levels of road steepness. This implies the need for versatile if not, most of the time, different bikes!

Not only that! Your physical fitness, the type of trip, the difficulty of the route and your desire to work hard can also determine the choice of one bike over another.

Does this mean that you have to buy a bike for every need? Absolutely not!

With Bikeit, you can choose and rent the bike that suits you best online and collect it conveniently at the first stop on your route!

Gravel, trekking, MTB, e-bike, racing bike and more! A huge range of choice to suit your needs.

You will be able to choose the bike in relation to the trip and the route you have decided to take and to your level of preparation.

What are you waiting for? Why don’t you try customising your cycling holiday with Bikeit right now?

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