We were surfing around the Adventure Cycling Association’s website the other day, and stumbled across their free touring bike buyer’s guides.
If you’re looking for a touring bike, then take a look at these handy PDF booklets.
There’s one for every year, going all the way back to 1996, including the most recent 2011 edition. It’s written by Stephen Lord, the same fellow who also wrote the popular Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook.
The guide covers all the main points to think about when buying a bike, and offers some nice doses of opinion, such as these thoughts on disk brakes:
There is some resistance to disk brakes among tourers, including some of the round-the-world crowd who argue it’s easier to find replacements for cantilever brakes on the road than it is for disks. Personally, I’d take a chance on my BB7s for a long tour. The pads are so small you could carry enough for a year or two in your back pocket, the cable is standard, and it’s not difficult to straighten a disk if it gets whacked and bent, although it is hard to get it perfectly flat again. -Stephen Lord
We also appreciate his closing thoughts:
Don’t forget: a touring bike is just a means of travel and not the end in itself. The happiest cyclists I meet on tour are often riding rubbish bikes but are deeply immersed in the world around them.
For more of Stephen Lord’s thoughts on buying a touring bike, download the free 2011 Bike Touring Buyer’s Guide from the Adventure Cycling Association.
The image used in this post is a page taken from the 2011 Buyer’s Guide.