I'm going to be riding coast to coast (USA) and need to buy a bike. Would a non-touring bike be ok for this if I'm using a trailer instead of panniers? Obviously a touring bike would be best (more sturdy, etc.) but due to the cost difference, would a road bike be adequate for this? Also, are there any bikes that you would suggest?

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4 Responses to Do I need a tour bike for touring if I’m using a trailer instead of Panniers?

  1. mtlbiker says:

    A road bike might work as long as you have low enough gearing and strong enough brakes, these are other reasons why touring bikes work well for touring. There isn't necessarily a price difference between a regular road bike and a touring bike of similar quality. As for bikes to recommend, you haven't given an idea about your budget.

  2. Bob A says:

    If you need to buy a bike go with a touring bike. Why change something else into what you really need.

  3. Grillparzer says:

    Sturdiness and gearing will be your problems with a non-touring type bicycle. The weight of the trailer will increase the stress on the bicycle. However, instead of vertically if you were using panniers, now it will be stressed horizontally. I don't know how significant that difference will prove to be, but riding across the U.S. isn't a place for you to find out either. Contact a touring company and ask them what their experience is concerning panniers vs. trailers. Actually call a couple of them and see if the opinions align. Regardless, buy a steel frame bicycle rather then aluminum or some of the more exotic materials . If it breaks finding a welder to fix it is possible anywhere. The other difficulty using a conventional bike will be the gearing. Whatever model you decide on, take it to a shop and have a touring freewheel mounted on it. You will certainly appreciate it going up hills.

  4. sno f says:

    if you aint got the scratch for a new bike use what you have just change the cassette to something like 12-28, use the widest tires that fit frame. add a set of clip-on areo bars. personally i wound use a mtn frame like the specialized hardrock or rockhopper from the early 90's excellent frames for touring with 1-3/8 or 1-1/2" tires.better touring gears on a mtn bike also add a set of barends and clip-on areo bars 26" wheels are less effected by the towing of a trailer also.

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