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Touring bike

  • 14-08-2022 7:05pm

    Perhaps it was the pleasant weather recently but for some reason I have in my head that I would like to go touring on a bike initially just an overnight or two fairly local to where I am, but eventually I'd love to do something like the Norwegian part of EuroVello 1 or possibly some other long-distance route in Europe.

    The problem is I don't really have a bike suitable at the moment the bikes I have are a carbon fibre road bike, a cheap and heavy hybrid that I bought second hand and another hybrid I have converted into an e-bike.

    I think I have come across an excellent bargain for a Kona Sutra SE currently on sale for just over €1500 plus shipping and any extra customs charges, thanks to the UK leaving the EU.

    I'm not totally sold on bar end shifters, although I do understand they are easier to maintain and cheaper to repair and replace than traditional, modern, integrated shifters you get on most road bikes.

    Are there any other models I should consider? Perhaps I would be better waiting until next spring and maybe if we are lucky. The current post-pandemic bike shortage might ease up a bit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,676 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo

    That looks great. My most versatile bike is a Dawes Horizon but I don't do touring. I just wanted a tourer because they carry a lot and are good for longer distances.

    So just wanted to say it looks like a nice bike really!

  • Registered Users Posts: 78 ✭✭cyfac

    Im touring on a trek 520 (am off to France Saturday week) which can be picked up for around 1800 here in Ireland Spec is similar to the sutra, AFAIK the charges to import from England are quite high. Also you will need to buy a front rack. A genesis Tdf30 would also make a fine touring bike as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,740 ✭✭✭brownian

    A certain amount depends on what sort of touring you want to do. Panniers and tents - you want a touring bike. That sort of touring is huge in Germany, and places like will have some nice options. A lot of folks are using eBikes for this, and I can see that this would counteract the extra weight of panniers etc. Just a change of clothes, tooth-brush and AirBnB app - you want a carbon road bike, with a saddle bag or a small frame bag, and a handlebar bag...more a bike-packing setup.

    Just my view, of course.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭Trekker09

    I've just come back yesterday from doing the Royal Canal from Maynooth to Longford on my new Surly Ogre. 2 nights camping with rear panniers and tent/sleeping bag connected to the handlebars. It was fully loaded it to see what it would be like for long haul, and to be honest, it was an eye opener! It's the small details like trying to position the bike when attaching the luggage etc. It's a shock to the system after my carbon road bike, but, whilst it took time to get used to it, my last day was exactly what I was hoping it'd be like.

    To be honest, I think fitting a rear rack with panniers on your hybrid and 2 night trip on a local greenway will give you a good indication if cycle touring is for you.

    Where are you based BTW?

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    I've a Genesis Tour de Fer but i got it frame only and then stick a rather touring unfriendly ultegra triple group on it.

    I'm now trying to rethink it as it makes no sense. I like sti shifters over bar end shifters (familiarity) and don't know how to go about getting a better touring / commuting gearing for it.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,902 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    why is the triple touring unfriendly?

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    It's a 52/39/30 with a 12-30. It's a road groupset rather than a touring one.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    On which I carried 32kg of shopping yesterday.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,550 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass

    OP you don't need that bike to tour, you need to make a decision you are going to tour with one of your current bikes.

    Carbon bike is perfectly capable of credit card tour/back packing; you don't need much kit and there are loads of options for mounting on a bicycle.

    Hybrid will work to if you want.

    Buy a trailer and attach to your carbon bike is another option.

    Do a tour or two first and see if you really need it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,028 ✭✭✭JMcL

    The correct answer of course is get both just to be sure 😁

    I've a Genesis Tour de Fer but i got it frame only and then stick a rather touring unfriendly ultegra triple group on it.

    Would a long cage rear derailleur allow a bigger capacity rear cassette - say a 34? Maybe given the it's an older groupset (10sp I presume) you could fit an MTB derailleur and bigger cassette (Caveat : Shimano component compatibility makes my head hurt - so someone with more clue than I please feel free to chip in!)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,990 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    Hanger extension may also work - I'm running it successfully on one of the bikes. Wolftooth Roadlink is the original/ brand, but I'm using a cheap Ali/ Amazon version.

  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭ARX

    I have a Click-Stand and I can't recommend it enough. It's probably my single most useful touring accessory. A fully loaded tourer is a big heavy yoke and you won't be picking it up to turn it around, you'll be doing a three-point turn. A stand makes it very easy to access the panniers. I wouldn't be without it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭Trekker09

  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭ARX

    This is mine - you can see the elastic cords used to hold the brakes on so the bike doesn't roll.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭Trekker09

    I saw a bike similar to that at Maynooth train station on Sunday!

  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭ARX

    Wasn't my bike, mine was in the Gobi Desert 😀

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    I have the long cage derailleur. With the triple its rated for a 30t. Could probably go higher. MTB derailleurs won't work either afaik.

    Id settle for smaller compatible chainrings

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    Up to road 10 speed, MTB derailleurs are compatible but not directly. Shimano road 10 speed works with 9 speed MTB (I have a 9 sp Deore rear mech working with 10 sp 105 levers). Similarly 8 speed MTB will work with 9 speed road.

    However, this workaround went to hell when Shimano moved to 11 sp road which is not compatible with MTB at all.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    Goes shopping to get some deore derailleurs and an xt crankset

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭The Davestator

    I used my dads extendable walking pole last week doing the Barrow way and it worked perfectly. In case you want a cheaper option before shelling out.

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  • You are probably right. I think I'm going to defer the decision for a while I do have a old hybrid that I bought cheaply second-hand. I should really look into adding a rack to it and getting some panniers. If nothing else it would be handy when going shopping and if I wanted to cheat a little bit I have another hybrid that I have converted into an e-bike.

    Just in case anyone is interested. I had a look at decathlons touring bike the Riverside 900 but unfortunately it is out of stock so I emailed them to ask when it is coming back in and was told it should be back in stock in October.

    it looks like a decent flat bar touring bike with everything you need to get started, although I'm not sure whether right prefer flat bars or drop bars.

    And one last thing, just to clarify about the price of the Kona sutra bike in my initial post, the cost of €1500 plus shipping does include Irish VAT because when you go through to pay it deducts the British VAT and warns you that you will have to pay Irish taxes when the bike is being delivered.

  • Sorry meant to reply earlier. I want to wish you best of luck on your journey to France. I'm sure you'll have an excellent time. It's a brilliant country for a cycling holiday. And I have to admit one thing I do love about the track 520 is that gorgeous red paint that they use.