Bikes designed for carrying gear over long distances are designed differently than mountain bikes or road bikes. Here are some of the best touring-specific machines perfect for those longer cycling trips.
Specialized’s AWOL Expert is a lovely-looking bike with all of the attachments you would expect. Front and rear panniers, multiple bottle racks, mudguards — there is space for it all. At $2,500 it’s not cheap, but the attention to detail is fantastic.
Trek is another well-known brand and its 520 bike is an emblematic model in the touring world. It’s got all of the features you would expect as well as a wide range of gears to help on those steep ascents.
For versatility, try the Tout Terrain Silkroad. It’s well suited for commuting and touring on a variety of surfaces, and it looks great, too. If you’ve only got space to store one bike, this one is a good choice.
Another versatile bike is the Kona Sutra, which the manufacturer describes as a mixture of road, mountain and touring. Use small tires if you’re mainly riding on tarmac, or take advantage of the wide fork clearance to swap them out for something beefier if you will be hitting a lot of trails.
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