A travel bike doesn’t need to be a super light high-end bike, but need to be reliable and comfortably. buy the bike half a size bigger (B) as you normally would do. A bigger frame provides more comfort on the long distance. This can also be personalized a bit through the handlebar stem.- geometry: the higher the handlebars are, the closer you come the classical touring geometry. Be careful that the head tube angles (C) not getting to sharp. Furthermore consider the space, your bags occupy behind your feet. If the chain stay (D) is too short you will always scratch the bags with your feets. – rack supports: modern mountainbikes often doesn’t have the perforation to mount a rack, two on the end of the chain stay (D, left side) and two behind the seat, on top of the wheel. They are not obligatory nessecary, but spare time and money to find an alternative solution.
dérailleur, chain and chain wheels are expendable parts .The weight let them suffer pretty much. If you invest a little more in that, you´re safe for a good while, specially if you don´t know about bike mechanics. On the other side it´s not necessary to get high end equipment as this parts might be lighter and more fragile. Many of the advantages are not perceptible under the heavy weight. I favourite the most classic option Shimano Deore: widespread, affordable and solid and competitively easy to find.
V-Breakes vs. disc breaks depends a lot on your destination and way to ride, even if most of the modern mountainbikes anyway are equipped with discbreaks and doesn’t support v-breaks anymore.
If you plan touring western Europe I would go for disc breaks. They are simply STAND DER TECHNIK, and why to spare on the breaks?!? If you want to leave this region v-breaks are still an interesting option for classical bike touring. V-Breakes are cheaper and easier to repair and replace.
In both categorys there are huge differences in price and performance of the breaks. If you decide for disc breaks a middle class model (hydraulic) should be enough. V-breaks should have high quality, but anyway they are quite cheap.
Steel is king. It’s more reliable and almost free of any maintainance work. The suspension got quite a simple job to do on a travelling bike. That spares money. A lock position is a must for longer distances on asphalt. The flow, and the weight doesn’t matter that much. What we need is a solid and not maintenance-intensive suspension.
The first decision of the wheels is already tooken by choosing the frame: the size. Classic touring bikes often comes with more or less wide 28” wheels. Mountainbikes with 26”, 27.5” or 29”. The bigger the size of the wheel the fast you are on long distances. Beside you got an advantage while passing obstacles in the way. The wheels not only got a hard job, they also got a huge impact on the rolling resistance. Specially the back hub suffers a lot under the weight. Go for double rims and quality hubs and take them under revision while touring. If you have still some budget left this is a good place to spend it.
So far so good, we got a mountainbike now ready to get transformed. While AUSSTATTEN your bike keep the weight equilibration in mind. Both wheels should carry a part of the weight and your body weight is already mostly on the back wheel.
Saddles are a religious thing.
The believers of the orthodox community of Brooks believes in the way of a thousand kilometres of pain to find redemption in a perfectly customized formed leather seat. Meanwhile the miss-believers try not to suffer to bad and hope there is a little piece of heaven somewhere out there between all these foam saddles. I got a leather saddle but never used it on a longer journey. Once you go off-road on a leather saddle you will think twice again.
The tires are an under-rated topic for beginners. They got impact on rolling resistance and stability and suffer a lot under the efforts of travelling. The permanent weight of the bags eats a middle-class mountainbike tire with in a few weeks. Meanwhile long life tires, as Schwalbe Marathon (approx. 30-40 Euro each one) can stand this for several thousand kilometre without a punch. Schwalbe provides with the Marathon series a plenty of different touring tires I can warmly recommend, even if there are other brands on the market as well. Be careful: Bikeshops very rarly got specific touring tired on stock, so it’s difficult to find them once you hit the road.
The back rack is the basic equipment of a travel bike.
You can get a solid rack for about 30 Euro or cheaper. Be careful they verify a lot in weight.Check that specially the side walls are solid and ABSCHIRMEN a bigger space.
Front racks normally only are mounted if you carry a lot of stuff, but also lighter equipped riders enjoy the better balance of the bike. The question of the front rack is a bit more complicated and has to be proofed very individual. Be careful that your rack and your suspension fits together.
Sparing on the bags meanwhile is like sparing on a tent: it makes you tired, angry and wet. Good bags are about 40-60 Euro each one, but that´s well spent money. Keep care on the weight distribution. In case of doubt I would always prefer more bags than less. It makes easier to stay organized and improves the equilibration on your bike.
handlebars also depend a lot on the way you want to travel. Trekking handlebars are an option for everybody who wants to do kilometers and is not looking for to much technical offroad parts. Trekking handlebars bring you to a riding position more upright, what makes travelling a bit more comoftable. At the same time the general form of the handlebars and the GREIFEN on top with the breaks on the lower part, you lose a bit of the control over the bike.
Alternative can be a normal mountainbike handlebars, with long handlebar ends.