A Massive List Of Touring Bikes For Worldwide Cycling Expeditions

After an irritatingly large amount of research, I am pleased (and frankly relieved) to present to you a tabulated list of expedition touring bikes, featuring bicycles from no less than 52 manufacturers to date.

The table is intended as an evolving and handy guide to researching and tracking down the many and varied suppliers of expedition grade touring bikes available around the world.

By ‘expedition grade’ touring bike, I mean a category of touring bikes that have been designed from the ground up not for cycling holidays or light road touring, but for journeys which involve months or years of riding, several continents, heavy luggage, seriously remote routes, and every kind of road surface there is – in short, for very long, highly demanding journeys by bicycle.

There’s no clearly agreed-upon name for this category, so ‘expedition touring bike’ is the one I’ve settled on for now.

The chart below is designed for reference and comparison on paper – one assumes that in such a niche market, the very existence of companies building bikes like these is testament enough to their bikes doing the job they’re intended to do, so there’s no judgement attached on any of the bikes in the list, other than that they fit the criteria for inclusion. You’ll have to look elsewhere for reviews (except for those I’ve reviewed myself, which I’ve linked to).

Why bother listing them all in one place? Simply because they can be tough to find, and I want to help you get out riding with minimal fuss. These bikes rarely show up in bike shops and often have to be ordered in specially.

With that in mind, the table is sorted by country of origin, because the ability to test ride the bike should be the biggest criteria in any sensible buying process at these prices and for this purpose.

As rider preferences do differ, you’ll also find columns comparing each bike on the main differences – wheel size, frame material, drivetrain type, braking system, handlebar style – meaning that you can easily shortlist the bikes that fit your requirements without trawling specification charts.

The lowest price for the basic model in each range is listed (many manufacturers sell several models or options), as well as the web address for each manufacturer.

* * *

The Big List Of Expedition Touring Bikes

Country Brand Model Frame Wheels Drive Brakes Bars Price URL
Australia Velosmith Jota Steel 26” Rohloff Cantilever Flat 6,360 AUD velosmith.com.au
Australia Vivente Anatolia Steel 700C Derailleur Disc Various 2,000 AUD viventebikes.com
Austria KTM Life Lontano Steel 700C Derailleur / Pinion Hydraulic disc Flat 1,900 EUR ktm-bikes.at
France Alex Singer Cyclo Camping Steel 700C ? (frame) cycles-alex-singer.fr
France Gilles Berthoud Steel 26” ? (frame) gillesberthoud.fr
France Rando Cycles Globe-Trotter Steel 26” Derailleur V-brakes Flat 2,000 EUR rando-cycles.com
Germany Boettcher Expedition Steel 26” Derailleur Hydraulic rim Flat 1,430 EUR boettcher-fahrraeder.de
Germany Idworx Off Rohler Evo Aluminium 26” Rohloff Hydraulic rim Flat 3,550 EUR idworx-bikes.de
Germany Intec M01 Steel 26″ Derailleur V-brakes Flat 1,400 EUR intec-bikes.de
Germany Norwid Spitzbergen Steel 26” 1,050 EUR (frame) norwid.de
Germany Patria Terra Steel 26” Rohloff Hydraulic rim Flat 1,610 EUR patria.net
Germany Poison Morphin Randonneur Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Flat 1,300 EUR poison-bikes.de
Germany Rad-Spannerei Hardo Wagner Steel 26” / 700C Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Various 850 EUR (frameset) rad-spannerei.de
Germany Rose Bikes Activa Pro Aluminium 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes / Disc Flat 1,600 EUR rosebikes.de
Germany Rotor Reiserad Steel 26” Rohloff V-brakes / Disc Various 1,850 EUR rotorbikes.com/
Germany Tout Terrain Silkroad Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff Disc Various 2,000 EUR en.tout-terrain.de
Germany Utopia Velo Herring Gull Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes / hydraulic rim Flat 1,740 EUR utopia-velo.de
Germany Velo de Ville Premium R 650 Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Flat 1,600 EUR velo-de-ville.de
Germany Velotraum Cross CrMo Steel 26” Derailleur V-brakes / hydraulic rim Flat 1,940 EUR velotraum.de
Germany VSF TX-400 Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff Hydraulic rim Flat 1,300 EUR fahrradmanufaktur.de
Italy Cinelli Hobootleg Steel 700C Derailleur Cantilever Drop 1,300 GBP cinelli.it
Netherlands Avaghon Series 26 Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Flat 1,700 EUR avaghon.nl
Netherlands Koga Randonneur Steel 26” / 700C Derailleur V-brakes Various 1,800 GBP koga.com
Netherlands Koga Signature World Traveller Aluminium 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Various 2,250 EUR koga-signature.com
Netherlands Santos Travelmaster 2.6 Aluminium 26” Derailleur / Rohloff / belt drive V-brakes Flat 1,600 EUR santosbikes.com
Netherlands SNEL Savanne Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Flat 1,600 EUR sneltweewielers.nl
Netherlands Vittorio Globetrotter 26 Steel 26” Rohloff Hydraulic rim Flat 3,500 EUR vittorio.nl
Switzerland Aarios Experience Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Flat 3,140 EUR aarios.ch
Switzerland MTB Cycletech Papalagi Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes / Disc Various 2,120 EUR mtbcycletech.com
Switzerland Simpel Frischluft Steel 26” Rohloff Disc Flat 3,300 CHF simpel.ch
UK Bob Jackson World Tour Steel 700C 645 GBP (frame) bobjacksoncycles.co.uk
UK Condor Heritage Steel 26” / 700C 600 GBP (frame) condorcycles.com
UK Dawes Gran Tour Steel 26” Derailleur Disc Drop 1,800 GBP dawescycles.com
UK Genesis Tour de Fer Steel 700C Derailleur Disc Drop 900 GBP genesisbikes.co.uk
UK Ghyllside Cycles Ghyllside Expedition Steel 26” Derailleur V-brakes Flat 1,300 GBP ghyllside.co.uk
UK Hewitt Cycles Cheviot Steel 700C Derailleur / Rohloff Cantilever Drop 1,300 GBP hewittcycles.co.uk
UK Mercian Cycles King Of Mercia Steel 700C Derailleur Cantilever Drop 2,300 GBP merciancycles.co.uk
UK Orbit Cycles Harrier Expedition 26 Steel 26” Derailleur V-brakes Flat 1,000 GBP orbit-cycles.co.uk
UK Oxford Bike Works Model 1 / 2 / Expedition Steel 26” Derailleur V-brakes Various 2,050 GBP oxfordbikeworks.co.uk
UK Ridgeback Expedition Steel 26” Derailleur Cantilever Drop 850 GBP ridgeback.co.uk
UK Roberts Roughstuff Steel 26” 1,350 GBP (frame) robertscycles.com
UK Spa Cycles Steel Tourer Steel 700C Derailleur V-brakes Drop 945 GBP spacycles.co.uk
UK Stanforth Kibo Steel 26” Derailleur Cantilever Flat 1,500 GBP stanforthbikes.co.uk
UK Thorn Sherpa / Raven Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes / Disc Various 1,300 GBP thorncycles.co.uk
USA Bilenky Midlands Steel 26” Derailleur Cantilever Drop 3,700 USD bilenky.com
USA Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n’ Road Steel 26” Derailleur V-brakes Drop 3,700 USD brucegordoncycles.
bigcartel.com
USA Co-Motion Pangaea Steel 26” Derailleur Disc Drop 4,000 USD co-motion.com
USA Kona Sutra Steel 700C Derailleur Disc Drop 1,250 GBP konaworld.com
USA Novara Randonee Steel 700C Derailleur V-brakes Drop 1,200 USD rei.com
USA Rivendell Bicycle Works Atlantis Steel 26” Derailleur Cantilever Drop 3,600 USD rivbike.com
USA Rodriguez UTB Steel 26” Derailleur / Rohloff V-brakes Various 2,700 USD rodbikes.com
USA Soma Saga Steel 26” / 700C Derailleur Cantilever Drop 1,350 USD somafab.com
USA Salsa Vaya Steel 700C Derailleur Disc Drop 1,500 USD salsacycles.com
USA Specialized AWOL Elite Steel 700C Derailleur Disc Drop 1,200 GBP specialized.com
USA Surly Long Haul Trucker / Disc Trucker Steel 26” / 700C Derailleur Cantilever Drop 1,150 GBP / 1,300 GBP surlybikes.com
USA Surly Troll / ECR Steel 26” Derailleur / Rolhoff V-brakes / Disc n/a 450 GBP (frameset) surlybikes.com
USA Trek 520 Steel 700C Derailleur Disc Drop 1,430 USD trekbikes.com

* * *

If these price tags make you physically heave, by the way, and you’re not afraid of putting in a bit of effort, you can probably get a touring bike that’ll get you started for close to nothing. Check out how I managed it.

Finally, if you know of any expedition touring bikes in production that you feel are missing from this list, do let us all know in the comments.

I do have a draw a line between what is and isn’t a sensible choice for heavy duty expedition touring, all things considered, but I hope the result will be that if you can’t find your perfect expedition bike in this list, it probably doesn’t exist!

Understanding Touring Bikes For Epic Expeditions

Choosing a touring bike for the ride of a lifetime?

Understanding Touring Bikes For Epic Expeditions will bring you up to bang speed on what matters (and what doesn't matter) when you're choosing a bike for a truly epic trip.

Click here to find out more →

65 Responses to “A Massive List Of Touring Bikes For Worldwide Cycling Expeditions”

  1. Peter Eich (Cyclepeter)

    Looks good, Tom. All my touring bikes are in that list – except the Tern Verge S27h (http://www.cyclepeter.com/verge-s27h-folding-touring-bicycle-review/)

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Yes – niche types of bike (tandems, fatbikes, 29ers, recumbents, folders) are best covered separately. Thanks for the link!

      Reply
  2. Jesse E Martin

    Did the Sury Troll not qualify? It is increasingly being used for rougher routes spanning the Americas & Central Asia. They have room for up to 2.75″ tires (3″ unofficially) without using non-standard parts. Runs v-brakes or disc (Surly states it can only run 160 mm disc rotors on the rear, but I am happily running 200 mm to slow my 95 kg of body & 30-50 kg of kit), derailleur or rohloff, can handle heavy loads & has more attachment points than you can swing a dead cat at 😉

    The main drawback is that the stock wheelset is not very strong or tentioned correctly. So as an off the shelf build it may not qualify for this list, but as a frame you build up yourself, it is my first choice.

    Reply
    • Jesse E Martin

      I forgot to mention the Surly Long Haul Trucker uses the same wheelset as the Troll. Replacing my wife’s LHT wheelset later this year before we embark on a 12 month cycle tour in South America.

      Reply
    • Tom Allen

      That’s interesting – I’ll put it on the list as a frameset option. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Josi

    Check out meissner raeder in Dresden, Germany.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Thanks – I’ll check them out when I can get to their website – seems to be down at the moment.

      Reply
  4. Nathan Savelli

    Might consider adding the Canadian made Marinoni Touring bikes – Turismo and Turismo Xtreme.

    Reply
  5. Marcel

    I would also suggest you add the touring bikes offered by the Canadian company Brodie, specifically the Elan and Elan Vital. I have a V-brake version Brodie Elan from a few years back and have taken it well of the beaten path on touring expeditions.

    Reply
  6. Brenda

    I love my Koga Randonneur and its is similar to a World Traveller but it s steel framed which I prefer

    Reply
  7. Andy

    Hi Tom,

    Matt and I used a pair of Van Nicholas Pioneer titanium framed, belt driven, Rohloff hubbed bank account breakers. But they were practically maintenance free and ideal for the lazy cycle tourist.

    Reply
  8. Tom MacDiarmid

    Nice to see my favourite and future ride to be; the Condor Heritage on the list.

    Reply
  9. hans

    Idworx is German made (not Netherlands ;0 ) Tom

    Reply
  10. Andy

    I wonder why you have featured the Intec T07 – it’s perhaps not a bad bike, but for expedition style touring I would rather use the M-series M01 – derailleur setup, M02 – Rohloff-specific frame. Look under MTB/ATB

    Reply
  11. Kevin

    Hardo Wagner Trekking – a world tour biest! After touring 30.000 km in all conditions the frame is still good as new.
    http://www.rad-spannerei.de/en/hardo-wagner-bicycles.php

    Reply
  12. Bill

    I’m shocked at no mention of the Surly Pugsley. The bike can run either 26 or 29 inch wheelset. Depending on the rim size you can run tires from 2.25 to 4.0. No other bike on the list can run with two drivetrains, so if the rear hub or derailleur craters you can swap front to rear and keep going. It has a full complement of brazeons and has the stopping power of disc brakes. The Pug has been proven time and again in the toughest conditions found on earth.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      It’s certainly a brilliant bike, but it is nevertheless primarly a fatbike, and they’re really not best suited for the type of journey this article is about – long-term worldwide expeditions incorporating at least as much asphalt as dirt roads. All the bikes in this list are very much long-haul touring generalists for that reason. Fear not – I’ll feature it in another article more specifically about the kind of trip the Pugsley would really excel at…

      Reply
  13. dave

    hi
    just to prove you dont need to spend mega bucks
    back in 1988 I bought a british eagle mountain bike for £249 it had renaulds tubing frame no suspension and shimano LX group set
    over the next 10 years I rode it 20 miles a day to work and back did around 12 polaris challenges toures the south west of England the midlands and lots of the north ok so I bought s few bits as they broke eventualy my son rode it for around another 6 years till it was stolen
    I know I did at least 50k miles on it
    so whatever you buy trust it and love it
    oh and I still remove the brookes saddle from every bike I get rid of
    the old adage is true
    a brookes worn in fits yer bum
    you cant alter your bum to fit a plastic saddle

    ride on and think circles when it gets hilly

    Reply
  14. Cass

    If not a Pugs, then I’d definitely petition for an ECR. Rolls ok on asphalt, and excels on dirt. It would be on my shortlist for tackling, say, the length of the Americas.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Great to have you here, Cass! Fancy helping put together a similar chart of really dirt road-oriented expedition bikes/framesets? 😉

      Reply
  15. Tim Moss

    This is one of the best comparison tables I have seen in a long time. And that’s not praise I give lightly.

    Reply
  16. carmine

    None from Italy? Bummer.

    Reply
  17. carmine

    Sorry, now I see the lonely Cinelli Hobo as a rapresentative for the country.
    How about Bianchi, Bottecchia, Atala, and countless more?

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      If there really are countless more Italian expedition touring bikes in production, please do contribute by listing them here! Bear in mind, though, that I won’t include any bike in this list that doesn’t truly qualify as an expedition tourer, as it would dilute the usefulness of the article.

      Reply
  18. Lizzie

    I’m simply fascinated by people who ride bikes a long way (44.3 miles is my furthest so far!!!) and am equally fascinated by your list! I feel chuffed to see a mention of Spa Cycles as I recently ordered a Tubus front carrier and Ortlieb panniers from them and they were the cheapest.

    Reply
  19. Paul

    Thanks for the comprehensive list. Just to say its been really useful for me to look through all the different builds as I’m having to replace my drivetrain (bike came with Sram, which has failed mid tour), lots of interesting combinations here.

    Reply
  20. Luca

    Wonderful job! Chapeau! It’d have spared me hours of web searches had I found it before. All my previous findings are there and there are a lot more.
    Thanks Tom!
    Too bad there are very few entry level models in the market for this kind of bikes.

    Reply
  21. Bill

    Another bike to look at would be the Jeff Jones touring cycle.
    http://www.blog.jonesbikes.com/jones-as-a-city-and-touring-bike/

    Designed for touring with bigger tires, but not a fatbike, it looks good. I use Jeff’s H bar handlebars and they are well built so I’d imagine the bike would be too.

    Reply
  22. Alee

    I’m assuming you’ve been through my list, but if not: http://cyclingabout.com/a-complete-list-of-touring-bicycle-manufacturers-with-prices/

    Reply
  23. Ludwig

    As I’m currently looking for a touring bike I came across your site and I love it! Just found it interesting that I’ve narrowed it down to two bikes and neither of them were on your list.

    I’m looking at either a Salsa Vaya, which I understand is probably not an expedition bike – or a bike from ROTOR bikes. http://www.rotorbikes.com

    Anyways your list has given me a lot more reading material and completely screwed up my plan. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      This isn’t a list of touring bikes, though – it’s very specifically a list of high-end expedition touring bikes. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other touring bikes which will all do a fine job too (including the two you mentioned). No two tours have the same needs…

      Reply
  24. Mathew

    What could i say, your post is trully one of the best ive read for a while.

    Reply
  25. Lisa

    That is a very impressive list there Tom, must have taken you a while to put it together. I’m looking to spend around £1500 for a bike that will get me across europe and back so this is just what I needed.

    Reply
  26. Patrick Kelly

    Surly Ogre? and Rivendell Hunqapillar? You’ve got both the Troll (very dirty) and other 700c (not 26″) bikes, so …

    Perhaps you need a “dirtiness” rating/spectrum column.

    Reply
    • Patrick Kelly

      Oh yeah, should have said also: Impressive list! I didn’t know there were this many out there.

      Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Thanks, Patrick. I’ve chosen what seems to be the best all-rounder from each manufacturer as a long-haul expedition bike, with the idea that people can dig deeper from there…

      Reply
  27. StuartG

    I have just rejuvenated a Dawes Sardar for my son for his 18th. Totally resprayed and rebuilt with modern components and hub dyno. The frame is around 12 years old, 631 tubing and with the option of disk or canti brakes. A good expedition bike can last a lifetime and well worth the money. This has been past over to him to now enjoy trips across Europe.

    Reply
  28. Andi

    Orbit Cycles of Sheffield folded a while back. There is a website but it’s dead.

    Reply
  29. Jarrod

    I’m curious how the recumbent went for you? Have noticed you mention it on this blog for a while. Do you think a recumbent is a good idea for an expedition bike? I know you said it was supremely comfortable but how about safety/visibility in 3rd world city/traffic conditions? Ease of repair or replacements of parts? I’ve never tried one but often daydreamed about tackling the Australian desert on one, just cruising along watching the clouds go by and chewing up the miles with a drink in one hand 🙂

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      If I was to head off on another long road tour without too many epic mountain ranges I’d certainly consider a recumbent. Lots of people use them and there are plenty of tour-specific ones available. Flags help a lot with visibility; it’s not as much of an issue as you might imagine in my experience.

      Reply
  30. Gareth

    Hi Tom, you left out the german bike company Cube. Check out their travel series. Their producing very nice touring bikes. I am geting the cube travel rf in the coming weeks. Cant wait!

    Reply
    • MD

      Gareth that’s the exact model I am looking at. But for some reason it seems to be always left out in blogs & articles discussing touring/expedition bikes. It’s impossible to find any reviews of it. I am not by any means an expert in touring & expedition bikes but still to me the cube travel looks like an excellent option for the price (799€ for the entry model).
      Did you end up buying one yourself? what are your thoughts?

      Reply
  31. Doug Lockhart

    Hi Tom: Thank you for your time putting this together, its been very helpful. An addition you may wish to consider is the USA, Gunnar, Grand Tour, Steel, Derailleur/Rohloff, V-brakes/Disc, Drop, price varies with build.

    http://gunnarbikes.com/site/bikes/grand-tour/

    Cheers,
    Doug

    Reply
  32. Matthew

    Hi, out of curiosity, does anyone know the make of steel bike ridden around the world by Alastair Humphreys, that he covered the logo on because they wouldn’t give him a discount? It had a very distinct curved top tube. You can see it here: http://blog.escapethecity.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Alistair-1-600-x-450.jpg and AH’s story here: http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/

    Reply
  33. Varun

    Great list Tom!

    Would you consider the Trek 920 an expedition touring bike?

    I test rode both the Specialized AWOL Elite and the Trek 920 today and loved both of them. I liked the Trek 920 a wee bit more as it felt more rugged, smooth and relatively lighter.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  34. mark

    Thanks for putting such an intersting list together.
    I have 3 tourers, a Spa 725 touring, a Dawes galaxy 531, and a Trek 520 from 1994 which I think is true temper. The components are the same on each, brooks b17, deore lx, bar end shifters, rigida sputniks, marathon tyres. For some reason even though they are all well fitted to me the Trek 520 is by far my favourite ride for loaded touring.

    Reply
  35. Robert

    Hi tom,

    What do you make of Sven cycles tourer? Its got the spec and in same price range as Oxford bike works bikes. I need a reason not to get one, tossing up between Sven and Oxford Bike Works, or possibly thorn. Sven’s tourer won tour bike of the year 2014, is it not expedition grade?http://www.svencycles.com/ what be great to hear ya thoughts.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      I can’t see any mention of a tourer on the Sven website, but it seems like comparing apples to oranges to bananas. Sven is a bespoke framebuilder, OBW is a one-man custom assembler & fitter, and Thorn is a relatively large mix-and-match mail order company. If I were you I’d call all three and see who you want to work with.

      Reply
  36. Tony

    One of the most comprehensive lists of tourers I have seen – well done.

    What’s your opinion on the future of 26″ wheels for tourers? One of the main reasons tourists started using them was because, when the MTB craze first hit the world in the 80s, the 26″ wheel size became nearly universal. Thus easy to obtain a wide tyre in virtually any country.

    Now MTBs are nearly all either 700c or 650b wheel size, 26″ tyres and rims are starting to become not so common. Here in Australia you’re now more likely to obtain a 40-622 than a 45-559 tyre.

    What’s your opinion?

    Cheers in advance.

    Reply
  37. Diane

    I have a 1980’s Specialized Expedition I would like to sell. Would you know where would be the best place to advertise, or know anyone who would be interested. It is in great shape.

    Reply
  38. Knut Erik Hansen

    Pelago bicycles from Finland have some bikes that performs well for expedition….

    Reply
  39. Francis

    Hi Tom,
    what do you think about the Ortler Grandtourer 2 ?
    https://m.fahrrad.de/ortler-grandtourer-2-386510.html

    Reply

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