People tour on all sorts of different bikes, from shopping bikes through to high-spec racers, but some bikes are more suited to the purpose than others. A touring bike should be tough, with a rear carrying rack capable of holding panniers. Different types you might come across for touring include:
Touring/ Trekking Bikes
Touring bikes generally come with a rear rack fitted as standard, dropped handlebars (like those seen on racing bikes), strong wheels, a broad range of gears, mudguards and tyres between 28 – 35mm in width.
These bikes tend to offer the rider a more upright position, have flat handlebars, a broad range of gears and sometimes have lockable suspension on the front forks. Some will come with a rear rack fitted and mudguards, and will generally have a similar tyre size range to a touring bike.
If exploring hidden tracks and trails is more your style, then a mountain bike might be the one for you. Be careful though, as only a few mountain bikes come with fitted mounting points for a rear rack.
Don't forget, the most important thing for anyone considering cycle touring as a new pastime is your riding position, so it’s worth getting measured up as a first step to ensure you know your frame size. As a golden rule you should try to select 3 or 4 cycles that are within your budget and test them - you'll be spending a lot of time together, after all.