People can and do cycle tour on all kinds of different bicycles, anything from a shopping bike through to an old racing bike. That said, some bicycles are more suited to the purpose than others and a bicycle for touring needs to be tough with a rear carrying rack capable of holding panniers.
So which bicycle will suit you?
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, mudguards and will generally have a similar tyre size range to a touring bike.
If exploring hidden tracks and trails is more to your liking, then a mountain bike might be just the thing for you. Be careful though as only a few mountain bikes come with fitted mounting points for a rear rack.
The most important thing for anyone considering cycle touring as a new pastime is your riding position, so firstly it’s worth getting measured up to ensure you know your frame size. As a golden rule you should try and select 3 or 4 cycles that are within your budget, and test them!