Touring bicycles are special types of bicycles used for long-distance travel and for racing. A bicycle tour might take a day, weeks, or months to complete according to the plan. A touring bicycle is a mix of a mountain and racing bicycle. There are two types of bicycle tours: loaded touring and credit card touring.
In loaded touring, the tourist takes all the equipment with him. The tourist takes food, cooking equipment, and a tent for camping. To accommodate all of the equipment, these bicycles are designed with heavy-duty frames. These frames help to carry specialized luggage. Credit card touring bicycles carry less equipment with them.
Touring bicycles usually have luggage racks in the front and the rear end. For reliability and long distance comfort, these cycles use road handlebars and saddles. Rugged hubs are combined with handlebars to provide durability; sometimes instead of baskets, bicycle trailers are used in touring bicycles. These trailers provide a low center of gravity and can be separated easily.
A touring bicycle has certain special characteristics, including a longer wheelbase and a stable steering geometry. The wheelbase increases the stability at the cost of quick response. A broader range of gearing is present in these bicycles. These gears help the cycle to carry equipment when climbing hills, which also provides durability and control in a varied terrain. Internal geared hubs are used in touring bicycles. In an internal geared hub, the mechanism is enclosed within a hub and is reliable and requires very little maintenance. Luggage racks, mudguards, and lights are present in every touring bicycle. They have also space for water bottles, tools, and spare parts. These cycles have a longer chain stay and a greater distance from rear wheel to pedals, for pedaling comfort.
Stronger brakes are required for touring bicycles. Cantilever brakes or linear-pull brakes are used in touring bicycles, and disc brakes are also used in touring bicycles. Disc brakes have greater braking power and have improved performance in wet weather. Touring bikes are usually available at custom bicycle shops.