Why Are Touring Bikes So Expensive – Bicycles In Motion

Why Are Touring Bikes So Expensive

Why Are Touring Bikes So Expensive

Touring bikes are designed to make your ride more comfortable, but this can come with higher price tags. Why are touring bikes so expensive? A good touring bike will be strong and steady so you are comfortable and can bring stuff along for your ride. The added comfort and sturdiness costs more.

Touring bikes are more expensive because they are designed differently to accommodate heavier loads with a steel or titanium frame and larger 26 to 28-inch wheels to cover more distance. They are also designed to keep you comfortable over longer rides with drop handlebars, low gear train, more points for mounting panniers, baskets and other accessories.

A touring bike comes with extra, so it seems fair that they cost extra too. While there are some you can find at lower pricing, the quality may not be what you need. You buy a touring bike so you can enjoy longer rides and paying too little may give you a bike that doesn’t measure up. Touring bikes are expensive and are worth it too.

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7 Reasons Why Touring Bikes Are So Expensive

A touring bicycle is for people who love long-distance cycling and want to carry gear for self-supported travel. The design is not about speed and more about covering distance in comfort. You want to experience comfort and stability through towns, cities and countries when you get a touring bike.

The features that allow this to happen are what makes these bikes so expensive. The touring bicycle is built with specific characteristics in mind for long distance riding on paved surfaces. A tough frame, front and back mounting options, frame shape that allows for maximum comfort and stability are examples of these basic characteristics.

Robust Build

Touring bikes are robust with long wheelbase, frame materials that favor flexibility over rigidity, and multiple mounting points. They are designed to be stiff and tough to better carry panniers.

This means they are not lightweight. The solid frame, bigger wheels, and carrying capacity causes turning bikes to be much heavier than other bikes. The bike has to get you and your gear as comfortably and safely as possible between your destinations.

Therefore, manufacturers don’t focus on building lightweight bikes. While you will not get speed, you will get comfort. With a heavier bike comes a higher dollar amount.

Heavy Load Capacity

Touring bikes are not designed for speed. They are produced to be sturdy to support your weight and heavier load capacity. When taking longer bike rides you will want to bring gear with you. Whether this is food, clothing, or supplies, touring bikes are designed to accommodate that.

The frames are built with already mounted points for panniers, that allow for this storage. The frames are thicker and sturdier so they can support extra weight. Having this capacity to hold heavier weight is one feature that makes riding these bikes comfortable and you will have to pay for this.


Touring bikes are a comfortable ride. You use them to ride long distances, meaning the last thing you want is to be hurting after every bump. This comfort level comes from specifically designed frames and wider wheels.

The geometry and shape is engineered in a way that lets you sit more upright. This means better position for longer rides. Racing and road bikes have you leaning over towards your handlebars and this can cause strain on your back. Sitting upright does not cause as much stress and is more comfortable.

A comfortable position is more important to be able to ride for longer times frame shape is such that your bike can go downhill in a stable manner. Wider wheels roll over bumps more smoothly and combined with stability, you get a comfy ride.

The special design of touring bikes is often such that frames are constructed by hand. This leads to them being more expensive to build and therefore buy.

Larger Wheels

On any typical road bike, wheels are either 26 or 28 inches. A larger wheel means more distance is covered with one full repetition. Larger wheels also provide a slightly more comfortable ride. This is because there is more wheel surface in contact with the road surface. As a result, larger wheels process small bumps much better than smaller wheels.

These are all the characteristics you want for a long ride, and why these unique bikes have larger wheels. Most touring bicycles typically have an option of running 27.5 inch wheels or larger with widths of either 2.4 or 2.6 inches. Wider tires give more traction due to there being more road surface contact. Bigger and wider wheels give the smoother ride but will cost more too.

Heavy Duty Materials

The need for a robust frame requires heavy duty materials. Touring bike frames are typically made from steel or even titanium. These materials are not lightweight and withstand blows much better than aluminum or carbon frames.

A solid frame will be made to be more resistant to corrosion and wear which makes maintenance easier. This benefit combined with heavy, long-lasting materials will definitely be included in any final price that you pay.

Drop Handlebars

The further you bend over your handlebar, the more weight and pressure you put on your hands. Flat handlebars promote constant pressure because you are almost always bent over as you ride. This is especially true for racing, road, and mountain bikes.

Touring bikes can be designed with dropped handlebars that allows your hands to rest in several positions, which helps relieve pressure. This additional feature to promote a smoother ride is another reason the price goes up as compared to bikes with standard straight handlebars.


A fully equipped touring bike will come with points for mounting panniers or baskets and drop handlebars. They also typically come with low gear drive train. Features like this that are beyond standard bicycle features are extra.

These bikes are known to have extra features to accommodate carrying heavier loads and delivering higher comfort levels. The end result is that the fully equipped touring bike will be expensive.

Helpful Tips To Know Why Touring Bikes Are So Expensive

Once you see what makes a touring bike special and unique, you can understand why they are so expensive. You will be paying for comfort and the convenience of bringing your gear too. Several features go into creating this sturdy bike and are essential to look for when buying.

  • Price: Watch for touring bikes that are low priced. They may not be made with sturdy materials which means your comfort and the bike’s longevity may be compromised.
  • Frame Geometry: Wider handlebars and an upright seating position are essential for safety and smooth rides and a feature on any worthy bike.
  • Frame Stiffness: The majority of touring bikes support both front and back loads. You need to have a stiff and solid framework to resist both twisting forces between these two points and this type of frame will cost you more.

Final Thoughts

Going the distance isn’t going to be cheap. If you are serious about taking those longer rides and bringing your gear with you, a touring bike is your answer. You can travel in comfort and style.

Touring bikes are uniquely designed to make longer rides easier. Extra weight to the body, extra width ton wheels, and extra space for gear all add up. You want extra so you pay extra to make your ride worthwhile and this is why touring bikes are so expensive.

Brian Smith

Brian is the founder of Bicycles In Motion and an avid cyclist for 17 years. On the weekends, he enjoys exploring new bike trails and countryside roads to enjoy the outdoors.

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