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Carbon Touring Bikes: Pros/Cons And 25 Current Models Available

Carbon Touring Bikes: Pros/Cons And 25 Current Models Available

The mixture of technological advances in outside gear and the multitude of light-weight bag choices has allowed individuals to pack for bike journey extra minimally than ever earlier than. With these lighter masses comes the power to make use of carbon touring bikes that are very often 50% lighter than what is usually used for bike journey. That is thrilling as a result of not everybody wants that extra-bombproof, world-conquering metal touring bike for an overnighter into the countryside.

Carbon know-how has lately made the bounce from the significantly bigger street and mountain bike markets. The recognition of gravel and journey driving has offered producers with a enterprise case for investing their assets into 1000 gram (2.2lbs) carbon bike frames.

The bikes we’ll be discussing immediately are all meant for bike adventures; they function rack, fender and cargo cage mounts, in addition to provision for tyres wider than 40mm.

The carbon bikes you’ll see on this useful resource can deal with entrance/rear racks, fenders and extensive tyres.

I’ve beforehand argued that your bike is the most effective place to drop weight in your ultralight packing package. It’s because you could have probably the most weight to lose with a motorcycle – it’s the heaviest factor you ‘carry’ in any case. Carbon definitely isn’t essential for a light-weight touring rig, however you’ll obtain a tidy weight saving of between 500-1000 grams when in comparison with the equal aluminium construct, and this may be as a lot as 2500 grams when in comparison with a metal touring body and fork.

You’ll have to pack a bit lighter than regular if you wish to use one of many carbon touring bikes talked about under. Carbon touring bikes and their related elements are usually meant to haul between 10kg and 15kg of drugs. That stated, in case your physique weight is on the lighter aspect, say 50-70kg, your bike will help extra gear than somebody who’s over 90kg. In any case, the eyelets supporting your entrance or rear racks are sometimes rated to not more than 20kg/44lbs. Should you can, load lower than 10kg up entrance to optimise your bike’s dealing with.

For recommendation on sub-10kg packing lists, head throughout to my information on placing collectively an ultralight bikepacking package.

Particulars of the all-carbon 2019 Salsa Warbird.

Body materials is only one issue in relation to general bike power. Different elements embrace the manufacturing high quality and body design. A carbon bike that’s constructed soundly and is engineered for the needs of journey driving will deal with the rigours of motorcycle journey simply nice.

Even in the event you’re a heavier rider, let’s say 90kg + baggage – a well-designed carbon body is unlikely to fail in most conditions, offered you’re inside the rider weight restrict of the body. These limits apply to all bikes whether or not they’re metal or aluminium or carbon they usually range between producers. The restrict on most carbon bikes is 125kg in complete, which on this case would come with your physique, baggage, meals and water.

The factor that’s extra more likely to trigger complications is the wheelset of a carbon touring bike. Most of the wheelsets specified are fairly light-weight and are sometimes compromised on power in comparison with a daily touring bike. This shall be considerably much less of an issue for individuals on the lighter finish of the spectrum, however one thing to think about for heavier riders. Prime-notch light-weight wheels might be constructed robust, however with the extra premium supplies comes a better price ticket. It’s the previous adage right here: ‘light, cheap, strong – pick any two’.

That stated, carbon is prone to wreck from instructions of pressure that it hasn’t been engineered to beat. This consists of tube crushing, aspect impacts and rear finish injury from sticks getting caught within the wheel. Producers are getting higher at mitigating this injury, however carbon bikes nonetheless don’t appear to fare as properly in crashes. As baggage handlers don’t have the most effective popularity, you’ll additionally have to be extra cautious when flying with a carbon bike. An excellent pack job ought to have you ever travelling with no worries although – I’ve by no means skilled any carbon body injury when flying.

Carbon bikes can truly be repaired normally. Utilizing ultrasonic, thermographic and microscopic imaging we will examine for inner/exterior injury like cracks and fractures. When a fracture is tough to find out, carbon repairers will carry out a stress check which can verify the injury at a microscopic degree. You will get a good suggestion for a way this works in GCN’s newest carbon bike restore video.

carbon touring bikes

The 9.8kg Rose Backroad Randonneur comes with dynamo lights and a rear rack.

In case you like the thought of getting a light-weight bike for day journeys, street rides or commuting, but in addition need to carry a full touring load (15kg+) – I can advocate pairing a carbon bike with a trailer. This mix is usually lighter in complete weight than a long-distance touring bike with empty panniers. Plus you possibly can unhitch the trailer at any time. On my most up-to-date Japan tour, I used a 9kg titanium street bike with an Aevon KIT L80 trailer and it labored out splendidly.

aevon kit l80

A carbon bicycle can deal with very heavy touring masses when you pull the load in a trailer.

With a weight beneath 10kg/22lbs, carbon touring bikes are begging for some slender slick tyres to show them into an honest street bike. I’d recommend 700×28-32c as a superb all-round width able to quick bunch rides. Most of the carbon touring bikes listed under will even make wonderful commuters given their potential to suit full-fenders and racks.

A number of the carbon journey bikes I’ve listed are literally designed to suit both 27.5″ wheels with knobby tyres or 700C with slender slicks. This lets you personal only one bike and, relying on the terrain, swap out two totally different wheelsets. For instance, you might have one wheelset setup for off-road/gravel driving and one other for quick street driving and commuting.

+ Carbon bikes are as light-weight because it will get for bike journey
+ Carbon touring bikes are mild sufficient for quick street rides; they’re probably capable of exchange your street and cyclocross bikes
+ Many carbon touring bikes can help you match each slender street slicks and knobby MTB tyres for off-road driving
+ You possibly can pair a carbon bike with a trailer and it’s nonetheless lighter than a long-distance touring bike

– Typical carbon bike pricing is US $3000-4000
– Carbon bikes sometimes use gear ratios extra suited to flatter terrain
– You’ll have to pack lighter as a carbon bike can’t deal with the identical masses as a daily touring bike
– The framesets are extra prone to wreck (tube crushing, aspect impacts, rear finish injury from sticks and so forth)
– Ought to your body want it, they’re considerably costly to restore

carbon touring bikes

The Bombtrack Hook EXT C.

Bombtrack Hook EXT-C // 9.4kg and US $3149 
The Hook EXT-C has been designed for the street much less travelled. This new hi-mod carbon bike is spec’d with 27.5×2.2″ mountain bike wheels and tyres so to have most traction on the paths. Obtained a 700c spare wheelset? The body has sufficient clearance for 29×2.1″/700x52c tyres too. You’ll discover Three-boss mounts on both aspect of the fork and three bidon mounts on the body. The Hook EXT-C permits for entrance and rear racks in addition to full fenders. The SRAM 1×11 drivetrain presents a climbing gear of 26 gear inches which is a bit of excessive for an off-road bike, however with a brand new derailleur and 11-50t cassette, you’ll be flying up these hills.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Diamondback Haanjo EXP.

Diamondback Haanjo EXP // 9.7kg and US $1999
The Haanjo EXP is the most cost effective carbon bike on the listing, actually, the entire bike is cheaper than most framesets. Not solely is the bike worth the bottom, however so are the gear ratios. With three entrance chainrings, this bike will get a climbing gear corresponding to most long-distance touring bikes (21 gear inches). The bike is spec’d with some ultra-reliable touring barend shifters. For higher usability, a pleasant improve might be to some Shimano R3030 built-in shift/brake levers. The Haanjo EXP will match entrance and rear racks in addition to fenders and 3x bidon cages on the body. With its″ tyres, TRP cable disc brakes, 9-speed gearing and a threaded backside bracket shell – this carbon bike is about as shut because it will get to a fuss-free touring bike.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Diamondback Haanjo 7C.

Diamondback Haanjo 7C // eight.9kg and US $2699
The Haanjo 7C is the extra road-oriented mannequin within the vary. Because it makes use of the identical body because the EXP, it can squeeze in 27.5×″ in addition to 700x40c tyres. The groupset is the brand new Shimano Ultegra R8000, which is sort of a shock at this worth as comparable Ultegra bikes go for $1000 extra. The sub-compact crankset with 48-32t chainrings is paired to an 11-34t cassette to supply a decently low climbing ratio of 24 gear inches.

carbon touring bikes

The 2018 Jamis Renegade Skilled.

Jamis Renegade Professional // 9.5kg and US $2699
The Renegade is an journey bike that may match 40mm large tyres. It additionally has provision for racks, fenders and as much as 5 bottle cages. The Skilled mannequin makes use of a full Shimano 105 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes. The 50-34t crankset with 11-32t cassette limits the gear ratios a bit – the climbing gear works out to be 29 gear inches (eight.3km/h @ 60RPM). Because the seatpost clamp is built-in, the Renegade frames solely allow a rear rack that may connect to the seatstay bridge (eg. Tubus Fly or Axiom Streamliner).

carbon touring bikes

The 2018 Jamis Renegade Elite.

Jamis Renegade Elite // eight.2kg and US $3899
In case you’d like a Renegade with a Shimano Ultegra construct, you’re taking a look at a $1200 worth premium. It’s not simply the groupset that will get an improve, you additionally get a carbon seatpost and the ultralight 1459 gram American Basic Race wheelset (which saves over 600 grams by itself!).

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Kona Libre.

Kona Libre // ~9.5kg and US $2999
The Libre is the newest carbon journey bike from Kona. It has eyelets galore; every little thing from entrance/rear rack mounts, fender mounts, entrance randonneur rack mounts, 4x bidon mounts on the body and one other set on both aspect of the fork. The Libre is the entry-level mannequin which is spec’d with a 2×10 Shimano Tiagra drivetrain and 650x47C tyres, however the bike accommodates 700c wheels too. The low climbing gear on this bike is round 28 gear inches (8km/h @ 60RPM).

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Kona Libre DL

Kona Libre DL // eight.5kg and US $3999
The DL is the very best spec’d mannequin in Libre vary. Whereas it makes use of the identical frameset as the bottom mannequin, it’s fitted up with 700c wheels and 45mm tyres as an alternative. The 28-hole Easton EA70AX tubeless wheels are designed to be fairly robust and supply a large 24mm inner rim width with the intention to drop your tyre pressures down. They’re fairly mild too – simply 1760 grams. Apparently, the 1×11 drivetrain truly presents a barely decrease climbing gear than the two×10 drivetrain discovered on the bottom mannequin. It is best to nonetheless have an honest cadence at 6.5km/h with the 26.5 gear inch low gear.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Niner RLT9 RDO Tiagra.

Niner RLT9 RDO Tiagra // ~9.2kg and US $2950
The RLT9 RDO is an ultralight journey bike with 700x40mm tyre clearance. It should match entrance/rear racks, fenders and plenty of bidon cages. Niner says that the entrance eyelets are designed to deal with as much as 21kg/45lbs and the rear rack eyelets 25kg/55lbs. The entry-level mannequin comes with Niner-branded wheels, 10-speed Shimano Tiagra gears and hydraulic brakes with a climbing gear ratio of 27 gear inches. It’s out there as a frameset for US $2300.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Niner RLT9 RDO 105.

Niner RLT9 RDO 105 // ~9kg and US $3800
The subsequent step up presents a big improve to Shimano 105 11-speed gearing, nevertheless, the climbing gear is a bit on the excessive aspect at 29 gear inches (because of the 11-32t cassette). The bike is completed with Stans Grail S1 wheels that tip the scales at 1950 grams.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Niner RLT9 RDO Rival.

Niner RLT9 RDO Rival // ~eight.8kg and US $3800
For a similar worth because the 105 mannequin, you have got the choice of a SRAM Rival drivetrain and brakes.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Niner RLT9 RDO Ultegra Four-Star.

Niner RLT9 RDO Ultegra Four-Star // ~eight.6kg and US $4300
For an additional US $500 you possibly can improve to the unimaginable new Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset. You’ll nonetheless get the beautiful stout Stans Grail S1 wheels (1950 grams).

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Niner RLT9 RDO Ultegra 5-Star.

Niner RLT9 RDO Ultegra 5-Star // ~7.9kg and US $5500
The flagship RLT9 RDO has one key element distinction when in comparison with the Ultegra Four-Star: a Stans CB7 carbon wheelset. These wheels are blisteringly mild, tipping the scales at simply 1277 grams. That’s lighter than nearly all of carbon street bike wheels! The draw back to operating these hoops is that you simply and your gear can’t weigh greater than 86kg/189lb. So for those who’re planning on packing 10kg of drugs, you’ll must be beneath 76kg.

carbon touring bikes

The 2018 Norco Search XR Carbon Apex 1.

Norco Search XR Carbon Apex // ~9.5kg and US $2899
The Search XR vary is fitted to both 700x45c or 27.5×2.1″ wheels. The entry-level mannequin makes use of a SRAM Apex 1×11 groupset with a reasonably low climbing gear of 26 gear inches. The Search XR framesets match entrance and rear racks, fenders and all the bidon/cargo cages you’ll have to have a superb time. The Norco Search XR frameset can also be out there individually for US $1999.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Norco Search XR Carbon.

Norco Search XR Carbon Ultegra // eight.9kg and US $3799
Utilizing the identical frameset, the Ultegra mannequin will get an upgraded groupset and wheels. A pleasant function is the sub-compact crankset with 48-32t chainring that’s paired with an 11-34t cassette to provide a significantly low 24″ climbing gear. The 1620 gram Clement Ushuaia tubeless wheels ought to be capable of cop a good bit of abuse, and have helped drop a big quantity of weight from the Apex 1 mannequin – maybe virtually 500 grams.

carbon touring bikes

The 2018 Norco Search XR Carbon Pressure 1.

Norco Search XR Carbon Pressure // ~9.6kg and US $4199
The costliest Search XR mannequin has fairly a special construct to the opposite fashions within the vary. It utilises the truth that the Norco can run a 27.5″ MTB wheelset by speccing 2.1″ knobby tyres and a dropper seatpost. The SRAM 1×11 drivetrain permits for an okay vary of 26-111″ however for individuals who like mountains you’ll need to swap out the rear derailleur and cassette to an 11-50t.

carbon touring bikes

The Rodeo Labs TrailDonkey 2.1.

Rodeo Labs TrailDonkey 2.1 105 // 9.5kg and US $3400
Rodeo Labs just lately unleashed the up to date TrailDonkey on the world. The newest replace provides the body a T47 threaded backside bracket shell (versus press-fit bearings) and a smaller diameter 27.2mm seatpost for additional compliance. The TrailDonkey continues to be capable of match 700x42c or 650x48c tyres, it’s rocking swappable rear dropouts (fast launch/thru-axle) and has mounts for a rear rack and fenders. The complete carbon fork is a little bit of a swiss military knife; it could run submit/flat mount brakes, 12mm/15mm through axles, a entrance rack and cages on the fork blades. The fork additionally options inner dynamo cable routing, brake cable routing and routing for a USB stem cap. The bike is accessible with SRAM or Shimano builds, or the frameset might be bought individually for US $2560.

carbon touring bikes

The 2019 Rose Backroad Randonneur.

Rose Backroad Randonneur // 9.8kg and 2799€
The Backroad is likely one of the lightest frames within the listing, using excessive modulus fibres to deliver the body weight down to only 1040 grams for a measurement 51cm. This carbon bike is impressively underneath 10kg even when fitted inventory with a dynamo hub, dynamo entrance/taillights and a rear rack. It employs a full Shimano Ultegra groupset which has lately been up to date to carry out extremely. This bike is about up for sealed roads with its 29 gear inch climbing gear and 32c tyres, however with out the fenders, it is going to match a 42c gravel or touring tyre. Along with the Randonneur mannequin, there’s additionally an Ultegra Di2 (eight.4kg/3199€), Pressure 1 (eight.2kg/2549€), 105 (eight.5kg/2249€) and Ultegra (eight.4kg/2549€) model obtainable with out dynamo gear and rack.

carbon touring bikes

The 2018 Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1.

Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1 // 10.5kg and US $2499
The Cutthroat might be the preferred bike for dust street ultra-endurance racing. Principally a mountain bike with drop bars, this bike is definitely probably the most off-road succesful right here with its capacity to squeeze in a″ entrance tyre or 2.Four″ within the rear. It additionally has a lot better mud clearance than another carbon framesets right here. The climbing gear is 25 gear inches which is fairly low for a 1×11 drivetrain, however once more, in the event you’re hitting some huge hills you may obtain one thing decrease by switching out the derailleur and becoming an 11-50t cassette. On the body, you possibly can match a rear rack, however the fork is restricted to Three-boss cargo cages solely. There are eyelets within the entrance triangle for 3x bidon cages and a direct mount prime tube bag. Framesets can be found for US $2000.

carbon touring bikes

The 2018 Salsa Cutthroat Rival 1.

Salsa Cutthroat Rival 1 // 9.9kg and US $3299
The Cutthroat Rival makes use of the identical carbon frameset however receives a drivetrain (SRAM Rival 1) and wheel improve. The DT Swiss C1800 wheels tip the scales at simply 1745g, which makes up nearly all of the load saving over the Apex 1 mannequin.

carbon touring bikes

The 2018 Salsa Cutthroat Drive 1.

Salsa Cutthroat Pressure 1 // 9.8kg and US $4299
The highest-level Cutthroat doesn’t give you far more bike for the additional $1000. You get an improve to a SRAM Pressure 1 groupset, a 10-42t cassette and a few barely nicer DT Swiss CR1600 wheels (the engagement system is star ratchet as an alternative of pawls). However general, the efficiency and weight benefits are minimal.

Salsa Warbird v4
The 2019 Salsa Warbird full bike must be launched inside every week. The newest version is constructed utilizing high-modulus carbon to shave one other 100 grams off the v3 version. The Warbird has eyelets all over the place together with two bidon cages alongside the downtube and Three-boss mounts on both aspect of the fork. The fork has inner routing for a dynamo cable in addition to provision for a lowrider rack and full fenders. Anticipate a sub-9kg Shimano Ultegra construct for round US $4000.

2018 Specialized Diverge

The 2018 Specialised Diverge Sport.

Specialised Diverge Sport // 9.6kg and US $2100
The Specialised Diverge carbon frames will all match 700x42c or 650x47c tyres. They’ve eyelets for racks and 3x cages on the body. The Diverge Sport is the bottom value carbon mannequin. Prices are saved on this bike through the use of the superior TRP Spyre cable disc brakes (versus hydraulic) and by becoming a 10-speed Shimano Tiagra groupset. A terrific function of the brand new Tiagra is the 11-34t cassette which when mixed with the 32t entrance ring offers a climbing gear of 25.7 gear inches.

2018 Specialized Diverge

The 2018 Specialised Diverge Comp.

Specialised Diverge Comp // 9.3kg and US $3000
The Diverge Comp Carbon is spec’d with a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset and Praxis Alba cranks with 48/32t entrance chainrings. This gives a 27.Three gear inch climbing gear. That is the one Diverge mannequin to function the ultra-flexy CG-R carbon seatpost with built-in elastomers to maximise consolation. The Diverge Comp is the one carbon mannequin obtainable within the XXL (64cm) measurement.

2018 Specialized Diverge

The 2018 Specialised Diverge Professional.

Specialised Diverge Professional // eight.5kg and US $4000
The Diverge Professional Carbon is a 1x bike, however with its SRAM Drive 11 gearing, it achieves a 1:1 climbing ratio (27.Three gear inches). A very nice 1500g Roval SLX 24 disc wheelset comes with the Professional, full with DT Swiss 350 hubs. Apparently, this mannequin is delivered with the Reality carbon seatpost somewhat than the gravel-specific CG-R on the Diverge Comp.

2018 Specialized Diverge

The 2018 Specialised Diverge S-Works.

Specialised Diverge S-Works // 7.9kg and US $9000
Specialised’s flagship bike is the Diverge S-Works. This can be a totally different frameset when it comes to carbon layup and resin (referred to as 10R) however it nonetheless shares the identical body geometry as the opposite carbon fashions. Specialised have matched a Di2 street shifter with an XTR Di2 MTB derailleur to suit a bigger cassette on the bike, and you possibly can go to 46t when you wanted the additional climbing gears (the present small gear works out to be 28.7 gear inches). A 35mm dropper seatpost has been fitted to the S-Works with a handlebar-mounted distant with a purpose to scale back your centre of gravity on technical descents. Carbon Roval wheels (1350g!) and carbon Easton cranks, in addition to a SWAT field (tube, co2, levers and multitool) full the construct and end in a weight beneath 8kg (17.6lbs) with out the SWAT software field (56cm). The S-Works Diverge is out there as a frameset for US $4000.