The best travel bikes 2024

Introduction to the article

Travel cycling is a passion that allows you to discover the world at a leisurely pace, while enjoying the great outdoors and getting some exercise. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced bike tourer, choosing the right bike is a crucial step in making the most of this adventure. In 2023, the travel bike market is more diverse than ever, with options for every taste, budget and travel style. In this article, we've selected the best travel bikes of the year, taking into account the latest technological innovations, market trends and feedback from cyclists around the world. Whether you're looking for a rugged bike to tackle tough roads, a light and versatile bike for quick getaways, or a customizable bike to fit your needs perfectly, our guide will help you find the perfect ride for your two-wheeled adventures in 2023.

The must-haves: 18 brands of travel bikes for all adventurers

Surly Bikes

Surly Bikes is an American brand of travel bikes known for their reliability and durability. Their rugged bikes, like the popular Surly Long Haul Trucker, are designed to withstand the rigors of long-distance travel and challenging terrain. Surly's chromoly steel frames offer an excellent balance of strength, comfort, and weight, making them an ideal choice for touring cyclists looking for a strong, versatile bike. Surly travel bikes are also equipped with high-quality components, such as Shimano transmissions and mechanical disc brakes, to ensure reliable performance on the road. While Surly bikes may be heavier and more expensive than some competitors, their reputation for longevity and reliability makes them a wise investment for cycling adventurers.

Koga

Koga travel bikes are synonymous with quality and customization. This high-end Dutch brand offers custom bikes, hand-built to the customer's preferences. The Koga Signature line is especially popular with touring cyclists who want a bike that is perfectly tailored to their needs. Each Koga model is equipped with high quality components such as Rohloff or Shimano drivetrains, hydraulic disc brakes and carbon forks. Koga's lightweight aluminum frames are also renowned for their strength and comfort. While Koga bikes can be expensive, their build quality and customization make them a top choice for riders looking for the best in travel bikes.

Salsa Cycles

Salsa Cycles is an American brand focused on adventure and off-road expeditions. Their line of travel bikes includes bikepacking and gravel models, such as the famous Salsa Fargo. Salsa bikes are designed for maximum versatility and comfort on a variety of terrains, thanks to their tailored geometries and choice of high quality components. Salsa's steel, aluminum or carbon frames are known for their durability and impact resistance. Salsa travel bikes are often equipped with SRAM transmissions and hydraulic disc brakes, ensuring optimal performance in all conditions. Although Salsa bikes can be more expensive than some competitors, their versatility and quality make them a popular choice among adventurous bike tourers.

All Terrain

Tout Terrain is a German brand that offers innovative and high quality travel bikes. Tout Terrain bikes are equipped with advanced technologies, such as integrated gear hubs (e.g. Rohloff Speedhub) and Gates Carbon Drive belts, to provide reliability and low maintenance. Tout Terrain's chromoly steel and aluminum frames are designed to withstand the rigors of long-distance travel and challenging terrain, while offering optimal comfort and performance. Tout Terrain travel bikes are also equipped with high-quality components, such as hydraulic disc brakes and Schwalbe Marathon tires, to ensure maximum safety and longevity. Although Tout Terrain bikes may be more expensive than some competitors, their build quality and innovative technology make them an attractive choice for touring cyclists looking for a high-performance, easy-to-maintain travel bike.

Thorn Cycles

Thorn is a British brand specializing in custom travel bikes, offering exceptional quality and attention to detail. Their handcrafted approach creates bikes tailored to the specific needs of each rider. Thorn's chromoly steel frames are renowned for their durability, comfort and impact resistance. Thorn bikes are equipped with high quality components, such as Rohloff transmissions and hydraulic disc brakes, ensuring reliable performance and low maintenance. Although Thorn bikes can be expensive and require some lead time, their custom quality and durability make them a preferred choice for the discerning bike tourer.

Trek Bikes

Trek is a popular American brand that offers a diverse range of travel bikes, suitable for both beginners and experienced cyclists. Trek's flagship travel bikes include the Trek 520 and Trek 920, which are designed to provide comfort and performance over long distances. Trek's aluminum and chromoly steel frames are known for their strength and comfort. Trek travel bikes are equipped with reliable components, such as Shimano transmissions and mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes. While quality may vary by model, Trek offers good value for riders looking for an affordable and versatile travel bike.

Santos

Santos is a Dutch brand that offers high-end, customizable travel bikes. Santos bikes are known for their build quality, durability and comfort over long distances. Santos aluminum frames offer an excellent compromise between strength, comfort and weight. Santos travel bikes are equipped with high quality components, such as Rohloff transmissions and hydraulic disc brakes, to ensure optimal performance and low maintenance. Although Santos bikes can be expensive and less available than some other brands, their quality and customization make them a popular choice among discerning bike tourers.

Dawes Cycles

Dawes is a historic British brand that offers a range of affordable and reliable travel bikes, such as the popular Dawes Galaxy. Dawes' chromoly steel frames offer a good compromise between strength, comfort and weight, making them an ideal choice for beginner and intermediate touring cyclists. Dawes travel bikes are equipped with reliable components, such as Shimano transmissions and cantilever or mechanical disc brakes. While Dawes bikes may be less customizable and heavier than some competitors, their value for money makes them an attractive choice for riders looking for an affordable and reliable travel bike.

Co-Motion Cycles

Co-Motion is an American brand specializing in high quality travel bikes and tandems. Co-Motion bikes are hand-built and can be customized to the rider's needs, ensuring optimal fit and performance. Co-Motion's chromoly steel and aluminum frames offer excellent strength, comfort and lightness. Co-Motion travel bikes are equipped with top-of-the-line components such as Rohloff, Pinion or Shimano drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes. While Co-Motion bikes can be expensive, their custom quality and performance make them a popular choice for the discerning touring cyclist.

Oxford Bike Works

Oxford Bike Works is a British brand that offers bespoke, handcrafted travel bikes. Oxford Bike Works bikes are designed to offer optimal comfort and reliable performance over long distances. The brand's chromoly steel frames are known for their durability and comfort. Oxford Bike Works travel bikes are equipped with reliable components, such as Shimano transmissions and mechanical disc brakes. While Oxford Bike Works bikes may be more expensive than some competitors, their custom quality and durability make them an attractive choice for discerning bike tourers.

Roberts Cycles

Roberts Cycles is a legendary British brand that has been making custom travel bikes for decades. Roberts Cycles bikes are hand-built and customized to the rider's preferences, offering exceptional quality and performance. Roberts Cycles' chromoly steel frames are renowned for their durability, comfort and impact resistance. Roberts Cycles travel bikes are equipped with top-of-the-line components, such as Shimano transmissions and hydraulic disc brakes. While Roberts Cycles bikes may be more expensive and less available than some other brands, their custom quality and performance make them a preferred choice among discerning bike tourers.

Vivente

Vivente is an Australian brand that offers durable and well-equipped travel bikes. Their flagship model, the Vivente World Randonneur, is known for its strength and versatility. Vivente's chromoly steel frames offer an excellent compromise between strength, comfort and weight. Vivente travel bikes are equipped with reliable components, such as Shimano transmissions and mechanical disc brakes. While Vivente bikes may be less available than some other brands, their durability and full equipment make them a popular choice among bike tourers looking for a reliable and versatile travel bike.

Ridgeback

Ridgeback is a British brand that offers a range of affordable and versatile travel bikes, such as the popular Ridgeback Panorama. Ridgeback's chromoly steel frames offer a good compromise between strength, comfort and weight, making them an ideal choice for beginner and intermediate touring cyclists. Ridgeback travel bikes are equipped with reliable components, such as Shimano transmissions and mechanical disc brakes. While Ridgeback bikes may be less customizable and heavier than some competitors, their value for money makes them an attractive choice for riders looking for an affordable and reliable travel bike.

Cinelli

Cinelli is a legendary Italian brand that offers high-end, stylish travel bikes. Cinelli's chromoly and carbon steel frames offer excellent strength and lightness. Cinelli travel bikes are equipped with high-end components, such as Shimano drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes. Although Cinelli bikes may be more expensive than some competitors, their refined Italian design and performance make them a popular choice for discerning bike tourers.

Cube Bikes

Cube is a popular German brand that offers a diverse range of travel bikes, suitable for both beginners and experienced cyclists. Cube's flagship travel bikes include the Cube Travel and the Cube Kathmandu, designed to offer comfort and performance over long distances. Cube's aluminum frames are known for their strength and lightness. Cube travel bikes are equipped with reliable components, such as Shimano transmissions and mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes. Cube offers good value for money for riders looking for an affordable and versatile travel bike.

Giant Bicycles

Giant is a Taiwanese brand well known for its quality bikes at an affordable price. Giant's line of travel bikes includes models such as the Giant ToughRoad and Giant Revolt, which offer comfort and performance over long distances. Giant's aluminum or carbon frames offer strength and lightness. Giant travel bikes are equipped with reliable components, such as Shimano transmissions and mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes. Although Giant bikes may be less customizable than some competitors, their value makes them an attractive choice for riders looking for an affordable, high-performance travel bike.

Cannondale

Cannondale is an American brand known for its high quality, high performance bikes. Cannondale travel bikes, such as the Cannondale Topstone or the Cannondale Touring, offer excellent comfort and reliable performance over long distances. Cannondale's aluminum and carbon frames offer exceptional strength and lightness. Cannondale touring bikes are equipped with top-of-the-line components, such as Shimano or SRAM drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes. While Cannondale bikes may be more expensive than some competitors, their quality, performance and innovative design make them a popular choice for the discerning touring cyclist.

Condor Cycles

Condor Cycles is a premium British brand that offers stylish, high-quality travel bikes. Condor's chromoly steel and titanium frames offer excellent strength and lightness. Condor travel bikes are equipped with high quality components, such as Shimano or Campagnolo drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes. Condor bikes can be customized to the customer's preferences in terms of geometry, frame size, color and other options. While Condor bikes may be more expensive than some competitors, their build quality and attention to detail make them a top choice for discerning bike tourers looking for a stylish, custom-made travel bike.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing the best travel bike for your road adventures may seem difficult, but with a range of brands and models available, you're sure to find a bike that meets your needs and budget. The travel bike brands featured in this article offer a wide range of options for both novice and experienced bike tourers, from affordable and versatile bikes from Ridgeback and Giant Bicycles to high-end models from Cinelli and Condor Cycles.

Chromoly steel and aluminum frames are popular materials for travel bikes, offering an excellent compromise between strength, comfort and weight. Carbon frames are also used for high-end models, offering exceptional strength and lightness.

Bike components are just as important as the frame, and the brands featured in this article offer a range of high-quality drivetrains, brakes and other components to meet the demands of every bike tourer. Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo drivetrains are common on touring bikes, offering reliable long-distance performance and reliability. Hydraulic disc brakes offer better modulation and braking power than mechanical disc brakes, but are often more expensive.

Finally, customization is also an important consideration for bicycle tourers, and some brands, such as Condor Cycles and Koga, offer customization options to meet individual preferences for geometry, color and other options.

It's important to consider your specific needs, personal preferences and budget when selecting a travel bike. Whether you're looking for an affordable, versatile bike for your weekend adventures or a high-end, customized bike for long-distance travel, the brands featured in this article offer options to meet those needs.

Ultimately, choosing the best travel bike depends on your personal preferences and riding style. Take the time to research and try out different models to find the one that best suits your needs and travel goals. With a little patience and thought, you'll find a travel bike that will accompany you on your road trip adventures for many years to come.