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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

Picture Gallery
Travel Plan

My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room


Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

Buying the Best Touring Bicycle or Commuting Bikes.
How to Buy Used or New Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide.


Commuting and touring bikes are combined in this article because they serve a similar human powered utilitarian purpose.  These useful bicycles are the workhorses of the sport.  Speed and looks are less important than functionality, durability, and reliability.  Commuting bicycles and touring bikes carry groceries and laptop computers or camping gear and travel clothes.  They have to be reliable and adaptable in even the worst weather.  The weight of the commuter or touring bicycle is secondary to these issues.  Most importantly, on a bicycle tour or daily commute the cyclist must be comfortable and not have mechanical problems.  Both of these types of cycles are difficult to find used or for sale new but hopefully this guide will help.

I have spent 30 years riding, racing, commuting, and traveling by bicycle.  During my recent years as a recreational bike tourist I have researched what makes a good touring bicycle.  The start of your once in a lifetime dream trip or the middle of the Bolivian wilderness is no place to discover that a wrong bike or part was chosen months earlier.  It is always a long walk when pushing your loaded rig.

Traveling by bicycle is not yet a mainstream sport in the USA and Canada so few answers to touring specific equipment questions can be found in local bike shops.  Instead bits and pieces have to be gathered from other touring cyclists and far flung corners of the internet.  I believe that experience is still the best teacher and I sit in this classroom everyday as we bicycle tour around the world.

The majority of Touring bikes purchased off the showroom floor may appear to be less expensive but after some time in the saddle it is always necessary to replace parts and upgrade components.  Because of this stock bikes often end up costing more than if they were custom build from the start.  I have concluded that most stock bicycle will always have costly shortcomings and never satisfy individual needs.

The only way to build a personal dream touring bike is buy a favorite frameset and hand pick every component that goes on it or upgrade and modify a current bike.  Of course all of the choices involved in building the ultimate touring bike are confusing which is why I have created this technical portion of our web site.  I do not claim to have all of the answers.  No one does.  When I am unsure or undecided on a certain topic I will clearly state this.  I do not want to suggest that my personal opinion is fact.  I really dislike it when others claim that their preferences are best for everyone.  I continue to be open minded and will listen to someone else's ideas.  On the equipment pages listed below, I have written a general informative overview for each topic, present options widely accepted in the bicycle touring community, and then explained my personal feelings, preferences and experiences.  Everyone likes something different in their touring bike and I hope these pages help your decision making process.

I believe for this web site to be useful to readers it is not enough to lay out all the choices but it is also important to point readers to specific online stores where each component can be purchased at low prices.  Most of the online retailers I recommend pay us a small commission for sales they receive through the links on our web site.  This commission is not passed on to the consumer which means that it does not cost extra to shop through our web site.  Shopping through our links helps us maintain these web pages and continue our around the world bicycle tour.  If you find this information useful or at least entertaining please use either the specific product links or general store gateway links to make your purchases.  We appreciate it.

We currently have a few sponsors.  We truly believe in both of them and have no problem recommending them even if they did not support our travels.  I do not have outside commitments or obligations to sway my opinion.  We could suggest any type or brand of bike touring equipment or components but have narrowed these choices down to a limited number of top picks.  I hope you find the information here helpful and always welcome your feedback.

DSC00002.JPG (527471 bytes)
Tim trying to repair a mysterious clicking sound originally thought to be the bottom bracket.  Tim's bike broke in the worst place; a remote village in the central Mexican Mountains.  It turned out to be a poorly made bottom bracket shell / frame that gave the bottom bracket enough room to creak as I pedaled.

Tim working on failing rim on a three day climb in the Andes Mountains in southern Ecuador.  Notice that there is a large cliff on the side of the road and no shoulder for Tim to safely work on his bike.  He looks mad because equipment failures should not spoil an adventure of a lifetime.  Choose wisely.

Riding in the rain without fenders can make for a very wet ride.  Honduras was a very wet country for us.  It is difficult or impossible to find good quality fenders in the USA.

Standing on a loaded touring bike puts a lot of stress on the frame and causes a lot of flexing of the rear triangle.  My Chrome-Moly steel frame set flexed so much that it actually shifted gears.

Did you find this page helpful.  Please let me know by Contacting Us

Buying New or Used Touring Bicycles For Sale for Self Contained Unsupported Loaded Bike Tours.

Touring Bicycle for Self Contained Unsupported Loaded Bike Tour used for sale.


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Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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