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One tour bike that I bought in Malaysia.

One tour bike that I bought in Malaysia.

I have been asked by a few people to write a little bit about the kind of bikes that I use when I go tour cycling in various countries around the world. So here is a few words about my preferred kind of bike.

I prefer mountainbikes.

Mountainbikes are easy to fix.

Mountainbikes are easy to fix.

Even if I am not an off road cyclist, I prefer mountainbikes for tour cycling. This is simply because they do not break as often as other bikes do and because they are easier to repair. I know I could also use a specific tour bike, but I kind of like to have fairly fat wheels, as I am often cycling in countries with a rough road surface.

Also, specialised tour bikes are often quite expensive.

My Brazilian tour bike on a beach in Bahia.

My Brazilian tour bike on a beach in Bahia.

I ride bikes that are not too expensive.

Cycling with another locally purchased bike.

Cycling with another locally purchased bike.

When I am tour cycling, I prefer to ride bikes that are not too expensive. I prefer not to be too worried about getting my bike stolen. And I like to sometimes leave a bike behind if I am returning on an airline that wants a lot of money to transport my bike. Of course, I am not buying the cheapest crap from the Walmart kind of places, cause I do not like a bike that falls apart. But I find that mid range priced mountainbikes can easily do 2-3 long trips of 2000-3000 kilometers before they start to be worn down.

 

I often just buy a bike locally.

I have bought a bike locally several times, in countries like brazil, Malaysia, The Philippines and Vietnam and taken it for tours of several thousand kilometers. In the 3 countries I mentioned here, I paid less than 300$ for the bike and had no major issues with them The XDL bike I bought in Malaysia for 275$ actually took me more than 10 000 kilometers through countries such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Norway, before it was stolen upon my return to Denmark. Buying a bike locally saves me the hassle of transporting a bike to the country here I will be cycling, so I often do that, especially if I fly with an airline that charges extra for sports equipment. Not all airlines charges for bicycles by the way. I am flying to India next week with Qatar Airways and I get the bike on the plane there for free. That bike is actually the one that I bought in Brazil last summer for just over 300$.

Cycling the Philippines.

Tour cycling the Philippines.

My bike is not a prestige symbol and not my girlfriend either.

I sleep with mu bike, but it's not my girlfriend.

I sleep with my bike, but it’s not my girlfriend.

I know that some people almost treat their bike as their girlfriend and give it a name. And they hang it up on the wall when it can not ride anymore. I do not that, first of all because I travel 365 days a year and do not have a home. And for me a bike is just something for transport and not a prestige symbol. I actually think it’s kind of funny when I meet cyclists on bikes that cost several thousand dollars, who have cycled far less than I have, even if I am usually younger than them too.

Now, I do not mean to talk bad about people who ride different types of bikes than I do. I just put down what i ride and why I ride the kind of bike I do, because a few people have asked me to do so.

Happy cycling to everyone 🙂

Claus.

Take it easy and cycle the globe.

Take it easy and cycle the globe.

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Claus,

    I would like to buy a local bike when traveling,
    but I like to ride my own bike for one reason, size!
    I am 190cm tall, and it can be sometimes difficult to find the right frame size,
    when traveling in Asia.
    I use a 26″ foldable mountan bike with ballon tires, works perfect for me and it wasn’t expensive.
    maybe my next bike will be even a 24″ tire size bike, for making it easier to take it on a bus from time to time.

    Have always a safe ride,

    Erik Neu from Germany

  2. Bala Karunamurthy

    Hi Claus, As said early, I will be cycling in the eastern ghats from mid Dec to mid Jan. If possible, please let me know if your intendented route covers any part of south India? It would be great to meet you. Cheers, Bala.

  3. I also prefer mountain bike when touring because I never know where the trail will lead me. Last time I went with Gravity FSX 1.0. This is not one of those cheaply-made full suspension bikes you see at big box stores. Brand name components, an acceptable weight, and a smart design and aesthetic make the FSX 1.0 one of the best bike values, regardless of type. And I agree that you don’t have to empty your savings to purchase a higher-end mountain bike, you can find a surprising amount of bikes that look and ride similar to competitive bikes just below 500$.

  4. Hi Claus

    I do cycling for the multi-day tour with my friends on vacation.Most of my friends use the expensive bikes like Trek, Bianchi etc. But for me, the Diamondback Overdrive series is enough.It’s not too expensive & also sturdy like any other expensive bikes to go for long rides. You also surprised to know that the Overdrive series comes under 500 bucks. Which is a great deal for a college student like me.

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