Deciding on a bike seems like the biggest decision you can possibly make and in many ways it is. However in comparison to say clothing where the range is huge touring bikes tend to be a fairly defined bunch. Setting ourselves a maximum budget pretty much defined our bike options as below.
- Dawes Galaxy - Although I initially liked the Dawes I began to lean more and more towards a 26" wheel model with straight bars. I know wheel size is a hot topic of contention (I do ride 700C wheels on my road bike) but somehow 26" seemed more suited for our touring pace. I also found it very hard to find a good dealer in London who both knew about Dawes bikes and was prepared to order one in for me to try out.
- Surly Long Haul Trucker - This was my bike I had decided almost straight away. I tried one for size at Brixton Cycles (to big but they were prepared to order another to fit me) had the order sheet and started planning the build. Suddenly the pound weakened against the US dollar and the price of my bike went signifigantly upwards. Sadly it was ruled out due to cost nothing else.
- Thorn Sherpa - Once we had ruled out the crazily expensive but mouth-wateringly cool Rohloff hub models that Thorn make we were really only left with the Sherpa model. Reading the brochure, reviewing the build options and talking to the staff in store convinced us these were the bikes, or at least it convinced Emma and once the pound devalued I followed suit.
- A few other models we considered Roberts (out of price range), Edinburgh Bike Coop Revolution (Nice but not quite sturdy enough)
Trying to sum up our bike decision in a few lines doesnt really do it justice so if you want to know more then just get in touch.