The Best Budget Touring Bikes In 2023 (Under £1000)

The Giant Roam 2 Disc is one of the best budget touring bikes

Are you looking to buy a new touring bike that won’t break the bank? You’re in the right place, as this article will showcase some of the best budget touring bikes available to buy in 2023, as well as some tips on bagging a cheap bike.

Lots of people seem to think that you need super high-quality equipment for a cycle touring trip, especially when it comes to the bike itself. And while you do generally get what you pay for, you really don’t need to fork out £2000+ on a premium bike.

The best budget touring bikes are still ready for the open road and capable of carrying you from A to B, but will have more basic components (e.g. an aluminium frame over a steel frame or rim brakes instead of disc brakes) to save on costs.

Best budget touring bikes
The Ridgeback Tour is a great example of a budget touring bike with its aluminium frame and rim brake setup — more on this below!

Choosing a bike for touring with a low budget

The reality is this: touring bikes are expensive items. They’re designed to be durable and capable of hauling heavy luggage, while still being efficient and comfortable to ride all day. These are features that cost. But unless you’re planning to embark on a lengthy round-the-world tour, you really don’t need to buy the world’s best touring bike.

In fact, you don’t necessarily even need a touring bike. Although touring bikes are (obviously) specifically designed for this purpose, most bicycles can be adapted to make them suitable for touring. Hybrids and gravel bikes, in particular, can be good options. A bike with the following characteristics would be suitable:

  • Durable
  • Comfortable riding position
  • Low gears for climbing hills
  • Fitment points to add racks etc
  • The ability to run wide tyres (ideally 32mm or more)

So while non-touring bikes may not be primarily designed to provide comfort or carrying capability over long distances, they can still transport you and your panniers comfortably from A to B. My Trek 7.2 FX hybrid happily takes me touring in Europe, for example.

What I’m saying is this: if you have a low budget, please don’t let this stop you from touring. People have cycled epic distances on bikes that didn’t look up to the job. You’ll just need to keep in mind that cheaper bikes will have their limitations.

READ MORE: How to choose a touring bike

Second-hand budget touring bike
My second-hand Trek hybrid that I picked up from a charity shop is perfectly capable of touring!

The best budget touring bikes

Here are the best budget touring bikes currently on the market. Not all of these bikes are specifically touring bikes — there are some hybrids and gravel bikes thrown into the mix — but they all have features that make them suitable for touring.

Giant Roam 2 Disc (£679)

Giant Roam 2 Disc

A versatile hybrid bike, totally capable of touring.

The Giant Roam 2 Disc has everything you’d expect from a great hybrid bike. It’s got a suspension fork, grippy tyres and flat-bar positioning for comfort and control over rough surfaces. It’s also got wide-range gearing, 700c wheels and a lightweight aluminium frame, so efficiency and speed aren’t sacrificed. All in all, the Roam 2 is built for versatility.

The Roam 2 does have a few mounting points, but doesn’t come with any accessories for touring, so you’ll need to factor racks and bottle cages etc into your budget.

Frame: Aluminium
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Giant CrossCut, 700x42c, anti-puncture
Brakes: Tektro HD-M275 Hydraulic Disc
Gearing: 30-46T chainset, 11-36T cassette
Accessories: None

Buy the Giant Roam 2 Disc directly from Giant.

Riverside Touring 520 (£799.99)

Riverside Touring 520

Designed with European greenways and bike paths in mind.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bike brand that beats Decathlon on price. This is primarily due to the fact that they have their own in-house bike brands (such as B’Twin) and so cut out the middleman when it comes to parts. It’s no surprise, then, that their Riverside Touring 520 was the cheapest touring bike I could find, and while I was dubious as to its quality, online reviews seem to have nothing but praise.

Riverside (Decathlon) say: “Our touring team has designed this bike for discovering bike touring on greenways and bike paths.” Essentially, it would make a great euro-tourer but probably wouldn’t be reliable on a years-long round-the-world voyage. That being said, I’m impressed by the powerful hydraulic disc brakes and 11-speed cassette. It even comes with a front dynamo hub to power your lights.

Frame: Aluminium
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: B’Twin Trekking 9 Grip Protect+ tyres
Brakes: Tektro T275 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Gearing: 11-46T 11-speed cassette
Accessories: Rear rack, mudguards, dynamo hub

 → Buy the Riverside Touring 520 from Decathlon.

Fuji Touring LTD 2021 (£800)

Fuji Touring Ltd Bike

A packrat of a bicycle, ideal for heavily-loaded tours.

The Fuji Touring LTD was designed to be a packrat of a bicycle — ideal for long tours that will require a fair amount of luggage. It comes with a rear rack, and also has plenty of mounting points for adding additional racks, bags and bottle cages as needed.

Thanks to its flat bar design, the Fuji Touring is great for riding over rougher terrain with control and stability. This means it’s better suited for off-road detours than many of the “classic” touring bikes out there, which typically use drop bars instead. The Fuji Touring also rolls upon durable Vittoria Randonneur tyres, enabling fast rolling speeds with dependable grip and traction.

Frame: Reynolds 520 Chromoly
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Vittoria Randonneur 700 x 40c
Brakes: Shimano Alivio Rim Brakes
Gearing: 48-36-26T chainset, 11-34T 9-speed cassette
Accessories: Rear rack and mudguards

 → Buy the Fuji Touring LTD from Chain Reaction Cycles or Wiggle.

Cube Touring Pro 2022 (£849)

Cube Touring Pro

Touring meets hybrid – this bike is the best of both worlds.

Fully equipped with a rear rack, taillights and mudguards, the Cube Touring Pro is ready for adventure straight out of the box.

This bike is a hybrid at heart, rather than a true touring bike, but take it from me: hybrids can be great for touring. The Cube Touring Pro handles gravel paths with ease, thanks to its plush suspension fork and grippy Schwalbe Range Cruiser tyres. While it may be slower than a typical touring bike, it’ll keep you comfortable over those bumpy roads.

Frame: Aluminium
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Schwalbe Range Cruiser, Active, 47-622
Brakes: Shimano BR-MT200 Hydraulic Disc
Gearing: 48-36-26T chainset, 12-32T cassette
Accessories: Rear rack, mudguards, taillights and kickstand

→ Buy the Cube Touring Pro 2022 from Pedal Heaven.
→ There are also trapeze and electric bike versions of the Cube Touring Pro, ideal for cyclists with less mobility.

Ridgeback Tour 2021 (£850)

Ridgeback Tour

A classic-style touring bike for adventure on a budget.

The Ridgeback Tour is a great example of a “classic” touring bike, with its long wheelbase, drop bar set up and numerous fitment points. It has a lot in common with its dearer cousin the Ridgeback Panorama, but with cost-saving components, such as an aluminium frame, rim brakes, and a basic but reliable drivetrain.

The Tour may be the cheapest of Ridgeback’s touring bike range, but it’s still ready for the open road, as it’s equipped with full-length mudguards and a rear pannier rack. Since Dawes discontinued the much-loved Galaxy in 2020, there’s been a gap in the market for a great entry-level touring bike, which the Ridgeback Tour might just fill.

Frame: Aluminium
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Continental Contact 700x32c
Brakes: Tektro CR-510 Rim Brakes
Gearing: 48-38-28T chainset, 11-32T cassette
Accessories: Rear rack and mudguards

→ Buy the Ridgeback Tour 2021 from We Love Cycles.

Genesis Day One (£899.99)

Genesis Day One Bike

Touring bike meets gravel bike.

Genesis is a UK bike brand renowned for its great value models and the Day One is no different. “Super-commuter, meets touring, meets gravel bike, the Day One is our triple threat!” say Genesis. Decked out with an abundance of mounting points for racks, bags, cages and more, this bike is designed to take you and your gear as far as your legs will carry you.

Interestingly, the Genesis Day One is equipped with an internal gear hub, rather than derailleur gears. This might be either a positive or a negative, depending on your preference, but I personally think it’s a positive. Internal gear hubs require much less maintenance, are generally more reliable and allow you to change gears while stationary.

Frame: Double-Butted Aluminium
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: WTB All Terrain
Brakes: PROMAX DSK-300 Road Mechanical Disc
Gearing: Shimano Nexus SG-C6001-8D 8-speed internal gear hub
Accessories: None

Buy the Genesis Day One from Edinburgh Bicycle.

Trek FX 3 Equipped (£900)

Trek FX 3 Equipped Bike

A fully-equipped bike from the world’s most popular hybrid series.

Trek’s FX series is the most popular hybrid line in the world — clearly, they have a great track record. While there are a few different models in the FX series, the FX 3 Equipped is a particularly great option for touring.

As the name would suggest, it’s very well-equipped and ready for adventure straight out of the box. It comes with a rear rack, mudguards and taillights as standard, as well as powerful disc brakes, puncture-resistant tyres and a wide-range 11-36 cassette to get you up those hills.

The FX 3 Equipped does come in at just under £1000 and so may be stretching the limits of a “budget touring bike,” but there are cheaper models in the FX line that could also be good options.

Frame: Aluminium
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Bontrager H2 Hard-Case Lite
Brakes: Shimano MT201 Hydraulic Disc
Gearing: 46-30T chainset, 11-36T 9-speed cassette
Accessories: Rear rack, mudguards, kickstand

Buy the Trek FX 3 Equipped directly from Trek.

Marin Four Corners 2022 (£995)

Marin Four Corners Gravel Bike

A comfortable gravel bike designed with touring in mind.

Marin’s Four Corners is just squeezing into this best budget touring bikes list at £995. It’s primarily a gravel bike but is designed with touring in mind, which is why it’s featured here. It has an abundance of mounting points for racks etc, tons of heel clearance, and a heads-up riding position for comfort over long days in the saddle.

The Four Corners is certainly built for adventure and is happiest touring a little off-the-beaten path, whether that’s a dirt road, gravel path or forest track. At almost 13kg, it’s a little sluggish uphill and certainly won’t break any records for speed, but it’ll make a versatile and comfortable touring companion. Touring is all about the marathon and not the sprint, after all.

Frame: CroMo/Steel
Wheel size: 650b on XS and S frame sizes, 700c on the rest
Tyres: WTB Resolute
Brakes: Tektro Spyre-C Road Mechanical Disc
Gearing: 50-39-30T chainset, 11-34T 9-speed cassette
Accessories: None

Buy the Marin Four Corners 2022 from Winstanleys Bikes.

Quick tips on bagging a cheap touring bike

Buy second-hand: You may be able to get a really great deal by buying a used bike. eBay and Gumtree are good places to look. Searching “touring bike” on eBay just now, it’s come up with a Ridgeback World Voyage for £300, a Dawes Ultra Galaxy for £218, and a Genesis Tour de Fer for £647. The Dawes Galaxy is an iconic model and was a touring favourite for almost 50 years until it was sadly discontinued in 2021. There are loads of them in secondhand bike shops and online marketplaces now.

Buy at the end of the year: Towards the end of the calendar year, many bike brands will start rolling out next year’s models. A complete frame redesign takes a lot of time and investment and can’t be done every year. So when a brand launches its next bike, it will usually just be a new colour scheme and a few minor changes — essentially the same bike, but now at a higher price. They will need to clear stock to make way for these new models, so you can often grab last year’s model at a discount during this time.

Upgrade later: The nice thing about bikes is that they can be modified and upgraded. As long as you choose a bike with a decent frame now, you can upgrade sub-par components over time. This means you won’t be taking such a financial hit in one go.

Thank you for reading! If you found this post useful, I’d be grateful if you would consider using the affiliate links below when planning your travels. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This will help me to keep this blog running. Thanks for your support – Lauren.

Hotels –
Hostels – Hostelworld
Cheap flights – Skyscanner
Travel insurance – World Nomads
Outdoor gear – Decathlon / GO Outdoors
Cycling gear – Chain Reaction Cycles

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  1. Careful, the very first pic you posted, you say it’s an aluminium frame, while it’s clearly steel from the photos and listed on the product webpage. Hard to have much confidence in the rest of the article.

    1. Hi Everett, are you referring to the Ridgeback Tour or the Giant Roam 2? Both of these definitely have aluminum frames.

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