The 10 Very Best Touring Bikes For 2023

Trek 520 Disc Touring Bike

As we roll into the new year, it’s time to think about the possibility of a 2023 bike tour and a new 2-wheeled companion who’s up for the challenge. As such, this article will showcase 10 of the best touring bikes on the market, including details on what they’re best for, important specifications and more.

Touring is all about the marathon, rather than the sprint, and it demands a bike that you can comfortably ride all day while carrying a load. With this in mind, the best touring bikes are happy rolling across a variety of terrain and capable of hauling heavy loads up hills. They’re also kitted out with standard yet reliable components, so that you can find spare parts easily while on the road, even if you’re in a remote town in the middle of nowhere.

Tip: The touring bikes listed below are ideal for what I would call ‘classic’ touring. I.e., they’re best suited for long-distance touring on mostly paved roads, but capable of riding on dirt and gravel paths etc when necessary.

Best touring bikes
The Trek 520 Disc is one of the best touring bikes out there and an absolute classic. I’ll be talking about this later on!

How to choose the best touring bike for you

Before I show you the best touring bikes on the market, you’ll want to think about a few things:

  • Will you be touring short-term or long-term?
  • Is your route mostly on-road or off-road?
  • Where in the world will you be touring?
  • How much gear will you be carrying?
  • What’s your budget?

The answers to these questions will ultimately define which touring bike is best for you. The very best touring bikes are expensive, so if the demands of your tour(s) aren’t going to test the bike too much, it’s really not necessary to buy the best. Unless you want to, of course!

If you’re new to touring and just want a bike that will take you comfortably on tarmac roads and bike paths, an entry-level bike would be fine for you. If you’re a veteran tourer looking to cycle across the world, you might want to invest in an expedition standard bike. Think about where your touring style sits between these two extremes.

The 10 best touring bikes in 2023

If you’re a frequent tourer looking for a great bike, this list will help you find your perfect companion. While you should expect to spend upwards of £1,000 on a new, fully-featured touring bike, rest assured that it should last a lifetime if well cared for.

Cube Touring Pro (£899)

Cube Touring Pro
Image supplied by Cube

A budget, hybrid-style touring bike.

Fully equipped with a rear rack, taillights and mudguards, the Cube Touring Pro is ready for adventure straight out of the box. It makes it into this best touring bikes list thanks to its exceptional price tag — a bike designed for touring that comes in at under £1000 is incredible value for money.

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 bumpier roads, happily taking you from A to B without breaking the bank.

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

Check out the Cube Touring Pro on Cube.
There are also trapeze and electric bike versions of the Cube Touring Pro, ideal for cyclists with less mobility.

Ridgeback Expedition (£1,349)

Ridgeback Expedition 2023 touring bike
Image supplied by Ridgeback

A rugged, expedition-ready, flat bar option.

As the name would suggest, the Ridgeback Expedition is ideal for long-haul touring expeditions. The model was originally launched in 2014 and has been tweaked and perfected over the years, with the 2023 model the best version yet.

While still a touring bike at heart, the Expedition has many characteristics of a mountain bike, making it a great choice for those who need something a little more rugged. Its got a wide range of 27 gears, giving it the ability to climb steep hills with ease; chunky 26-inch Schwalbe Marathon tyres for excellent puncture resistance and off-road capability; cable disc brakes, and ergonomically-designed flat bars for added comfort and stability over rough terrain.

Frame: Steel
Wheel size: 26-inch
Tyres: Shwalbe Marathon GG 26 x 1.75
Brakes: Promax DSK-300 Mechanical Disc
Gearing: 48-36-26T chainset, 11-36T cassette
Accessories: Mudguards

Buy the Ridgeback Expedition 2023 directly from Ridgeback’s website.

Ridgeback Panorama (£1,599)

Ridgeback Panorama 2023 touring bike
Image supplied by Ridgeback

Built to haul heavy luggage over vast distances.

The Panorama is Ridgeback’s most expensive model in their touring bike range, describing itself as “ready for any adventure you have in mind”. A bold claim, if you ask me. But the wheels, dressed in Schwalbe Marathon tyres, are built for toughness, with Jalco’s DM25 rims that are designed for cross-country and trekking bikes.

The wide 11-34 cassette and triple chainset mean that the Panorama will happily climb hills while fully loaded, making it a real packhorse of a bicycle. Paired with a full Shimano drive and TRP Spyre disc brakes, you’ve got yourself a reliable bike capable of taking on the world.

Frame: Steel
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Shwalbe Marathon GG 700 x 35c
Brakes: TRP Spyre Mechanical Disc
Gearing: 48-36-26T chainset, 11-34T cassette
Accessories: Rear rack, mudguards and 3 bottle cages

Buy the Ridgeback Panorama 2023 from Ridgeback’s website.

Trek 520 Disc (£1,650)

Trek 520 Disc Touring Bike
Image supplied by Trek

A tried and tested reliable packhorse.

The Trek 520 Disc touring bike is known to be a bit of a classic among cycle tourists, having been in Trek’s line-up for ages. It’s a steel packhorse, equipped with both rear and front racks, and a drive train that’s designed for hauling a heavy load. Using a mix of Shimano Sora and Alivio parts, its nine-speed cassette and triple chainset provide a wide range of 27 durable gears, making it ideal for touring in hilly countries.

The price tag might make you gulp, but the Trek 520 Disc is built to last and will be a reliable touring companion. As Trek themselves say, “you’ll leave this bike to someone in your will.”

Frame: Trek Butted Chromoly
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: 700x38c Bontrager H1 Hard-case Ultimate
Brakes: TRP Spyre Mechanical Disc
Gearing: 48-36-26 chainset, 11–36 9-speed cassette
Accessories: Front and rear rack

Buy the Trek 520 Disc directly from the Trek website.

Surly Disc Trucker ($2,049 / £1,700)

Image supplied by Surly

A much-loved touring bike capable of traversing the globe.

Many consider the Surly Disc Trucker to be the gold standard of touring bikes, as it has everything a cycle tourist would need to traverse the globe. And sure enough, time and testing have proved that this bike can handle a heavy-loaded tour better than a lot of its competitors.

It was originally built as a disc brake version of the legendary Surly Long Haul Trucker. However, the Disc Trucker has now completely replaced its older sibling, as Surly announced in 2021 that it would no longer be producing the Long Haul Trucker. Looks like the jury is in: disc brakes are the way forward!

It’s got tons of useful mounting points, ideal for adding racks, water bottle cages and more, although it doesn’t actually come with any accessories, so you’ll have to factor this into the cost.

Frame: Surly 4130 Cromoly steel
Wheel size: 700c or 26-inch
Tyres: 700x41c Surely ExtraTerrestrial
Brakes: TRP Spyre C Mechanical Disc
Gearing: 48-36-26t chainset, 11-34t 9-speed cassette
Accessories: None

Check the Surly website for bike stores in your local area that stock their models.

Kona Sutra (£2,099)

Kona Sutra touring bike
Image supplied by Kona

Stylish and modern, yet very functional.

Kona have always been progressively-minded and like to break the mould when it comes to their bikes. In fact, the Sutra was one of the first touring bikes to start using disc brakes in the early 2010s. The Kona Sutra 2023 is also progressively-minded; a sporty, modern take on the ‘classic’ touring bike.

In my opinion, the Sutra is a gorgeous bike, thanks to its satin midnight frame and retro brown accents. It’s not just stylish though; it’s also incredibly functional, with hydraulic disk brakes and a reliable drivetrain. It even comes with a Brooks B17 saddle as standard, which die-hard Brooks fans will be pleased to hear.

Frame: Kona Butted Chromoly
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 700x40c
Brakes: TRP HDC711C Mechanical / Hydraulic Disc
Gearing: 11-36t 10-speed cassette
Accessories: Front rack and mudguards

Buy the Kona Sutra 2023 from the Kona Bike Shop.

Genesis Tour de Fer 30 (£2,200)

Genesis Tour De Fer 30 touring bike
Image supplied by Genesis

Ready for epic adventures straight out of the box.

As Genesis themselves say, “the bike you’d turn to if you were to quit your job and embark on an impromptu pedal-powered world tour!” That’s the kind of spirit that’s welcome here.

The Tour de Fer 30 is, without a doubt, a reliable adventure machine. Genesis have dressed the strong Chromoly frame with durable, expedition-worthy components, such as a Shimano Tiagra 4700 3×10 drivetrain and TRP Spyre Disc Brakes. They’ve also included a dynamo hub for year-round, charge-free lighting. You can even add supplementary power banks or USB chargers.

This bike is ready for an epic tour straight out of the box. The only question is: where will you go?

Frame: Reynolds 725 Heat-Treated Chromoly
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: 700x35c Schwalbe Marathon
Brakes: TRP Spyre Mechanical Disc
Gearing: 50-39-30 chainset, 11-34t 10-speed cassette
Accessories: Mudguards, front and rear pannier racks, dynamo lighting, bottle cages.

Buy the Genesis Tour de Fer 30 directly from Genesis.

KOGA WorldTraveller ( DKK 20499 / £2,443)

KOGA WorldTraveller
Image supplied by KOGA

Reassuringly expensive; an exceptionally high-quality touring bike designed to take on the world.

As the name would suggest, the KOGA WorldTraveller is equipped with everything you need to travel around the world by bike. It features rugged Schwalbe Marathon tyres, a super sturdy frame, a dynamo hub to power your lights, and a reliable, low-maintenance and low-geared Rohloff hub to get you up those hills while fully loaded. Reliable, sturdy and sporty, you might say this is the ultimate trekking companion.

The WorldTraveller is available in either a traditional diamond or a step-through frame, both of which are available in five sizes. This means your bike should be perfectly fitted to you, something which is absolutely essential when touring. With the KOGA Signature programme, you’re also able to completely customise the bike, with unlimited colour choices for the frame, 3 wheel choices, the option to add electric assistance, and lots more.

Frame: Aluminium
Wheel size: 28-inch
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon
Brakes: MT400 Hydraulic Disc
Gearing: 14-speed Rohloff Hub, 11-34 cassette
Accessories: Dynamo hub, front rack, rear rack, mudguards, lights, lock, bottle holders, water bottles, bicycle pump and kickstand.

Check out the KOGA WorldTraveller on KOGA.

Stanforth Conway Sports Tourer (£3,550)

Stanforth Conway touring bike
Image supplied by Stanforth

A sporty touring bike that prioritises speed.

Fast. Agile. Comfortable. The Stanforth Conway is a touring bike built for speed. It was designed in collaboration with adventure cyclist Sean Conway, who went on to claim the record for cycling across Europe using this bike.

At well over £3000, this is a luxurious machine, but every Conway is built to order, with the frame’s geometry fine-tuned to each individual customer.

If you enjoy touring at pace and are happy to splurge, the Stanforth Conway may be the bike for you. It’ll carry panniers, but prefers lighter loads than some of the packhorse-style tourers in this list.

Frame: Reynolds 853 Steel
Wheel size: 700c
Tyres: Marathon Racer 35mm
Brakes: TRP Spyre Mechanical Disc
Gearing: 34-50 chainset, 11-34T 11-speed cassette
Accessories: Racks and mudguards

Buy the Stanforth Conway directly from Stanforth. You’ll need to send across your measurements or arrange a fitting to buy.

Thorn Nomad Mk3 (£1,565+)

Thorn Nomad Mk3
Image supplied by Thorn

A bespoke, expedition-grade touring companion.

Based in Somerset, England, Thorn is a world-renowned producer of bespoke touring bikes.

The Nomad Mk3 is the newest in Thorn’s line-up and is their take on the “ultimate bombproof touring bike.” You can customise many components of your Nomad Mk3, enabling you to bring your dream touring companion to life. It can be built with flat bars or drop bars, with a derailleur or a Rohloff hub, with rim brakes or disc brakes, with 700c, 650b or 26-inch tyres — the choice is yours.

The steel frame is tough, the wheels are strong and the components are high-quality. It handles well in a variety of conditions, including canal towpaths, gravel tracks and forest paths. It can be used for day-to-day transport, or it can literally travel the world.

To buy a Thorn Nomad Mk3, you’ll have to contact Thorn to make a fitting appointment.

More great touring bikes

It was super hard narrowing this list down to just 10, and there are plenty more excellent bikes out there. If you’ve not found your ideal steed in my list above, here are a few more great touring bikes to consider:

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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