Buying Guide For Cycles And Gears – CycleCartel

Bikes become an indispensable part of our lives once we choose to travel with it. Now you might be a casual rider or a professional bike tourist but you would know how a good bike can change the entire tour!
So here we’re going to talk about basically everything you’re supposed to know and consider before you make your choice of buying a bike. Choices can be hard. Very hard to be precise, especially when you come across some glib people who makes you feel like the world revolves around a particular bike. 
That’s the exact reason why we’re providing you with a guide. A guide which will make sure you make the right choice! 

What is the best bike?

Here you’ll witness some myth busters. First and foremost, being the “best” is a highly subjective matter. It differs from person to person. For some people, having the best features requisite for their respective tour is what defines best while for some, it’s the cost that does. 
So here you’ll find all the relevant data needed for you to make your choice. 

Factors to consider before buying your bike

  • You need to analyze the reason for your buying. Do you want to buy a bike just for daily commuting? Or do you need it for long tours? Based on those reasons, you need to buy your cycle. There are different cycles available for different reasons.
  • Consider the type of weight your cycle should hold, if you’re meant to go for some long tours with distances over 100 kilometers. The cycle should be able to hold the weight of your panniers without compromising your stability. That becomes a matter of importance.
  • Tires. Yes, tires are one of the most important things you should choose while buying your bike. You should know whether the kind of roads in your tour is compatible with the kind of tires you’re having. Off-road adventures require a different kind of tire meant to be durable and puncture-resistant.
  • Consider the gears. Yes, there are different gears available and you need to make your choice based, once again upon the kind of tours you’re about to have. Those mountainous roads and steep slopes require a different kind of gearing system for optimum performance.
  • Other accessories would include racks and panniers. Which one should you have and whether their compatibility coincides with your bike.

So these are some of the things you must duly consider before you buy your bike. Now having said this, know that basically there are two kinds of bikes here.

Basically there are two kinds of bikes here.

1. Road bikes

Road bikes are meant for speed. They’re not prepared for long tours with heavy luggage. If you see the material, you would see that they’re made up of carbon or aluminum. Something quite light in terms of weight. Also, the positioning of the rider will be such as to generate maximum momentum.



Best Road BikesBest Budget Road Bike
Beginner Road BikeRoad Bikes Under 1000

2. Touring bikes

Coming to touring bikes, the purpose they follow involves stability. These bikes are designed on the assumption that the rider will be equipped with heavy loads, so these bikes are designed for those kinds of durability. They’re mostly made up of steel, which makes it very hard and the structure of these bikes is meant for comfort while you’re off-road with heavy panniers. Durability and comfort pretty much sum up touring bikes.



Best Touring BikesBest Budget Touring Bike
Sport Touring BikeTouring Bikes Under 1000

Now let’s talk about some of the best touring bikes.

1. 2021 Salsa Marrakesh Sora

This bike is a standard touring bike designed to withstand heavy weights. If you’re carrying a considerable amount of load, don’t worry, this bike’s got your back. It is built with Cobra Kai CroMoly, 4130 tubeset. The components can be called as Salsa Shimaro Sora drivetrain.

Mounting attachments are comfortable and the drop bars are standard in nature. You can even adjust the chainstay length! There are the availability of spare spokes on top of the left chainstay and also the disc brake wheel I’d compatible with 700c x 40 mm tires with fenders and 29 x 2.0″ tires if without a fender.

2. 2021 Trek 920

You are a frequent tourist? Love adventures? And also unique choice maker in your adventures? This bike is right for you! Coming to the specifics, there is availability of dropbars and 29er mountain bike Trek 920 wheels. It is built from a rather light weight 100 series Alpha Aluminum frame and alloy fork. Too technical? Just get the gist : it’s awesome. The 2×10 SRAM mountain drivetrain with integrated SRAM Double Tap hydraulic brake makes it the best even for hills where no proper road is constructed. There are front and rear racks as well.

3. Trek 520 Disc 2021 Touring bike

One of the oldest touring bikes and it radiates the emotion of trust. Avails rack and fender mounts and racks as well. Gearing choices are ample and the 27-speed drivetrain just makes it perfect if you’re carrying a heavy load and wish to go uphill. Its stability is something worth talking about and once again  that indicates reliability. Shimaro Sora brakes are available too. The disc brakes are evergreen or suitable for all weather.

4. 2021 Giant ToughRoad SLR GX 1 Drop Bar

An adventurer yet want something low-key? This is what you’re looking for! It is made from a lightweight ALUXX SLR aluminum frame and composite fork with a drip bar positioning. Tires are tubeless so no worries about punctures. Seats are D fused which makes sure that you do not feel much vibration while on road and stay active. It actually cares so much for you! 

5. Koga WorldTraveller-S 2021

If considering the economics, it rather falls under the expensive category. However you get an opportunity to customize it as per your requirements. Talking about the base, it is built of Aluminum 6061 frame with smooth Welded Triple Butted tubes and also internal cable routing.

The Rohloff gear is low maintenance and convenient and also the height can be chosen as well as it provides 5 different frame heights and 10 standard colours. Want it? 

So these were some of the best touring bikes you must check out if the intention revolves around tours of long duration. 

Now let’s check out some of the best road bikes.

1. Giant TCR Advanced SL 0

One of the best road bikes, this one is all about speed. And if you consider other accessories you get along, you will be surprised to see the weight being on the lighter side. You get aerodynamic tuning, efficient disc brakes, fat tires which are tubeless (42 mm) and also SRAM Red eTap AXS. Everything is carbon designed.

2. Tribam RC 520 105 Disc

Here you get a 11 speed drivetrain which is awesome. The wheel base is wider and the clearance of 36 mm just adds on to this bike becoming one of the best. Also the hydraulic brakes make it many people’s favourites. Including the veterans. You must check it out.

3. Specialized Tarmac Disc Pro

This road bike is designed for speed. If you consider the aerodynamic then I must say it’s completely awesome and also the tubeless wheels are just very thoughtful. The 12 speed drivetrain is again something which is quite commendable. 

So these were some road bikes you must check out if you feel to have some wild, speedy adventures! 
Which gearing options are good? Well, there are certain gears that you must have around if your intention is to enter some rough roads where complete control over your bike becomes a matter of esteem importance. Choices like hydraulic disc brakes and SRAM are some things you must consider. 

You need to know about Touring tires as well.

So let’s look at some of the best touring tires you can find!

1. Schwalbe Marathon Plus

The review of these tires is simply awesome and if you’re looking for some quality, you must go through this. These tires can cover a vast amount of distance with ease and without getting damaged in the process. Yes, you can even cross borders! Puncture us something quite rare as it’s protected with a 5 mm puncture protection belt.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire is known to have high resistance when it comes to sharp pebbles, glasses, and basically all those pointed stuff that might damage any other normal tires. Weight is slightly more but hey! No complaints. Travel with all those loads and be sure that this tire’s got your back.

2. Continental Travel Contact

Here comes the trek master. At par with Schwalbe, Continental Travel Contact tire is designed to withstand uneven and sharp objects with some super awesome protection and also the tread designs are quite sturdy and sharp. You can easily carry some big loads.

Durability is simply awesome and it can’t easily get punctured. You need to get into some really bad places if you want these tires punctured. As the name suggests, you can travel far and wide. It is also known as “The Globetrotter”. Do you get the drift?

3. Schwalbe Marathon Almotion

Schwalbe won’t be left behind when we’re talking about best bike touring tires and here it comes with another type named Schwalbe Marathon Almotion. These tires are tubeless and the rolling resistance which can hamper the journey is quite low which is just another awesome thing.

Puncture resisted? That’s like asking a weight lifter whether he can lift weights. Of course, it is heavily protected and cannot easily get punctured. Also, the specialty of these tires involves optimum functionality when it’s raining and roads are slippery. So you can safely assume that the grip is very well designed and the tread pattern is awesome.

4. Vittoria Randonneur Cross Touring

Well, Vittoria Randonneur Cross Touring are lighter tires however you must know they’re built quite well and sturdy as well. However, it’s debatable whether it’s quite efficient for some hardcore trips. But by all means, you must give it a shot. Durability is cool and meant to withstand much adverse weather you can think of.

5. Vittoria Randonneur ll.

Once again a Vittoria product and an awesome one once roll with it. Some say the installation part becomes a tad bit tedious however the tires once ready will only mean some awesome touring experiences suitable for wet and rocky conditions and the tread pattern is quite good as well. Economically much easier to afford and don’t worry about the loads. It’ll have your back. 

Also now that we’re talking about equipment, we cannot forget the saddles. Yes, the right saddle will make sure that you’re at the comfort, and your hip bones aren’t compromised in any manner.

Best Gravel TiresBicycle Touring Tires 
Best Tire CollectionsBest Bike Tires

So here we have a few saddles you should give a look at.

1. Brooks B17

One of the oldest saddles developed, this one makes the phrase come true that age doesn’t matter. Specially designed for long rides, this saddle provides you with all the adequate comforts and safety to your hip bones and make sure that your journey begins and ends on a happy note. It is made up of leather which gives it some awesome styles as well . Personally speaking, you must check it out! 

2. Brooks B17 (Imperial Flyer) 

Brooks doesn’t disappoint and surely brought up another product which is super comfortable for those long journeys. The springs attached ensures perfect protection when you’re on some uneven roads. It’s truly designed for business and once you feel it, you’ll know why is it one of the best.

3. Brooks C17

I know I’m talking a lot about Brooks but what else can I do when this is the brand you must look up to for a comfortable cycling? Many tourists mention about its awesomeness and when I got further indulged in it, I was fascinated to find how authentic they all were! Although not quite as good as B17, it surely serves its purpose.

A bit curvy if you ask me, but you should check it out to understand whether it suits you. Also it is created from Nylon so you should expect some durability as well. Not that other Brooks products are less durable. However a variety of tourists provide a variety of opinions so once again I’d say you should check it out yourself.

4. Ergon ST Core Prime.

Some heavy name right? Wait till you know about the heavy features as well. When the product was made, the makers only had one thing in their mind and that’s comfort. It is designed to provide adequate comforts and protection to your hip bones while you ride.

The floating TwinShell even let’s you have a smooth movement of your pelvis. The sitting width it provides ranges from 12 to 16 cm and also is friendly towards both the genders.

5. Brooks C13 (cut out)

I apologize for another Brooks but all I can say in my defense is it’s the best you can get. Why? This one is waterproof to begin and coupled with cotton canvas which are 100% organic as well! Also the aluminum rivets are something to look forward to. The carbon frame as top suspended ensures nothing but light weight and sturdiness. Quite comfortable for hip bones.

6. Fabric Line Elite Shallow

This one is heavily recommended by many and when I looked into it, I could clearly see why. It is standard in terms of its width along with all the necessary comforts prerequisites for a good and nostalgic tour. Don’t worry about feeling numb. It has your back.

So these were some of the best saddles you must check out.

Pedals are often not considered as one of the foremost parameters for tours involving some wild adventures and bumpy, mountainous roads.

Best Touring SaddlesBrooks B17 Saddles
Best Brooks SaddlesBest Saddle Collections

let’s look at some of the best pedals you can find!

1. Funn Python Flat Pedal

I personally feel the design is quite good here. Well but that’s definitely not it. It is made from 6062 aerospace grade alloy and the pins attached on the pedal ensures that your grip stays firm while you’re on a ride.

Weight is nearly 375 grams (1 pedal) and you get the choice of replacing or substituting any parts should they wear down or get damaged in any way.
You even get the replacement parts online.

These pedals are completely awesome thanks to its wild nature and durability and make it one of the top choices for riders when looking for best pedals for gravel biking.

2. Race Face Chester

Chester is designed with Nylon along with 8 pins meant for firm grip. The axle is quite sturdy in nature and the comfort and durability it offers is quite awesome. Also economically it’s viable for many which against makes it a preferable choice as a pedal meant for gravel bikes. The reviews are very good which surely suggests that these pedals are supposed to be something.
Also in terms of features, it provides you the accessibility to easy services. Also the pins are replaceable. Smoothness is something you should be assured of and durability is quite obvious. Weight is towards the lighter side and that’s a great thing.

3. Crank brother’s 5050’s Platform Pedals

If you talk about wright, then I must say it’s a bit on the heavier side and also the size is big, which makes it an ideal choice for bike tours. These pedals are known for high durability and a glance at it can very well tell you that these are the pedals your gravel bike must have if you’re about to go to some wild tours.
Comfort is immensely appreciated and as the spindle is made from 435 Chromoly steel and aluminum body, that just adds cherry on the top.
Coming to the pins, there are 10 in total which are completely replaceable should you want to and you get this 480 gram pair of pedals with a 5 year warranty.

4. Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Pedals

It is said, once again by many that these pedals will ensure that you get stability, durability, and due comfort while riding and also gives you the offer of money-back guarantee within 30 days period.

The main thing which I’ve noticed about these pedals is its length, it’s huge if you see the 128 mm. Weight is 505 grams which makes it heavy however the efficiency is what makes this product completely awesome.

The platform is designed in a way that you get to position your feet at a place that will ensure a maximum boost to your pedaling without using excessive energy.

Some key features include the usage of 18 pins on one pedal for the firm and efficient grip, you get the product in four colors viz. Black, grey, red, and blue, the product is highly durable and the qualitative and it has been tested for the same.

5. Shimano PD-GR500

Coming back once again to Shimano, these pedals are known for its uniqueness in terms of designing and the shape given to these pedals are meant for perfect efficiency coupled with firmer grip and stability. Once again you get the pins which are replaceable and the weight, though on the heavier side (533 grams) doesn’t compromise anything when you’re on your ride.
Strength, durability, size, grip, value for money is what covers these pedals and makes it a good choice for many riders looking for gravel bike pedals which are best.

We all know how stressful it becomes when we have to carry that hateful heavy luggage on our back while cycling or riding a bike.

Gravel Bike Pedals Best Gravel Bike Pedals
Gravel Bikes Clipless PedalsBest Garvel Pedals

Let’s look at some of the best Pannier Backpacks you can find!

1. Banjo Brothers Convertible Backpack Pannier

Banjo Brothers truly took a lot of effort into designing the backpack/carrier keeping in mind about the people who’ll use it. They went for a touch of waterproofing the bag, comforts are attached/detach actions and a comforting vibe when it’s worn on the back. Also with the availability of an ample amount of pockets.  Its durability is something that cannot be ignored.

So in a way, it’s a good investment as well. The inside of the bag is very spacious with no sectional divisions which can be a plus point if you put things in a hurry. However, it must be known that the two outer pockets are not exactly fully waterproof. Banjo Brothers Convertible Backpack Panniers is kept in 1st position in our list of best pannier backpacks.

2. Arkel Bug Pannier Backpack

It is indeed sturdy no doubt and your stuff will be pretty safe in the bag considering the thoughtful presence of extra clip.  However, there are certain places where Arkel Bug Pannier Backpack proves to be quite average and those places include the occasional poking of hooks on your back.

However, it is comforting in terms of hooking on and off the bike and the storage capacity is something to talk about as it’s various spacious as well.

3. Blackburn Wayside Backpack Pannier

It is a cool looking back with commending styles especially the waxed canvas. Blackburn Wayside Backpack Panniers is designed thoughtfully like creating a compartment for a laptop near the base of the bag.

It is also to be noted that there are Velcro straps rather than standard hooks so it might take a bit longer to attach and detach. However, it is completely secure owing to the strap’s durability. Also, water webbing pouches are present on both sides of the bag.

4. Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible 1.1

A rather costly backpack but if you consider the ROI, it’s totally worth it!  It is exceedingly stylish, quality of the material is something to be impressed of, and also in terms of functionality, it works the best.  Give it a try!

5. NorthSt Bags Woodward Pannier Backpack

NorthSt Woodward Pannier Backpack comes with a lifetime warranty and is also handmade with easy conversions of simply tucking straps into a flap. However, it’s not advisable for low rides as they hang quite low.

since you’re going to travel a lot it becomes a task to keep your feet to its best possible condition.

Best Pannier Bike packingBest Tents For Bike Packing
Bike packing TentsTop Tube Bags For Bike Packing

So let’s look at some of the best touring shoes you can find!

1. Shimano XM7 & XM9

These shoes are considered as one of the best bike touring shoes you can ask for. The difference between XM7 and XM9 is the height to which they rise. One is a mid-level while the other is high level reaching till the ankle.

The shoes provide great comfort to its users and its sturdy nature protects your legs. The Gore-Tex Vibram sole touring shoes ensure that the mission of completing a trail, however difficult it might be, will be a success with complete protection to feet.

2. Evolv Cruzer

These are the type of shoes which can serve multi-purposes. It can be used as bike touring shoes or party wear as well. So at the cost of one, you’re getting two benefits.

So why not try it? However, you may not be able to do an intense trek with this shoe. But for casual trekkers, evolv cruzer is completely awesome and recommended!

3. Five Ten Freeriders Pro

This shoe presented itself in the market in 2019 and took it by the storm. It’s a flat pedal shoe however the grip it provides is astonishingly marvelous.

Credit may go to its Stealth S1 rubber outsole. Once again Five Ten Freeriders Pro is one of the best shoes for the bike tour.

4. Scarpa Mojito GTX

Once again Scarpa Mojito GTX shoes get an upper hand when it comes to durability and firm grip. Chances of you slipping on some wet, solid rock reduces optimistically and it’s available in different sizes for men and women. The Gore-Tex lets the shoe survive the harsh and wet conditions.

5. Mavic Echappee Trail Elite

As the name suggests, it’s elite in its approaches in providing top comfort to its users. With a larger area for feet and also ensuring that nothing wrong goes with your foot, this shoe proves to be a boon. It consists of lace and strap so you can adjust as per your convenience. The soles are designed to provide comfort irrespective of whether you’re on or off the bike.

Please do follow the buying guide For cycles and gears if you are planning to buy a new one.

Now that you’re clear about various touring shoes, let’s check out some common doubts people get before buying their bike.

Best Gravel Bike ShoesBest Bike Touring Shoes
Cycling Shoes for Gravel RidingBest Gravel Collections


1. Which touring bike is the best of all?

Well as mentioned above, you cannot zero-in on that as different things are to be considered for that. All of bikes mentioned above are very good in their own ways so you need to make your choice based on your requirements.

2. Which road bike is the best?

Again all of them are quite good in their own ways so you must choose as per your requirements.

3. Are touring bike’s tires puncture proof?

It cannot be said like that however almost all of them are puncture resistant and dew are puncture-proof as well. It will be mentioned specifically.

4. Are road bikes durable too?

Road bikes are designed with aluminum or carbon and that’s not as strong as steel however the durability you expect on normal roads is something you will definitely get from best road bikes.

5. Can I use touring bikes on normal roads?

Yes, you can. However, you might feel a little awkward as the bikes meant for the heavy load will behave in a different way with no load around. However, it’s purely subjective.

6. Which saddle is considered as most reliable?

Almost all the saddles mentioned are reliable. However, Brooks B17 is one of the oldest and best saddles I’ve personally ever seen. The comfort is off the charts and the leather body is just too comfortable and stylish. However, you must take due care of them periodically.

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