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  1. #1
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    Differance between a Daily Commuter and a Touring Bike?

    I was wondering what everyone sees as the difference between a Daily Commuter and a Lite Touring/ regular touring bike and what parts and accessories are needed in your opinion to accomplish the requirments for either one.

  2. #2
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    Price and weight, mostly. I built a bike for under $1000 to be mostly used as daily commuter, but also as an occaisional weekend touring bike. The $250-$300 frameset weighs more than a nice touring frameset costing $1k-$2k more, and the wheels aren't light either. The generator hub, lights, rack, and lower-end drive train parts add to the weight. The bike rides fine, but I feel the extra weight in the big hills when i use it as a weekend touring bike.

  3. #3
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    Well the definition of "daily commuter" is pretty broad. Some people use single speeds, some use cruisers, some use racy road bikes, some use mountain bikes, some use 'cross bikes, some use "touring" bikes. So what someone defines as a "daily commuter" is something completely different to someone else.

    "Touring bike" is more defined, ie rack mounts; triple crank; long cage rear derailleur; large-ish cassette spread; etc.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by William_25 View Post
    I was wondering what everyone sees as the difference between a Daily Commuter and a Lite Touring/ regular touring bike and what parts and accessories are needed in your opinion to accomplish the requirments for either one.
    IMHO, a daily commuter bike is anything with two wheels, frame, pedal drive train, handlebars, and seat.

    A touring bike is a road bike on steroids with a slightly different geometry.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post
    Well the definition of "daily commuter" is pretty broad. Some people use single speeds, some use cruisers, some use racy road bikes, some use mountain bikes, some use 'cross bikes, some use "touring" bikes. So what someone defines as a "daily commuter" is something completely different to someone else.

    "Touring bike" is more defined, ie rack mounts; triple crank; long cage rear derailleur; large-ish cassette spread; etc.
    Quoting myself here...

    My daily commuter is this:





    Which is essentially a touring/commuter hybrid. But past owners of these used them as dedicated tourers. I have it set up as a commuter, but could easily use it as a tourer. What I like about it is that it has 700C wheels, canti brakes, rack mounts, double water bottle bosses. Set up stock w/ 7 spd STI. Cool commuter, though.
    Last edited by frpax; 08-20-2011 at 11:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    I guess I should have been more specific...the difference between a road bike commuter and a touring bike. What's the difference in geometry and would a giant defy be a good base for a touring bike set up?

  7. #7
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    I had to google Giant Defy, and the answer is no. A touring bike has eyelets for front and rear racks, laid back geometry and a slack head tube angle for stable handling with heavy loads. Typically they have cantilever brakes for tire clearance and possibly room for fenders. Check out Bruce Gordon frames to see examples.

    For a road bike commuter, imho, a cyclecross frame makes an excellent road commuter. I use a Gunnar Crosshairs and it has eyelets for a rear rack and fenders. For commuting, I've never needed more than a small set of panniers or a rack bag. A bike like that has nice road manners and decent weight while still being robust enough for commuting on less than perfect roads. It wouldn't be a good touring bike for anything other than weekend trips.
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  8. #8
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    As others mentioned, you can commute on just about any bike if you can make it work for you. However, I'll relate my experiences commuting on racing, sport touring and touring bikes.

    I commuted for 2 years on a racing bike, an Italian lugged steel (De Bernardi), rigged up with a large seat bag and quick release fenders (SKS RaceBlades). I got by just fine but it was a pain installing and removing the fenders depending on weather forecasts, and I often got caught riding in unexpected showers with no fenders. Clearance was very tight even for RaceBlades, and they often rubbed the tires.

    Realizing the De Bernardi's limitations for carrying gear and wanting full fenders, I bought a touring frame (Bob Jackson World Tour), and installed a rear rack, full fenders, front rack -- the full 9 yards. The touring bike was great for carrying lots of gear and the full fenders (PB Cascadias) were a vast improvement over temporary ones. However, the touring bike was about 1-2 mph slower on average, and increased my commuting times by 5-10 minutes a day. It also wasn't as fun to ride, was harder to slog up hills, and had a much stiffer ride (since the frame is designed to carry weights much more than I do commuting).

    Last winter, I got a sport touring bike as a compromise -- a Salsa Casseroll. The Salsa hits the sweet spot for me. It is as fast and fun to ride as my racing bikes, with a very comfortable ride. Yet it has all the mounts needed for fenders and racks, so it is no problem carrying gear and running full fenders. The big advantages over the touring bike are that it's lighter, faster and smoother on rough pavement -- in short, just more pleasant to ride. However, the touring bike would be clearly better if doing loaded touring or carrying a lot of extra gear commuting.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel2 View Post
    Last winter, I got a sport touring bike as a compromise -- a Salsa Casseroll. The Salsa hits the sweet spot for me.
    I agree. Sport-touring or light-touring is my sweet spot too for a daily commuter.

    My choice several years ago was a Trek Portland. I like the disc brakes in the wet and the snow, my studded snow tires fit under full fenders, and its geometry makes it nimble without being twitchy, yet stable without being sluggish.

    I have to disagree with the comments about commutifying a Giant Defy 1.

    The pics I see on the web site confirm what I've seen in the showroom. It has rack and fender eyelets. That meets my personal minimum requirements for a daily commuter. The "endurance" features of slightly relaxed geometry work in its favor as well.

    Depending on the typical loads carried, it my be just fine. Heavier loads over longer distances or more often may spark an upgrade later on.

    If the question is "Is the Defy 1 a reasonable platform to build a daily commuter from?" My answer is yes.

    But if the question is "Is the Defy 1 a reasonable platform to build a fully-loaded tourer from?" My answer is no.

  10. #10
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    I generally commute on my Soma Smoothie ES. My "touring" bike is a Salsa Fargo. The Soma has regular road brakes, a light rack in the rear, and a compact double. The Salsa has a mountain triple, disk brakes, two heavy racks, and much wider tires. I also keep my BOB skewer on the Fargo, because if I'm camping with the family I have to pull the trailer as well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by William_25 View Post
    I was wondering what everyone sees as the difference between a Daily Commuter and a Lite Touring/ regular touring bike and what parts and accessories are needed in your opinion to accomplish the requirments for either one.
    A high-end touring bicycle usually has rugged wheels with a high spoke count, but buying a second set of lighter wheels for daily use can make a huge difference.

  12. #12
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    A loaded tourer is generally pretty well-defined: long wheelbase, lots of attachments, generally cantilever brakes and bar-end shifters (though this has changed a bit with STI). Lots of rackage.

    A daily commuter is, to paraphrase Taj Mahal's definition of folk music, whatever folks commute on. Mine is an older (1985) steel road bike (Trek 560) with a rack adapted to push it back out of heel range, and light fenders to keep me clean. Works for me, but I have seen people ride Huffy beach cruisers and carbon wunderbikes to work, too.
    This wheel's on fire/rollin' down the road

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by William_25 View Post
    I guess I should have been more specific...the difference between a road bike commuter and a touring bike. What's the difference in geometry and would a giant defy be a good base for a touring bike set up?
    The Defy that I looked at online (the Defy 1), does not looke like it would really work as a tourer. I didn't see any rack eyelets, and the geometry is a tad steep. Ideally, a "touring bike would have a head tube angle of 71 degrees (plus or minus 1 degree or less). Typical touring bikes will have cantilever brakes, also. The Defy has standard side pulls.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post
    The Defy that I looked at online (the Defy 1), does not looke like it would really work as a tourer. I didn't see any rack eyelets.
    Look again. They're hard to see because they're black holes on a black frame. Use the zoom-in thingy.

    Better still, check your LBS. I double-checked at mine yesterday. Fender eyelets on the fork, and a single eyelet on the dropouts, which would be shared for a rack and fender. Holes in the upper chainstays too.

    Still, not the geo I'd want for a tourer, but perfectly adequate for a commuter.

  15. #15
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    Seems to me fenders would be needed for most geographies to qualify as "daily." Lights, too. I think for most people, a way to carry the load off your person, though some might disagree.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpatkinson View Post
    Seems to me fenders would be needed for most geographies to qualify as "daily." Lights, too. I think for most people, a way to carry the load off your person, though some might disagree.
    Lites and fenders are a must for me, but I use a nice backpack, stays cleaner and works well for me. Other than that I like it fixed for the winters ice and snow, way better road feel/traction knowledge.

  17. #17
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    I use the Giant Defy II which has the same geometry as the Defy I. I've changed the seat to something with more cushion as I can't wear bike shorts to work. I've got a tube kit in a small under seat bag. I've changed over to Continental Gatorskins for the varied road surfaces and the stuff in the roads. I added a second bottle cage. Mace because travel the MUP in the dark. I don't use fenders because it doesn't rain in Las Vegas. I've mounted a camera mount and a GPS mount because I explore a lot on the weekends. I re-supply with a rag weight REI Ultra-Light backpack because I don't want to drag around extra weight when I'm not using it, it stows in a pocket in my jersey and I'm a backpacker so I'm very used to backpacks. New seat, camera and mount, GPS and mount, 2 25oz capacity water bottles full, tools, lights and mace weigh in at 27 lbs. This makes for a light, nimble top notch commuter and a great bike for exploring the city's trail system and the newly completed River Mountain Trail right by my house. I love this machine. Both comfortable and reasonably quick.




  18. #18
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    Depending on weather or not you can store your commuter inside or not, if you cannot, I like cheaper bikes for commuting. Something that does now draw attention, and if it got stolen, you are not out much. If you can keep it inside, I like to ride something nicer. My last job let me keep my bike in my cubicle, so I did not have to worry about it getting stolen.

    I do not have a "touring" bike yet, but I have been looking at some of the cross bikes out there. They have room for fenders, and rack mounts, and some of them have disc brakes too. I am not going to be doing any real touring, just mostly ride out, camp, and ride back sort of thing, so I think a cross bike would suit my needs just fine.

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