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what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 11 Feb 2017, 6:57pm
by tommydog
I am looking for a cheap touring bike (under £500) for my pending trip from UK to Turkey. I would prefer to buy second hand rather than new. If possible I would like the following:

1) Steel frame (not too bothered about weight, much prefer durability / easy welding on the road)

2) Hydraulic disc brakes. I once had these on a mountain bike (until the bike got stolen) and loved them. I loved the stopping power and ease of maintenance.

3) Hub dynamo to power lights and charge a smart phone. (Prepared to pay extra for the dynamo)

What would peoples suggestions be in the second hand market?

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 11 Feb 2017, 7:33pm
by chris3vic
A combo of 1 and 2 is going to be hard to come by i think - second hand and under £500...

Which one is a must?

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 11 Feb 2017, 7:39pm
by Bonefishblues
First is easy, but all 3 together and under £500 will be a stretch I think. Be prepared to compromise I'd suggest.

As an example (and this isn't a pitch) I could sell you a lovely steel specialist touring bike with BB7s (compromise 1) and no dynohub (compromise 2).

But...The price would be sub £400, leaving plenty for a dyno wheel.

Just indicative of the approach you might need to take, I think.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 11 Feb 2017, 7:41pm
by Bonefishblues
By the way, might be useful to state your size, just in case someone has something

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 11 Feb 2017, 7:45pm
by tommydog
I know it will be a stretch price wise, but I see the Ridgeback Expedition touring bike has hydraulic disc brakes and is only £849.99 new. So surely there must be something around £500 second hand?

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 11 Feb 2017, 7:50pm
by Bonefishblues
tommydog wrote:I know it will be a stretch price wise, but I see the Ridgeback Expedition touring bike has hydraulic disc brakes and is only £849.99 new. So surely there must be something around £500 second hand?

For the 2017 model year, yes. It's the first year it had them so you'll be doing well to find one at £500 just yet.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 8:46am
by Gattonero
What's wrong with mechanical disk brakes? They're a reliable option, only missing the self-adjust of the pads wear, OTOH most mechanical diks brakes have convenient pads adjusters so whenever it needs it doesn't take longer than what's needed on most rim caliper brakes 8)

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 10:17am
by simonhill
I would have thought:

No 1 would be drops or straight, unless the OP doesn't mind.

No 2 would be wheel size, unless the OP doesn't mind.

As no mention of (my)1 and 2, do we conclude he doesn't mind or hasn't thought about it. It makes quite a difference to the choice.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 10:57am
by tommydog
Gattonero wrote:What's wrong with mechanical disk brakes? They're a reliable option, only missing the self-adjust of the pads wear, OTOH most mechanical diks brakes have convenient pads adjusters so whenever it needs it doesn't take longer than what's needed on most rim caliper brakes 8)


Nothing wrong with mechanical disc brakes, but prefer hydraulic. It's a sealed system and in my experience saves on maintenance. When I had my mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes, I never had to worry about cable stretch / adjustment etc. I would go as far to say (in my experience) it was almost maintenance free.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 11:03am
by tommydog
simonhill wrote:
As no mention of (my)1 and 2, do we conclude he doesn't mind or hasn't thought about it. It makes quite a difference to the choice.


I have no given too much thought. I'm not that particular about my bikes. I once road from Scotland to Paris on a Brompton (about 10 years ago) But in my experience I would like hydraulic disc brakes, and if possible a steel frame. Don't care too much about weight.

If I can't pick up a good touring bike with the features I want, I am tempted to just take a mountain bike. Or is this crazy? It's can't be any worse than a Brompton for long distance !

So with dynamo, my top price would be about £750. I know it's a crazy low budget, but I am sure it is possible.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 11:28am
by Bonefishblues
Mountain bike rigids from the 90s have been cvered many times in threads on here and do represent a viable alternative - but again your hydraulic disc requirement would trip you up here too, I suspect.

With £750 in your hand I think you should be able to get what you require v-a-v a tourer though.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 12:56pm
by Gattonero
tommydog wrote:
Gattonero wrote:What's wrong with mechanical disk brakes? They're a reliable option, only missing the self-adjust of the pads wear, OTOH most mechanical diks brakes have convenient pads adjusters so whenever it needs it doesn't take longer than what's needed on most rim caliper brakes 8)


Nothing wrong with mechanical disc brakes, but prefer hydraulic. It's a sealed system and in my experience saves on maintenance. When I had my mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes, I never had to worry about cable stretch / adjustment etc. I would go as far to say (in my experience) it was almost maintenance free.


OTOH, a mechanical disk brake is far easier to repair with readily available parts for wear&tear.
As long as we're talking of the same level, both systems would require the regular maintenance. I.e. you cannot compare a Hope hydraulic to a cheaper no-brand mechanical.
But on this budget, you cannot have Hope brakes, flat bar disk brakes tend to be cheaper tho.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 2:55pm
by tommydog
Think I will just end up getting an old mountain bike, fitting a rack to it and off I go! Having had hydraulic disc brakes before, this is none negotiable. It may seem strange, but it's just my personal preference.

It seems you can buy second hand mountain bikes all day long for my price range. Does anyone have any recommendations? One thing I am not keen on is ali frames. It's a shame as most of the modern stuff seems to anything but steel.

Re: what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 3:08pm
by horizon
tommydog wrote:Think I will just end up getting an old mountain bike, fitting a rack to it and off I go! Having had hydraulic disc brakes before, this is none negotiable. It may seem strange, but it's just my personal preference.

It seems you can buy second hand mountain bikes all day long for my price range. Does anyone have any recommendations? One thing I am not keen on is ali frames. It's a shame as most of the modern stuff seems to anything but steel.


There are thousands of posts on this forum. Many are driven by quite simple but in the end difficult to answer questions like "Where can I find an old second hand steel mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes?" :wink:

what cheap second hand touring bike?

Posted: 12 Feb 2017, 3:23pm
by Heltor Chasca
I ended up a with year-old ali Cube Acid. Awesome spec and value with hydraulic brakes (a first for me, as I've only had cable discs) I haven't had to repair them yet, but I'm sure they are simple enough if you have the bleed kit etc. I guess you would carry that in your touring tool bag.

I got this to tour off road. To get out to anywhere decent I inevitably had to go by road. I was amazed at how comfy it was. The ali frame hasn't compromised my physical health over a few days riding. My other bikes are steel so I thought I would notice. I didn't. You can lock out the fork too. The tyres are Schwalbe Smart Sams which are fast enough on the road due to the tighter pattern of knobbly bits, mid-tyre. I let some air out to about 30psi off road.

I have a small size so I can't even consider panniers. I have kinda-bikepacking type luggage on this bike.

Keep your options open.