Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

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redecoffee
Posts: 5
Joined: 13 Jan 2021, 1:27pm

Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby redecoffee » 13 Jan 2021, 2:30pm

I got an Adventure Bike in September as it had the features I wanted:
- High front end for long rides
- Mounting points for full mudguards
- Rear pannier mounts and fork cage mounts
- 700c wheels with clearance for studded tyres under the mudguards
- Drop bars and relatively low gearing
- Lively handling like my road bike but stable when loaded

While riding I realised that I think of my bike as an Audax bike, or “Sport Tourer”, much like the Dawes Galaxy was originally used for.
Do other people also find this to be the case for them?
Are “Adventure Bikes” simply rebranded Sport Tourers?
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MartinC
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Location: Bredon

Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby MartinC » 13 Jan 2021, 3:19pm

Yes.

prestavalve
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Joined: 24 Dec 2020, 8:03pm

Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby prestavalve » 13 Jan 2021, 3:22pm

I would say that adventure bikes are 85% sport tourer, 10% endurance and 5% gravel bikes: exactly those numbers. Exactly.

pwa
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby pwa » 13 Jan 2021, 3:55pm

The only new things that have happened in the last twenty years are the widespread availability of carbon fibre and disc brakes. But the resulting bikes are attempting to fill niches that have existed for generations. "Adventure Bike" is a new name but the niche it refers to is not. "Sport Tourer" isn't a wording I have ever used, but perhaps it is the same as "Light Tourer", which is what was also referred to as "Audax". But "Adventure" is more off-roady, taking wider tyres. These bike types overlap and merge, and I no longer bother with the names much. I just look at a bike and work out for myself what it is meant to be.

bgnukem
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby bgnukem » 13 Jan 2021, 4:38pm

I guess people with a sense of adventure have been using touring bikes to ride off road tracks for decades, e.g. the Roughstuff fellowship.

I just think the advent of disc brakes has allowed greater frame clearances for tyres/mudguards so the 'adventure' and 'gravel' bikes have a more off-road bias than the trad. touring bike, which is no longer sexy enough for the fashion-fad-led British occasional cyclist.

I'm a little sad about the virtual demise of the traditional tourer, but the availability of lighter, faster bikes with more tyre/mudguard clearance is a positive I think given the deterioration of British road surfaces (and the ability to fit studded tyres in winter). My main gripe is that everything has been stiffened up to cope with braking forces/off road abuse which squanders much of the improved ride quality offered by the use of larger tyres.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Jan 2021, 5:34pm

The same niches have always existed in terms of what people want to do but the tools available change. Mountainbiking is a good example: people have always wanted to ride off-road and hurl themselves down mountains but the technology to make it easier, safer and faster has only really existed since the 90s (powerful brakes, long-travel suspension). So it's not that people didn't try it before, it's that the technology makes it more accessible. Fashion also changes the focus of development and activity, from road racing to bmx to mountain biking to "endurance" and "gravel" (could put the others in quotes too, but being closer we see more easily how wide these newer terms actually are).

So I'm not sure quite how to define either "adventure bike" or "sport tourer" but they're probably both newer tools for old jobs!

Brucey
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby Brucey » 13 Jan 2021, 8:30pm

bgnukem wrote: ...I just think the advent of disc brakes has allowed greater frame clearances for tyres/mudguards...


with cantilever brakes you can (and many people did) have as much clearance as you like. Disc brakes were probably not a critical factor.

Arguably what was missing for a long time was nice tyres in the fatter sizes that would best suit offroad use, to fit larger diameter rims. No point in building a frame which accepts non-existent tyres.

However what has been available for the last 35 years were mountain bike frames, wheels and tyres, mainly using 559mm sized wheel parts. For most of that time if you wanted a more offroad oriented adventure tourer with the ability to accept fatter tyres, it would most likely have been based around those wheels.

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 13 Jan 2021, 9:00pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby Tangled Metal » 13 Jan 2021, 8:59pm

I believe there was a programme presented by one of the Crane brothers where he followed a very early cycle touring guide/route map. AIUI there was a route that went over one of the northern lake District passes, possibly from black sail. Anyway it was a highly rocky and technical route most modern riders would not consider without full suspension mountain bike. Of course being Victorian times IIRC there just had big, heavy, sit up and beg shopper style bikes, in black obviously back then. I think crane took a similar bike up but it looked hard work being a bit bouldery and unrideable for him.

My point being any bike has been used for pretty much any cycling activity at one time or another so this differentiation in bikes have a significant part being fashion. Nothing wrong with that we all fall for fashion or taste with bike purchases. Choose your bike colour? That's a matter of taste. It's a small step from choosing colour to costing the various fashionable features labelled as adventure or gravel or fast tourer or whatever. Most diamond frame bikes share a significant proportion of their DNA anyway.

redecoffee
Posts: 5
Joined: 13 Jan 2021, 1:27pm

Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby redecoffee » 14 Jan 2021, 9:15am

Thank you all for the replies.

prestavalve
Now that is extremely specific lol. from most of the other replies it seems that the limiting factors and pigeon holing of bikes is more marketing than real.

pwa
Sport Tourers was a catch-all term I was for Audax and Randonneur bikes, the latter being the same as former but wider tyres and usually 26 inch wheels. Do you think the rebranding and gravel/adventure will be a benefit to the users of this kind of bicycle, or a detriment?

bgnukem
Back when I started riding with a club I found RSF fascinating, and truly inspiring. I got a hardtail for winter commuting, but forever kept trying to ride everything I had used my mtb for, using my road bike. Ended up painful a few times. I had considered getting a steel touring bike, but when I went to the bike shop and test-rode it, it didn’t match my expectations as felt completely dead. Starting on road bikes I am used to less dampening and more feedback. I was upset when I heard they had stopped making the Dawes Galaxy. The touring bikes I test rode were Genesis TDF and Dawes Galaxy, ended up going for an adventure bike as it had similar fit, similar weight capacity, and felt more lively.
I agree that they stiffened everything up for the disc brakes and off-road resilience, I think that the wider tyres are needed just to bring the feeling back to how it would have been with normal brakes. It would explain, to me, the surge of people using almost mtb tyre widths on bikes that they plan on simply taking over some cobbles on occasion.

Bmblbzzz
I think that the bike genre is essentially light tourer/audax bike with wider tyre clearance and disc brakes. I find the modern gravel bikes to feel like an “Old Ten Speed”, comfortable, reliable and capable of carrying a decent load while being as versatile as possible. Much like the Dawes RealmRider was.

Brucey
That is a good point, the main advantage I saw of disc brakes over rim brakes (for my specific uses) was that replacing discs is cheaper and faster than rims. Part of why I went for a bike with such wide clearances rather than for 28-30mm was because I am concerned about future availability of narrower tyres, tyre widths seem to be extremely trend based which makes me often concerned about planned obsolescence (Such as for my road bikes rim brakes).

Tangled Metal
You make excellent points about how bikes evolved from the same design, and that it seems to be a pretty modern idea that bikes are so specialist. Do you think that the bikes are now being made to have less capabilities outwith their intended purpose, or that it is more marketing making people think their bikes are less capable? When I first got a road bike I was scared that I would damage it by even riding it over an unsurfaced track.
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rmurphy195
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby rmurphy195 » 14 Jan 2021, 9:33am

Mine is classed as a Tourer (Condor Heritage Disc) rahter than an "Adventure" bike - it has plenty of clearance for tyres (I'm currently using nominally 32mm tyres but they measure at nearer 35mm). I could probably fit chunkier tyres than the Vittorias I currently use, but have no need nor wish to do so. Plenty of room for wider mudguards if needed, plus of course the rack/bottle/Mudguard mounts. So I could be adventurous if I wish!
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simonhill
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby simonhill » 14 Jan 2021, 12:15pm

Shouldn't it be "Adventure Ready"? It will only be an adventure bike when adventured on. :lol:

My touring bike is sitting in my hall, hardly a touring bike at the moment, but it's ready as soon as restrictions ease.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 14 Jan 2021, 12:26pm

(off.)road.cc have a "Gravel and adventure bike of the year" right now. https://off.road.cc/content/news/offroa ... rk-bargain
They seem to be treating both words as one category.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 14 Jan 2021, 12:35pm

Tangled Metal wrote:I believe there was a programme presented by one of the Crane brothers where he followed a very early cycle touring guide/route map. AIUI there was a route that went over one of the northern lake District passes, possibly from black sail. Anyway it was a highly rocky and technical route most modern riders would not consider without full suspension mountain bike. Of course being Victorian times IIRC there just had big, heavy, sit up and beg shopper style bikes, in black obviously back then. I think crane took a similar bike up but it looked hard work being a bit bouldery and unrideable for him.

My point being any bike has been used for pretty much any cycling activity at one time or another so this differentiation in bikes have a significant part being fashion. Nothing wrong with that we all fall for fashion or taste with bike purchases. Choose your bike colour? That's a matter of taste. It's a small step from choosing colour to costing the various fashionable features labelled as adventure or gravel or fast tourer or whatever. Most diamond frame bikes share a significant proportion of their DNA anyway.

Yes... In fact bikes with suspension were available in the late 19th century, but I don't know if they were any good. More to the point, how many people rode these 19th century bikes up and down these rocky passes, who were they, what else did they do and did they actually ride or walk it? We can see for instance from Roughstuff Fellowship archives that people used bog standard 1950s tourers with rigid forks and relatively skinny tyres in pretty rough terrain - but they spent a lot of time pushing and carrying. Victorian and Edwardian photos in such situations, that I've seen at least, tend to be of tour parties at rest rather than actually in motion. Also, supsension, disc brakes, etc, might well allow more people to do these things without being super-tough and brave.

Or possibly not. We can't conclude from the existence of guide books that many people did it. But it's worth noting that Crane found it too tough.

Brucey
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2021, 1:17pm

redecoffee wrote: ….. tyre widths seem to be extremely trend based.....


well, yes. Tyres full stop in fact. Trends come and go in wheel sizes and tyres, often for no readily apparent reason. At a practical level having a good choice of tyres that fit your rims is perceived as an important thing; never mind that many folk settle on one 'favourite' model of tyre and tend to stick with that, which makes the availability of other tyres somewhat academic, even if it might skew the choice in a new bike, if you bother to think about it that is.

An interesting case in point; for as long as I have been riding the 26 x 1-1/4" tyre (597mm rim) size has been an uncommon fitment. It was still being fitted to some new bikes up until the 1980s I think, but there was little or no choice in tyre fitments and I don't remember seeing anything other than new steel rims being available; certainly no alloy ones. I just assumed that it had always been thus. However it was only comparatively recently that I found out that the 597mm rim size was at one point (in the late 1940s/early 1950s) not just popular, but it was the most popular tyre/rim size in lightweight bikes such as clubmen might use. It was arguably the '622mm size of its day'. There were lots of tyres available to fit 597 rims, and new technology (eg aluminium rims) would first appear in 597mm rim size, others later, maybe, or maybe not at all. So many early aluminium rims were effectively only made in 597mm size, for all the chance you have of finding a set in another size, that is how dominant that fitment was. It was even practical, in that the same frame could be set up for 26 x 1-1/4" wheels with mudguard clearances, or be used for sprints and tubs with less brake drop and less clearance too; perfect. Yet within a relatively short period of time that rim size had been displaced (in lightweights) by the 27" (630) size and subsequently of course by the 622mm rim size.

From the standpoint of using a single frameset for racing and other purposes, 630 rims were just stupid; when you changed to sprints and tubs there was invariably an incredibly 'gappy' look and maybe the brakes wouldn't even reach that far. I suppose that (then as now) new bike sales largely dictate the availability/cost of parts, and that compatibility (leave alone backwards compatibility) is just not a big priority for most new bike buyers. Which means that on the whim of a designer (more or less) backed with a suitable -but more likely flimsy IME- marketing premise, a sea change in available rims and tyres is possible.

What seems to happen is that when a rim/tyre fitment is abandoned by mainstream bike manufacturers, it seems to die a slow and painful death. Choice in rims (first, lets call this stage 1) and then tyres diminishes (stage 2). 'New technology' (tyres or rims) is less likely to be supported in that size (stage 3). Finally that size only supports a limited choice of tyres (stage 4) and continued use of that size is entirely contingent on being able to find used rims. Eventually there may only be one supplier of tyres in that size and there is no guarantee of that situation being maintained (stage 5) . In the final gasp it is typical for the remaining available parts to be the cheap and not very good variety.

So in 559 size we are currently somewhere around stage 2 or stage 3. 630 size (and 590 perhaps) is between stage 2 and stage 3; you can still buy 27" rims and wheels, but they are mostly rubbish. There are about a dozen different 630 sized tyres, some of them reasonable. 597 size is around stage 4 /stage 5; currently there is one tyre available in that size and (I think) that had to be made as a special batch.

Occasionally a tyre/rim size is resurrected; for example 584mm rims and tyres were all but dead and were 'born again' for MTBs as 27.5ers. Some start and remain 'niche' sizes; if (say) Moulton were to go bust I don't think you would soon be able to buy 369 sized rims and tyres any more. Arguably the 349 size only persists because it is used by Brompton. Likewise one of the 24" rims sizes used by Airnimal, and so on.

So no-one has a perfect crystal ball here; the only true certainty is "change". 622 is a pretty safe bet for now but I wouldn't put it past them to find an excuse for a different sized rim yet.... :roll:

cheers
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scottg
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Re: Are Adventure Bikes the reincarnation of Sport Tourers?

Postby scottg » 14 Jan 2021, 1:22pm

simonhill wrote:Shouldn't it be "Adventure Ready"? It will only be an adventure bike when adventured on. :lol: snip


Roald Amundsen said "Adventure is just poor planning", so I guess that makes Adventure bikes unsuitable
for most LeJoggers. But if your idea of lejog is to head NE, turn left at Bristol,then North until you hit the North Sea,
then take an Adventure Bike[tm}
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Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG
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