What Types Of Bikes Are Best For Long Rides?

What Types Of Bikes Are Best For Long Rides?

Types of Bikes Suited For Long-Distance Travelling

Struggling to find the best bike that suits your training, travels and/or touring? We have compiled a list of the best touring bikes to remove you from doing extensive research on the pros and cons or features of each bike.

Without having some knowledge or getting assistance in a bike shop - it can be difficult to shop for a bike. The reason why it can be hard to shop for a bike is due to the fact that every person has individual needs.

However, overall - these bikes are more familiar among successful touring trips. Here are each of the models, what they do and what they’re best for:

Gravel bike

We must start with an introduction to our Gradient T640 road bike and then our Spectre. These bikes really have it all. Over on our review page, Arran said: “On road the T640 has not lost any of the vibration absorbing properties normally associated with titanium, however on the hills when step up out of the saddle on the pedals the bicycle immediately feels so much more solid and stiffer, especially around the bottom bracket”

Comfort plays a huge role here, as our riders have high expectations for comfort and durability. It’s thanks to its extraordinary design features and materials that the T640D is staggeringly stiff but supremely comfortable. Lighter, stiffer and more compliant than 3AL2.5, this frame has it all and bags more. Designed for a tapered fork which adds incredible, sure-footed, razor-sharp handling. Road, Gravel, Audax, Tour, Cyclo Cross or Commute, this bike has it all! 

Moving onto our Spectre bike, we have spent many hours in the saddle considering our perfect setup for the Spectre bikes and we believe the options available meet our riders high demands and ours of course. You can really crush the miles with our all-road Spectre, as with its relaxed race geometry it truly is a sportive and ultra-distance favourite.


Touring Bike or Cyclocross Bike

A touring bike and or cyclocross bike are slowly becoming the most revolutionary pieces of machinery across the biking industry.

Not only do they reach similar speeds (if not more) compared to a road bike, titanium bike, gravel bike, etc. They also have the durability and ruggedness of a typical mountain bike. Again, your first port of call here would be our Gradient bike.

Traditional touring bikes are better for storage of goods (due to the mounts for bike racks) where countless amounts of water or food can be preserved.

Cyclocross bikes won’t give you the option for this - but obviously, you can still use bikepacking or a backpack filled with these essential components of your long-distance touring.

If you’re touring specifically on roads, whether that be downhill, straight or uphill environments - both of these bikes will be an excellent purchase for your destined adventures. If speed is your main goal, then look no further!


Hybrid Bike

With the same wheel size as a cyclocross bike, there is already a similarity in these models for what features work effectively for classic distance touring.

On the flip side, unlike touring or cyclocross bikes - the hybrid bike takes comfort into account. They believe that without comfort, performance will be considerably hindered.

Speed and comfort are in unison. Due to the bike having front and seat post suspension - an upright sitting position is comfortable enough for long-distance journeys.

Among the biking community in Europe, these are more sought-after for longer cycling trips and more rugged terrain.

However, not every hybrid bike is suitable for rough surfaces - therefore, you should look into what you want before purchasing a hybrid bike.


Mountain Bike

More than any other type of bike, a hard-tail mountain bike is the most versatile and flexible choice for any bike tour.

With suspension and thinner tyres (in some cases) - these features supply you with comfortability/durability, no matter the surface you’re riding on. Therefore, if you decide to ride on paved surfaces as well as roads, these bikes will be just as effective.

However, the downside of these bikes is that the frame, geometry, wheels, etc are built differently and heavier compared to previous models.

When these mountain bikes are heavier, this creates a lack of speed from being added to the features. Therefore, if speed is your goal - the previous models are going to be certainly more successful.

One feature that mountain bikes are well-known for is their lock-out suspension. For example, if you’re on smooth surfaces, you will not need to use the lock-out suspension system.

Whereas, if you’re at a point of your tour where you’re on rougher surfaces - you can engage the lock-out suspension for greater control and finesse.

Out of all the types of bikes for touring on rougher terrain - mountain bikes with this system are the most favoured for these types of tours. Although they have complicated parts to the bike, the reasons to buy outweigh the complicated parts of the structure.

Travelling through the mountains, dirt roads or trails will be the place where this model will thrive and reach its fullest potential.

Even if they’re slightly heavier - more recently, companies are beginning to find a way to bring out lighter mountain bikes so there are fewer problems when going uphill (or any incline for that matter).


Summary of Pros and Cons For Each Model

With there being a lot of information to take into consideration when choosing the bike for your long rides - it can become overwhelming to understand which one will benefit you the most. If you’d like to discuss more about which Reilly Cycleworks bike is right for you, contact us or come and chat to our team of self-professed bike nuts and we’ll happily assist you.

Therefore, we’re going to summarise the pros and cons of each model so you can choose which one suits you best.

Gravel Bike Pros and Cons


  • Go anywhere, do anything bike
  • Accessorise with mudguards and bike bags
  • Tires can be switched


  • Can be heavier
  • Potentially not as streamlined on roads with adaptations

Touring Bike Pros and Cons


  • Efficiency in smooth environments
  • Performs relatively well on rugged terrains
  • Ability to add mounts for racks
  • Speed can keep up with the fastest road bikes


  • No suspension for rugged terrains
  • Comfort is limited (due to suspension and seat)


Hybrid Bike Pros and Cons


  • Comfort is high
  • Great mounts and racks for your food and drinks
  • Some form of suspension for the more rugged surfaces


  • Suspension may vary in models - so comfort may contrast in certain models
  • Some versions of hybrid bikes are not designed for rough surfaces


Mountain Bike Pros and Cons


  • Durability for any circumstance is highly recommended
  • Versability for each trip
  • Comfort is key
  • The sturdiness will flourish on rough surfaces


  • Several variants are heavy when riding
  • Not as structurally sound for smoother surfaces
  • Some models may have hard seats