Over the years, I've used hundreds of different types of touring bike accessories and bicycle touring gear. Here's a look at reviews of gear for long distance bicycle touring.
Best Bike Touring Accessories
At the time of creating this blog post, I've been bicycle touring for the better part of 20 years. During this time, my cycling trips have taken me all over the world, where I've experienced a multitude of different countries, terrains, and environments.
As you can imagine, I've used hundreds of different items of bike touring gear, ranging from tents through to the touring bicycles themselves. All of these bicycle accessories have been tested to the max!
Whilst I've not written or reviewed every single piece of long distance bicycle touring gear I've used (thankfully!), I do have a number of reviews you might be interested in.
I've broken down the reviews of touring bike accessories and gear into sections below. If you're considering buying some bike touring gear for your next bicycle tour, some of them might be worth a quick read before you splash your cash!
Bicycle Touring Packing List
Let's start with a few bicycle touring packing lists, which detail some of the bike touring gear I've taken with me on recent bike tours.
These lists include items I use when camping, navigating, and also some of the electronic gear I take with me to document the journey and write blogs such as this.
Sadly, I never created bike touring packing lists for my England to South Africa and Alaska to Argentina bicycle tours. Still, I'm sure you will find these other gear lists from different cycle tours useful.
- Best Powerbank for bike touring
- Bicycle Touring Gear List For Cycling From Greece To England
- Cycle Touring Kit List For A Month Bike Tour In Greece
- Bicycle Touring Gear List for a One Week Cycle Tour
- Bike Touring Gear List For The Hercules Bike Tour of Peloponnese
- Bike Touring Gear List For A One Week Tour – Credit Card Touring
- Bike Touring Essentials – 10 Items I Always Take On A Bike Tour
- Wild Camping Essentials List
Touring Bicycle Reviews
True story – On my very first bike tour around New Zealand, I flew over to Auckland, visited a bike shop, and picked up a cheap hybrid (as they were known then) bike for under 200 dollars, and proceeded to pedal it around New Zealand for 4 months.
At the end, I even managed to sell the bike for around 75% of it's original value!
Since then, I've come to realize that specifically designed touring bikes have many advantages when it comes to riding on a long trip.
I've used a few different types of touring bicycle on various tours. Such reviews as I did create are listed below.
- Steel Touring Bike Review: Stanforth Skyelander 700c Touring Bicycle
- Stanforth Kibo+ Expedition Bicycle – Travel The World by Bike
- Stanforth Kibo Expedition Bicycle – 26 Inch Wheel Steel Frame Touring Bike
- Dawes Sardar Touring Bicycle
Touring Bike Accessories
A touring bicycle is really a sum of its parts. The best bike in the world is going to feel like crap if you don't have a comfortable seat, and everyone has their own opinion on what are the best types of handlebars for bike touring.
Below, I've listed my reviews of things like seats and handlebars, along with some other posts to do with choosing a bike for touring, and thoughts on components.
- Brooks C17 Review | Is the Brooks Cambium C17 good for bike touring?
- Brooks B17 Saddle – The Best Brooks Touring Saddle For Your Butt!
- Butterfly Handlebars – Are Trekking Bars The Best for Bicycle Touring?
- What are the best pedals for bike touring?
Tools for Bicycle Touring
Once your touring bike is set up the way you want it, you'll need to think what type of tools you want to carry on your bicycle tour.
The bare minimum for a repair kit should at least be a patch kit and bike pump, but it's worth considering multi-tools and chain breakers for longer tours.
Here's a few essential bike touring gear tools I use regularly, and take on tour with me.
- Topeak Mini Dual DXG Pump – Bicycle Touring Gear
- Bike Touring Tools – Best Bike Multi Tool for Bicycle Touring
- Swiss Army Knife – Never Travel Without One
- Best Bike Tools For Maintenance At Home
Bike Touring Bags, Panniers, and Trailers
Once you have chosen a bike, you are going to need something to carry all your bike touring kit in! The most common ways, are panniers, trailers, and framebags.
Here's a look at some of the bike touring bags I've used, along with some reviews and thoughts.
- Best Panniers For Touring – 2019 Waterproof Bike Panniers Review
- Best Front Bike Racks For Bicycle Touring
- Best Bike Handlebar Bag For Touring – Waterproof Handlebar Bags
- Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Review – Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers
- Touring Panniers vs Bicycle Touring Trailer – Which is best?
Bike Camping Gear
One of the great things about bicycle touring, is having the freedom to camp at the end of every night. Of course, you'll need some form of sleeping system to do this.
In some countries, you can happily use a hammock system, whilst others a tent is necessary. Along with the sleeping system, there's other things to consider such as bike camping stoves, sleeping mats, and sleeping bags.
Here's my bike camping gear reviews.
- Water bottle with filter for travel – DrinkSafe Travel Tap Review
- Sleeping Bag Liners From Snugpak | Silk Sleeping bag Liner
- The Best Packing Cubes for Travel 2019
- Lifeventure Microfibre Trek Towel
- How To Choose The Best Sleeping Bag
- How to Choose a Camp Stove for Bicycle Touring
- Best Pillows for Camping When Bikepacking
- Tips for picking a bicycle touring sleeping bag
- Are packing cubes worth it?
Clothes for bike touring
What clothes should you take on a long distance bike tour? It's always a tricky one to answer, and depends how much weight you want to carry.
These reviews cover things such as cycle touring shorts and waterproof clothes.
- Endura Hummvee Shorts for Bike Touring – Endura Hummvee Review
- Bicycle Touring Shoes | Bike Touring Shoes For Cycling Tours
- Sealskinz Hat Review – A look at the Sealskinz Waterproof Beanie Hat
Best Bike Accessories FAQ
There is a wide range of gear available for bicycle touring and bikepacking, including panniers, racks, handlebar bags, bike trailers, saddle bags, and frame bags. In addition, there's all sorts of other cycling accessories, such as helmets, bells, locks, and pumps.
Readers who are looking to purchase some new gear for their next bicycle touring adventure might find the following questions and answers helpful.
What is the best waterproof pannier for bike touring?
The best waterproof pannier for bike touring will depend on your individual requirements, but Ortlieb is recognized as having excellent quality products especially when it comes to panniers.
What is the best front rack for bike touring?
There are a few different types of front racks available, but the most popular option for bicycle touring is the low-rider style. Some of the best brands include Tubus, Surly, and Salsa.
What is the best trailer for bike touring?
The most popular option for bicycle touring when it comes to trailers is the BOB Yak trailer. The Extra Wheel trailer is also a good choice, especially for outback style adventures.
What is the difference between bikepacking and bike touring?
The main difference between bikepacking and bike touring is that bikepacking usually involves more off-road cycling, whilst bike touring is more suited for on-road cycling. Bikepacking involves traveling lightweight with gear stuffed mainly into frame bags, while bike touring is typically done with racks and panniers.