How I rebuild my second hand road bike into a touring bike

Since I don’t want to spend my hard earned savings on an expensive touring bike I came up with the idea to buy a second hand road bike on a Dutch online second hand market place. I decided to rebuild this one into a touring bike. In this article, I explain you how I did this.

What I want is to travel light and fast and therefor I wish to have a fast but also reliable touring bike. You can completely go crazy in diving into all expensive bicycles and stuff. Basically a waste of money and time. I therefore bought a used hybrid road bike at a reasonable price of  € 195, -. I continued to rebuild this bike -as well as I can- into something that is firm enough for a world tour.

And here he is. The previous owner had let him down and he stood there in a cold dark corner in a large barn. I just had to take him with me.

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I started to test this bike.

With that saddle I cycled across The Netherlands and found out that a gel saddle is not comfortable at all for long distances. Furthermore, the tires are to thin for off-road cycling but the bike seems good enough for some luggage and happily I found attachment points for a back carrier.

Not a bad bargain at all.

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I attached wider tires (28c) and a Brooks B17 saddle. The idea for the saddle I got from the stories of my great Dutch inspiration and bicycle adventurer Frank van Rijn.

Now it was about time to make the bike ready for luggage. I like to travel and survive totally independent. Not that I’m going to kill rabbits but I want to bring a tent, cooking gear and other useful survival stuff with me on the bike.

Some simple fenders on it and a tri bar so I can put some luggage on the front to balance the weight. Two bottle holders to fit 1.5-liter water bottles. And well, it started to look like a real touring bike!

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Sorry for that ugly fat rabbit in the left corner but otherwise the bike rolled away.

On the tri bar I putted the tent and on the back carrier three minimal luggage bags. The shopkeeper told me that I was crazy because of the minimum space, but let’s face it, the more space you have to more you will take with you.

But, then suddenly, I started to doubt. Not that the bike was no good but I found the color ugly! Not my taste, gray. I took all the bike parts apart and painted the bike on a rainy day a brand new color.

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Well, my parents were less happy because I’ve done it in my bedroom. Tip: do not do that, the particulate matter is not really advisable in your bed.

But .. I’m pretty happy with the result!

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It was supposed to be the color of my website but I think that’s a bit of a fail. Anyway, I’m happy with the result and eventually very happy with the costs! Online second hand market places to the rescue!

Here is a picture with all the luggage on it.

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We already became very good friends.

Maybe I’m not as professional as most ‘cycle adventurers’, but at least I hope to amaze you by how far I will get with this bike!

Do you have any questions about my ‘professional’ preparations? Please contact me or put a comment in the comment section below.