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

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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.