The Best touring Bike for bicycle trips in Southeast Asia
Best setting solution
When it comes down to it, the bottom line is that the best bicycle for you is the one that you feel most comfortable on. Whether you choose a road bike, mountain bike, gravel bike or touring bike, the key is to make sure whichever bike you’re using is robust and safe.
Personally, when I see a dirty road “Wild Trail”, I take it.
Other people like to stick to the asphalt roads, and others enjoy the mix of both. There is no perfect bike because everyone likes things a little bit different.
It took me a couple of years to really get my bike to where I feel comfortable and safe as I hit the trails.
The only way to figure out if your bike is going to make it is to get out there and ride.
I started with a classic mountain bike,
straight off the shelf. You might face some breakdowns at first, but you soon learn what you’re going to need to make it through.
The stock rims and bearings on my bike gave me trouble, so I upgraded them. Then the forks were giving me issues, so I upgraded. The forks I use now can be locked for riding on hard surfaces where I don’t need the suspension.
I’ve switched to using a robust, anti-puncture tire
- (I recommend a 29” rim. There’s no difference between a 29” and a 700cc rim, and there’s a wider range of tires for that size). Even then, I still wrap a spare tire around the frame for emergencies. It takes up hardly any space, and is well worth it. Once, I got stuck for 5 days in Northern Cambodia waiting on a new tire. The wait wasn’t so bad, but I was lucky because only the bigger cities have bike shops where they can order parts for you.
The last modification I made was on the handle bars that I raised using some extensions to get the handle bars and the saddle at the same height.
Sometimes when I plan long rides on flat asphalt roads, like in Cambodia and Vietnam, I fit a triathlon handle bar arm rest. The triathlon rest can be useful for long rides against the wind which can be quite strong from Laos to Vietnam during the dry season. Again, these are all just mods that let me feel a bit more comfortable depending on the type of riding I’m doing at the time.
My advice to you is to get out and ride around wherever you live at the moment. Put your bike through some stress and see how it responds. Find out what’s the most comfortable for you. It’s much easier to deal with any issues while you’re near home and your local bike shop than when you’re out in the middle of nowhere!