Touring v/s Bikepacking

When you start exploring our guides at Tribecycle Guide, you will realize we try to categorize them in many different ways, from how easy or challenging they are, to the type of roads you’ll be using. One of categories we use, is whether it is a Touring or a Bikepacking route, or if it has a little bit of both, and for many, a question will arise, ¿What the heck is the difference between Touring and Bikepacking?

If you are new to the cycling travels world, you might not be very familiar with these two terms. If you are a little more into it, and have been exploring the latest cycling literature, you have most likely stumble upon these words quite often. They are basically two different ways of bike traveling, (both amazing and fun) and some purist will have very specific definitions for each one of them. The truth being told, sometimes there is a thin line where the cycling community together with the cycling industry get confused leading to a lot of debate. We’re simply going to mention some of the main characteristics on each one, and let you make your own definitions:

Touring

  • Non competitive cycling (the main goal is to travel on your bike).
  • It usually takes place on paved and not very busy roads.
  • It usually involves multi day routes and sometimes sightseeing. 
  • Accommodation can take place in hostels, hotels or camping areas.
  • The type of bike used for touring can be a road bike adapted with racks and wider tires or a gravel bike (also a very controversial concept)
  • Equipment is usually carried on panniers, so cyclist can carry plenty of stuff. 

Bikepacking

  • It can be competitive (but usually the main purpose is to travel on your bike).
  • It usually takes place on unpaved or even single track roads. 
  • It can be an overnighter ride, or a multi day expedition. Not so much sightseeing, but lots of outdoors.
  • Bikepacking will usually involve camping, and rarely will use accommodation like hostels or hotels.
  • The type of bike for Bikepacking is usually a hardtail with front suspension, or a gravel bike (also a very controversial concept)

Hoping that these information gives you a better idea and understanding of the world we cycle on, we wish you the best rides, see you on the road.