What do you do with your touring bike?

I’m thinking of doing some bike touring around China and then later Taiwan. However, I would then like to go to Chiang Mai and Southeast Asia WITHOUT the bike, rack and paniers. What do you guys recommend?

I currently have a bike in the US and love biking around but don’t always want to be biking. Sometimes it’s nice to just buy a motorbike and then sell it when I’m done. However a touring bike is very big possession and it would get expensive to keep buying and selling it.

Hi Jason,

I think it depends on a lot of factors. I did a distance cycle journey in Europe last year and I bought a used bike specifically for the trip and sold it afterward. I think I lost about $100 in the end, but that was a totally acceptable amount to me (especially as compared to the amount it would have cost for me to take it to South America after).

On the other side of the coin, my boyfriend has a really nice touring bike and he opts to ship it when he doesn’t need it. We’re about to embark on a road trip and he doesn’t want it until the end of the trip, so he’s shipping it to his brother and will collect it once we finish the road trip.

I think for my next bike, I’ll be looking into the ultra-light and/or foldable options and thinking about doing some shipping in future, myself. But the practical financial option in my case last year was to buy and then sell.

Hi Jason,

First of all, I’d reconsider cycle touring China, or at least do a ton of research and pick your route well. I’ve spent a lot of time reading cyclist journals at https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/ and it sounds like one of the worst countries for touring. You can search for country-specific journal entries on that website. Taiwan is supposed to be very nice though.

But don’t let that stop you. Cycle touring is an amazing way to travel. My wife and I are currently riding from Las Vegas to Patagonia and it’s great! Shipping a bicycle is a bit of a hassle, but it’s not nearly as bad as you might imagine. If you get a good one, it could be worth shipping it to your home base, if you have one. Selling it will be kind of a hassle because it’s such a specialized item. It’s not impossible though. Get onto as many cycle touring FB groups, etc BEFORE you start your trip and put it out there that you’re thinking of selling at the end. You might be able to find someone who you can work with for dates that you can meet up in Taiwan. You’ll have even more luck if you can bring it to SE Asia because that’s probably the most popular place in the world for cycle touring.

Another option is to get a folding bike and equip it for touring. In fact, Bike Friday or Brompton actually makes one specifically for touring. It seems absurd, but tons of people tour on them with great success. You can search for folding bike journals as well on Crazy Guy.

Thanks! Appreciate the feedback!

I’ll get a touring bike and just ship it around. I’ll leave it at a friend’s or my home base in Boston when not using it.

I’m going to pack it and ship it. I wanted to get a bike carrying case to make it easier, but I think I’m going to stick to cardboard boxes because:

  1. They’re free
  2. If I end up wanting to dump the bike, I can probably sell the bike for the same amount I bought it for, but the case would be hard to sell
  3. It is very difficult and expensive to obtain a real case where I am now (Colombia)

FWIW, I travel with a 52cm road bike. I’m not moving around that much, maybe 3-4 months at a time. I’m less of a touring-style cyclist and more of a road bike racer. This will be my first time traveling with a bike soon, so we’ll see how it goes. I can foresee myself purchasing a case in the future to make packing easier.