Adventure bikes 101


Loosely based on off-road machines for that ‘rugged-adventurer’ look, although most are just good all-round road bikes in disguise. Pull up at the chip shop and no one knows if you just rode in from Africa or Aylesbury. Tall seats give a good view, soft suspension soaks up the bumps and flexible engines give instant power at any revs.

Good for:

Town riding where the tall seat adds extra visibility, plus pokey engines and soft suspension come into their own. Also good for long distances at medium speeds on all kinds of road surfaces. Usually very comfortable, although the more radical ones, closest to a real off-roader have very narrow seats that’ll get you shuffling within the first hour.

Not so good for:

Short, nervous riders because they are tall and top heavy. In reality though, confidence and experience is more important than height, so don’t be put off. Fast riding on twisty roads because the long travel, soft suspension struggles to keep control or give sufficient feedback to the rider and off-road type tyres have fat tread blocks that squirm under cornering pressure.

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