We’re excited to have a Tout Terrain Silk Road on the floor now which is ready to be test-ridden. It’s a tough steel touring bike with a built-in rack and a Rohloff hub. Ours is the Silver model, second to the Gold in quality and in price.
It’s a very German style of touring bike with flat handlebars, internal hub gearing, large tyres and disc brakes.
This set-up also really shines for commuting – a pair of rear panniers on the built-in rack are all most of us need to carry stuff to and from work and the upright set-up and powerful hydraulic disc brakes are great for getting around in traffic. The tyres it comes with are really tough and wide, so it will handle the less than perfect streets most of us find ourselves riding on. In this guise the bike is like the ultimate hybrid – easy to ride, tough, low maintenance and comfortable.
The Rohloff hub the bike is built around are legendary for their reliability and for how little maintenance they require – an oil change every 5000km and you should expect years of trouble-free use. They have 14 gear which cover a wide gear range (over 500%) in evenly spaced increments, and as with all gear hubs can be shifted while stationary. Because the whole gear system is driven by the one device there is only one shifter so changing gears requires no decisions and, unlike with a derailleur setup, there are no gear combinations which should be avoided.
The stock build also suits a lot of people as it is for touring. It also provides ample opportunity to customize the setup by replacing the handlebars with the style you prefer. It can take anything from swept-back city bars to trekking/butterfly bars and anything in between. Anything that uses flat bar brake levers and shifters is very simple to convert to. (Look here for a discussion of some of the options). The bike can also be converted to work with more road-style bars with a little more customization.
As you would expect from a bike of this calibre, all the parts are high quality, from double-butted spokes and strong Mavic rims to the Fizik saddle and the Ritchey grips. The frame is made from a steel which is a small step up from the cromoly most of our other bikes are made from. It has small quantities of exotic metals in the alloy which makes it stronger and allows less material to be used. The built-in rack is stainless steel, so that it will not rust where the panniers rub the paint off.
As of writing the Tout Terrain is $3925. Here’s the Spec sheet.
Their site also has their complete range.