For my upcoming bicycle tour across Europe and Africa, I needed to find a bike that was not only comfortable, strong, and capable of handling the demands of long-distance touring, but I also needed a bike that could be ridden in both on and off-road conditions.
Because I will be spending about six months of my upcoming bike tour cycling on paved streets and bicycle paths in mainland Europe, and another six months or more pedaling down dirt and gravel roads in both Iceland and Africa, it was imperative that I find a bicycle that could handle the demands of both on and off-road travel.
I’ve seen the Co-Motion Pangea (and the rest of the bicycles made by Co-Motion) in the past at a few of the major bicycle trade-shows in the United States, and the high-quality craftsmanship of these vehicles has always blown me away. Every bike in the Co-Motion line-up is of the highest quality and stunningly beautiful. But it is the Pangea touring bicycle, with its 26 inch mountain bike wheels and optional S&S couplers, that has had me saying for the past several years, “That’s my ideal touring bicycle!”
When I started planning my upcoming bike ride across Europe and Africa, I began to realize that none of the touring bikes in my current stable of bicycles would be capable of handling the off-road riding that I was planning for my upcoming trip. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the Co-Motion Pangea, my tradeshow dream bike, had all the qualities I was looking for in my next touring bicycle.
Here are some of the qualities that make the Co-Motion Pangea a touring bicycle standout:
Co-Motion goes out of their way to provide you with the best fitting bicycle they possibly can. Before you order a bike from the company, your measurements are taken and based on these measurements, it is determined whether one of the standard size Co-Motion frames will work for you, or if you need something a little different. Based on my measurements (I’m very tall and very skinny), it was determined that I would need a large 62 cm frame.
Like most good touring bicycles, the Co-Motion Pangea is built on a strong, yet comfortable steel frame. Like I mention inside The Essential Guide To Touring Bicycles, steel is the ideal metal for use in a touring bicycle because it provides you with the strength and stability you need to carry heavy loads, while at the same time giving you the flexibility needed for sitting in the saddle for long periods of time.
If it weren’t for the dropped handlebars on the Pangea, you might just think that this bicycle were made entirely for the mountains. But the drop handlebars on the Pangea are there to provide you with the multiple hand positions you need when touring for days, weeks, and months on end. When it comes to long-distance bicycle touring, having a multitude of hand positions is vitally important to your comfort on the bike and your ability to continue cycling for extended lengths of time.
Bar-End (or optional STI) Shifters
When it comes to shifters, Co-Motion gives you the choice of equipping your bicycle with either bar-end shifters (which are easy to adjust and repair on the road and are preferred by many in the bicycle touring world) or to upgrade to STI integrated brake and gear shifters (which are more common in the world of bicycle racing). While many of my touring bicycles in the past have used STI integrated shifters, I opted for bar-end shifters on my new Co-Motion Pangea.
One of the things that makes the Co-Motion Pangea so unique its use of disc brakes, rather than the old-fashioned rim brakes that are so prevalent in much of the touring world. By equipping your bicycle with modern disc brakes, you can stop your heavy, loaded bicycle in a much shorter amount of time, control your bicycle with greater ease, and increase your safety while out on the road.
26″ Wheels and Tires
It is the wheels on the Pangea that make this bicycle really stand out against many of the other touring bicycles on the market. The Pangea, as its name suggests, is a bike that is made to go just about anywhere, and the wider 26 inch size wheels/tires on the bike allow you to use the bicycle for both on and off-road riding. Plus, 26 inch wheels and tires are a standard size just about everywhere in the world, which means that finding replacements parts will be a breeze during international travels.
Optional S&S Couplers
If you plan to travel with your bike a lot (like I do), you can even opt to have your Co-Motion bicycle equipped with S&S couplers, which are small metal fasteners that are welded to your bicycle’s frame that allows you to take the bicycle apart, fold it up, and fit it inside a case that is small enough to fly on many airplanes for free! Essentially, the S&S couplers allow you to enjoy the benefits of traveling with a folding bicycle, but with the joy and comfort of a full-size bike. I personally opted for the S&S couplers on my Pangea and I look forward to seeing how they perform.
Finally, when you order a Co-Motion bicycle, you get your choice of thousands of custom paint jobs. When you buy a Co-Motion bike, you aren’t getting a mass-produced bicycle made by a company in China and re-branded by a western corporation. Instead, you are getting a totally customized, one-of-a-kind, touring bicycle made just for you, and you alone! Just look at all the paint color options that Co-Motion currently provides.
It is for all these reasons (and because the bicycle is so beautiful and well made) that I decided to use the Co-Motion Pangea on my upcoming bicycle tour across Europe and Africa.
Unfortunately, I don’t have my Pangea just yet. I’ve placed my order and I’m schedule to receive my new bike any day now. As soon as I finish cycling across Iceland, however, I should have a pretty good idea of what the Co-Motion Pangea is like as a touring bicycle and I’ll share more about the bike with you at that time.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the Co-Motion Pangea, why I chose this bicycle for my upcoming tour, or whether you think the Pangea might be the ideal touring bicycle for your own bicycle touring adventures, leave a question or comment below and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.