A good way to think of a touring bike is as an ‘Adventure road bike.’ As its purpose is to carry you and a ton of gear loaded to the bike itself on racks and panniers the most important qualities of these bikes are comfort, stability and durability. In terms of design this means while the bike may look like an old fashioned road bike the longer wheel base, lower bb height and slightly more upright riding position are important qualities to put the rider in the best position for consecutive long daily rides. For an easier ride the preference is for a triple ring upfront to manage the climbs and wider tyres to help distribute the load and allow for varying surfaces. Simple but durable parts keep the bike reliable. While this may be a fairly niche market it is worth investing in a specific touring bike for your big journey as there can be no substitute for a well thought out properly fitted ride when you start clocking up the miles.