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Thread: Thorn vs LHT

  1. #1
    Stuck in Japan travelbug's Avatar
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    Thorn vs LHT

    In the past few weeks, I've been catching up with plenty of reccommendations for a touring bicycle. Unfortunately, with not a huge budget to go on... under £1000, $2000CDN, $1900US, ¥200000yen total,I must limit myself with some options. Sure, costs for a Bruce Gordon is possible with my price range, but as I currently live in Japan, shipping charges and then custom fees can most certainly add another 15-25% to the initial cost. A Trek 520 sounds great, but I'm a fan of 26" tyres ever since I had a crack on my 700c for 2 months when I was cycling S.E. Asia. T2000 T800, I've never really been a fan of dropbars, and the frame are too big for me. Steel seems to be the most common reccommendation for a long distance touring bicycle.

    As for my experience, I've toured on and off for 5 years, totalling about 32,000kms. All on a Marin hybrid I had from my days in uni. Usually totally loaded, 4 panniers, handlebar bag, and sometimes a BOB trailer all together. Why do I carry so much? Well, when I first started off, I also carried a 16mm motion picture camera with a studio sized tripod... Now, I'm in search of something that'll last a bit longer. Have let the 16mm and BOB go... now just the bags.

    I've seen posts about the Novara, T2000, T800, 520, Koga-Miyata, Fuji Tourer, Dawes, Rivendell, Roberts, Giant OCR, Bruce Gordon, etc. But for a steel frame, with 26" and price wise I'm really looking at either building from a Surly LHT or purchasing a Thorn Sherpa with gear upgrades. Something that is just after entry level since I usually go for 2-4 months at a time.

    - Getting a LHT to Japan isn't a problem, since I've got a friend in the states who can pick up a frame for me, but asking for a whoe bike to be boxed,... I'm not sure if they could manage it.

    - For the Thorn Sherpa I'm flying to the UK, and since I've got a friend in Cornwall, I could stop by Bridgewater, SJS cycle to pick up my bike if ordered. (I could also possibly get it VAT free as well)

    Oh yes... another thing. I've read plenty about how people are really REALLY tall, but what about for us short blokes? I'm 5'.... yeah.. that's it... 5' with a small clearance. 16"-17" or 42-44cm frame sizes is what I'd need.

    Parts wise, for both choices, I'm thinking of...

    Sun-Ringle Rhyno or CR18 rims
    Brooks B67 or B17 saddle
    Flat bar (my back does funny things with drops)
    Deore rapidfire
    XTR Brakes (is it necessary? would regular Deore be alright)
    LX derailers
    Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres
    Tubus racks

    Any other suggestions?
    Everything else, I'm salvaging from my old bike or not too worried about.

    So, I apologize for the long entry, was just wondering what people thought about Thorns vs LHT, since I've seen comparisons of other bikes, T2000, 520, LHT etc.

    My plan for 2007 is to cycle Lao, Vietnam, and then fly to Mongolia and to cycle to Turkey via Kazakhstan.

    Thanks again for reading this far!
    Cheers!
    Last edited by travelbug; 05-12-06 at 08:34 PM.

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    What's the question? Your situation is certianly interesting. You have far more experience than most people here. A stock steel touring frame is a very basic piece of kit. It's a real credit to the few companies that have emerged as brands that they get noticed at all. Is there really no local option. Probably all the frames you mentioned, regardless of what their promo says are coming from locations a lot closer to you than the US. Maxway has a touring bike. Y2T26.

    For frames, fit should be your first concern. As long as you fit off the rack, any of the frames you mention should be fine.

    What kind of brakes are you running Linear? Didgit 7s are another good brand. I have some XTs on one bike, but I have heard they loosen, so far mine are great.

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    I thought they hand-made fine quality lugged bicycle frames in JAPAN for the past 50 years.

    Youre gonna go to UK to get a frame made in China (only the top thorns are made in uk)? Or get a friend to send you a made in china frame from the US? Drop a small fortune on a bike you're only gonna use for 2 months? You don't like drop bars? Fine, just go down to your corner japanese LBS and pick up an urban/commuter/mtb. That'll do fine for your needs. Also i understand folks are not so tall in japan, seems like the perfect place for you to look for a bike. Or maybe you can take a weekend tour to hong kong, they got bikes there for sure, i think millions of folks ride em there daily. sorry for the sarcastic tone but this just seems a little too obvious to me.

    i just read peterpans post and realize im an echo.

    why dont you get a custom made job right there in town, seriously?

    surlys are just inexpensive frames made from bmx tubing, there's nothing fancy about em (waiting for the lightning to strike me). the fancy thorns are much nicer, and really overkill for most folks use. i think you should research custom made frames in japan.

    since youve toured with a trailer you must know that virtually any bike can be used for touring.

    how about a folding bike? dahon makes a sweet disassemble-able (sp) mtb. theres bike friday too. folding would be handy (and possibly save money) for the touring you've described.
    Last edited by seeker333; 05-12-06 at 10:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Stuck in Japan travelbug's Avatar
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    Trying to find a touring bike in Japan isn't as easy as it sounds. Many of the Japan built bicycles are for export only. Call it one of those funny global economy things, I've contact Bruce Gordon with regards to their BLTs frames which are built in Japan, but have been told that they're first brought over to the US, set up then sold.

    As for finding touring bikes here... I can find plenty of racers and mtbs but a bike for loaded touring? So far I haven't seen a since one in any shop here. With most LBS you might be lucky to find handbar bags, but panniers? 9 months here, and no luck yet. Panniers are mostly ordered from the LBS from a overseas distributer. Trust me,... I'm amazed at how hard and inconvenient it is here in Japan to get bikes of loaded touring. If it's a mtb or racer I'm looking for, this place is great if you get to the big city.

    As for me being a seasoned traveller... not at all. I just went with what I had. But this time, figured that it may be nice to get a bicycle that could last me 10+years. 4-5 months cycling next year, but I'm sure that that I'll be putting on the miles once I quit my job in a few more years. I understand to many that 4-5 months cycling may not be much but that's all I can afford to take time off work.

    I didn't realise that low end Thorns were built in China. Thanks for the update.

    As for LBS, unless you live in a big city, LBS here in Japan tend to only sell bicycles with a single gear, a huge basket on front, and you tend to buy them at the department store. Only if I lived out in the city.

    Oh yeah... sorry, I'm always rambling. I guess my main question was which frame was more reccommended. A Thron frame or a Surly LHT. But I'm guessing that a mtn frame may just as well be a better option.

    And folding bikes eh? Never even considered them. Thanks for the tip. Will look into them. Cheers!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if this helps, but I'm in the states, and recently had a similar problem in that I wanted a tourer with 26" wheels and pretty much my choice was limited to a 54cm LHT. All the rest of the touring bikes come in 700C sizes, plus they're all $1000USD+, and I was on a ~$200USD frame budget. I also had parts for the bike so all I really wanted was the frame. I ended up buying a Dawes Sardar frame (steel) from ebay for $160 including shipping to the states. Of course you might not see just a frame on ebay, but you more than likely could get a full Sardar bike for under $1000USD, even if you had to swap out the drop handlebar for a flat and change shifters. Point is, my friend has an LHT, and I certainly consider the Sardar frame to more than comparable to the LHT (welds/practicality/paintwork). The Sardar -though I believe no longer in production -may also be a good alternative to consider if you find one of a suitable frame size.

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    on this forum the surly lht would be recommended over the thorn model X, simply because the lht frameset costs ~350-500 USD and thorns cost about 3 times as much in the US, so guess what sells the most?

    personally i think the thorn is probably worth twice as much or more. the surly is tig welded in china from inexpensive tubing. the thorns (the ones you'd want) are carefully handmade by nigel or gregory (i made those up) from a reynolds tubing produced exclusively for thorn. thorn frames are fillet brazed with all kinds of bosses, they're basically a custom frame, made the way fine bikes used to be made. so one is hyundai, the other is lexus, and priced accordingly. except for the sherpa model, which is their low end model made in china (probably same factory as the surlys, ha).

    first, surly LHT avail in 42, 46cm 44 not made. best price i know of, honest businessman:

    http://parts.spicercycles.com/page.c...and=405&type=T

    alternately, contact aebike.com by telephone; their website quotes msrp on surly products but they used to sell em at ~290 USD until all their competitors started complaining.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    if you can physically pick up a nice thorn at sjs cycles in uk that would be the best deal; opccasionally they sell an odd model on ebay but you'll never find what you want that way
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    bike friday - pretty reputable folding bike company in US - they make a touring model, and an accessory travel case (bike fits in it for travel) that converts to a trailer for the tour;

    http://www.bikefriday.com/bikeMMI.cfm?bf=4&cat=3

    see denise in action:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ...ge_id=4041&v=r
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    dahon folders - they have a slick touring model

    http://www.dahon.com/intl/speedtr.htm

    http://www.dahon.com/images/bikes/la...l/speedtr4.jpg

    and a conventional looking mtb with clever frame coupling, apparently they fit it with eyelets for rack, fancy parts, expensive wheels, really trick

    http://www.dahon.com/intl/flo.htm
    Last edited by seeker333; 05-13-06 at 05:31 AM.

  7. #7
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    I think you probably have the answer already from reading the above. I have a Thorn Nomad which I really like. The folks at SJS seem to put a lot of thought into their bikes but so does Surly. One nice thing about the Thorn fork is the extra set of eyelets for fenders. Doesn't seem like buch but makes for installing and removing a front rack much easier. I found sizing a Thorn, just using their graph, a little difficult since they don't inlucde important measurements like head tube lenght and seat tube angle. Have them give you call for free. All things being equal, what would tip the scale for me is being able to go their shop and pick up the frame in person in order to make sure it fits you properly. I think you are correct in that these are about the least expensive frame options for a touring specific 26" wheel bike, excluding hard tail MTBs.

    Just a side note, your 700c rim cracking isn't a result of the size of the rim, only the quality of the rim and the build. A 26" rim can do the same. But since you are small, you would be better off w/ the smaller wheels for sizing reasons.

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    [QUOTE=travelbug] I've contact Bruce Gordon with regards to their BLTs frames which are built in Japan, but have been told that they're first brought over to the US, set up then sold.

    That is not TRUE! All Bruce Gordon Frames are made in my shop in Petaluma, California.
    I had about 200 early BLT's made in Japan over 10 years ago. Since then all BLT's are made in the USA!!!
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    Bruce Gordon Cycles
    www.bgcycles.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelbug
    In the past few weeks, I've been catching up with plenty of reccommendations for a touring bicycle. Unfortunately, with not a huge budget to go on... under 1000, $2000CDN, $1900US, 200000yen total,I must limit myself with some options. Sure, costs for a Bruce Gordon is possible with my price range, but as I currently live in Japan, shipping charges and then custom fees can most certainly add another 15-25% to the initial cost. A Trek 520 sounds great, but I'm a fan of 26" tyres ever since I had a crack on my 700c for 2 months when I was cycling S.E. Asia. T2000 T800, I've never really been a fan of dropbars, and the frame are too big for me. Steel seems to be the most common reccommendation for a long distance touring bicycle.

    As for my experience, I've toured on and off for 5 years, totalling about 32,000kms. All on a Marin hybrid I had from my days in uni. Usually totally loaded, 4 panniers, handlebar bag, and sometimes a BOB trailer all together. Why do I carry so much? Well, when I first started off, I also carried a 16mm motion picture camera with a studio sized tripod... Now, I'm in search of something that'll last a bit longer. Have let the 16mm and BOB go... now just the bags.

    I've seen posts about the Novara, T2000, T800, 520, Koga-Miyata, Fuji Tourer, Dawes, Rivendell, Roberts, Giant OCR, Bruce Gordon, etc. But for a steel frame, with 26" and price wise I'm really looking at either building from a Surly LHT or purchasing a Thorn Sherpa with gear upgrades. Something that is just after entry level since I usually go for 2-4 months at a time.

    - Getting a LHT to Japan isn't a problem, since I've got a friend in the states who can pick up a frame for me, but asking for a whoe bike to be boxed,... I'm not sure if they could manage it.

    - For the Thorn Sherpa I'm flying to the UK, and since I've got a friend in Cornwall, I could stop by Bridgewater, SJS cycle to pick up my bike if ordered. (I could also possibly get it VAT free as well)

    Oh yes... another thing. I've read plenty about how people are really REALLY tall, but what about for us short blokes? I'm 5'.... yeah.. that's it... 5' with a small clearance. 16"-17" or 42-44cm frame sizes is what I'd need.

    Parts wise, for both choices, I'm thinking of...

    Sun-Ringle Rhyno or CR18 rims
    Brooks B67 or B17 saddle
    Flat bar (my back does funny things with drops)
    Deore rapidfire
    XTR Brakes (is it necessary? would regular Deore be alright)
    LX derailers
    Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres
    Tubus racks

    Any other suggestions?
    Everything else, I'm salvaging from my old bike or not too worried about.

    So, I apologize for the long entry, was just wondering what people thought about Thorns vs LHT, since I've seen comparisons of other bikes, T2000, 520, LHT etc.

    My plan for 2007 is to cycle Lao, Vietnam, and then fly to Mongolia and to cycle to Turkey via Kazakhstan.

    Thanks again for reading this far!
    Cheers!
    Go Avid Single-digit 7 or Deore for brakes and XT for derailleurs. Go with an H-bar or bullhorn rather than flat, or get bar-ends.

  10. #10
    Rvl
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    I live in Japan
    I bought the 48cm Giant Flat Touring bike
    Havent had any problems with mine

    It is not the best touring bike available
    I try to get out every weekend touring/camping
    When entry level parts wear out......replace them
    So far I only wore out my brake pads
    And there is a funny noise coming from my BB( bring it in tomorrow and have it upgraded to XT)

    BUT it comes with
    -4 bags.....60L
    -racks......rear 30kg.......front 18kg
    -good touring gears
    -fenders
    -36h rims and 26-1.75 Pasella touring tires
    -toeclips/straps
    -front airshocks
    And all for only $700 !!!!!!!

    Added a bunch of other cosmetic and personal stuff to it
    Upgraded to a lighter tent , stove/cookware , sleeping bag and camping gear
    Bought some more cycling clothes , socks , shoes and some others
    I have spent less than $1600 for a total touring setup

    Hmmmmm if I could do it all over again
    Oh sure I would like to get a better bike and bags and and and and and
    Hmmm a BLT or a Koga Miyata or a Surly LHT (I will be getting one in the future)
    But for now I just like getting out to ride and camp

    Thanks

    Robert VanLane

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Was reading over this thread and suddenly realized there may be a deciding factor in the type of rims you want -Rhynos(do you mean RhynoLites?) have a wider rim compared to the Sun CR18 (which happen to be the rims I use). This will limit you on the width of tyre you'll be able to use. For example, I wanted to run 1.25" width tyres but these are questionable on the Rhynolites (I have some Rhynolites on my mtb). In the end I chose CR-18s because I felt that 1.25" will go on with not problems.

    Sheldon Brown has a guide to what width tyres you can use with what width rims, but ultimately it was by eyeballing that I felt most comfortable. I just thought the Rhynolites would not support narrower than 1.5" max.

    And I would guess XTR brakes would be overkill (just remember to use Koolstop Salmons on the pads rather than the concrete blocks that come with all Shimano brakes, there is a HUGE difference).

  12. #12
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    I can only speak of the Rhyno Lite 700c version. I had a wheel built using this rim only to find out it swallowed 32c tires. I contacted Sun and was told that a 700x42 tire is the minimum width. It would be nice to put that on their web site.

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    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    My only experience was with the 26" rims. But I completely agree -I was curious since I had a spare set of Rhynolites if I could use them (plus they are very strong rims) and couldn't find anywhere that could confirm the minimum width tyre that could be mounted. Annoying really..... The closest thing I could find was the Sheldon Brown web site with some approximate guidelines. Another thing is the ability of the rim to handle the pressure (e.g. upwards to 100psi) on the rim sidewalls -course, no specs were available on any manufacturers web site about this. In the end I already had a like new set of Sun CR-18 32h rims, so I just bought a 36h rear rim and laced it up to a 36h hub I bought and used the front 32h I already had -I went on the fact that Sun listed these rims suitable for touring on their website so assumed they would be ok. I can run 1.5" (which I've used for touring) or 1.25" width tyres for commuting now.

  14. #14
    Stuck in Japan travelbug's Avatar
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    A great thanks for all the wonderful tips. I'm gonna have some serious thinking to do the next couple of weeks. If only I could pay for the bike in installments! Oh wait! I can... me good 'ol credit card. If my budget goes up for a Thorn Nomad, I'll probably also start scratching my head towards a Bruce Gordon BLT as well.

    Ahhh, decisions, decisions. anways, thanks for the tips.

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    I'm still willing to confer expert status on you based on your extensive experience, but if you are doubtful, one thing I would press you on is drop bars. So much more comfortable, just set them at the same height range you would a part of flat bars, and you have even more options. But hey, lot's of people also share your opinion, and it does make brakes and shifters a lot easier to arrange.

    I don't see how you can go wrong with the LHT. If you have someone who will carry it for you that seems ideal as far as shipping is concerned. People seem to like their Thorns, but UK is a more expensive economy to get the equivalent components from, in my experience. Never go too far wrong assuming it will cost the same number as US with the pound at a much higher value. You can get the LHT from spicers for 350 US. They currently have a 42 in stock, no 44, but seem to have all sizes on order. That is hard to beat unless they are selling Thorn frames for 185 pounds.

    As I mentioned, fit is really the big issue, and on really small frames that are still designed around proportionally large wheels (26"), sometimes there are stupid problems with compromises they made to get the size formatted. So once you narrow the choices down I would start a small frames thread, or even just write the guys at Surly with a specific question on the 42. Like could they show you a picture. You want to make sure the frame really works in the size you are contemplating buying. Draw it out in CAD, or by hand. I'm here to tell you that the frames at the ends of the size range do not necessarily conform to the given numbers, and sometimes the compromises are bad. So finding someone with Surly 42 experience would be cool.

    Also, I'm 73"+, vs. your 60 inches. I want to build around the 26" wheels for my next bike. The proportionate size for you would be 21 inches. So as someone mentioned, maybe a 20" wheel folding bike like the Bikefriday.com. Not sure where you put a touring load of gear on one of those in that size, but lots of people have done it. Actually as far as I can tell the panniers and racks are sized for smaller bikes in the first place.

  16. #16
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    Hi Travelbug,

    I live in Osaka and last year had a Thorn Raven Tour (Rohloff Speedhub Equipped) shipped over here. You don't have to pay the 17.5% UK Vat and Japanese custome charges were surprisingly inexpensive. However shipping from the UK had to be in two boxes. Total shipping costs were around the 200GBP mark. Ouch! Anyway, the Raven tour is a good bike. The Rohloff hub is fantastic IMO. From an aesthetic viewpoint I'm not too happy with the bike. Costing well over 1000GBP I was disappointed to see that it looks like it was made in Taiwan! The head badge is really tacky. However it is the cheapest rohloff bike out there and it does ride well, so I do like the bike. I'm just back from a 9 day tour in Kyushu and the more I cycle the bike the more I like it.


    Initally I was also interested in buying a Sherpa. I had a chance to visit SJS and take a look at one. I wasn't impressed. It's a light touring/commuting bike. Looks better on the SJS website than it does in reality IMO. Definitly don't buy one without first having seen one.

    It's possible to buy a Surley LHT here in Osaka. One of my friends did that just last year. He got a 54cm frame. I think the 56cm frame and upwards takes 700c wheels. Don't know what size frame you'd require, but obviously if your keen on 26ins wheels then this may rule out the LHT. I'll try to get a link to that shop in Osaka. Their website is in Japanese though and watashi no Nihongo wa totemo warui!

    Where exactly is Sanjo?

    Hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

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    Travelbug,

    Just reread your original post and saw that you're not so tall! I think the LHT with 26ins will suit you very well. It looks like a solid bike. Cost from the shop I mentioned (Village Cycles close to Umeda in Osaka) is well less than 200,000 yen if I remember correctly.

    Here is their website:
    http://www.real-retail.com/via/shop/shop.html

    Good luck!

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    http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~isb/

    If you can read Japanese, check out this shop in Kyoto. Any Rivendell Atlantis purchasers may wish to check out the lugs, look at the prices, and weep. This guy offered to set me up with one of the randonneur bikes with Ultegra components for 200,000 yen. I occasionally wish I had taken him up on his offer (nice gizmos like the dynamo lights, etc), but all in all I am very happy with my Bilenky Midlands touring bike.

    Tom in Osaka

    P.S. Hi, Hardtail! We've got to meet up again soon--I bought a new Kyoto cycle map and some of the routes look intriguing....

  19. #19
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    Hi Tom,

    I've been incomunocado for a while. Gomene! I'll email right now. Definitly got to do some trails in Kyoto. As I mentioned above Laura and I were down in Kyushu for Golden week. Had a great time. The Thorns really handled things well. Glad to hear your Bilenky is still going strong! Talk later

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtail
    I live in Osaka and last year had a Thorn Raven Tour (Rohloff Speedhub Equipped) shipped over here. You don't have to pay the 17.5% UK Vat and Japanese custome charges were surprisingly inexpensive. However shipping from the UK had to be in two boxes. Total shipping costs were around the 200GBP mark. Ouch! Anyway, the Raven tour is a good bike. The Rohloff hub is fantastic IMO. From an aesthetic viewpoint I'm not too happy with the bike. Costing well over 1000GBP I was disappointed to see that it looks like it was made in Taiwan! The head badge is really tacky. However it is the cheapest rohloff bike out there and it does ride well, so I do like the bike. I'm just back from a 9 day tour in Kyushu and the more I cycle the bike the more I like it.

    Initally I was also interested in buying a Sherpa. I had a chance to visit SJS and take a look at one. I wasn't impressed. It's a light touring/commuting bike. Looks better on the SJS website than it does in reality IMO. Definitly don't buy one without first having seen one.
    The raven and sherpa are made in china. The thorn tig'ed frames are all made there. The fillet brazed frames are all made in UK. This info used to be avail on their website but i couldnt find it last time i looked.

    They have to cut cost on the raven bike since the rohloff hub probably wholesale costs $800US, thus the non brazed frame. However, the frame tube joining technique is to some extent aesthetic; a properly welded frame can last a lietime. Hang enough gear on her and you won't see the frame much anyway.

    The surly LHT sizes 42-54 is built around 26" wheels, 56cm up use 700c. The main reason for this is smaller wheels on small frames helps prevent toe-to-front-tire-overlap, also dont have to produce frames with undesirable head/seat tube angles.
    Last edited by seeker333; 05-15-06 at 03:10 AM.

  21. #21
    I can't remember
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    Guys,

    Thorn's frames at made in TAIWAN, not China.

    This from the CIA world fact book:
    In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1946 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within the governing structure. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China - specifically the question of eventual unification - as well as domestic political and economic reform.
    It seems to me necessary to differenciate beteween the two.
    Last edited by hardtail; 05-15-06 at 04:01 AM.

  22. #22
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    Hey,
    if it is still actuall- have a look at Ebay. SJS Cycley are selling old stock and surplus at the time there. I got my brand new Thorn Raven for 200 including shipping to Germany and seatpost, forks, FSA aheadset!
    I think for this money its a very good choice!
    By now they offer two different sizes there.
    Richard

  23. #23
    Pedalpower clayface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtail
    Guys,

    Thorn's frames at made in TAIWAN, not China.
    And the quality of the frames is as superb as those built in the UK. The fact that SJSC moved part of their production over to Taiwan has more to do. in my opinion, with the possibility of offering high quality frames at affordable prices. Taiwanese frames are also handcrafted and come with a bonus powdercoat.
    Roberto

    Thorn Club Tour

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Hi there,
    I ,well several months ago , bought for SJS the Thorn Club Tour, Everything you read about Thorn bikes is true, I tour, well in the last 2 months I have already clocked up 780 miles and I also have a Colnago as a second bike which I use every Sunday to ride 50-70 miles on,when I am not touring, so I do cycle a lot. With SJS they spent over 2 hours with me as you can build the bike on their computer, componants wise, and see what it will cost. The bike is truely fantastic, loaded or not she flies like a ***** on heat. Very easy to handel and the gearing is how it should be for touring. I can climb steep hills fully loaded where as before it would have been foolish to do so if you intended to clock up 80 miles for the day, now it does not come in to my thinking. The Staff there are very helpful and most of them are riders as well and have been there for ages. They do know what they are talking about. In fact they said if I was not entirely happy with what I bought then I could return the bike no quibbles. Only people who are absolute sure of what they are doing would offer this. The way I looked at it was I was going to buy a bike for life so spend well and enjoy riding the rest of the time. This is what I got with Thorn.

  25. #25
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    LA Cycles in Coventry used to make a lot of the frames for touring bikes in the UK.
    www.leecoopercycles.com is the new name; they've scaled down.
    They can do nice frames in Reynolds and Columbus tubing for decent prices. You could also try Simoncini.

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