Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-25-08, 10:06 PM   #1
gavsaway
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thorn Raven or Nomad

Am off on a himalayan adventure next year and have decided on getting a rohloff fitted Thorn Raven or the more expensive Nomad, I am a healthy 6' 2" and weigh in around 95kg but am looking to get that down by the start of the trip. it will be fully self supported so front and back panniers and will be looking at doing nepal, kashmir and then down into bangladesh. My tiny Japanese girlfriend is also coming but as she is light as a feather and about 5'2" i am thinking the raven will be more than enough. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Cheers
gavsaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-08, 10:14 PM   #2
Miguelangel
Senior Member
 
Miguelangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ositoland
Bikes: Lemond Tourmalet
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
which ever you choose please keep us updated... I always wanted to know how do these raven bikes do in long touring
Miguelangel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-08, 10:27 PM   #3
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
Posts: 5,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Thorn doesn't sell the Nomad any more so if you want a Rohloff your cheaper options are a Raven Tour or a Raven Nomad S&S. I weigh 160lbs and would happily tour the part of the world you are interested in on either of those frames or the Sherpa if I wanted a derailleur.

I'd give Thorn a call and discuss all the details of your trip and what you are looking for in a bike as well as your concerns. No one knows their bike line as well as they do.

__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-08, 11:34 PM   #4
Cave
Slowpoach
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Melbourne, AU
Bikes: Cannondale T800, Northwood tandem, 1970s Gitane fixxed 45x16
Posts: 1,088
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Should be good either way.

From my reading the Raven is good for 40kg luggage (!) and the Nomad for 50kg (although they don't specify rider weight...). The Nomad I think has the external-mech Rohloff which apparently is easier to service. Also the S&S which may or may not be a factor (I can't see you using them except on the flights in and out).

Quote:
I'd give Thorn a call and discuss all the details of your trip and what you are looking for in a bike as well as your concerns. No one knows their bike line as well as they do.
I've emailed SJSCycles with questions in the past, they're pretty quick to reply.
Cave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-08, 06:08 AM   #5
onbike 1939
Senior Member
 
onbike 1939's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fife Scotland
Bikes: Airnimal Chameleon; Ellis Briggs; Moulton TSR27 Moulton Esprit
Posts: 2,022
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
I had the Raven and it's bike that you can take anywhere. In fact it was extensively tested in the Himalayas by the guy who designed it and came up trumps.
onbike 1939 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-08, 08:06 AM   #6
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
Posts: 5,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cave View Post
Should be good either way.

From my reading the Raven is good for 40kg luggage (!) and the Nomad for 50kg (although they don't specify rider weight...).
Any idea where you got the luggage weight ratings for these bikes? I've poked around the Thorn website a fair bit and don't recall seeing them.
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-08, 05:45 PM   #7
gavsaway
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks one and all for your advice, an email is on its way to SJS now, but my gut instinct is to go with the Nomad S&S, will just go with frame and forks as am in the process of getting sponsorship for other parts ,will keep you updated with the results and news on the preparations for the trip
gavsaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-08, 06:55 PM   #8
DukeArcher 
Senior Member
 
DukeArcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Bikes: Thorn Nomad S+S, Trek 520 - 2007 (out on loan), and a crap Repco MTB
Posts: 604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
I had the Raven and it's bike that you can take anywhere. In fact it was extensively tested in the Himalayas by the guy who designed it and came up trumps.
Haha, Andy (the designer) made a fantastic bike, but he never tested it in the Himalaya! That was Cass Gilbert, another well-known cyclist

I have a variant on the Thorn S+S Nomad with an external Rohloff and it seriously is a tough bike. My previous bike was a Trek 520, I liked that too, but compared to the Nomad it is far inferior. I am doing an eventual round-the-world trip on the Nomad. On the road it is really steady, I have never had any wobbling or sway, but the steel frame is also comfortable off-road, too. There are heaps of photos of the bike on this website, but here's another couple for you:



__________________
Sparsely updated blog
DukeArcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-08, 03:00 AM   #9
Cave
Slowpoach
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Melbourne, AU
Bikes: Cannondale T800, Northwood tandem, 1970s Gitane fixxed 45x16
Posts: 1,088
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vik View Post
Any idea where you got the luggage weight ratings for these bikes? I've poked around the Thorn website a fair bit and don't recall seeing them.
It was in the brochure for the Sterling MTB, where they discuss weights you can carry on the various bikes. I'm going from memory, check the numbers with SJSC before deciding!
Cave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-08, 07:14 AM   #10
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
Posts: 5,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Nice colour on your Thorn Duke...I haven't seen a white Raven Nomad S&S before.
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-08, 09:29 AM   #11
onbike 1939
Senior Member
 
onbike 1939's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fife Scotland
Bikes: Airnimal Chameleon; Ellis Briggs; Moulton TSR27 Moulton Esprit
Posts: 2,022
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
Duke, I was aware that Cass had tested the Raven in the Himalayas, but I seem to remember that Andy talked about doing this with his partner also when he was in the design process.
onbike 1939 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-08, 07:19 PM   #12
DukeArcher 
Senior Member
 
DukeArcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Bikes: Thorn Nomad S+S, Trek 520 - 2007 (out on loan), and a crap Repco MTB
Posts: 604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
Duke, I was aware that Cass had tested the Raven in the Himalayas, but I seem to remember that Andy talked about doing this with his partner also when he was in the design process.
Well, Andy certainly is a talker and a self-promoter if there ever was one! He hasn't been to the Himalaya yet, because there would be a 200 page pamphlet on how amazing and unique his trip was! Andy is a decent guy though, I worked for Thorn, with him, for 6 months this year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vik View Post
Nice colour on your Thorn Duke...I haven't seen a white Raven Nomad S&S before.

Thanks mate, I had it resprayed. White is a good canvas for all the stickers and paint I will eventually cover it with.
__________________
Sparsely updated blog

Last edited by DukeArcher; 08-27-08 at 07:27 PM.
DukeArcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 07:07 AM   #13
gavsaway
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to let people know that after the advice on this thread i got in contact with Thorn and actually did an interview with Robin Thorn, the head honcho over there. Was very informative and gave some great advice about his bikes and touring in general. It's only ten minutes long but gives you a bit of an insight into the thinking that goes into the Thorn product. He is a nice guy who obviously knows and loves his business.
here is the link.
cycleforchange.wordpress.com
Hope you enjoy.
gavsaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 07:37 AM   #14
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
Posts: 5,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavsaway View Post
Just wanted to let people know that after the advice on this thread i got in contact with Thorn and actually did an interview with Robin Thorn, the head honcho over there. Was very informative and gave some great advice about his bikes and touring in general. It's only ten minutes long but gives you a bit of an insight into the thinking that goes into the Thorn product. He is a nice guy who obviously knows and loves his business.
here is the link.
cycleforchange.wordpress.com
Hope you enjoy.
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 02:09 PM   #15
julk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Near Edinburgh
Bikes: Thorn Rohloff eXp
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Vik,
The latest Thorn advert in the CTC Cycle magazine includes :-

Thorn Raven Tour .... (on occasion carrying the maximum 40Kg of baggage).
Thorn Raven Nomad S&S .... The Nomad S&S is the more affordable version of our eXp, both bikes could carry a 50kg load!

Julian
julk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 02:26 PM   #16
Al Downie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Bikes:
Posts: 440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's a discussion here:

Thorn Forum - which Raven model?

Gav - have you bought your bike yet? Done the tour? If not, I'd be very keen to hear which route you're planning!
Al Downie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 05:12 PM   #17
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
Posts: 5,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by julk View Post
Vik,
The latest Thorn advert in the CTC Cycle magazine includes :-

Thorn Raven Tour .... (on occasion carrying the maximum 40Kg of baggage).
Thorn Raven Nomad S&S .... The Nomad S&S is the more affordable version of our eXp, both bikes could carry a 50kg load!

Julian
Thanks...yeah those are some tough bikes...
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 08:36 PM   #18
BengeBoy 
Senior Member
 
BengeBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
Posts: 6,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am assuming that any US-based folks have noticed that given the fall of the British pound against the dollar lately that Thorn's cost (in US terms) about 30% less than they did 6 months ago...
BengeBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 08:49 PM   #19
gavsaway
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=Al Downie;8257443]

Quote:
Gav - have you bought your bike yet? Done the tour? If not, I'd be very keen to hear which route you're planning!
Al we are starting in kathmandu then doing everest base camp, though not all the way on bikes of course. then across to pokara, into india up into kashir, to do the manali-leh run, might then pop in to see the dalai lama if h is home and then back across the top of india up towards darjeeling, bhutan if one of our partners can organise an official and therefore much cheaper way in and then down to Bangladesh. We are working with a few NGO's which we will be announcing soon, so a lot of our route will be partially dictated by their needs. A map of our planned trip is on www.cycle-for-change.com Re: the bikes. We will be getting a nice pair of nomad S&S's by the end of feb all things being equal and will have a nice test ride into the japanese Alps to give them a shake out before we leave Japan in the middle of July. Cant wait to tell you the truth and everyday at work seems to get longer and longer the closer we get to the day. If you are interested in our travels we will be regularly updating our blog with video and words and hope to make it as interesting as possible.
Cheers
Gavin
www.cycle-for-change.com
www.cycleforchange.wordpress.com
gavsaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-09, 02:31 AM   #20
Al Downie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Bikes:
Posts: 440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Gavin!

What a brilliant trip you'll have! No chance of you including a detour into Sikkim? I always thought Bhutan and Sikkim would be a great holiday.

I did Leh to Manali last year, and I gotta say I was *very* grateful to have front suspension. It's probably too late to talk to Thorn about swapping out their default rigid forks, but it'd probably be cheaper to buy and fit them yourself in any case? It's a main road all the way but it's constantly subject to landslides and the ongoing cycle of repair and resurfacing - some of it felt like riding on a dry river bed! I'm sure everyone's sick of me singing about the Tubus Swing (front rack), but the combination of that rack and our Fox forks was just brilliant - lovely smooth ride with no adverse handling characteristics, and tough enough to go anywhere.

Very best of luck with your trip, and with your mission! I look forward to reading about it on the blog.
Al Downie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 05:59 PM   #21
gavsaway
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey Al, no bike yet, but all in motion, had a look at your photos they are amazing and you seem a dab hand with the camera. Was that a raven tour you had, besides the suspension any other issues you had?
Cheers
gavsaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 06:31 PM   #22
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
Posts: 5,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavsaway View Post
Hey Al, no bike yet, but all in motion, had a look at your photos they are amazing and you seem a dab hand with the camera. Was that a raven tour you had, besides the suspension any other issues you had?
Cheers
Al's bike was an Orange P7... Closer to the Thorn Sterling MTB than Raven Tour or Nomad S&S.
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-09, 03:55 AM   #23
DukeArcher 
Senior Member
 
DukeArcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Bikes: Thorn Nomad S+S, Trek 520 - 2007 (out on loan), and a crap Repco MTB
Posts: 604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Me again, here to praise my Thorn Nomad S+S, it never says die! Had the read tyre explode with 3 sidewall blowouts on a fast downhill, came crashing off (had helmet on this time), panniers everywhere, bike skidded off a 4 foot ditch next to the road. After some tyre repair old Thorn was back on the road with nothing but a few dings and scratches, no damage. Wicked bike.
__________________
Sparsely updated blog
DukeArcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-09, 06:21 AM   #24
Al Downie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Bikes:
Posts: 440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yep, mine started life as a P7 singlespeed (bought 2nd hand on Ebay), which I stripped and rebuilt with a Rohloff hub (also bought 2nd hand from Ebay!). I'm chuffed to bits with it and wouldn't change it for anything now that it's built (and taken me through the mountains), but if I'd had the cash when I was starting out, I reckon I'd have bought a Nomad S&S, and put some suspension forks on it. Proper bike, that one.

Regarding the North India section of your tour, I think the worst thing you'll have to deal with is the completely demoralizing ascent of Rhotang La (2,000m climb out of Manali). That really is a kick in the face! The road was in VERY bad repair when we were coming down it in September, and as well as the Tata trucks that crash and bash their way up all the hairpins with diesel fumes belching everywhere, it's a popular road for day-tripping joy-riders from Manali who race each other up and down in little cars, with engines screaming, forcing cyclists off the road. It's pretty grim! But keep the faith, break that ascent into two days, and once you're over the top you can start to relax and enjoy the trip again. Bottled water is available regularly along the route; the longest stretch without is probably the More Plains, north of Pang, where you'll have to stock up with enough for 24hrs. If you do plan any detours (Tso Moriri, for example), you might need to stop for a rest day in Keylong to organise permits (valid for 7 days from date of issue) - any trekking agency office will help you with that.

Very best of luck! I hope the weather is kind to you, and you have a great trip! I'm really looking forward to reading about your progress!
Al Downie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:25 PM.