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Old 05-13-09, 10:55 AM   #1
cosmicsurfer
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Thorn or Rodriguez???

I'm shopping for a new touring bike. I am still rather new to touring, but intend do do some serious touring in both developed and undeveloped countries soon.

I think that I have narrowed down my choices to two bikes. The Thorn Sherpa or the Rodrigues W2.

Which you you think is a better touring bike?

If you know of any other bikes that would be comparable, please let me know.

Thank you,
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Old 05-13-09, 11:06 AM   #2
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I have never seen a Rodrigues bike so I can't comment on them. I have toured with a partner who rode a Thorn Sherpa and loved it. I owned a Sherpa myself and sold it as I ended up on a smaller frame than was ideal. I've since bought a Thorn Nomad S&S and a Thorn Sterling. The quality of all the Thorn frames I've owned has been excellent and the exchange rate makes them very affordable compared to a few years ago.
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Old 05-13-09, 11:39 AM   #3
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I've never seen a Rodriguez, but I've just bought myself a Sherpa in world tour spec. It hasn't arrived yet (3 weeks and counting!) but its a really lovely bike and Thorn are a really great company- super friendly and helpful.

Obviously, I'll be able to update more when I've ridden it :-)
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Old 05-13-09, 12:37 PM   #4
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i ride the sherpa ,don't know of the rodrigues,so cant compair.the sherpa is brilliant super smooth ride. sjs give's you a choice of a few builds on the sherpa,which is a great idea if money is tight ,and you can't afford to go for there top build,great company to deal with excellent service .which ever bike you choose i hope you enjoy it .
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Old 05-13-09, 01:04 PM   #5
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the rodriguez- designed canti-brake page is so full of snake oil and unicorn hide that I dunno about their reasoning in general... +1 to Thorn.
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Old 05-13-09, 05:17 PM   #6
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+2 to Thorn

I have ridden my Thorn Nomad over 15,000 miles and in 10 different countries.
It has put up with everything thrown at it, and the load carring is only limited by your iginuity
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Old 05-13-09, 05:18 PM   #7
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I make that Thorn wins over Rodregez 6-nil !
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Old 05-13-09, 08:50 PM   #8
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My ideal choice would be the nomad. I think that it is the perfect bike. Unfortunately, the price is just a little bit too much for me at this point in time.

If you had to compare the difference in the ride between the sherpa and the nomad, it may help swing me in the other direction.
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Old 05-13-09, 09:57 PM   #9
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I'm looking at my Rodriguiz UTB right now.

SnS, 26in wheels, drop bar, campy goodies and scaled for the taller rider -> Sherpa w/o the SnS

For me it came down to Bilenky (Midlands Touring) and Rodreguiz (UTB). Rodreguiz won becuase they are in my backyard. It always takes me a while to "dial in" a bike and they offered free swaps for a year. I used it for one stem change and one handlebar swap.

With the pound on the low side that Thorn looks really attractive unless you have to have SnS.

Last edited by escii_35; 05-13-09 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Added Bilenky Model.
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Old 05-13-09, 11:31 PM   #10
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I have looked at Rodriguez bikes a number of times, met many Rodriguez owners, and toured their frame shop twice. I was out for a ride last week and ran into a Rodriguez owner on a UTB who did an extended tour in Europe last year--he spent 20 minutes telling me how much he liked the bike. I would have no hesitation buying a Rodriguez. They seem like great people to work with.

Some considerations:
- While Rodriguez now offers a Rohloff option, my impression is that Thorn is more of a Rohloff specialist. My impression is that Thorn has probably equipped as many bikes with Rohloff hubs as anyone.
- Rodriguez has more stock sizes (15) and their upcharge for custom sizing is more reasonable. I've seen them in the shop helping customers dial in a fit and my impression is that they are really meticulous about helping customers get fitted to their bikes
- Rodriguez will build a bike with any component set but they really favor Campy components.
- Right now (if you are a US buyer using dollars) Thorn bikes are much more reasonable than they were 18 months ago.

If you are buying a bike long distance, I have always thought that Rodriguez's "long-distance test ride guarantee" was a reasonable policy. It reads (in part): "We can discuss what you did not like about it and see if an easy solution can be found (stem change, minor adjustment at your local shop etc...). If the problem is one that can't be completely solved easily, you may box up the bike & ship the bike back to us, and only be out the shipping and handling to and from your location."



You asked for other recommendations. Another 26-inch wheel touring bike to consider is the Co-Motion Pangea.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 05-14-09 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 05-14-09, 06:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicsurfer View Post
My ideal choice would be the nomad. I think that it is the perfect bike. Unfortunately, the price is just a little bit too much for me at this point in time.

If you had to compare the difference in the ride between the sherpa and the nomad, it may help swing me in the other direction.


The Nomad S&S is different from the Sherpa in the following ways:
- Rohloff specific frame with EBB
- S&S couplers
- much stronger tubing and fork vs. Sherpa
- 6mm braze-ons for racks [higher load capacity]

To put it into perspective the Sherpa frame is similar to a LHT in terms of strength. So it's no noodle and can handle a serious touring load. Also keep in mind that my experience with the Sherpa was from what was available a couple years ago. I know Thorn has eliminated their derailleur EXP and made a higher spec Sherpa available. I don't know whether this means the standard Sherpa frame with more burly wheels and parts or if they are actually offering a stronger version of the Sherpa. That's something I'd clarify with Thorn.

As to the difference in ride between the Nomad S&S and the Sherpa...what it comes down to is do you need a really strong stiff frame - I mean stronger and stiffer than a typical touring bike? You do if you want to carry uber heavy loads [incl possibly yourself if you are particularly heavy] or do you want to carry more moderate touring loads over broken/rough ground in more control and without breakage issues?

Beyond that the Nomad offers a Rohloff dedicated frame and S&S couplers. Two items that you either value or you don't.
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