Thorn Ripio mountain bike touring, others?
I am interested in building a mountain bike for touring, as well as regular trail use.
Must be steel, 26 inch wheels, disc and cantilever, and have front suspension. I already have most of the componentry so I'm looking for frame only.
I have been doing tons of research and am leaning towards the Thorn Ripio (other considerations are the Soma Groove, Voodoo Bizango, Kona Explosif).
The reason I am leaning towards the Thorn is because of the super long chainstays which is good for my size 15 feet and panniers and it seems to be tough enough for loaded off-road use. Also although I've heard good things about the Groove and Bizango I've also heard horror stories about weld quality. Plus when the guy at my LBS is more enthusiast about the Thorn over the Soma and Voodoo (having owned both brands), which he could sell me, I take it as a strong endorsement for Thorn.
I'm NOT looking to spend a fortune on this so $800 max for the frame is my extreme limit.
So what are your thoughts on these bikes? Would love to heard from Thorn owners, especially Ripio ones!
I recently got up a Thorn Sherpa frameset and am very impressed with the fit and finish, not to mention it's a lot lighter than I expected. (Since I only just finished the build last night, I haven't even had a chance to take it for a test ride...which I will do tomorrow.) Anyways, at the time I got the Sherpa, I was looking at the Ripio as well since it, too, is a 26" derailleur-equipped frame. I think the Ripio is a new model, because I couldn't find any user reviews of it (the only info I found was from Thorn's brochure). It looks very interesting as an MTB alternative, what with the long chainstays and the ability to take tires up to 2.4" wide (vs. 2.1" for the Sherpa). Like you, I have long feet which can lead to issues with foot / pannier interference. If I were interested in the types of off-road travels the Ripio was designed for, I would be very tempted to pick one up.
I've been looking at the Ripio too, it seems like a cool bike. The only guy I could find online who has one is on a big tour with it right now:
I've chatted with him via email a couple of times, he is really happy with the bike so far.
More Energy than Sense
I have owned both the Nomad and Sherpa and have been really impressed with both. The Ripio looks great and the fact it is designed to carry loads separates it from the other hard tails. Plus it has some very nice heat treated tubing for all of the tubes, not just the main triangle. I think it also comes w/ a lifetime warrant vs. 3 years for the Soma, I believe. That's pathetic for a steal frame. I am tempted to purchase one myself and I would get it w/ both their suspension corrected and suspension fork. It looks like a very fun bike.
funny how 44.5cm/17.5" chainstays are considered long.
Lee, It is in the world of MTBs, where 42cm (~16.5") seems to be the norm. I have an old Schwinn that has 42cm chainstays, and I had to use these to get the rack far enough that I would only brush my panniers rather than kick 'em.
Originally Posted by LeeG
I should add that the reason I personally went with the Sherpa rather building up an old, steel frame hardtail MTB was because I couldn't get past the short chainstays on the MTB.
what I mean is that when mtn bikes first showed up the chainstays were that long and and longer then they shortened up as it was evident that nimble bike was desirable in single track with shocks providing the major jump in shock absorption over a long wheelbase. 17.5" isn't "superlong" as the op says.
Originally Posted by dubes
Seems to me if the bike is meant to be designed as an off road touring bike with most gear off the rear wheel they would be longer than 17.5" but I could be nit picking on one aspect and ignorant of the whole design and how the front end handles.