Thorn Cycles Forum

Community => Thorn General => Topic started by: stutho on May 15, 2007, 12:34:28 PM

Title: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: stutho on May 15, 2007, 12:34:28 PM
** Warning this is MY interpretation, not SJSC's they know better  **

Before reading through this table I should point out that the Ravens are very versatile and can be set up in a number of ways. This table is only designed to give a pointer in the right direction, final setup is all-important.

(http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q313/stutho/t3.jpg)

Rankings are:

7 = Highly Specialist (therefore not an all-rounder)
6 = Somewhat Specialist
5 = Highly Suitable
4 = Good Suitability
3 = Average Suitability
2 = Usable
1 = Not designed for environment

All the Ravens are a high quality bikes. I designed this table to differentiate between the Raven models, not to rank a Raven against any other bikes. I have tried to use the Raven Tour as the base line - a good all rounder.

Max Luggage: Please note that rider weight and especially road surface should be taken into account in calculating your maximum allowance.

I am open to comments, suggestions and corrections!

** Warning this is MY interpretation, not SJSC's they know better **
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 15, 2007, 12:45:22 PM
Sorry I cant get the table to align properly. Anyone know now to embed a table in the post?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Fred A-M on May 17, 2007, 05:09:58 PM
Out of interest Stuart, where did you get the 18Kg figure for the RST from?  I'd always thought it was 15kg and so would be happy to learn otherwise!
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 17, 2007, 06:52:46 PM
Actually we are both wrong! It's 12kg rear and 5kg front. (17kg)
Thanks for making me check Fred - I will updated the table.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: julk on May 17, 2007, 11:10:42 PM
Stuart,
Regarding formatting/displaying a table in a post - I can think of 2 options :-

1. Request/persuade Forum Admin to activate table features of HTML in the Forum Code.
A point to consider is how good is your HTML?

2. Build the table in another application, e.g. word processor/spreadsheet and take a picture of it.
Post the table picture on a publicly accessible photo site and use the
[img] internet address of table picture [/img***] feature to include the table in your post.

Please note the end of image address tag should be /img with square brackets [ ] round it,
i.e. [/img***] is wrong,
I included *** to make it show the tag text in this post, without the *** most of my post turns into a missing image!

This latter [img] technique definitely works in the Members Gallery to show pictures of bikes.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 18, 2007, 08:38:22 AM
Thanks Julk,

Those are the same options that I came up with.

I was thinking of taking a screen shot and then photo editing etc.  My HTML only extends as far as knowing it stands for, now if it were 'C' I would be sorted - I write embedded code for a living!  I keep meaning to design a small web page but I never seam to get around to it.

Thanks again

Stuart
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Fred A-M on May 18, 2007, 03:44:36 PM
Looks very clear, SJS would do well to adopt something similar on their site IMO under the same banner: it could/would eliminate a lot of uncertainty at a glance amongst (most) prospective clients and doubtlessly prevent unnecesary aggro too!
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 18, 2007, 03:54:01 PM
Thanks Fred

Do you think I have got the suitability ranking about right?




Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Swislon on May 18, 2007, 05:41:10 PM
Hi Stuart,

RST = Fast touring for me.

What do the numbers mean 5+ for eg? Is it suitability with 5 meaning extremely suitable for this application.

Steve
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 18, 2007, 07:15:36 PM
Hi Swislon,

I have rated each of the Ravens in 3 environments.  On road, unsealed roads - where stability is more important than agility and off road where the opposite is true.
rankings are:

5+ =Highly suitable (Best in class)
5  = Highly suitable (designed especially for this environment)
4  = good suitability
3  = average
2  = usable
1  = not designed for environment

All the Ravens are a high quality bikes.  I designed this table to differentiate between the Raven models, not to rank a Raven against any other bikes.  I have tried to use the Raven Tour as the base line - a good all rounder.

Let me know if you think the ranking are out on any bike.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Swislon on May 18, 2007, 09:11:27 PM
Hi Stuart,

My comment was more that rather than "Touring" I would describe the role of the RST as Fast Touring. The Raven as Touring, Nomad as Adventure Touring, EXP as Extreme Adventure Touring etc.

Just my thoughts.

Steve
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 19, 2007, 03:25:07 PM
Hi Swislon,

I will adjust the table on Monday, I can't do it from this computer.  However I am only going to change the role of the RST. I think of the Raven Tour as far more rugged than a standard touring machine.  I also don't propose to add the EXP range to the list - Ravens only.  
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Swislon on May 19, 2007, 07:09:40 PM
Hi Stuart,

You might want to change "Mounting" biking to "Mountain" before someone gets the wrong idea !![:D][:D]

Steve
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 19, 2007, 08:03:31 PM
Doh!
Thanks!
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: lewisnoble on May 20, 2007, 12:47:19 PM
Stutho - hello - a useful table.

Could you clarify why you regards the Touras more Adventure Touring than the Sport Tour - ruggedness / frame strength??  or geometry??  I understood that the Tour is only a little heavier than the RST.

Lewis
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: freddered on May 20, 2007, 05:21:27 PM
The Raven Tour has 'heavier duty' tubing (ie. takes knocks a bit better) than the RST and longer rear stays to accomodate bigger panniers (and give slightly more relaxed handling).

The front fork crown of a Raven Tour is very I.K. Brunel and it can take the mother of all touring tyres (Schwalbe XRs x 2.2")

My mate fitted 2.0" XRs to his and it looks amazing, I have to be very careful not to blindly follow him down gravel roads on my 1.5" Panaracer HiRoads, it's unstoppable.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Fred A-M on May 20, 2007, 08:23:53 PM
Hi Stuart, I pretty much agree with your assessment of the RST -  maybe unsealed roads would rank as 4 unloaded?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: DomT on May 20, 2007, 10:37:16 PM
I honestly thought that the Raven Tour and the Raven Nomad were basically the same (except for the fact that one has the S&S coupling)... so they are different... you learn something new everyday!
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 20, 2007, 10:38:13 PM
Hi lewisnoble,

Freddered has pretty much covered everything I was going to say however it is worth noting that at you go through the range from the RST to Tour to Nomad the chain stay length get longer.  This will improve stability and decrease agility.  A short chain stay improves the climbing / sprinting ability so the RST 'In theory' will feel a lot more lively.

Unfortunately the trail (castor) length for the different model isn't listed, and neither is head angle, however I would guess that the trail length also increases as you move towards the Nomad.  This would also add to the stability.

Stability is most important when descending at speed on unsealed road.  When off road (on the rough stuff) where your speed is slower agility is far more important.  Therefore (unloaded) the RST should make a better mountain bike than a Nomad.  (The caveat in this is that other factors come into play as well such as bottom bracket high.)  

Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 20, 2007, 11:06:00 PM
Hi Fred A-M,

I think the RST is a great bike - I own one so it must be almost perfect!  However if I had to choose a bike for descending (loaded) on an unsealed road I would choose the Nomad as it should have greatest stability.  

I want the table to differentiate between the bikes, otherwise I would give the RST 5's in all the columns! Therefore the standard is very high.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: lewisnoble on May 20, 2007, 11:12:14 PM
Very useful observations by all - thanks.  Anything that can be done to reduce misunderstandings by purchasers and others is to be welcomed.

Lewis
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 21, 2007, 09:38:32 AM
OP Updated

Thanks for all the feed back so far.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: superfinlay on May 21, 2007, 12:56:03 PM
Your classification is very concrete Stutho whereas the Thorn bikes, as you know are very versatile.  I have a pair of rigid carbon forks on my Enduro; add a Y-Frame, and some Schwalbe Marathons into the equation and this bike can be transformed into as much of a rocky-road touring machine as any other.  You are close when you say that its general role is as a mountain bike, but perhaps more setup options and a scale indicating attributes for each may be even more informative to those who are new to cycling or lacking a bit of imagination.  Mountain Biking is a vague term these days; the Enduro is certainly not a Cross Country Racer (too heavy) and definitely not a downhill machine (I've tried), it's designed for Enduro events where reliability and comfort are of prime importance. If you must you could possibly class the Enduro as a Marathon Mountain Bike...but the Enduro can be a lot more than a Mountain Bike.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 21, 2007, 01:39:19 PM
Hi Superfinlay,

Excellent post!   I agree 100% with what you are saying about versatility.  As a personal example I have taken my RST mounting biking a several times now.  Is it perfect - no but it does the job well enough that I don't get left behind by those with dedicated machines.  

I would love to set a table up with different option (especially forks, h bars and tyres) and suggest ratings for the lot.  However that is going to be a BIG table!  - maybe I will add a few extra rows sometime in the future.

quote:
Mountain Biking is a vague term these days

Too true, I will be honest, I know very little about any form of mountain bike racing.  I do, like I said earlier, get onto the hills now and again but that is about my limit. I am quite happy to change the 'general role' to that of Marathon Mountain biking.

I am going to add a line about versatility to the OP as well.

BIG Thanks for you post!

Stuart

Added:
I have changed the OP. In the end I changed the general use to Endurance Mountain biking as it made more sense to me.

Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: bike_the_planet on May 30, 2007, 05:29:47 AM
Can I ask where you obtained the luggage limits? Are they SJS' figures?

The reason I ask is that I would have thought that the luggage weight was also dependent on rider weight. The heavier the rider, the less margin for luggage.

For example I own a Nomad and an xTc (I'm afraid I'm still on derailleur bikes). Being a 97kg rider, even on my Nomad, I'm not sure what stresses 40kg would put on the frame and wheels.

Cheers
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on May 30, 2007, 09:44:34 AM
Hi B_t_p,

Firstly I would like to reiterate that this table is full of MY interpretation - anything that SJSC say supersedes the info here.

Having said that I have spent a reasonable amount of time arriving at these figures.  Many come directly from SJSC info - BUT NOT ALL.  Any figure that I am uncomfortable with is marked with a question mark.  

With regard to the max luggage on the Raven Nomad the figure is derived from a post that Andy Blance made (Thorn's Chief Designer).  I dislike paraphrasing but basically he said that the Raven Tour was good for 40Kg as long as you took it easy.  The Raven Nomad is meant to be a stronger than the Tour so I calculated 45kg.  I am still not entirely happy with this figure so it is marked with a question mark.  (Originally I had this figure also to 40kg  - I may at some point reduce it back)

All of these load figures are only a guide (even the figures from SJSC). Rider weight and far more importantly road conditions must be allowed for.    

I will add a line to the OP about this.

Thanks for your feedback.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Al Downie on July 23, 2007, 12:24:27 PM
Hi,

I agree that this table is very helpful, and it'd be great if there was a single page on the Thorn website which showed photos of each model, along with key features and a copy of the table.

I have one question, and I'm sorry if it belongs in the 'Muppet' forum...

Like most prospective buyers I guess, I'm trying to decide what the most versatile model is for me, and I think I've narrowed down my choice to the S&S Nomad (with suspension fork) or the Catalyst. But I'm wondering what it is about the Catalyst frame that means it can't handle more than 20kg luggage on the road? Would it break, or is it just a feature of the geometry that the handling would be less than ideal?

I'm currently using a 25yr-old StumpJumper with the original, rigid forks*, which has been used in the past for off-road, fully-laden touring around the northwest of Scotland, with jubilee-clips and bits of coat-hanger wire holding the rack onto the frame (it has no braze-ons etc for a rack or mudguards). It was hard work, for sure, but I think that's because I'd packed FAR too much stuff on my first-ever tour - I don't recall the handling being outrageously poor, and the equipment easily withstood the battering.

* footnote - it's still in use every day for commuting, with the original frame & forks (bottom half has had about three coats of hammerite over the years!), but it's now a single-speed. Still has the rack with the bent coat-hanger attachments!
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: jawj on July 23, 2007, 04:10:16 PM
Hi Al, and welcome aboard.

That's exactly the same debate I had with myself: Catalyst Vs Nomad!

The Catalyst has slightly shorter stays so wouldn't deal with burgeoning panniers/heel clearnace as well as the Nomad. Also, the Catalyst is made from (I believe...) a lighter gauge of tube which is very strong but more prone to denting and possibly bending. I have to admit I'm no expert, but get in touch with SJSC directly via email and they'll be VERY helpful. I'd be interested too, as I'm sure many people would, so post any results on here if it's useful.

My first proper tour was NW Scotland too! It was a loop from Inverness to Durness and back. Where was yours?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on July 23, 2007, 04:12:42 PM
Hi Al,

Welcome to the list.

quote:
what it is about the Catalyst frame that means it can't handle more than 20kg luggage
Strength may be an issue but geometry is the primary answer. The Catalyst uses a short chainstay (408mm).  This has two effects One of the largest problems with the table in the OP is that 'Off road' covers a VERY wide spectrum.  To some off road means a canal toe path, to others it means a badly rutted bridleway and to still others in means riding down something so rough and uneven that I would have 2nd thoughts about walking down!

I have no experience of fully loaded off road touring, so treat what I say next with caution.  

If I was looking for a bike to take full kit off-road then I would go for either the Raven Nomad or the Raven Tour.

If on the other hand I were looking for a bike that was excelled on the rough stuff (unloaded) that I might want to take touring one day in the future I would go for the Catalyst (with a bob trailer for tour).

As my grandfather used to say:
You pays your money, and you makes your choice
Dont be too influenced by other peoples opinion. Research  and then make up you own mind. Dont let others make it for you.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Al Downie on July 23, 2007, 05:08:48 PM
Hi Jawj & Stutho, and thanks very much for your advice. I'm surprised to hear that the Catalyst might be more fragile than the Nomad, but if it's true then I guess that's my decision made! I need something that I won't feel too precious about - something I can have complete confidence in. The Nomad with suspension does seem to be the emerging winner! And now I have exactly the same dilemma as Jawj *again*! I'm dead keen on the green, but I don't kow if I'm patient enough to wait...

My Scottish trip! That was great - my brother and I (students at the time) took the bikes on the train from Glasgow to John O'Groats (Georgemas Junction is as close as it goes), and our plan was to stay off-road on footpaths & rough tracks as colose to the coast as possible, all the way along the north coast and down the west, until we got back home to Glasgow. As I said earlier, we'd completely overloaded our bikes and were too optimistic with our estimates of daily mileage. For the first three or four days the weather was kind, we covered about 70 miles each day, and slept under the stars each night. Fantastic. Then it started to rain, and kept on raining, with strong headwinds, and over the course of the next few days our morale started to fade. We were covering shorter courses each day, putting the tent up in the rain at night, climbing into wet sleeping bags, then climbing back into wet clothes the next morning. Eeeeech! So we tried our luck in a couple of Youth Hostels, even though we hadn't budgeted for this expense), but they were fully booked! Bummer! At this stage we were in Achnasheen, it was still raining, and we held a board-meeting. We had enough money to get a train home, OR a night in a B&B followed by camping the rest of the way, regardless of weather. We decided to call it a day and catch the train. Disappointed, we rolled into the station and waited for the next train to come into the station.

A couple of hours later it arrived, and we wheeled our bikes up to the Guard's van, and he came out to meet us. "I'm sorry lads, but I'm only allowed to take two bikes now, and they're already on board", he said.
"Arse! Can we book places on the next train?"
"I'm afraid not.'
"Well, how long is it till the next train?"
"They're every four hours."

So we held another meeting, and decided to wait for four hours. But when that train rolled in, exactly the same thing happened! "I'm really sorry, but I've already got two bikes on board".

So we held another meeting, and waited for ANOTHER four hours on the platform. (There's not much action in Achnasheen). The next train was the last of the day, and our last hope - we were going to do the B&B/camping in the rain thing if we couldn't get the bikes on. Anyway - the train pulled into the station and we walked up to the guard's van. He came out. "Have ye got room for oor bikes mister?" I said, hopefully.
"Well, it depends. D'you want a receipt?"
"Er.. no, I don't think so. Why?"
"Right, gie's a fiver each and see if you can find room for them in here."
He opened up the sliding door, and there must have been about 30 bikes in there, all piled on top of one another!! Packed about as tightly as his pockets! However, we had comfy seats all the way home, in a hot, steamy carriage full of other soggy cyclists.

Seems like a great wee adventure now, but it was a bit grim at the time. There were some fantastic highlights though, and some important lessons learned. The most important was was taught by a French dude, who gave us a row for trying to cover too many miles each day. "No more than 20 miles a day, so you can speak to people! Otherwise, what's the point!!!" He was quite right too. He'd also booked his Youth Hostels & B&Bs in advance, AND was carrying only a spare shirt/shorts. I asked him about tools, because we'd packed a proper spares/repairs kit, and he said "I just lie down in the road, and hope the cars stop! They always 'ave tools."
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: jawj on July 23, 2007, 09:03:41 PM
Hang a minute Al, don't get it into your head that the Catalyst's fragile! It looks to be a great bike and I'm still debating the choice myself. I just fancy a Nomad as it has both V and Disc brake mounts, routing for the external gear box (which I already have anyway), S&S couplings that might prove useful (and certainly look rather nice!) and the ability to carry shedloads if I need it to.

DEFINTELY get in touch with SJSC and maybe even Andy Blance (the Thorn designer, who's very helpful) to discuss specifics rather than just listen to the denizens of the forums (although Stutho has been doing this for a while... [;)]).

Also, if the weight limit on the Catalyst really is 20kg (and I tried and failed to find where it says that's the limit on-road, though 12kg off-road is stated) decide if you will be carrying 20kg. 20kg is a heck of a lot, even carrying an excess. Using a front rack as well, as can be fitted to suspension forks, would mean you could carry quite a bit more than 20kg.

As Stutho wisely points out, do as much of your own research as you feel you need to. It's easy to rely on the forums, and they're great for real-world user feedback, but go to the original source for advice on the right bike for you.

Oh, and hold out for matte green! I'm definitely going to wait as it's beautiful [:D]

Your trip sounds like an adventure and a half! Mine was, for the most part, considerably more tame. My girlfriend at the time and I took an overnight train from London to Inverness (it was great to wake up in the highlands!) and headed North up the coast and then North West towards Cape Wrath. I decided to give John O' Groats a wide berth as I'd been there when I was younger and remember being underwhelmed by the fog...
Anyway, it sounds like we made the same mistake as you which was to head back down the Western side of Northern Scotland - directly into the prevailing wind! The slog in the driving rain from Durness to Scourie was extremely miserable... Our trip was quite tame in that we were on road and using campsites (hot showers!) but the isolation up there was wonderful. Just the occasional Dutch caravan spoiled the peace.
The greatest skill the trip taught me was that you can imitate a sheep at one end of a field and it will spread a chorus of "Baaaaaa!"s throughout the whole flock! Heh heh heh.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Hamish on July 23, 2007, 09:20:36 PM
I have just bought a Catalyst as a do anything bike.  I noticed the 20 kg limit after I had ordered it but I don't thnk it is a problem for me.  

I intend to use my bike to commute (at present around 60 miles/week), touring- mainly family tours where I tow a trailer full of camping stuff, for day rides and, one day, I will use it for proper off road touring.

I went touring in Ladakh and Zanskar in India years ago (before I had even heard of anyone cycling there - we picked the route from a trekking book and the Times Atlas). I was on a steel, rigid Fisher MTB.  That bike did just fine but the Catalyst is a much better bike overall so I figure it would be OK for a similar tour.  We probably carried about 25 Kg when we had food on board.

I could have bought a Nomad but I can use the Catalyst as a MTB and on road I guess it is a bit more nippy with the shorter stays. It has a steeper top tube (think Kona Explosif) so less of those spacers people go on about- I wasn't too worried about spacers but I have to say that I think my bike looks fantastic.

I think Thorn are about to stop doing the Catalyst and replace it with the Stirling which will be similar but with disk mounts- apparently  people are asking for them.  I didn't want disk mounts as the disks on my kona MTB drive me mad on the road.

In terms of off road handling- whilst my Catalyst is still in road mode, a friend uses his for proper mountain biking.  He has done a load of the Welsh trails alongside the rest of us on Konas, Marins, Fishers, etc.  The Raven keeps up on everything and doesn't miss a beat in the mud when the rest of us are struggling with clicking and clanging rear mechs.

As the Rohloff habit is developing, I confess that I have been thinking that I could sell my Kona buy a Raven Tour minus the back wheel.  I would dedicate the Catalyst to mountain biking and use the Tour for everything else- that way it would only mean changing one tyre to swap between bikes and I would save 600+.  

In summary- if you want one bike to tour, ride proper off road and commute, etc, etc then the Catalyst is great.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: jawj on July 23, 2007, 09:36:16 PM
Oooh Hamish, you make a very convincing argument!

For me, price comes into it too: the Catalyst uses a higher class of tubing (Reynolds 853) but I'm not sure it would translate to real world benefits for me. A Raven Nomad would include some very nice rigid forks in the package as well as the S&S couplings.

Though you have got me thinking of the Catalyst again, especially as I wouldn't have to wait for one...

Couple more things Hamish: put a picture of your Catalyst in the Member's Gallery - there's not enough MTBs in there! And... NEVER EVER EVER sell your Kona. I had a dream of an Explosif once and sold it. I regret it to this day. :-(

Off to look at the Catalyst brochure again now!
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on July 24, 2007, 04:24:09 PM
quote:
don't get it into your head that the Catalyst's fragile!

Well said Jawj, however I would be more concerned with the geometry than the tubes if you are thinking of exceeding the 20kg limit

Have a look at this thread (http://"http://www.sjscycles.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1190") it is here that I have got the 20Kg (on road) limit (from Andy Blance)


Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Al Downie on July 24, 2007, 05:27:23 PM
Blimey. The decision's not getting any easier! On one hand I'm prompted to think of pictures of people in Delhi, transporting entire families, balanced precariously all over the frame of clapped-out, rusty old boneshakers (so maybe I should just tart up the old StumpJumper one more time). On the other hand, I can't help being seduced by the thought of a shiny Rohloff hub, good brakes and... SPRINGY FORKS! Oh yes. Maybe even a springy saddle too. LUXury.

It sounds like the most versatile and robust option would be the Nomad. With front suspension fitted, I'm guessing it'll be fine for some proper off-road use (I'm talking about playing in a forest rather than crazy downhill racing). However, taking into account what Andy said in the other thread about the load around the headset when using the front brake while fully laden, how robust would suspension forks be when put under that kind of forwards pressure? (As opposed to the up/down abuse they're designed to deal with.) Or are suss-forks just a non-starter for touring?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: jawj on July 25, 2007, 07:00:10 PM
Al, you'll never look back when you get a Rohloff! I've only used mine for mountain biking (where it's been flawlessly perfect in the grottiest of mud) but can't wait to get a Thorn frame to try it out for EVERYTHING. Incidentally out the Rohloff was orignally designed, I believe, FOR crazy downhill racing. [:D]
Your stumpy will no doubt conitnue to offer great service, but seriously think about a Raven, even without suspension. Suspension is mildly overrated for mountain biking (IMO!) and I've definitely had the most fun rides on 'rigid' bikes, steel of course. I've had several full-suspension bikes (I even had a couple of goes at downhill racing on my old Orange Patriot...) and they were great but hammering the rigid Explosif I used to have was out of this world. I can't wait to get a Nomad and see how it copes with touring, moutain biking and, especially, loaded off-roading.




Back to that 20kg limit:
Thanks for the link Stu, I remember that topic now. Well researched you!

And talking about 'only' being able to carry 20kg I was looking at racks today and noticed that Blackburn's toughest rack is rated for "up to 40lbs" which is just over 18kgs. That was a bit of worry for me as I'm sure I've WELL overloaded one in the past but anyway, it does mean that I'm sure we over estimate how much we need to carry sometimes, which isn't always a bad thing. (Also, don't buy an aluminium rack - if it doesn't snap it will get worn through by constant rubbing from panniers - IMO again...)

The important point is that you realistically consider how much you're likely to want to carry and don't compromise on handling/off-road capability if you aren't going to carry too much. e.g. if you aren't going to carry a month's food and water plus the kids and dog and want to go fast on road, buy a RST, or off road, a Catalyst.

Phew, long winded, but hope it helps if you're interested... [|)]
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: bike_the_planet on July 26, 2007, 03:00:11 AM
quote:
Originally posted by stutho

quote:
don't get it into your head that the Catalyst's fragile!

Well said Jawj, however I would be more concerned with the geometry than the tubes if you are thinking of exceeding the 20kg limit

Have a look at this thread (http://"http://www.sjscycles.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1190") it is here that I have got the 20Kg (on road) limit (from Andy Blance)



But for what weight of rider?

I weigh 98kg and take around 20 Kg of gear on my derailleur-geared Nomad. In theory then, someone who weighs 60 Kg should be able to get away with heavier loads. I'm not suggesting it for a moment (why would you want to take 55kg with you anyway - hardly a 'getting away from it all' touring philosophy!!! [:)] ). But why can't it be done provided the bike is heavy duty?

A smaller framed bike for a smaller rider should, if anything, be stronger anyway; same gauge tubes but shorter.

I admit I am not the Thorn frame builder, and Andy Blance of course is. But I do think that there is some exaggeration made with talk of luggage weights when rider weight is not included in the equation!

Sorry if I'm labouring a point here!

Cheers,
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: ians on July 26, 2007, 08:18:42 AM
quote:
Originally posted by bike_the_planet


But for what weight of rider?
 I do think that there is some exaggeration made with talk of luggage weights when rider weight is not included in the equation!

Cheers,




this is a good point and something I've often wondered.

Perhaps it's something to do with where the luggage (weight) is concentrated.  The rider's weight is distributed more or less over the whole bike - heavy panniers can hang on a flimsy rack in one particular place on the bike.  Maybe that causes additional stresses.

Just a thought.

ian
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: bike_the_planet on July 26, 2007, 09:46:11 AM
quote:
Originally posted by ians

this is a good point and something I've often wondered.

Perhaps it's something to do with where the luggage (weight) is concentrated.  The rider's weight is distributed more or less over the whole bike - heavy panniers can hang on a flimsy rack in one particular place on the bike.  Maybe that causes additional stresses.

Just a thought.

ian



Certainly - having luggage at the back of a bike behind the rear wheel worsens the handling and, as you suggested, the average Blackburn rack is probably not reliable past 15Kg.

But I don't see how that would strain the frame tubing any more than a larger rider would. I don't see many manufacturers, Thorn included, suggesting that there is a limit to the weight of the rider for a given cycle model or size.

In which case, I assume that, if I was a a 6'3" lard-arse (I maintain I am 6'3" and sylph-like, but that's another story..[:D]) weighing 120kg and I wanted to order, say, a Raven Nomad, then Thorn wouldn't turn me away.

Which presumably means that if I was a 5'1" racing snake of only 60kg, and I too ordered a Raven Nomad, albeit a smaller one, then I would have far more potential luggage capacity that the big fella would.

Anyone offer any alternative thoughts on this? Mr Thorn???

Cheers,
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on July 26, 2007, 10:06:17 AM
Just to muddy the water a bit more...

The weight of the rider is NOT equivalent to the weight in your pannier.  Why not?  Three reasons:

As you are riding over a bump your arms and especially your legs act like a shock absorber. This substantially reduces the impact load on the bike, as well as you!  

Centre of gravity, as others have mentioned.  This is especially important under heavy front braking.  Far greater forces can be generated in the headset and the front forks.  Normally a bike will endo  under heavy front braking however it takes far more force for this to happen when the weight is so far back (and low down).

The finally issue with pannier weight is the attachment points.  Under static conditions the weight is carried by the dropouts a very strong location, however under rapid deceleration (say by hitting a big bump) a large force is transmitted from the panniers into the seat stays, mid tube - this is NOT a strong location.

I agree that some allowance should be made for rider weight.  This is mentioned in the OP.  Unfortunately it is not an easy calculation to make.  I would also claim that road conditions are more important than the weight carried.

Final point (honest!)  Andy Blance has designed some of the finest touring bikes in the world. He also does some serious touring himself He knows his stuff and his advice can be trusted.

Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: bike_the_planet on July 27, 2007, 01:34:50 AM
quote:
Originally posted by stutho

Just to muddy the water a bit more...

The weight of the rider is NOT equivalent to the weight in your pannier.  Why not?  Three reasons:

As you are riding over a bump your arms and especially your legs act like a shock absorber. This substantially reduces the impact load on the bike, as well as you!  

Centre of gravity, as others have mentioned.  This is especially important under heavy front braking.  Far greater forces can be generated in the headset and the front forks.  Normally a bike will endo  under heavy front braking however it takes far more force for this to happen when the weight is so far back (and low down).

The finally issue with pannier weight is the attachment points.  Under static conditions the weight is carried by the dropouts a very strong location, however under rapid deceleration (say by hitting a big bump) a large force is transmitted from the panniers into the seat stays, mid tube - this is NOT a strong location.

I agree that some allowance should be made for rider weight.  This is mentioned in the OP.  Unfortunately it is not an easy calculation to make.  I would also claim that road conditions are more important than the weight carried.

Final point (honest!)  Andy Blance has designed some of the finest touring bikes in the world. He also does some serious touring himself He knows his stuff and his advice can be trusted.



I don't doubt for a minute that Thorn design some great bikes. If I had doubted that, I wouldn't have bought three over the last ten years! But that's not my point. Sure, good riders use their arms and legs to provide some graceful de-acceleration over bumps and thereby reduce forces that the frame experience.

But at the end of the day, the frame has to carry both the luggage and the rider. The only frame manufacturer who I have seen stipulate a max load weight ('load' here meaning rider + luggage) is Dahon (for obvious reasons).

If a rider weighs 97kg, as I do, and my panniers weigh 20kg, want to bet which contributes to the greater frame stress? I think it would be me, regardless of how I ride!!!

Like any other structure, a bike will have a max load limit. Whether designers of steel bikes really calculate down to this level, I'm actually not sure. Conventional steel bicycle frames have evolved over the last 100 years +, and I suspect that most designers just use a reasonable gauge steel (my old nomad has 1.0/0.7/1.0 gauge main frame tubes with 2mm stays) to ensure the thing doesn't snap and leave it at that.

Whilst frame stability will be influenced by where the load is carried on the frame, the rider's weight, usually being far greater, will be the governing factor in frame overload and possible failure.

Cheers
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on July 27, 2007, 09:02:06 AM
Hi bike_the_planet,

We seam to be arguing on different issues here!  The only point I am trying to make is that I don't believe you can simply equate rider mass to pannier mass.  (i.e. as Dahon seam to be doing.)

I have said that 'some allowance should be made for rider weight' and I stick by that.


 

Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: mmackay on August 10, 2007, 09:09:27 PM
Hi,

Could the Mercury be added to the chart?

I'm new to Thorn's range and an inexperienced cyclist.  I'd like a bike primarily as a means of taking healthy exercise to extend my retirement as long as possible .... and I can see attractions of liesurely holiday  touring.  I'm most grateful for the comparison chart to see at a glance where the Raven land lies.

I'm assuming the Mercury's strengths are biased towards "on road" use, but how does it compare with Tour Sport or City Slicker? ..... and how much is it's "unsealed road" capability compromised?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on August 13, 2007, 03:21:04 PM
Hi Mmackay,

Welcome to the list.

I have restricted the table to Ravens only.  However I will say that that the Mercury looks to be a very fine bike amid at fast-unloaded road travel.  

It has a short wheel base that would make it agile (and good at sprinting and climbing) at the expense of stability.  Stability is the most important factor in the "unsealed road" column so you are looking maybe a 2 or a 3.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: mmackay on August 13, 2007, 04:45:27 PM
Thanks for this orientation, Stutho ….. I think stability is the more important characteristic for me, even although every assist is required with climbing.  


quote:
I have restricted the table to Ravens only.

I‘m just a new boy on the block, but I felt indignant that you just didn’t understand the Raven model offerings.  You see, having read the marketing stuff I believed Rohloff-equipped  =  Raven, this bird being the trade mark of Rohloff, and kindly permitted by the German company to be used on all Thorn’s offerings using this hub gear …. to differentiate them from the other Thorn models.

However, experience wins every time ….. I now notice there are indeed four exceptions to this rule in the present fifteen hub-geared offerings listed ….. of which Mercury is one.

Perhaps this one belongs to another forum, but it raises the question “When is a Raven a Raven?”    Is there a simple answer to this?

Mel Mackay

Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: jawj on August 13, 2007, 05:16:12 PM
Sorry to butt in here Mr Mackay: I think a Ravan is a Raven when the bike is an off-the-peg offering as opposed to the "four" you mention which are all custom built models from the tubes up (eXp range and Mercury).

I'm guessing that Stutho's fine table is intended to be useful for the majority of people i.e. those who won't be buying a custom or tandem bike. (I'm sure the people going custom or doubling-up will be having VERY extensive conversations with SJSC about their requirements)

What terrain will you be riding on? If you will be sticking to sealed roads and want a custom machine, go for the Mercury or the eXp R if you want to carry a load.

To be honest, I reckon most of us would be fine with a regular Raven Tour. Are Thorn to be cursed or blessed for giving such a wide range of shiny bikes and making it difficult for us to choose...?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on August 14, 2007, 10:18:31 AM
Jawj,
quote:
I'm guessing that Stutho's fine table is intended to be useful for the majority of people i.e. those who won't be buying a custom or tandem bike. (I'm sure the people going custom or doubling-up will be having VERY extensive conversations with SJSC about their requirements)
You hit the nail right on the head!
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: philb on August 21, 2007, 08:12:25 AM
Hi, guys thanks for the interesting reading, I've joined the forum to respond to this topic, as I've been researching these two bikes and your comments have been really helpfull. I should start buy saying that I've just sold my EXP. It was a outstanding touring bike and the design and manufacturing detail was awsome, but I found a bit ponerous in the real world of shopping and commuting and general pleasure riding.

So thats gone to someone who may appreciate it more than me.

Back to the topic.. I'm just wondering what the sport tour is for? The 17 kg load limit seems a small amount for a touring bike. If it's for commuting, I'm wondering if I need the technology of low maintainance (and expence)for basic urban riding.

I hope this is not too subversive for my first post and I have appreciated the owners opinions of their bikes.

I should state that as I'm in Austraila, these are expensive bikes to import, so I want one to do everything.
Thanks for your opinions
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on August 21, 2007, 12:07:06 PM
Hi philb

Welcome to the list.

RE: What is the RST for?

WARNING I own a RST so expect long gushing pros!

My bike is manly used for my daily commute, 24 Km of rural bliss ever day.  However I also, often, take it on day rides (100Km+).  Sometimes I also take it Off-road. (I have a Mk1 frame that can take a wide tire than the current RST.)   Multi-day (European) touring is also a love of mine, although with 2 children under 3 my opportunities are more limited at present.  The weight limit for me is about right HOWEVER I only carry minimal water and food as I tour from village to village not into the wilderness.  If I was to go on a world tour or cross the outback to Alice Springs then I am sure the weight limit would be an issue.

I find the RST to be a perfect ride for me.  It is fast, versatile and low maintenance.  Best of all its fun to ride.  I recently sold both my road and mountain bike both were excellent bikes but neither brought the same smile to my face as my Raven.   (All very subjective I know)  Anyway with the raised cash I bought a Raven Tour frame for my wife and a Rohloff hub.  I am currently building it up, should finished by this weekend.  

I hope in the next few months to write a comparison between the two bikes, lucky we take the same frame size. We have got a small, 4-day, childfree, tour planned for October, which will be the first real opportunity to compare the 2.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: philb on August 21, 2007, 10:03:58 PM
Hi Stutho, I'm sure it is a great bike and very suited to the enviroment you describe. Unfortunatly, I live in a high crime area and commuting bikes are the cheaper the better. I was interested to see on the table that the RST was only rated a 3 for dirt roads, which suprised me a lot for a bike of this nature. Is that loaded or unloaded?
I currently have a 700c tourer for long distances and a mtb for off road touring. It would be great to think that one bike does all, but I think its all compromise.
Thanks for your reply.
Phil
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Fred A-M on August 21, 2007, 10:51:06 PM
From another RST owner equally as enthusiastic as Stuart, I don't think the RST is in any shape or form a compromise, assuming you are clear about what you need it for. As a credit card tourer and daily commuter, the RST is perfectly suited and I personally think Stuart, in an apparent concession to modesty, under-rates the RST on dirt tracks: I've done several loaded deviations onto unpaved roads and tracks, and assuming suitable tyres (eg Schwalbe Marathons as opposed to say Panracers) I think the RST merits a 4, loaded or unloaded.  

Whether 17kg is sufficient take anything other than the lightest of camping loads is however questionable, but assuming warm climes and a preparedness to dispense with cooking utensils, there's no reason why it can't be done.  Pitlock skewers and a decent Abus lock will be your best solution security-wise for any decent bike.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on August 22, 2007, 10:25:11 AM
Hi philb,
quote:
...RST was only rated a 3 for dirt roads
Don't forget that the table is designed to differentiate between the Ravens. I believe that the RT will be better than the RST on unsealed roads (especially loaded) as it has a longer wheel base and therefor greater stability.  

I have often taken my RST down 'dirt' roads (unloaded). I can assure you it is great it just that I believe the RT would be even better in this environment.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: mmackay on September 07, 2007, 06:53:38 PM
Stutho,

As I said a few weeks ago, I’m just a beginner at cycling and the Thorn range, but over the last few weeks I’ve had the luxury to be considering Which Thorn Model? to help choose one as an exercise machine in my retirement …… mainly hard road lanes, some muddy woodland tracks used by horses and hopefully leading to a bit of very light family touring on holidays as well.  

I love the idea of disc brakes …. even although Andy, with much practical experience, has done his best to steer me away from them ….. and on a visit to Bridgewater, I  fell in love with the Enduro.  

The only thing putting me off the Enduro is the “2” road rating in your otherwise very helpful table ….. and the thought that most of my use is likely to be on roads.  I know its just a ranking exercise within the Raven family based on incomplete technical information …. and ought not to be read as an absolute rating for comparison to other bikes.  

So, my love affair with Enduro would wish it to be road ranked much higher and I think I’ve found a chink in your logic to help me.  

Much of your ranking logic is based on frame geometry differences, obviously, as most of the rest is somewhat tuneable with componentry choice.   I’ve found that the City Slicker, with a 5 road score in your table, has the same frame material and geometry as the Enduro …. only the Slicker’s solid front forks are different  ….. so, with a lockable fork, could I use this logic to promote the  Enduro up the road rating scale?  If so, and you can award Enduro a 5, similar to Slicker, my decision is easy.

Isn’t it strange how the mind works when it’s trying to justify choice?  ….. please don’t demote the Slicker to 2 or I’ll have to think of something else!


Mel Mackay
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on September 10, 2007, 09:37:50 AM
Hi Mel,
quote:
I've found that the City Slicker, with a 5 road score in your table
I agree it looks like an inconsistency in the table. When I was ranking the City Slicker I was thing more in terms of stop start city traffic, which both the RCS and the Enduro will be Excel with.  With all the other bikes (including the Enduro) I rated them more in terms of road touring (i.e. open roads with load) I will edit the OP to reflect your comments. (I should also mention that I have very little knowledge of the City Slicker if any owners want to fill in my blanks please respond.

Final set-up on all these bikes can make a VERY big difference.  All the Ravens are very adaptable.  Without hesitation I ride my RST down local forest tracks and some bridelways With a change of tyres I am also up for off road conditions. Yet It only scores 3 in the unsealed road section and the off road section It a tough field!

Maybe I should add an City Traffic column to the OP.  If I did the bikes would probably rate as RCS 5+, Enduro (no sup) 5, Catalyst 4, RST 3, Tour 3, Nomad 2.  
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on November 28, 2007, 05:53:45 PM
Hi all,

I am thinking of an overhaul to the table - partly to include the Sterling.  I am thinking of increasing the columns to 5:

On road (unloaded) - important attributes are comfort, speed, responsiveness, and mudguards.
On road (loaded)- important attributes are comfort, stability, load allowed (strength), and mudguards.
Unsealed roads - important attributes are stability, tyre clearance, mudguards and suspension.
Off road - important attributes are agility, strength, suspension, Tyre clearance and disc brakes.
Urban commute - important attributes are acceleration, agility and mudguards.

I am also thinking of doing two rows per a bike one with suspension the other without

Is this worth the time? Or am I over egging the pudding? The Sterling is going to be very difficult to score.  It says in the OP that final set-up is all-important this is twice as true with the Sterling.  

All comments gratefully received  
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: jawj on December 22, 2008, 02:03:33 AM
I am thinking of an overhaul to the table -

All comments gratefully received 

Stu's very useful table has been dormant for far too long!

I personally found your table, Stu, to be most helpful when deciding on which model to go for. If you have the time and inclination and if people with different models could pop their comments and thoughts in, the mighty table could ride again, especially now that the range has changed a fair bit. (Your last post with details of each attribute is VERY helpful.)

I'll start the ball rolling with my scores for the Raven Nomad S&S:

On-road unloaded- four out of five (or should we go to a more accurate score out of ten...? In that case: 7/10)
On road loaded- four out of five. (8/10)
Unsealed roads- four out of five. (8/10)
Off road- three out of five. (7/10)
Urban commute- three out of five. (6/10)

(Ah, what's a little bias here and there...?)
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on December 23, 2008, 05:37:21 PM
Thanks for the interest jawj.

I am working on a new table with new rules to stop bias. (We can all fall into that trap.)

Rules for grading
1. The Raven Tour is the base line
2. If you add up the points for each bike it must comes to 15
3. Remember that the table is designed to show the differences between the Ravens (not to rate the Ravens to other bikes)
4. Table is a work in progress all comments gratefully received
5. I will add in other data (such as max load after Christmas)

(http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q313/stutho/b1.jpg)

grades
7   Bike is a dedicated specialised for this environment                
6   Highly suited to this environment               
5   Very good suitability               
4   Good suitability               
3   suitable               
2   Usable               
1   Not a good idea               



Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Lukanga on January 07, 2009, 04:29:35 PM
This thread and your table have helped me a lot! Thanks for your efforts! I have just posted this question in the Tour versus Nomad thread, but it might be more appropriate here: How heavy are the different bikes? As all the extras do tend to bias the stats, I'd propose to integrate frame and fork weights in the table (which I could not find in the specs supplied).

Cheerio,
Lukanga
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: freddered on January 07, 2009, 05:49:41 PM
I'd have thought the Tour would have got a 6 (or even a 5, or maybe a 7) for On Road loaded.

What bike would get a 7 if a RT only gets a 4?

Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on January 12, 2009, 04:37:02 PM
Hi freddered,

Yes I agree (kind of),  I am trying, to use the Tour as the base line as a good allrounder therefore bikes get marked against its standard.  Incidentally I don't think that 7 in any column is necessarily a good thing - it means that the bike is a specialist and ipso facto not a good all-rounder.
I think I am going to change the rules of the table so each bike get one more point - giving the tour  5 in on loaded.
watch this space
 
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on January 12, 2009, 06:23:38 PM
OP updated!
Any comments?

Lukanga:  I am afraid I don't know the weight of the Nomad.  I can weigh my wife's Tour if you want - but to be frank it wont be a very useful figure - all the extra kit (mudguards / racks / panniers / lights) can make a lot of difference to the actual weight.  I once had a friend pick up my racing bike and exclamation that it wasn't much lighter than his his, I gently pointed out that he had just pick up my bike + 3 full water bottles! ;-)  I am no longer a weight weenie!       
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: brummie on January 12, 2009, 07:47:01 PM
This ratings & tables business for the Ravens is in danger of turning into Mitchell & Webbs 'Numberwang' Wouldn't you agree?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/thatmitchellandwebbsite/numberwang/game.shtml
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on January 13, 2009, 12:47:52 PM
brummie,

I hope not - but I can see where you are coming from.  I try to set the table to highlight the differences between the different models. (I am definitely not tiring to say one model better than another - only different.)

The scores are based on what I know of the geometry of the bikes and what other users of the bikes have reported on forum.  I only have access to a RT and RST, therefore I feel more confident with the scores I have given to these than the scores of the Nomad and the Sterling.  I am always open to what others have to say BUT there is a tenancy to be bias to ones own bike hence the cap on points per a bike (16).

The biggest issue as I see it is that the final setup can make such a BIG difference.  Tyre size and shocks make a massive difference to the way a bike will feel.  Note that although SJSC now only recommend the Sterling with shocks many, my self included, have and do run shocks on the RT, Nomad and even the RST.   

   
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Lukanga on January 13, 2009, 04:08:50 PM
Thanks for the update! I am still a bit confused about the weight thing. The only thing Robin Thorn will say about weight is that he guesses, the Nomad would be about a kilo heavier than the Raven Tour.

For me, weight is one of the key variables for a bicycle (but I am willing to compromise on it, if everything else fits). And virtually every bicycle producer (other than Thorn) publishes a weight in the specs, mentioning what that weight includes (mostly no pedals) and on what frame size this is based.

I'd have to buy the Thorn without ever having ridden on one and I would hate to receive the parcel and think straight away: far too heavy... So, please, if anyone has a current model Raven Tour or Nomad, please put it on the scales (or weigh yourself once with bike on shoulders, then without) and tell us, what it weighs. Knowing the frame size, a picture or specs would of course help with the interpretation, but just weighing would already be of great help.

(Or if Thorn would be willing to share with us the weight of the standard versions without any upgrades, that would be fantastic! - yes, I know about the minor differences in weight between Andra and Grizzly wheels and between different types of tires.)

Please!
Thanks!
Lukanga
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on January 13, 2009, 04:20:00 PM
I will get the scales out tonight and weigh the wife's Raven Tour for you

 
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: lewis noble on January 13, 2009, 04:39:56 PM
I should steer clear of the scales, stutho - what with the icy weather, and Christmas, I've had to sabotage our scales at home . . .

Lewis - Sheffield
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: geocycle on January 13, 2009, 05:55:41 PM
I had access to a digital balance recently and weighed my raven tour at 15.8kg.  That's with schmidt dynamo hub and lights, additional battery light, rohloff of course, brooks saddle, tubus rack, carbide rims, schwalbe marathon tyres, single sided SPD pedals. All chosen to be robust and bombproof for my kind of touring and commuting.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: brummie on January 13, 2009, 08:18:58 PM
Hi Stutho,

 I was only adding a 'bit' of humour to the debate ! I think it is easy to over complicate the choice of Raven ( I own a RST & Catalyst BTW) - I'd mostly base my decision on choosing a Raven by:

(i) What load carrying ability I needed.
(ii) What maximum tyre size needed.

Lukanga:

By nature cyclists are always obsessed with bike weight - ( I deliberately don't weigh mine anymore!) - The low gears on the Rohloff will get me up any hill relatively easily & the Thorns geometry & comfort via the 26" wheels provide a great ride/ handling - the weight is not really an issue.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: geocycle on January 13, 2009, 08:36:24 PM
By nature cyclists are always obsessed with bike weight - ( I deliberately don't weigh mine anymore!) - The low gears on the Rohloff will get me up any hill relatively easily & the Thorns geometry & comfort via the 26" wheels provide a great ride/ handling - the weight is not really an issue.

I fully agree. Unless you want to ride quickly and unloaded in a situation where you have to overcome inertia eg when frequently starting off or climbing.  As soon as you add luggage then weight saving on the bike quickly falls in percentage terms.  Comfort and being fit for purpose are much more important on a tourer.   I could probably shave a kilo off mine if I wanted but I doubt I'd notice much ride difference.  If you really want some figures then the Cycling plus reviews usually give 'weight as tested'. 
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: pastafarian on January 13, 2009, 08:42:59 PM
The Bikeradar review says their Nomad was 37 lbs/17 kg with expedition rack and lowrider, bottle cages and marathon xr tyres

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/bikes/road/product/raven-nomad-ss-07-21250
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on January 14, 2009, 02:35:45 PM
Lukanga,
I have started a new thread about the Ravens weight here (http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=1970.0)
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Cake on January 14, 2009, 06:12:38 PM
Stutho, have you posted any pictures of your 12.7Kg RST, or have i have not noticed them before?

I for one would like to see it, if its not being too cheeky!! 

Cheers

Gary.

Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: Lukanga on January 15, 2009, 12:11:43 PM
Thank you all for your efforts! And for the new thread... It is a great help to me.

This might be off-topic since the thread is about choosing among Raven models. But this is about Raven peers, so I might just as well type it out. There are three bikes on my short-list:

Tomorrow, I will testride this: http://www.idworx-bikes.de/de/bikes/off-rohler/ (sorry, site is only available in German and Dutch). Aluminium (compromise), expensive (compromise), but otherwise a bike designed by someone with a vision and obsessed with details. (Idworx founder Gerrit Gaastra is the son of the couple that set up Koga Myata and is known as an absolute perfectionist.)

Second on the list is the Raven Tour (though I keep flipping through the Nomad folder, a beautiful bike and the S&S couplings are attractive, even though I have no idea, what I would use them for). After having the weight thing sorted out, my main concern is size. The frames are the smallest among the three bikes and I am 1,94m tall and have a leg length of 94cm without shoes. Chainstay is less of an issue, since I have tiny feet for my length.

This is the third bike: http://www.generator-radsport.de/cms/upload/bilder/onlineshop/galerie_raeder/stadtrad/Komet_14900gramm.jpg. A larger frame is about to be added to their portfolio. One of these bikes has been used on this combined bicycle-canoe trip along the arctic circle: http://www.terracirca.de/. Good, honest steel bike appealing to nostalgic spirits...

Cheerio,
Lukanga
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: stutho on January 15, 2009, 06:28:30 PM
Stutho, have you posted any pictures of your 12.7Kg RST, or have i have not noticed them before?

I for one would like to see it, if its not being too cheeky!! 

Me BAD - That should of read 13.7kg  - I might just get it down to 12.7 without the rack, mudguards, bk lights & attached mud!

Sorry about that

Stuart
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: geocycle on July 07, 2010, 09:21:52 AM
I was browsing the latest Thorn summary brochure and the load for the raven tour is now given as 28kg, but it is then contradicted by the description of the bikes on the Americas tour carrying 40kg.  Is this a mistake or are thorn making the tour less bomb proof these days (or trying to distinguish the Tour and the Nomad)?

http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/ThornModelOverviewLoRes.pdf
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: stutho on July 08, 2010, 03:40:37 PM
I think the problem in specifying the max weight is what Kind of surface are we talking about.  I have used my RST with far more than the Max specified by thorn.  (It did make the handling lively but didn't damage the bike) It would be great if Thorn would publish a list of max weights - split into 3 columns -  Comfortable Load, Max load, Off Road Load

Stutho 
Title: Re: Which Raven Model?
Post by: il padrone on April 01, 2011, 12:50:49 PM
I had access to a digital balance recently and weighed my raven tour at 15.8kg.  That's with schmidt dynamo hub and lights, additional battery light, rohloff of course, brooks saddle, tubus rack, carbide rims, schwalbe marathon tyres, single sided SPD pedals. All chosen to be robust and bombproof for my kind of touring and commuting.


Using the bathroom scales I weighed my new Raven Nomad (set up with similar components, plus front and rear Tubus racks, but no batteries and Time Alium pedals). I was very pleasantly surprised to see it weighed the same as my old Giant Sedona MTB tourer - 16kg. Riding it for the past two months it is very apparent that the ride is very much the same, perhaps even slightly quicker.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: sg37409 on April 01, 2011, 04:25:24 PM
Sport Tour in this guise, 15.3 kg   includes bag, repair kit & pump, pedals
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24775321@N02/5542442281/in/set-72157625053003211
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: NZPeterG on May 31, 2012, 08:45:55 AM
Which Nomad to get?
A STD Nomad MK2 or a Nomad MK2 X?
I'm planning to go back to Africa and finish (starting from Cario again) to Cape Town with Tour d'Afrique 12,000km's with only 2+kg's of gear on the bike each day, with a STD day being 130+km's on 80% tar roads and 20% on very bad, Rocky, dirt road's.
So i'm thinking that a X would be the best! BUT i'm looking to tour with a full load about 30kg's?
this would make a STD Nomad the best but having to climb 2000+ metre's a day in Africa some days make's the X the best?
 ???  ???  ???  ???
Pete..
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: brummie on May 31, 2012, 09:33:28 AM
Nomad X + trailer?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Kuba on May 31, 2012, 10:34:41 AM
Which Nomad to get?
A STD Nomad MK2 or a Nomad MK2 X?

What size? With the introduction of the X series Thorn started adjusting the load carrying capacities depending on the frame/rider size, and this makes a lot of sense. In my experience, the frame strength varies hugely depending on these few extra cm/mm of tube length...

I used to ride the xTc. A fantastic bike but, being XL size, it shook like a jelly with 15kg plus, even on smooth tarmac. Had to replace it with the Raven for a Himalaya trip, which was a good choice (for Himalaya that is, otherwise I really miss my xTc's nippiness). But my partner, who is much smaller and rides M size frame kept the xTc, and just took mudguards off and put 2.0 XRs on. We rode some seriously rough roads in Ladakh, up and down hill, and she had no complaints whatsoever, and the bike handled the load no problem. I carried most of the kit/food/water, but she still probably had around 15 kg on hers, which I guess would be near the xTc limit for smooth surfaces.

So, if you are looking at going lightweight and only carrying 30 kg very occasionally, and if you are looking at smaller/medium frames, I guess you could be fine on the X. If you are a big guy though, this is unlikely to work.

Trailer is a good idea, and frame bags can improve the bike's handling when it would be otherwise overloaded.

Some people will say that you should future-proof your bike and go for the strongest possible frame. Well, I beg to differ - don't get a frame any stronger than you need. Lightweight frames are more fun  ;)
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: NZPeterG on May 31, 2012, 12:03:55 PM
Nomad X + trailer?


Sorry it's a BIG No to a Trailer!
Thanks Pete..
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: NZPeterG on May 31, 2012, 12:09:43 PM
What size? With the introduction of the X series Thorn started adjusting the load carrying capacities depending on the frame/rider size, and this makes a lot of sense. In my experience, the frame strength varies hugely depending on these few extra cm/mm of tube length...

I used to ride the xTc. A fantastic bike but, being XL size, it shook like a jelly with 15kg plus, even on smooth tarmac. Had to replace it with the Raven for a Himalaya trip, which was a good choice (for Himalaya that is, otherwise I really miss my xTc's nippiness). But my partner, who is much smaller and rides M size frame kept the xTc, and just took mudguards off and put 2.0 XRs on. We rode some seriously rough roads in Ladakh, up and down hill, and she had no complaints whatsoever, and the bike handled the load no problem. I carried most of the kit/food/water, but she still probably had around 15 kg on hers, which I guess would be near the xTc limit for smooth surfaces.

So, if you are looking at going lightweight and only carrying 30 kg very occasionally, and if you are looking at smaller/medium frames, I guess you could be fine on the X. If you are a big guy though, this is unlikely to work.

Trailer is a good idea, and frame bags can improve the bike's handling when it would be otherwise overloaded.

Some people will say that you should future-proof your bike and go for the strongest possible frame. Well, I beg to differ - don't get a frame any stronger than you need. Lightweight frames are more fun  ;)

Thanks I have e-mail the Team at SJS Cycles about which one.
I'm 1'78 metre's tall and ride about a Med size it's just do I go with Drop Handlebars or Jeff Jones Loop bar's?
It make's a diff about which size bike?
Pete...
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Kuba on May 31, 2012, 12:32:08 PM
It make's a diff about which size bike?

Yes it does. A quote from Andy Blance's email sometime ago: "a small frame is always stronger than a large frame, when it is made from the same gauge and size material". If you study the Nomad brochure you will see this clearly, the larger X series frame, the smaller load capacity. It probably doesn't matter so much for the regular Nomad though, the frame is so strongly built that is unlikely to flex whether large or small, and load limits probably have more to do with the handling...

Emailing SJSC is probably your best option anyway, the X series is very recent so hardly anyone has first hand experience.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: NZPeterG on June 25, 2012, 09:47:26 AM
Well I ordered a STD Nomad MK2 in hot Yellow.
It's in New Zealand and I hope to have it Tuesday night, Over the weekend I have been busy lacing up my new wheels (http://kiwipetescyclingsafari.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/wheels-build.html) I hope to have it up and running this weekend!  ;D
Pete......
 ::)


Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Kuba on June 25, 2012, 10:57:43 AM
Congratulations! I really hoped though to finally read a review of the X series. :-\
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: NZPeterG on June 30, 2012, 07:59:08 AM
Congratulations! I really hoped though to finally read a review of the X series. :-\

Hi a friend is getting a X in the same size as my new Nomad!
So may be up for a test of the two once my new Thorn come's?

 :'(

Pete....
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: NZPeterG on October 10, 2012, 09:21:38 AM
Congratulations! I really hoped though to finally read a review of the X series. :-\

Hi Kuba,
At long last I got to ride my friend's Thorn Nomad 565M X!
Did I find it faster? lighter? better? no just the some as My Thorn Nomad 540L! I was going to get a STD 565M too and the X was only 200g lighter! My 540L to 565M X? well the  565M X is only 5g lighter!
Yes the ride was short (Because the X seat was too high for me!) BUT I just love my Nomad STD 540L it has build up to best Mountain/Touring Bike I have had, It ride's like Mountain Bike's did back in the 1980's I may have to change the tyre's to some good road tyres and race a roadie down a long mountain pass  :P
I did this back in 1988 (in the U.K.) overtaking roadies and car's fully loaded down one long Mountain pass (I think it was 14 mile's long)
So to end the STD and the X are the same!
A Nomad is the Best touring bike I have had and I do not plan to replace it.
Nomad  ::) is Great No looking back....

Pete..................
 ;)
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: revelo on October 23, 2012, 04:45:02 PM
I think the problem in specifying the max weight is what Kind of surface are we talking about.  I have used my RST with far more than the Max specified by thorn.  (It did make the handling lively but didn't damage the bike) It would be great if Thorn would publish a list of max weights - split into 3 columns -  Comfortable Load, Max load, Off Road Load

Stutho 

Yes, that's a good point. Off load on corrugated roads (washboard to Americans, ripio to Argentines) can be very stressful to a bike. Andy Blance cuts the weight capacity of the Thorn racks by 50% if riding on ripio (from 60kg to 30kg for the rear rack if attached with 6mm bolts). Though I'm not sure how much it affects the frame.

Also, once I get to 40kg of loads on my Nomad (plus 20kg for the bike itself including racks and panniers), that makes for 60kg all told, which is enough to drag me down if the bike starts to fall over. So I have to be more careful riding a heavily loaded than lightly loaded bike on rugged surfaces.

The real question is whether using a slightly heavier load than the frame is designed for can damage a steel frame. 40kg on the 590M Nomad-X on very rugged corrugated/washboard/ripio roads, for example. Steel doesn't fatigue, right?
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Andybg on October 23, 2012, 06:00:44 PM
You are right that steel does not fatigue like materials such as aluminium. It only fails if it goes beyond its limit of flex. The problem becomes not so much how much weight you put on the bike but the dynamic loading due to the quality of the surface you are riding on.

Saying half the load for bad roads is a rule of thumb. Even if you half the loads and the road is really bad you could damage the frame. On the other side you could run the same load and cycle carefully and cause the frame no damage.

There are no definite answers to this one. More a case of being sensible. If you are running heavy on bad roads just ride more consideratly than normal.

Dan is probably the best to give advice on running max weights off road. I rarely ride off road but am much more careful to avoid bad potholes with the bike heavily loaded than not.

I know the answer is a bit fuzzy wooly but life is just sometimes like that.

Hope this sort of helps

Andy
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Danneaux on October 23, 2012, 09:36:31 PM
Quote
Dan is probably the best to give advice on running max weights off road. I rarely ride off road but am much more careful to avoid bad potholes with the bike heavily loaded than not.

I know the answer is a bit fuzzy wooly but life is just sometimes like that.

Good thoughts, Andy, and I agree completely -- there's no hard answers to the question of how far you can push a bike's limits on rough roads without causing damage. For example, coming from a roadie background, I've never owned a mountain bike. I've always ridden and toured off-road on road bikes. I'm extremely easy on my equipment and have gotten away with it due to a number of factors:

1) I unload the bike as much as possible, so easing the strain on the frame. I do this primarily by standing or crouching on the bike when descending, allowing it to pivot at the bottom bracket and only lightly restraining the front end with a couple fingers formed into "o" shapes around the brake hoods. Unorthodox, but it works for me, and throughout much of the 1980s, I rode a 23.5lb touring bike with 56lb/25kg loads on really rough logging roads and fire trails with never a single failure of any sort except to the last strut of two triangulated aluminum rear racks (only half-welded to begin with, and each having a large stress-riser), and returned with my wheels true within a half-millimeter -- using 23mm road slicks. As much as possible, I try to let the bike "float" beneath me as I ride, seated or standing, and this helps greatly to ease stresses on the frame and components.

2) I take great care to use cinch straps on my bags, making sure they secure the bag and contents to the rack. I have found this greatly reduces second-order vibrations by preventing the bags and their contents from lofting in and with the bags, only to crash down on the rack (and, by extension, the frame to which the rack is mounted). It makes a tremendous difference over time, and many of the stresses that can damage a frame are cumulative. When I see failures resulting from repeated stress, I shrug and say, "Just one brick too many". Anything one can do to reduce second-order vibration and pounding pays huge dividends in preventing fatigue failures.

3) I watch where I ride very carefully, and one of the great joys of off-road riding for me is "reading" the road in real-time as I pass over it. I class gravel as either benign or malignant, and aim for the benign as I pick my way.

4) I don't weigh a lot, being spot-on for my height and age group at 172lb/78kg. This is a sensitive subject, but rider weight is also cargo as far as the bike is concerned, and eats into ultimate luggage capacity. If one of average weight for one's size -- or less -- you'll have more leeway for carrying cargo. If you're well over the average for your size, then there is less headroom in the equation for carrying cargo. I do think human weight can be a bit easier on the bike than cargo because it is sprung weight -- the rider can ease the loads momentarily. Of course, it can go the other way as well and then it is a perfect storm for failure. For example, when I was leading tour groups in the late 1970s/early 1980s, we had a range of riders. I was pretty light then, 5ft11in/180cm and weighing 145lb/66kg. A large fellow in the group was 6ft2in/188cm and 380lb/172kg. Unfortunately, he was not an accomplished rider, and always seemed to hit what others missed. It all came together in a sad way one day when he rode up a 3cm driveway lip at moderate speed with a handlebar bag. I looked in horror as the fork folded rearward right below the lower headset cup and the top and downtubes buckled. Fortunately he wasn't hurt, but the tire ended up right against the downtube. Of course, this was at a time when touring bikes has standard-diameter tubes and -- at least in America -- "touring tires" meant something like 700x25C. I often thought if Charles' bike had had oversized tubing and 26x2.0 tires (like many Thorns!), he'd never have had a problem.

An extreme example, perhaps, but it does illustrate how all the variables can come together to make a problem for one person and not another.

Another example: For my 2010 Great Basin tour -- a mix of pavement, goat trails, lots of extremely bad gravel, wet and dry playa, and cross-country through areas where rocks were the size of shoeboxes -- I used a 1989 Miyata 1000LT with conventional tubing and 700x32C road slicks. The bike weighed 109lb/50kg all-up with full water tanks and the only failure I had was a broken weld on the rearmost alu rear rack strut, and that only on the last day. I really think the key was riding style and tying the bags to the racks very tightly with cinch-straps. I also made sure no fasteners worked loose -- that's a direct route to fatigue failures of frame and components alike. It really is possible to get away with heavy loads on light bikes and skinny tires on terrible roads for very extended periods -- look at the late Ian Hibell (who traveled light but sometimes carried enormous water stores) and thousands like him over the years. However, it sure doesn't allow as much leeway as when you have some "padding" or "headroom" in the equation -- oversize steel frame tubing and wide, low-pressure tires. As a generalization, overbuilt frames will last longer, provided they are overbuilt as a system. If you overbuild one part on an otherwise light frame, the tubing will sometimes fail just before it, due to the stress riser caused by an abrupt change in section width or gauge. Stress -- particularly cyclical stress -- is cumulative.

Quote
Steel doesn't fatigue, right?
Well, yes, it can given the right circumstances -- for an example, try bending a paper clip too many times. A friend owned a used-bike shop for 25 years, and instead of sending all his damaged frames (mostly buckled top and downtubes and forks all damaged by curb-strikes) to the metal-recyclers, he gave the nice ones to me with the proviso that I never sell or ride them. Agreed. I cut up any number of them, and used many to learn and hone my lugged- an fillet-brazing skills. When I was a regular member of a particular listserv, members would occasionally send me their out-of-warranty failed frames for analysis or possible repair (tube replacement). There was one prominent brand of some repute that had a problem with the lower end of the seat tube cracking clear through above the bottom bracket. There was a direct correlation between the tubing gauge used (too light) and rider weight/style (big guys who were mashers in their pedaling styles). There were a lot of cracks in the seatstays just ahead of the right-rear dropout and sometimes in the dropout itself as well. Seatstay and dropout replacements are relatively easy on brazed frames. Seat tubes...not so much. I wrote those off, but the rest of the frame tubing found its way into my various projects over the years, where it happily does just fine. I have a 1972 Windsor Professional (a Colnago copy made in Mexico of Columbus tubing) I bought used that has had its head tube professionally replaced at some time in the past -- as did most Windsors of that model and era. The problem? The head lugs were overheated during brazing, leading to early failure.

So, to bring this around to Thorn-related discussion and the Standard vs "X" model Nomads in particular:

Frank, I think if one were of average size (as you are) and ride relatively slowly (as you do) and only carried really heavy loads occasionally, you'd do fine with an "X" model Nomad and likely wouldn't risk a failure. The real thing to worry about would be the handling when fully loaded. That's where I think the difference in tubing would make a real and immediate difference in feel and how pleasant the bike was to ride with a heavy load. It would handle these big loads much less well than the standard Nomad Mk2.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Dan. ("No warranty, express or implied")
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Andybg on October 24, 2012, 07:39:13 AM
Not that I want to disagree with Dan but bending of a paper clip is taking the steel beyond its limit of flex and will therefore damage it. The beauty of steel is that if you keep it within its limit it does not fatigue.

Certainly areas of welds can cause issue where the heating can change the properties of the steel making it less flexible to the point where failure can occur.

I think Dan's views on securely strapping down loads is very true and also gives the benefit of a quieter ride and less damage from abrasion.

Andy

Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Danneaux on October 24, 2012, 08:35:52 AM
Quote
Not that I want to disagree with Dan but bending of a paper clip is taking the steel beyond its limit of flex and will therefore damage it. The beauty of steel is that if you keep it within its limit it does not fatigue.

No disagreement from me, Andy; and you're right about steel not fatiguing within its limit! <nods> The key is "within its limit". "...Bending a paper clip too many times" is flexing steel beyond its limits (also by impact or cyclic loading beyond its tensile strength) and that is one way of inducing fatigue. Ferrous alloys each have a distinct fatigue/endurance limit (typically 35-60% of the tensile strength of the ferrous alloy); below that limit there is no given number of cycles that will cause failure. Nonferrous metals and alloys like aluminum, for example, do not have a distinct fatigue limit and will eventually fail even from small stress amplitudes.

Agreed: Push steel beyond its limit by any number of means, and steel can certainly fail, just as you cited with my paperclip example or overheating, changes in cross-section leading to stress risers, and cyclic stressing are all factors that can push steel beyond its fatigue limits and result in failure. For a nice summary of the topic and forces involved in steel fatigue, see: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=does+steel+have+fatigue+limit&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.asminternational.org%2Fcontent%2FASM%2FStoreFiles%2F06181G_Sample.pdf&ei=O42HUNHMK6Wr0QWepoGgBQ&usg=AFQjCNHc_h3jBb9i6rPjNsSzBO9oTnI7oQ ASM is a fantastic resource I turn to again and again on this fascinating topic: http://www.asminternational.org/portal/site/www/about-asm/

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: revelo on October 25, 2012, 02:24:05 AM
No disagreement from me, Andy; and you're right about steel not fatiguing within its limit! <nods> The key is "within its limit".

Yes, by steel not fatiguing I assumed not going beyond the elastic limit. So the question is, would an 80kg rider with a 40kg load on a 590M Nomad-X cause the frame to wobble enough to exceed the frame's elastic limit? I would expect the weak spot to be at the welds.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: Danneaux on October 25, 2012, 04:42:01 AM
Quote
...I would expect the weak spot to be at the welds.
<nods> Yes, Frank, I am largely agreed; the most likely place for a fracture or crack propagation to occur would be at the welds.

True frame wobble can be almost unmanageable if it occurs. I think this may be as much on Andy's mind as the possibility of breakage when he makes suggested weight limits. He can best advise with regard to using a Nomad X for your weight and expected loads. It might be he has engineered a generous safety margin, just as Rohloff do with hub gearing recommendations. Or...not.

That said, all accounts of wobble I have experienced firsthand or read about indicate it is less likely to occur and be sustained off-road, due to the varying mechanical linkages between road surface and tires, and the lower speeds involved.

You might well do just fine on the Nomad X -- particularly with only occasional use in carrying very heavy loads -- but I just can't predict with any certainty. I can say my Miyata 1000LT with standard road-dimension lugged frame tubes (1" top tube, 1.125" down and seat tubes of spline-triple-butted cro-mo tubing @ .9/.9/.9mm wall thickness) worked very well carrying loads up to 35kg for weeks at a time with no signs of joint or frame fatigue over many years' use. Same for my other touring bikes, all based on conventional road bikes.

I'll go out on a limb and make a wild prediction based on analyzing many failed frames over the years and say that *if* a frame tube or joint were to fail in this circumstance, it would most likely be at or near the bottom bracket, at either the base of the seat tube or the base of the down tube.

Frank...I'd like to offer a suggestion for you to ponder (you'll know best if it might prove suitable for your use): Have you considered a trailer to ease the load on a lighter bike? While the overall weight might be the same or more than you presently have, the stress/load carried on the bike would be less, since it is shared by the trailer. The result might keep you well within the Nomad X's weight limits. I have been testing the Extrawheel trailer and am impressed by how it allows a lighter bike to carry heavier loads than it could manage otherwise. Perhaps something like that (with large wheel) would allow you to carry your present or occasionally heavier loads on a lighter, more lively Nomad X without incurring wobble or the possibility of frame failure that could occur by putting the weight on the bike alone. Much to my surprise, I have found the trailer to be almost unnoticeable in much of my on- and off-road testing so far.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Which Raven Model? (& Max Load Chart)
Post by: revelo on October 25, 2012, 05:12:04 AM
<nods>
Frank...I'd like to offer a suggestion for you to ponder (you'll know best if it might prove suitable for your use): Have you considered a trailer to ease the load on a lighter bike? While the overall weight might be the same or more than you presently have, the stress/load carried on the bike would be less, since it is shared by the trailer. The result might keep you well within the Nomad X's weight limits. I have been testing the Extrawheel trailer and am impressed by how it allows a lighter bike to carry heavier loads than it could manage otherwise. Perhaps something like that (with large wheel) would allow you to carry your present or occasionally heavier loads on a lighter, more lively Nomad X without incurring wobble or the possibility of frame failure that could occur by putting the weight on the bike alone. Much to my surprise, I have found the trailer to be almost unnoticeable in much of my on- and off-road testing so far.

No, no, no, a thousand times no to a trailer. I am aware that people have used trailers in very rugged situations (http://www.wildworks.co.nz/csr/home.php (http://www.wildworks.co.nz/csr/home.php)), but the downsides are many. It's just a bad idea, as you will discover eventually. The only time to go with a trailer is when the load is so heavy that the load can't be carried without one, which was the case with Jakub Postrzygacz (he was carrying 30 days of food plus huge amounts of water). 40kg is NOT at all a heavy load for the Nomad MKII, which is what I have. So if the Nomad-X won't handle such a load, then that answers my question as to how to carry 40kg. Namely, go with the Nomad MKII.

People who says trailers work fine simply haven't encountered truly rugged terrain, yet such terrain in common in the American west. In particular, washed out roads can be extremely rugged. I haven't used the extra-wheel myself, but one look at it and I can see it is a good design, but I can also see where it will cause problems in all sorts of situations. Of course, you can always portage, but that is a royal PITA. Trailers are a bad idea and probably unnecessary for 99.9% of the people, given that the Nomad MKII with its heavy-duty Thorn racks is available as a much better option.