Thorn Cycles Forum

Community => Thorn General => Topic started by: JanieB on December 04, 2017, 05:38:14 PM

Title: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: JanieB on December 04, 2017, 05:38:14 PM
Been dabbling in the touring business for round about 2 years now and just keep on experiencing that morish feeling.

So yes, after having bought bikes and fiddled with them to fit we are now in the process of researching bikes that fit us and of course, working at a bike charity means I am overloaded with opinions, ideas and mechanical advice but then...then I stumbled across THE pdf.

My goodness, I am just shy of page 50 and have already learned so much plus I think I might have already made up my mind what I think I want. However, I am holding back and reading and researching more.

So my question is, should I rather search the forums for answers or are newbie questions not frowned on?
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Donerol on December 04, 2017, 06:02:23 PM
Of course newby questions aren't frowned on - we'll all enjoy giving our (sometimes conflicting) opinions and advice and help you spend your money.  ;D 

Welcome aboard!
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: geocycle on December 04, 2017, 06:37:40 PM
Welcome to the forum, I hope you find us a friendly bunch with the usual range of idiosyncrasies brought together by a love of touring bikes and of course Thorn's in particular.   
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Danneaux on December 04, 2017, 06:50:58 PM
Quote
So my question is, should I rather search the forums for answers or are newbie questions not frowned on?
Newbie questions are indeed encouraged here -- welcome!

Besides the direct interaction, one of the most valuable parts of the Forum is the search function. Chance are your questions -- or ones very like them -- have been asked before. My suggestion you view them is in no way meant to discourage new questions, just to say "even more" data is available from past responses.

All best wishes going forward on your selection!

Dan.

Danneaux
Thorn Cycling Forum Administrator
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: JanieB on December 04, 2017, 06:57:01 PM
Thank you for the warm welcome.

Yes a colleague had actually suggested Thorn after I had paged Las the usual Genesis, Ridgeback and oh so popular Surly suggestions.

Where do I begin, maybe let me list the definite decisions (but open to having my mind changed):

*  26" wheels - we carry all our own camping and cooking gear plus food if and when needed
*  Neither one of us has ever used front wheel panniers but for touring a few months at a time I don't think they are an optional.
*  The jury is still out concerning disks v V- brakes...
*  I am nearly 100% for a Rohloff, from what I have read so far mechanical issues are few and far between.
*  Up to now we have ridden with camelbacks, I use a triangle frame bag for tools and spares so no space for water bottle cages. Good ideas welcome.
*  I never realise just home important crank arm lengths are and suddenly realise that my knee pain might have more than one originating point.
* Definitely would like dynamo hubs, also no prior experience so allot of research happenjng.
*  I am considering a Jones H-loop bar. Also still researching.

So friendly knowledgeable Thorns, looking forward to your wise Intel.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: StuntPilot on December 04, 2017, 08:22:40 PM
Welcome to the forum!

Based on a few years of being a Thorn Raven Tour owner and with a couple of long tours under the belt ...

*  26" wheels - we carry all our own camping and cooking gear plus food if and when needed

Yep, 26" for longer, more remote tours seems to be the preferred option based on many internet touring blogs I have read.

*  Neither one of us has ever used front wheel panniers but for touring a few months at a time I don't think they are an optional.

The balance and control obtained using the standard front and rear panniers set up is favoured by many long distance tourers. Half filling front and rear panniers gives you more space for additional food and water storage. The alternative rear only pannier/frame bags/bikepacking setup/trailer setup are also good options depending on your preferences/location and type of travel.

*  The jury is still out concerning disks v V- brakes...

Haven't used disk brakes so unqualified to comment here, but very happy with V-brakes after two three month tours. Simplicity rules!

*  I am nearly 100% for a Rohloff, from what I have read so far mechanical issues are few and far between.

No problems for me after almost 13000km with a Rohloff. There are reports from some about having failures but if it should happen Rohloff and SJS Cycles will sort it all out for you by all accounts. May have to hang around a bit if you have a failure but in relation to the reliability of a Rohloff it may never happen. Fit and forget rules!

*  Up to now we have ridden with camelbacks, I use a triangle frame bag for tools and spares so no space for water bottle cages. Good ideas welcome.

I have used 2 x 2L Ortlieb water bags and found that to be a great solution - store them in your half empty front and rear panniers! I don't like wearing anything on my back.

*  I never realise just home important crank arm lengths are and suddenly realise that my knee pain might have more than one originating point.

Go with the info from Thorns PDF Mega Brochure. I did and use a 165mm crank due to my shorter leg length. Never had any knee problems.

* Definitely would like dynamo hubs, also no prior experience so allot of research happening.

The SON front dynamo is a wonderful piece of engineering. Though expensive its been worth the investment. Get one! Really useful for running a GPS or charging batteries especially when combined with a Cinq 5 or Sine USB unit. Good too if you are ever caught out by darkness or poor weather - can run your dynamo lights too! Another fit and forget!

*  I am considering a Jones H-loop bar. Also still researching.

Sorry, don't know the one but will have a look!

So, plenty folks on his forum willing to help. The only silly question is the one not asked. There are quite a few great touring bikes as you mentioned. Thorn is one of them. Maybe even the best - but then I'm biased!
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: geocycle on December 04, 2017, 08:38:53 PM
Your list fits exactly with the thorn range. I guess there’s the decision between kitchen sink (raven) or kitchen sink and most of the garage (nomad) but other than that you’ll not be disappointed. Disc brakes are fashionable and effective but v brakes are also very effective and easily maintained. You will not regret using a Rohloff. Like all bits of engineering they can go wrong but very very infrequently. They also hold their value if you look after them. I’ve done 30,000 miles on mine and other than being a bit heavy when riding unloaded it has been perfect for a do it all bike.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: David Simpson on December 04, 2017, 10:03:39 PM
Welcome to our forum! We all were newbies at one time, so ask away.

I have a 2013 Thorn Nomad that I love. I haven't done touring (yet!), and most of my riding is commuting year round. Here are my opinions on your topics:

*  The jury is still out concerning disks v V- brakes...

I commute year round in Vancouver, so I put a TRP Spyke disk brake on the rear of my Nomad. I have a V-brake on the front, since the Nomad fork doesn't allow for a front disk brake. I wanted a disk brake for riding in the rain. It works great. My previous bikes were mountain bikes, so I'm familiar with disk brakes (usually hydraulic). I prefer the simplicity of the mechanical disk brake over the hydraulic disk brake. I actually find the disk brake easier to work on and adjust than the V-brake, but that's because it's what I'm used to. It comes down to personal preference and past experience.

* Definitely would like dynamo hubs, also no prior experience so allot of research happenjng.

I have a SON28 dyno hub. Get one. There is no noticeable drag when riding.

*  I am considering a Jones H-loop bar. Also still researching.

I had a Jones H-loop bar on my Nomad for a couple of weeks. I really liked the riding position, except that it was a bit to "leisurely" for riding in traffic. I now use a Thorn eXp Flat handlebar. I'm planning to built up a second bike for recreational riding (with the family, where I don't want the weight/expense of the Nomad), and I'll use the Jones bar for that bike. If I was doing touring, I would definitely consider the Jones bar. Again, it comes down to personal preference.

- DaveS
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Bippers on December 04, 2017, 10:06:40 PM
Let me tell you about my partners experience of a Thorn Raven.
She too is in her early 50's owns a Salsa and a Brompton so knows her bikes! The real problem she has is, "she's a Princess with a capital P".
She wanted a Raven with a Rolhoff so we visited SJS one Friday afternoon and she had the very detailed measure up, the whole process with a ride around the block took us about 3 hours. The order was placed and a few weeks later "Theo" arrived flat packed. Handle bars rotated and any other assemblies completed fairly simply,  we set off for a spin. As I said she is a Princess and I was expecting hours of minor adjustments to get everything just perfect for a Princess. How wrong was I, not a single tiny adjustment required. SJS had set the bike up just perfect as measured for her. Well, it was almost perfect, she complained about chaffing on the inside of her thigh. Not a lot SJS could do about that as it was the embossing on the Brookes saddle. A pea in the Princess's bed one could say.
Back to serious. We have toured Loire River last year and Rhine from source to sea this year with front and rear Carradice panniers with camping kit. One of the best bits of kit we have added is the Hebie steering damper, supplied by SJS and to us a must have extra.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Donerol on December 05, 2017, 12:24:55 AM
A few years ago I was lucky enough to get a s/h Raven Tour. I absolutely love it and is my most used bike. As I don't camp any longer (too wet and uncomfortable!) it is probably a bit heavier and more solid than I need but I don't mind as it is so comfortable and goes anywhere. The lighter Raven Sport Tour might have made more sense but I couldn't afford to buy new. The current Raven lies somewhere between the two older models.

Quote
*  The jury is still out concerning disks v V- brakes...
I have V brakes and they are very good, but my ideal would be a disc brake on the rear and V-brake on the front. IME the rear rim always wears faster than the front as it picks up more crud. CSS rims are supposed to wear less quickly but reports seem a bit mixed, with some people unhappy with their performance in the wet.

Quote
*  I am nearly 100% for a Rohloff, from what I have read so far mechanical issues are few and far between.
The two things I love most about the Rohloff are 1) you can change gear when stationary, e.g. if you have to stop suddenly on a hill or at lights or whatever; and 2) it doesn't need nearly so much maintenance. It is easy to clean and chains and sprockets last for ages.

Quote
*  I never realise just home important crank arm lengths are and suddenly realise that my knee pain might have more than one originating point.
I changed the original 170mm cranks for 165 and my knees definitely appreciate it. Keeping up with some basic knee exercises also is a good idea.

Quote
* Definitely would like dynamo hubs, also no prior experience so allot of research happenjng.
My Raven came with a Son28 - it has been completely reliable and any drag is so negligible that I haven't noticed it.

Quote
*  I am considering a Jones H-loop bar. Also still researching.
I prefer drop bars and achieved this with the Thorn flat bar with 'drop' style bar ends. It's not particularly elegant but works well. Thorn make their frames in two lengths: short for drop bars and long for straight bars. I presume the Jones H-loop counts as straight.

In spite of its solidity my Raven Tour it is surprisingly nippy when unloaded. Also it handles really, really well, whether loaded or not - it is predictable and can be ridden easily no hands, and yet can be flicked around potholes and other obstacles when required. (Though note that I don't use front panniers, only rear plus a bar bag.)
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: jags on December 05, 2017, 12:46:38 AM
Can't make a comment on Rohloff (well i could but Dan would  fire me off the forum) ;D
but i can comment on Thorn bikes i owned Three  Sherpa 26 wheels built like a tank carry any amount gear comfy all day ride but a dog on hills.
 i now ride the Audax  no bother carrying a load excellent bike just could not faultit 700 wheels Tiagra groupset fantastic never misses a beat .

disc breaks stay away from them u dont need disc brakes unless your doing 60mph down a rocky slope even then  :o
Thorn bikes are old school build (frame) but there seriously well put together,few pals of mine ride Raven sports tour with the dreaded Rohloff  they love them,
so yeah imho the disc and rohloff make for a heavy bike just don't like them .
Have you looked at the 700c club tour good wheels on that baby and you and your good womam are away in a hack save yourself loads money  and you will have one hell of a touring bike and thats a fact.

oh btw welcome to the forum not a bad place to spend an hour or so. best of luck with whatever you choose.

anto. 
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: martinf on December 05, 2017, 07:15:56 AM
Two different views here:

SON hubs are good, but mid-range Shimano also work well at a fraction of the price. I have the steel axle DH-3N72 on some bikes and have not had any problems yet.

I am fairly tall, theoretically I should have 170-175 mm length cranks. But short 150 or 155 mm cranks work very well for me. So the standard crank length formula doesn't work for everyone.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: JanieB on December 05, 2017, 01:23:11 PM
Thank you to everyone for the feedback, I decided to not answer each one individually, seemed like things would really just become way too long.

I have two bikes at the moment, one with V-brakes (touring) and one with disc brakes (commuter), I have to be honest, wet or dry, the V-brakes out perform the discs. So the suggestions for a mix with disc on the back and V on the front...hmm does this not complicate things with regards to spares? Does the disc on the back really bring about such a big change?

I am even more stoked to hear about the Rohloff fit and forget situation, specially with lights and of course charging of mobile and Garmin. I do carry a backup portable battery which is great but with mobile devices, Garmin, camera, lights and mini laptop, it's a pain on long tours to have to hang out at charge points when the time could be spent so much better. So despite the fact that my poor piggy back has watery eyes with ribs sticking out, I think I am going to have to feed it a whole lot more in order to splurge. Needs v wants.

I have never had a kickstand on my bike, I can see the value to that but I have also noticed that there are warranty implications. Does everyone use them and if it is not a center stand, how does a fully loaded bike work on a side stand?

Then there is the Raven v Nomad options. Still reading up on these so I am sure I will discover why I would choose one over the other, from what I can see up to now it is basically dependent on the load but since we are buying these bikes for a lifetime, should one not get the best money can afford, or do I look at say maybe a 10 year investment with the option to upgrade later? Feels like a pile of money to dump for any shorter period of time and I do like the idea of less spending more usability over a longer period of time.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: jags on December 05, 2017, 01:39:47 PM
Reading a guys report on cyclechat he said the worst bit of gear he bought was the  son dynamo for charging stuff he bough power 2 banks   for charging his gear work like magic . so save yourself a fortune just get a custom set of wheels last forever.(well near enough)  ;)

better get back to cleaning me windows i have to get a few brownie points built up for christmas can't be sitting here all day.
anto.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: geocycle on December 05, 2017, 03:20:39 PM

Then there is the Raven v Nomad options. Still reading up on these so I am sure I will discover why I would choose one over the other, from what I can see up to now it is basically dependent on the load but since we are buying these bikes for a lifetime, should one not get the best money can afford, or do I look at say maybe a 10 year investment with the option to upgrade later? Feels like a pile of money to dump for any shorter period of time and I do like the idea of less spending more usability over a longer period of time.

Yes it is a big investment.  But the great news is I bought my raven in 2006 for £1200.  I have spent money making changes but the good news is if I were to sell it I would want close to what I paid for it!  Most of this is inflation of course but the rohloff really hold their value. Raven v Nomad is mainly down to the load being carried, both are excellent load bearers but the nomad is the tougher.  The raven is also a very meaty performer by most company's standards and possibly has a slightly broader range of applications. if you are carrying large amounts of water across deserts I would go nomad.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: John Saxby on December 05, 2017, 04:01:26 PM
Welcome, Janie. I trust you'll find the forum a helpful and courteous place.

I've had a Raven for four seasons now, from early 2014. I use it for touring (mostly on tarmac, maybe 5 - 10% on gravel), and it's one of two day-ride bikes. My bike has about 12,000 kms on it. When I'm not touring with it, I take off the front and rear racks. This makes a surprising difference in weight, so that the Raven feels quite a bit lighter, though "nippy" isn't the word I'd use.

The Raven weighs a few pounds more than my derailleur bike, which has a titanium frame, but the Raven fits me better, is more comfortable, and over any day ride of more than an hour or two, my times on the two bikes are similar.

Some thoughts and observations on your questions on components:

1)    Rohloff:  I hadn't ridden a Thorn nor owned a Rohloff until I bought my bike. No regrets at all on either count. I had had a lot of troubles with the various rear derailleurs on my other touring bike (now used for day-rides only), and it's hard to describe the relief that comes from never having to wonder if you'll get the gear you want on a steep climb with a loaded bike.

       The Rohloff is low-maintenance rather than no-maintenance, but with the annual oil change, you get to do a regular annual ritual.

       There's a Forum thread on gear ratios which can be maddeningly technical if you're not so inclined, but briefly:  I started with a 38-tooth front chain ring and a 17-tooth rear sprocket. I changed that to a lower ratio, switching to a slightly smaller 36-tooth chain ring. I found that this small change (between 4 & 5%) made hill climbing much easier.

       One point to note: with certain ratios between your Rohloff hub sprocket and your front chain ring, you can fit a Hebie Chainglider, which encases your chain. This is a trick plastic clip-together German device, which doesn't fasten to your frame, but floats over your chain when the bike is moving. The 'glider radically reduces chain maintenance and helps extend chain life.  (More details available on fitting the 'glider if you're interested.)

2)   Brakes:  I use the garden-variety Deore V-brakes, fitted with Koolstop salmon-coloured pads. These have worked very well in rain and in dry conditions, including a 4-week tour in the Rocky Mountains in June/July 2016.

3)    Wheels: I have used different rims on my bike. The one I'd recommend is the Escapade, made by Velo Orange. (I live in Ottawa, Canada, and for cost reasons bought frame and forks from SJSC, sourcing other components elsewhere. Velo Orange is a firm in the U.S.)  I use Marathon Supreme 26 x 1.6" foldable tires. These are very good, but I'm considering moving to the 2" variant when my current tires wear out. The 2" ones are a bit heavier, but people like the comfort their extra volume offers.

       (You didn't ask about mudguards, but I use very spiffy alloy ones from Velo Orange.)

4)    Charging, lighting, etc.:  I have a SON28, and it's been troublefree. It's hooked up to a Sinewave Revolution charger. At first, I set up the hub with 2 circuits, one for charging, one for a headlight. But, I found that because the headlight has first claim on the current, charging any device or storage batt took forever. And, since I rarely ride at night, I need a headlight mainly for being seen. A flashing headlight would give me the conspicuity I need, but my European headlight had no flashing feature. (It had a couple of other problems too.) 

     So, I now use only one circuit, which I use to charge an Anker 5200 storage battery when I'm riding. I then use that in the evening to recharge my Cygolite headlight (which has a very nice flashing feature), and/or phone, camera, and batt-powered tail lights. Rarely do I need to charge more than one device at a time, so the Anker is doing its job for no more than 2-3 hours at a time, and I rarely use more than 50% of its capacity. The SON recharges the battery in 2-4 hours, depending on how low it is after its recharging exertions.

4)   Bars:  No opinion on the Jones H-bars, though I have seen lots of praise and some criticisms, the latter saying that there are not many different hand positions, once the rider has loaded the bars with all the things we use.

      I use Velo Orange randonneur drop bars. These are nice and swoopy and come in several widths. I mount them above the nose of my saddle, so that (i) when I'm riding with my hands on the upper/outer part of the bars, there's little strain on my 70-year-old back :), and (ii) the drops are easily reached.

5)   Frame pack, etc.:  I use a Revelate Tangle frame bag, attached to the top tube of my Raven. (I have one for each bike, a large and a medium).  These carry a lot of stuff--my rain gear, for example--and you can fit two water bottles beneath them. I use the third cage fitting on the Raven (forward of the downtube) for a fuel or water bottle.

      (In dry conditions, such as you'd find in Western Canada or the US, I carry an MSR Platypus as extra capacity.)

6)   Stand:  On tour, I use a Click-stand, a nice folding device which weighs just a few ounces. It comes in a four-piece or a five-piece version. The segments on the 5-piece are shorter, and this variant would fit in your handlebar bag. The slightly longer and thinner 4-piece lives in my Revelate bag. Here's the link: http://www.click-stand.com/ (http://www.click-stand.com/)

Hope that's helpful, Janie. Enjoy your winter project of research/planning/dreaming, and we'll look forward to hearing/seeing the results.

Cheers,  John
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Danneaux on December 05, 2017, 06:04:00 PM
Quote
I have never had a kickstand on my bike, I can see the value to that but I have also noticed that there are warranty implications. Does everyone use them and if it is not a center stand, how does a fully loaded bike work on a side stand?
JanieB, enter "kickstand" or "Click-Stand" (no quotes) in the Forum's search box and you'll have a wealth of answers and even photos.  ;)

Click-Stand here on my Nomad and previous Sherpa...and on my other bikes. And yes, no problem holding my fully loaded Nomad (it weights 20kg dry and as much as 56-57kg when fully loaded with 26.5l of water for self-supported desert crossings). On soft surfaces, I do carry a can lid or a tennis ball with a hole in it. I fit one or the other so the end of the Click-Stand in those conditions so it won't sink into the soil. A "big foot" rubber cap is an option I ordered with the stand, but is sometimes not enough for sand, mud, or very wet soil/grass.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: mickeg on December 05, 2017, 08:20:15 PM
I have three touring bikes:
 - Thorn Nomad with V brakes and Rohloff.
 - Thorn Sherpa with cantilver brakes and derailleurs.
 - a non-Thorn Titanium bike with derailleurs and disc on rear, V brake on front.

On brakes, I see no problem mixing rim brakes with disc brakes.  My one bike where I mixed them I did so because I bought a frame designed for a disc brake but instead of buying the new $300 USD fork for it that used disc brakes I used a fork that I already owned that used rim brakes.  So, my brake choice was based on saving a wad of money.  I find the disc is better in wet conditions, both are about the same in dry conditions.

If you get rim brakes, consider one or two CSS rims, the rim braking surface does not wear, but it requires a special brake pad.  I have CSS rims on my Nomad front and rear.  Thorn now recommends only one CSS rim, you should ask them why if you are interested.

The Nomad is a heavy bike.  I am a large person about 6' 1" (~185 cm) and about 80 kg.  I like the Nomad for heavy duty uses, but for medium weight I like the Sherpa better.  (The Sherpa is very similar to the Raven.)  So if it was a question of Nomad vs Raven, both are good but the Nomad is the heavier duty bike.  That heavy duty aspect comes with a weight penalty, it is a much heavier bike.  If you do not need the heavy duty aspects of it, the Raven might be a better choice, as it would be several kg lighter.  If you are a smaller lighter weight person, the Nomad might be more weight than you want to push around.

I have two SP PV-8 dynohubs, like them both very much.  I also have a Shimano (I do not recall teh number) on another bike that I bought used.  They are both roughly comparable, but the Shimano might have a bit more drag.  The SP has flanges that are very close to each other, I have seen on one other website that someone was suggesting that you should use four more spokes on a wheel with an SP than you would with other brands of hubs.  I have 36 spokes on one of my SP hubs, 32 spokes on both my other SP and on my Shimano hub.

I have three different ways to charge things with a USB charger and dynohub.  Two are headlight and USB charger combinations, one is a charger only.  I like all three.  But, each are quite different.
 - AXA Luxx 70 Plus has no cache battery, the waterproofing of it does not inspire me with confidence.
 - B&M Luxos U has a cache battery and is better waterproofed, but more costly.
 - Sinewave Revolution is possibly the most waterproof USB charger out there but it does not have a cache battery.  It is a charger only, no light.

I think that the AXA has maybe 10 to 20 percent less electric output at the USB port than the others but that is pretty much a guess on my part.

The AXA and the B&M both have good light patterns.  I use battery powered taillights, so I can't recommend a good one.  If I use my Sinewave charger, I have a very old (discontinued) B&M Lumotec oval light that is not very good but touring I rarely am using the headlight so it does not really matter.

Some devices (like my Garmin 64) will not play happy with a charger that lacks a cache battery.  I can plug my Garmin straight into my Luxos U, but for the other chargers I need to use an external pass through cache battery in the circuit.

I like kickstands, have them on most of my bikes including my Thorns.  But be forewarned that Thorn really does not like kickstands, you should have a conversation with Thorn about kickstands before you install one.  A Clickstand or something like it is also a slightly less convenient option.  I cut down a tent pole to use as a prop stand with my Titanium bike, then use some elastic on the front brake lever and handlebar to keep the bike from rolling off the prop stand.  My home made prop stand functions similar to a Clickstand.

Water containers, use what you prefer.  You will notice on my Nomad (first photo) that I have three large water bottles, each is a liter.  I prefer bottles over bladders because a quick glance and I know what my inventory of water is and how much water I have consumed that day.

I normally use fenders (mudguards) but the photo of my Nomad shows no fenders because when I packed up my bike to go to Iceland, there was no room in the case for fenders.

I attached four photos, first my Nomad, second my Sherpa, third and fourth is the prop stand I use on my Titanium bike - the blue thing is the home made prop stand that used to be a tent pole.

ADDENDUM ADDED SEVERAL HOURS LATER:

Regarding the choice of Raven vs Nomad, Thorn has rated bikes for maximum loads not counting the weight of rider.  I suspect that I have exceeded that rating by a tiny amount on my Sherpa (very similar to Raven) but I do not think I even got near that rating for the Nomad even when I was carrying two weeks of food on the bike.  Both of these bikes have handled the loads quite well without feeling like a wet noodle.  My point is that I think these weight ratings are good to use for deciding which bike is best for you.  If you have a good idea on how many kg of gear (including pannier weight) that you would be carrying, that may tell you which bike is better for you.

SECOND ADDENDUM ADDED NEXT DAY

On the weight of the Nomad, since every bike is built to the owners specification you can't say how much it weighs exactly.  But mine (size 590M with S&S couplers) with racks front and rear is 21.5 kg.  If you pack it up for shipping on an air plane and add in the weight of the shipping materials and box, you could trip over the weight limit set by the airline if you do not pull a few things out of the box and pack elsewhere.

My Nomad is S&S coupled, when I put that in the S&S backpack case, the rear rack, pedals and some other stuff was packed in a different bag to keep my weight below the airline weight limit.

My Sherpa (dérailleur, not Rohloff) is roughly 4 kg lighter than the Nomad.

Regardless of which bike you choose, if you fly with it you really want to invest in a luggage scale, that can be your best friend when traveling.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: jags on December 05, 2017, 08:41:23 PM
Aww Mick goose a look at the TI  bike looks class.
great photos of the nomad and sherpa.

cheers,
anto.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: mickeg on December 05, 2017, 08:59:21 PM
Aww Mick goose a look at the TI  bike looks class.
great photos of the nomad and sherpa.

cheers,
anto.

Thanks, but unfortunately the Ti bike does not have a Rohloff.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: jags on December 05, 2017, 09:05:48 PM
 ;D ;D good now i really want to see it.
go on go on go on :o


anto
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: martinf on December 05, 2017, 09:37:30 PM
Then there is the Raven v Nomad options. Still reading up on these so I am sure I will discover why I would choose one over the other, from what I can see up to now it is basically dependent on the load but since we are buying these bikes for a lifetime, should one not get the best money can afford, or do I look at say maybe a 10 year investment with the option to upgrade later? Feels like a pile of money to dump for any shorter period of time and I do like the idea of less spending more usability over a longer period of time.

I thought I wanted a Nomad, but was talked out of it by Andy Blance at Thorn, who asked me what I intended using the bike for.

I replied "touring with a camping load in Europe, mostly on road but with some paths and tracks" and sent a photo of one of the rougher tracks I had used on a long tour.

He suggested a Raven Tour (predecessor to the Raven) with heavy-duty rims would be a better choice for me, and that the Nomad was really for expedition-type tours where it is necessary to carry a lot of water and/or food (not usually a problem in most of Europe) and/or extensive off-road use.

My Raven Tour can carry a lot of luggage, and has so far been more than adequate for my purposes.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: DAntrim on December 05, 2017, 11:04:38 PM
Welcome Janie,

I have 2 thorns both 700c, the Club Tour (derailleur) and the Mercury (rohloff), both of these bikes are disc’s as I prefer these over canti’s / v-brakes – though that is a personal choice. Most of my touring is UK /EU based, currently for a max of 2/3 weeks, I prefer to use the carradice saddle bag / front pannier combination which works well for me carrying full camping gear. I carry all my tools in a carradice zipped roll bag which is secured under the saddle

26" wheels - we carry all our own camping and cooking gear plus food if and when needed
Unless you are planning to go outside of  Europe / USA  then 700c wheels will work just as well as 26in

Neither one of us has ever used front wheel panniers but for touring a few months at a time I don't think they are an optional.
With the weight spread correctly over the front / back panniers, you don’t really notice the front panniers, more than you do with a bar bag

The jury is still out concerning disks v V- brakes
Disc / V-brakes are a personal preference, I personally think disc brakes provide better stopping power in the wet, apart from that the only real difference to my mind, is having your wheels rebuilt at some point when using canti / v-brakes

I am nearly 100% for a Rohloff, from what I have read so far mechanical issues are few and far between
There is definitely less maintenance having to keep derailleur gears tuned, and fitting the hebbie chainglider makes for less maintenance of your chain and keeps things cleaner

Up to now we have ridden with camelbacks, I use a triangle frame bag for tools and spares so no space for water bottle cages. Good ideas welcome
I never ride with anything attached to myself everything goes on the bike, there are various cages which you can attach to the front fork or the seat post

I never realise just home important crank arm lengths are and suddenly realise that my knee pain might have more than one originating point.
No thoughts on this as standard 170mm work fine for myself, leave this to others more knowledgeable

Definitely would like dynamo hubs, also no prior experience so allot of research happening
A lot of people swear by the SON - I have the SP PD-8 dynamo hub (disc version) for the past 2 years and have had no issues with it,

I am considering a Jones H-loop bar. Also still researching.
Can’t comment on this as not used one - I was looking at one but went with the Thorn flat bar instead and have had no issues

Having ridden both thorn derailleur and rohloff, I wouldn’t go back to the derailleur version if it can be avoided.

Carlos
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Mike Ayling on December 06, 2017, 07:16:28 AM
G'day Janie

After a lot of research and questions on a number of forums we purchased a Thorn tandem mit Rohloff without ever seeing on of the bikes or a Rohloff. I like the EX box shifter connection.

The Rohloff is very low maintenance and as long as you slack off the pressure on the chain shifting is easy.

The tandem is built like a brick outhouse and not the nippiest bike that I have ever ridden but when loaded is  extremely stable and on our first tour we hit 72 km/h on a downhill and the bike was rock steady so I would assume that the Thorn singles perform in the same manner.
We credit card tour but still use front and rear lightly loaded panniers. The front panniers do balance the bike.
The tandem has V brakes with the Rigida CSS rims and i have never had a problem stopping the bike in wet or dry conditions.

So I liked the Rohloff so much that I bought a Thorn Mercury. This has a disc brake at the back, an Avid BB7 which stops the bike but really Does not seem more powerful that the V brake on the front wheel. Because the seatstays are light it is not possible to fit V brakes at the back of the bike. I think the Thorn has upgraded to Sprye discs on later models. You could call the Mercury a credit card tourer but although a fun bike to ride I think it will be too light for the type of touring that you intend.

You can't go past a Thorn bike with a Rohloff hub.

Mike
In (currently) sunny Melbourne Australia.
We did get 100mm (4 inches in the old money) of rain last weekend.   
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: JanieB on December 06, 2017, 08:37:34 AM
Tremendous information everyone, thank you for sharing. It always pays to ask and of course search previous conversations.

The crystal ball starting to clear and the picture is emerging.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: lewisjnoble on December 06, 2017, 09:40:26 PM
Hello Janie - good luck in your planning and deliberations.  I don't know where you are, but if you can manage to book a visit to Bridgwater, I think that would be very helpful, both in terms of model choice and sizing - they take a great deal of trouble with sizing, and the range of sizes available exceeds pretty well any other manufacturer I think.  And remember that the final choice of spec can significantly alter the feel of the bike - a Sherpa, for example, can be anything from a pretty light urban bike / dayrider to a heavy duty tourer, capable of all except full-on expedition type riding.  Trouble is, altering the spec adds to the cost . . . oh dear . . .

In my experience, other bike suppliers often have a poor opinion of and are critical of Thorn.  I remember a few years ago, around 2012, I was looking for a new bike after my Cube was stolen - I had previously had a Raven Tour which I sold on as it was needlessly 'heavy duty' for me.  I heard comments like - 'they are behind the times, stick-in-the-muds . . fancy not being all that keen on disc brakes!!'  But Thorn produce sound arguments for their views in my opinion, and do change their mind when equipment improves or experience suggests that they should.  I am now on my 5th Thorn (a Raven Tour, chosen thinking I would do more heavy touring than I did - sold to someone who rode it to Vietnam), a derailleur tandem, a Ripio (now rebuilt to a lightweight Sherpa) and now, arrived yesterday, an Audax.  They have all been very well thought out bikes, which have never let me down, and have all handled superbly and sweetly.  The reason I have had so many, (what's the record?), is that my plans and needs have changed over the last 11 years. 

The service from Thorn has always been very good in my experience.

Good luck

Lewis
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: JanieB on December 08, 2017, 11:19:18 AM
Hello Janie - good luck in your planning and deliberations.  I don't know where you are, but if you can manage to book a visit to Bridgwater, I think that would be very helpful, both in terms of model choice and sizing - they take a great deal of trouble with sizing, and the range of sizes available exceeds pretty well any other manufacturer I think.  And remember that the final choice of spec can significantly alter the feel of the bike - a Sherpa, for example, can be anything from a pretty light urban bike / dayrider to a heavy duty tourer, capable of all except full-on expedition type riding.  Trouble is, altering the spec adds to the cost . . . oh dear . . .

In my experience, other bike suppliers often have a poor opinion of and are critical of Thorn.  I remember a few years ago, around 2012, I was looking for a new bike after my Cube was stolen - I had previously had a Raven Tour which I sold on as it was needlessly 'heavy duty' for me.  I heard comments like - 'they are behind the times, stick-in-the-muds . . fancy not being all that keen on disc brakes!!'  But Thorn produce sound arguments for their views in my opinion, and do change their mind when equipment improves or experience suggests that they should.  I am now on my 5th Thorn (a Raven Tour, chosen thinking I would do more heavy touring than I did - sold to someone who rode it to Vietnam), a derailleur tandem, a Ripio (now rebuilt to a lightweight Sherpa) and now, arrived yesterday, an Audax.  They have all been very well thought out bikes, which have never let me down, and have all handled superbly and sweetly.  The reason I have had so many, (what's the record?), is that my plans and needs have changed over the last 11 years. 

The service from Thorn has always been very good in my experience.

Good luck

Lewis

Hi Lewis

We are in Glasgow but I do believe before we drop that kind of cash on two bikes we will make an effort to travel to Bridgwater and have a bit of a go on a Thorn or two, make sure the measurements are correct and then with watery eyes but very excited hearts hand over the pounds.

JanieB
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: jags on December 08, 2017, 01:53:14 PM
Janie wait till i tell you.
you'll be dead for ever so while your still above ground   spend whatever you have no point been the richest guy in the graveyard.
meself i haven't the cross of christ that's the truth so when i do get the extra few bob i spend it straight away either that or the wife gets it  ;D ;D.

remember you spend on top class bikes that wont give you one bit of trouble fully guaranteed for life, think of all the adventures your going to have on those beauties  .
there you go that's me tuppence worth go buy them enjoy them keep them clean and have the craic.

anto.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Matt2matt2002 on December 08, 2017, 11:51:37 PM
Hi JaneB
I see you are in Glasgow.
If you ever pop up to Aberdeen you can check out my Raven.
Rohloff hub and been away with me to Sri Lanka and Tajikistan.
I have total faith in it.

Buy one and the only thing you'll have to watch out for is boring the pants off folk, telling them how it's the best bike in the world.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Andre Jute on December 09, 2017, 03:20:02 AM
In my experience, other bike suppliers often have a poor opinion of and are critical of Thorn.

That's very likely because what they're actually selling is an annual fashion change, whereas Thorn merely sells a good bike, and then stands behind it. It's not so much the bike design the detractors envy as the reputation. I understand them; I know lots of people like that, normally the second or third generation in charge after the real doers have died or retired. They've probably made no effort to understand the design and the service, because they don't grasp that those are more important than the marketing image, i.e. compliance with the fashion, or, if they're lucky, a very tiny step ahead of it.

It's just a different outlook: some people are well suited to the one, some to the other. And some are forced by their circumstance, for instance size of the concern, to choose only one outlook. I don't imagine either Thorn or Rohloff will ever be monstrously large business: their service (and attention to detail) is too personal. On the other hand, they're well suited to each other by engineering and service outlook. (Something they don't teach at business school is that a business outlook grows organically from the personality the man mover starts with; it isn't something optional the survivors have picked from a book of theoretical management theory.)
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: PH on December 09, 2017, 12:14:58 PM
In my experience, other bike suppliers often have a poor opinion of and are critical of Thorn.
All manufacturers/suppliers diss the others, who'd want to buy from someone who didn't think their product was in some way better?   It's far more important to find the bike that matches your cycling than some of the design options. 
The huge Thorn advantage if you're dropping that sort of money is the 100 day trial, you don't have to accept what it says in the mega catalogue, you can try it for yourself.
I'm on my second Thorn Rohloff frame, both have been good buys, I'd rather some things had been different but they've been closer to my ideal than anything else available.  I could have gone custom but would have lost some of the Thorn advantage of volume production.   Some things haven't matched the sales pitch, but then I never expected them to.  Advice and after sales service have always been first class.  Which isn't always matched by other manufacturers however much money you spend.

Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: mickeg on December 09, 2017, 02:53:43 PM
I live in USA so I really have no opinion on what different retailers in the UK or Europe say about each other.

While Thorn might be a bit late to the party when it comes to disc brakes on forks, belt drives, etc., that does not bother me at all.  This past spring I built up a new bike and put on a square taper crank (technology from decades ago), eight speed cassette and bar end shifters (technology from decades ago), I wanted a steel axle Shimano rear hub instead of one of the newer Aluminum axle hubs (technology from decades ago), Brooks saddle (technology from a century ago).  I did use a newer design disc rear brake, but the frame was designed for disc only so my choice was limited to choice of disc brakes.  And I used a dyno hub because I have lots of electronic toys to keep me busy.  My point is that if you want the latest marketing fad, there are lots of people that will sell it to you.  But for a touring bike I want something that is robust, reliable, and easily repairable/replaceable (which includes obtaining parts).  Parts that have a long history of meeting my criteria are more important to me that parts that are of new design.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: PH on December 09, 2017, 09:55:08 PM
I live in USA so I really have no opinion on what different retailers in the UK or Europe say about each other.
You don't have to name the other party to be critical of their design choices - X is the only way to do Y and doing it Z is wrong - can be read on many a website either side of the pond.  My experience is there's rarely only one way to do anything and pros and cons to them all.
My point was that a good deal of the sales blurb can be taken with a pinch of salt, both that extolling the virtues of their choices or criticising those of others. You may prefer one type of brake over another, or different shifters and it's good to find a supplier who can accommodate that.  But the things that decide if I like a bike or not are the fundamentals like seat tube angle, BB drop, reach and trail.  My choice of new frame came down to a Mercury or another, despite the other having my preferred brakes and gear changer, the Mercury won because I know the geometry works for me.  Regardless of how many zillion words are in the mega brochure, for someone who hasn't had a similar bike before the only way to know if it's right is to ride it.  The opportunity for a UK rider to do so on a Thorn for 100 days is IMO a bigger advantage than some of the things waxed lyrical about that I consider pretty peripheral.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: RST Scout on December 18, 2017, 10:28:44 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum. These guys held my hand and helped guide me when I was dithering over buying a Raven Sports Tour this time last year. Patiently answering all my questions. I won't add much more other to repeat that Thorns professionalism and customer service is second to none. I am very near to ordering a Thorn Audax so they are having to deal with constant questions again :o
BTW the Rohloff hub gear is excellent. I can't believe I'm contemplating a derailleur again ::) ::)

Janet
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: jags on December 18, 2017, 11:37:23 PM
Janet if you are go for the new tiagra groupsetits fantastic never misses a beat and 11to34rear you'll be set for any hill.
Anto.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: mickeg on December 19, 2017, 08:16:37 PM
...
BTW the Rohloff hub gear is excellent. I can't believe I'm contemplating a derailleur again ::) ::)
...

Each has disadvantages and advantages.  I am quite happy with my Nomad (Rohloff) and my Sherpa (derailleur), plus several others. 
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Danneaux on December 19, 2017, 11:53:50 PM
Quote
Each has disadvantages and advantages.  I am quite happy with my Nomad (Rohloff) and my Sherpa (derailleur), plus several others.
A view echoed here with a couple observations from Danneauxworld:

• My derailleur drivetrains are all older 5-, 6-, and 7-sp with one 9-sp. The older, thicker chainrings, cogs and chains last a phenomenally long time while the 9-sp wears out much more quickly. Used exclusively, I can burn through several complete 9-sp drivetrains in a 4-months long summer (chain, most-used chainring and most-used cogs, meaning a whole new cassette). Not all of it is due to the narrower width: All the older drivetrains are half-step and granny with the most used combos having little or no chainline deflection. All are reliably friction-shifted. The two indexed models have a friction option and do well either way. The indexed 9-sp has crossover gearing so is subject to more chainline variance, though I take care to use chain-aligned combos and end up with about 14 usable gears, close to the Rohloff. It shifts beautifully in indexed mode, as quickly and quietly as my Rohloff. It does okay friction-shifted, but the gaps are a little tight to shift as cleanly as my older stuff.

• The Rohloff is the ticket for me on long tours and requires no real maintenance at all, barring periodic oil changes and a chain retensioning on really long tours. Most ideal for me in extreme environments (i.e. desert dust, mud, snow/ice). It is also very nice to be able to shift while at rest so a lower gear is pre-selected when stopped on a hill with a fully loaded bike.

Both good but in different ways and each with their own pluses and minuses, as George said.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: martinf on December 20, 2017, 08:19:21 AM
For me, the main advantages of (most) hub gears are low maintenance and very long service life. Disadvantages were limited gear range and less than ideal gear steps, perhaps reduced efficiency (but I am a bit sceptical about that in real-life use). Rohloff solves the gear range and gear steps issue for me. Shimano 8 is good enough for most of my riding, but not quite sufficient for loaded touring in hilly areas.

Chainglider reduces drivetrain maintenance still further, particularly useful when doing survey work on paths and tracks. While doing intensive survey work I used to spend 1 to 2 hours a week on bike maintenance cleaning the bike and replacing chains and sprockets. With hub gear and chainglider this is much less and mainly limited to regular changing of the rim-brake pads.

Before getting a Rohloff, from 1972 to 2012 I used hub gears for somewhere around half my mileage, mainly Sturmey-Archer 5-speed hubs from the 1970's and early 1980's. Hub gears mainly for all weather commuting, other utility rides, local off-road riding. Derailleurs for tours in hilly areas, fun rides in good weather, some commuting in good weather. From 2001 I added Bromptons (hub gears, but with a tensioner, so more like a derailleur for maintenance) which I use when combining bikes with other transport.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: playlord on December 28, 2017, 09:46:23 PM
Janie, I'm in the fortunate position of having two Thorn Rohloff bikes (was out today on the Sterling, in fact - pic below -, and I have a Raven Tour)

I'm in Rothesay. If you and your partner want to come over and take the bikes for a spin you'd be welcome.

(http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t426/Steeplechasing/bike%20thorn%20above%20port%20bann_zps2z4fn3ab.jpg) (http://s1059.photobucket.com/user/Steeplechasing/media/bike%20thorn%20above%20port%20bann_zps2z4fn3ab.jpg.html)
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: Matt2matt2002 on December 31, 2017, 07:52:56 PM
Rothesay Scotlandshire?
I'm over in Aberdeen but sometimes get across to the (wet!) West coast.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: playlord on January 03, 2018, 10:40:36 PM
Rothesay Scotlandshire?
I'm over in Aberdeen but sometimes get across to the (wet!) West coast.

Ha! Tis indeed wet here on the Isle of Bute. Was out today and where the road bends at Ettrick Bay South, the sea had washed across it through the night leaving sand and pebbles from gutter to gutter. The upside was that I saw only two vehicles on an 8-mile stretch of 'main road'.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: playlord on January 09, 2018, 04:41:06 PM
Janie, I keep forgetting to check back in.  If you want to get in touch I am on steeplechasing at gmail dot com

Best wishes
Joe
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: JanieB on January 31, 2018, 08:38:17 PM
Rothesay Scotlandshire?
I'm over in Aberdeen but sometimes get across to the (wet!) West coast.

Such a generous offer, thank you very much. If we do decide to take you up on the offer, I will let you know.
Title: Re: I have never ridden a Thorn or tried a Rohloff hub
Post by: mickeg on February 08, 2018, 05:08:58 PM
One more thought.  SJS and Thorn have established maximum tire pressure recommendations to avoid rim damage.  Ask them about that when you go shopping.  Their recommendations have changed over time which is one reason that I am not citing them.

Some rim manufacturers have maximum pressure ratings on the rims, but the Ryde rims that I got from SJS did not have any rating printed on them.