Author Topic: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?  (Read 1092 times)

lewisjnoble

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 379
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2017, 12:37:53 PM »
A little late chipping into this, sorry, busy, and on a bike ride on Trans Pennine Trail yesterday.

My Sherpa weighs 12.5 kg including rack, pedals, bottle fitments etc.  It is a 530S frame, the smallest of the 'mid-range' frame series I think.  This is less than a lot of other Sherpas, and less than other 'tourers' from other manufacturers.  I guess the following things contribute to the low weight -

Wheels / tyres - DT Swiss rims, Deore hubs.  These were . . . . not cheap . . . but have performed very well, lasted well and run 100% true after about 4 years on the Sherpa and it's predecessor, a Ripio.  The rear rim is beginning to show signs of wear, and I must get it checked.  26 x 1.6 Supremes - roll well, and better grip on muddy trails than you would expect. Lightweight Schwalbe tubes.

Fork - the Rav 853 fork.  A bit lighter than standard - good ride.

Tubus Vega rack

Transmission - XT cranks with external bearings, XT cassette.

I reckon the only way to reduce weight still more would be carbon seatpost, lighter saddle, etc etc. and I don't see much point in going that route - the gains would be tiny, as my present Thorn seatpost has not much 'spare' on it, so little surplus weight.

If I had bought all this at one go as a new Sherpa, it would have been a pretty expensive bike! But most of the components came from my Ripio onto a new Sherpa frame / fork, as I had tried to make the Ripio lighter - it was a lovely bike, but was clearly over the top in terms of weight and strength for my changing riding habits.  So the bills were spread a bit.

I reckon in it's present setup, my Sherpa would cope with all but heavy touring, which would probably need wider wheels, stronger rack, and forks with low loader.  But as a general day-ride, light - moderate touring bike, it suits me well.

The biggest change I made in terms of real and perceived speed / agility was in the wheels - rotational weight really does count, especially in my stop/start urban riding. 

Lewis


 

Vintagetourer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2017, 02:04:37 PM »
Thanks Lewis this sounds approximately like what I am aiming for.
I won't get quite that light, but should be close. It's good to know it is achievable.

pondweed

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2017, 05:37:27 PM »

Fork - the Rav 853 fork.  A bit lighter than standard - good ride.
Did you notice the difference in feel when swapping the fork? (I'm never going to use all those rack mounts either... and was wondering whether it was a justifiable expense...)

horizon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2017, 08:08:12 PM »
Graham: I've tried to makes sense of this thread (I've read it through) but cannot. While a Sherpa is a good choice for rough ground, it also carries weight and does that well (so I understand) on faster, smoother roads at speed. By all means trim your load but the bike is the bike and ideal for carrying, if I understand you correctly, what will be a camping load. Yes, lighter tyres and maybe no front panniers and racks but I'm not quite sure what you hope to gain by trying to cycle fast with a Sherpa carrying camping gear. There's a point at which the load is right for the bike (you could choose a lighter bike and lighter load) but this seems like a Fool's Errand. I say, enjoy your Sherpa, slow down and sleep well knowing that it won't let you down with your load. 

Vintagetourer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2017, 09:02:47 PM »
'Horses for courses' is the principal behind lightening the Sherpa for this forthcoming tour from Canberra to Adelaide. The route will give a choice of surfaces. It could be done entirely on seal, or mostly on backtracks. The variety is available. If I took my lighter bike, it would restrict the route to seal/smooth dirt which might mean being restricted to busier highways which aren't pleasant or as safe.
Making the Sherpa a bit lighter won't translate into many extra kms per day, but it will be more enjoyable to ride, especially in the hillier sections. The biggest change will be lighter wheels and tyres. This will make the horse a bit more suited to the planned course, and make it a bit easier. 3-5kg less is a noticeable difference.
If I ever do expedition rides again...say Cape York... I will refit the heavier wheels/tyre, heavier rear rack and hefty Ortlieb handlebar bag.

horizon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2017, 09:06:21 PM »
I t-h-i-n-k I know what you mean  . . .

Yes, there is sense in it but maybe the titanium rear rack suggestion threw me a bit . . .  :-\

Vintagetourer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2017, 09:15:15 PM »
Yes that Ti Airy rack is yet to be fitted and tried on the Sherpa. Hope it's not an expensive mistake. I will still have four panniers, but will try to use four smaller panniers. The weight distribution is better this way, as is convenience of packing and unpacking.

I have had a slightly heavier Ti rack on my Thorn Audax for several years, and it's been excellent for touring and for lugging groceries.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 09:16:49 PM by Vintagetourer »

Vintagetourer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2017, 12:40:49 AM »
I t-h-i-n-k I know what you mean  . . .

Yes, there is sense in it but maybe the titanium rear rack suggestion threw me a bit . . .  :-\
And if I was really serious about getting the black Sherpa to go faster, I'd respray it bright red to match my Audax:)

geocycle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1050
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2017, 08:50:10 AM »
I t-h-i-n-k I know what you mean  . . .

Yes, there is sense in it but maybe the titanium rear rack suggestion threw me a bit . . .  :-\
And if I was really serious about getting the black Sherpa to go faster, I'd respray it bright red to match my Audax:)

Great colour scheme, warms one up on a chilly morning!
 

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1246
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2017, 04:41:43 PM »
Quote
respray it bright red to match my Audax

Audaxious thinking, Graham -- is there a bit of Italian heritage within the Smiths?   ;)

Vintagetourer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2017, 08:55:31 PM »
Not that I know of John.
Itís handy having the bikes colour coded so I know which ones to ride on which tours:)

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1246
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2017, 09:16:24 PM »
On the marginally more serious matter of weighty panniers, Graham, I did a little measuring and pondering this morning whilst removing my Raven's front and rear racks:

     > Arkel front rack is 1 lb 4 oz (on my home scale, a splendid antique from a Mennonite general store in St Jacob's, ON, bought on a hockey trip a couple of decades ago, when our son's team was playing for the provincial championship) (they won a silver medal, I got a fine tin scale with a big white 25-lb face.)  Rear rack, a Topeak, is 2 lbs.  Total rack weight is 3 lbs 4 oz before even adding any panniers.

     > I can shift my 32-ltr Arkel waterproofs to the front rack. But, I don't think I can easily mount drybags (2 x 20-ltr Outdoor Research items, about 6 oz. total) on my rear rack.  It could be done, but it would be a fiddly undertaking.

     > Arkel do make a pair of lightweight waterproof rear panniers, 28 ltrs capacity, weight 540 gms (1 lb 3 oz on my antique scale).  The price is a reasonable CAD 100.  Here's the link: https://www.arkel-od.com/en/dry-lites.html  Am thinking to get a pair for next year, esp if I can find a pair at a reduced end-of-season price -- they offer a good balance of space, light weight, convenience & price.

Cheers,  John

Vintagetourer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2017, 12:09:18 AM »
Thanks for this additional information and temptation John.
I am studiously avoiding thinking too much about pannier/bag replacement for this forthcoming tour. I already have quite a pannier collection...some would say excessive... I should use before adding to it. It ranges from a 1979 pair of indestructible Karrimors to some trendy bikepacking bags (Montbell and Revelate). I also have an excellent Arkel bar bag I use on my Bike Friday.

I already have spare front-roller plus Ortlieb panniers, so in theory I could end up packing into four front panniers. It'll a depend a bit on how much volume I want for the fluctuating need of food and water storage. It'll also depend on the compatibility of the Airy Ti rear rack with the bike and my existing panniers.

The food & water storage will likely range from virtually none to 2-3 days supply. It's hard to predict what conditions will be like in late November in the lower Murray.
I'll probably ending up erring on the side of caution and take larger panniers to provide the flexibility.

lewisjnoble

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 379
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2017, 07:49:42 PM »
Replying to pondweed of 3 days ago, his query re forks . . . .Is the lighter Rav 853 fork worth it??  It is a bit lighter than the standard fork, whether the lighter weight is worth the extra cost . . . in most circumstances, probably not, unless weight is the paramount concern.

But in terms of comfort . . . I find it hard to comment with certainty, I have not ridden enough bikes to be able to say.

BUT - for years, I suffered from painful wrists and hands when cycling, arthritis and an old injury.  But the Sherpa with the Rav fork - no problems at all, either on journeys on the potholed urban and speedhumped roads where I live, or on my long ride in France last year.  It may be a better posture, but I reckon the forks are a big part of it - I can maintain decent speeds on urban roads and bumpy pothole 'repairs', which I am very pleased about. 

Lewis
 

PH

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
Re: Reducing the weight of my Thorn Sherpa...how did you do yours?
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2017, 10:01:57 PM »
I wouldn't want carbon anywhere on a touring bike, forks or seatpost, just not worth the damage risk.
I'd take the slight weight hit on a standard square taper BB knowing I could get it swapped at any bike store. About the only thing I'd change on a bike would be the tyres and maybe wheels.
I am in complete agreement with Danneaux that it'll be easier to loose weight on kit than bike, most probably cheaper as well.  I camping tour with two front panniers fitted to the back, a saddle bag and a bar bag, unless I've just done some shopping none of them are crammed full. And I haven't left anything out that would make me uncomfortable.  The weight varies from trip to trip, but it'll be in the 10 - 12kg range. If you're going to load a bike with much more than that, there seems little point saving a bit on the bike. Just loosing the front panniers and rack will probably be more than all the bike suggestions but together.

My take is this - there's no such thing as cyclecamping.  There's camping using a bike to get around in which case the camping takes priority and it weighs whatever it weighs.  Or there's cycling where  the camping is just somewhere to rest up between the miles, in which case the priorities are reversed and you take the minimum of kit to maximise the cycling.  I enjoy both, but they are different things requiring a different approach.