Author Topic: Raven V Nomad  (Read 810 times)

Inbred

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Raven V Nomad
« on: July 02, 2018, 05:08:34 PM »
Has anyone out there had experience of both a Thorn Nomad and a current model of the Raven?
If so, could you tell me the differences in weight, feel, handling, etc?
Thanks in advance for the help 🙂👍

mickeg

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 09:14:11 PM »
I do not have a Raven, but I have about an 8 to 10 year old Sherpa plus a 5 year old Nomad.  I think the Sherpa is essentially a derailleur version of the Raven.  If nobody responds on your question, I could offer you my thoughts by comparing mine.


Danneaux

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 09:34:26 PM »
I own a Nomad Mk2 and have extensive experience with the Raven Tour, heavier-duty predecessor to the current Raven. Not really comparable to the present Raven, so I can't answer your question directly. I also owned a Sherpa Mk2 as well.

Best,

Dan.

mickeg

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 12:26:52 AM »
...  the Raven Tour, heavier-duty predecessor to the current Raven. ...

Would my Sherpa be the derailleur equivalent to the Raven Tour and not the current Raven?

I apparently was not watching the product lines, I did not realize that the Raven changed, I assumed that the Raven Tour was just re-named Raven.

Danneaux

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2018, 02:31:07 AM »
George, it would depend on the age/generation of your Sherpa.

My 2011 Sherpa Mk2 was closest to the Rosso Red RavenTour I rode through Europe, but there were some detail changes nonetheless. The two bikes fit me the same (2011 Sherpa Mk2 560S with 100 or 110mm stem/Thorn anatomic drops and RavenTour 587S with a 60mm stem and thorn anatomic drops also matching my 2012 Nomad Mk2 590M with a 60mm stem and compact drops).

That RavenTour also had a little different top tube. The Sherpa's was truly conical while that RT's was ovalized at the seat tube rather than truly conical.

The later Sherpas and Ravens (the RavenTour is no more, same with the Raven Sport Tour) are made with smaller diameter tubing in most sizes for a livelier, even more comfortable ride and have a reduced cargo capacity compared to previous iterations.

All the best,

Dan.

mickeg

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2018, 05:25:39 PM »
Got it.  I bought my Sherpa used in 2010, I am not sure how long the previous owner had it but I think not too long.  He eventually concluded that the frame was not the right size for him so he put the frame and fork up for sale.  I think mine is the Mk II version, has a pump peg and is labeled Thorn 969 for tubing.  It appears to be the version described in the Thorn 2010 brochure.   Based on that I will assume mine is the dérailleur equivalent of the Raven Tour.

I have not made any attempt to keep track of model changes for Thorn product line.  So as things come and go, I remain happily ignorant.

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I apologize to Inbred, I assumed my Sherpa was the same as the current Raven except for drive train, but apparently was wrong.  Sorry for wasting people's time here.

Danneaux

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 05:48:22 PM »
Quote
Sorry for wasting people's time here.
No worries! :) Offers to help with good intent are always welcome. Sometimes, even a tangential bit of information can help in making a decision, especially when a person hasn't ridden the bikes in question.

For example, I found my Sherpa Mk2 and the RavenTour I rode extensively were very similar to each other, as they were similar to my Nomad in general handling. The biggest difference was between both of them and my Nomad Mk2. The Nomad has many of the same basic handling characteristics but "more" -- more bike, more weight, more stiffness, much more cargo capacity as a result, which is just what I needed for my expedition tours where I carry a lot of weight in food and water. A lighter bike would be overwhelmed by half the loads I carry on my Nomad. The difference in speed when fully laden is minimal between all three bikes.

The downside? The Nomad's ride is too stiff for me when unladen on really rough logging roads using a rigid seatpost; I get a sore neck and headaches from the whiplash-like effect of sharp bump inputs traveling up my spine from the rear tire. Substituting a Thudbuster LT suspension seatpost completely addressed this problem and made the bike a joy to ride in all conditions, laden or unladen. To make a nautical analogy, it turns heavy chop into large swells. Because the Nomad is a heavier bike than others I own -- it weighs 20kg/44lb dry as presently configured -- it is not my first choice for really long unladen day rides solely on paved roads. Partly because it does so well in the rough-stuff, I find myself using up some of the day I would put into forward progress instead exploring much slower single-track, gravel, and tempting logging and forest service roads I see along the way. For this reason, my day-mileage on the Nomad is limited to about 200km/125 miles, where I ride my randonneur bikes as much as 400km/249mi in a day. They each weigh about 14.5-15kg/31-32lb and do not work nearly as well as the Nomad in the really rough stuff and can carry only a fraction of the weight in cargo. However, they are ideal for eating the miles and do well with light to medium touring loads on reasonable roads. Horses for courses.

All the best,

Dan.

Peejay

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 05:53:58 PM »
Here goes then guys based on my experience....

I own a 2013 Raven with drop handlebars and a 2016 Nomad with Thorn EXP flat handlebars - both are absolutely superb bikes - no question!

The Raven is a great all round bike - reasonably quick, handles well even loaded up with front panniers. Utterly reliable only requiring routine maintenance and the Rohloff oil change. I would say the Raven is my favourite bike to ride, so comfortable with a riding position that really suits me.

The Nomad - also a great bike - the cycling equivalent of a truck. Not quick to ride, but for me that's not an issue when I ride the Nomad, I just enjoy riding it. This bike feels super solid and is so well planted to the road no matter what - If the road opened up in front of you, the Nomad would not fall down the hole - literally! The flat bars offer a really comfortable riding position with plenty of control even when loaded up. Again like the Raven has been reliable with minimal maintenance.
I like the comment JimK made a while back in a different post  "No matter what - when you go on the Nomad you know you're always going to get there!" That sums the Nomad up perfectly.

I don't know what they weigh (not bothered too - I just enjoy riding them both), but in like for like trim the Nomad is heavier for sure.

In 2014 I rode Land's End to John O'Groats on the Raven loaded up with front and rear panniers and handlebar bag - it came in at 32.6 kgs. The bike did 890 miles with no issues at all, other than cleaning and oiling the chain every couple of days or when the bike had been in the rain.

In 2017 I rode the North Coast 500 on the Nomad carrying more kit including full photography set up - DSLR, tripod etc - the bike weighed in at just over 45 kgs. 535 miles in total - the bike just turned its' nose up to this! it was great - what a bike. Weight does become an issue eventually on hills as we all know - but hey we're not racing! I still managed to ride just over 4.5 miles up the Bealach Na Ba - I just couldn't manage the real steep bits with the hairpins at the top, I had to walk from here.

I'm a big guy at 6ft 5in and just over 19 stones, so really appreciate well made bikes. I really love my Thorns - in my opinion they are awesome bikes!

Sorry guys for going on! I suppose in the end it comes down to what you want to do with the bike.....?

The Raven is a great bike all round. The Nomad too is a great bike, but better suited to carrying heavy loads particularly if you plan to tour off road.

Pete.

Danneaux

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2018, 06:00:03 PM »
Quote
I suppose in the end it comes down to what you want to do with the bike.....?

The Raven is a great bike all round. The Nomad too is a great bike, but better suited to carrying heavy loads particularly if you plan to tour off road.
Well said, Pete! My experience in a nutshell.

All the best,

Dan.

mickeg

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 09:47:37 PM »
Regarding the Nomad, I pretty much agree with what was said above, can carry an enormous load well.  A good example of my experience with my Nomad is at this link where I described my Iceland trip.  On that trip I am convinced that I brought the right bike.
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=11917.0

I often ride gravel trails unladen with the Nomad where I do not need the weight carrying capacity, but those trails are relatively flat (formerly rail road grades) so the heavier weight of the Nomad is not a disadvantage.  Thus, I am not reluctant to ride the Nomad where a lighter weight bike would also do.  Right now I have 50 mm tires on my Nomad but often run 57 mm tires.

I like the EX box that is used on the Rohloff on the Nomad.  I have no experience with the internal cable version of the Rohloff, thus I can't provide input on that.

Matt2matt2002

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2018, 12:48:08 PM »
My 2d worth.....
I've done several loaded tours on my old Raven Tour bike.
Rohloff hub.
And I've sat on a Nomad.

So no real comparable experience but while on every tour, done in rough countries, I always wondered about the benefits of a Nomad. The Raven does everything I want/need. I guess carrying extreme weight/ water could alter things but.........
Each to their own
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

martinf

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 08:00:43 AM »
I had the same dilemma when buying my first Thorn in 2011-2012. I initially thought I needed a Nomad, but was persuaded by Thorn that a Raven would be better suited to my stated needs of touring with a full load for a month, mainly on-road, but with moderate use of tracks and paths, in Western Europe so no need to carry large stocks of water or food.

At that time, there were still a few Raven Tour frames available, so I chose one of these as being very slightly (according to Thorn) more heavy-duty than the current Raven.

Due to a change of employment, I haven't done any long tours since, but the Raven Tour has coped perfectly with carrying my own and most of my wife's luggage on shorter trips for mixed cycling/hiking holidays, including some moderate off-road use.  My load was front and rear panniers, plus à 48 litre rucksack strapped to the rear rack. No camping equipment, but two pairs of walking boots, which are probably about the equivalent of a tent in bulk and weight.

My take on the Nomad vs Raven debate:

for heavy duty touring with moderate use of tracks and paths, a new Raven or a second-hand Raven Tour is probably the best choice if you don't intend visiting really remote areas where you have to carry large amounts of water or food.

for mainly off-road use I reckon the Nomad is a better choice as it is possible to fit even wider tyres. Nomad is also better if you need to carry large amounts of water or food (desert crossings or some third world countries), or significant extra equipment over and above a normal touring load. 

bike_the_planet

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 04:13:30 AM »

My take on the Nomad vs Raven debate:

for heavy duty touring with moderate use of tracks and paths, a new Raven or a second-hand Raven Tour is probably the best choice if you don't intend visiting really remote areas where you have to carry large amounts of water or food.

for mainly off-road use I reckon the Nomad is a better choice as it is possible to fit even wider tyres. Nomad is also better if you need to carry large amounts of water or food (desert crossings or some third world countries), or significant extra equipment over and above a normal touring load.

One other thing that may affect the choice too is the future availability of 26" (ISO 559) rims and tyres. One of the main reasons for the original adoption of the 26" rim size by manufacturers of rugged touring bikes was because they became nearly ubiquitous, thanks to the MTB boom of the 1980s.

Now the fashion has changed and MTBs are either 29er/700c (ISO 622) or 27.5/650b (ISO 584). I fear that the 26" size will go the way of the old 27".

The Nomad at least has provision for disc brakes and plenty of clearance so I guess it would be possible to run a 650b size if that was available? The Raven and Sherpa don't appear to have any provision for fitting disc hubs at present. Maybe Thorn plan to upgrade them at some point?

Just a thought,.

Cheers,

Tony
 

martinf

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2018, 07:18:30 AM »
One other thing that may affect the choice too is the future availability of 26" (ISO 559) rims and tyres.
Now the fashion has changed and MTBs are either 29er/700c (ISO 622) or 27.5/650b (ISO 584). I fear that the 26" size will go the way of the old 27".

The Nomad at least has provision for disc brakes and plenty of clearance so I guess it would be possible to run a 650b size if that was available? The Raven and Sherpa don't appear to have any provision for fitting disc hubs at present. Maybe Thorn plan to upgrade them at some point?

Personally I wouldn't buy a Nomad just because it is possible to fit 650B tyres. I may be wrong, but I don't think there is enough vertical clearance for really large section 650B tyres on a Nomad.

26" tyres may eventually get more difficult to source, but I don't see this happening for at least 5 to 10 years, and if/when it does I expect there will be at least one company still offering them on the Internet.

Disc brakes may be a more valid reason to choose a Nomad over a Raven, if you prefer them.

But I don't think V-brakes will go away any time soon, and anyway, how often do you need to replace V-brakes on a touring bike? The cantilever brakes I have on my old 700C and 650B bikes have had about 30 000 kms of use and show no sign of wear yet. Barring crash damage, good quality brake levers seem to last even longer - I still use a pair of early 1980's Shimano XT cantilever compatible brake levers that have done over 58 000 kms.

Rockymountain

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Re: Raven V Nomad
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 05:16:10 PM »
I am lucky to have both a Raven and a Nomad Mk2. Both are stunning bikes. The Raven, being lighter, is a bit more responsive and easier going up hills. I love the Nomad for its comfort and ability to go on and on. Both bikes are 3-4mph (on average) slower than my carbon framed road bike - but this is to be expected and is probably an artefact of weight, difference in wheels and tyres and the slight 'slowing' effect of the Rohloff.

The roads round here are quite potholed and rutted, and I've been increasingly riding my Thorns instead of the road bike. My advice? It doesn't matter which you get, you won't be disappointed.

Fraser