Author Topic: THORN Raven Sport Tour  (Read 271 times)

leftpoole

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THORN Raven Sport Tour
« on: November 07, 2019, 02:02:06 PM »
Hello,
Mmmmmmmm? Not really a Rohloff enthusiast.
Well, I recently purchased a Thorn Raven Sport Tour! Its red and in mint condition.
I will post photographs at a future time..........
It (the bike) has actually done 6000 miles and the hub is nice and quiet and smooth with hardly discernible noise in gear 7 thankfully.
Straight bars and that is what I am going to have to try to to master as I have a lifelong experience of drops which suit me very well.
I do not like any of the 'suitable' drop bar shifter options!
All the best,
John

julk

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 03:51:14 PM »
John,
Welcome to the Thorn/Rohloff/‘straight handlebars’ club.
It will be interesting seeing what stem/handlebars combination you end up with.
Let your hands/wrists/arms/shoulders/back guide you into a comfortable position.
Andre has some interesting views on this.
Julian.

Andre Jute

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 07:25:55 PM »
John,
Welcome to the Thorn/Rohloff/‘straight handlebars’ club.
It will be interesting seeing what stem/handlebars combination you end up with.
Let your hands/wrists/arms/shoulders/back guide you into a comfortable position.
Andre has some interesting views on this.
Julian.

Thing is, for people of a certain age, unless some cutoff event makes it impossible for them to maintain the position on the bike they've been in for a lifetime, they're better off sticking to it because there will be a period of pain involved in changing it.

But if you must, or strongly desire to move away from drops, I don't think flat bars are the bee's knees, not even the Thorn flat bars.

If you need or want to sit up straighter, you need to bring the grips closer to you and a shorter stem will only bring the grips towards you a little distance; flat bars are no help, quite the contrary.

You might also want to move the seat back if you're sitting more upright, another factor that isn't helpful in the reach department.

A good all-round solution is North Road bars, which offer several sets of good ergonomics, like using them upside down as moustache bars or, right way up, to bring the bicycle's chief control closer to your hands in a natural position. Also, they offer a change of grips and of posture on the bike, similar to drops. I like the Uno Kalloy North Road bars, which are at the cheap end of the market. They've served me well for decades on all my bikes. Uno Kalloy also makes a stem that is toollessly adjustable on the road (at a standstill, not on the move!), by just throwing an over-centre lever, rotating the handlebars and locking the lever again. That permits the same handlebars to offer positions from down and forward for a flat back, to up and forward like wider aero grips.

With a Rohloff, any HGB with a rotary control, it is important to get North Road bars with unshortened grips, so that you have a good straight piece of grip for your hand and for mounting the rotary Rohloff gear change and the brake lever, and whatever else you want to mount, like perhaps a rotary concentric bell on the other side, light switches, computer and so on. If you have such a long straight grip, your hand moves just slightly to change gear. You don't want to ride with part of your palm on the rotary control if you can help it.

North Road handlebars should be set up with a downwards slant to the grips, not to a fixed formula but where your wrists are happiest.

One more important point. We speak loosely of sitting "upright", but nobody should sit truly upright because that is a sure recipe for damaging your back. Instead one assumes a slight forward bend at the hips, at least enough to take the coccyx and backbone out of the direct line of the seat slamming upwards in the same line when riding through unexpectedly pothole or whatever. 7-15 degrees might be suitable; more is semi-sporting and from 30 degrees is definitely sporting.

I would say to someone changing riding positions to take his time and give each adjustment enough time to become familiar and, as Julian says, to let his body tell him what to do.

JimK

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 07:36:32 PM »
I sit mighty upright on my Amsterdam city bike. Another part of the formula is a wide springy seat. I've got a Brooks B66 on that bike. They make saddles that are even springier.

PH

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 09:42:21 PM »
I have my flat bar and drop bar bikes set up to be pretty similar, in all respects other than actually using the drops.  Hoods/bar ends and tops/grips, the 20mm extra width each side is insignificant and the extended reach on the GP5 bar ends is as aerodynamic as being on the drops. 
having said that when I changed my Audax bike from drops to flats, I couldn't get comfortable, wasn't the bars, I've done my longest Audax on the flat bar Mercury, but something wasn't right and when I changed it back all was well again. 
What motivated you to buy it John? Curiosity? Need something different?  Had an offer you couldn't refuse?   I don't think I've ever bought a bike I wasn't enthusiastic about, though it's sometimes worn off.  One thing for sure, if it doesn't suite they're easy to sell on.

John Saxby

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 03:08:14 PM »
Hi John,

Congratulations on the new arrival!

A question related to your preference for drop bars-mit Rohloff:  What is that you don't like about the options for mounting a Rohloff with drop bars?

And a couple of suggestions:  I have a Raven with drop bars, and it's supremely comfortable, with the Rohloff shifter very easy to reach & use.  There are a couple of reasons for that:
     * the shifter is on a Thorn accessory T-bar, just below the bars;
     * the bars are Velo Orange Gran Cru randonneur bars, lovely swoopy item with flared ends.  I have max width, 50 cms at the flared ends, 46 at the outer (padded) edges of the upper bulge just aft of the hoods;
     * and, critically for my back, the clamp for the bars is about 4 cms higher than the nose of my Brooks saddle, and the outer edges of the bars are higher still. That positioning gives me a tilt forward (65-75°?) with hands on the hoods or on the upper/outer edges of the bars.  It also lets me use the drops for half-hours at a time when facing headwinds, or simply use the drops for another position.

Took me a while to figure all that out, esp the use of spacers to raise the bars relative to the saddle, but it was worth it. Photos available if they'd be helpful.

Lastly, for other options on h'bar configurations, you might have a look at the offerings of Rivendell Bike Works [www.rivbike.com]

Cheers,  John

leftpoole

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 05:27:23 PM »
John,
Welcome to the Thorn/Rohloff/‘straight handlebars’ club.
It will be interesting seeing what stem/handlebars combination you end up with.
Let your hands/wrists/arms/shoulders/back guide you into a comfortable position.
Andre has some interesting views on this.
Julian.

Hello,
Your thoughts are strangely along my thinking.
I have not been able to ride the bike yet because I have hurt my right knee! But can assure all that I am looking forward to trying it out soon!
Best regards,
John

Thing is, for people of a certain age, unless some cutoff event makes it impossible for them to maintain the position on the bike they've been in for a lifetime, they're better off sticking to it because there will be a period of pain involved in changing it.

But if you must, or strongly desire to move away from drops, I don't think flat bars are the bee's knees, not even the Thorn flat bars.

If you need or want to sit up straighter, you need to bring the grips closer to you and a shorter stem will only bring the grips towards you a little distance; flat bars are no help, quite the contrary.

You might also want to move the seat back if you're sitting more upright, another factor that isn't helpful in the reach department.

A good all-round solution is North Road bars, which offer several sets of good ergonomics, like using them upside down as moustache bars or, right way up, to bring the bicycle's chief control closer to your hands in a natural position. Also, they offer a change of grips and of posture on the bike, similar to drops. I like the Uno Kalloy North Road bars, which are at the cheap end of the market. They've served me well for decades on all my bikes. Uno Kalloy also makes a stem that is toollessly adjustable on the road (at a standstill, not on the move!), by just throwing an over-centre lever, rotating the handlebars and locking the lever again. That permits the same handlebars to offer positions from down and forward for a flat back, to up and forward like wider aero grips.

With a Rohloff, any HGB with a rotary control, it is important to get North Road bars with unshortened grips, so that you have a good straight piece of grip for your hand and for mounting the rotary Rohloff gear change and the brake lever, and whatever else you want to mount, like perhaps a rotary concentric bell on the other side, light switches, computer and so on. If you have such a long straight grip, your hand moves just slightly to change gear. You don't want to ride with part of your palm on the rotary control if you can help it.

North Road handlebars should be set up with a downwards slant to the grips, not to a fixed formula but where your wrists are happiest.

One more important point. We speak loosely of sitting "upright", but nobody should sit truly upright because that is a sure recipe for damaging your back. Instead one assumes a slight forward bend at the hips, at least enough to take the coccyx and backbone out of the direct line of the seat slamming upwards in the same line when riding through unexpectedly pothole or whatever. 7-15 degrees might be suitable; more is semi-sporting and from 30 degrees is definitely sporting.

I would say to someone changing riding positions to take his time and give each adjustment enough time to become familiar and, as Julian says, to let his body tell him what to do.

leftpoole

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2019, 05:30:11 PM »
I have my flat bar and drop bar bikes set up to be pretty similar, in all respects other than actually using the drops.  Hoods/bar ends and tops/grips, the 20mm extra width each side is insignificant and the extended reach on the GP5 bar ends is as aerodynamic as being on the drops. 
having said that when I changed my Audax bike from drops to flats, I couldn't get comfortable, wasn't the bars, I've done my longest Audax on the flat bar Mercury, but something wasn't right and when I changed it back all was well again. 
What motivated you to buy it John? Curiosity? Need something different?  Had an offer you couldn't refuse?   I don't think I've ever bought a bike I wasn't enthusiastic about, though it's sometimes worn off.  One thing for sure, if it doesn't suite they're easy to sell on.

Hello,
Thank you for your remarks.
I had always been curious but did not like bars other than drops. I bought an MTB once. I rode it three times and sold it because of those bars.
I am really going to persevere and get to 'grips' !
Best regards,
John

leftpoole

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2019, 05:33:59 PM »
Hi John,

Congratulations on the new arrival!

A question related to your preference for drop bars-mit Rohloff:  What is that you don't like about the options for mounting a Rohloff with drop bars?

And a couple of suggestions:  I have a Raven with drop bars, and it's supremely comfortable, with the Rohloff shifter very easy to reach & use.  There are a couple of reasons for that:
     * the shifter is on a Thorn accessory T-bar, just below the bars;
     * the bars are Velo Orange Gran Cru randonneur bars, lovely swoopy item with flared ends.  I have max width, 50 cms at the flared ends, 46 at the outer (padded) edges of the upper bulge just aft of the hoods;
     * and, critically for my back, the clamp for the bars is about 4 cms higher than the nose of my Brooks saddle, and the outer edges of the bars are higher still. That positioning gives me a tilt forward (65-75°?) with hands on the hoods or on the upper/outer edges of the bars.  It also lets me use the drops for half-hours at a time when facing headwinds, or simply use the drops for another position.

Took me a while to figure all that out, esp the use of spacers to raise the bars relative to the saddle, but it was worth it. Photos available if they'd be helpful.

Lastly, for other options on h'bar configurations, you might have a look at the offerings of Rivendell Bike Works [www.rivbike.com]

Cheers,  John

Hello John,
Along with other peoples thoughts I am certain some ideas will be taken onboard. Thank you.
I have decide against my thinking, that if I really cannot get on or indeed adapt to the bars I shall try the Thorn stem bracket. I do not like the look of it and I am not sure that taking my hand so close to the stem will suit. But.............
Again Thank you,
John

leftpoole

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 05:38:30 PM »
What motivated you to buy it John? Curiosity? Need something different?  Had an offer you couldn't refuse?

Answer:- A little of all the above, plus the condition.
The bike is 10 years old and looks better than new, also the hub is run in after 6000 miles and is as silent as it can be, a huge bonus.
John

leftpoole

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 02:15:43 PM »

geocycle

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2019, 02:36:36 PM »
Another great bike John, I think the RST is one of Thorn's finest rohloff bikes.  Utterly solid but not as dead a ride as the RT (the latter can be a positive of course). I keep contemplating 'upgrading' mine to a mercury although I'm not yet convinced the difference is worth £3k! Love the red.
 

Matt2matt2002

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2019, 04:30:34 PM »
https://pbase.com/leftpoole/image/170028676

Nice picture. A great looking bike.
Any thoughts on adding a Chainglider?
I'm a big fan. I have had one on my Raven Tour for 4+ years.
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

martinf

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2019, 08:22:53 PM »
I am very fond of my Raven Sport Tour, it is now my "go to" bike for fast day rides.

But it is a luxury I didn't really need. I have a Raven Tour that can do the same job when unladen, albeit at a slower pace. And my old derailleur lightweight  can do the same job slightly faster, but with more thought needed for gear changes, plus more cleaning and fiddling with adjustments.

macspud

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Re: THORN Raven Sport Tour
« Reply #14 on: Today at 08:18:01 AM »
Nice looking bike but can you rotate the photo so I can see it properly without getting a crick n my neck. I would do it myself but it just gives me the message "DO NOT COPY! I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.....". :o