Author Topic: Thorn bike spectrum  (Read 1351 times)

ourclarioncall

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Thorn bike spectrum
« on: November 25, 2020, 08:27:29 PM »
Greetings everyone

First post on this forum. I am drooling over a new thorn bike haha but having analysis paralysis. I like the the nomad coz I think it looks SO COOL, but not convinced it will be the right choice for me after all the research Iíve done . Possibly the Sherpa or club tour might be a better fit. But then thereís the Mercury haha.

Hereís my query , where do all these bikes fit in the whole range /spectrum of bikes. Iím just think as a rough guideline from heaviest or heavy duty to lightest , if you know what I mean.

So far this is the rough outline I have

1. The nomad , the big daddy bombproof
2. Sherpa and Raven , same bike pretty much ? Assistant manager to the nomad
3. Club tour , the wife of the Sherpa, a little more delicate/weaker
4. The Mercury ? Is this just a rohloff version of the club tour or the audux? Or fits into its own category
5. Audux , the lightweight lightning bolt

I would really appreciate help ironing out this list and refining it or refining my thinking


geocycle

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 08:36:58 PM »
What would you like to use the bike for and do you want rohloff. If you can answer these questions we can probably help narrow it down for you. Your list above is pretty accurate which can be refined a bit.
 

ourclarioncall

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 09:30:04 PM »
Arrgh, just wrote a long reply and lost it  :'( >:( ;D


ourclarioncall

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 09:39:20 PM »
It logged out for some reason

Short version- Iím open to to rohloff or derailleur , but the rohloff is more appealing. Would like to try a belt but donít like the thought of having that split in the frame on the nomad 3 for example. Nomad 2 frame is more appealing especially coz I want a black frame , in fact it has to be black 😁 unreasonable demand based on vanity and asthetics I know.

I would like to do long distance touring , my dream would be to bike to Israel / Egypt

Iíd like to stay near towns and villages wherever I go and possibly to a bit of camping or stay in hotels , so Iím not looking to be able to load up a weeks worth of food and water and spend a week in a forest somewhere, so maybe the Sherpa or raven would be better choice than the nomad. Saying that I like the comfort of knowing my bike if it was a nomad is over speced and can handle anything I do with ease.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 09:41:13 PM by ourclarioncall »

WorldTourer

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 09:57:47 PM »
Note that the Sherpa has been discontinued. It was a lighter sibling to the Nomad, but perhaps Thorn, too, agrees that strictly-26" touring bikes are on the way out, and the Nomad is more future-proof.

I would like to do long distance touring , my dream would be to bike to Israel / Egypt

This is only possible coming from the south in Africa. Syria is still off-limits to bike tourers after the war, and it is impossible to cross North Africa on a bike due to the closed Moroccan-Algeria border and the instability in Libya.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 09:59:58 PM by WorldTourer »

martinf

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 10:08:49 PM »
Are the Sherpa and Raven still available? I was under the impression that they had been dropped from the Thorn range, so for heavy duty touring it is now the Nomad in either Rohloff or derailleur version.

But there might still be some old stock Sherpa and Raven frames. One point is that AFAIK neither Sherpa or Raven  can use disc brakes, whereas the current Nomad, Mercury and Club Tour are designed to be able to use these.

For lighter duty touring, AFAIK it is the Mercury if you want a Rohloff or the Club Tour for derailleur.

And for unloaded day rides on tarmac a light build Mercury for Rohloff and either a light build Club Tour or an Audax for derailleur.

This has changed from when I got my touring Thorn eight years ago. At that time the Nomad was recommended for out and out expedition touring or for touring involving a high proportion of off-road use. But for my projected use of cycle-camping in Europe with occasional use of tracks and paths Thorn advised me to get a Raven instead, with heavy duty wheels and tyres.

In the event I went for a clearance Raven Tour, which was slightly cheaper and slightly heavier-duty than the more recent Raven model but lighter and not as stiff as a Nomad. It has been plenty good enough for me.

For your dream use, I suppose the Nomad would be the best current option, especially if you want disc brakes. If you can find one, a clearance Sherpa or Raven with heavy-duty wheels would IMO be a good option and more pleasant to ride unloaded for "normal" use. If you don't mind buying second-hand, a Raven or Raven Tour would be good options, as, contrary to derailleurs, the Rohloff hub generally improves with use.

Whichever (Rohloff) bike you chose, a Chainglider is a possible alternative to belt drive. I was sceptical at first, because I thought a free-floating chaincase would cause friction and noise but I am now a convert. Chainglider is a cheap way of getting the low maintenance and cleanliness advantages of a belt drive while conserving the ease of replacement of a standard chain, which should be easy to find in most countries.


ourclarioncall

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2020, 12:37:51 AM »
Thanks guys , great info

I donít know how but I found my original post that disappeared! This was it

ď
Hi, thanks for the reply

I think my problem is I want to buy one bike for every purpose , but I know I canít haha. My first choice was the nomad and I admit I just really like the aesthetic  of it especially in the largest frame size. I would also love to do long bike touring. Iím not sure I would want to be going through the worst of terrain but I do like the idea of having a bike that is overspecced for what Iím doing which would be doing things  like roads paths old railway lines gravel farmers fields mud etc. So Iíd like to be able to blast over most things.

But I wonder if I might find the nomad a bit too sluggish when I go for unloaded or lightly loaded rides and even more slow sluggish when really heavy loaded.

My background is using mountain bikes and hybrid bikes and I do about average of 10mph which seems a bit sluggish to me. But could be coz Iím a little overweight , well Iím about 6 foot tall and close to 16 stone. I see the skinny lads flying past me and wonder if the sluggishness is coming from my bodyweight

So I hear the Sherpa or maybe raven are a bit nippier/faster than the nomad, which I donít quite understand as I hear the frames are about the same weight? Is the Sherpa a bit faster feeling because of the different frame geometry ? It seems like the Sherpa has more of a straighter top bar or puts your weight a little more in a forward position ? Or is that nomads are specced with heavier forks /wheels etc ? I do like the look of the Sherpa and raven and the thought of them being a bit faster is appealing , also I canít see me as the type of guy that would load up with massive heavy loads of food and water to go camp in the woods for a week , I would more like to travel close to towns and villages , maybe a mix of camping or hotel/b and b.

I would love to ride from U.K. to Israel /Egypt and explore all that territory so what could you see me riding outside the pyramids ? 🙂

I hear that some of the bikes may only be faster in acceleration but that their average speeds might be quite similar ?

I think the audux would be too wimpy for me , I donít want something like a rode bike , it would definitely have to be more on the heavier side.

I did have a look at the club tour and wondered if that might be a good compromise and then I could guage whether I want something heavier or lighter, but maybe the Sherpa or raven would be a better risk to take .

There is a guy I just spoke to on YouTube that has both the Sherpa and the raven and he is about 80 miles from me and said I could come have a look so maybe that would be worth a shotď
« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 12:41:31 AM by ourclarioncall »

ourclarioncall

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2020, 12:47:22 AM »
Ah, i never knew it was game over for the sherpa. I see the sell Sherpa frames and Nomad 2 frames on sjs. There is a Couple of sherpas too, maybe they are getting rid of the last of their stock

Very interesting about Syria and Morocco etc. Would it be possible to go round Syria or get a boat from turkey across to Israel /Egypt area? Or the other way , if you got a boat from south of Spain to tangier morocco then took a longer way round avoiding Libya? I guess with all this covid stuff just now itís even more of a dream but still interesting to think about. I spent about 6 weeks in Morocco many moons ago , would be fun to go back

ourclarioncall

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2020, 12:54:48 AM »
I like the look of the chainglider a lot and have been looking at it and reading up.

The only thing that I was concerned about is people have said that it has damaged their rohloff, which has ? Or may have led to the case cracking open ? I may be getting my stories mixed up there, but have seen photos of rohloff with a line worn into them which could probably only have come from the chain glider . Perhaps the chainglider has been refined over time to avoid the kind of things if they are real issue ? Ido like the look of them tho and have heard good report about their effectiveness

martinf

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2020, 09:13:06 AM »
I like the look of the chainglider a lot and have been looking at it and reading up.

The only thing that I was concerned about is people have said that it has damaged their rohloff, which has ? Or may have led to the case cracking open ? I may be getting my stories mixed up there, but have seen photos of rohloff with a line worn into them which could probably only have come from the chain glider . Perhaps the chainglider has been refined over time to avoid the kind of things if they are real issue ? Ido like the look of them tho and have heard good report about their effectiveness

That has been sorted with the Rohloff-specific option for the rear part of a Chainglider.

Two things to consider if you want a Chainglider are:
- limited gearing options. For Rohloff, currently only 15, 16 and 17 for the rear sprocket and (I think) 38, 42, 44 and 48 for the chainring.
- it works best with a thin chainring. I use a Surly stainless-steel chainring, which has the advantage of being reversible when worn. The very good Thorn reversible alloy chainrings are probably too thick to use with a Chainglider.


ourclarioncall

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2020, 12:19:43 PM »
Martinf

Ah ok, good to know the chainglider is a serious option then and wonít cause any damage

Are there any other alternatives to the chainglider out there or are they the main player?

What would maintenance look like with a rohloff and chainglider ? I hear you just change rohloff oil every so many miles

What about the chain under the chainglider does that have be regularly looked at ? Do you still get a small amount of dirt/dust etc getting in through small gaps ? It looks a good 95% enclosed from what Iíve seen

martinf

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2020, 10:25:04 AM »
Ah ok, good to know the chainglider is a serious option then and wonít cause any damage
Are there any other alternatives to the chainglider out there or are they the main player?

What would maintenance look like with a rohloff and chainglider ? I hear you just change rohloff oil every so many miles

What about the chain under the chainglider does that have be regularly looked at ? Do you still get a small amount of dirt/dust etc getting in through small gaps ? It looks a good 95% enclosed from what Iíve seen

Not seen any viable alternatives to the Chainglider. Andre has tried a few and found them wanting.

Even without a chain case, maintenance, especially the chain, is already much easier with a (reliable) hub gear than on a derailleur bike (only one sprocket, one chainring, not so close to the ground so picks up less muck).

In south Brittany winter riding conditions (wet, sand, mud), water gets into a chain glider, but not much dirt. In a dry dusty environment maybe fine dust would be a problem.

I reckon the Chainglider at least doubles the maintenance intervals compared to a bare chain. With my "new" utility bike I ran a new chain inside a Chainglider for 2,600 kms on the original manufacturer's lube without any cleaning or additional lubrication. I did occasionally partly dismantle the Chainglider to check the chain was still OK. The first chain was still fairly clean when I swapped it out, so I could have left it for longer, but I like to swap chains periodically to save on sprocket/chainring wear. After removal I cleaned and relubed the first chain ready to put it back on when I take the second chain off, probably after about 2,500 kms.

geocycle

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2020, 03:46:16 PM »
That sounds like a great trip!  I absolutely love my rohloff hub and would not be without it.  I got it in 2006 as part of a Raven Tour and it is now in a Raven Sport Tour frame with 40,000+ miles on the clock.  These models are now discontinued. 

For your intended use I'd now be looking at either a Raven or a Nomad, either would do the job very well.  I am sure the Mercury is a tough bike relative to most other makers but is not specified to have as high a load bearing as the Raven or Nomad (it is also more than £3k).  Until recently I would have plumped for the Raven as it is cheaper and would still easily do the job.  26 inch wheels are strong and might have some advantages outside Europe.  However, the MK3 Nomad frame gives the option of different wheel sizes and disc brakes which will help future proof it as others have said. If looking for another go everywhere bike with expedition use it would be the Nomad (with a nice Ti audax bike in the shed!).

 

JohnR

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2020, 07:24:00 PM »
In case you haven't read the Thorn bible, it's at http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/thorn_mega_brochure.pdf and reflects the current range which includes guidance on load carrying capacity. Also read Andy Blance's "Living with a Rohloff" http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/ThornLivingWithARohloff.pdf.

Last year I bought a non-Thorn bike with a Rohloff hub and the Gates CDX belt drive thinking that the latter was maintenance-free. However, during the winter I spent a lot of time trying to identify the source of creaking noises and tightening every bolt and screw I could find. One day I scrubbed the belt and then the noise went away. Since then I've bought my Mercury http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13958.0. One other disadvantage of the belt drive is that it can be seriously expensive to change the gearing as it will involve not only a new chainring or sprocket but most likely also a new belt. So far, my Mercury hasn't been asked to carry more than a rack bag.

I've very recently gone down the ChainGlider route and it seems to be running OK with the main challenge being finding a suitable steel chainring  http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13973.0. I checked a few days ago and the Chainglider is definitely not rubbing on the shell of Mr Rohloff's hub gears.

ourclarioncall

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Re: Thorn bike spectrum
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2020, 06:08:16 PM »
Apologies for the late reply

Thanks for the replies and the details. Iím very analytical so love love long length detailed posts 🙂

There is so much to read on this forum Iím getting lost 😊