Author Topic: Sherpa "COVID"  (Read 1646 times)

LorenzoB

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2021, 06:24:13 PM »
Ups..evidently I have opened a can of worms  :o

All the feedback is useful for me. I have to admit that Leftpoole's bikes look good, and mine maybe has a stem that is probably longer than it needs to be. But the fact is that when I ordered the bike I could not visit the SJS shop (Covid closure), so I decided to trust the advice they gave me. Now with my tweaks the bike rides well and is comfortable, that's what is most important to me. The next frame I will buy I will definitely visit the shop and try a few frames out.

I generally think that given how different our bodies are it is possible that frame configurations that do not look good are the best fit. If you look at the bikes of Sheldon Brown, you will notice that some of his bikes (including a two handlebar Thorn Raven) look just horrible. And many of the old Koga-Miyatas were not truly good looking according to modern aesthetic standards, despite their recognised high quality.

No.. but.. seriously, my bike looks great ! In Italy we say "Ogni scarrafone e' bello a mamma sua" -> Loosely translated: Every cockroach looks beautiful to his mother  ;D

martinf

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2021, 09:42:59 PM »
Lewis - I am tempted by the 1.6 supremes. I am sure they are faster than my current ones and would probably be perfect for the spotless bicycle paths of the country where I live. I just would like to do a longish test trip with my 2'' supremes, decently loaded with camping gear,  before starting swapping tires.

I have 1.6 Supremes on my Raven Sport Tour, I use this bike for lightly-loaded day rides, mainly, but not exclusively, on good road surfaces. For my purposes, even on this sort of lightweight bike, the 1.6 Supremes are better than the 1.25 and 1.35 inch tyres I used previously, with no noticeable performance loss on long rides. I suspect that the effect of the increased comfort outweighs any possible extra rolling resistance.

I prefer the 2.0 Supremes on my touring and utility bikes. IMO the wider tyre copes better with heavy loads and unmetalled tracks or paths.

Not in the 26" size, but I expect the conclusion would be similar:

I went from 1.6 Supremes to 2.0 on my old 650B utility bike, the 1.6 Supremes went to my wife's 650B bike which doesn't have enough clearance for 2.0.

After the change I noticed a very slight performance drop and a significant increase in the ability to cope with mild off-road riding. The bike also felt more reassuring with a heavy shopping load. Comfort also increased slightly, but the 1.6 Supremes were already pretty good in that respect.

Before that I had Schwalbe Marathon 1.65 inch tyres on this bike. Both the widths of Supreme had better rolling resistance and comfort than the Marathons, which were already a vast improvement on the 1970's style Michelin tyres I previously had on this bike.

Possible downsides to Supremes are the very thin sidewalls, which could get damaged more easily than heavier tyres like the Marathon. Though so far I have done 28,000 kms on various Supremes without incident.
And the price, they are more expensive. But they seem to last a long time, my longest serving Supreme has done 11,000 kms so far and still has lots of tread.

leftpoole

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2021, 08:24:46 AM »
Ups..evidently I have opened a can of worms  :o

All the feedback is useful for me. I have to admit that Leftpoole's bikes look good, and mine maybe has a stem that is probably longer than it needs to be. But the fact is that when I ordered the bike I could not visit the SJS shop (Covid closure), so I decided to trust the advice they gave me. Now with my tweaks the bike rides well and is comfortable, that's what is most important to me. The next frame I will buy I will definitely visit the shop and try a few frames out.

I generally think that given how different our bodies are it is possible that frame configurations that do not look good are the best fit. If you look at the bikes of Sheldon Brown, you will notice that some of his bikes (including a two handlebar Thorn Raven) look just horrible. And many of the old Koga-Miyatas were not truly good looking according to modern aesthetic standards, despite their recognised high quality.

No.. but.. seriously, my bike looks great ! In Italy we say "Ogni scarrafone e' bello a mamma sua" -> Loosely translated: Every cockroach looks beautiful to his mother  ;D

Bravo! 8) 8) 8) 8)

PH

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2021, 02:33:17 PM »
Ups..evidently I have opened a can of worms  :o
It's an old can, but the worms keep changing.  At one time it was uncool and open to criticism to have more than a handful of seatpost showing, yet people won the TdF with bars a lot higher than is currently fashionable.  If a bikes suits you I don't know what else matters, if it doesn't then that's something you'll find out for yourself.  Whether or not it fits in with someone else's idea of what it should be is irrelevant.  Of course we all have our preferences, but it's best to apply them to our own bikes rather than others.
The cockroach analogy is a good one, I'll remember that.

steve216c

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2021, 05:57:32 PM »
Congratulations on the home brewed bike. I still have a self made bike initially born from the shimano components salved from a bent Dawes framed MTB and married to an aluminium Emmelle frame purchased 2nd hand from someone upgrading his MTB to magnesium frame in the early 90s- a time where aluminium frames were still exotic. After almost 30 years of abuse, upgrades and sensible downgrades of most components it still rides well, and used with trailer attached for supermarket runs still. It always rode way better than it looked too. That cockroach was loved too...

Sadly the last BB change will be the last as the BB thread is worn and damaged and was a struggle to fit. But when I eventually retire that bike, I will be grateful for the experience I gained in bike building, repairs, servicing and riding. Although I am fortunate enough that I  can afford to pay for repairs or to simply buy new when something breaks, I get real enjoyment and satisfaction by tinkering with my bikes myself. I hope you get similar enjoyment with your Sherpa.
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

LorenzoB

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2021, 07:33:53 PM »
Thank you Steve. There is indeed a feeling of satisfaction for giving new life to oldish components that still work.

I don't want to give the Thorn Forum members the impression that my Sherpa COVID is made of junk. The rear derailler is a Deore, the front (triple) crankset  is Alivio but in excellent condition, and the brakes are brand new Deore. The chain is new. The shift lever are also good Shimano, the handlebar a good quality Bontrager, etc. So not top of the line components, but decent ones.

But starting from components I knew that worked together on a preexisting bike helped me to avoid the anxiety of buying expensive components that either do not work well together,  or are unecessarily expensive while not delivering on the aspects that are most important to me.

Now that I have a bicycle that works I can start improving, having a reference/base case that is already pretty good and a bike I was able to enjoy from day 1!

I went to a a touring bicycle shop the other day and was horrified by the prices of entry level bicycles. A good frame is for life, but components do not need immediately to be top of the line if the customer does not even know what top of the line means  ;D At least Thorn gives you the option of choosing the components.

P.S. I include myself in those customers   

There are many expenses in touring, and the bicycle is just the beginning. I need a sleeping bag now  ;D



John Saxby

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2021, 06:53:30 PM »
Lorenzo, you've built yourself a do-anything bike that looks terrific and works for you -- well done!

You've got a bike that will last a long time, and because you know it well, you can refresh/upgrade/adapt it as you choose to.

Enjoy your research into touring gear, getting it, and using it.  There's a lot of experience in this forum, so send out questions whenever you want.

Pandemic supply-chain problems aside (he said, airily) there's a wide array of quality lightweight gear available.  "Quality" and "lightweight" together mean that it ain't cheap, but if you know what you need, and buy deliberately, the costs are manageable.  And, your gear will last a long time.  I still use some 40-year-old gear. My general (unsolicited!) advice would be: Avoid false economies -- buy quality, or repent at leisure.  "Buy quality" need not mean expedition-grade stuff.  The upper end of the mid-range band has worked well for me.

Good luck, John

LorenzoB

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2021, 08:57:37 PM »
Thanks John - I will follow your suggestion. You are right: a good component will always find its use - in the original bike or in another.

I am now educating myself on gear combinations exploiting the wealth of information on the topic I received from Danneaux, and when decided I will  try to buy the best gear I can.

I am very glad for the excellent advice and feedback I have received in this forum. It's truly a gold mine.

Lorenzo


leftpoole

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2021, 10:58:14 AM »
  the wealth of information on the topic I received from Danneaux

Mmmmmm.....indeed.....'good old' Dan.....

in4

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2021, 09:34:25 PM »
Following a few other forum focussed on similar bikes and adventures Iím struck by how this one remains a welcoming, informing and good-natured one. Whether itís Covid-19 related I donít know but some of the posts on other forum seem quite abrasive, unkind and even unfathomably nasty.
I liken this forum to a great cafe that serves mugs of tea, pieces of cake,  words of advice, and plenty of leg pulling. Shall I pour?!  ;)

leftpoole

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2021, 07:28:39 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

leftpoole

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2021, 10:21:02 AM »
I went to a a touring bicycle shop the other day and was horrified by the prices of entry level bicycles.

What type of cycle shop and where was this please?
I have never actually seen a 'touring bike shop' other than St John Street Cycles!

LorenzoB

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2021, 07:39:35 PM »
Of course I was talking about NL.

I think there are a few. I am aware of Bike4Travel in Rotterdam, and  there is a similar one in Amsterdam (fietsvakantiewinkel?don't remember right now), and then there is the main shop of Santos, which focusses mostly on touring. I am sure there are others, considering how many cyclists there are in the NL and that many people here are willing to spend good money on a bicycle. Apart from Santos, most of these shops sell bikes but do not actually manufacture or design the frame like Thorn does.

I visited Bike4Travel and they were nice and competent, although I only bought some accessories so it is difficult to judge.

I still think Thorn has a nicer approach to selling bicycles. Through the Thorn Bible, the forum, sales and technical staff, they explain WHY you need to buy good components, and if you happen to be tight in budget they still offer you a bicycle - always with a durable frame - and advice. The impression I got by visiting the webshops of touring bike shops in NL and Germany, and a couple of actual "physical" shops, is that the only way to get into bicycle touring is to buy a bicycle with high-spec components of about 3000 Euros. This scares off many people, who could benefit from a solid, comfortable frame but do not see the justification for spending 300 euros on a good crankset (am I thinking about my wife?  ;D). That's why I chose Thorn.

   



 

 






in4

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2021, 10:11:23 PM »
Probably semantics. Read it as a shop that sells touring bikes. :)

WorldTourer

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Re: Sherpa "COVID"
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2021, 11:17:29 PM »
most of these shops sell bikes but do not actually manufacture or design the frame like Thorn does.

Thorn frames are (like most respected touring frames) manufactured in Taiwan to Thornís specifications, I believe, and not in house.