Author Topic: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?  (Read 8585 times)

Danneaux

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'Chapa',

I'm 5'11'/180cm with proportions right-on average for my age cohort (53). I prefer drop 'bars, so that called for an "M" (Medium) frame with shorter top tube; I *could* have fit a 565M or the 590M. Others on the Forum with Nomads (Il Padrone Pete, Frank Revelo) are the same height. Pete went for the 565 (L, I believe) and Frank went for the 590M without drops and also chose a shorter stem as I did. I chose the larger 590M frame to reduce the amount of seatpost extension and to better get the 'bars where I wanted them. Though the larger frame had marginally less payload capacity, the longer top tube added a bit of stability in the bargain. I left my steerer uncut and used every bit remaining for my above-'bar Rohloff shifter setup. I use an inverted 60mm rider stem ("dropper" stem) to get the 'bar tops even with the top of my saddle. As an aside, I needed a long-layback seatpost to get my knee-to-pedal relationship correct with a Brooks saddle (designed in the days when bikes had much slacker seat tubes).

<nods> Yes, a riser or adjustable stem can be used to regain needed height if the steerer is too short, provided the steerer is long enough to clamp to safely above the upper headset cup.

Custom stems are another option, and can be brazed up by any framebuilder, sometimes for a pretty reasonable cost. I'm a hobbyist framebuilder and constructed my own adjustable tandem stoker stem with no problem.

Yet another option would be to use riser 'bars unless you plan to use drops. If you do go for drops, you might consider a Syntace VRO riser stem that is also adjustable for height as well as reach: http://www.syntaceusa.com/index.cfm?pid=3&pk=389

I would suggest emailing or phoning Thorn/SJS Cycles to ask how tall the head tube is on the 620 to eliminate much guesswork. Thorn are very helpful answering questions. If you don't receive an answer after a reasonable time, resubmit your query, as they sometimes have extremely high demand on services and might have missed your mail in the rush.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 04:04:55 AM by Danneaux »

rualexander

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Ok, I've just been out to the shed with a tape measure.
My Sherpa 610S has a head tube length of 245mm.
My steerer is currently 350mm so it must have been 400mm uncut, same as Dan's, I still have 90mm left between the top of the headset and the top of the stem cap.
A good photo of my Sherpa can be seen here http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=3235.15

From these measurements, it would look likely that a 300mm steerer in a 620L Nomad would barely leave enough steerer available to fit a stem or tube extender, unless the Nomad's head tube is significantly shorter than my Sherpa's.

Hope this is of some help.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 10:32:12 AM by rualexander »

cycling4chapatis

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Dan, Alex  - thanks for the info/ measuring!!

Having had another look at the nomad brochure, I actually found the head tube length: 200mm (for the 620 vs 166mm for the 590). A visual comparison of the Sherpa and the Nomad show that the headtube is closer towards the imaginary meeting point between top and down tube and accordingly shorter, all else being equal.

So it might be looking up again for ye old suspension! 300mm XL steerer, minus 200mm for the head tube, minus headset+/-...should be enough to get a stem on there and then rise up from there...? Just how to get the XL steerer to them...mmmh.

Sounds like it's time to get out the measuring tape on myself and drop Thorn a line!

macspud

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Having had another look at the nomad brochure, I actually found the head tube length: 200mm (for the 620 vs 166mm for the 590).

Well done, I couldn't see it for looking, but now when I look again, there it is, plain as day. :-[
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 03:14:02 AM by macspud »

NZPeterG

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Having had another look at the nomad brochure, I actually found the head tube length: 200mm (for the 620 vs 166mm for the 590).

Your Right  :)  

I just checked my 540L with the size in the Brochure and it bang ON

 8)

Pete
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cycling4chapatis

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2013, 08:38:54 AM »
Hi thorn forum!

Been a passive reader for a while, but brace yourself - meteorite shower of questions is coming your way (in other threads)!

Just to follow up on my original posting of taking suspension forks to South America: we're going to do it! Just got the email from Thorn that both our bikes are built and ready for collection (we're picking them up en route early next year)! Whoop! The price-tag is a bit nauseating, but hey, life's too short to ride sh** bikes.

So we'll be having a Magura Menja each (from my understanding that means there is one single one left in Thorn stores). When we ordered there weren't any V-brake compatible ones left, so we've succumbed to the disc brake world (Avid BB7 cable operated).  I had a good chase around for V-brake forks and Magura (as well as some of the Fox/ Marazocchi gang) does still make them, but then you have to find a distributor/ shop that has the three of them - pretty tiring work. Of course there are cheapy RST ones, but really not sure about their durability. In the end, what the hell, why not go the full hog with discs brakes. Neither V-brakes nor disc brakes are going to take kindly to a truck going over them. And to ye old moan of 'what do you do with bent discs?!' - well, you bend them back of course! There is special tool for that (steel with a groove of the exact diameter as the disc, bit like  spoke key), but a pair of pliers can do the same job. Won't ever be perfect again, but straight enough to keep going nonetheless.

In short: we'll be taking air-sprung forks and disc-equipped (front and Rohloff back) Nomads for a year down the Andes. I'll post here either way (trouble-free or cursing, we'll see). Having read/ watched a lot of South America touring blogs/ videos, etc. there's heaps of people taking suss forks and disc brakes and I'm yet to come one complaining about having done so.

All that's left to figure is were to get the Magura spare seals from...

After umming and ahhing about the Tubus Swing option (and firmly deciding against a trailer), Tubus sorted that problem by stopping to make them. I presume because they we're sick of people complaining that they couldn't mount them properly? Another nail in the coffin was the mention that it doesn't fit the Magura Odor, so I presume the Menja neither. As we weren't keen to fork out cash for a new set of (Carradice) panniers given that we already have the ortliebs, we are going to go with Ortlieb handle bar bags (on the T-bar accessory), rear rollers and a big rear bag (also Ortlieb, the one that clicks into the roller closing straps). With two people (i.e. half a tent, stove, pot, etc. each) that should be plenty of volume and a good incentive to keep unnecessary stuff to a minimum. That's down on the front rollers we had in Africa, but up on the big rear bag, so total volume up. Beyond that the 3 bottle cages on the frame plus 2 on the fork, mean that won't need to carry water bottles in the panniers (as we had to in Africa), at least when around human settlement.

Ah, and more point on suss fork steerer length: from chasing around various Magura contacts - they do indeed make a 300mm XL steerer, which would would fit the 620L Nomad frame head tube, but you'd have to find out where Magura sent it after making the two of them. And in the end Thorn recommended that the 590L frame would be better for me (6'3''/ 190cm height) with a suss fork to keep some 'clearance' between a rebounding top tube and some delicate rider parts.

Just a few more months!!! :-)

cycling4chapatis

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2013, 08:52:17 AM »
And one more useful link I came by: http://cyclingabout.com/index.php/2011/11/ortlieb-pannier-bag-tip/
Adding an extra pair of hooks onto ortlieb rollers to have 4 in total on each bag minimises bending at the rack when the bags are full.

Danneaux

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2013, 09:07:18 AM »
What marvelous news -- a brace of Thorns on the way and about to hit the road!

All encouragement your way, and eagerly awaiting the reports as you put the bikes to use.
Quote
Adding an extra pair of hooks onto ortlieb rollers to have 4 in total on each bag minimises bending at the rack when the bags are full.
Sure do! I use four on each rear bag (aids theft-resistance as well) *and* add double stabilizer fins as well to keep the bags firmly in place and provide a ready spare in case one fractures (they can and do, occasionally). I also add compression straps to tie the bags limpetlike to the racks to quiet them on rough roads and to minimize second-order vibrations. You should be fine with your new setup.
Quote
Just got the email from Thorn that both our bikes are built and ready for collection (we're picking them up en route early next year)! Whoop!
Whoop indeed! How exciting! All good wishes your way for an adventurous yet safe trip, filled with enjoyment and experiences to last a lifetime.

Best,

Dan.


il padrone

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2013, 09:23:02 AM »
I also add compression straps to tie the bags limpetlike to the racks to quiet them on rough roads and to minimize second-order vibrations. You should be fine with your new setup.

13mm OD/10mm ID plastic aquarium tubing (with no mounting hook spacers) on the rack top bar and vertical stay has achieved this security and silence for me now.  ;D

StuntPilot

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2013, 03:08:45 PM »
Great news on the new bikes! I bet you can't wait! A great trip ahead too!

Having managed to track down a Magura Odur coil fork set (mentioned above), I was also keen on securing spare parts. I understand that the Menja is the air version of the spring Odur model. It has the very same construction.

Here are a few places to try for Menja spares ...

http://www.bike-components.de/shop/cat/c291_Menja.html
http://www.passionbikes.de/Ersatzteile/Federgabeln-143/Federgabeln-bis-2010/Menja-85-100-XC/
http://www.bike24.com/1.php?ID=8ea78c301b3ce5acd217d0635026b9bb&content=13&navigation=1&menu=1000%2C2%2C121&search=magura+menja

I think the UK Magura Service Centre is one of these ...

http://www.racemechanic.co.uk/
http://www.maguraspares.com/

I would be looking again at putting some of that load onto the front of the bike. The stability should be improved and with less strain on the back. Have you looked at the Old Man Mountain 'Sherpa' suspension racks? Might be worth considering.

http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/FrontRacks.html
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 03:11:41 PM by StuntPilot »

mickeg

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2013, 04:50:29 PM »
I too am looking for suspension forks for the Nomad (590M).  But, not for loaded touring. 

This coming spring, several friends and I are looking at doing a vehicle supported mountain bike trip in Southern Utah (desert region of Southwest USA) for four days.  Most of the others plan to rent fully suspended bikes in Moab for the trip.  I was planning to use my Nomad instead (plan to switch to 36t chainring/16t cog).  But after several people told me that I would enjoy the trip much more if I had a suspension fork, I started to think more about a suspension on the Nomad.

I have never mountain biked with suspension, so am quite ignorant of the issues.  I rode for a week on a suspended fork on a hybrid on pavement on a fully supported tour in continental Europe, but quite frankly I never noticed anything about the fork.  That is the limit of my suspension experience.

Since the group will have vehicle support, I will only have to carry camera, a day of water, lunch, perhaps some clothes and some spares & tools on the bike.  Probably will use a small saddle bag.  So, front rack issues do not apply.

I specifically I want to use V brakes, not disk.

I have been doing my research and have read most applicable comments about a suspension fork on "Tom" at least twice.  Have also read all pertinent suspension comments in the Nomad sales brochure.

I recognize that the fork might get 4 days of use and then sit in storage in perpetuity.  But, since renting a bike would cost almost $200 (USD) for the trip, I figure if I spend up to $200 for a fork, it is not really costing me anything.  I am retired and do my own bike work, so labor cost is zero.  I built up the Nomad last spring and would prefer to try the Nomad in a new environment than rent someone else's bike, so that is why I would prefer to buy a fork.

Am considering a RockShox XC32TK fork with brake bosses - coil spring.  If this is a bad idea, I would really like to hear what is wrong with the fork for this purpose. 

It is my understanding that the XC32TK is a slight downgrade from the Recon on "Tom", the Recon apparently has a better stanchion design.  The Recons that I see on line cost over the $200 USD threshold.

The Menja would cost more than twice as much.  Thus, I am not very interested in that option.  And, just in case I decide to use the fork for touring later, I would prefer coil over air for reliability.

I did some searches on some mountain bike forums to see what others said about the RockShox XC28, XC30 and XC32, and most were saying that the XC28 and XC30 were not that good.  But I was not seeing any negative comments on the XC32 except by the elitists that want air springs.

I have a sprung Brooks, have a cheap sprung seatpost that I might use, but might just use the solid seatpost instead.  I might actually bring both and decide when I get there.

I am unsure if I will be able to fit my Thorn T Bar for handle bar bag on the steerer, but that is not critical.  Otherwise I am sure that the steerer is long enough.

Any comments anyone?

Should I anticipate any difficulty getting a steering bearing race off of the solid fork?  Are FSA races easily obtainable for the second fork?

Thanks.


cycling4chapatis

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2013, 03:13:58 AM »
Hello fellow Thorns!

Stuntpilot - awesome work on those spares links, had put that research in the 'tough one' basket, thank you so much!

Out of all those offerings, which ones/ how many would you recommend for two forks, up to 20,000km and 1 year?

Going with the first link, what do you think of this:
- 1 spare lock-out knob (the blue thing)
- 2 O-ring sets (black rings pic)
- 2 of the bottom-out rings (yellow ring pic)
- 2 of the hollow screws
- 2 of the red headed screws

- what about the "Unterbeinschraube"? (I understand German, but without a pic it's a bit hard to picture where that screw goes)

That's about 100Euros of spares all up, but might be worth it ward off evil spirits! By the sounds of it we could easily go through the whole trip without using a single one, but then going without will get me all mechanically paranoid again...

I've been contact with the UK addresses (they both end up with the same one guy). He replied a while ago with that info that I posted re fork lubes/ oils, but hasn't replied with the spares listing, might be xmas busy...

Re racks on suss fork: I had a feeling there would be alternatives to the Tubus Swing, but while the latter hung the weight off the frame, all the others including the Oldmanmountain ones seem to fix them to the wheel section. Considering the weight of front panniers (easily >10kg with two of them), that would take that moving part of the fork from <2kg (wheel plus lower fork part) to >500% of the intended weight, which just can't be good longevity, don't you think? And all that said, with two bottle cages on the fork (2x1.5kg filled) plus putting heavier stuff in the handlebar bag (e.g. tools) I feel we should e able to shift packed weight forward at least to some extent.

Thanks also for the rack tips. The Thorn racks also need the Ortlieb inserts in the hooks, which just seem destined for going walkabout (hence needing to buy replacements). Aquarium tubing - I take it the ortieb hooks without insert are for something close to 13mm diameter? You cut the tubing lengthways, put it on and duct-tape it? And re double fins - you just insert a second one in the lower pannier mounting groove facing the other direction?

Mickeg - our bikes will have the accessory bar. I presume it just displaces the rings that usually sit between the top of the head tube and the stem connection. Just look up steerer length of your desired fork and subtract your nomads headtube length and the stem attachment length. If you've got say 5cm/2'' left you should be fine.

Man, this is like researching for having babies!!! ;-)

il padrone

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2013, 03:57:49 AM »
Each to their own mickeyg, but for all this hassle I'd just be hiring the suspension MTBs. For real trail riding (if that's what it is) a well-specced dually is going to much more fun, and comfortable, to ride than your Thorn.

il padrone

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2013, 04:11:51 AM »
Re racks on suss fork: I had a feeling there would be alternatives to the Tubus Swing, but while the latter hung the weight off the frame, all the others including the Oldmanmountain ones seem to fix them to the wheel section. Considering the weight of front panniers (easily >10kg with two of them), that would take that moving part of the fork from <2kg (wheel plus lower fork part) to >500% of the intended weight, which just can't be good longevity, don't you think? And all that said, with two bottle cages on the fork (2x1.5kg filled) plus putting heavier stuff in the handlebar bag (e.g. tools) I feel we should e able to shift packed weight forward at least to some extent.

Friends of mine have been touring for many years on regular shorter tours (3 - 20 days) using low rider and high mount racks, fitted to suspension forks using hose clamps and rubber packing. I do believe that Tubus supply some mounts designed for non-eyeletted frames of this style - not sure about large enough for suspension forks.

It's a shame the Tubus Swing is no longer available, but it was a bit dated as it no longer fits the newer styles of supension fork crowns. I guess a redesign was not justified by the low sales. There used to be this one also - the Faiv Hoogar, another German design, using a sliding rail lower mount. Not sure whether it is really still available, but 220 Euro is pretty prohibitive  :o






Putting heavy weight in a handlebar bag with just rear panniers is a bad load balance option IMHO. I have seen several nasty falls on tar and gravel by friends riding down hills with just this combo. It can produce speed wobbles on tarmac, and a lighter loaded front end is prone to skating on loose stones, or bouncing on rolling bumps. I would always recommend load in front low-riders as much better stability-wise.

Thanks also for the rack tips. The Thorn racks also need the Ortlieb inserts in the hooks, which just seem destined for going walkabout (hence needing to buy replacements). Aquarium tubing - I take it the ortieb hooks without insert are for something close to 13mm diameter? You cut the tubing lengthways, put it on and duct-tape it? And re double fins - you just insert a second one in the lower pannier mounting groove facing the other direction?

Ortlieb hooks without the inserts are about 16mm. I've used the 13mm tubing, slit lengthways and secured on the rack with cable-ties.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 06:10:37 AM by il padrone »

NZPeterG

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Re: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2013, 09:04:13 AM »
Hi All,
Look! the only things we replace on all the forks at work are New Fork seals and Oil.

I would Not Take any spare parts as this will just add to your load, Take the tools you need and only order the spare parts IF you need them, in the end most Cycle Tourists sent KG's of gear and have more fun being lighter.

As for Forks, the RockShox XC32TK are good forks, there is a lot of good new (NOS) on E-Bay, have a look!

I have charged my Tom back to STD Thorn Nomads forks  :o I do ride hard offroad (over drops etc) and if you lower your tyre pressures all is Fun and Simple.

Happy Cycling All

Pete

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