For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
Just heard from a friend who is organising to buy two Thorn Nomads. His wife takes a small frame and they don't have any small enough, so he's looking at the German brand Patria. I'd never heard of this one, but their Terra is one of the closest things to a Nomad I've seen.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
b/f may or may not be right. You will probably find the answer here: http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?board=9.0
If not I bet you will get an answer from a Raven user within 24 hours.
My reading of the Thorn RT price list indicates you can put tyres up to 2.25" on the RT (not the RST).
FWIW they are significantly slower if more comfortable than say a 1.5" or 1.75" tyre, so if your riding mainly on sealed roads they're probably overkill.
Here's a snippet from the RT brochure that seems to cover your question.
Yes Tan, that is what it says in the Thorn Raven brochure.
Well, this is a subject that I have spent my hours reading about and studying.
My initial idea was to go for the Nomad and then I started to fancy the Raven Tour but lately I've gone back to thinking about the Nomad. I should have made my purchase about 8 weeks ago but circumstances have led me to put things off for a little while. But I will be ordering my bike within the next few days and this is my thinking about the choice.
First port of call for me was il Padrones post about his Nomad build.
You won't go far wrong at all following il Padrones specs for a really well equipped bike. I'm stealing heaps of ideas from him.
The next thing that I did was to download the pdf documents from the Thorn site at,
which told me a lot about the bike specs and some of the thinking behind their design.
The Tour was initially the way I was going to go but I started to read CGOAB journals and realising that I wanted to do some of these crazy bike journeys. That is when the Nomad started to make sense because of its carrying capacity. When you realise that there are so many places especially here in Aus. where you seriously have to consider carrying in excess of 10 kg of water alone, you start to question the carrying capacity of the Tour versus the Nomad. Then the question of tyre size becomes a major consideration. Having travelled so many tracks and roads, there are most definitely times when the widest tyre that you can fit becomes quite important. And that little extra tyre width on the Nomad makes that choice just a little more attractive.
I thought of how often I would need/like this extra carrying capacity and tyre choice and although it is not going to be a common occurrence, the thought of being leaving myself short of water or being stranded with a broken bike isn't what I wanted to be thinking about. I'm not really fussed about the bike not being as quick as the Tour, if I wanted speed, I would ride one of the motorbikes.
Mind you, having said all that, I'm not a small bloke. Apparently, when my friends call me a big bastard, they are not just talking about my attitude.
As for whether to buy and assemble here versus buying in England, unless you are heading off pretty soon, then assembling the bike here has some real advantages.
With respect to RonK, assembling, not building a bike is no big deal even without prior experience. I say assembling because that is what you would be doing. Most if not all of the parts that you would be buying would have printed instructions included. It is really just a process of spending a little time on the Park Tools website
and the Sheldon Brown site,
to first work out what bike specific and essential tools you will need, then it really becomes a matter of having all the parts that you need, the tools and the patience to lay every thing out and read and follow the instructions. Even if you should have a niggle of doubt about something, there is plenty of advice through this and other forums and don't forget Thorns own forums. The only thing that you really need to consider is whether you buy the wheels and hubs complete or if you have a local bike shop that could build the wheels for you. And seriously consider buying a dynamo hub for the front wheel. Power your lights and charge up your gadget batteries unless you expect to have a powered site most night or you can live without your gadgets.
More info on dynamo hubs and lighting at,
Buying the tools to assemble the bike means that you will know and have the tools that you should be touring with.
When you do assemble your own bike, you will then be well placed to pick up the right tool and tweak to your hearts content until everything fits you just so. And if you should have a problem, you are well on the way to diagnosing and fixing that problem yourself.
If you have the time, you will also be able to load up and take your bikes on a local tour or two. It's a very good way to work what you would like to have and what you really should have without having to add or post home what you don't need. It's also a good way to start on that level of fitness that you will appreciate if you are to go cycling in Britain. As a POM, let me tell you that a hell of a lot of Great Britain is pretty bloody hilly. Australia appears to be very flat until you start biking around it but GB will really test your fitness until you harden up.
If you are still keen to read about bikes after all that, for the female rider
Thanks all for the input/advice and those extra links for further reading..
Sounds like back to the drawing board on the Raven vs Nomad! That German one looks good, but unfortunately enough of the website (particularly specs pages and further info) is not in English!
Off to do some more reasing and research me thinks. Thanks again!!
[quote="il padrone"]Just heard from a friend who is organising to buy two Thorn Nomads. His wife takes a small frame and they don't have any small enough, so he's looking at the German brand Patria. I'd never heard of this one, but their Terra is one of the closest things to a Nomad I've seen.
Interesting set of brakes on that bike.
Magura HS 33 hydraulic brakes.
I have Avid brakes on the present bike and although they work well, I do seem to spend more time than I would like adjusting the brake blocks to the rim.
The XTR brakes as mentioned as an upgrade on the Nomad look quite attractive but at around $200 for the Magura from Chain Reaction, well it's another decision to be made after much tossing and turning!
I would personally steer away from hydraulic brakes, I do regard them to be better but it's not a system you want to be dealing with if something goes wrong in the middle of no where. I'd stick to cable actuated V-brakes or disks...
I appreciate what you are saying but from what I have read, they do appear to have a good reputation as regards reliability etc.
This post on Thorn Cycles forum appears pretty representative,
http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/ind ... pic=2549.0
I have read very similar comments about all sorts of changes over the years, one of the most debated and sometimes very heated dicussions has been about ABS braking systems on motorbikes. Me, I have ABS on my motorbike and would always choose ABS wherever possible. And the same things or attitudes have been expressed about Rohloff hubs.
So, unless it can be pointed out or shown that there are definite disadvantages, particularly from experience, that certain items of equipment or choices of setup etc. are detrimental, I'm inclined to discount comments about dealing with what might go wrong out in the middle of nowhere comments.
Please don't get me wrong, I appreciate that you have taken the time to read my post and comment and I hope that you will continue to do so, but I have taken the opportunity to try and clearly explain how I feel about these things for my own benefit and hopefully for the benefit of others.
Let's not let the fear of what might go wrong dissuade us from trying something new. I've always thought that as bike riders, we are inclined to be mechanically adventurous and a little braver that the general population.
Well, that's my excuse anyway. : )
Well, no - cycle tourists in particular seem to be predominately ultra-conservative retro-grouches.
But it only take a little research to discover that apart from the Patria, it is quite common for quality European trekking bikes (Koga Miyata, Santos, idworx, Van Nicholas to mention a few more) to be fitted with Magura hydraulic rim brakes, and according to the feedback I've been able to discover bikes fitted with these brakes have been used quite successfully in some very remote places on the world tour. Clever people those Germans - they can make a quality product that is durable, reliable, and very efficient.
If I didn't already have a brand new set of Avid SL V-brakes in my treasure chest they would have been a strong candidate for my Van Nicholas Pioneer project.
No problem Footloose,
Nicely worded reply...
My reply was given taking into consideration a "worst case scenario", which I do believe should be thought of when touring, hiking, backpacking etc. If you are travelling on a route that has regular access to bike shops etc then that's fine, stick with the hydraulic brakes be it disc (new) or rim (old) style but if I was planning an epic tour that could include Mongolia, South America, Central Australia etc then I feel that cable actuated will be more than up to the task and a safer alternative.
I don't have a regular income being a full time student again so prefer to purchase items/parts that cover as many bases or scenarios as possible that's why I'm considering buying a Rohloff Speedhub to lessen long term costs & any potential issues cassettes, chains & derailleurs.
It's only an opinion, your choice but good luck with whatever you choose and have fun!
By the way I'm not conservative, I keep telling roadies that disc brakes will be the go in a few years but always a negative feedback...
There's one thing for sure on an Internet forum, if you have any preconceptions about age and conservatism, you are in for an awakening!
On the one hand we have RonK;
Well, no - cycle tourists in particular seem to be predominately ultra-conservative retro-grouches.
RonK, I reckon I'm pretty much in the same age group as yourself and it appears from what I have gleaned from various forums apart from here, that we have done a number of similar things, e.g. we have both walked in Nepal and Tasmania amongst other places several times and have gathered our share, perhaps in your case more than me, of various items of equipment. You are way ahead of me in respect to bicycles but I also ride motorcycles. : )
But I take a different view of cycle tourists in that I believe that the large majority have their problems, work them out and pedal off into the distance without making much of a fuss at all. They look for easier and more efficient ways and means to outfit their bikes and just pedal around quietly content. And, rightly or wrongly, I see myself as being part of that group.
And judging from your posts about research and choices for your bike builds, you don't see yourself as an ultra-conservative retro-grouch.
Wingnut is considering a Rohloff hub when so many others are saying that such mechanical complexity should be avoided because there is no hope of fixing it on the road, but balks at the idea of moving to the next generation (?) of rim brakes whilst trying to convince roadies to move to disc brakes.
And we tend to think of the younger generation as being more adventurous - from my perspective, the majority of roadies and students are at least one generation removed from me!
We are a funny lot.
Wingnut, thank you for the compliment. I'm new to the forum and I like to take the opportunity to explain how I see things when I can.
But it doesn't stay like that, the devil in me pops up unexpectedly and I can let rip when somebody posts something that I think of as offensive or inane.
Having said all that, perhaps I can argue that we haven't gone too far off topic in that I hope that tan08 and others will read what we have written and feel that they can buy and assemble their own bikes with a fair degree of confidence.
Hmmm, well my motorcycling career is another story entirely, but the lessons I learned there are just as applicable to my trekking and cycle touring pursuits. I don't currently have a bike, but an R1200 GS Adventure is on the horizon when the water-cooled model is released next year.
Quite right - I'm only mildly conservative and not in the slightest sentimental. But then I've worked for a long time in IT, and embracing technological change has been part of my job description. You may have noted that some of my choices have deliberately unconventional, in defiance of the cynics. "He who never fell, never climbed."
Yes, I agree. On the forums you get the conservatives and retro-grouches focussing on the negatives - you must have this, that won't possibly work, this part will only last 20 years, and what if your thingamabob breaks in Outer Mongolia or Upper Volta and the village mechanic/blacksmith/idiot can't fix it. Then you read the blogs about the people who are out there just riding on, utterly ignorant that their bike or gear is apparently not up to scratch.
Returning to the subject, the Rohloff Speedhub is fairly widely accepted as to be almost mainstream now, with the price being the real constraint to its more widespread adoption. And reflecting on my previous comments, the trend in Oz vis touring bike specifications mostly follows the US and UK, but the European bike manufacturers seem more ready to adopt technology, and the quality, thoughtfulness and attention to detail that goes into their designs is a must see. Take a look at the idworx Off Rohler as an example and check out its design features on the Tech Info link. From the direct-mount Magura hydraulic brakes to the steering stops and the beautifully-crafted cable guides, and even little things like the light mounting bracket, it makes a Thorn Raven Nomad look positively agricultural. Had I been travelling to Europe I'd have been bringing one back with me, as I found importing one at a reasonable price very difficult. And I would have absolutely no reservations about touring Patagonia on one of these beauties.
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