Thorn Raven build

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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:55 pm

Thorn Raven build

Postby alexf » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:08 pm

Here are the details of one of our Thorn Raven builds, after the Surly Troll fell through. The build came in total to a smidgeon less than 4000. We got lots of parts on special, a full list and locations of where to get things from can be found here: ... sp=sharing

The Thorn Raven frame costed about $900 shipped to Australia. This included a staggering $200 of shipping costs. There is space to add some stuff to the box though, like bottle cages, and small parts. SJS ship with Parcelforce, imho their service has slipped somewhat given they use Auspost to deliver on this end, instead of their own couriers.

What is in the box? The frame + fork set comes with a very long 27.2mm black alu seatpost, a fsa orbit xl2 headset, with all necessary things pressed onto the headtube + fork, so all you need to do is to assemble the headset in the right order, and then adjust as per normal. All frames also come with an eccentric bottom bracket, mine is gold coloured, which is quite nice. At time of ordering, only black and red was available, so we both ended up getting red bikes. We also ordered the 15 pound frame prep, which involves threads cleared of paint, greasing, and installing appropriate bolts. I did not feel like there was a lot of grease in the threads, so I pray that the eccentric bottom bracket is greased properly, as I have not done anything except rotate it around. The bolts installed into the braze ons had the usual type which you can use a allen key for, but also hex bolts which you need a wrench for. I complained bitterly about these, until I realised that the included bottom bracket accessory, double as a pedal wrench AND also has a hex wrench slot to adjust the hex bolts Thorn uses. Nifty. Other accessories included a bottle of paint, which I had to use after the SKS mudguards scratched up the frame. What I felt was missing are instructions for the eccentric bottom bracket.


First impressions Shiny. Paintwork, and dropouts are all very impressive. The fork is very beautiful, there are cutouts on the crown; it has this really straight line elegance that I can't really describe.


I did a clamp on job with the handlebar extenders to enable the fork to stay on the frame, while waiting for spacers to come. Then, I did the easy things, like installing the Brooks, bottom bracket, and chainset.


Moving on to harder things, I installed the Deore XT brakes, and also the tyres on the wheels. I turns out that the brakes are most comfortable with 2 inch tyres. Anything bigger, and I have to deflate the tyres to get them in. This is also the same with the Tubus Duo front racks, because they have a bolt that stick into the middle of the forks. I think there is just enough clearance for the P65 (wide) SKS mudguards. (There is in the front, have not tried the 2.3 inch tyres at the back yet). I had some difficulty installing the rohloff cable guide into the brake boss, due to the recessed nature of the bolt.


Then, I installed the Tubus Cargo and Duo, rear and front racks. In the process, I replaced all of the hex bolts Thorn kindly put in with allen key type ones, as supplied with the racks. This went smoothly. However, when it came to installing the SKS mudguards, much tears were to be had. First, the front sks p65 (65mm) does NOT fit the Thorn forks. A bit of surgery resulted in some cutouts to go around the blades. Second, it all looked so tight, but with a bit of fiddling I think the tyres will clear the mudguards. Heaven forbid if there is mud though, I think this must be why they don't recommend them for 'expedition' touring. Third, the mudguard mounting points on the Thorn are in weird places. There is a bolt under the fork which I think is for the mudgard, I ignored it and mounted the front mudguard with the light. The rear mudguard mounting point is below the bridge, which means that I had to bend the sks fitting to get it to fit correctly. Also, the front mudguard attaches to the middle of the fork, instead of the tips, so a trip to the hardware store was required to obtain bolt cutters to cut the struts... They were a pain in the arse to fit.

By the time all of this was done, my spacers and stem had come, which meant that I was able to complete the bike. The cable routing was strange, but I figured it out by looking on the Thorn webpage. (See, it would have been nice if they included instructions). The Rohloff hub was very easy to install. The oil just went in. I had the cable cutter hook thing to measure the gear cables correctly. I thought this was a compulsory part, but it turns out it isn't. I ruined an expensive X1 chain while misadjusting the eccentric bottom bracket. I thought I needed a half link, but eventually realised I just had to unscrew the bolts of the eccentric all the way out, and it would rotate 360 deg, giving the necessary tension on the chain. The lights were the final thing to go on, and they were fairly easy to install as well, although I did have to play around with the mounting options on the front to make sure it worked with the mudguard. Anyway, the end result:


I am very happy with it. The brakes squeal, but meh. The thing I am most proud of is the fact that I excessively used my torque wrench, locktite, and washers on every bolt... Thank you to all forum members who gave advice. I partly could not have done this without you all :)

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il padrone
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Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
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Re: Thorn Raven build

Postby il padrone » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:15 am

It looks to be a very nicely set-up bike that you have. I take it this is the Raven Tour. Very nice forks that they put on this frame. It looks ready for many happy touring adventures on the open road.

A couple of quick points:

* those mudguard mounts - I drilled out the rivets for the SKS brackets at the fork and used the mount underneath the crown to bolt in a hex-bolt. Same for the rear brake-bridge, I just measured and drilled a hole in the guard and bolted it up. Can't imagine how you'd use the conventional bracket here ?? This would give you more clearance from the tyre here.

* the tail-light is a Seculite. This is designed to be fastened to the rear mudguard as shown below. The back of the light is shaped to fit around the mudguard. Mounted on the rear rack like you appear to have it, will result in the LED pointing down towards the road and will not be optimising the light's visibility to drivers.


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