Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

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Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:13 pm

Some photos are up here of my new tourer, the Thorn Raven in progress. The main thing to do now is to connect up the Rohloff cables and fine tune the gears, then finish off the light setup :D

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by BNA » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:14 pm

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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:14 pm

Very nice I like that set-up so well done look forward to the ride report.

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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:36 pm

It's looking good. It will be interesting to see the full parts specification. Do you think you made a saving by building it yourself?
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Too easy. The fit-out has already been listed :wink:

Part Component Brand
Frame & fork Thorn Raven Nomad
Hub (front) Schmidt SON 28
Hub (rear) Rohloff Speedhub 14
Wheels - Rims Rigida Andra 30 CSS
Wheels -      Spokes, building, rim tape Cycle Science
Handlebar Thorn
Handgrips Ergon GC3
Brake levers Avid FR5
V-brake calipers Avid Single Digit 5
Brake pads Swisstop blue
Cables & housing Transfil Black Snake
Crankset Thorn
Chainring Thorn 42t
Bottom bracket Shimano UG-72
Pedals Time Alium
Chain KMC X8
Headset FSA Orbit XL2
Stem Titec Hellbent Prolite
Seatpost FSA Orbit XL2
Saddle Brooks Conquest
Tyres Vittoria Randonneur Cross
Tubes Schwalbe
Mudguards SKS Chromoplastic
head-light Supernova E3 Pro
tail-light Supernova E3 Tail-light
Rear-view Mirror B&M Cyclestar
Rear Rack Tubus Cargo
Front rack Tubus Duo
Kickstand Pletscher staymount
Bell Incredibell


As far as the cost savings are concerned, I estimate I've made a saving of ~ $500-$800 on buying the bike direct from Thorn complete. Not as much as I'd initially hoped, but then I've spent rather more than I initially planned :oops: . It has not been a groupset transplant from the old tourer, rather nearly all new gear.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:20 am

il padrone wrote:The main thing to do now is to connect up the Rohloff cables and fine tune the gears,

That looks sweet (and sturdy!). Have fun setting up the hub. I cut my cables exactly as specced in the instructions but seem to have wound up with a bit too much play. Result is that I have 13 gears instead of 14. I've set it to run gears 2-14 and so far I haven't needed to go below fourth gear, even hauling stuff on a trailer (sealed surfaces tho'). One day I'll get back in there and nip a few more mill off. :D
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:34 am

RonK wrote:Not as much as I'd initially hoped, but then I've spent rather more than I initially planned .


Yes, this what I found when I built my Sabbath - I built a better bike than the standard spec. It was still a saving really, but not in cash terms.

But if you saved $500-$800 on the complete bike, and the import costs (10% GST on the landed price + custom agents fee), then that was very worthwhile.

I'm tempted to go this way to build an off-road tourer. Most factory spec Rohloff bikes are incredibly expensive, so this looks to be a way of achieving value. I'd likely go for the frame with couplers.

The only thing I find off-putting is the weight. I had an opportunity to heft one recently and it seemed very heavy - around 18kg at a guess. And with my arthritic joints, the weight is important.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:49 am

il padrone wrote:Hub (front) Schmidt SON 28
Hub (rear) Rohloff Speedhub 14
Wheels - Rims Rigida Andra 30 CSS
Wheels -    Spokes, building, rim tape Cycle Science

You are fortunate to have an lbs willing to build the wheels for you. Understandably, there have been some bitter outbursts from certain bike shops recently about people turning up with parts they've bought on the internet then expecting advice or assistance with assembly.

I think I will build the wheels myself, using the same set of components you have used. To verify my calculations, do you know what type and length of spokes were used?

Is the resistance from the SON 28 very noticeable? I'm aware of the differences, but debating whether the SON Delux would be a good low drag choice to run an led front lamp and charge a gps/phone.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby Baalzamon » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:22 pm

RonK wrote:
il padrone wrote:Hub (front) Schmidt SON 28
Hub (rear) Rohloff Speedhub 14
Wheels - Rims Rigida Andra 30 CSS
Wheels -    Spokes, building, rim tape Cycle Science

Is the resistance from the SON 28 very noticeable? I'm aware of the differences, but debating whether the SON Delux would be a good low drag choice to run an led front lamp and charge a gps/phone.


What drag :? :? :? :? :? :wink:
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:15 pm

RonK wrote:
il padrone wrote:Hub (front) Schmidt SON 28
Hub (rear) Rohloff Speedhub 14
Wheels - Rims Rigida Andra 30 CSS
Wheels -    Spokes, building, rim tape Cycle Science

You are fortunate to have an lbs willing to build the wheels for you. Understandably, there have been some bitter outbursts from certain bike shops recently about people turning up with parts they've bought on the internet then expecting advice or assistance with assembly.

Seeing as these are components that are either not available in Australia, or only from a limited number of shops, I don't see this as an issue. Cycle Science in Mitcham certainly didn't. I had already told Peter about the bike project when I got him to tap and prep the frame. I have done plenty of business of various types with him - just not bought a bike from him at present.

RonK wrote:I think I will build the wheels myself, using the same set of components you have used. To verify my calculations, do you know what type and length of spokes were used?

Sapim SS spokes. I don't know exactly what length, but they measure 225mm from the elbow to the start of the nipple.

RonK wrote:Is the resistance from the SON 28 very noticeable? I'm aware of the differences, but debating whether the SON Delux would be a good low drag choice to run an led front lamp and charge a gps/phone.

Not noticeable at all. The light on the Sedona is a senso, with sensor operated switch. In late afternoon/evening I don't realise the light has come on until someone tells me about it. The drag is so low a friend of mine leaves his Schmidt-powered lights on full-time.

[edit] Just checking some stuff about Schmidt hubs on Peter WhiteCycles site, and discover the quoted figures for drag are even lower than I thought. When switched off, equivalent to a climbing grade of 1ft in 1 mile (ie 20cm in 1 km) and when turned on, like 5ft in 1 mile (ie. 1m in 1km). Riding a 0.1% grade would be imperceptible to the average human :P

Incidentally the senso switches the light on in situations where I probably would not have done so, particularly in early morning.
Last edited by il padrone on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:09 pm

It's now built and running well..... after some minor heart-ache over the Rohloff, that I thought was not going to change gears. Self-inflicted as it turns out.

Final weight is 16kg (same as the old Sedona) so I'm quite happy there. Gear range is very good and shifting is smooth and trouble-free. The Swisstop pads with Avid Single Digit Vs and those Rigida Andra CSS rims are like, WOW!! They are as sharp as the hydraulic discs when they were new for braking power. I'll have to watch that I don't end up doing emergency braking skids :shock: !

I've ridden it 10kms so far. I will take it for its first day tour tomorrow - a 90km ride to the Pancake Parlour for a meal :wink: . More photos will come after that
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:46 pm

Damn you il padrone! In a moment of envy-induced madness I clicked the buy button on a Speedhub from Bike24. Astonishingly, their price was around $500 less than the next best price I found. :D

Then, still feeling green about the gills, I went to SJS Cycles and clicked the buy button on a SON 28 and a set of Rigida Andra rims. :roll:

Madness - it's madness I tell you. :twisted:

Now, what the bloody hell am I going to use for a frame?
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:44 pm

A Thorn frame, of one variety or another ??

You'll have some bomb-proof wheels with that :wink: From what I've heard these rims will run to > 20,000kms with very little wear, and the Swisstop blue pads they need last pretty much that long as well. 8)
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:42 pm

il padrone wrote:A Thorn frame, of one variety or another ??

Every time I read the Nomad brochure (I've read it many times now), I think 'Yes, this is the frame for me'. Then I start thinking about the weight.

The Nomad has certainly not yet been excluded purely because it is such good value for money, but the current front runners are the Van Nicholas Pioneer (titanium) and the Santos Travel Master (aluminium).

Yeah, I've heard all the arguments in favour of one material over the other, but the fact that currently there is a crazy guy on his second trip to Patagonia (where I'm headed) riding a Bike Friday convinces me that the difficulties are overstated.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby mike.ayling » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:28 pm

Ronk wrote

<Yeah, I've heard all the arguments in favour of one material over the other, but the fact that currently there is a crazy guy on his second trip to Patagonia (where I'm headed) riding a Bike Friday convinces me that the difficulties are overstated.>

The link shows a photo of the Bike Friday which the writer says is 15 years old.
What frame material would it be?

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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:41 pm

mike.ayling wrote:What frame material would it be?


It doesn't matter what it is made from. What is obvious is what it is not - a heavy duty expedition bike.

If you read Andy Blance's mutterings in the Nomad brochure, then the ripio in Patagonia is so bad that only a Nomad will suffice. Sales talk of course. Bill Hoadley demonstrates that a heavy-duty bike is not a prerequisite.

As I have mentioned, there is much to like about the Nomad, and it is still in the running, but only just at around 4 kg heavier than the Pioneer.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby Baalzamon » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:02 pm

I wonder how the Surly Troll frameset would be like. Next year or 2 years in future I will be building up a touring bike and right now on my list is Thorn Raven Nomad and Surly Troll currently, but this could change due to what is available then.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:19 pm

Baalzamon wrote:I wonder how the Surly Troll frameset would be like.


I have looked at the Troll, but there were a number things that put me off. The frame is cluttered with a multitude of mounts that I'll never need. The rear dropouts are not ideal for a Speedhub, and once again it is heavy. I'd pick the Nomad first.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:21 pm

RonK wrote:As I have mentioned, there is much to like about the Nomad, and it is still in the running, but only just at around 4 kg heavier than the Pioneer.

:shock: :shock: :?

I'm sorry but you have something wrong there. I don't know what the weight of this Pioneer is but it must be made from some wonder 'Unobtanium' anti-matter tubing, because I don't believe the Thorn Nomad frame is > 4kg. I didn't weigh mine but other statements by owners suggest it is ~3.75kg. My Thorn all up weighs 16kg. A 12kg expedition tourer (or even regular tourer) would be an exceptional bike :? And the difference must be in a whole lot more than the frame.

I would be reluctant to rely on it for sustained expedition tours. One or two tours on a Bike Friday is one thing but what durability does it have after 10-15 years of such travel??
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:13 pm

il padrone wrote:A 12kg expedition tourer (or even regular tourer) would be an exceptional bike

My road tourer, pictured on your touring rigs thread, weighs approximately (within the limits of my baggage scales) 12.5kg, equipped with everything including tools and spares bag, ready to tour. It's a pleasure to ride and if it could accommodate wider tyres I'd happily take it to Patagonia. The Pioneer weighs under 12.5 kg without racks, so yes the difference may be closer to 3kg, however I do think it's likely the Nomad would be more than 16kg when ready to tour, and I suspect I'd need a larger (heavier) frame as well.

il padrone wrote:what durability does it have after 10-15 years of such travel?

Well, an example is bikertony, who has logged over 14,000 kilometres during his world expedition riding a titanium bike. However, this is irrelevant - to others there may be more important criteria than long-term durability.

What is important to me is the here and now, and perhaps the next 5 years. In 15 years I'll be in my mid-seventies, and unless I can look after my knees very well, it's unlikely I'll still be touring. Osteo-arthritis is the price I'm paying for a lifetime of active, heavy use, and it's the price all active people (yes, you too) are likely to pay eventually. The very reason I've taken up bike touring is because I'm no longer able to bushwalk or trek the Himalaya.

To extend my active life as long as possible I need to take care of my joints by exercising regularly without overloading them. To achieve this I want my bike and load to be as light as possible, within reason. But who knows, perhaps some titanium or miracle unobtainium knee joints might be the answer.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby Super Commuter » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:45 pm

Hi Il padrone

Nice bike! Looks perfect for what you want to do.

A few questions though if I may... On the E3 Supernova - how does it compare to the Schmidt Edelux you said someone else had? Did you choose it because of the compatible rear light? How does the rear light look? It seems a bit puny from here but what's it like out on the road at night?

I'm also interested in your reasoning for going for the SON28 over the Deluxe?

FYI for some time now I've been planning a Raven Sports Tour with dynamo front and rear lights as an ultimate commuting / credit card touring machine. I'm thinking Rigida Grizzly CSS Rims for strength / durability and Blue Swisstop pads with XTRs and Schwalbe Kojak 1.3s (do Vittoria Randonneur have a 26 inch thin version?) just to go all out. Do it once properly and all that. I basically want a set and forget bike for 24 hour rugged and reliable transport with absolutely minimal maintenance - I love riding but hate time in the workshop and this seems my best chance to avoid phaffing around with sprockets / truing wheels / adjusting brakes which are just the bane of my existence (alongside punctures!). I value my time with my wife and kids too highly for that. I'm informed I also might get it down to 12 kg or so this way which would be sufficient for this purpose. I've pushed back my audax aspirations due to a lack of available time with kids etc although it would be great if this bike could perhaps fit that purpose later (any comments on this plan would be welcome).
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:25 pm

Super Commuter wrote:Nice bike! Looks perfect for what you want to do.

Thanks. I'm beginning to see how it really is :D

Super Commuter wrote:A few questions though if I may... On the E3 Supernova - how does it compare to the Schmidt Edelux you said someone else had? Did you choose it because of the compatible rear light? How does the rear light look? It seems a bit puny from here but what's it like out on the road at night?

I chose the Supernova E3 after good experience with its output and build using the earlier version on my CW road bike. This new one is the same light but 370 lumens rather than 200 lumens. I have not used the Schmidt Edelux - although a friend uses one. The other light I've used is the B&M IQ Cyo - probably slightly lower output, with the better optics like the Edelux, but I just decided to go with the brighter E3 and its brilliant tail-light. They wire together as one neat kit. Not sure how the tail-light looks - I don't see it :P . But another friend uses one and when I've seen that it has impressed me with its conspicuity.

Super Commuter wrote:I'm also interested in your reasoning for going for the SON28 over the Deluxe?

I really didn't consider this one, as it's designed for small wheels and will have higher full-output speed on a 26' wheel. Simpler and more effective to use the SON28.

Super Commuter wrote:FYI for some time now I've been planning a Raven Sports Tour with dynamo front and rear lights as an ultimate commuting / credit card touring machine. I'm thinking Rigida Grizzly CSS Rims for strength / durability and Blue Swisstop pads with XTRs and Schwalbe Kojak 1.3s (do Vittoria Randonneur have a 26 inch thin version?)

Sounds like a nice bike fit-out. The Vittoria Randonneur Cross 26" are not available in anything other than 1.75. There is the new Randonneur Pro folder, with more of a slick tread - may be available in a narrower size ?? The 700C Randonneur and Randonneur Cross have a wider size range.

Super Commuter wrote:I'm informed I also might get it down to 12 kg or so this way which would be sufficient for this purpose. I've pushed back my audax aspirations due to a lack of available time with kids etc although it would be great if this bike could perhaps fit that purpose later (any comments on this plan would be welcome).

If it's only 12kgs with all the lights and dynamo, it'd make an ideal Audax bike. Super lightweight is not critical for Audax - you're not sprinting for points or the KOM :wink: . Many regular Audax riders use dynohubs and good lights, with rack and mudguards as well often.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby Slim » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:38 pm

Postby spie4337 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:42 pm
As for comparable local bikes.... there are none, unless you go to a good LBS and get then to customise something like a Surly LHT.

Until finding this thread that's exactly what I was about to do. I'm now a MOD EDIT: *whisker* away from ordering a Nomad, but the sizing issue is a worry. It's a long time since I've owned a bike that I can take N, S, L, H, B, and R dimensions from as detailed on the brochure. The alternative is to simply give them stand over and height dimensions and pray that's enough, but at $5K+ I'm hesitating.

I'm 5.11 (1825mm) with a stand over of 900mm, which seems to suggest that I'm in the ball park of a 565L along with everyone else in this thread.

Any polite suggestions or thoughts?
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby Baalzamon » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:07 pm

Well it's pay day tomorrow and I've got a thorn raven nomad in the cart ready to buy :oops: Will be very similarly specced to il Padrone's machine. Rohloff rear hub, schmidt son 28 front hub, supernova lights. Will take a few weeks for all the bits to come in, unless I manage to sell my Cannondale then it will all come in at once.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:09 pm

Slim wrote:I'm now a MOD EDIT: *whisker* away from ordering a Nomad, but the sizing issue is a worry.


The only dimension that is important is the virtual top tube length. Standover height is irrelevant when the bike has a compact frame. And since at 5'11" you are the same height as myself and il padrone the 565L should be the right choice. I think il padrone's selection of a 110mm stem would be too long for me and I'd probably opt for 100mm.

But if you have doubts, email ( [email protected] ) or take the trouble to phone Robin Thorn. it's your $5K.
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Re: Thorn Raven Nomad coming together

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:15 pm

Baalzamon wrote:Well it's pay day tomorrow and I've got a thorn raven nomad in the cart ready to buy


Go on! Do it! Click the buy button - you know you want too. :twisted:
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