Thursday, 22 October 2009

My Raven Nomad: Specification & Pictures

Thorn Raven Nomad S&S, Size: 562L, Black
  • Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 CC EX OEM (Black), 16T reversable sprocket, 32h
  • Schmidt SON28 Dynohub (Black), 32h
  • Rigida Andra 30 CSS Rims, 26in x 1.75in/559mm x 19mm, 32h
  • Sapim Race DB Spokes, 14g/15g (2.0mm/1.8mm), 238mm rear, 260mm front
  • Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Tyres, 26in x 2.0in (50-559), Folding
  • Shimano Alivio M410 Crankset, 175mm, 104mm BCD
  • Thorn 7075/T6 Reversable Chainring, 40T
  • Shimano UN54 BB, 73mm, English Thread, 110mm axle, Square Taper
  • Eccentric Bottom Bracket Shell, 51.3mm dia, 73mm shell width
  • Wipperman 808 Connex Nickel Plated Chain, 3/32in, 8 speed
  • Time Impact S Pedals
  • FSA Orbit XL II Aheadset, 1⅛in/28.6mm
  • Thorn Alloy Ahead Stem, 1⅛in/28.6mm, 25.4mm Clamp, 130 mm, +/-7°
  • Thorn 6061 Alloy Straight Handlebars, 5° Bend, 25.4mm Clamp, 580mm
  • Shimano XTR M970 V-Brakes, Swissstop Blue Cartridge Pads
  • Shimano XTR BL-M970 Brake Levers
  • Ergon GP1-L Anatomic Grips
  • Brooks B17 Standard Saddle (Black)
  • Thorn Alloy Seatpost, 29.8mm, 300mm length, 20mm set-back
  • S&S Bicycle Torque Couplings
  • Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Carrier Rack
  • Thorn MkV Cro Mo Steel  Low Loader Front Rack
  • Profile Design Kage Bottle Cages

Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 Gear Ratios (40x16)


Thorn Raven Nomad S&S, Size: 562L, Black

Cheeky rear quarter view

And from the front

Detail of Down Tube S&S Coupling

Detail of Top Tube S&S Coupling

The Rohloff Speedhub - 14 speed epicyclic internal hub gear

Rohloff Gear Shifter

Transmission detail

40 tooth reversable chainring

Eccentric Bottom Bracket (used to tension chain)

16T reversable sproket

Shimano XTR V-Brakes and Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 2" tyre

Should be very comfortable, once it's broken my bottom in...

Close-up of decal on the top tube

Front Low Loader Rack and Schmidt dynohub

Chunky rear rack and chunky tyre


Stuart said...

Hi Shaun

Love the look of your Thorn Nomad.

Yesterday I went to Thorn Cycles in Bridgewater to have a look at my options for an expedition touring bike.

It looks like I will be getting a Nomad like yours, they didn't have a black one on show so it's good to see some photos of one.

How are you getting on with it, is it your first time using a Rohloff? I tried a Rohloff yesterday and found it so easy to use.

I was also shown the new Mk2 Nomad without the SS couplers, it's due for release in Jan 2010. Not sure if I'll use the SS couplers so may go for a MK2. Though saying that.... being able to split your bike in two to get it on a plane or a taxi in central Asia may have it's benefits!!

Decisions decisions!

Good luck with your Canadian adventure, I'll be following your blog.



Shaun said...

Thanks for your comments, Stuart.

Things are going well with the Rohloff, not so well with the new Brooks! Stay tuned for a bike report soon...

Interesting about the new Nomad without couplers, I'll have to check that out.

Re: S&S Couplers. For me they're a nice to have, but were not the deal maker. I bought the Nomad S&S because I wanted a heavy duty Rohloff tourer. It just happened to come with 'free' couplers!


Stuart said...

Hi Shaun

How is the new Nomad going..... looking forward to your bike report!

I received the Nomad Mk2 brochure from Thorn today, it's on their web site, almost ready to splash some cash! Although I'm still tempted by a Koga Signature. Decisions decisions!

Hope plans are going well for your trip.


Stuart said...

Forgot to say... how is the dynohub and the Xtr brakes performing?

The are on my possible upgrades list!

Cheers again.


Shaun said...

I had a look at the Nomad Mk2 brochure. Thanks for the heads-up!

It looks to me like the following has changed:
- Frame has been designed to take suss. forks as an option
- Frame consequently has a geometry change: a much greater sloping top tube (to work with suss forks, I suppose?)
- Frame has an additional gusset at the down-tube / headtube interface. I assume this provides some sort of additional reinforcement to this area (for suss forks usage again?)
- Now offered with or without S&S couplings
- New colour yellow. Thankfully black is still an option!
- New 'tall person' frame option for people over 6'6"!

The frame & forks price (£899) is £100 more than the old Raven Nomad (both with S&S couplings for comparison), but obviously, there is now a £499 option without the couplings.

Interestingly, this sans-couplings frame+forks option is the same price as a Raven Tour.


Shaun said...


Regarding whether to go with the Thorn Nomad Mk2.

What would sway it for me (if the other bikes you're considering are roughly comparable) is having a shop like SJSC able to provide the 'ultimate in after-sales backup' for spare parts, knowledge and expertise. I think that's worth a lot when you're spending this sort of money.

Both my dynohub and XTR brakes are performing faultlessly, but this my first dynohub and first set of V-brakes, so I can't really compare their performances to anything else!

There are cheaper options for both products, of course. I wasn't particularly working to a budget, so I choose the 'best in class'.

I wanted a dynohub for lights and on-the-road gadget charging (GPS, phone etc.) and the Schmidt SON is well respected (if a little pricey). Look at the Shimano's if the price is too much. I read that performance is pretty much on a par...

I choose the XTR brakes (probably irrationally!) because I was dreading 'v-brake squeal' and wanted the best chance of avoiding it. (I was swayed somewhat by the Thorn brochure saying they don't normally squeal).

One option I would specify every time is the CSS Rigida rim option. I don't know if it will last longer (it's supposed to), but I do know that it doesn't produce any of that black gunk on the rims during wet weather braking! The rims stay perfectly clean, it's amazing!

I'd also avoid external cup BBs. Just use a square-taper BB and chainset. It works, it may last longer, it's cheaper and you can get replacements more easily.

Now get on and order that bike!


Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun,
thanks for your bike description. The Mark 2 seems to have replaced the Thorn Nomad now. I just wonder if it might be a bit too heavy (just below 17kg) for my purposes (normal +broken roads, some off road with camping gear) and if a Raven Tour would do the same job but just with less weight by its own. What are your ideas on that? Comments wellcome!

Shaun said...

I think either bike could be suitable for your plans. The weight difference between the Raven Nomad frame and Raven Tour frame is probably less than 1kg. (I'm guessing around the 2.75kg and 3.75kg mark?). After that, you have some choice over the weight (robustness) of the rest of the equipment (racks, wheels and tyres especially). What equipment you choose will ultimately determine the weight of the bike. If you're going to cycle camp, you'll be hauling 35kg+ (total) with either bike...

If your bike is going to double up as a 'general riding' machine then the Raven Tour has that more 'general' label, but I wouldn't read too much into that. I've ridden the Nomad all winter unloaded and it's been fun, though quite heavy when compared to the racing bikes I normally ride!

IMO, you'd pick the Nomad (and appropriate robust, heavy equipment), to push the operational boundaries a bit further when touring. You could load it up just that little bit more, if needs dictate. It would be just that little bit more capable of shaking off knocks and dings. (The tube walls are slightly thicker). You might also buy the Nomad for the S&S Couplings which aren't an option with the Tour. You might even go with the Nomad if you're on the heavy side yourself!

I could certainly have done this Canada trip and more on a Raven Tour, but I wanted to cover off all possible touring trips that I haven't even planned yet...

Shaun said...

One more thing. The Nomad Mk2 has the correct frame geometry for suspension forks (100mm travel). This gives the Nomad additional versatility over the Raven Tour, if you think you might make use of it this way.

(Although that's now encroaching into the terriority of the Raven Sterling. Thorn's product range does have a number of confusing crossovers. Some would say extra choice...)

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun,
thanks for your comment. I was not aware that the "tour" isn't available with couplings. So I go with the Mark2 alias Nomad. It's the only trekking bike I could find that combines a Rohloff gear with couplings as a standard (though it's also available without couplings). I presume I'd loose at least the warranty on the frame if I had couplings fitted retrospectively in any other trekking bike. I will need their largest frame as I am 192cm (but only 75kg) , so I am still a bit worried it may get too heavy . But then there is the 100 day take back guarantee as a last resort. Thanks again for your help

Shaun said...

Note that Thorn's largest Nomad Mk2 (620L) is huge. I'm 182cm and I bought the equivalent of the 565L. I'd take advice from Thorn regarding frame sizing if you can't get to the shop. The 590L could fit you nicely, but please take advice.

Regarding weight, don't worry too much about it. I'm only 68kg and I can cycle my Nomad up 15% gradients when it weighs 40kg (bike + luggage). The frame's weight is an insignificant proportion of this. Make weight savings with your bike's equipment, luggage and camping stuff if you want to...

Carl Rubin said...

I'm looking at a rohloff thorn sterling as a combo mt. bike/short trip off road touring bike. Am very curious re: your experience with the Thorn eccentric bottom bracket. Could you make small adjustments for chain stretch (some talk of the bracket falling back into prior screw indents. Any creaking? Thanks in advance.
Carl R.

Shaun said...

See my post here: