Tag Archives: Thorn

Thorn Raven Tour Review

I came across this review of the Thorn Raven tour.  Nice to see a 10/10 rating.  I wonder if they are as pleased now as they were then?

Kit Review: Thorn Raven Tour Bicycle

Our Rating: 10/10

Model

Thorn Raven Tour

Purchased August 2008

Description

Built by touring bicycle specialist SJS Cycles in the UK, the Thorn Raven Tour has a steel frame, a Rohloff hub and strong 26 inch wheels. For full specifications refer to our kit list. When we ordered our bicycles we requested a few upgrades including more durable Rigida rims, Brooks leather saddles and Thorn steel front and rear racks.

Review

Bicycle trouble is one of our worst fears, especially in remote locations. Fortunately the Thorn Raven Tour has risen to every challenge we have thrown at it, it truly is a well thought through touring bike. We have spent countless days slamming into potholes at speed, riding through thick mud, torrential rain, extreme heat, nothing seems to worry them. After about 15,000 km of intense use, the only maintenance we have done was to increase the chain tension once in a while (10 minute job), complete an oil change on the Rohloff hub every 5,000km (half hour job), and replace the brake pads once (half hour job). At about the 17,000km mark we will reverse the chain ring and sprocket and fit a new chain, effectively giving us another 17,000km for the purchase of just one chain (cost of £10).

The ride is smooth and predictable under heavy loads and also manages well for light weight commuting, a tribute to the versatility of the frame. The ergonomic Mk2 comfort handle bars offer a natural upright position that we find comfortable however drop bars were not presented as an option at the time of purchase if you also wanted the Rohloff hub.

We have full confidence in the Raven, and we believe the Rohloff hub is an integral part of this as it simplifies our bike setup (no derailleurs) and gives us extra strength on the rear wheel (refer to Rohloff hub review for more information). In countries like India where locals like to fiddle we had no concerns with roaming hands and we happily check in our bikes un-boxed whenever the airlines permit it.

Customer support is fast and very comprehensive, and SJS Cycles will quickly answer queries by email or phone. They will also ship parts all over the world. Fortunately we have not had to make use of this service so far, as it can be quite expensive and sometimes unreliable to have parts shipped to a faraway country.

Initially it took us a while to get the setup spot on, as we both felt the bikes were a bit too big for us. Replacing the stem with a shorter one fixed these issues. On very steep hill climbs when fully loaded we sometimes feel as though we could do with one more gear. A slightly smaller chain ring than our standard 26×16 size would have been beneficial as we would happily forego one of the higher gears. Of course this depends on the terrain you are riding in and your ability to push the bigger gears. A chain ring is easily replaced and relatively cheap.

If in doubt, try out the Thorn Raven Tour bicycle, SJS are so confident that offer a 100 day moneyback guarantee.

Pros

Reliable

Comfortable

Durable

Low maintenance

Smooth ride

Excellent customer support

Cons

At 15kg the steel framed bikes are reasonably heavy

The inner tube valve holes only fit Presta and not Schrader (car valves). It would be nice to have the option for both so ask SJS to drill larger holes into the rims to support both types.

Reviewed On

28th March 2011

via Thorn Raven Tour Review.

Thorn Raven Sport Tour: One Year and 1500 miles On

Just found this excellent review of the TRST after 1500 miles on the clock by the owner.  Very reassuring to see they can take such punishment.

Thorn Raven Sport Tour: One Year and 1500 miles On.

Bikes: a great listing of Thorn sites on the web

There is a very useful link to lots of Thorn resources on the web over on the Thorn Chat Room and Forum.  Well worth a visit.

People: What’s new over at Thorn Bikes

I recently came across the Thorn Bikes forum on the web.  These forums seem to attach a great bunch of enthusiasts for all things Thorn and most things bicycle.  If you need some experienced-based know-how on your Thorn or Rohloff-geared bike, you could not have a better starting point.

People: Robin Thorn of Thorn Cycles – Interview

I came across this interview with Robin Thorn tonight. Interesting discussion ranging over many of the old chestnuts: aluminium or steel, Rohloff or derailler, panniers or trailer etc.  But added in were some good thoughts about value for money and expectations, and best of all why people are taking to touring more and more and where they go touring.  I enjoyed it.

I only spoke with Robin once myself, over the phone when specifying a Thorn Raven at the time.  I remember he was very patient and keen to understand what I wanted: even at the point when I took fright and decided not to go ahead!  He must have left a good impression, however, as I was back a couple of years later and the deal was done!