Alternatives to Thorn/SJS

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nocando
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Alternatives to Thorn/SJS

Postby nocando » Sat May 26, 2007 10:59 am

I'm looking to buy a new expedition/touring bike and everyone seems to point to thorn rohloff ravens. Where's the competition? What are the alternatives in a similar price bracket (or cheaper!)? Has anyone tried importing bikes from the continent? Other bikes equipped with rohloffs? Other suppliers/shops?
Seems to be the expedition bike equivalent of the all pervasive ipod, which I've managed to avoid so far as well...
Just wondering about the alternatives and any help appreciated

TorugartTim
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Postby TorugartTim » Sat May 26, 2007 15:08 pm

You could look at Koga Miyata World Traveller - not Rohloff, but more bells and whistles for a little less money. Also Roberts Roughstuff. In Germany the WANDERER Fahrr„der
W8 lokks pretty good. The Cannondale Touring Ultra might be worth a look albeit with front suspension.

Tours in faraway places
Info:www.adventure-cycling-guide.co.uk

Noodley
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Postby Noodley » Sat May 26, 2007 17:38 pm

That's a great site you've got there TorugartTim [:)] I am thinking about getting my hands on my first touring bike and found some good advice on the site. [:)]

Ashley_R
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Postby Ashley_R » Sat May 26, 2007 17:49 pm

Hewitt Cheviott?

Mine does me for all manner of riding from commuting to fully loaded touring


You can lead an elephant to water but a pencil must be lead

Philip Davis
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Postby Philip Davis » Sat May 26, 2007 20:23 pm

If you go to the Rohloff website, they have a full list of bike manufacturers they supply:

http://www.rohloff.de/en/info/bikesearch/index.html

You will find lots of bikes there (mostly German and Dutch). Some seem to be slightly better value than Thorn (apart from the cost of importing them of course).

The other alternative of course is to get a custom bike fitted with Rohloff drop outs. Pretty much any custom builder now will give this option. But they will of course be a lot more expensive than the Raven.

------------------------
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maybrick
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Postby maybrick » Sat May 26, 2007 22:13 pm

have you had a look at these?

http://www.bikefix.co.uk/index.php?uniq ... _id=39#a13

very good spec for the money i reckon.

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freddered
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Postby freddered » Sun May 27, 2007 09:12 am

I've got a Thorn Raven Tour but, before I bought it, I was considering Dawes, Mercian, Roberts...and so on.

A good place to start is by looking at some of the magazine reviews on the Thorn Website. They often compare Thorn to 2 other, good quality bikes (obviously the reviews favour Thorn or they wouldn't publish them on their website but some other good kit reviewed).

Remember though, if you are looking in the œ1000-œ2000 price bracket you may as well try a Raven for 3 months first...you have nothing to lose.

nocando
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Postby nocando » Sun May 27, 2007 12:56 pm

Thanks for the guidance. The Fahrrad T400 Rohloff looks very intersting (I think 26 inch wheels would be better as heading off the beaten track). Would anyone with more technical knowledge than me be able to compare the specs on the Fahrrad as compared to the Raven?

vernonlevy
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Postby vernonlevy » Sun May 27, 2007 14:09 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nocando</i>

Thanks for the guidance. The Fahrrad T400 Rohloff looks very intersting (I think 26 inch wheels would be better as heading off the beaten track). Would anyone with more technical knowledge than me be able to compare the specs on the Fahrrad as compared to the Raven?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
I thought that the Raven has 26" wheels too......

fatfreddy
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Postby fatfreddy » Sun May 27, 2007 14:23 pm

the Raven has 26" wheels. And comes in about 11 sizes.

FF

AndrewClark
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Postby AndrewClark » Sun May 27, 2007 19:13 pm

I've done many happy miles on an Orbit Routier, their current Expedition model is quite well specced. Having said that I've just bought a Thorn Nomad!

The Koga Miyata World Traveller is well specced and good value, aluminium though which may put some people off. Cannondales Ultra is also alloy but comes with a Rohloff, Magura rim brakes and a Headshok fork. Even more expensive than the Thorn though.

" the expedition bike equivalent of the all pervasive ipod". In the fairly small UK touring market they produce good kit, promote it heavily and back it up with good service. The 100 day money back deal is icing on the cake..

freddered
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Postby freddered » Sun May 27, 2007 19:17 pm

My Thorn raven Tour has 1.5" Panaracer Hi Roads and is quicker than you would think. My Mate had 2.0" Schwalbe Marathon XRs fitted. He rides over any old crappy surface without a care, it's a Tank. The Raven Tour will even take full MTB off-road tyres if you want to really explore.

Ride the Raven Tour for 3 months, then, if you can get a trial ride on another bike, do that. Keep the best one and send the other(s) back.

AndrewClark
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Postby AndrewClark » Sun May 27, 2007 19:19 pm

Another alternative would be a full custom job.

Dave Yates http://www.daveyatescycles.co.uk/index.html
& Robin Mather http://www.robinmathercycles.co.uk/ both do lovely touring bikes. Not cheap though, and there's probably a waiting list.

PHcp
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Postby PHcp » Mon May 28, 2007 14:12 pm

For the cheapest Rohloff bikes I've seen look here, less than œ900.
I've been happy with my Raven Tour, in two and a half years it's done everything expected of it in over 14,000 miles. I thought it good value when I bought it and that impression has been reinforced by the lack of money required to maintain it.
There are good reasons for it becoming so popular. Certainly SJSs massive marketing campaign got the bike and hub noticed, but it wouldn't have been enough if the bike wasn't good.
Having said that, there is more choice about now than there was a couple of years ago. Two I would have considered are the Tout Terrain Silkroad and the new Van Nicholas Rohloff Amazon. Both considerably dearer than the Raven, whether they represent good value depend on how much you want the different features.


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