The Thorn Raven Tour is an ‘Expedition‘ touring bike. It was obtained second hand from Thorn Cycles who design them in Bridgwater, Somerset. I christened it ‘Torla’.
The information that follows gives the specifications of the bike when it arrived. Since then there have been some changes to the bike. Not wanting to get too hung up on the technical bits, but I did pass some cold snowy winter evenings making changes to the bike.
The original specs are listed, and where scored out, their immediate replacement parts. Additions to the bike and 2016 updates are shown at the bottom of the page.
STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX FROM THORN …
FRAME AND FORK
+ Frame: Raven Tour 512L 969 Heat Treated, Double Butted tubing, Black Gloss
+ Fork: Thorn 531 Twin Plate, Black Gloss
STEERING AND SEATING
+ Handlebars: Thorn Mk 2 Comfort Riser Bars, Silver
+ Handlebar Grips:
Ergon GP1 ergonomic grips Ergon GP1 ergonomic ‘BioKork’ grips
+ Stem: Thorn 15 degree 90mm, Alloy, Black
+ Headset: FSA Orbit XL II
Outland All Mountain MTB, Black/Camo Brooks B17 Select Saddle
+ Seatpost: Thorn Micro adjust 27.2 mm Silver
+ Seatclamp: Integrated
+ Accessory Bar: Thorn 105m, for 1/18” Steerer
+ Brake Lever (r): Shimano Deore BL-M590, Black
+ Brake Lever (l): Shimano Deore BL-M590, Black
+ V-Brake (f): Shimano Deore BR-M590, Black
+ V-Brake (r): Shimano Deore BR-M590, Black
+ Brake cables with black covers
+ Chainset: Thorn 5 arm Alloy, 165mm, Silver
+ Chainring: Thorn Reversable 38T, Black
+ Chainguard: Thorn Alloy Chainguard, Black
+ Rear Hub: Rohloff Speedhub 500/14, 16 Tooth Sprocket
+ Bottom Bracket: Shimano UN52 68x110mm
+ Chain: KMC Z51
+ Pedals: Shimano M324 (flat one side and SPD the other)
+ Hub Gears: Rohloff 500/14 CC speed OEM
+ Front hub: Shimano Deore HB-M590, Silver.
Black quick release skewer Pitlock Skewer
+ Front rim: Rigida Andra 30, 32H, Black, regular drill
+ Front tyre: Panaracer Pasela TourGuard 26×1.75
+ Rear hub: Rohloff Speedhub 500/14, Silver.
Silver Q/R Skewer Pitlock Skewer
+ Rear rim: Rigida Andra 30, 32H, Black, Rohloff drill
+ Rear tyre: Panaracer Pasela TourGuard 26×1.75
+ Spokes: Sapim Race, 14/16G, Silver
+ Tubes: Schwalbe Butyl SV13 26×1.50-2.10, Presta valve
+ Mudguards: SKC Chromo Plastics, Silver, 55mm
+ Rack: Thorn Expedition, Black, inc bar & plate
Zefal Ping Bell, Silver Mirrycle Incdredibell Grip Bell, Silver
+ Pump: Zefal HPX, Black
+ Cycle Computer: Cateye CC-MC100W, Wireless, Black
+ Bag Clamp:
Ortlieb Ultimate spare clamp Rixen & Kaul Klickfix mount
ALSO SUPPLIED WITH THE BIKE
+ Tool: Eccentric Bottom Bracket adjusting tool
+ Chain: Spare chain links for KMC Z51
+ Brochure: Latest Thorn Raven and Sports Tour Brochure, Rohloff Brochure
OTHER CHANGES & ADDITIONS SINCE PURCHASE
+ Installed Immobilise RF unit and registered at Immobilise
+ Registered bike at Bike Shepherd
+ Added chainstay and fork protection using old inner tubes and twist ties
+ Added Pitlock seat post and saddle bolts
+ Added two Profile Design water bottle cages
+ Added Bike Buddy Mk 3 holder for the fuel bottle
+ Completely de-greased the chain and re-lubed it with Squirt Dry Lube
+ Changed the oil in the Rohloff hub (simple half-hour job) as I wasn’t sure when it was last changed
+ Added Thorn Mark V Low Loader front rack
+ Now using a KMC X1 single speed chain better suited to the Rohloff hub
Since the above photograph was taken, there have been a few more additions to ‘Torla’ …
+ Added AXA Defender wheel lock. This is a very useful lock on tour as you can quickly immobilise the bike for short stops and when shopping. There is also a chain that can be attached to an immobile object for increased security …
+ Added protective tubing on front and rear racks. Details here.
+ Added Mirrycle Mountain Mirror. A good solid mirror that takes a lot of abuse. The bike fell over a few times but it did eventually break. As the quality is good, the glass stayed intact and the mirror was still usable for the rest of a recent tour. Field of view is also great with the mirror’s position easily altered …
+ SR Suntour SP12-NCX Suspension seat post. One of my favourite additions. I have written a detailed review here. The seat post operates as a solid seat post and, depending on the tension you set in the spring, will absorb only the biggest of bumps and pot holes…
Finally, for those winter nights (and Norwegian tunnels/unexpectedly late camp site arrivals etc), and for general safety, a lighting system was added. This consists of …
+ Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo R Senso Plus LED Front Light 175QRSNDi
+ Busch + Müller Toplight Line brake plus LED Rear Light 323/5ALTV
+ Busch + Müller Dymotec 6 Dynamo
+ Added Thorn Alloy Dynamo Headlamp Bracket, Black
+ Ortlieb Front Roller Plus panniers
+ Ortlieb Back Roller Plus panniers
+ Ortlieb RackPack 31 litre bag
+ Rixen & Kaul Daypack Box handlebar bag
NOW ‘TORLA’ LOOKS LIKE THIS …
‘Torla’ fully loaded and on tour. This picture was taken in north-west Germany while cycling the North Sea Cycle Route in summer 2013.
2016 UPDATES …
+ Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Plus. Prior to the 2016 Summer trip from Scotland to Istanbul, I replaced the Rixen & Kaul Daypack Box handlebar bag with an Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Plus bag. Slightly larger and very waterproof, it is also a bit lighter.
+ Schmidt Son 28 Klassik. The Busch + Müller Dymotec 6 Dynamo was replaced before the tour with a Schmidt Son 28 Klassik front hub dynamo. This model is actually discontinued but at the time of writing (January 2017) SJS Cycles still have them in stock. When the new wheel was built I chose the Rigida Andra 30 CSS version reputed to be longer lived with it’s carbide impregnated brake surface. So far so good! Reports later after extended use.
+ AXA Solid Plus Wheel Lock. The AXA Defender wheel lock was replaced before the tour with the AXA Solid Plus wheel lock. This new lock has more clearance from the tyre and should allow a good level of clearance if 2 inch tyres are fitted in future.
+ AXA Blueline 50 Front Dynamo Light. On this tour I somehow managed to break the Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo R Senso Plus LED Front Light 175QRSNDi near Dusseldorf. A local bike shop did not have a replacement to I fitted the AXA Blueline 50 Switch as that was the only quality front dynamo light the shop had in stock. It is slightly brighter but lacks the auto on/off function of the Busch + Müller light it replaced. There is no stand-light with the new AXA light so it goes off when you come to a stop. A little annoying. There is another version available with the stand light feature so I may upgrade at some point in the future.
+ MKS Sylvan Prime Touring Pedals and Powergrip Pedal Straps. During this years tour I converted to using Keen Commuter bike sandals without SPD clips. I found them really excellent on and off the bike in the 10 Deg C to 35 Deg C conditions found during a continental European Summer. The Shimano SPD M324 pedals however were a little small and I found that at times my feet would slip off the pedals in wet conditions. On return I hunted for a better solution and fitted MKS Prime Sylvan Touring pedals and Powergrip pedal staps. The wider pedals and grip straps are working much better for me with the Keen sandals.
+ SKS Bluemels 60mm Mudguards. The SKS Chromoplastic mudguards have been fitted to the bike for at least seven years. They were showing some small cracks at the attachment points even five years ago. With the North Sea Cycle route and the Scotland to Istanbul trip this Summer, they were ready to be replaced with a set SKS Bluemels 60mm Black. The bike now has a more ‘stealth black’ appearance.