crazyguyonabike 
Topic: Bicycle Touring [change]
About  Help  FAQ  Sitemap  Options  Sponsors  Donate 

  CRAZYGUY T-SHIRTS, HOODIES, MUGS, AND MORE - Crazy Guy on a Bike merchandise at Zazzle. All profits go to support CGOAB.
www.zazzle.com
  
  Sinewave Cycles Dynamo USB Charger
Keep everything charged on the road! Efficient, waterproof, and made in the USA!
www.sinewavecycles.com
  
  Ortlieb USA
US distributor of Ortlieb Outdoor Gear, Tubus Carrier Systems, and Ultralight Bike Mirrors
www.ortliebusa.com
  
  Schwalbe Quality INNERTUBES
15% OFF four-or-more!
www.wallbike.com
  

 Home  My  Journals*  Articles*  Forums*  Reviews*   Resources  Classifieds*  Serendipity  Ratings*  Directory  Search  Website
 Post

First Prev Next Last (page 1 of 1) Page 1

Reviews: Frames (production)

View thread: Chronological Nested
    
View forum: Messages Threads

Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
Rating: ****_   (Average: *****  from 2 votes)
By Don Weinell on Sun 7 Oct 2012 07:38 (US/Pacific) Edit Delete   Reply (4)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Last spring, if you followed my adventures on the Oregon Trail, you may recall that I made the trek on an old Haro hardtail mountain bike. Through the years, I had gradually changed and upgraded the stock components to make the bike more suitable for touring. Still, at its soul, the Haro is a mountain bike, and many of the characteristics of a good mountain bike are not necessarily well suited for long distance touring. The stiff aluminum frame transmitted every bump and shock to my body, and the short wheelbase and rake made steering somewhat twitchy. When I returned from my trip, I decided the time was right to invest in a real, steel, touring bike.

Since I enjoy (maybe even prefer) riding on unpaved backroads, I chose to stick with 26" wheels and fat tires. I did as much research as I could to find the best possible bike I could afford. I finally narrowed my search down to the Surly Long Haul Trucker and the Thorn Sherpa. Both are well regarded touring bikes, and I was convinced that both could handle my off-road adventures with no problems. In the end, however, I opted for the Sherpa. I wish I could say I chose the Sherpa for purely objective reasons, but my choice really came down to two highly subjective considerations. First, the finish of the Sherpa blew the LHT away. The welds are clean, and the powdercoating and clear coat are beautiful. Secondly, here in the US anyway, LHTs are everywhere. I wanted a bike that would stand out from the crowd. My Sherpa, in high gloss red (Thorn calls it "Blood Red"), is very eye-catching.

As I was getting ready to order the Sherpa frame and fork, I learned that a newer version called the MK3 was soon to be available. I decided to wait just a little longer so I could compare the two models. I finally opted for the new Sherpa MK3. In fact, Thorn told me that my MK3 was the first one shipped to the United States.

I ordered the frame and fork set from SJS Cycles. SJS is the store front for Thorn. Dealing with the folks at SJS/Thorn by e-mail was great. They quickly replied to all of my questions and even gave me a bit of a discount on the fork. From the time I placed my order to the time I received the bike was about one week. Everthing was well packed, and no damage occurred during shipment.

Here are the differences I've noticed between the MK2 and MK3 versions.

- there are different sizes available with the different versions

- the top tube of the MK3 has less of a rearward drop than that of the MK2

- the MK2 was priced to include a standard touring fork; the MK3 frame and fork are priced separately, and two different forks are offered (one for loaded touring, and a lighter one for commuting)

- the MK3 no longer has the pump peg found on the MK2

- the MK3 has an actual seat post collar welded to the seat tube; the MK2 did not

- a seat post and headset are included with the MK3, I'm not sure that they were with the MK2

I was able to transfer most of the components from my Haro to my Sherpa. The only component I didn't move was the front derailler. The diameter of the seat tube on the Sherpa is smaller than that on my Haro (steel vs. aluminum), so I just got a new derailler with a smaller clamp size. Before I moved everything, I took careful measurements of seat height, seat fore and aft position, and seat to handlebar position. Even though I duplicated all of the measurements, the seat on the Sherpa felt too low. I actually had to raise it about 3/4 of an inch before it felt "right". The only explanation I can think of is that the seat tube angle of the Sherpa is more vertical than that on my Haro, so maybe by sitting more directly over the pedals my legs weren't extending in the same way. Anyway, after messing with different heights and angles for a few weeks, I think I've finally got it where I want it.

I've had the Sherpa for about two months now. It really does ride a lot different than my mountain bike. The Sherpa has a wheelbase that is four inches longer than the wheelbase of my Haro. This added length is divided almost equally between an increase in chainstay length and a curved front fork. The difference in steering is like driving a Jeep then driving a minivan. I notice a little difference when climbing hills, but the real difference is felt on downhill runs. The Sherpa is rock steady.

The only flaw in the design I've found so far is the width of the front fork; it's just a little too narrow. With my Schwalbe Dureme 26x2.0 tires, I can't remove the front wheel without first removing the brake shoes. The brake calipers, with shoes in place, can't open wide enough for the front wheel to clear. It's a bit of a hassle if you use a fork trap mount when transporting the bike. With narrower tires, this shouldn't be a problem.

Relation | Bookmark | Edit | | Report | Link
Click here for a larger version of the picture

My new Thorn Sherpa MK3

Relation | Bookmark | Edit | | Report | Link
Click here for a larger version of the picture

The quality of the welds and finish were big factors in my decision to go with the Sherpa.

Relation | Bookmark | Edit | | Report | Link
Click here for a larger version of the picture

My only complaint so far is that the touring fork is too narrow to allow removal of a 2.0" tire without first removing the brake shoes.

Relation | Bookmark | Edit | | Report | Link
Click here for a larger version of the picture

Although I've upgraded most of my components through the years, I've stayed with the Alivio crankset because I like the internal bearings of the bottom bracket and the square tapered spindle.

Relation | Bookmark | Edit | | Report | Link
Click here for a larger version of the picture

The Sherpa frame is designed for downtube shifters. I added the optional downtube cable stops so I could use my index shifters. Most people, I suspect, do this.

Relation | Bookmark | Edit | | Report | Link
Click here for a larger version of the picture

Note that the MK3 has an actual seat tube collar welded to the frame. The MK2 did not.

Show links to this message

      
#2: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Eddie Jones on Sun 7 Oct 2012 12:05 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
That is as beautiful a work of touring art as I have seen. It is beautiful and I am sure it will take you where ever you want to go...and do it in style. It makes my CrossCheck look plain and mundane. Now, go put some miles on it!

      
#3: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
Rating: ***** 
By Graham Smith on Tue 9 Oct 2012 04:29 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Don I have a slightly older Thorn Sherpa but it is very similar to yours.
Mine has drop bars and different components but the basic geometry is very similar.

I have just completed a reasonably challenging tour and the Sherpa was a joy to ride. Totally reliable and competent under all conditions. I cannot fault it.

Before the tour I took some time to decide whether to exchange 2.0" Marathon XR tyres for 1.6" Supreme tyres. I did and I am pleased I did. The wider, heavy nobbly Marathon XRs were detrimental to the rolling load of the Sherpa. The narrower Supremes are by comparison a pleasure to ride on.

Relation | Bookmark | Edit | | Report | Link
Click here for a larger version of the picture

The bike for the Lake-to-Lake tour, the Thorn Sherpa, near Lake Burley Griffin in central Canberra.
The heavy duty tyres have been replaced with lighter tyres since this photo.

Image on journal page: Bike Pics and Specs: Thorn Sherpa Touring Bike in journal Lake to Lake Sitting on a Thorn by Graham Smith (Completed Oct 2012)

      
#4: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Don Weinell on Tue 9 Oct 2012 14:44 Edit Delete in reply to #3     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Graham,

Yes, except for the issue of removing the 2" tire on the front, I can't find any fault with the Sherpa. Classic "beauty and beast" styling. The Schwalbe Duremes are much more of a road tire than the Marathon XRs were. They're not quite as smooth as the Supremes, but for the mixed surface riding I do, they're great. I'm sure that a 1.5" or maybe even a 1.75" tire would clear the front brake shoes with no problem. Perhaps when it comes time to replace the tires, I'll look at something a little narrower. But there's plenty of tread left on the tires I have, and at 80 dollars a pop, I don't see any need to rush out and buy new tires just yet.

Don

      
#5: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Anthony Lovatt on Sat 13 Oct 2012 02:02 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Don,

After seeing your lovely bike I'm interested in getting one as well.
Would you mind letting me/us know how much the frame and shipping cost.
I've got to say that the 'Blood Red' is a fantastic color.Make sure you keep it well locked up because it's going to be very eye-catching!

      
#6: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Don Weinell on Sat 13 Oct 2012 07:11 Edit Delete in reply to #5     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Anthony,

The frame sells for 399 £. The touring fork was 99 £. I also added the shop prep where they clean out all of the threads and add the various sized bolts. I also added the downtube cable stops. I don't remember the cost for the prep and the stops, but it wasn't much. Shipping to the US was 81£. Altogether, at the current exchange rate, it totalled around 850$.

      
#7: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Anthony Lovatt on Sat 13 Oct 2012 14:25 Edit Delete in reply to #6     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Don,
Many thanks for that.
It was even more reasonably priced than I expected.
I hope you have many thousands of happy miles on it and please be sure to put a review on here after you've broken her/she/it in.

Thanks again for the information.

      
#8: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Tony Laidler on Wed 17 Oct 2012 12:45 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Don
To get the 26" front wheel (fitted with a Marathon Supreme 2")off my LHT I just let out loads of air and squeeze it past the brake shoes. Does this not work on the Sherpa?

Tony

      
#9: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Don Weinell on Wed 17 Oct 2012 14:30 Edit Delete in reply to #8     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Yes, that works also. But by the time you let the air out and pump it up again, it's just as fast and easy to remove the brake shoes.

Don

      
#10: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By jim mallery on Thu 18 Oct 2012 09:14 Edit Delete in reply to #9     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Don,

You have a beautiful bike! I have had bikes with brakes that were too narrow for the tires inflated. Once I set the brake pads where I like them, I try to leave them alone so I am solidly in the camp of those that find it a very simple thing to release and then add air to the tire for removal and reinstall. I can't imagine messing with the pads could be easier. But, different strokes for different folks so what works for you is the only thing important.

Now for a question, does the Thorn come with an optional wider front fork if requested?

      
#11: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By Don Weinell on Thu 18 Oct 2012 10:16 Edit Delete in reply to #10     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Jim,

I don't know. I've never thought of removing or installing brake shoes as that much of a challenge. Maybe the Deores are different from what you have, but all I do is loosely attach the shoes to the calipers, squeeze the calipers a bit and adjust the position of the shoes against the rim, and then tighten the shoes into place. Anyway...

The new version of the Sherpa has two different forks available. The one I have is the ST-1. It is the standard touring fork, and has the braze-ons for fenders and racks. The other fork is designed more for commuters. I don't remember what Thorn calls that one, but it is lighter and lacks the rack braze-ons. It's also more expensive (probably made of a lighter but more expensive alloy). The steerer tubes for both are the standard 1 1/8", so you could always go with a wider fork from a different manufacturer if you really wanted to.

Don

      
#12: Re: Thorn Sherpa MK3 (thread)
By jim mallery on Thu 18 Oct 2012 16:28 Edit Delete in reply to #11     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Don,

Thanks. I have a Surly LHT and have never had a front tire not fit although I do not run very wide tires on it. I have had mountain bikes that the tire would not fit thru the brake pads and I opted to reduce the air pressure. Many new bikes including the Surly LHT are offered with disks so the issue of getting past the brake pads becomes moot. After purchasing a new mountain bike earlier this year with disks; as I can afford it any new bike will be disk. There is absolutely no comparison in stopping power.

I have no experience with the Thorn. My LHT does not do 'off road' as in mountain biking so my tires are less than 38mm wide. Any off road stuff I do with the Surly is paths or gravel roads, certainly no technical stuff.

Tire composition (in deference to width) does not necessarily verify the myth that a wider tire rolls easier than a narrow one. Wider might last longer and most certainly is better is soft dirt or sand, but for me the medium width for the Surly works fine.

I know you said you like to do a lot of off road riding so the wider tires might be just right for you. I hope you have lots of fun with the new bike. I sure like the color!!!


First Prev Next Last (page 1 of 1) Page 1


Website Copyright © 2000-2014 by Neil Gunton Thu 23 Oct 2014 09:30 (US/Pacific) (0.216s)      Top    Link    Report    Terms of Service