Google+ The Norris Files: June 2010


Ortlieb Panniers

The Nomad MK2 is not a touring bike without panniers and the best panniers are apparently made by the Germans. So, I have ordered a set of red waterproof Ortlieb rear Bike Packer Plus panniers in addition to a waterproof rack pack which sits crossways on top of the panniers and a handlebar bag with map case..

I tried sourcing these items in Australia but ended up ordering them from America. Even accounting for the exchange rate and shipping I have come out about $500 dollars ahead than if I had bought them in Australia.

For security I added the option of an anti-theft attachment and a pair of detachable waterproof outer pockets for the panniers. I decided not to purchase front panniers for two reason;
firstly I don't want to put extra weight over the Nomads suspension fork which could affect the handling. Secondly, the Ortlieb rear panniers are quiet large and when combined with the top pack-rack will easily carry all the equipment, food, and clothes I need for a few weeks tour.

What!! No Tonka Yellow!!

I recieved some disappointing news today. Thorn Cycles emailed to inform me that a Nomad frame in my size and in Tonka Yellow would not be available until late September of 2010. That is just no use to me has I need the bike for the Mawson Track ride in early September. So, with some disappointment I settled for the powder coated black frame. The specification for the Nomad has been finalised and is listed below;

*Thorn Nomad Mk2 Mtt Black
*Thorn Nomad MK2 S+S couplings
*Magura Menja 2009 Suspension Fork 100 mm Travel - Black / Red OEM
*Andra 30 CSS / BLACK Rohloff EX / BLACK Deore (wheel kit)
*Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 CC 14 speed gear hub 32h Black with EX box
*Swissstop Blue Brake Pads for XTR Brakes
*Shimano Deore HB-M530 QR Parallax Front Hub 32 Hole - Black
*CroMo Rear Quick Release Alloy Skewer for 135 mm OLN Hubs - Silver
*Schwalbe 26 Inch 559 x 20 mm High Pressure PU Rim Tape
*Rigida Andra 30 26" (559) MTB Tungsten Carbide Rims - Black
*Schwalbe Marathon Extreme HS402 Folding Tyre - 26 x 2.25
Shimano XTR M970 V-brake upgrade inc. XTR Levers
*Thorn chainset 170mm 5 arm cranks (73mm shell)
*Pair Thorn triple solo alloy crankset length 170mm
* Shimano UN54 Bottom Bracket 73 mm Shell English Thread 113 mm
*Shimano Type Chromed 8 mm Allen Key Crank Bolts
*Thorn 110mm 5arm Reversible SINGLE ring 38T
*Brooks B17 Standard saddle Honey with black steel rails
*Sram 3/32 Inch PC890 Chain Double or Triple Chainsets 114 Links 7 / 8 Speed
*Cane Creek 3G Thudbuster suspension seatpost, 590g includes neoprene cover
*Shimano PD-MX30 DX ATB Flat Pedals
*Water bottle Profile Design Cage
*Cateye CC-MC100W Micro Wireless Cycle Computer - Black/Clear
*Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Cycle Pannier Rack - Black Powdercoat
*Thorn Front Loading Alloy Ahead Stem
*Thorn 6061 Alloy Straight Handlebars - 5 Deg Bend 580 mm Wide - Black

New Zealand Central Otago Rail Trail 2010

Day 1 (19/05/10); Clyde Rail Trailhead to Omakau

Day 2 (20/05/10); Omakau to Ranfurly

Day 3 (21/05/10); Ranfurly to Middlemarch

Thorn Nomad MK2

Finally, after a year of procrastinating, I have taken the plunge and purchased a Thorn Nomad MK2. Thorn Cycles are an English company that specialize in steel framed touring bikes. At first I couldn't decide which of their bikes to purchase as none of the bikes in their range seemed to fit my requirements or budget entirely.

Then, Thorn decided to make their most popular the Nomad, available with front suspension forks rather than rigid forks. I was sold at that point. Adding to the appeal is fact they design the frame around the Rohloff internal gearbox, a major plus when cycle touring. Lower gears, no derailleur and minimal maintenance, what more could I ask for?

Another very expensive option that I have gone with is the S&S couplings. They allow allow the bike frame to be broken down into two pieces for ease of travel, in particularly, air travel. The couplings don't weaken the frame at all and in fact, apparently, strengthen it slightly. After finalizing the bikes specification I will be placing an order in the next day or so.

The bike pictured below is fairly similar to the spec bike I have ordered. Visually, the only differences are that I will not have front and rear mudguards or the front pannier rack Tthe front forks will be suspension not rigid as per the photo, the Brooks saddle will be honey in colour and yes, I have ordered the bike in Thorns new killer colour; Tonka Yellow.