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25. Jan, 2012

Review of the Brooks B-17 saddle

Review of the Brooks B-17 saddle

Our rating: 7/10

The Brooks B-17 saddle is difficult to review. We can’t say that we love it, but we both agree that we wouldn’t use anything different, especially now that we have gone to the effort of wearing ours in.

We chose the Brooks B-17 as it had good reviews from the cycle touring community and also it came as standard with our Thorn Nomads. Paddy went with the black version, whilst Laura opted for tan as we were told it would soften up quicker. We’re not so sure that it true, but the tan does develop a lovely worn-in colour. Laura chose not to bother with the specific female version as it added to the cost. A wise move or not? We aren’t sure. Laura has definitely suffered most with discomfort, but there is no guarantee that the women’s version would have been better. Probably though, if given the choice again we would have spent a few extra pounds. (more…)

18. Dec, 2011

Review of our Ortlieb panniers and handlebar bag

Review of our Ortlieb panniers and handlebar bag

Ortlieb front and back panniers (9/10) and handlebar bag (6/10)

Most cyclists we have met cycling around South America are using Ortlieb bags. They come with a fantastic reputation and quite rightly so. In the past we have tried cheaper products, but often ended up with wet kit, so splashed out on the Ortliebs and haven’t looked back.

At the front we use the Ortlieb front-roller classic. These are roll-top bags, with a PVC outer and inner, and a grey, fabric pocket inside. We love them because they are a great size. Laura uses hers for the kitchen equipment and food, whilst Paddy’s hold our gadgets and tools. We have had no problems with water getting inside, although we did have to cut the pockets out of Laura’s bags as they went mouldy, either because we hadn’t dried the bags out properly after washing them, or because some liquid had got spilt inside, we aren’t sure. Initially we found that the bags did bounce around on bumpy roads and came off a few times, but now we loop the tightening strap through the rack and have no problems. (more…)

10. Nov, 2011

Review of the Clickstand bike stand

Review of the Clickstand bike stand

Our rating: 8/10

Our Thorn Nomads didn’t come equipped with a built in bike stand, and if we’d added one, we’d have invalidated the frame’s warranty. So we were left looking for other options, rather than throwing our shiny, new bikes to the ground each time we stopped.

Online, we stumbled across an American company, owned by cycling enthusiast Tom, producing the Clickstand. This is a long stand, made of similar tubing to a tent pole, which folds down into several pieces connected by elastic and will fit neatly into your handlebar bag. At one end is a fat rubber foot to stop the pole slipping, and at the other a piece of curved plastic that supports the top tube of your bike frame. (more…)

10. Nov, 2011

Review of the Thorn Nomad bike and Rohloff hub

Review of the Thorn Nomad bike and Rohloff hub

 

 

 

 

Updated 25/01/12

Our rating: 9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having looked long and hard for the ideal touring bike we set our hearts on the (not cheap) Thorn Nomad and were delighted to receive sponsorship to justify buying them.

We were attracted by the sturdy steel frame, which would be easier to fix on the road than an aluminium one, and which would be likely to stand up better to the bumpy roads of South America. The choice of frame size was also an important option. It meant that we could have the same bikes, so share spare parts, and that Paddy, at 6’5, would have a bike that actually fit him. (more…)