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Vagamonde: Chasing Euphoria and Getting Hit by Reality
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Our New Bikes (Thorn Sherpas)

Finally, we get to try out our Thorn Sherpas. We ordered these bikes about a year and a half ago. The reason for this was the economic crisis. The British pound was low and the price of the Sherpa was going up. At least that what it said on the website. So, we just went for it and got the bikes delivered here at my father's place. The delivery company was totally incompetent. They were not able to find my father's address (an address that shows up in Google maps). It took my father some significant effort to get them delivered properly. Really stressful and annoying when you're thousands of kilometers away.

When assembling the bikes I realized that one of the them had a bent derailleur hanger. Damage from transport I guess. The warranty was no longer available but Mr Thorn was very helpful. Returning my emails within an hour. He sent me pictures and instructions on how to bend it back. The bend was not too bad and I was able get it straightened out using a wrench (or spanner) and a set of pliers. Using the brand new derailleur as a lever was not an option.

Once put together we realized that the brakes are reversed. Will take some time to get use to it I guess. But in the mean time we have to be careful not to fly over our handlebars when slamming on the back brake. One annoying thing is that the braking system does not come with barrel adjusters. Something I really like to have when fine tuning brakes. The side wall of our rims is ceramic. Brake pads for ceramic rim are really expensive. 25 British pounds for a set of four. That's like almost fifty bucks! When choosing the frame I went for the smaller one. I choose the 560S (55 cm top tube) rather then the 535L ( 57 cm top tube). The bike feels really nice but I'll probably end up getting a slightly longer stem. So maybe the 535L would have been the better choice. At this point, I don't really care. We haven't tried them fully loaded yet but I can already tell they're going to be amazing bikes. Enjoy these pictures that include a nice view of the Mt Aiguille in the background.


  1. Very sexy ride. Makes even Benoit look good. Question? Can't you reverse the cables to the brake levers, making them brake on the "correct" side. In a panic stop, it might be better/safer to rely on instict developed your entire biking career. Just a thought. Might be worth the hassle?

  2. Nice bikes!
    What kind of attach-feet-to-pedals system is that? It looks unlike anything I've ever seen.


  3. ils ont l'air bien cool !!!


  4. I can't believe you didn't get their rohloff bike!

    Just kidding. They look pretty sweet, and you guys look very happy. Benoit, you look like a true, care-free traveler in your blue cap.

    Anyway, next time get the rohloff.

  5. Those bikes look amazing! Keep it up!

  6. Hey sexy! (I'm talking to the bike)

    And Benoit, you may not want a longer stem, think about your back, do you want to be able to straighten it when you are in the saddle? It may feel weird for now but in a week the shorter stem will become normal. If you want to stretch out longer you can ride on the brake hoods.

    It sounds crazy but I am currently riding a setup that has essentially a 54cm Top Tube and a 90mm stem which is supposedly "proper" for me. And you and I are about the same height...


  7. Kenneth:

    Yes I could switch them around. We'll see how we do with them once we go on a longer ride.

    Margo and Chris:

    The attach-feet-to-pedals system is called Powergrips (powergrips.mrpbike.com). We wanted to avoid having clipless pedals because we don't want to carry two pairs of shoes. Also, clipless pedals are not very handy when cycling on steep dirty roads where you have to get off your bike and push.

    Anonymous (is that you Robin?):

    Rohloff hubs are too expensive. We're already in the poor house with these brake pads.


    You are the best bike consultant ever. OK, I'll hold off getting a new stem. If you think my bike is sexy you should see me without a shirt.

  8. Hey Guys!
    I am assuming that you are going to go through the Alps if you're in Lyon....Good luck to you! I am impressed.

    xx Caroline (and Gil)