Thorn Nomad MK2 Review

Thorn Nomad Review

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Sharing is caring!

The Thorn Nomad MK2 is my bike of choice for bicycle touring. I purchased the Thorn Bike several years ago based, in part, on reviews from people on cycle touring blogs.

This is my Thorn Nomad MK2 review from someone who has been bicycle touring for several years. It’s been on more than three tours and completed over 33000km of fully loaded bicycle touring. In total the Thorn bicycle has traveled over 40000km.

Thorn Nomad Mk2 Review on YouTube

First Tour on the Thorn Nomad MkII

I purchased the Thorn Nomad online from St Johns Cycles, England. I rode straight out of the showroom and commenced my first bicycle tour. It lasted for about 1500km around England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland.

Thorn Nomad MK2 Review - bike cycling through France
Thorn Nomad MK2 review – bicycle touring in France

Second Tour on the Thorn Nomad MkII

The second tour was around the greater Blue Mountains of Sydney, Australia. About 1500km of back roads, part of which was on the National Bicentennial Trail which consisted of rough tracks and dirt roads.

On this second tour I learned that I needed to lighten up my gear.

I also used the bike for commuting in my home town of Darwin, Australia. The bike is heavy with a very rigid frame and not the best commuting bike. Load the Thorn Nomad up with some weight in the panniers and the bike rides very well. I guess that’s its purpose in life and why I bought it.

Thorn bikes camping in Australia
Second Tour on my Thorn Nomad Mk2 in the Greater Blue Mountains area near Sydney

Third Tour on my Thorn Nomad

The third tour on my Thorn Nomad Mk2 started in Tasmania, Australia before flying to Alaska and cycling to the Mexican border, including cycling to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska and standing on the frozen sea and cycling to Inuvik in the Canadian Arctic.

I also canoed 715km of the Yukon river with the Thorn Nomad Mk2 strapped to the canoe with me. I hiked 698km of hiking trails and carried all my hiking gear with me, most of which is the same gear as my bike touring gear anyway. Eventually I will cycle from Alaska to Argentina.

There is little to dislike about the bike. The fit and finish is good. It’s reliable and works as promised. I am using the Thorn Comfort handlebars but think I will swap them out, they just don’t work for me. I’m not sure what I’ll replace them with, I’d like to try several different styles of handlebars such as the ‘Jones Bar’ or ‘Butterfly Bar’. Time and money will tell what happens in the future.

Thorn Nomad MK3 Review

The updated Thorn Nomad Mk3 is an upgraded version with several very impressive new features which include:

  • Choice of wheel sets with either 26′ to 650 or 700
  • Frame is not suitable for suspension forks
  • Choice of frames suitable for either Rohloff or Derailleur
  • Choice of disc or rim brakes
  • Impressively strong frame suitable to cycle around the work (I have used one to cycle over 35000km)

Bicycle Touring and Bikepacking Pages might like:
Bicycle Touring Gear List
Bicycle Touring Spares and Tool Kit
Cycling from Alaska to Argentina

Thorn Nomad MK2 Review – Best Tyres

I started using the Schwalbe Dureme 26 inch x 2 inch folding tyres. They had a hard life with about 4000km or dirt road use and about 16000km or road use. As the tyres started to wear I had consistent problems with flat tyres. The front tyre lasted around 20000km.

The first rear tyre exploded in Alaska after about 8000km. I think it was my fault, I may have (did) put too much air in the tyre and it blew out the side wall. The second rear tyre has about 12000km of travel. Both tyres should have about 2000-5000km more wear but they are both a bit tired with lots of minor cuts on the tread and side wall.

I replaced them with SCHWALBE Marathon Mondial. So far these tyres have done several thousand kilometers through the rough deserts and mountains of Mexico and Central America. I destroyed a sidewall of one tyre early on but effected a repair job by sewing the sidewall together. That repair has lasted over 5000km so far. Apart from that I am happy with these tyres and will continue to use them.

Note: One of the Cheapest places to buy Schwalbe tyres for bicycle touring is

Thorn Nomad bikes in Alaska
Before the rain hit on the Dalton Hwy

Bicycle Touring Rims and Brakes

My Thorn Nomad Mk2 has the Rigida Andra 26 inch rims with Ceramic Tungsten Carbide coating and Swisstop blue brakepads. The rims have no sign of wear. I have not had to adjust the tension of the spokes, they still spin true and none of the spokes have broken.

The brake pads at the rear were replaced at about 13000km but the front brakes pads were fine and have not been replaced, they have done over 30000km! I replace the brake cables every 10000km or so.

The new Thorn Nomad MK3 can use disc brakes. Years ago disc brakes were not the best idea. Spares were not common in the middle of nowhere when bicycle touring. In recent years disc brakes and bicycle mechanics who can repair them are almost everywhere. Granted, you may need to carry more spare brake pads with you, specially if it is muddy and hilly, but they weight nothing and don’t take up any space.

I am a fan of disc brakes and I’m already making plans to install disc brakes in the future. So, future proof you bike now and get the model with disc brakes. I recommend the Thorn Nomad MK3 with disc brakes and Rohloff Hub.

A discarded toilet brush on the side of the road was used to clean the mud off the bike
A discarded toilet brush on the side of the road was used to clean the mud off the bike, not the best for the brake pads!

Rohloff Hub Review

The Rohloff hub is a high end specialist internal gear hub known for its reliability and long term problem free use. The Rohloff developed an oil leak which was first noticed after a airplane flight. There was oil covering the interior of the bike box. I didn’t think too much of it until there was a pool of oil on the bottom of the canoe when I set off canoeing the Yukon River with my bike strapped to the canoe.

I took a photo of the oil leak and sent it to Thorn to assess. They advised it wasn’t a problem so I put up with the leak. Each time I change the oil as per the manufacturers recommendations I notice that there is no oil left in the hub. The new oil injected into the hub leaks out over time.

Most of it leaks onto the chain but also leaks onto the rims and sometimes onto the ground, the leak increases if the bike is laid on its side rather than on the kickstand. I’m assured this is not a problem but I’m not so sure!

I changed the gear cables at around 30000km. They started to show signs of wear with minor freying of the cable that indicated they were coming to the end of their life.

I replaced the gear change selector on the handgrips at the same time. They were showing signs of excess wear from UV and sweat. I would recommend changing the Rohloff cables and gear change selector at around 20000km.

Overall, despite the oil leak the hub, the hub has performed well, no problems with gear changes and no excessive noise. Changing the oil every 5000km is easy (even if there’s no oil left in my hub when I change it!). Check out Rohloff prices at Amazon.

Rohloff Hub oil leak
Oil leak on the Rohloff Hub. Seems excessive to me but the staff at Thorn think its nothing to worry about! Took only a couple of  hours for this amount of oil to leak out!

Thorn Nomad Chain and Chainrings

The chain and both chainrings were replaced after 13000km and 26000km. They could have lasted longer but several teeth on the front chainring had broken off. I started with a 40 tooth front chain ring but soon replaced it with a 38 teeth chain ring which assisted with the steepest of steep climbs.

Rarely do I need the lowest gear unless the climbs are above 10% with the new gearing. Although when I am tired or at altitude I wish I had smaller gearing.

When I reached the high altitudes of the Andes mountains in South America is reduced the front chainring to a 34 tooth. So far so good. In fact wish I did it earlier. Really, I wish I started with a 34 tooth rear sprocket. Take my advice, if you are Bicycle Touring gear down. If light touring or bicycle touring in flat areas a 40 tooth chainring will be fine.

Hills are the biggest struggle with a loaded touring bicycle. Slow and steady climbing with a small sprocket makes easy work of all but the steepest mountains.

I reverse the chainrings and Rohloff sprocket at around 7000km. On the first occasion I also replaced the chain, on the second I did not. It doesn’t seem to make much difference with a new chain. The wear is still similar. Although, chains are cheap so in future I think I will replace the chain every 7000km or so when I reverse the chainrings.

The chain is adjusted via an eccentric bracket which is adjusted with the tool provided by Thorn. I had an issue in Canada when the eccentric bracket seized. This was caused by prolonged exposure to salty conditions such as riding along beaches in Tasmania. I was unable to adjust the chain. To try and loosen the bracket I used WD40. I also hit the cranks to try and loosen the bracket but unknowingly at the time I broke the bolt holding the crank.

Eventually I loosened the bracket but soon after, while peddling uphill the crank fell off. A passing motorist luckily had a spare bolt that fitted and I made it to a bike shop to effect proper repairs and re-grease the eccentric bracket.

I will pay more attention to this type of maintenance in the future. While having a seized bracket I managed to bend the Eccentric Bracket adjustment tool. I recently purchased a new one. Poor preventative maintenance from myself is to blame, I think. Oh, and maybe I shouldn’t have ridden on all those beaches while in Tasmania!

After 26000km the bottom bracket started to sound a bit clunky. I replaced it after about 35000km. Most people are getting around 20000km out of the bottom bracket on average.

Thorn Nomad Mk2 in USA
Cycling the steepest street in San Francisco with a loaded Thorn Nomad Mk2 Touring bike, 38.5% grade! Low gear with 38 Teeth chain ring.
Beach riding at CLoudy Bay
Beach riding at Cloudy Bay on Bruny Island, Tasmania.

Rear View Mirror

I fail to understand how cyclists can tour without a rear view mirror. I like to have an idea what is going on all around me. If I am cycling on a narrow road with no shoulder and a truck is coming towards me and a sight a truck behind me in my mirror then I’ll just pull off the road. In 26000km I’ve only had to do it 3-4 times. I’d rather get off the road and ride another day, rather than stay in my lane and risk being hit and injured or worse. Too many cyclists die every year.

Just my opinion, not everybody agrees with me on this point. After 26000km the CatEye Bicycle Mirror is quite scratched and I’ll replace it with the same model, unless I replace the handlebars and it doesn’t fit!

Rear view mirror
Rear view mirror

GPS and Navigation for Bicycle Touring

I used a combination of paper maps, Garmin Edge 810 GPS, Google Maps and the Pocket Earth PRO Offline Maps App on Iphone for my navigation. Unfortunately, the app is only available on iPhones. For Androids I’m looking for an equivalent navigation app that is super easy to use. So far there is nothing as simple to use as Pocket Earth Pro. What do you recommend?

GPS for Bicycle Touring

Garmin Edge 810 GPS is not only my GPS but also my trip computer to determine my speed, grade of climb, daily distances and a plethora of other stats. The info about the days ride is extensive and fun to look at either while riding or at the end of the day. It is loaded with Garmin Maps that allow me to make route etc. The routing function is customisable and very frustrating. All up I am wanting to get rid of the GPS and use only my smartphone for all navigation and Bike trip computer stats.

I think it will not be long before I get rid of the Garmin and rely completely on my smartphone for navigation and bicycle touring stats. Time will tell. Do you still use a GPS? or have you moved to using a smartphone for all your navigation and bicycle touring needs? Let me know in the comments below.

Other Bicycle Touring GPS are the Garmin Edge 520 GPS.

Mapping Apps

Pocket Earth PRO Offline Map is an app that allowed me to download maps for offline use. The topo maps give a good indication of the sort of terrain that you will be cycling through and offline Wiki info on towns and attractions. It is able to create routes and give turn by turn directions.

I am also able to search out campsites and places like McDonalds and other places in town for free WiFi (not the food). Employees tend not to be paid enough money to care if a cyclist comes in, sits down and uses the free WiFi! I liked it. It has routeable maps which can be used while offline and appears very accurate. I’m still learning the power of this app and the more I use it the more impressed I am.

In future I would like to try other smartphone based navigation aids. What do you recommend?

Cycling through the snow
Cycling through the snow


I use a Pletscher Esge  rear mount bike stand. A lot of cycle tourers are against kickstands. I’m not sure why. Once you have started using one, you will not go back. Maybe you should re-assess and starting using a bicycle stand.

I have toured without a kickstand and it annoyed the crap out of me having to find something to lean the bike against or lying it on the ground often in mud. For my second tour I used a clickstand, a small lightweight pole made with the same material as most tent poles. I found it also annoying and it broke part way though the tour. Not that I overly cared as I was not happy with it by this stage. Many cyclists carry an easily accessable stick that works as a bike stand and to fend off aggressive dogs.

I found the Pletscher Esge kickstand to work well on all but the softest sand and mud and even then I still managed to make it work for me. Thorn states that they void the frame warranty if a kickstand is used. I say that if their bike is a strong as they state, and they are very boastful of its strength then I surmised that its not a problem, and so far its fine. I don’t load my bike with 100kg of gear which might bend the frame in the wrong circumstances so I don’t think its a problem. Very happy with the stand.

Nearing the end of the dirt road through Death Valley
Nearing the end of the dirt road through Death Valley

Electrical charging

The most common question I have received is in regards to the front dynohub and how I charge my electrical gear. I use a Son Schmidt Dynohub which powers my front headlight and was also connected to the Sinewave Revolution USB charger and the Anker 20000Mha Battery. With this combination and when cycling at speeds of about 15km/h it charges my phone at the same speed as mains power.

When traveling slower it still charges ok but not as quick. When I’m not charging my phone directly I charge an Anker 20000Mha Battery, I use this to charge up my GPS every night as well as all my other USB devices such as my Kindle, headlamp, etc.

I charge my computer off mains power as I travel. Places such as fast food restaurants, coffee shops, RVers who let me charge on their power etc. I started this tour with the Pedalpower plus system.

It was poor quality and continually failed me, I was not overly impressed. So far, after about 20000km the Sinewave Revolution has exceeded my expectations. I am very happy. The Anker battery is just a cheap battery I bought on Amazon. It works fine and holds more than enough charge for extended cycle touring when used in combination with the Sinewave Revolution.

Thorn Nomad bikes
Cycling at speed charges all the USB devices, but it also works at slower speeds as long as its above 5km/h

Are Brooks Saddles Worth it?

In 2015 I had a Brooks saddle which failed in Alaska when the adjustment at the front of the seat broke, I was unable to affect a repair without waiting for spares to arrive. I wasn’t prepared to wait an unspecified amount of time so I replaced the seat with another found in a bike store.

The new seat, called a Phorm, worked OK for me. It traveled about 20000km and I was very happy with it. Eventually it started to fail due to exposure to my sweaty butt and UV rays. In 2018 I bought my second Brooks Saddle, let’s see if it lasts a bit longer or if I will be disappointed a second time.

View towards Heceta Head Lighthouse
View towards Heceta Head Lighthouse

Panniers and Frame Bag

Custom Made Frame Bag

When I decided to get rid of front panniers I toyed with the idea of getting a frame bag. A girl I hosted through warmshowers, Marie, was a genius at sewing and made one for me from offcuts of shade sail material. I was able to store all my spares, tools, pump, rope, gloves, hat, raingear etc.

The framebag worked well on my Thorn Nomad Mk2 but was not completely waterproof in heavy rain. I seam sealed the stitching but this didn’t solve the problem, I suspect it is the zippers which are not waterproof. It could be solved  by fitting waterproof zippers or replacing with a length of velcro as a flap. Wrapping things in Zip lock bags also works. I love the small bag between the frame and rear wheel. It stores my Rohloff Oils, spares and tools that I very rarely use. I will look into waterproof zips or velcro in the future, until then I’ll use waterproof bags.

Rear Panniers

My choice was to use the rear Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic Panniers. I managed to break the bottom mounting bracket (twice). It’s the smiley face shaped bracket. Instead of replacing it I used a combination of superglue and reversing the mount as a temporary fix. This has lasted over 12000km before I replaced it. After another 5000km the bracket broke again. Both top mounting plastic mounts are bent and no longer straight. They have taken a fair amount of punishment but remain dust and waterproof.

The Ortleib Ultimate handlebar bag worked well and is also waterproof and surprisingly dustproof. I also used the map case from Ortleib which worked well. After 20000km and several years the plastic map case started to turn yellow and the map underneath became unreadable. I replaced it with the new style of Ortieb Map case. So far, I think it is crap. I wish they didn’t change it. The case is connected to the bag via elastic straps instead of snap lock buttons. It makes the map case very flimsy in my opinion. I think Ortieb failed with this redesign. But I love the handlebar bag.

Rear Rack bag

On the rear rack I use an Ortlieb Rack-Pack 49L, bright yellow. It stores my hiking backpack, tent poles and jacket. When covering long distances between re-supplies it is loaded with extra food etc. Several of the buckles broke but are still usable, I will replace them and take a spare or two with me. Initially I wasn’t impressed with the rackbag but it’s grown on me and cant find a better way to store extra gear and keep it both accessible and waterproof.

I travel with my 48 litre hiking backpack which easily fits inside. My trekking poles, tent poles and other large items also fit in easily.

I also use 2 Revelate Design feed bags on the handlebars which I use as waterbottle holders. While in Alaska and Canada I used one of them as a Bear Spray holder, great for quick access if needed, which I didn’t! Some of the stitching has broken and needs to be repaired.

If you have ever thought of ditching the panniers and setting up a Bikepacking rig then read this article about Panniers vs Bikepacking Bags.

Broken mount on the Johnson Trail
Broken mount on the Johnson Trail
Devils Pass Trail on route to the campsite 2 miles from the trailhead
Devils Pass Trail on route to the campsite 2 miles from the trailhead. Bear spray at the ready.

Suspension  vs Normal Forks

I have toured with the supplied fixed fork that comes standard on the Thorn Nomad Mk2 and with Rockshox coil suspension. My choice of coil suspension over air suspension was made because I thought if there was an air leak then I may have a huge problem and may not be able to ride.

The Thorn Nomad MK3 does not take suspension forks. They are a waist of time and effort anyway. They don’t work as well as most people might think. Rigid forks are the way to go, and you could pair them with disc brakes if you wanted.

I was not completely happy with front suspension, let me explain. By having front suspension forks I thought I would have a more comfortable ride and be able to move over rough ground faster. Well, it sounds good in theory but in practice I found it wasn’t the case. While loaded I was not able to travel fast over rough roads, when I did I risked pinch flats on the rear tyre. After several pinch flats I learned that I could go no faster over rough roads with suspension forks.

On stoney roads or mildly rough roads the suspension was of benefit but those same roads could be ridden comfortably with solid forks at the same speed. When the bike is loaded it works well with the solid forks, they seem to flex just the right amount. In fact the more weight on the Thorn Nomad Mk2 the better it rides.

The next things was technical mountain biking. Riding the bike unloaded over technical trails was not as great as I expected. It is not a mountain bike. Yes, I knew that already. It’s a heavy, rigid touring bike.


In conclusion the extra weight and money of front suspension was not worth it. The Thorn Nomad MK3 will not fit suspension forks but can fit disc brakes. I never bought the bike like this as a mountain bike.

Loaded or unloaded the bike did not perform much better with front suspension. I tried mounting water bottles on the front forks, the bottle holder kept breaking.

One time they broke and sent the water bottle into the front spokes while at speed. I was lucky my front spokes didn’t break. I will not be mounting water bottles on the front fork again. Maybe there is a better, stronger way of doing it. I’m open to suggestions from anybody, anyone have a better way of fixing waterbottles to the front forks?

So the end result is I will install my original solid forks in the future. I’ll save about 1kg in weight and have better reliability issues. The Thorn Nomad Mk2 performed well. It exceeded my expectation. There were many envious cyclist who wished they had the same bike as me. Highly recommended.
You can read my bike specification here.

Carrying my bike through the late season Snow drifts of Alaska's Devils Pass
Carrying my Thorn Nomad Mk2 through the late season Snow drifts of Alaska’s Devils Pass

Where to buy all the best gear for Bicycle Touring and Bikepacking:
REI | Moosejaw |Amazon | | 
Campsaver | Competitive Cyclist | Patagonia | | MEC Canada -Bicycle Touring Gear |

Thorn Nomad Review

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

Download the Ultralight Hiking Gear List

Add your name and email to download the Ultralight Hiking Gear List

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

35 thoughts on “Thorn Nomad MK2 Review”

  1. I am bit late to the conversation however my Thorn Raven had a leak detected by the Rohloff service centre on the Gold Coast, Australia. They said they could not fix the leak (gave some reason why, which I am sure made sense to them) and they replaced the guts of the hub FOC. My hub was 16 years old at that time! Pretty good I thought.

  2. Hi Brad, what is it about us ex cops. I also have a Nomad mk2, rode it 4000kms in Australia last year and all over NZ since buying it a few years ago. It’s one tough and very comfortable bike! I have the Jones Bar fitted & never feel I need to change hand position. Excellent steering control on rough ground. I’m walking Te Araroa next month. I’m chasing you mate! Lol. Excellent website, very helpful. Thanks, Ian.

    • Hi Ian, I know many several people with Nomads, a very heavy but strong bike that is up for the challenges. Good luck on the TA, the South Island is awesome. If I can help out in anyway, let me know. Cheers to all the ex cops that are out exploring.

  3. Fully support your views on the Nomad. Mine’s now 5000 kms into a South America tour. I’ve thrown it down the road, ridden along terrible rocky paths, through rivers, across the desert, and it just laps it up. Incredible piece of engineering. And the support from Thorn is equally good. When I realised I needed to downsize the Chainring they moved heaven and earth to get it DHL’d out to me quickly. Brilliant all round, and well worth the money! Happy biking to you, Stuart (

    • Cheers Stuart. Definitely a strong bike that’s up for any world travel experience that you can throw at it. Enjoy South America

  4. Try Komoot. Not used it but recommended by friend who was looking for App that allows you to create your own routes and gives voice navigation of the routes, offline.

  5. Great Read & Review Brad,

    Jenny (wife, chief navigator, cook extraordinaire) & I just completed a ride over the Canadian Rockies from Calgary to Hope BC. Now heading south along the Pacific West Coast.

    We’re both riding 2012 Thorn Nomads, the bicycle worlds version of a human powered, two wheel tank. Love them, even if they’re on the porky side.

    Sounds like you have been having some amazing adventures, great job.


    • You are correct, the bike certainly is a two wheeled tank! But like tanks it takes a lot to destroy them. Have fun.

  6. Hi, sorry for being so late to the conversation. Here’s two cents from a guy that’s been using a Rohloff since 2009. The first pic or gush of oil looks a bit frightening but I too don’t think it’s something to worry about. I’ve had gushes of oil coming out of my hub at the oddest times where there would be a leak days, weeks or months after a filling up. Not as huge a quantity as in the pic, though, and not from the grub screw hole. Effectively, your rear wheel’s rims and spokes will be covered with a thin layer of oil all the time.

    And, when I start my annual oil change, I almost never get any old oil out. I’m pretty sure it’s not dry inside the hub but the gears are certainly not sloshing in oil the whole year.

    So, hope that allays any fears. Rohloff themselves are very responsive to issues. Ride safe!

  7. I suspect your Rohloff oil leak is due to not putting a new daub of Loctite (one of the oil-proof numbers) on the drain screw each time you replace the oil. The drain screw does not create an airtight seal without Loctite, and the air pressure inside the hub gets high enough to push the oil out.

    I’m surprised to hear that you use a 49L Ortlieb rack pack. I thought that size was only for motorcycles. Does it easily clip to the back panniers?

    • The oil leak is not from the grub screw but from the seals on either side of the axle. So I suspect loctite would make no difference. The 49L works well, specially on long food/water carries. Generally it only carries my hiking backpack and empty water bottles etc. it clips in easily but I also use bungy cords to stop it moving.

  8. Dear bikehikesafari,
    have you had any trouble with your rohloff hub slipping? like pushing down hard on the pedals, and a crunch and grind as the hub clumsily shifts down?

    • No. I always change gears mid stroke. Meaning when my legs are imparting the least amount of pressure. When they are at the very bottom or top or the stroke. Does that make sense. When I first changed to riding with a rohloff it would clunk into gear if I changed gear when I had max pressure on the pedals.

      • what i’ve had is my finger nowhere near the shifter (i’m not changing), but i just change the pedalling pressure (increasing it), and the hub slips, grinds, crunches down to a lower gear.

  9. Hi

    loved reading youre review and blog. I have question perhaps open to all. I’m torn between a Thorn Nomad, a Surly Disk Trucker as well as a custom built Soma Wolverine based bike… any comments on that?

    • I’m not familiar with the other bikes. The nomad is a real heavy duty touring bike. About as solid as you can get. It’s now done over 25000km. So far so good

    • Hi srahul, if you decide on the Thorn Nomad II, and you’d like to avoid the expense, I have mine for sale – a great condition, top spec, tonka Yellow Thorn Nomad Mk II – bought 3 years ago, but not used as much as I’d hoped so reluctantly selling. If you look at the Thorn Cycles website and study the Nomad Mk II brochure, the one I’m selling is absolute top of the range pictured as the ideal build, a no expense spared Rohloff equipped model – original outlay £2,400. Designed to go around the world, and keep going around! If you’d like pictures, you can let me know via:

  10. Nice review
    I ride a Thorn Raven
    A light weight Nomad
    Last summer in rode 2,500 Km through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan fully loaded across the Pamir Highway. 4,000m high roads.
    Much of it unpaved.
    Anyway, the Raven and Rohloff did their jobs perfectly.
    I wrote to Thorn and asked them what kind of terrain did they build the Nomad for?
    It must be like a tank?
    Not taking anything away from Nomads but please consider the Raven as well.
    It did the job for me.

  11. Hi, as Thorn AND Rohloff state, You can easily ride on with no visible (drainable) oil in the hub, as there is still enough oil inside on the moving materials to lubricate them between the intervals of the next oil change (and refill).

    Regarding the front suspension I use a Magura TS6 (successor of the Magura Menja) and I am very happy with it. I dont mind weight, as everything on this bike is heavy and solid. The ride with the Magura TS6 is much smoother on any kind of surface, of course most recognizable on rough surface. The ride with the rigid Thorn fork is not especially comfortable when cycling unloaded (at the fron wheel). BUT it is VERY comfortable the more loaded the bikes, especially the front wheel with the low loader, gets!! And that´s what the bikes is built for: heavy loaded touring. So by all means I am very happy with the bike and its performance! Thanks for providing Your detailed experiences, regards, Peter

    • Thanks Peter. My suspension girls are 1/4 the price of your forks, so far they’ve done 20000km and working well. I’d love better forks such as yours but can’t quite justify paying for them. Glad you like them.

  12. I have a Thorn Nomad Mk 2, and have never experienced the oil leak problems you have on my Rohloff. I would get in touch with Thorn again, and insist that it’s DEFINITELY a problem.

  13. Hey Brad Awesome piece. I’m thinking about buying a NOMAD too.Its reassuring to read a positive review. I have a big question- what do you load it to in kilograms? The instructions say up to 60kgs, later ‘at its best at 35kgs’. do you carry scales with you. Steve at Thorne said too many bumps and you could shear off the bosses at the max weight. Bruce Gordon says that i should run away from anyone offering me a bike that they say will carry 100lbs +. cheers, Andrew

    • I carry an average of 20-25kg but on some long unsupported sections of touring I’ve carried up to 50-60kg of load, 15 litre of water and a week or more in food. The bike handles the weight fine, in my experience the more weight on the bike the better it rides. 35kg should be no problems, I highly recommend the bike of you want a solid bike for touring, if carrying less load than 20kg there are many cheaper options than a thorn. Hope that helps.


Leave a Comment