upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
beeb
Posts: 53
Joined: 13 Aug 2014, 6:39pm

upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by beeb »

next year I finally get my pension lump sum and have always promised that we would ( my wife and I) buy the touring bikes which we will have for the rest of our touring careers. I'll be 60 next year so hope to be touring for many years yet!

We have a Thorn Adventure tandem which is like a tank but we absolutely love it. It has Thorn racks front and back and even though it is over twenty years it still rides great. Only problem is we can no longer lift it on the roof of the car, or getting on and off trains would be almost impossible, so we'll keep it for tours from home.

So what should we get and how should we spec the bikes ??

Some further information which may be useful:

We won't be touring the world and most of our touring will be in western europe, although we may try a wee trip to Morroco etc, but mostly France, Spain, Germany maybe Croatia etc

Budget would allow us to buy two bikes for £7000 all in, so a pretty healthy budget, even a bit more if need be as they have to last for xxx number of years!

So hit me with the suggestions, is it a Thorn Nomad with Rohloff, dyno charging hub, brooks saddle, wheels? tyres? racks?

My wife does like the idea of a step through as well

Thanks for any help, I have received some great advice on here in the past from people much more experienced than myself and for that I am grateful
beeb
Posts: 53
Joined: 13 Aug 2014, 6:39pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by beeb »

meant to add that we really like camping and doing our own cooking so will need to have carrying capacity

thanks all
Bonefishblues
Posts: 9127
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by Bonefishblues »

Don't forget Stanforth, who also do stepthro' frames.

If it fits this is great value for you, with plenty of change for Mrs Beeb:

https://www.stanforthbikes.co.uk/produc ... ill-stem-1

...or in your position, and given your experience, you could go full custom at OBW, or maybe with someone like this lady:
http://www.beaumontbicycle.com/ who is something of a step-through specialist to meet all sorts of requirements.

(Or Lee Cooper, who does OBW & Stanforth frames)
LollyKat
Posts: 3071
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by LollyKat »

I would definitely go for a Rohloff and dyno hub but do you really need something as heavy as a Nomad? I would think a Raven or Raven Tour would be easily enough bike for camping in Europe. SJS have a step-through frame on sale at the moment.

Have fun whatever you decide!
slowster
Posts: 2167
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by slowster »

Thorn offer two styles of step-through frame, examples of both of which are currently on the SJS website:

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/thorn-step-through-frames/

If you have been happy with your Thorn tandem, there is probably a lot to be said for sticking with the devil you know and buying Thorn again. SJS are currently selling an ex-demonstrator step-through Nomad with Rohloff for £3,495. That version is designed for lightweight cycle camping using just rear panniers:

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/bikes/thorn ... ine-entry/

http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/BUILD ... OHLOFF.pdf

Not having to manhandle or womanhandle two front panniers in addition to rear panniers and bar bag etc. should be much easier when using trains or airports etc. The bikes are apparently a bit lighter than the standard Nomad (the minimalist Airy rack itself is only 230g), but I guess even bigger weight savings might result from (or even be necessitated by) not using front panniers. I imagine you might also want or need to consider what you took and whether to save weight/space with a lighter tent, mats, sleeping bags etc.

I think the choice of Rohloff or derailleur gears is a personal one. If a Rohloff develops a fault on tour it is a major problem, but that needs to be balanced against their very high reliability: it is extremely unlikely you would ever have a problem. Personally I would rather take my chances with a Rohloff than a 7, 8, 9 or possibly even 10 speed drivetrain with indexed shifters, given the greater vulnerability of rear derailleurs to damage and the difficulty/impossibility of getting some of the parts for a derailleur set-up, especially rear derailleurs (unless you use friction shifters so that you can fit a replacement derailleur of any speed as long as it has enough capacity).
Thehairs1970
Posts: 349
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by Thehairs1970 »

My wife bought a step-through from https://www.bristolbicycles.co.uk/produ ... ory/bikes/

Great service and plenty of opportunities for customising.
Halla
Posts: 194
Joined: 27 Apr 2008, 9:28pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by Halla »

There are very good bike builders across the country now, why not start close to your home and discuss your needs with someone local first. The question of where to buy comes up on here very frequently and the same answers are always given. If you can say where you live someone may know of a good supplier/builder to save you travelling time.

Just a thought.
iandusud
Posts: 938
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by iandusud »

Have you thought about getting your tandem fitted with couplings or a new tandem with couplings. With this you can split it into two which will enable you to put it into a car or on trains. This is the route my wife and I are adopting after falling in love with tandeming.
beeb
Posts: 53
Joined: 13 Aug 2014, 6:39pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by beeb »

we are far north of Scotland

Used to be Charles Ralph of Alves framesets near Elgin, but don't know of anyone else

thanks for the coupling idea, but we are going to keep the tandem for the UK and use these new bikes when we head for the continent

think Thorn is our likely road of travel
Halla
Posts: 194
Joined: 27 Apr 2008, 9:28pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by Halla »

Have you tried Shand Cycles at Livingstone, I have heard that they have a good reputation for making good solid touring cycles.

I hope this is of help to you.
francovendee
Posts: 1844
Joined: 5 May 2009, 6:32am

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by francovendee »

Oxford Bike Works seem to make some nice bikes that won't break the budget.
hamster
Posts: 3837
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by hamster »

I think I would turn the question round to 'what is wrong with the Dawes?' to lead you to a list of changes and preferences in your new bikes. It might be that the answer is nothing much apart from renewal of some bits.
beeb
Posts: 53
Joined: 13 Aug 2014, 6:39pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by beeb »

karakums have been fine and we could spend some money on them, we'll sell them on marketplace

however we are looking to do much more touring now we are no longer working and it's my last chance to get the touring bike I have always wanted and for the first time in my life can actually afford

tending towards the thorn nomad, really love the tandem which we have
Jdsk
Posts: 8179
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by Jdsk »

beeb wrote: 9 Jun 2021, 2:53pmSo hit me with the suggestions, is it a Thorn Nomad with Rohloff, dyno charging hub, brooks saddle, wheels? tyres? racks?
My views on charging changed after a bit of experience, better understanding of USB battery packs, and two failed B+M headlamps with built-in charging.

What electrical devices will you be using, and how long might you be away from mains charging?

Of course most of that can wait until your planning has progressed... apart from the hub.

Jonathan
beeb
Posts: 53
Joined: 13 Aug 2014, 6:39pm

Re: upgrading bikes from Dawes Karakums to?????

Post by beeb »

do you think the charging hub a bad idea?

we will aim to be camping most of the time

in the past we have carried a little powerbank with solar panel as a backup

found ourselves sometimes in campsite toilets try to charge our phone, would rather charge it while we ride

is that not the experience of those that have a charging hub??
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