The bike

My bike is a Nomad Mk2, made by Thorn, a specialist cycle company in Bridgwater, Somerset. Whilst they make various bikes, they are particularly famous for the Nomad, a bike designed and built to withstand the rigours of long distance cycle-touring over rough terrains.

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Whilst the steel frame is made in Taiwan (along with most of the rest of the world’s bike frames) the bike is put together in Bridgwater to the chosen specification. It weighs in at a hefty 17kgs (a modern racing bike is under 9kgs), but then it needs to carry 25kgs of luggage and ride over rough terrain without breaking. So far it has been worth every kilo of weight and feels reassuringly solid!

I went for the following options:

Rohloff speedhub internal gears – a 14 speed system which needs less maintenance and is less prone to damage than derailleurs, also reducing wear on the chain, chainring and sprocket.

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Despite having tested it in the UK with luggage, my original choice of a 45 tooth chainring and 17 tooth sprocket proved to be wrong for me once I hit the Colombian mountains. Thorn service lived up to its reputation and I was able to get a replacement 36 tooth chainring DHL’d out to Colombia. This is a massive improvement for me, and I haven’t missed the consequential loss of big gears.

S&S couplings, which allow the bike to be separated into two with ease, allowing it to be carried in taxis, buses, or small planes more easily than normal bikes.

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Brooks B17 saddle – most people say they take some wearing in, but I’ve found mine comfortable from day one

Thorn’s racks front and rear – capable of taking up to 60kgs of kit

Shimano Deore cranks

Shimano XT V-brakes and XT levers

Son 28 dynamo front hub with Schmidt Edelux II front light and Sinewave cycles USB charger on stem

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26″ Andra rims with Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 2.25″ tyres

Spur cycles bell – I still can’t believe I parted with £50 for a bike bell, but it is a beautiful piece of engineering, and does give me pleasure every time I use it!

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