Hector Andy's Thorn eXXXp S&S Expedition bike equipped with Rohloff - Large - Olive Green -Used
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IS THIS THE BEST ADVENTURE TOURING BIKE EVER MADE? ANDY THINKS SO.
Read the spec below to see if you agree.
Andy is almost heartbroken to see Hector go but he knows that he will never need such a bicycle again and he would love to know that Hector could tour remote high mountains again and bring joy to a new owner.
WOULD IT FIT YOU?
Hector would fit (or could fit with a different handlebar stem) cyclists from 5’8” to 6’1”
(172 to 186cm) Andy is 5’ 10” (177cm)
Stand over at middle of top tube (with 26 x 2.0” tyres) is just under 32” (81cm) Effective top tube length = 620mm
FRAME and FORK SPECIFICATIONS
There were only 5 eXXXp bikes ever made.
They were built in Bridgwater by master frame builder Kevin Sales. The tubes are mitred and then fillet brazed using 50% silver braze.
They were long wheelbase touring bikes made entirely from extra oversized 1.0/0.7/1.0 (heavy) gauge Reynolds 853 tubing - even the seat stay and chain stay bridges and the reinforcement around the rear drop outs are 853.
The forks are our AFDM forks (Al Fin Del Mundo forks…this is what Argentina and Chile call Southern Patagonia) are also built from heavy gauge oversized Reynolds 853.
With the obvious exceptions of the seat tube, the head tube and the fork steerer, all the other tubes are sealed from the ingress of air - even the stainless bottle bosses are sealed capsules! It’s moist air being drawn into bike frames and then allowing water to condense on the inside of the tubes that causes internal rust and limits the service life of the frame.
All the eXXXp fittings are stainless steel, all badges are stainless steel and the frame has had a double powder coat finish of Olive Green
The 6 point fixing rear carrier is also stainless steel and will carry more than 50kg. With appropriate care, a person could be rescued on this carrier. The eXXXp was designed to carry almost all of its owners kit on the rear carrier. The bike handles like a dream with 35kg on the rear. Should you wish to spread the load, or carry even more weight, the AFDM forks have M6 bosses to take any industry standard Lo- Loader carriers that can take an M6 screw - obviously the Thorn Lo-Loaders are the most recommended.
The eXXXp has 4 sets of bottle bosses - the sets behind the seat tube and under the down tube are ideal for carrying petrol for a stove, in a manner which prevents contamination of items inside your panniers!
The eXXXp is designed exclusively for 26” (559) wheels and tyres, It will fly along surfaced or good gravel roads on the 26x2.0” Schwalbe Marathon Dureme tyres but it can take much wider tyres - 26x2.25” definitely fit - some 26 x2.35” may fit.
THE FRAME HAS S&S COUPLINGS - which make it easier to fit into cars, light aircraft and the holds of busses - don’t underestimate the advantage of taking a bus for long less interesting or dangerous parts of a tour. Whilst most airlines take full length bikes, remember that you still have to get them to and from the airport!
After loosening the couplings, the frame is separated by removing the Rohloff EX box and untwisting the outer gear cables from their “J” shaped guides - this allows a continuous run of outer casing from the shifter to the EX box, which prevents grit from getting into the outer cables and causing high friction and wear. Put the EX box in a plastic bag and secure it to the front section of the frame.
The rear brake cable is separated by undoing the cable joiner, which is situated in the straddle cable ( between the two brake arms) and releasing the brake cable pipe from the LH brake arm. Once separated it is recommended to hold the two arms together with a strong rubber band (cut from old inner tube?) to avoid damage to the arms in transit. Whilst not as critical as the Rohloff gear cables, this arrangement prevents grit getting into brake outer.
Wheels - Rohloff EX hub and Shimano XT front hub built into Ryde Andra 30 TCC rims. (Tungsten Carbide brake surfaces for the ultimate in long service life) Obviously we used top quality DT stainless spokes.
Tyres - the bike was fitted with BRAND NEW Schwalbe Marathon Dureme 26x2.0” brand new tyres, ready for a trip that never happened.
Brakes - Shimano XTR V brakes and levers - these stop powerfully with great fineness and, unlike disc brakes, are easy to maintain and fix in remote places. They also allowed us to specify more supple fork blades, to give supreme comfort. This is not possible with disc brakes.
Transmission - 175mm Shimano XT M730 forged in Japan, square taper cranks, with range topping Shimano square taper BB (these never fail suddenly, instead they give thousands of miles of noisy warning and a replacement could be found in almost any country) Thorn 7075T6/34 teeth chainring running via top quality KMC X1 chain into a Rohloff 19t sprocket - this gives exceptionally low gears, which are necessary at high altitude, with heavy loads - especially if tired or suffering from the effects of altitude. The difference between being able to sit on the bike and feebly twiddle to the top of a high mountain pass or pushing the bike and not getting to the top before nightfall and sudden sub zero temperatures ought not to be underestimated. In fact Fiona and I were able to cycle in situations that required 2 of us to push each bike!
Pedals - Shimano XT 747 MTB SPD pedals - these are awesome quality Carrier - see Frame and Fork Specifications above.
Seatpost - Suntour XC pro (top quality micro adjusting seat post) total length of shaft 280mm Saddle - Brooks Titanium Swift (top quality with a bit of “spring”) Handlebars and stem - Thorn AL7075 triple butted bars currently 650mm wide - could be shortened considerably. Thorn polished alloy stem. Ergon GP5 grips. Cateye computer (needs new batteries) Ping bell.
4 x Profile cages are fitted - these will take 1 litre Sprite bottles or 1 litre Sigg fuel bottles.
Special items - rear carbon fibre “mudguard”.
Front “Crud Catcher. Ortlieb bar bag mount on a Thorn T bar - this allows a bar bag to sit lower and consequently improve bike handling than if mounted directly to bars. It also removes the possibility of a bar bag mount damaging handlebars - which could lead to failure! The combination of a bar bag and Crud Catcher give almost as much protection as a front mudguard - without issues arising from travelling with mudguards.
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Questions & Answers
If you have any questions ask here or phone 01278 441500 (+44 1278 441500).