Our Thorn Club Tour Bicycles

PLEASE NOTEall of our links below are for your information & are NOT sponsored in any way

When one plans to set off on a long-distance cycle tour, having the right bicycle is fundamentally important to the adventure.  Get this decision wrong and you may have a disastrous time.  It is not necessarily that one needs a “touring” bicycle, although it is lovely to have one, but it is crucial that the bicycle meets the following basic requirements…

  • Comfortable to ride all day long
  • Good saddle
  • Puncture-proof tyres
  • Mechanically reliable
  • Have suitable pannier racks

Having a super-light carbon framed road bike might be great for a long day ride, but will not be suitable for long-distance cycle touring.  Similarly, a full-suspension mountain bike or a folding commuter bike might not be suitable either.

We both have wonderful Thorn Club Tour bicycles.  We love our bicycles. We have invested in these bicycles as we are “committed” cycle tourers who want to ride thousands of miles, as our bikes give us lovely, comfortable ride, mile after mile after mile.  The bikes are very reliable, built with Reynolds 725 steel tubing and raked Reynolds touring forks that smooth out the road vibrations.  The long wheel base gives a stable ride, especially when fully loaded with panniers front and back. The bikes handle well, even on uneven surfaces, such as gravel top canal towpaths & poorly made road surfaces.  We like an upright riding position, with Thorn comfort bars and Brooks B17 leather saddles, rather than drop handle bars.  It feels like our bikes fit us exactly to our physical body shapes.

We are lucky to have Thorn Cycles close by in Bridgewater, less that 1 hours’ drive away or a 2.5hr cycle ride.  This means that we can have our bikes serviced by the workshop team that made them.  Their first-hand knowledge of their bikes is very reassuring when asking advise.  And as a bicycle manufacturer, they have great prices when it comes to fitting new parts, such as replacement chain sets.

We would always highly recommend Thorn Cycles as a great touring bike & great value for money given the high quality of the frames and components.  The fact that one can buy a frame that is the perfect sized fit as Thorn Cycles has a big range of different frame sizes, heights and lengths. With all the advice that Thorn Cycles gives pre-sale, this means that one can end up with a very comfortable steed, specified to one’s exact requirements.  The sales staff do not want to sell you a bike (i.e. build one to order), if you will not be happy with the end product.  The Thorn “Mega Brochure” pdf (AKA Thorn Touring Bike Bible) is a remarkable document packed with information and opinions of what makes a great touring bike and is worth a read simply as a source of knowledge and wisdom….. look at this link below…

The Thorn Touring Bike Bible

Thorn Cycles Website

Thorn Club Tour Bikes
Our bikes resting at the top of the pass

Meanwhile, there are many other bikes on the market and many opinions as to what is a good touring bike, brands such as Surly, Genesis, Dawes, Kona & Ridgeback.  The key thing is to consider if you are buying a “touring bike” is whether the bike comes fitted with pannier racks, mudguards, good puncture-proof tyres (we swear by Schwalbe Marathon Tyres) and a good saddle.  Or whether you need to buy these as “extras”.  Whatever you choose, do not simply buy a bike because it looks nice or has great internet reviews, you must ride it first for at least 30 minutes and see it if fits you and feels comfortable.

Just to prove that you do not need to spend a fortune on a bike, our friend, Mike, who rode with us in Iran (2019) & Rajasthan (2018) bought a Bristol Bike, a very well-priced, well built & affordable bicycle.  He wrote a short article here…

Mike’s article about his Bristol Bike

Have a look at these bicycle related pages, for further information on our Touring Bicycles…

Our Bike Luggage

Our Tool Kit & Spares

Tyres, Saddles & Bottoms