Author Topic: Thorn Vs. Koga  (Read 17177 times)

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Offline ragincajun

Thorn Vs. Koga
« on: March 06, 2007, 11:22:05 pm »
Well I have a small deposit on a derailleur equipped Thorn Nomad. Last week, I was looking at the "fully loaded touring bikes on tour" site and observed a black Koga World Traveller. I loved the look of the frame even though I prefer steel.

I know everything about the Nomad and nothing about the World Traveller.

 Is there anyone out there who can tell me (with experience) more about the ride of the Koga? I am having last minute second thoughts and since these bikes are expensive, I want to make sure I choose the best one.

Cheers!
 :)


Offline bruno

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 10:16:39 am »
i'd go with the thorn. but think about springing for a rohloff-equipped one. i have a rohloff on one of my bikes and wish it was on all of them. expensive but worth it.


Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 11:39:19 am »
Check out Tim and Cindie Travis' website, http://www.downtheroad.org/ They have been traveling on Koga World Travelers non-stop since 2002, in four continents. If anybody has experience with using a Koga World Traveler for world travel, it would be the them.

Ride safe,
Hans

National Mountain Bike Patrol-MN
www.trailpatrol.org

This message was edited by Trailpatrol on 3-7-07 @ 7:39 AM
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
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"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline ragincajun

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 01:11:15 pm »
I went there first and their site is sort of how I became interested. I can't help but feel that Koga's sponsorship carries influence with the oppinions they publish.  I love the look of the bike.  It does appear heavy and I wonder if it would sort of feel like a Clydesdale unladen as well.

The Nomad is probably a bit more sprightly and just as able to carry heavy loads.  It is more expensive so if a few folks had real positive riding experiences with the Koga, I would lean towards it on the issue of price.


tofubicycle

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Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 11:32:32 pm »
Just FYI, currently there is no Koga business representation in the United States. I work at a LBS in Washington DC and we were Koga dealers up until last summer when Koga's US sales rep essentially disappeared, leaving the business high and dry. Shortly thereafter, Koga sent a letter to US dealers explaining the situation, quite judiciously I might add, and further explaining that until such time as new US representation was installed they would do their absolute best to fulfill all US customer needs but that delays and possibly high shipping fees could be expected. Since then, it has been both difficult and expensive for us to provide service and warranty replacement on proprietary parts or on parts only imported into the US on Koga bikes and no new Koga bikes, to the best of my knowledge, are being imported by bikes shops in the US. Please understand, this is no indictment of Koga, I think they've done the best the can would the situation, but folks interested in the brand here in the states should be made aware.

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i'd rather be biking.

Offline ragincajun

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2007, 09:15:20 am »
It's good to know this.  I read somewhere that someone Stateside purchased a World Traveller and had some trouble with the set up.  The service was so bad he got rid of the bike.  Too bad, because aside from the aluminum frame, the Koga should be up to the task.  It's wearing me out trying to even find out how it rides so I can imagine the issues I might have after I own one.

I think I'll stick with the Nomad.  Thanks everyone for the input and I'll post some pics when I build it!




tofubicycle

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Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2007, 11:16:58 am »
Oddly enough, I received an email this morning from Koga Europe informing me that they have made business arrangements with an LBS in Santa Barbara, CA named Commuter Bicycles. In addition to the Koga Miyata bikes, they apparently keep a small stock of Koga-specific repair and replacement parts on-hand. Presumably this shop either ships to locations in the 48 states, can provide distribution and wholesale pricing to other US shops, or both. I'll have to wait until everyone on that side of the country wakes up to inquire but I thought I'd follow up and correct myself here right away.    

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.........-\<,
......(O) (O)...........
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i'd rather be biking.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2007, 12:19:31 pm »
I believe Commuter Bicycles is the shop that John Seigel-Boettner and the students and staff of Santa Barbara Middle School use when setting up their cross-country bike trips. ("The biking-est school in America.") That should translate into knowing a thing or two about touring. You can get John's book, "Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America" from the ACA store, or go to http://www.americanrediscovery.com/ about their 2002 Lewis and Clark Trail trip.

As for Travis' website, I don't think they started off with a sponsorship from Koga. They just shopped for the most durable bikes they could find.

Ride safe,
Hans

National Mountain Bike Patrol-MN
www.trailpatrol.org
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
www.twowheeledexplorer.org
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline ragincajun

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2007, 09:11:09 pm »
Trail Patrol-

Thanks for the response.  I guess I was wanting to see a wider opinion on the Koga which seems to be a real mystery.  There is Tim's site which speaks to the durability and the accessories needed for long expeditions.  The ride is an unknown.  I can't seem to find out if it feels heavy, or if it is actually responsive, oversize tubes and all.  

It seems as if few people have experience with the bike.  I know I love the frame style, but I am thinking that Koga are not dialed into the US market very well and service may be lacking.


tofubicycle

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Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2007, 12:25:05 am »
Commuter Bicycles does indeed direct-import Koga bikes and parts. They do offer distributor pricing to other bike shops in the United States. Currently, the cost of freight to cost of goods ratio for importing these bikes and parts is very poor though Eric at Commuter Bikes tells me that they are working on finding more cost effective means of importing the product. So, at least in theory, any bike shop with reasonable credit willing to go through the trouble should be able to order Koga bikes through Commuter Bicycles.

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......... __ o
.........-\<,
......(O) (O)...........
...........................
i'd rather be biking.

Offline biker_james

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2007, 08:36:20 am »

Quote

Too bad, because aside from the aluminum frame, the Koga should be up to the task.  

From everything I've heard about Koga, the frame is not a liability. And if Tim & Cindi Travis can tour for years on them, I'm sure they are quite strong enough. They started their tour on other bikes-she had a Bruce Gordon, but Gordon said his frames wouldn't handle someone the size of Tim with the weight he expected to carry.
I've been rouring for 7 years on an aluminum Cannondale with no frame issues. I see a lot of Cannondales touring too. There are lots of "horror" stories going around about steel frames also.



Offline DaveB

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2007, 10:35:38 am »
I'm sorry if this sounds cynical but why are you going to so much trouble to get a bike that seems poorly supported and has only one US dealer.  There can't be anything about it that's so unique that it's worth all that trouble.

There are a lot of highly reliable touring bikes from Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Fuji, etc., etc......  All of which have numerous dealers, good warranty support and are serviceable by any dealer.  


Offline ragincajun

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2007, 12:11:30 pm »
You're right of course.  I know it seems like a case of why bother.  The Nomad is a great bike from what I can see, I have never owned one, but have had Cannondales and Treks.

I guess I got caught up with the build your bike nonsense on the Koga website.  I have always liked the Dutch and German Expedition frame styles.

More than a few have also told me that the Koga has a much nicer ride than the Nomad once the luggage is removed.




Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2007, 06:03:49 pm »
The Koga-USA website lists a dealer in Chicago now, too. It looks like they are working towards more of a presence in the USA, from the way their site reads.

No matter...I like my Volpe.

Hans

National Mountain Bike Patrol-MN
www.trailpatrol.org
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
www.twowheeledexplorer.org
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline cara2u

Thorn Vs. Koga
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2007, 11:16:28 am »
My wife and I have close to 5000 miles in on our Koga/Miyata World
Travellers. We are very pleased with ours. We purchased ours from
Commuter Cycles in Santa Barbara. The best kept secret with these
bikes is the amazing balance of the frame geometry. The bike tracks
like no other that I've ridden. Google Tilmann Waldthaler, he's got over
18,000 going around the world on his WT.

   I understand Koga will overnight you a replacement frame anywhere
in the world if you have a warranty issue but I must add I haven't seen
that in riding. Besides the frame you have Shimano Xt drive train
components that are a no brainer.
   
   IMHO for a straight out of the box expedition class touring bike
nothing compares. The next level is custom frame, Rohloff, disc and
twice as much money.
   If you are ever in SoCal look us up and will take you for a spin.
Good Luck, James