Thorn short cranks from SJS Cycles

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Don, Jun 24, 2003.

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  1. Don

    Don Guest

    Many thanks to the person on this forum who first informed me of the short cranks (Thorn) offered by
    St. John Street Cycles in Jolly Old. http://www.sjscycles.com/store/vIndex.htm

    I received a 150mm Thorn triple crankset today. I ordered it 9 days ago on a Sunday. On Monday SJS
    Cycles emailed me that what I ordered was considered a "kit" so they would assemble it for me AND
    charge me less. Gotta love those guys. Also, assembly and delivery across the pond in 9 days---very
    impressive.

    The Thorn looks great. Much better than the TA cranks. The side that shows rivals Campy Record in
    finish quality. I know I have both Record and Racing Triple cranks from Campy. Ignore the dark
    shading on the website picture. I think that is a shadow or something. Maybe that is an older
    finish. There is an attractive diagonal ridge along the face of the crank arms. That may cause a
    shadow. I did get TA rings and they look very good too, (especially the outer ring) and they are
    ramped. Total cost assembled and delivered apx $205 USD.

    Things to remember when looking at their site: All prices include
    17.5% VAT which yanks do NOT have to pay. If you buy an entire crankset the price is lower.

    They have lots of neat, hard-to-find items on their site. I also purchased a pair of TA pedal
    washers and 5-Minoura bottle cage holders. They had two sizes. I had never seen the larger size
    Minoura before. Note that the Minoura holders can be taken apart and rotated 90 degrees so they will
    mount on either vertical or horizontal tubes. They are also great for holding things besides water
    bottle cages. I think the larger size would fit on above seat stems.

    They also have fat zip ties that may be good for mesh seats. I was going to measure the ones on my
    Giro seat and see if the ties at SJS would work. If they did I was going to order 8 to redo my seat
    after break in. I forgot because I was having fun looking at other things on the site. So, be
    warned---this site could cost you more than just the price of a crankset.

    Only negative---I thought the packing was a little sparse. I forgive them. They probably do not know
    how “insensitive” the USPS can be at times. My package contents arrived in good
    condition.

    If you have been looking at TA short cranks from the Hostel Shoppe, ignore the catalog price. They
    have raised the price (online) of the bare crank to $250 plus shipping. Add the cost of rings and
    bolts and you have more in a crank than the average person pays for a DF bike. They blamed in on the
    falling dollar. I know the dollar has not fallen anything close to that amount.

    So, in summary. SJS Cycles has great products, great prices, great service. I am totally pleased
    with all aspects of my first order. Don't hesitate to order from them just because they are not US
    based. They delivered faster than many stateside vendors and they have some rare products. If you
    have been thinking of ordering shorter cranks, this is the place to order from. Don't delay. Do your
    knees a favor. Don
     
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  2. Rorschandt

    Rorschandt Guest

    [email protected] (Don) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > Many thanks to the person on this forum who first informed me of the short cranks (Thorn) offered
    > by St. John Street Cycles in Jolly Old. http://www.sjscycles.com/store/vIndex.htm
    >
    >
    if you don't want to try quite so short of cranks, and are determined to evade Shimano... I haven't
    actually done biz with them,BUT, XXcycle has TA Alize Triples in 165mm (U$146.77), and several other
    Euro cranks. Prices are given in U$ include shipping to the USA.
    http://www.xxcycle.com/cgi-bin/shop.pl?SCREEN=detail&REF=1040

    -- rorschandt <A HREF="mailto:p[email protected][127.0.0.1]"
     
  3. "Don" skrev

    > So, in summary. SJS Cycles has great products, great prices, great service. I am totally pleased
    > with all aspects of my first order. Don't hesitate to order from them just because they are not US
    > based. They delivered faster than many stateside vendors and they have some rare products. If you
    > have been thinking of ordering shorter cranks, this is the place to order from. Don't delay. Do
    > your knees a favor.

    Flux also sells 155 mm cranks. From 54 euro for just the crankarms without chainrings and up to a
    39/61 combo with chainguard for 176 euro. Shipping not included. Look here:
    http://www.flux-fahrraeder.de/home.htm (and pick "news" in left menu)

    M.
     
  4. Don

    Don Guest

    I just realized the Thorn cranks came without bolts to fasten them to the BB or any type of end
    cap. Should they come with the crank? I thought matching bolts/caps would be included. I have
    never seen those bolts sold separately except for the expensive self-extracting. Does something
    come with the BB?

    I have never purchased a crankset without the optional bicycle attached so I am not sure what comes
    with what.
     
  5. Don wrote:

    > I just realized the Thorn cranks came without bolts to fasten them to the BB or any type of end
    > cap. Should they come with the crank? I thought matching bolts/caps would be included. I have
    > never seen those bolts sold separately except for the expensive self-extracting. Does something
    > come with the BB?

    IIRC you usually get a pair of bolts with a bottom bracket. Can you not re-use the existing ones? If
    not, I should imagine an LBS can sell you a pair for small change. Likewise the dustcaps, which
    usually come with the cranks.

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  6. "Don" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I just realized the Thorn cranks came without bolts to fasten them to the BB or any type of end
    > cap. Should they come with the crank? I thought matching bolts/caps would be included. I have
    > never seen those bolts sold separately except for the expensive self-extracting. Does something
    > come with the BB?
    >
    > I have never purchased a crankset without the optional bicycle attached so I am not sure what
    > comes with what.

    The bolts comes with the BB, I would expect the caps to come with a complete crankset, but wouldn't
    count on it.

    Regards, Torben
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 24 Jun 2003 15:31:57 -0700, [email protected] (Don) wrote:

    [re SJS Cycles]

    I'm interested to hear that you like Thorn. Some UK cyclists have issues with SJSC - their prices
    vary between competitive and distinctly expensive (my view is that it's our job to shop around not
    theirs to price match). I've found Robin to be very businesslike, and can quite see how that would
    appeal more to the US idea of customer service than the British. We tend to prefer our shops to
    spend four hours looking for the upper widget snarkle bracket for a 1963 ffolkes-Polkington Special
    and then make no charge because the bike is such a joy to look at. Such shops have, of course, all
    gone bust long since.

    I have a lot of respect for Thorn (man and shop) and I think his knowledge of the touring market is
    excellent. His bikes are first class. We have a Thorn double childback triplet which is very well
    put together and Robin suggested neat details like a double stem to make it easier for both my wife
    and I to ride. He also sent a longer seatpost free of charge when it transpired the original was
    half an inch too short.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com Advance
    notice: ADSL service in process of transfer to a new ISP. Obviously there will be a week of downtime
    between the engineer removing the BT service and the same engineer connecting the same equipment on
    the same line in the same exchange and billing it to the new ISP.
     
  8. Don

    Don Guest

    I guess I am somewhat jaded about pricing after putting together a bike piece by piece. I hate the
    bicycle parts pricing structure and the price structure on complete bikes as well. I just visited
    my family for three weeks in Ohio where everyone had a garden tractor. Most of the tractors had
    significant horse power and multiple attachments. At any rate they had huge tires, starter motors,
    batteries, head lights, and an engine with many moving parts. They still cost less than a serious
    road bike or recumbent. Maybe it is the quantities that make the tractors cheaper. Maybe if
    everyone that had a garden tractor also had a good bicycle the prices would be cheaper for bikes
    than tractors.

    More to the point. The Thorn cranks are very expensive---compared to
    Shimano Ultegra triple cranks. But it is a moot point becauses sizes
    are limited from Shimano and the rest of the road crank manufacturers.
    The Thorn cranks are cheap ---- compared to TA's from Peter White or
    the Hostel Shoppe. I had very few choices for short cranks sources.

    So did I like the Thorn price? I liked it better than I liked TA pricing. The Thorn cranks are
    significantly more than Chorus or Ultegra but significantly cheaper than Record or Dura-Ace so I
    would have to say it was a good price based upon the product quality and service. Thorn delivered
    in 9 days and the cranks are gorgeous. They could go on any style of expensive bike with no
    apology needed.

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 24 Jun 2003 15:31:57 -0700, [email protected] (Don) wrote:
    >
    > [re SJS Cycles]
    >
    > I'm interested to hear that you like Thorn. Some UK cyclists have issues with SJSC - their prices
    > vary between competitive and distinctly expensive (my view is that it's our job to shop around not
    > theirs to price match). I've found Robin to be very businesslike, and can quite see how that would
    > appeal more to the US idea of customer service than the British. We tend to prefer our shops to
    > spend four hours looking for the upper widget snarkle bracket for a 1963 ffolkes-Polkington
    > Special and then make no charge because the bike is such a joy to look at. Such shops have, of
    > course, all gone bust long since.
    >
    > I have a lot of respect for Thorn (man and shop) and I think his knowledge of the touring market
    > is excellent. His bikes are first class. We have a Thorn double childback triplet which is very
    > well put together and Robin suggested neat details like a double stem to make it easier for both
    > my wife and I to ride. He also sent a longer seatpost free of charge when it transpired the
    > original was half an inch too short.
    >
    > Guy
    > ===
    > ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com Advance
    > notice: ADSL service in process of transfer to a new ISP. Obviously there will be a week of
    > downtime between the engineer removing the BT service and the same engineer connecting the same
    > equipment on the same line in the same exchange and billing it to the new ISP.
     
  9. Rorschandt

    Rorschandt Guest

    [email protected] (Don) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    >
    > More to the point. The Thorn cranks are very expensive---compared to
    > Shimano Ultegra triple cranks. But it is a moot point becauses sizes
    > are limited from Shimano and the rest of the road crank manufacturers.
    > The Thorn cranks are cheap ---- compared to TA's from Peter White or
    > the Hostel Shoppe. I had very few choices for short cranks sources.
    >
    > So did I like the Thorn price?

    I bought a Dotek 155mm BMX crank for about U$20 and modified it to take three chainrings. I already
    had the tools.

    rorschandt
     
  10. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    rorschandt wrote:
    >
    > [email protected] (Don) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    > >
    > > More to the point. The Thorn cranks are very expensive---compared to
    > > Shimano Ultegra triple cranks. But it is a moot point becauses sizes
    > > are limited from Shimano and the rest of the road crank manufacturers.
    > > The Thorn cranks are cheap ---- compared to TA's from Peter White or
    > > the Hostel Shoppe. I had very few choices for short cranks sources.
    > >
    > > So did I like the Thorn price?
    >
    > I bought a Dotek 155mm BMX crank for about U$20 and modified it to take three chainrings. I
    > already had the tools.

    If the Dotek BMX cranks have the same wide Q-factor as the Dotek road cranks, that would rule them
    out for me.

    How do the Thorn cranks compare to the TA cranks for width?

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  11. Jerry Rhodes

    Jerry Rhodes Guest

    Don wrote:

    "They also have fat zip ties that may be good for mesh seats."

    I bought a package of Zip ties at the electrical supply house that I could zip tie the back axle on
    my Suburban.

    In the bag they cost about .35 USD each.

    Jerry
     
  12. Don

    Don Guest

    Tom, The SJSC site recommends 113mm BB width in the Shimano compatible taper for the triple. Of
    course they are talking DFs.

    From Peter White's site ( http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/zephyr.asp )

    "On an eight or nine speed bike with 130mm rear dropout spacing, (most road frames) a 122mm TA
    Axix or Xytech bottom bracket axle gives the best triple chainline."

    Tom Sherman <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > rorschandt wrote:

    > Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  13. Don

    Don Guest

    Jery, thanks for the tip.

    After revisiting the SJSC site I think their zip ties are too small for seats.

    [email protected] (Jerry Rhodes) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Don wrote:
    >
    > "They also have fat zip ties that may be good for mesh seats."
    >
    > I bought a package of Zip ties at the electrical supply house that I could zip tie the back axle
    > on my Suburban.
    >
    > In the bag they cost about .35 USD each.
    >
    > Jerry
     
  14. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Don wrote:
    >
    > Tom, The SJSC site recommends 113mm BB width in the Shimano compatible taper for the triple. Of
    > course they are talking DFs.
    >
    > From Peter White's site ( http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/zephyr.asp )
    >
    > "On an eight or nine speed bike with 130mm rear dropout spacing, (most road frames) a 122mm TA
    > Axix or Xytech bottom bracket axle gives the best triple chainline."

    To clarify, what I am interested in is how far the pedal ends up being from the BB spindle. [1] I
    believe that my knee would prefer for my feet to be closer together while pedaling.

    [1] Spindles rotate, axles are stationary. [2]
    [2] If we use the bicycle as a reference frame.

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  15. Don

    Don Guest

    Tom, I guess I am not understanding your question. Apart from some minor shaping of crank arms isn't
    the distance between your feet largely a matter of spindle length? The left crank arm is 27-28mm
    thick at the end where the spindle inserts. Is that any help?

    Tom Sherman <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Don wrote:
    > >
    > > Tom, The SJSC site recommends 113mm BB width in the Shimano compatible taper for the triple. Of
    > > course they are talking DFs.
    > >
    > > From Peter White's site ( http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/zephyr.asp )
    > >
    > > "On an eight or nine speed bike with 130mm rear dropout spacing, (most road frames) a 122mm
    > > TA Axix or Xytech bottom bracket axle gives the best triple chainline."
    >
    > To clarify, what I am interested in is how far the pedal ends up being from the BB spindle. [1] I
    > believe that my knee would prefer for my feet to be closer together while pedaling.
    >
    > [1] Spindles rotate, axles are stationary. [2]
    > [2] If we use the bicycle as a reference frame.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  16. Jerry Rhodes wrote in message:
    >> Don wrote:
    >>
    >> "They also have fat zip ties that may be good for mesh seats."
    >
    > I bought a package of Zip ties at the electrical supply house that I could zip tie the back axle
    > on my Suburban.
    >
    > In the bag they cost about .35 USD each.

    In the UK Maplin have a good supply in bags from very large to very small http://www.maplin.co.uk/

    Regards, Simon
     
  17. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Don wrote:
    >
    > Tom, I guess I am not understanding your question. Apart from some minor shaping of crank arms
    > isn't the distance between your feet largely a matter of spindle length? The left crank arm is
    > 27-28mm thick at the end where the spindle inserts. Is that any help?

    The shaping of the crank arms can make a considerable difference - Doteks and Shimano MTB cranks are
    very wide. [1] The distance between the pedals will differ considerably even with the same BB
    spindle length.

    [1] A rider I know refers to these as "birthing cranks".

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
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