- In carbon
- Colours: natural carbon black and blue parts
- Sram Avid road sl disk brakes
- 180 mm Snek
- SPD system pedals from FPD
- Bag, spare tubes, pump, spare cables, tool set
- Two carbon drink bottle holders with drinking bottle
- Cat Eye computer
THYS 209 Carbon
By Derk Thijs
Since 2010 the THYS 209 Carbon is the flagship of THYS Rowingbikes. Richard Bruijn and Theo Homan, our well-known long distance specialists, covered tens of thousands of test kilometres with their 209’s, often under harsh conditions. The 209 is the successor of the steel THYS 222. My goal was to optimise this product as much as possible, but the 222 remains a very nice rowingbike too. The 209 does resemble his steel precursor. Main differences: the 209 is slightly shorter and more compact and the seat height has decreased by a couple of centimetres. The weight has also shifted more to the rear wheel, contrary to the 222, which has the most weight on the front wheel.
A huge difference is weight: the 209 Carbon is much lighter (±11,5 kg, bag and drink bottles not included) than the steel 222 version (±16 kg). The carbon gives a different feel while riding and has other suspension characteristics: rigid, but bumps and vibrations are nevertheless dampened somewhat.
On flat terrain the speed difference isn’t spectacular, but it’s there. The advantage of the 209 becomes clear when going into the mountains or hills. With increasing steepness, the weight is shifted more and more on the rear wheel, diminishing the risk of slipping. When descending I can only give you one advise: know your limits!
The Avid BB7 disc brakes work superbly. Because of the relatively forward position of the front wheel and the low centre of gravity you can brake extremely hard, both with the front and the rear brake. With these braking qualities it’s almost an invitation to ride too fast. The brakes are pleasingly uncomplicated, simply operated with a cable, so no problems getting spare parts, also no fiddling with oil.
The design of the 209 is focussed on trouble-free rowing with minimal maintenance and dito chance having any fuss on the road. This has been extended in the details. An example are the spoke nipples: they’re easily accessible and tubes with short valves can be applied.
The 209 frames are manufactured in China in a factory which has more than 30 years of experience with carbon pre peg products. They produce tennis and badminton rackets and race and mountain bike frames, to name a few.
The bow sprit is an extruded aluminium profile which is slid over the front end of the carbon frame. It has stainless steel rails along which the ball bearings of the foot slider run. The profile is manufactured with high precision, enabling the foot slider to be attached and adjusted without any play on the bearings. Also aluminium CNC parts and bearings are used, also for the headset. The special 209 hubs have the Shimano Centerlock system (licensed by Shimano).
You can expect prolonged rowingbike fun with the 209. The carbon frame can’t corrode, doesn’t show any fatiguing (contrary to the rider), it al just keeps going. All parts that are subject to wear and tear can be replaced easily. In terms of weight the limits weren’t pushed. A 209 racing version can also be made weighing just 8 to 9 kg. But the 11 – 11.5 kg accommodates also heavier riders plus the kilograms of a full holiday luggage.
The rear wheel of the 209 has the same fast gripping bearings as the 222, but they’re now even better sealed by greased covers, which blocks (brine) water even better than before.
The investments in product development and (steel) moulds were very high and, together with the high quality demands, this has an impact on the resulting price of the THYS 209 Carbon. Indeed, it’s a lot of money, but the small scale method of producing rowingbikes makes it the only way I can offer an optimal product. To justify the price a bit more: it’s also an investment in your own health, because rowing keeps you fit! Also be aware that purchase is not cheap, but use of the rowingbike is. The costs per kilometre are low, thanks to the minimal maintenance costs and the high residual value.
And my last justification: Life is short, carpe diem!
Make an appointment and visit us in Middelburg to make a test ride on the 209, surely the best way to assess the THYS 209 Carbon!