Thorn Audax Mk3 size 600 frame set for sale (NOW SOLD)

Note: this frame has now been sold

My size 600 Thorn Audax Mk3 frame set in lovely cobalt pearl blue is for sale. Includes Cane Creek headset, Thorn 100mm 17 deg ahead stem, frame prep and stainless bolts throughout, Thorn seat pin and Shimano Tiagra bottom bracket.

Price £260. Buyer to pay shipping charges and I would prefer not to ship overseas.

This steel frame is extremely comfortable and would make a perfect century bike or winter trainer. It has braze ons for front and rear racks and direct fit mudguards.

While it has been very well cared for, there is the odd chip on the chain stay although not to the bare metal.

Full specs can be found on the Thorn website. Any questions, please email me.

Love the bike, love the garage

January and February are pretty depressing months for me. The sun never seems to rise in the North West, and on those rare days when it does you blink and you miss it.

Struggling with a Vitamin D deficiency, I have to get my kicks elsewhere: I retreat to the garage… or the man cave.

Working on the bikes in the garage Continue reading

National Cycle Network Route 68: Cycling to the Lake District

Greenfield to Oxenholme Station : 92 miles, up to ten hours (!)

National Cycle Network Route 68 runs fairly close to my home. I’ve had a Sustrans map of the route for a while now but I haven’t had the opportunity to explore… until the weekend that is.

Thorn Audax Mk3 at OxenholmeIt all started with a phone call to a work colleague. He’s a relative newbie to this cycling lark and our telephone talks about shop invariably shift to topics two-wheeled. One afternoon he asked whether it would be feasible to cycle to the Lake District in a day from my house. I said ‘yes’, but in my mind I deferred to those hardy club riders who ‘perambulate’ to the national parks of the north from Manchester without raising an eyebrow or, it seems, a sweat. Continue reading

Cycling back roads

Thorn Audax on the lanes above GreenfieldCycling is a superb tonic. It allows you to pedal away from stress: the rhythm of the cranks and the rumble of tyre on tarmac provide a simple mantra for the mind while the sense of freedom can lighten the heaviest heart.

Motorised traffic can easily nullify this euphoria, though. As a road cyclist, cars, lorries and motorcycles are common currency but I do try to avoid them as much as possible and that’s where the back roads help me maintain that delicious cycling equilibrium.

In the south Pennines, there are back roads aplenty and they have one chief advantage over the minor roads I pedalled when living in Chelmsford, Essex. Continue reading

Thorn Audax Mk3: Long term review

Thorn Audax Mk3When I bought my Thorn Audax Mk3 over two years ago, I always thought it would become my go to bike… the machine I’d use more than any other. It would be out in all weathers, wouldn’t be loved too much and therefore needed to be reliable.

It has met those criteria admirably and has proved to be more than a ‘trainer’. With nearly 6000km on the clock, it hasn’t missed a beat. Continue reading

Creaks, squeaks and clicks…

Working on bikes is all part of the pleasure of owning them. I’m no mechanic, but having three bicycles gives me an excuse to disappear into the garage of an evening and,for want of a better expression, have a tinker.

Yesterday evening was bike repair heaven. I put the Audax on the work stand and got busy curing an annoying click that I’ve had since I bought the bike and a creak from my Brooks B17.

The click was cause to send the bike back to Thorn who found no problems. I put it down to my heft and lived with it. However, what was once a minor creak/click when climbing out of the saddle has degenerated into a regular, infuriating accompaniment to every pedal stroke.

The click led to a nervous tick and I thought it high time I dismantled the bottom bracket to see if I could find the problem. I hoped it would be something associated with Mr Shimano’s external bearing rather than a crack in the bottom bracket shell or something equally onerous.

After an hour with a wrench or two and some grease the bike was soon back together. Out on the lunchtime run today peace descended.

Given my limited mechanical ability, my success did prompt the question of what the folk in Bridgewater actually did when the bike was returned. No matter, the Audax is now even better than when I bought it.

And the Brooks creak? To be honest, this wonderful saddle could squeak and grind every pedal stroke and I would still use it. Now 4,000 kms old, it’s well broken in and, well, perfect.

Shaking the Web for an answer, I discovered that many a Brooks owner gets ‘the creak’ at some stage of their perch’s life. Numerous cures can be found, particularly from the CTC crowd, ranging from a bit of three-in-one on the nose bolt to immersing the saddle in a vat of warm lard (well, not quite, but many an extravagant suggestion has been offered to break in these wonderful saddles).

I opted for the former, and my B17 is silent.

So, the Audax is now in stealth mode and all fellow riders will now hear is the clattering of my lungs and the click of my knee joints (and the swearing at motorists).

Let’s get high

Saturday ended up being one of those zippedee-dooh-dar, it’s-great-to-be-alive days.

Folk who know me will attest that these days don’t happen for me too often… I’m a bit of a misery guts, you see.

Thorn Audax 600L high on the Holmfirth passHowever, not only did the day dawn bright, the roads were clear of snow and traffic. It appeared that there was enough of the white stuff around to give the hills around my way and Alpine flavour and keep cautious motorists in front of the telly (let’s hope they weren’t watching the test match… ouch).

Other reasons for my good vibe? I was back on the bike with little discomfort in my back and I managed 40 miles with no stress. Seeking to capitalise I gave it a real work out and climbed the pass to Holmfirth.

This is not a steep climb, as such, but it can be challenging psychologically as it seems to go on forever.

The final bit of good news is that I have nearly rid my Thorn Audax of that annoying creak. I fitted my Brooks B17 on the bike for this ride (as I’m trying to break it in before the LeJOG) and this appears to have cured much of the noise.

So, it could have been seat/seat post related, which would explain why the guys at SJS cycles could not detect any problems (the bike was not supplied with a saddle).

Maybe the Brooks gives me in a better position on the bike and improves my ‘style’ – i.e. I pedal more efficiently and smoothly when riding with it. Who knows? The bike’s a pleasure now, though, so here’s hoping.

Miles for the fortnight (due to back problems): 105.

Click, creak… arrgh!

I love riding bikes, and nothing serves to solidify the experience than a sweet sounding transmission.

I’ve got a tiny problem, though, with my Thorn Audax Mk3. I’ve had a metallic creak/ticking noise occurring every time I press on the pedals (not always when standing and pressing on… a change in pedal pressure due to acceleration will create the noise).

It’s been all the way back to Thorn in Bridgewater for a diagnosis and two people there have taken it out. One couldn’t detect a problem, the other thought it was chain related.

I appreciate their efforts, but it’s hard to nail these problems when you can’t be there in person (a disadvantage of buying remotely, of course).

I love the bike, though, and I can live with it (just) but another session in the garage last night isolated the problem to the bottom bracket area after trying all the usual suspects again (bars, stem, seat post, saddle, cassette tightness, pedals, skewers and quick release).

Removing the chain, I can create the noise by pressing down on the pedals when the cranks are horizontal. This would suggest looseness in the BB. I’m going to get a torque wrench and tighten the bolts as its an external BB.

I’ll let you know how I get on.


Got out today for an hour or so but the wind was horrible. Gusty and coming from all directions… bit like being hit in the face with a cushion.

Still put in 16 miles on the Audax.

It’s my birthday today and my brother bought me Cat Eye Vectra wireless computer for the Thorn. Very nice of him indeed.

There’ll be no riding for the rest of the week as I’m off to the West Country to see some friends tomorrow.

Miles for the week: 76.7

The rides

I’ve got two bikes… well, three actually although my old commuter bike, a Bike Friday Pocket Llama folder, has been stripped down as I try to find a good local firm that will do me a respray.

It led a hard life ferrying me to and from work for five years across London and deserves a bit of TLC.

So, my regular rides are a fairly old Dawes Galaxy with a lugged Reynolds 531 ST frameset and a very new Thorn Audax Mk3.

I’m a tall rider (6ft 6ins) and you’ll note from the picture that there are the largest frames available in both bikes. That’s 62cm in the Dawes ( I think) and a 600L in the Thorn.

Thorn Audax Mk 3 600L next to the Dawes Galaxy 531 ST in 62cm
The Thorn has a compact frame which means there is 200mm or so of seat post tube showing. Not a problem for me, but not everyone’s cup of tea. There’s also a stack of 130mm or so and a riser stem to get the bars high enough. Again, some people do not like this but I have similar prob ems on the classic Dawes frame so it’s a moot point really. The only way I can overcome it is by going custom and the bank balance doesn’t allow… sadly.

The spec of the Thorn is pretty basic:

Thorn Audax Mk 3 600L next to the Dawes Galaxy 531 ST in 62cmShimano Tiagra Chainset 50,39,30.
Rear cassette: 11-32
Deore Rear mech
Tiagra triple front mech
Tiagra STI Ergo Levers
SKS mudguards
Pro LT handle bars 44cm (46 cm overall)
San Marco Rolls saddle
Thorn seat pin
Shimano A550 deep drop brakes
Wheels: Mavic open sport rims, 36 spokes, Deore hubs, Pasela Panaracer Tourguard Tyres, 25mm.
Pedals: Shimano M 520
Pump: Frame fit Zefal.

The Dawes has had a number of upgrades from standard:

Deore Chainset 26,36,48
Deore rear mech
Rear Casette: 11-32
Dura Ace bar end shifters
Tektro V brake levers
Deore V Brakes
Brooks B17 champion special saddle, green
Pro LT 44cm bars (46cm overall)
Adjustable stem, make unclear
Quill to ahead set converter
Mudguards ( came with bike, soon to be upgrades to SKS)
Wheels: Mavic T520 rims (no longer available), 36 spokes, Deore hubs, Continental Gatorskin tyres (28mm). Excellent wheels, built by Richardsons of Leigh on Sea, Essex. They’re six years old and still going strong.

That said, the kit is all pretty low level, but all works and is easy to fix/adjust. The Dawes will be used for the LeJOG.