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.

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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.