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Thorn Audax.

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redsturgeon
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Thorn Audax.

#329268

Postby redsturgeon » July 28th, 2020, 9:44 pm

I always fancied one of these bikes and when I saw one for sale locally I had to buy it. It is a great mid 90s Reynolds steel frame bike with all original groupset still fitted, an interesting mix of Shimano Ultegra and LX! It has been well maintained and apart from needing a new bottom bracket looks in tip top condition.

Mine looks the same model as this one but in much better condition

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 3&t=411628

Researching a bit online I found this amazing resource from the manufacturer, SJS cycles.

http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/thorn ... ochure.pdf

I'm looking forward to fixing this beauty up.

John

servodude
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Re: Thorn Audax.

#329290

Postby servodude » July 29th, 2020, 12:08 am

That looks the business!

Love steel frames of that era - something by Robin Thorn would have been aspirational (been on one of his tandems)

My daily ride for years was a Raleigh Dune Dancer; 501 tubed early mountain-ish thing (EDIT for link: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 2&t=262825), that I kept going for years by upgrading every thing except wheels and frame.
Stolen out the back yard when I was out for a pub lunch.
I'd been in the process of taking the parts off to move to a newer bike, so all the cables were cut; I hope it cost them their teeth, when they realised it had no brakes.


-sd

redsturgeon
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Re: Thorn Audax.

#329343

Postby redsturgeon » July 29th, 2020, 9:01 am

I have a few(many) bikes, ranging from the early 90s to the present day. I have my trusty 1990 CroMo Rockhopper and a really nice Joe Murray Kona Cindercone of the same era that is my next project after the Thorn. It is amazing how tough these old bikes are though, they never seem to break like modern bikes.

John

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Re: Thorn Audax.

#329346

Postby servodude » July 29th, 2020, 9:12 am

redsturgeon wrote:they never seem to break like modern bikes


Certainly not in the "and that's the carbon end of your stay snapped" way (I'm looking at you Felt!)

The older I get the more I appreciate the flex in steel.
A friend of mine rides a 60s French thing with a proper suicide shifter (short lever on the front derailleur - not just a downtube friction shift) and it's the kind of thing you can go on forever it's so bloody forgiving of bumps.

I think it's time to retire my Edinburgh Cycles alu job (it's done me about 40k miles - but I've got replacement wheels) and get something older ;)

-sd

redsturgeon
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Re: Thorn Audax.

#329353

Postby redsturgeon » July 29th, 2020, 9:29 am

My first proper bike was a Carlton Cobra, five gears, so only one downtube shifter to worry about. Rode it six miles to school every day for seven years.
Completely chrome plated frame, lovely thing, cost my dad a week's wages.

Some bastard nicked it at year 5, I recovered it but it had been trashed and the rear derailleur smashed so I stuck a fixed cog on the back and rode it as a fixie for the next two years.

John

redsturgeon
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Re: Thorn Audax.

#331099

Postby redsturgeon » August 5th, 2020, 1:17 pm

After a bit of a check over of brakes, gears etc I took the Thorn out for a spin on Sunday. I had removed the mudguards and rack also to save weight and aero drag...I need all the help I can get!

Mrs RS says", Come out with me and Rach. It's a flat route and a great coffee stop halfway."

So I get up at 7 on Sunday morning and follow the girls out.

Some 35km later we stop for coffee. And 65km later after 700 metres of climbing, we return.

Ouch!

Good try out for the bike though, brakes good, gears tricky since the rear derailleur is set up completely the opposite way to most others I've every ridden, it naturally springs down to lower (easier) gears rather than the reverse which seems true for 99% of other bikes I've ridden! Also the gears are a bit lazy, suggesting a sticky cable (I look and see that the previous owner has misrouted the cable guide under the bottom bracket so an easy fix.

What the ride does tell me is, while the seat is good (no aches down below), the handlebars are set too aggressively low for someone of my age and the result is neck and shoulder ache that night.

The next day I look at raising the quill stem, a beautiful polished piece of aluminium by 3TTT — Tecnologia del Tubo Torino, an Italian maker of lightweight racing parts, I find I can only raise it by half an inch so look on eBay to see if there is a longer version. There isn't but I could buy the same part as I have for a mere £135...blimey I only paid £200 for the whole bike.

Next job is to look at re-lubing and tightening the headset which again is a polished aluminium thing of beauty which seems to need a special tool to remove. I spend a morning trying to track down exactly who makes this headset and apparently it is a Stronglight JDX94
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 2&t=294920
and you can't get the tools anymore! Oh well will have to improvise on that one!

Only other thing I need to do is to put some wider tyres on it to cope with the bumpy Hampshire lanes, 23c is a little harsh even with the nice steel frame and 28c will roll better, be more comfy and more puncture resistant.

Looking forward to a few more decent rides over the summer on my new (old) steed.

John

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Re: Thorn Audax.

#331103

Postby Snorvey » August 5th, 2020, 1:35 pm

8 years almost to the day since I bought my B'twin Triban 3. On my first ride out another cyclist said 'hey, that won best value bike of the year' - according to XYZ magazine anyway. On the strength of that review (the only time I have ever bought a bicycle magazine), I bought one (and the fact that it had a carbon front fork - which is the same as a normal fork but with a sticker that says 'Carbon Fork'

I couldn't believe how light it was and how quick the steering felt....... The truth was I hated it.

Now it's heavy compared to my mates bike that he bought a few weeks ago (well, 2kg heavier*) and his was 10 times dearer. But I love my 'old' Triban and have been out on it almost every day since mid March.

*I think If I wanted to lose the additional 2kg, I'd rather fast a couple of days than spend the extra £2700 :D

......I'm still of the opinion that we're going to see a number of nice bikes pop up on Gumtree and the like over the dark days of winter. Might be a bargain or two there.

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Re: Thorn Audax.

#331120

Postby Mike4 » August 5th, 2020, 2:25 pm

redsturgeon wrote:I have a few(many) bikes, ranging from the early 90s to the present day. I have my trusty 1990 CroMo Rockhopper and a really nice Joe Murray Kona Cindercone of the same era that is my next project after the Thorn. It is amazing how tough these old bikes are though, they never seem to break like modern bikes.

John


They've been saying that for the last 50 years....

redsturgeon
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Re: Thorn Audax.

#331149

Postby redsturgeon » August 5th, 2020, 3:19 pm

Mike4 wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:I have a few(many) bikes, ranging from the early 90s to the present day. I have my trusty 1990 CroMo Rockhopper and a really nice Joe Murray Kona Cindercone of the same era that is my next project after the Thorn. It is amazing how tough these old bikes are though, they never seem to break like modern bikes.

John


They've been saying that for the last 50 years....


:D :D :D

Unfortunately the modern stuff experiences problems in year 1 and 2 rather than year 25!

Looking at the Thorn so far all I can see that is not an original part are the tyres and brake blocks and cables. It probably has a new chain and cassette but I'm not sure.

As I said this one completed 60km on Sunday with no problems and would probably do another thousand miles without any new parts. I'm just being picky and trying to get everything back to perfect.

John


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