My new bike

Thorn Cycles

Thorn Cycles

I have 2 bikes.  My full carbon Specialised Roubaix and my Dawes Galaxy. The Dawes Galaxy was a bit of an experiment as I bought it off eBay to see if I liked touring.  I did quite a lot of refurbishment to the bike and since Toby of Pedals and Paddles sorted it out for me before LEJoG it has been trouble free and a really nice bike to ride.  The main problem is that it is too big for me. So for the last 3 or 4 months I have been researching my perfect Audax and light touring bike.  Everywhere I go I look at other people bikes and talk to them about bikes. I have read endless reviews about bikes.  There are so many different options to choose and I want this new bike to be right. I don’t want to buy another bike. Editors note: she talks of nothing else apart from bloody bikes!!

In the last 6 months I have decided that the focus of my riding will be Audax events.  I am comfortable riding 200k events but I would like to extend that to longer distances so I want a bike that is primarily comfortable for endless hours of riding with a transmission that will get me up any hill that I am likely to encounter. Weight is important – closer to 10kg than 15kg.

Eventually I have decided that steel is the most suitable material and the transmission I have on the Galaxy – Deore 26,36,48 with an 11-32 cassette – is perfect for my needs. So after much deliberation, visiting several bike shops, and scouring the internet – I finally decided to take a visit to Thorn Cycles.

Thorn Cycles is a British manufacturer of bicycles based in Bridgwater, Somerset. They specialise in tandems, touring and randonneuring cycles.  Every bike is built to each customer’s specific requirements and individual needs.

The Thorn premises are a labyrinth of offices, store rooms and workshops with bikes and bits of bikes everywhere.

Bespoke building in the Thorn workshop

Bespoke building in the Thorn workshopReady for collectionReady for collection

At the end of the labyrinth at the hub (ha ha) in his elevated carpeted office is Andy Blance the designer of Thorn bikes.



Lisa helped me through the process of choosing my bike.

Demo bike being adjusted for Old Bat fitment

Demo bike being adjusted for Old Bat fitment

I had taken my Specilaised Roubaix along so the initial sizing and set up was quite easy. Lisa adjusted my riding position and I chose a small mod on the front by adding an accessory bar and some bendy bits to keep the cables away from my handlebar bag.

Accessory bar and cable re-route tubes

Accessory bar and cable re-route tubes

(Quite excited by this time!)

Frame colour was an easy choice for me – Gunmetal.

Gunmetal grey tubing

Gunmetal grey tubing

A little black rack and some SPD pedals complete the picture.

Add a rack...

Add a rack…

The computer showed only 1 Gunmetal frame left in my size so Lisa went off to put my name on it while we chatted to Andy about his recent rides in the Alps.

All done. My perfect bike.  Ready  on 25th October.

When I go to pick the bike up Steve at Thorn will fine tune the fitting of the bike to me and that should be that.

Watch this space.


2 thoughts on “My new bike

  1. Peter

    Hi …I’ve had a Thorn audax mk3 for about 4 years now I can’t praise it enough! I’ve ridden serveral SR’s on it , including the Wessex SR this year and PBP back in 2011. It gets used pretty much every weeked over the South Downs! I love it!. I also have a Thorn Nomad. The customer service I’ve received from Robin and Andy and the whole Thorn team has been second to none. So overall I think you made an excellent choice and I hope you enjoy your bike as much as i do mine! happy cycling! Peter


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