Friday, 14 January 2011
First week with the Thorn Audax
The first week with Audrey the Audax? So far, so good. Brilliant in fact. It's nice it is getting a "used" look already with some minor - road grime.
I've been like a kid with a new toy and this has been compounded by some of my colleagues at work wondering if I had it for Christmas. I don't blame them for thinking that one bit.
Over the weekend I had a couple of short daylight rides, covering about 30 miles and then twice to work adding up to about 80.
My first impressions of it being quite a fast bike remain. Fast but with really good stable handling. Actually on my way home from work on Wednesday, I decided to go a slightly longer way avoiding some A roads and heading along some minor roads. One bit involves a short down hill stretch which is steep and a poor surface complete with gravel. Potentially it could have thrown me off with fairly slim tyres digging in. No problem apart from a little hesititation, even at speed.
Credit also goes to Ian in the bike shop who got the handlebars and seat positioned in a near-perfect position. All I've had to do is swivel the handle bars up a few degrees.
Changing gear has been like a dream. It works so smoothly, quietly and without any fuss. Even when there's still some pressure on the pedals , keeping the chain fairly taut, it changed very well - both front and back. In fact it's remarkable. Also having a fairly close ratio 9 speed cassette must help. Also I've now got the hang of which way to pull or push the levers - it was far from automatic at the start.
The only possible gripe is with the bottle bosses on the seat tube being so close to the front mech. You can see from the picture below that without some extra spacers (presta valve locking ring) it would be difficult to mount a bottle cage without interfering. I'm sure SJS Cycles must have a solution.
I really like the understated look. OK the paint is a bit loud but it's not complicated with silly stickers etc. Only those who are really in-the-know will recognise it for what it is.