Last Thursday I journeyed over to Guernsey to collect my new Thorn touring bike. The first thing I was struck by was the sheer size and weight of the bike. My Specialized road bike is a lightweight speed machine. I can lift it with two fingers and have hit 50mph on it. Although I may have a backpack on most of the time I am cycling in London, the bike is awesome out on the open road. 50 miles in 2 hours is well within the realm of possibility.
The Thorn on the other hand, laden with two rear panniers full of my possessions and a bar-bag is a completely different proposition. The steel frame is so much heavier and less responsive than my carbon / aluminium Specialized. Tackling hills is all together a completely different affair.
Pete and I took the bikes out for a spin on Friday night. Although we only clocked up about 7 miles, I was impressed by the sheer workmanship of the Thorn. Everything felt just so, mechanically pleasing. Although much lower geared than my Specialized, it was very comfortable on the winding Guernsey roads.
We spent most of the rest of Thursday customising the bike, adding all the additional kit I had brought over and testing the brakes, which are incredibly squeaky!