Author Topic: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project  (Read 956 times)

Philly69

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Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« on: April 28, 2020, 06:51:29 PM »
I purchased a large frame Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP last year for £120 including postage. It comes with the original drop handlebars and it's a Prototype model from around 2000. I was informed by the seller that it belonged to the now sadly deceased Audax cyclist David Lewis http://www.ukcyclist.co.uk/david-lewis

David mentions in the website link, buying 2 Exp's: "I had bought two Expedition Touring bikes from Thorn Cycles, took them to Sri Lanka with me and Anne & I undertook a three week bike tour of as much as the island as was accessible at that time." A strange coincidence is that my mate bought Anne's Exp off her. What are the chances of that??

Anyway, the bike needs a bit of TLC. I'm planning on keeping the frame paint job as is and just sanding down the flaky paint/rust spots and repainting with enamel paint. I want to replace the handlebars with straight one's which will mean changing the brake levers, grips and shifters. Any recommendations here?

I've already removed the BB which had a lot of play in it. I'll keep the XT crankset + derailleurs although I'll probably upgrade the jockey wheels and chainrings and get a new chain and cassette.

I'm debating whether to replace the forks with originals as the one's on it at the moments aren't original. Judging by the fact that there's a Mavic 317 on the front instead of the Sunrim Rhyno it came with originally, I suspect the bike has been in a crash. I've checked the head tube and there doesn't seem to be any damage to the welds.

I'll keep the SKS mudguards which are in OK condition except for a bit of a crack on the rear one.

The idea is to keep the bike looking a bit tatty so as to deter thieves, as I already own a mint condition Thorn Raven Tour. Any thoughts on this little project welcome.

PH

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2020, 07:53:56 PM »
That's nice, and a great history.  I rode the start of an Audax with Dave, maybe as much as three miles before I was well and truly dropped and didn't see that group again.  Though I also benefited from some of those he organised from Newport.
Re the forks - I'd see how it rides. as a prototype you might not get exact replacement anyway.  The aesthetics of a unicrown do let it down IMO, though as you're not going for showroom condition it might not be important.
My preferences for controls - It'd use Deore V brakes and levers,  they don't break the bank and they work faultless.  For shifters, if the bar ends are functioning OK, I'd get the J-Tek converters to use on flat bars, about £30 .  Though I recently had a cheap hack bike with the cheapest of Shimano trigger shifters and they worked fine.
When I've converted bikes from drops to flat, I've gone for a slightly longer stem, this compensates for the shorter top tube, as you'll know Thorn frames come long and short depending on the intended bars.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 08:02:05 PM by PH »

martinf

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2020, 07:45:08 AM »
When I've converted bikes from drops to flat, I've gone for a slightly longer stem, this compensates for the shorter top tube, as you'll know Thorn frames come long and short depending on the intended bars.

Yes.

Although so far (this may change as I get older) I have generally done this the other way - converting from flat to drops with a shorter stem.

Usually quite a lot shorter if the bike was comfortable for me with flat bars. Unless you already know your target riding position, an adjustable stem can be useful.

energyman

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2020, 10:25:07 AM »
A KS frame for £120 is a real bargain !

spoof

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2020, 02:30:12 PM »
That is one lovely frame / cycle you got there Phil. I am a big fan of the gloss/matte silver finish (plated/anodized silver) for bicycle parts such as rims, stem, spacers, headset cups, seat-post, handlebars, crank arms etc as opposed to the anodized black alternative. I think they bring a highlight to any frame colour but especially high contrast like your black frame. Since all those parts of yours are already silver then I would finish the flat bar conversion with a gloss silver handlebar and matching seat-post. Although I prefer, my bike came with such parts black from the factory; a niggle but doesn't warrant changing them so I just put up with.
On the other hand, shiny silver parts do reflect the sun and stand out so might be something to consider if your aim is to use her often, lock up in high street locations and feel overall more confident she won't be a target. I suppose it will also depend on your daily business for her, example going to the cinema, locking outside and then coming back from the feature film to your ride home sort of situation. I admit I fall into this category where I feel the need to keep an eye on my bike at all times even during a short pit-stop. I think it comes to a point where one doesn't ride his/her beloved bicycle as often as the bicycle deserves. Safe to say that I should teach myself better to let go of the fear of losing. 'Lock up at your best, if she goes, she goes.'

The rims might of possibly came from the Thorn factory of different brand to meet pricing with the tougher sun rim on the rear maybe to better withstand pannier bag weight or another possibility the front rim braking surface wore out so needing replacing down the line. Who knows...

Best of luck with the rebuild/restoration. Maybe I will see you out riding her in the near future, assuming the previous owner was Cardiff based you may be local-ish to my area, Cwmbran.

Kyle

Philly69

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2020, 10:33:51 PM »
Wow PH, great that you started a Audax race with Dave and judging from his Blog I wouldn't be too worried of being "dropped." Re the forks, I've seen some Thorn Nomad forks from SJS that Robin Thorn assures me will fit so I think I'll go with those to improve the overall aesthetics.
Deore V brakes and levers could be the way to go as that's what the current Nomad comes with. The current one's are Suntour xc brakes that don't have glowing reviews. Is the Jtek ShiftMate the device to change gearing from barend to flat bars? I'm thinking Shimano trigger shifters  may be a better solution. I'll see what the fit is like when I put the straight bars on which will determine whether to invest in a different stem.

martinf sounds interesting. I may look into that option.

energyman I think £120 aint bad considering it came with wheels, tyres, rear rack, mudguards and hopefullly servicable XT crankset and derailleurs.

Yes spoof it's not bad considering its a prototype built by Kevin Sayles and has the interesting history attached to it. Re the shiny bits, I prefer the black finish lol. I'll make do with the bits that are on it to keep costs down. I've priced up replacement forks and all the other gubbins and it still comes to around the £500 mark.
The rebuild/restoration should be fine as I've loads of time with the lockdown and I live on my own so no one to upset or upset me lol. I'm from Cardiff but now live in the Taff Bargoed valley which has been the perfect place to cycle with all the great National cycle Network Routes close by. I am now familiar with every valley and valley town in South Wales and one of my favourite rides is Treharris to Newport via the Sirhowy Valley route.

PH

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2020, 10:45:37 PM »
Is the Jtek ShiftMate the device to change gearing from barend to flat bars? I'm thinking Shimano trigger shifters  may be a better solution.
Same company (it might have some connection with SJS?) but an entirely different product, these are just brackets which allow you to move the bar end shifters onto straight bars
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/gear-spares/jtek-special-thumb-shifter-brackets-for-222-mm-bars-black/

I'd probably have gone for the correct fork as well, it's one thing thinking it wouldn't matter, but you still have to look at it every day and if it looks wrong it probably is.

Philly69

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2020, 11:08:19 PM »
Thanks PH but I think I'll go with some new Shimano Shift levers as I think it will look better.

I've been looking at the Unicrown recently and it's a little distracting to say the least. I gave my frame measurements to Robin Thorn and he has told me which Thorn forks he thinks will fit. Should look good once it's all finished and I'll post some photos up once complete.
 

Danneaux

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2020, 03:02:59 AM »
Spoof wrote...
Quote
I am a big fan of the gloss/matte silver finish (plated/anodized silver) for bicycle parts such as rims, stem, spacers, headset cups, seat-post, handlebars, crank arms etc as opposed to the anodized black alternative. I think they bring a highlight to any frame colour but especially high contrast like your black frame. Since all those parts of yours are already silver then I would finish the flat bar conversion with a gloss silver handlebar and matching seat-post. Although I prefer, my bike came with such parts black from the factory; a niggle but doesn't warrant changing them so I just put up with.

Philly69 replied...
Quote
Re the shiny bits, I prefer the black finish lol. I'll make do with the bits that are on it to keep costs down.

Might a possible swap of some colored pieces make for mutual benefit?  :D

What a wonderful project and history, Philly; looking forward to the finished resto.

All the best,

Dan.

leftpoole

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2020, 10:25:05 AM »

Same company (it might have some connection with SJS?) but an entirely different product, these are just brackets which allow you to move the bar end shifters onto straight bars
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/gear-spares/jtek-special-thumb-shifter-brackets-for-222-mm-bars-black/

Robin Thorn bought 'J Tek' some time ago and sells all the original and some new items through St John St Cycles.
John

Philly69

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2020, 01:25:33 PM »
Thanks Dan, yes maybe I could change some bits, I'll see how the project develops.

Thanks John. Those brackets look good but I think some Shimano Shift levers would look better.

I seem to be spending lots of time researching on this forum and other's instead of actually working on my bikes. I have another Thorn bike which is a Raven Tour but fitting the Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Cycle Pannier Rack is upsetting me a bit as I've cut the steel stays with an angle grinder and the cut is a little rough to say the least. I'll either have to invest in a vice and dremel tool or maybe get a finer cutting wheel for a cleaner cut. Alternatively I could maybe take the stays to a mechanics/garage to get cut?

leftpoole

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2020, 02:35:39 PM »
Hello,
In respect to the Thorn rear rack mounting stays.They are indeed tough and can be difficult to cut.
The best and easiest method is a bench vice and a good blade in a Hacksaw. You seem from your writing not to have these? So I guess a local engineer willing to trim and bend?
Best regards,
John

Philly69

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2020, 07:54:11 PM »
Hi,

I went out and bought some hacksaw blades but Iím missing a bench vice.

Seems a little 0TT for me to fork out for a bench vice just to cut the stays as I donít think Iíll be needing a vice that often.

Best,
Phil

John Saxby

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2020, 08:09:08 PM »
Quote
I donít think Iíll be needing a vice that often.

It's a bit of an investment, for sure.  OTOH, I bought one about 30 years ago when I was restoring an old English ex-comp motorcycle.  I used it a lot for that project, but continue to use regularly it for all sorts of domestic repairs, and for cutting and filing things like alloy bike racks, etc., etc.

If you do shell out for one, suggest you get one that can be easily rotated.  And, two magnetic and slightly padded inserts for the jaws will protect easily marred metals, such as alloy.

Dremel tools are also very handy, but I rarely use mine now -- nowhere near as frequently as my vise.

Philly69

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Re: Kevin Sayles 2nd hand Thorn EXP Project
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2020, 10:26:21 PM »
Thanks John. Your making the idea of a vice purchase all the more appealing. Any recommendations of brand/make?