Author Topic: Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R  (Read 395 times)

yorkshirethorn

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Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R
« on: June 21, 2020, 06:03:23 AM »
Hello again all

Has anyone used the 853 fork and the standard mk4 steel fork on an Audax Mk3R, and if so did you notice in particular any considerable difference in comfort?
I am putting together a spec. for an Audax but comfort is absolutely paramount. I would ideally like an 853 but difficult to track down and I wondered if it were worth the effort?

Kind regards and thanks in advance
Matt

leftpoole

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Re: Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2020, 09:14:55 AM »
Hello again all

Has anyone used the 853 fork and the standard mk4 steel fork on an Audax Mk3R, and if so did you notice in particular any considerable difference in comfort?
I am putting together a spec. for an Audax but comfort is absolutely paramount. I would ideally like an 853 but difficult to track down and I wondered if it were worth the effort?

Kind regards and thanks in advance
Matt

Matt,
I have used a Mk3R with standard fork. I have also used and own still a Mk3 with 853 fork.
The bike with 853 is a much nicer ride! It might be because the fork cost an extra 270?
Regarding the Audax 853. You say hard to find? The reason for that is first of all because there were not many built.
To further infuriate when found they are usually in a poor state (no idea why).
If you would like to view my photographs link at the bottom, you will find that I have three of them which I have needed to restore.
Well worth the effort.
Best regards,
John
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 09:19:40 AM by leftpoole »

B cereus

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Re: Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 12:26:44 PM »
I've got the 853 fork on my Club Tour. My own view is that tyres make a bigger difference to ride comfort than the choice of fork.

A significant factor with the 853 fork is the lack of any provision for front panniers. I believe the Mk3R fork comes with front pannier mounts and will be more heavily built as a consequence.

For what its worth I've got other bikes with 531 fork blades albeit with 1 steerers and I reckon they ride as well if not better than the 853 fork with the same wheels and tyres. I suspect any difference is due to the 1 steerer.

As for the price of the 853 fork; I've not checked prices recently but a set of 531 forks from a decent frame maker was about 150 the last time I enquired.

yorkshirethorn

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Re: Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 10:52:02 PM »
Thanks both,
John, How do you find the 853 bike in comparison to the mk3 /R?
They are reputed to be a lot stiffer feeling, do you find that?

leftpoole

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Re: Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 06:46:05 AM »
Thanks both,
John, How do you find the 853 bike in comparison to the mk3 /R?
They are reputed to be a lot stiffer feeling, do you find that?

Yes indeed!
No point in wanting a Thorn Audax 853. If you do find one it will require restoration. The original paint and lacquer will likely be no good.
It costs a great deal to restore.
You should buy a Mk 3 and do what I and most people on here do/did. Learn by experience.
I know a guy who thinks Mercian are the best. I think they are horrible! The only way is to spend money. Buy previously used if you can find one at a price that you can manage. It seems to be taking you some time and so I assume rightly or wrongly that cost is the reason you have not bought yet? If as I mention, you want an 853 , well Good luck with that!
Best wishes anyhow,
John
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 03:08:39 PM by leftpoole »

yorkshirethorn

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Re: Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 04:11:44 PM »
Sorry John,
I think we might have got our wires crossed a little.
I have a mk3, with an ITM carbon fork (fitted from new) and I have the old steel  Audax forks (with low loader bosses) which I have never used.
I was trying to decide whether to replace the carbon fork with either the standard (mk 4) or try to find an 853 pair (I rather stupidly didn't realize Thorn had discontinued them and they had sold out in 46mm offset).  A friend of mine has offered me a mk3R in my size with standard fork, I might just get that and let my son ride the mk3 in a year or so, as the extra tyre clearance would be very beneficial to me.
As for the 853 bike, I would love one but maybe a slim chance!

Kind regards Matt
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 04:18:45 PM by yorkshirethorn »

leftpoole

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Re: Thorn 853 fork comparison on Audax Mk3R
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2020, 09:44:34 AM »
Ah! I see!
I have a pair of MK3 standard forks from my size 550 if they would help? Green.
PM if you think they would help.
John