Steve Thornhill Resto Mod

Not been too active on the building front recently, managed to get in a lot of riding in the spring but the new job has left me very little spare time. Enough about me, I put together a pub bike for another feed but this one is more interesting (far cooler).

I was approached by a good friend (I sprayed an outrageous black and gold Peugeot for him) who wanted me to source a bike for his dads 70th. He was thinking hybrid and safe, his dad got wind of it an had other ideas, I chucked my oar in and said steel.

I’d had this frame in my watch list for a while, a 54cm ‘Steve Thornhill of Birmingham’ in Columbus SLX for £110, it was too small for me, so it just needed a destination.
I don’t know anything about the builder but a handbuilt frame in SLX in good condition was bound to create a pretty nifty whip.

He wanted integrated shifters as he’s a fairly novice rider so I had a brief and a budget.

A bit of trawling and some digging round the garage found a suitable saddle, seatpost, stem, hollowtech BB and wheels. It’s getting some Deda Piega bars, one of the few available with a modern bend and a 26mm clamp size, and a Shimano Sora R3000 groupset. Not the high end but has been taken off an new bike so in excellent condition, but crucially has all internal cabling on the brifters, compact cranks and a 11-34 cassette.

I’m just waiting for everything to arrive before I assemble it but here’s a couple of pics of the frame before I get into it.

Also if anyone knows anything about the builder it would be good to know.


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Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
I remember Steve Thornhill as a good road racer BITD, based in the Midlands/Birmingham area. When he retired from racing he opened a shop but whether or not he built frames I couldn't say. Yours looks a very nice frame whatever.
It looks great, really light and nice lugs. I guess it was a bargain as not a well known name, but as I said, it’s SLX and in great condition so should be an excellent first road bike.

Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
Found this advert in Cycling magazine March '89.

No info on frames - but it does give you the address and 'phone number!

EDIT - just Googled Steve Thornhill and come up with some info. Seems his frames could possibly have been from Mercian or Autostrada - or maybe somewhere else if anyone knows?


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Bin Monkey
BoTM Winner
PoTM Winner
GT Fan
Clutching at straws here! After owning a few of there frames I think this could be Autostrada but I base that on very little!

Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
Just found another ad, this time from October '86. Don't know if he did the enamelling himself or sent it off to be done somewhere else. The ad just says 'in Birmingham' which is a bit ambiguous!


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