What is Audax?
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Audax events are not races, but long distance events where the rider has to complete a set route at a particular average speed, emphasising route finding, mechanical reliability and the ability to ride to a schedule. Audax events can range from a short ‘Brevet' events up to the infamous Paris-Brest-Paris at a whopping 1200km.
Riders need to self sufficient and carry everything they need for the long haul, including lights for longer events. They carry a route card (brevet card) which is stamped at various intervals along the route to certify that the rider has completed the route properly and within the average speed limits.
Audax is a thriving, if low key community and events take place throughout the year right across the country - there's no ‘off season' in audax.
Audax events are often run by cycling clubs. However, the central point of contact for Audax events in the UK is http://www.audax.uk.net/
The Audax Bike
Audaxes can be ridden on a variety of machines, from road bikes, through folding bikes, to converted MTBs. The emphasis is on all day comfort, efficiency, the ability to carry light loads and the ability to fit proper mudguards (this is a stipulation in many events).
The purpose built audax bike is superficially similar to a road bike, with a number of key differences:
- Clearance and fittings for mudguards
- Clearance for larger tyres (28mm including mudguards is optimal)
- Fittings for a rear rack (to carry food, extra clothing and other essentials)
- Slightly more ‘relaxed' frame geometry - a longer wheelbase and slower steering - which make for a more stable ride.