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Is Reynolds 853 steel 328 better than Reynolds 525?(6 posts)

Is Reynolds 853 steel 328 better than Reynolds 525?Me Dot Org
Mar 29, 2002 4:38 PM
I'm in the process of selecting a lugged steel frame from Mercian. The standard steel is 525, but 853 is available for £100 ($142).

I've read the comparisons of 853 to 531 at the Reynolds Website ( ), but aside from figuring out that 853 has the same density as 531, but is stronger (UTS and 0.2% proof) has a geater fatigue life, but is more brittle (elongation). I'm not sure how all of the numbers shown translate into 'real world bicycle' experience.

Is the 853 option overkill compared to good ol' 525 on a lugged frame? Anyone have experience with both materials?
re: Is Reynolds 853 steel 328 better than Reynolds 525?gtx
Mar 29, 2002 4:45 PM
here's what Brent Steelman has to say on the topic (when comparing his 525 frame to his 853 frame)
re: Is Reynolds 853 steel 328 better than Reynolds 525?Nessism
Mar 29, 2002 6:39 PM
As you noted already, the alloy used to make 525 is not as strong as the alloy in 853. Because of this, 853 tubes can be drawn thinner and the ride will be smoother. You need to decide if this is what you want. If you are a large heavy rider or if you are a very agressive rider, the 525 tubes may be a better choice. And I wouldn't worry about elongation too much, 853 has proven itself to have a fine fatigue life.

Considering the reasonable up charge for 853, $142, I would look hard in this direction. Some builders charge quite a bit more for an upgrade such as this. Good luck.

Listen, you can't throw up numbers without using proper units.Leisure
Mar 29, 2002 11:02 PM
Another thing about 853 is that it actually gets stronger when it is welded, as opposed to most other alloys where heat screws up the metal lattice or oxidizes into the surface. That means that an 853 frame will actually be stronger at the welds, where most other metals are somewhat weaker. Interesting tidbit, I thought.
Not relevant with a brazed, lugged frame though (nm)Ray Sachs
Mar 30, 2002 7:35 AM
re: strength vs stiffnesscyclopathic
Mar 30, 2002 9:30 AM
It all depends on frame use. 853 has higher ultimate strength which allows to make tubing thiner/lighter while maintaining similar strength/crash resistance. Either alloy has the same stiffness so given same size 525 tubing will be stiffer (more material) and have longer fatigue life.

853 yields stronger welds (most TIG welded frames fail in BB area welds), but since it is lugged frame 853 welding properties won't matter. The weight diff btw 525 and 853 will be less then .5lbs, I'd bet 853 is only main triangle.

Unless you're building "superlight" bike 142$ will buy you .5lbs in other places pedals, drivetrain, wheels etc So it is basically down to what this bike for. If it is race bike you might wanna go ligher, if touring/light touring/century/endurance racing go with 525 or 531.