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853 Reynolds Steel?(18 posts)

853 Reynolds Steel?ADKBiker
Apr 15, 2002 5:28 AM
Any opinions on 853 Reynolds? I heard that it's a very close to the feel of titanium just a little heavier. Is this true? Is it good for an all around type of material(racing, century, triathlons and training). Thanks for your help!

PS, How many people ride steel? ;-)
re: 853 Reynolds Steel?Nessism
Apr 15, 2002 5:44 AM
853 comes in a wide range of thicknesses and diameters so an equally wide range of frame stiffnesses can be achieved. If the most common tube configuration is used, the stiffness and ride will be similar to that of a middle of the road Ti frame (maybe slightly stiffer?) and slightly heavier (again maybe, 3 oz. more).
re: 853 Reynolds Steel?cyclopathic
Apr 15, 2002 5:58 AM
weight diff at that point is less important as 3-7oz can be easily saved on components. Riding properties such as stiffness, fit, handling, geometry are more impotant IMHO. Also steel is likely to be cheaper the Ti.
Depends on how it is used.JBurton
Apr 15, 2002 6:36 AM
Geometry, butting and quality of build could, in my opinion, make a 853 bike ride as good or better than a Ti bike. Weight, as said before, is almost negligible. My bike, while not 853, is steel (Serotta Colorado Concept Tubing) and rides better, smoother, and a bit steeper, to me, than a friend's Litespeed Classic.
Uh, I meant STIFFER not STEEPER...JBurton
Apr 15, 2002 6:39 AM
"...rides better, smoother, and a bit STIFFER,...)
re: 853 Reynolds Steel?sprockets2
Apr 15, 2002 6:37 AM
The "feel of Ti" can be approximated by specific tube selection and geometry, but there is a difference between how Ti and steel feel in a frame that cannot be erased. Specifically, Ti does have an ability to absorb energy in a way that is different "feeling" from steel.

Having said that 853 is a very excellent material, and having ridden some really nice frames after I got my Ti bike, I am looking to get yet another steel bike. I may surrender the Ti frame in order to do that. I should say that I am a bit of an old school rider, who has had a succession of nice steel bikes. Steel is still a high performance material.

Although steel will not make the lightest frames possible, it can come close, and give excellent performance characteristics at the same time. For instance, in my view, nothing beats a good steel fork for taking quick twisty downhill runs. In terms of how much more a steel bike weighs than a Ti or other light bike, remember that you are considering the total rider/bike weight when you think of moving a load. In that perspective the ounces or two that you might carry in the steel bike is a very small percentage of the total weight. As has been noted you can get some light components, or cut back on the cheese nachos and pizza a bit, to the same effect.
re: 853 Reynolds Steel? better than TI ?century2
Apr 15, 2002 6:37 AM
I ride reynolds 853 and think the feel is better than Ti
and my frame is about 3.3 lbs - close enough to ultra light for me
re: 853 Reynolds Steel? better than TI ?ADKBiker
Apr 15, 2002 8:32 AM
What bike are you riding?
re: 853 Reynolds Steel? better than TI ?century2
Apr 15, 2002 12:21 PM
I am riding a Mercier Sperpens
re: 853 Reynolds Steel? For racing?ADKBiker
Apr 15, 2002 8:49 AM
Is it a good material for racing since its stiffer than Ti? Does anyone race with 853 Reynolds? Any suggestions on a good manufacturer?
Apr 15, 2002 10:59 AM
is one of the bigger small builders(if that makes sense). They do really lovely road, mtb and 'cross bikes in 853. Love mine!
re: 853 Reynolds Steel? For racing?century2
Apr 15, 2002 12:22 PM
You can easily race it ~ best makers for produce would be LeMond ( and Mercier (
Some of the Saturn racers...JBurton
Apr 15, 2002 5:59 PM
use the Steel Lemonds in some events, if I am not mistaken.
I don't race, but I know the guy who's been dominating my state.Leisure
Apr 15, 2002 7:08 PM
The last couple of seasons he's done it on an Salsa frame, which is basically a Gunnar Roadie (Reynolds 853 welded by Waterford). Even as far as steel frames go, it's not that light; mine in 52cm is 4.5 pounds. But it sure has that real steel feel and is value-conscious (like the Lemonds) at about $600 for the frame. I'd recommend you test ride it along with the Lemonds if that's the price-range you're looking at.
4.5 lbs. for a 52 cm 853 frame?Nessism
Apr 16, 2002 4:54 AM
Sorry to bust your chops on this but how did you come up with 4.5 lbs.? This weight sounds way too high. Even if long butt, thick wall tubes are used the weight should come in under 4 lbs. for a TIG frame this size. Most builders claim 3.5 lbs or even under.
Well, here's the interpolation:Leisure
Apr 17, 2002 1:40 AM
Don't ever think you're busting my chops; I don't take any offense when someone wants to know where I get my information. It's part of shrewd shopping.
Basically, I got to weigh a 48cm Gunnar frame at the LBS on a digital scale and it weighed in at 4 lbs, 2 oz. The 60 or 62 cm frame sitting next to it weighed something like 5 lbs, 4 oz. So, an offtheseatofmypants brain fart suggests my 52cm figures around 4.5 lbs. Now that you've asked I dialed it into a calculator and assuming a linear fit, I get 4.47. Yes, there's going to be some error but it's as close as I care to measure.
Now I absolutely love my Gunnar. I also realize that there's a decent amount of exagerating that goes on in cycling that's unavoidable for builders and customers alike. I mean, say Lemond advertises that their 4.5 lb frame weighs 3.5. Does it make any sense for IF to report the honest weight of their 4.0 pound frame? (Fictitious numbers of course; I've never weighed either.) Does it make any sense for either of them to call a truce and report the honest weights of their frames when their aluminum counterparts are claiming but not meeting 2 pounds? Even though finding my frame's actual weight reads heavy, it's not going to change how it compares to other frames at the price. My complete bike with the heavy Woundup fork weighs 19.5 pounds. Could be better, but for the price it's about par, and I don't mind.
Do they race in Ti & Steel bikes?ADKBiker
Apr 15, 2002 9:06 AM
Do they race in Ti and Steel bikes? I've been told that in the Tour de France they didn't use any steel bikes. Don't know if this is true. Also why when go to most of your bike shops that are pushing all aluminum bikes. Only the nice bike shops that actually sounded like they knew what they were talking about push steel and aluminum?
Do they race in Ti & Steel bikes?pmf1
Apr 15, 2002 9:27 AM
I'm not sure about steel bikes in Division 1 teams, but I knoe Litespeed is sponsering Lotto this year who ride mostly the Vortex. Some riders sponsored by Colnago ride CT1. So yeah, ti bikes are definitely still out there. I'd suspect steel bikes are too, they're just painted over to look like the sponsor.

Frankly, the reason bike companies like aluminium bikes is that they are cheap to make. Its hard even finding a steel mountain bike anymore. Most big manufacturers (Specialized, Trek, etc) don't even have steel bikes in their line anymore.

Bike shops push what they make the most money off of. Most will specialize in selling one or two brands and push them. I think the real money is in the 12 crappy $400 mountain bikes they sell in a week rather than the $3500 road bike they sell every 2-3 weeks.