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531 Steel question(7 posts)

531 Steel questionTREKY
Oct 5, 2002 1:20 PM
I'm thinking of buying a new frame made of 531 steel.I currently have an aluminum.Is 531 a good material for someone who doesn't race but enjoys century rides and longer?
re: 531 Steel questionChainstay
Oct 5, 2002 2:06 PM
I assume you mean a Reynolds 531 double butted frame. This was considered one of the two best frame materials for many years. In comparison to today the frame will be from one to two pounds heavier than a high-end Al or Ti frame. Depending on construction, selection of wheels and the front fork it will ride well, with a tendancy to be less stiff than the stiffer Al bikes. Those that love steel frames like the road feel which balances stiffness, cornering and compliance very well. The ride is less fatiguing and hence better suited to centuries than most Al frames but if you are giving up 2 pounds in weight you will notice it on the hills. On the other hand you might enjoy riding it so much that you will loose 4 pounds of body fat.
Yes. (nm)Spunout
Oct 5, 2002 2:30 PM
Many many racesWalter
Oct 5, 2002 3:11 PM
have been won on 531 frames, even mountainous races. A wel made frame of 531 is a classic that not only endures but rides beautifully. You won't be sorry
Have you considered 853?Ken of Fresno
Oct 5, 2002 3:53 PM
It's lighter, stronger, and probably about as comfortable (depending on frame design). Probably a little more pricey though. I love my 853 Lemond Zurich. I don't miss my Canondale a bit.

Best of luck,
Have you considered 853?Spunout
Oct 6, 2002 4:17 AM
Also riding a Lemond Zurich here. Much different than Columbus tubing. I rode 531 in the '80s on a Peugeot, nice. A columbus Colnago was 'nervy' but still absorbed shock. My Zurich in 853 is a step above, with a velvety road feel yet stiff BB.
I concur and...sprockets2
Oct 7, 2002 6:38 AM
wish to add that although 531 is a venerable and fine material-in fact if he selects a steel fork, it won't be 853 but probably 531-it is definitely not the material of choice in steel frames these days. If money is the consideration, well, it might make sense, but the difference between the frame-only costs would not be so large that most people could not afford to bite the bullet and spring for 853.

If he is buying an old bike there is not so much choice, however.