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TELL ME IT AIN"T SO(14 posts)

TELL ME IT AIN"T SOfredstaple
Jun 3, 2003 4:52 AM
I think I'm about to feel real dumb. I have a 1982 Trek road bike. Reynolds 531 frame and fork. I always just figured this was an alum bike frame because of Reynolds wrap. Does anyone know what Reynolds 531 really is? Is it steel? Thanks
re: TELL ME IT AIN"T SOQuentinCassidy
Jun 3, 2003 5:37 AM
Either you're bad at making jokes or you don't know what is.
Reynolds 531 is steelDave Hickey
Jun 3, 2003 5:49 AM
It's a very good quality steel. Why are you worried about a steel bike?
Reynolds 531 is steelrussw19
Jun 3, 2003 2:58 PM
Dave, I think you should have said it 'was' a good quality steel. It is very out of date today, but it was tops in the 70's but when Columbus released the SL tubeset, that was pretty much the end of Reynolds 531.

Reynolds is now catching back up with the 853 tubeset, the difference is 853 (and 631) are air hardened alloys. They are the tubesets that one would use to build a light steel bike. 531 is older and won't make for a very light frame. It, by the way, was replaced in the Reynolds line by the 753 tubeset. Reynolds recommends that niether 531 or 753 tubesets be TIG welded, as it can easily be overheated and weakend. If you are going to TIG weld a Reynolds tube frame, use the 853 or the cheaper (and heavier) 631.

By the way, I am not a frame builder, I just read the Reynolds webpage about the differences in their steel tubesets.

You should be pleased to knowjtolleson
Jun 3, 2003 6:26 AM
that you are riding a steel bike. Aluminum bikes of that vintage could rattle your fillings outta your head.

I never had thought of a Reynolds wrap connection before! :)
Not quiteMel Erickson
Jun 3, 2003 6:49 AM
Cannondale didn't come out with their first bike until 1983. Most aluminum bikes of that era were real noodles, whippy and soft riding. Some could make them work but they were definitely not considered bone shakers. We can thank (or curse) Cannondale for changing the way we think about aluminum bikes. Check out Alan or Vitus bikes of that era. Their aluminum tubes emulated the size and style of steel tubing which dominated then.
Almost correct, Reynolds, etc....YoGeorge
Jun 3, 2003 10:39 AM
Hi there:
I recall the intro of the Cannondale frame in 1983. It was almost a direct copy of the Klein frame, including the really long chainstays, that preceded it by a few years. My wife is riding an old Cdale frame, an ST700, from 1986 or so (with almost none of its original componentry).

I was riding my 531 bikes back then, and still am riding an old 531 Raleigh Comp frame. Seems like most folks who misinterpreted what 531 was thought it was "magnesium" because of the moly/manganese formulation...

Being old and stiff of body these days, I almost want to go find an old Vitus frame and build it up...

Very trueMel Erickson
Jun 3, 2003 12:03 PM
Gary Klein is the father of large tube alu bicycles. Cannondale really popularized the genre. I bought a 1985 Cannondale R400 and still have it. It's been relegated to windtrainer duty. The 70's and early 80's alu bikes were typically of the noodle variety but Klein and Cannondale changed all that by the mid 80's. That's when they got their boneshaker image. I'm also old and stiff of body and instead of building up an old Vitus try a Softride. All of the benefits (well, mostly all) with none of the drawbacks. I'm a happy Softride Solo rider but I also long for an 853 classic design steel ride. I just took an old Panasonic tourer and turned it into a one speed. Even though it's not particularly light I'm very pleased with the ride. Not Softride smooth but the steel and long chain stays really make a fine ride.
Softride, Aegis, titanium, suspension....YoGeorge
Jun 3, 2003 12:46 PM
Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I realize there are alternatives--and I'm way too heavy to consider an old Vitus frame, really.

My old Raleigh Comp is my club ride special (with sewups and STI conversion, and new long-reach Shimano brakes), on which I try to keep up with my kid, the junior racer.

I rode my old 531 Claud Butler touring frame for many years and retired it just a couple years ago because of the pathetic brakes, bought a Trek 520, which rides pretty well, especially with 75 lbs of air in fatter tires. The bigger tubes make it harder than the Claud Butler, but I can't scrape the chain on the derailleur as easily when I stand on it.

And, I also updated my mountain bike to a Giant NRS, which is a bit of a revelation.

I *might* think about another road bike in a couple years, but if my hands keep giving me problems, might end up being an unwilling recumbent rider...

My kid has a recent Trek 2300, which I find to be a bone crusher, but it's not as bad as the original Cannondale racing series frames, which I found horrible even 18 years ago...

What a small worldMel Erickson
Jun 3, 2003 2:13 PM
My brother-in-law just upgraded from a Trek 2300 to a LeMond Maillot Jaune because the Trek was such a hard rider. I'm also on my third season of riding a Giant NRS 1, it's a great bike. Before that I was on a Cannondale Super V 900. Now those are two different full suspension rides. The Super V was plush, bobbed like a kangaroo but was super on the downhills. The Giant climbs like a scalded jackrabbit, isn't near as plush (but plenty for me) and requires more attention on the downhills. Overall the Giant fits my style much better.
Whoops! Read that as "1992" not "1982!" (nm)jtolleson
Jun 3, 2003 1:36 PM
Just put a magnet on it...Matno
Jun 3, 2003 7:06 AM
You'll know right away if it's steel or not. Just a little trick someone taught me on this forum...
Just put a magnet on it...aliensporebomb
Jun 3, 2003 11:15 AM
Cool idea. Some bikes just won't tell you!
Just put a magnet on it...copenhavertl
Jun 3, 2003 6:37 PM
Great idea! Thanks