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Reynolds 853 vs Top Aliminium

SlukecpSlukecp Posts: 16
edited June 2007 in Workshop
Am i right in thinking that 853 is reynolds best tubing? What i wanted to ask about is which material do you think would be best for building up a race bike. reynolds best steel or some top quality aliminium. Also why are most road bikes aliminium carbon hybrids (carbon seat stays and forks) rather than steel. I am assuming that this is because of weight but if it is top quality steel are you not going to get a lot more strength and comfort for only a minor weight difference??? Thanks
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  • ooooooooooooh!!!! Big question with everybody having a different view!!

    I have an 853 cyclosportif bike which is great but is no modern racer (perhaps more due to the geometry however), so I would suspect that Al (or Carbon) would be the choice due to weight. I have heard that Scandium (a form of Al) has properties similar to steel in terms of damping (i.e. comfort)but with much more responsiveness.

    The carbon seat stay issue has two answers, firstly (apparently) comfort is increased due to some shock absorption, secondly a bike with spangly carbon stays will sell better (i.e. marketing). Despite the cynical comment, I'd probably be taken in!!!!

    Not sure if this helps but probably gets the thread going.....Did you have a budget in mind?

    Cheers

    Cheeky

    "There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!"
  • BirilloBirillo Posts: 417
    There are several good reasons for choosing a steel frame, but racing is no longer one of them.

    I can't think of any good reasons for choosing an aluminium/carbon mix.
  • SlukecpSlukecp Posts: 16
    budget? depends really. If i can find the whole bike for around a grand that really gets me going i may snap it up. Alternatively i was thinking about building it up slowly. spend around 800 on frame and fork then collect components over time. I dont know why but i have a thing against aluminium. maybe others could convince me otherwise but a super light steel racer with carbon seat stays...?!? That is sexy.
    Who makes the best steel bikes? sorry too many questions.
  • St John's Street Cycles are very good but are more touring oriented than race. You could try Condor in London who make an Acciaio which is about œ650 for the frameset & fork. See here http://www.condorcycles.com/pdfs/RoadRace_07.pdf.

    I'm not sure you'll find a steel frame with carbon stays as you don't need them, the frame does all the damping. Good luck with the search though,

    Cheeky

    "There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!"
  • hubgearfreakhubgearfreak Posts: 480
    why not ring an expert for a chat, if you're deadly serious?
    here's three, for starters

    i'd buy steel[:D]

    http://www.daveyatescycles.co.uk/
    http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/default.php
    http://www.argoscycles.com/
  • PirahnaPirahna Posts: 1,315
    If you want steel with carbon stays then a custom builder will make you one. A mate is making one for himself, so it quite possible to source all the parts to bond carbon stays into a steel bottom bracket shell and steel seat lug.

    As for frame materials, my own opion is that modern steel tubing rivals aluminium for stiffness. My aluminium Ridley Compact is as stiff as my Columbus Neuron or Columbus EL OS steel frames. The biggest comfort difference is in the wheels and tyres.
  • alf tupperalf tupper Posts: 38
    Or chat to Brian http://www.brianrourke.co.uk/ about a frame in Reynolds 953 [:D]

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Form is temporary, class is permanent.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Form is temporary, class is permanent.
  • Cyclo2000Cyclo2000 Posts: 1,923
    Aye, 953 is the newest and lightest steel.
    Thorn do the Cyclosportif in 853 - top marks in all reviews and a very adaptable bike.
    You could look at a 2005 Lemond, steel spine with carbon, still on sale at Evans I think.
    Mercian, Bob Jackson, Robin Mather, Dave Yates, M. Steel et al will build you a frame to order in steel.
    The lightest frames currently available are I think the Cannondale Six13 range. Carbon rear stays are quite heavy in comparison to Alu, so alu rear ends are used to reduce weight.

    Usquequaque in Ventus
    Get into yourself to get yourself out of your self. Then try to lose yourself.
    Usquequaque in Ventus
    Just once I would like to be called "Sir", without someone adding "You\'re making a scene".
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    853 is pretty classy stuff, as are some of the Italian steels (dedaccai eom)

    My 15year old 853 frame rides every bit as nicely as either of my ti frames

    for a really nice steel bike, look at the Colnago master (or is it masterlight), some of the Torelli frames, or at having one built for you-some of the UK builders are surprisingly reasonable



    <font size="1">"I once prayed to God for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"
    </font id="size1">
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • hairytoeshairytoes Posts: 645
    I'd try Mercian. You will get a gorgeous, top-class frame.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I'm woolly!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Woolly Mammoths are just cuddly elephants
  • Cyclo2000Cyclo2000 Posts: 1,923
    Aye and if yer Billy Gates ye can get a ____ _______ wan!

    Usquequaque in Ventus
    Get into yourself to get yourself out of your self. Then try to lose yourself.
    Usquequaque in Ventus
    Just once I would like to be called "Sir", without someone adding "You\'re making a scene".
  • Gran E. GearGran E. Gear Posts: 423
    Sluke,

    Mercian have the Velocit  frame: 853 Pro team + Deacciai carbon rear triangle + Ded. carbon fork.

    The carbon is purely aesthetic, I'd say, but I agree with you: steel + carbon looks great. If I had that kind of money, I'd want a looker of a frame, as I'm not fit/strong/good enough to really care about absolute performance. So, I'd probably go for a frame like that.

    Bob Jackson advertise a Columbus Nemo + carbon rear traingle too.

    I ride an all-alu frame, and it is lighter (and I'd say probably stiffer) than the much more expensive models in the same range that have carbon stays.
  • All carbon is lovely IMO, BUT I cannot see any real (as opposed to sales patter) benefit nor even point to mixing materials. A passing fad I think.

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,890
    All carbon you need. For a grand all in? Absolutely!


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    Well, FWIW, I run a steel framed Condor Fratello Audax geometry bike, with a carbon fork - Rides superbly.

    Just bought a Squadra - Ally triangle with carbon fork/stays, as I wanted a contrasting bike that's more of a reactive short-milage boneshaker - I actually found the Squadra surprisingly comfortable but in a different way to my steel frame. It feels nippier than the steel bike, but probably more of a geometry thing.

    I found there was very little weight difference (or price for that matter) between the Ally/Carbon offering and a full carbon offering at the same price-point.

    I think the full carbon frames are less communicative and possibly a bit too soft - Although I cannot really answer this last bit with any decent practical experience.

    So in essence, yes, if you go for a steel offering I wouldn't expect it to be noticably heavier once you're out on the road with it. If my recent experience on new steel is anything to go by (compared to my aged 531 ride), you'll find it quite different and a nice ride.
  • TRcpTRcp Posts: 418
    a top steel frame will weigh about 1500 - 1600g - about 250 to 500g more than a carbon or top alu offering and about the same as a 'normal' Ti frame.
    Overall bike weight will be in the range of 7 to 9 kilo. Add rider weight and any kit and the relative difference is pretty small. Unless you are at elite level you will probably never notice it.
    Ride quality is a different matter...
  • andwagsandwags Posts: 31
    Mixing frame materials is pointless as carbon stay really don't do anything that a different shape in the same material can't accomplish. If you go carbon, go all carbon.
  • This may be of interest, from the reynoldscycles.co.ukweb site

    <font color="red">Reynolds 525 </font id="red">- cold drawn. The 525 is a range of cold drawn chrome-molybdenum tubes, all precision butted, using either seamless or welded raw material. The material is suitable for TIG welding and brazing, with lug or lugless construction. 525 will be found in frames with combinations of all 8 tubes, 3 main tubes down and seat tube and seat tube only. The decal will clarify the tubes used by each builder. We recommend 631 or 525 forks for use with 525 road and touring frames. Reynolds also use the 520 decal for Reynolds chrome-moly tubing made under license to our specification

    <font color="red">Reynolds 531 </font id="red">- cold drawn. This material, originally introduced in 1935, was the tube which set the standard for road and touring frames for many years, and is still requested by many riders today. Reynolds make 531 frame tubing to special order only, as our innovative 631 air-hardening steel has allowed Reynolds to update this range

    <font color="red">Reynolds 631</font id="red"> - cold drawn.Following on from the success of 853, Reynolds have added 631 to the range of AIR HARDENING STEEL tube sets. This seamless cold drawn steel tube will allow the benefits of this new steel to be used in the manufacture of a wide range of frames and is now considered a worthy successor to our legendary 531 tubing. Like 853 it is suitable for TIG welding and brazing and in the heat affected joint areas will gain strength, to ultimate tensile strengths in excess of heat treated chrome molybdenum. The strength to weight ratio of 631 is equal to that of many aluminium frames, and it has an excellent fatigue life whilst providing a supple ride quality suitable for long distance events.

    On road and touring frames we suggest 631 or 525 forks be used in conjunction with 631 frames. As 631 is only available in main frame tube sizes, we recommend the use of either heat treated CrMo (725) or cold drawn CrMo (525) seatstays and chainstays to complete the frame.

    <font color="red">Reynolds 725</font id="red"> - heat treated.The Chrome-molybdenum steel is an industry standard similar to our 753 range of tubes and we use both seamless and welded raw materials for this range. The heat treated CrMo is precision butted on our mandrels and is offered in a wide range of tube sizes for all styles of frames. This material is ideal for TIG welding and brazing, with joining by lug or lugless construction. 725 is a material that allows thin gauge, tight tolerance tube, providing maximum weight saving for competitive use. Reynolds recommend 725 or 631 forks for use with 725 road and touring frames.

    <font color="red">Reynolds 753</font id="red"> - heat treated. Due to the chemical nature of the material, manganese molybdenum, when heat treated, has to be joined with care. The temperature when joining the frame has to be kept relatively low, and we recommend silver and the use of lugs for this operation. As the use of a silver solder requires special skills, Reynolds have introduced a certification procedure for builders and will only sell this material to those who have completed the procedure. 753 is an ideal material for use in road and trach frames as it is a thin gauge, tight tolerance tube. 753 will only be available to special order for builders and Reynolds recommend the use of the heat treated CrMo seatstays and chainstays (725) to complete the frame.

    <font color="red">Reynolds 853.</font id="red"> This seamless air-hardening steel tube sets new standards for professional cycle frames and proves that steel still has a future at the highest levels. It is suitable for TIG welding and brazing, using lugged or lugless construction. The production process ensures tight tolerance, gauge tubes. The strength to weight ratio of 853 is close to that of quality titanium frames. A normal chrome molybdenum steel will lose strength in the joints after the heat has been applied.

    This material (853) INCREASES in strength as the frame cools to strengths well in excess of the delivered values shown above. This unique air hardening property of Reynolds 853 provides additional stiffness through reduced microyielding at the joints, allowing stiffer frames with excellent fatigue strength (when compared to standard chrome molybdenum) and a superior ride quality from the finished frame. On road and touring frames we recommend the use of 631 or 725 fork blades with 853 frames.

    We offer this tube set in many sizes for custom framebuilders, and is suitable for lightweight frames, strong/tall riders and has also been specified for free-ride and BMX frames due to its' high impact strength.

    <font color="red">Reynolds 953 :</font id="red"> Reynolds latest innovation takes steel alloys into a new league. By utilising a specially developed martensitic-aging alloy stainless steel that can achieve ultimate tensile strength in excess of 2000MPa, this has a strength-to-weight ratio that can take on the best materials currently used in the industry. The resilient ride of steel, very high impact strength (similar to armour plating) and fatigue resistance combine to provide an extraordinary material that can now be used in butted tubing.

    953 have been developed using material from Carpenter Speciality Alloys. The strength of this material can be customised by controlling the amount of cold-work and heat-treatment - this allows us to optimise strength and ductility to suit the applications in 953. Reynolds also offer highly stressed components like the butted bottom bracket shell and rear drop-outs in the 953 alloy, along with fittings to complete a frame based on a high-strength precipitation-hardening Carpenter alloy and other weldable stainless steels. More information on these materials can be found in our FAQ's in the 953 section, and technical comparisons are shown under Technology/Comparative Properties on our website.

    Reynolds will work with frame fabricators to provide recommended production techniques, so that the challenges inherent in using an extremely hard metal can be overcome. With wall thickness down to 0.3mm, frame builders will be handling very thin walled tubing, and 'best practice' techniques are similar to those used in titanium frame welding. It will be possible to manufacture TIG welded, fillet-brazed and lugged frames using 953.

    Benefits: Ultra-strong steel, with anti-corrosion features from a stainless steel. And the legendary ride of steel.

    <font color="green">Titanium Reynolds 6Al-4V.</font id="green"> Reynolds manufacture mandrel butted tubing using seamless '6Al-4V'grade titanium tubing, as well as ovals and tapered shapes, using its' uniquely designed drawbenches. For framebuilders, this allows very consistent tubing profiles compared to acid-etched or mechanically polished 'butted' tubing providing close tolerances on wall thicknesses. Our 6-4 range includes seamless chainstays and seatstays, suitable for the best bikes in the world.

    Reynolds specify a seamless 6Al-4V raw material, to ELI standard (Extra Low Interstitial gas content). Due the combination of the 6-4 material in butted profiles, our 6-4 tubeset has been the subject of favourable press coverage from professional riders and journalists worldwide based on their rider tests over long distances.

    Advantages for the rider - a light, durable frame, with more cold worked titanium material at the critical weld zone areas. And increased strength- to- weight performance from the 6-4 material which has been cold-worked and then stress-relieved

    <font color="green">TitaniumReynolds 3Al-2.5V.</font id="green"> Reynolds manufacture butted tubing using seamless '3Al/2.5V' grade titanium tubing, on its' uniquely designed drawbenches. For framebuilders, this allows very consistent tubing profiles compared to acid-etched or mechanically polished 'butted' tubing - Reynolds probably offer the tightest tolerances on wall thickness for butted titanium tubing anywhere in the bike industry using a combination of shaped mandrels and precise tooling.

    Titanium has the advantage of a low density, corrosion-resistance and high fatigue life. Advantages for the rider - a lighter frame, with more cold worked titanium material at the critical weld zone areas. Plus increased strength- to- weight performance from cold worked tubing . And we also offer shaped tubing to improve frame stiffness .

    Titanium framesets will have a great ride, low weight and high durability.

    Paul_Smith
    www.bikeplus.co.uk

    Some useful links
    www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials

    www.vannicholas.com frame-materials


    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Cyclo2000</i>

    Aye, 953 is the newest and lightest steel.
    Thorn do the Cyclosportif in 853 - top marks in all reviews and a very adaptable bike.
    You could look at a 2005 Lemond, steel spine with carbon, still on sale at Evans I think.
    Mercian, Bob Jackson, Robin Mather, Dave Yates, M. Steel et al will build you a frame to order in steel.
    The lightest frames currently available are I think the Cannondale Six13 range. Carbon rear stays are quite heavy in comparison to Alu, so alu rear ends are used to reduce weight.

    Usquequaque in Ventus
    Get into yourself to get yourself out of your self. Then try to lose yourself.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Surrey Road CC, articles of my tours; Lejog, North Sea to the Alps, English Channel to the Med', 'End to End' Ireland,London to Paris,Corsica
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    I race my Graham Weigh 853 bike. It's wonderful. I've not ridden many race bikes, but I've lent mine to other racers who've come back looking all warm and fuzzy. It doesn't beat me up, and it doesn't hold me back, that's for sure. (In fact, I came 2nd in the hill climb, and finished well into the top half of the field in the hilliest race this year).

    853 is the highest grade normal steel Reynolds makes. There is also a thinner 853 Pro Team tubeset, and also the stainless 953. Kaisei (Keirin-tastic), Columbus and Dedaciaii are the other ones you'll see.

    A lot of the Italian builders are going with carbon tails on steel bikes because it's easy and cheap to do. eg...
    http://www.ciclicasati.it/english/foto_laser_c.htm

    Jackson, Woodrup and Mercian are all offering carbon tails too.

    Aluminium is very cheap, and the Taiwanese OEM makers are set up to use it. "Scandium" only contains a very small amount of actual Scandium. It's a strong aluminium alloy.

    FYI, mine has Centaur and 36 spoke Rigida Chrina rims on Athena hubs.
  • FWIW (probably very little!), I've just acquired an 853 road, as in race, bike. censored paper clearances, straight forks, v short wheelbase (yet, interestingly, adequate front/centre dimensions to avoid overlap). I guess it's the closest thing to a race bike I've ridden except for a carbon TCR.

    It is a spearpoint/webbed lugged build, which, together with my less than 9st, may explain why it can only be described as "stiff". And yet for reasons I cannot imagine I would also describe it as "compliant" - and even comfortable.

    I haven't weighed it and would prove little as components decidely mid-range, but I reckon could build it to <18lbs pretty easily.

    It really is very nice.

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • 953. Lush!
  • pliptrotpliptrot Posts: 582
    953 is Reynolds latest tubing - promising to offer frames of not much more than 1kg and not corroding. It's been around for about a year. I think there are 2 reasons why alternatives to steel have become popular;

    1. weight
    2. most steels corrode (internal rust is a problem if you don't maintain the bike)

    So I contend that 953 puts steel back in the running for competition frames.

    The carbon back-end thing is about comfort, apparently, as aluminium is not in any way responsive (at least the over-sized tubing currently in vogue), but Cannondale's best offering has a carbon front triangle and aluminium back end, so that rather confuses things, or at least me. Perhaps marketing plays a part in all this, perhaps?
  • <font color="red">I have heard that the carbon wishbone makes building frames faster and cheaper - it's quicker (hence cheaper) to make the frame aligned by simply glueing the wishbone into the metal front end.</font id="red">
  • Chris JamesChris James Posts: 1,040
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by pliptrot</i>


    2. most steels corrode (internal rust is a problem if you don't maintain the bike)
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I take slight issue with this. Not the fact that steel corrodes, but that it should affect one's decision as to what frame to go for. I have a late 1980s 531c frame, not really that well looked after - certainly it has never had waoyl or frame saver and only got washed occasionally, it is fine. I doubt there are many aluminium bikes around that are 20 years old.
  • "I doubt there are many aluminium bikes around that are 20 years old."

    Well, there wouldn't be YET, would there?

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • I see Duralinox frames being ridden out on the road quite often. They must be 20 years old by now.
  • PirahnaPirahna Posts: 1,315
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Birillo</i>


    I can't think of any good reasons for choosing an aluminium/carbon mix.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I can. I've just bought a 2nd hand Kinesis KIC2 frame, forks and few other bits for œ130 on EBay.

    Just put it togehter tonight so I havn't ridden it yet though.
  • pliptrotpliptrot Posts: 582
    Chris James,

    Conventional wisdom suggests frames over 10 years old be inspected for internal corrosion. Undoubtedly they get wet inside - temperature variations have enough effect to suck moisture in through what we all think of as perfect seals, and unless your frame builder did some internal coating (it's astonishing how few do this) you may be in for a shock. I hope not, as my favourite (steel) frame is now 16 years old, and it'd be nice to think that my attention to the insides is over the top.

    Now those folk with light aluminium frames getting to the decade or more are in for a nasty surprise, because this material has no fatigue limit, and so will age with normal use. Failure rates in aluminium forks (the skinny ones on the early French frames) were frighteningly high, and I suspect that similar stories about aluminium frames will start doing the rounds.

    Time will tell.
    Pjl
  • Time will tell indeed. I'm riding around quite a lot on a 50+ year frame and the ride and handling are great. It's fitted with a carbon-fibre seatpin though.

    Light alloy steels like 531 only rust ever so slowly. Has anyone here ever seen a frame with a rust hole? Doesn't happen, no matter how long it sits in a damp shed,
  • SpinacilightSpinacilight Posts: 1,738
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by harman_mogul</i>


    Has anyone here ever seen a frame with a rust hole? Doesn't happen, no matter how long it sits in a damp shed,
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I've not seen one with a rust hole but I've seen a couple of steel frames less than 10 years old go at the chainstays due to corrosion. In fact, one was less than five years old.
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