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Reynolds 531c question

SlimtimSlimtim Posts: 1,042
edited January 2008 in Road general
Does anyone know when 531c was introduced? I have recently acquired the best riding bike I have ever owned but I can't quite work out if the sticker correctly identifies the tubeset. I believe that it is a road fixed - basically a track bike with slightly more relaxed geometry. It is very responsive but not twitchy and rather comfortable.

The lugs are Nervex Professional (the BB shell is also stamped Nervex) and the seat and chainstays are both superslim (a bit like Accles & Pollack tubes). Seatstays are 'wrapover, in design.

The frame was refinished by Argos shortly before I bought it and they applied a 531c sticker. Is this likely be period?

Any informed views welcome!


  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    edited October 2007
    Double entry - sorry
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    Around 1990 I should think.

    I think I saw a post here or in cycle chat forum about a Reynols 531 frame.... I ride a Raleigh with a 531 frame and I have no intention to buy a new bike in the near future, more than happy with my ride so far.

  • protoproto Posts: 1,470
    I think 531c was introduced in the early 80s. Maybe late 70s? Dunno. :oops:
  • slowfenslowfen Posts: 312
    Ithink it was much earlier, certainly i believe 1930's

    just wikied it
    Hills? what are they
  • I think you'd be looking at 70s to 80s. Def not before 1970s when the equvalent was 531sl, def before 90s because my 80s eclipse is made of it...
  • Pete BeerPete Beer Posts: 604
    I too have a 531c framed fixed. I've no idea what it is but the ride and the geometry is spot on. It's my hack so it looks a bit rough but I would be devistated if anything happened to it.
    What actually is the difference between 531 and 531c and is there a modern equivalent?
  • tatanabtatanab Posts: 1,283
    531 is the material only. The letters after (SL, C, ST etc) define tube wall thicknesses. Reynolds say that 631 is their modern replacement.
  • Tall JonTall Jon Posts: 168
    C stood for competition and the tubes are thinner and therfore lighter. ST is heavier gauge for touring and similar applications.
  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    tatanab wrote:
    531 is the material only. The letters after (SL, C, ST etc) define tube wall thicknesses. Reynolds say that 631 is their modern replacement.

    As one poster has said, 531 dates back to the mid-30s (I've a feeling it was branded "HM" rather than numbered to start with). 531SL was a late 60s/early 70s development and was basically 753 without the heat-treatment, and therefore very fragile as a result. Legend has it that Carlton turned out some very light 531 frames (probably SL) around this time intended strictly for one-off use by their pro riders in TTs, record attempts, etc., and swiftly destroyed (by sawing into bits) after the event by Gerald O'Donovan himself to make sure they weren't re-used or flogged on the S/H market!

    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • Thickness of tubes and butting for 531c is:

    TT & ST 0.8 to 0.5mm
    DT 0.9 to 0.6mm

    whereas, 531st is 1 to 0.7mm for all the main tubes,

    giving estimated frame weight differences of 2.05kg and 2.2kg.
  • shaw8670shaw8670 Posts: 264
    531 cames as "double butted" and "SL" until about 1985 when it was re-badged "531C" and "531" pro respectively, as far as I know the product remained unchanged. "ST" was also available and was the touring version, slightly heavier and about the same weight as Columbus "SL"
    Greetings from the wet and windy North west
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    not that it's any use, but i have 631 on my bob jackson, and it's amazing. ride quality is second to nothing.
  • well I recently sold a Mercian king of mercia that was dated to 1976 and had the original 531c transfer on definately 1976 or earlier.
    being a reformed stuntdrinker allows pontification
  • Design Classic in C+174 carried a history of Reynolds 531 tubing - HM tubing was an earlier version of alloy steel tubing that carried on after 531 was introduced in 1985. 531C the article stated came out in 1985 - however more recent research has indicated that it was first included in the 1983 Reynolds catalogue for the first time - Reynolds 531 transfers prior to 1983 simply said 531SL for the Superlight version introduced around 1976, 531 for plain gauge tubing or 531 butted tubes, forks and stays for an all 531 frameset with butted tubes. Different wall thicknesses of 531 butted tubing were always available. It is true that 531C was lighter than the 531ST set but was in reality the standard set of 531 butted tubing renamed.
  • bagpusscpbagpusscp Posts: 2,907
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