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Reynolds 653 tubing

GaryGknGaryGkn Posts: 1,199
edited August 2012 in Road general
Does anybody have any info on Reynolds 653 tubing?

I have a 653 frame which i am going to build up.

Should I be concerned by the views below?

Light Use
'In this group Reynolds 531 competition must represent the best value, much better than 653. It is a poor man's 753 offering neither the strength nor overall stiffness. It has identical gauges to 753 which I believe inadequate for the slightly inferior material. 531 Competition offers a better and longer lasting frame. Even so, 653 has gained a large following so I shall say no more.'
From Touring Bikes, A Practical Guide, Tony Oliver
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Posts

  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    he's talking about touring frames.

    i have a 631 vigorelli, it's fukken lovely.
  • I own a 1992 Orbit 653 frame which is in mint condition and built up into a racy best bike with Centaur kit. It rides beautifully and i have no complaints. It's light and flexes nicely compared to my alu winter bike and I love it.

    I can't comment on if it's well engineered but i bought it secondhand and i'm led to believe it was well used but well loved. If you are really concerned then ask frame builders what they think as they many have more than the opinions and anecdotal evidence you'll get on here.

    My frame was only £90 so i'm very pleased and consider it an absolute bargain.

    Over the years Reynolds have seemed to know what they're doing so i'd not be worried.
    M_G
  • demmersondemmerson Posts: 91
    I've got a 653 Ribble that I bought secondhand a few years ago and I think is about 12 years old. Seems fine and dandy to me.
  • bonk manbonk man Posts: 1,054
    No reason why it shouldn't be dandy.. if it rides ok then it then it rides ok. :)

    531c is splendid stuff and in a class of it's own, I don't have any experience of 653 but it was popular so should be fine.

    708 was strange stuff..

    531 is 531 :lol:

    I have a 531cs frame [ Holdsworth] I rescued of a rubbish pile and not tried out yet, should be interesting.

    753 is the business as long as it is built properly.

    I have a 501 competition tubed fixed lo pro [1980's I think] , what a revelation, better than my Dolan track frame.

    I think a lot of the quality is in the build with any tubing grade, if the builder is on a good day then even cheaper quality tubes can give a good ride. I have had 531 frames, some feel alive and some are dead and lifeless.

    Good luck and enjoy your new bike, if it turns out to be a bit of a dog flog the frame in the classifieds or ebay and get another, they are cheap enough
    Club rides are for sheep
  • bonk man wrote:
    I have a 531cs frame [ Holdsworth] I rescued of a rubbish pile and not tried out yet, should be interesting.
    Here's a Reynolds transfers poster (probably from the late 80s) that explains a few things:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sashae/2072364171/sizes/o/

    For 531CS, the three main tubes were 531 with everything else being chromoly; this sounds similar to the 631/525 mix that many modern framebuilders are using. According to Reynolds the 531CS frameset was designed for "fast sports and touring", which presumably would nowadays be described as "audax".

    My first 'proper' bike (a Coventry Eagle Elite) had a 531CS frame, and that bike is fondly remembered despite its 'barge-like' characteristics at low speed (probably due to the use of traditional touring geometry?) - it did feel lively at higher speeds though.

    A strange Reynolds tubing which can't have been that popular is also mentioned on that chart, namely 453 "Ti-Tech" high manganese/titanium tubing that was suitable for "sports and general purpose use" - does anyone know what that was like?
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    demmerson wrote:
    I've got a 653 Ribble that I bought secondhand a few years ago and I think is about 12 years old. Seems fine and dandy to me.

    Me too .Don't suppose it is the flo pink frameset is it ?
    I got mine second hand about 12 years ago.
    Brilliant frame but the forks are heavy compared to the ali and carbon ones today.
    Mine had the best braze-ons I have ever seen on any steel frame. especially the through the top-tube brake cable.
    I still have my 653 Ribble (still in pink) and its as good to ride today as itwas 12 years ago.
    I'm thinking to build it into a lightweight TT bike for my first TT later this year

    So in answer to the OP's question 653 is a brilliant tubeset. Much stiffer than 531 which isn't heat treated.The 753 tube set is the same set the difference is simply silver soldering and a differant heat treatment .You need a Reynolds license to buy and build 753

    Tony Oliver is talking out of his rear end. 653 is not an inferior tubing it is superior. It is exactly the same tubing as the 753 tubeset which is the strongest tubing in the world at equal diameters.
  • GaryGknGaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    I bought a Mercian Strada over 4 years ago that came with 653 tubing over the last two years I have been slowly collecting parts for it. I just need some rims, spokes, wheel build and a chain. When I read the comments in the book it seemed like Tony had a bit of a downer on the tube set. What I surmised was that for the money 653 was no better than 531c but inferior to 753 and that the gauges of 653 should be more in the ball park of 531c. I think he was saying it was redundant or not strong enough to have the same gauges as 653.

    Later in the book he describes the handling of 753 and mentions that it is all in the hands of the frame builder and if the tubes get too hot the worst that can happen is that the properties revert to 753.

    I then thought that is bad as the gauges would then be set at 753 on a material that was inferior ie 531 which has different gauges.

    Maybe I was reading too much into it but he seems to know his onions. He is from a physics background and I believe he was a metallurgist.

    Good to know all the 653 frames mentioned are still giving good service.
  • GaryGknGaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    Looked up 453 on that neat poster never heard of it but i did once buy a Peugeot with 553.
    Never seen one since!
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    edited July 2008
    GaryGkn wrote:
    What I surmised was that for the money 653 was no better than 531c but inferior to 753 and that the gauges of 653 should be more in the ball park of 531c. I think he was saying it was redundant or not strong enough to have the same gauges as 653.

    Later in the book he describes the handling of 753 and mentions that it is all in the hands of the frame builder and if the tubes get too hot the worst that can happen is that the properties revert to 753.

    I then thought that is bad as the gauges would then be set at 753 on a material that was inferior ie 531 which has different gauges.

    .
    .I take it you mean the 753 reverts to 653 ! :roll: '
    The key thing to remember here is that the 653 and 753 tube-set is the same tube-set. They have exactly the same gauges. If you order a 753 and a 653 tube-sets you get identical tubing.
    The only difference between them is the final heat treatment.
    653 is heat treated which makes it much stronger than 531C it is also much lighter because the tubes are thinner
    753 is simply the process of a special heat treatment that gives it a little more strength than 653.
    In order for Reynolds to maintain a standard of excellence over their premieire tube-set they insist that builders are licensed. Reynolds send you a tube-set which when built is returned to their labs for testing.
    If it passes you are registered as a 753 builder and can purchase the 653/753 tube-sets and the 753 decals.

    You have a lovely frame Gary it will make a brilliant ride. Just get building and you'll love it trust me.

    It would seem to me that the writer has simply used someone elses opinion without doing any original research of their own. Their appraisal of the various tube-sets is hardly an academic one based on any testing. it just sounds like an opinion to me that could do with a little grammatical clarity
  • Heat treatment makes no difference to stiffness.

    Strength is increased but the Young's modulus remains the same.
    John Stevenson
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    edited July 2008
    http://www.reynoldstechnology.biz/compproperties.html
    [/url]http://www.gtgtandems.com/tech/materials.html
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

    yes you are correct it is the strength that is effected by heat treatment not the `stiffness' . People rarely use the correct words to describe what they mean. Like hoover for vacumm cleaner etc .
    It just shows how myths can become firmly entrenched over the years :roll:
  • Peanut

    Thanks. Note that the stiffness is the same for all the steels: 207 GPa for everythiing from 953 down to 525.

    QED.
    John Stevenson
  • demmersondemmerson Posts: 91
    peanut wrote:
    Me too .Don't suppose it is the flo pink frameset is it ?
    Thankfully not, I'm not sure I could cope with a pink bike :roll: . Mine is a tasteful green and white.
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    demmerson wrote:
    peanut wrote:
    Me too .Don't suppose it is the flo pink frameset is it ?
    Thankfully not, I'm not sure I could cope with a pink bike :roll: . Mine is a tasteful green and white.

    have you scraped a little paint off anywhere and looked underneath ? :lol:
  • GaryGknGaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    Thanks for all your words of wisdom. I started to get a bit paranoid etc. I'll be glad when it's finished and on the road.
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    steel is the real deal my friend . You'll never regret riding a steel frame they are very forgiving and comfortable .Perfect for Audax, Sportives, Touring and training imo
    good luck with the build . Hope we get to see a picture when you are finished. :wink:
  • GaryGknGaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    It will be a while as funds have dried up etc...
    I fI can load a picture of the frame I will but that will be next week at the earliest.
    Thanks again.
  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    peanut wrote:
    Tony Oliver is talking out of his rear end.

    Coincidentally, it's rear ends that are the key to the difference, as far as I know - the 653 tubeset has the same main tubes as 531c but the seat and chain stays (so I was led to believe by Frank Clements as he stated as much in Orbit catalogues) are made from the same heat-treated steel used for the 753 set, so it's a sort of mix 'n' match between the two.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    peanut wrote:
    Tony Oliver is talking out of his rear end.

    Coincidentally, it's rear ends that are the key to the difference, as far as I know - the 653 tube-set has the same main tubes as 531c but the seat and chain stays (so I was led to believe by Frank Clements as he stated as much in Orbit catalogues) are made from the same heat-treated steel used for the 753 set, so it's a sort of mix 'n' match between the two.

    David

    This is an interesting subject .I had always accepted the article I read on the Reynolds brochure many years ago ,that the 653 tube-set was identical to the 753 tube-set except that it did not receive the same heat treatment and was braized as apposed to silver soldered.

    I don't know which source that you have quoted from ,perhaps `The washing machine post' ?
    Well they probably lifted it verbatim from here
    http://velospace.org/node/5133

    Who probably copy pasted it verbatim from here

    http://jimlangley.blogspot.com/2008/03/q-merckx-tubing-motobecane-badge-pedals.html

    Do you see that in each case the words are identical they have clearly plagerised and none of them have credited where they got the information from.None of them have done any research whatsoever. They have ,like you , simply quoted the first likely looking source they came across.I'd be the first to admit I am as guilty as any in accepting things at face value.

    This is how myths spread because no one bothers to do the original research and check the facts .
    This has now intrigued me so I will spend some time verifying sources and attempt to locate a Reynolds info sheet. The Merckx story is rather splendid but I doubt there is much truth to it .Reynolds are unlikely to have manufactured a new tube-set just to satisfy a competitor frame builder .
  • meagainmeagain Posts: 2,331
    "steel is the real deal my friend . You'll never regret riding a steel frame they are very forgiving and comfortable "......IF THEY ARE DESIGNED AND BUILT WITH THOSE CHARACTERISTICS IN MIND, as indeed are frames made of alu, titanium and carbon (and possibly those made from many other materials which I haven't tried).

    That said, 531 C is good - but I prefer some Columbus tubes.
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    looks like this should put the 653 debate to bed for good.

    I was right in so far as my memory served me. The 653 tubeset was not just a thin 531 tube.
    The 753 and the 653 tubesets are identical.
    The 653 was a development of the 531C and the tubes were indeed thinner. It was braized together.
    The 753 tubeset was simply a 653 tube-set but put together with silver solder and received a special heat treatment which made it slightly stronger.Frame builders had to be licensed to buy and build to 753 standard. Apparently Bob Jackson was the first licensed 753 builder.

    http://www.worldclasscycles.com/JACKSON-HOME.htm
    http://www.equusbicycle.com/bike/reynolds/Reynolds-tubing-sizes.jpg
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    meagain wrote:
    "

    That said, 531 C is good - but I prefer some Columbus tubes.

    errrrr I thought that Columbus was steel ! :lol:
  • GaryGknGaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    The forks and half rear triangle on my 1991 frame set are chromed. Is this possible on a 653 set with such thin walls?

    Lack of info on 653 out there would be nice if Reynolds could pick up on the thread.

    I think you did really well finding any information. I got to Bob Jackson but didn't get to Merckx although I am reading a Merckx book so it may be referenced in there?

    Columbus are a real favourite of Tony Oliver. His book is really good but somethings like used car engine oil on the chain seem a little at odds with a scientific approach.

    I might phone or drop a line to Mercian see what they have to say on the subject of 653.
  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    peanut wrote:
    peanut wrote:
    Tony Oliver is talking out of his rear end.

    Coincidentally, it's rear ends that are the key to the difference, as far as I know - the 653 tube-set has the same main tubes as 531c but the seat and chain stays (so I was led to believe by Frank Clements as he stated as much in Orbit catalogues) are made from the same heat-treated steel used for the 753 set, so it's a sort of mix 'n' match between the two.

    David


    I don't know which source that you have quoted from ,perhaps `The washing machine post' ? Do you see that in each case the words are identical they have clearly plagerised and none of them have credited where they got the information from.None of them have done any research whatsoever. They have ,like you , simply quoted the first likely looking source they came across. This is how myths spread because no one bothers to do the original research and check the facts.

    Erm, not quite. As I said, Frank Clements of Orbit/Sirius in Dudley (who must have had a decent working relationship with Reynolds, being one of the earliest to build in 853 tubes) always stated in the sales literature that stays on his 653 frames were (a) 753 and as such were (b) silver-soldered rather than brazed. Sadly said catalogues aren't in my possession any more, and I would be unable to check with the firm, who are no longer trading.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    [


    Erm, not quite. As I said, Frank Clements of Orbit/Sirius in Dudley (who must have had a decent working relationship with Reynolds, being one of the earliest to build in 853 tubes) always stated in the sales literature that stays on his 653 frames were (a) 753 and as such were (b) silver-soldered rather than brazed. Sadly said catalogues aren't in my possession any more, and I would be unable to check with the firm, who are no longer trading.

    David

    If you look at the 2x links I provided in my previous post you'll see that one is to the Bob Jackson website .He was the first 753 licenced builder by Reynolds so I think his tube information is likely to be more pertinant
    The second link shows you Reynolds own tubeset chart which provides all the relevant tubing information.
    853 tube-sets were I believe more than 10 years later than 753 and 653

    Anyway interesting couple of hours research which has verified the tubing of my 653 Ribble frameset I just wish I could find out who was building for Ribble way back then
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    GaryGkn wrote:
    The forks and half rear triangle on my 1991 frame set are chromed. Is this possible on a 653 set with such thin walls?
    .

    yes there many 753 framesets with chromed stays in the 80's the most notable were Peugeot. If it didn't have any adverse reaction to the strength of those frames it wouldn't to the 653 either I shouldn't have thought
  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    peanut wrote:
    GaryGkn wrote:
    The forks and half rear triangle on my 1991 frame set are chromed. Is this possible on a 653 set with such thin walls?
    .

    yes there many 753 framesets with chromed stays in the 80's the most notable were Peugeot. If it didn't have any adverse reaction to the strength of those frames it wouldn't to the 653 either I shouldn't have thought

    If it's survived 17-odd years already it'll probably be fine, but keep an eye on it. Reynolds always advised against plating on 2 fronts;

    1) The prepping of the tube surface entails removal of some material from an already thin tube wall.
    2) The chrome plating process can make some heat-treated steels (like 753) susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement (in which gas bubbles form in pockets within the matrix of the metal and the pressure exerted by the gas compromises structural integrity) [1]

    My father has a Bromwich 531SL frame where the chainstay (chromed) cracked after a few years; it was repaired and the new stay was merely painted as a 'just in case'. On the other hand, my old Brian Rourke 753 race frame, which was already 2nd hand, gave me many trouble-free miles in spite of its chromed chainstays. I'd probably still be riding it now, but it was a shade too big for me in the end :( So it seems "you pays your money...."
    As for the Peugeot Perthus 753, these can be a mixed bag and did have a reputation for falling to bits (at the start of a Satuday run a few years ago, surprised was expressed by one or two when a club-mate turned up on a Perthus, followed by remarks re. its longevity) , though this was probably more due to QC problems with the silver soldering.

    David

    [1] And before there are any more remarks about 'not doing the research' or 'quoting any old source', this is me talking as a former employee of a metallurgical lab. :wink:
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    edited July 2008
    [

    David

    [1] And before there are any more remarks about 'not doing the research' or 'quoting any old source', this is me talking as a former employee of a metallurgical lab. :wink:

    ooooooh :shock: better watch my step then hee hee :wink:

    no need to be so defensive I wasn't singling you out David
    if you check back on my post I am referring to all of us not researching properly and specifically included myself which is why I did some additional research.
    Any steel frame that has survived 25 years plus is doing exceptionally well in my opinion. Thank god they are... for us collectors and steel enthusiasts eh?!
  • GaryGknGaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    653 certainly is an interesting tube set!

    Personally I wouldn't have chrome plating if I was ordering in a new frame as I have read several times about the bad stuff it does to metal.

    But then again everything got chromed in the eighties and a lot of those machines are still on the road!
  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    peanut wrote:
    [

    David

    [1] And before there are any more remarks about 'not doing the research' or 'quoting any old source', this is me talking as a former employee of a metallurgical lab. :wink:

    ooooooh :shock: better watch my step then hee hee :wink:

    no need to be so defensive I wasn't singling you out David
    if you check back on my post I am referring to all of us not researching properly and specifically included myself which is why I did some additional research.
    Any steel frame that has survived 25 years plus is doing exceptionally well in my opinion. Thank god they are... for us collectors and steel enthusiasts eh?!

    Fair do's, sorry to come across as a bit prickly. Re. Gary's post below yours - for what it's worth, a lot of the chrome stuff from the '80s was Italian (Colnago, Ciocc and Tommasini spring straight to mind), and Columbus tubesets - though it did mean they ended up a tad heavier than Reynolds - often had thicker walls meaning builders could be quite free and easy with how much chrome they put on a Columbus-tubed bike. My winter bike is SLX New throughout but is quite conservative really (probably 'cause it's UK-built) as only the front mech boss (good idea as mech fitting can chip paint), dropouts and RH chainstay (very useful, does the same job as a stick-on stay protector) are plated.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
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