953/XCR VS 853 - Thoughts ??

roadiesean Posts: 577
edited May 2011 in Road buying advice
I am in the process of getting a custom frame built, the problem is that 953 (my first choice) is in incredibly high demand and incredible short supply. So I am being manouvered (in a very polite way) to 853 Proteam tubing.

My question is this, how much of a difference will there be between 853PT and 953 other than the anti-rust properties, everyone I know who has ridden 953 likens it to "better even than Ti" and swears they'll never ride anything else again....yeah, whatever !

I love the idea of stainless steel, but not sure if its really worth the (very uncertain) length of wait for it.

Whats the view of anyone who has had both ?

BTW I am also tossing up Ti, but really want a British built frame and no-one other than Enigma seems to do it.


  • Chris James
    Chris James Posts: 1,040
    The ride quality depends on geometry, external tubing diameters and (to a smaller degree) tubing thicknesses.

    All steels have approximately the same Young's modulus (i.e.ratio of stress and strain).

    Basically, the frames will ride pretty much the same.

    I am not sure of the butting profiles for 853 Pro Team. This steel isn't a strong as 953 so, 853 should be built slightly thicker (and therefore heavier) for the same strength.

    Also, what sort of finish did you want for your frame? If painted then 853 will already be pretty corrosion resistant!

    I don't know what the chemcial composition of 953 is, other than it is a maraging steel. Depending on how much chromium is alloyed then they may not be THAT corrosion resistant, especially against localised corrosion.

    Personally I would go for 853 with a nice paint job and pocket the cash difference.
  • Mccaria
    Mccaria Posts: 869
    Was typing this out when Chris posted his reply, so it is a bit repetitive.

    I looked into this a while back.

    Not sure what are the current delays are on accessing 953 tubing - however any custom 953 build is going to take several months anyway. Of the 953 builders I considered (Rourke, Roberts, Mercian and Bob Jackson) most have a build time of at least 3+ months from first contact.

    I favoured 953 over Xcr because the 953 was available in oversize tubing ( important from an aesthetic and stiffness perspective - I am 6'2 and 13+ stone, standard steel tubes look very skinny in the carbon age). However I understand that from this year the Xcr is now available in oversize, but I don't know if anyone is building in Xcr oversize yet and haven't seen any reviews.

    With regard to 853 vs 953, when I was talking to Rourke, they said that for the price uplift from 853 to 953 there wasn't that big a performance difference and that 853 would serve most purposes. You then have to factor in other considerations - such as knowing that there is a better tubing out there !

    953 will build up slightly lighter than 853, but to be honest the differential is relatively small and if you are that concerned with weight then carbon is a much better option !

    One last thing - my understanding is that although 953 is more rust resistant than 853, it isn't totally immune to the impact of rust and aging.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Go and try an Extensor XCr at Enigma and you will know which one you want believe me!