Re: [CR]Reynolds Tubing Question

Example: Production Builders:Tonard

Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 19:55:28 -0600
Subject: Re: [CR]Reynolds Tubing Question
From: "Steven L. Sheffield" <>
To: Classic List <>
In-Reply-To: <>


Steven L. Sheffield stevens at veloworks dot com veloworks at mac dot com aitch tee tea pea colon [for word] slash [four ward] slash double-you double-yew double-ewe dot veloworks dot com [four word] slash

> From: "Thomas R. Adams, Jr." <>
> Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 20:34:43 -0500
> To: "Ray Homiski" <>, "Classic List"
> <>
> Subject: Re: [CR]Reynolds Tubing Question
> I'll take a stab at this, even though I'm sure more informed persons will
> correct my errors.
> The numbers in Reynolds tubing refer to the proportions of alloying elements.
> Manganese, Molybdenum and Chromium, if I recall correctly. Reynolds differed
> from Columbus in having a higher percentage of Manganese than Chromium, which
> supposedly gave the tube better resistance to heat damage.
> 531 is the oldest, then 753, then some other numbers, and then 853 and 653.
> 853 is a stronger alloy, and is heat treated and drawn in thinner tubes than
> 531 for a lighter weight tube set. 653 is supposed to be similar to 853, but
> lacks the heat treating. So 653 is lighter than 531 and a bit stronger, but
> not as strong/light as 853. But it is cheaper than 853.
> I wouldn't suppose that there have been tremendous strides in steel metallurgy
> since 531 was introduced. Various iron alloys have been the subject of
> experimentation for centuries, and chrome-moly and manganese alloys have been
> around for a long, long time. The big technical innovation that lifted
> Reynolds to the top of the heap was butted tubing, invented by Alfred Milward
> Reynolds in 1887. This was originally used with Reynolds HM tubing, that had
> a higher manganese and lower moly content. The 531 formulation was introduced
> in 1935, and combined with the butting process made Reynolds top dog in bike
> tubing. (The Custom Bicycle, Kolin & de la Rosa, Rodale Press, 1979). It
> seems like 753 and 853 have been refinements, not wholesale changes.
> 531 is fairly easy to fabricate, allows cold setting, is reasonably light and
> makes a very tough but comfortable frame. It would be ideal for a lot of bikes
> if you want lugs. I'm not sure if 531 is suitable for Tig welding, so that
> may account for it's decline.
> Let the qualifications and corrections commence.
> Tom Adams, Kansas City
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Ray Homiski
> Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 7:44 PM
> To: ''
> Subject: [CR]Reynolds Tubing Question
> I just purchased that Bob Jackson frame from ebay. I looked up Reynolds tubing
> types on their web site and could find no reference to 653 tubing which this
> bike is. Is there a comprehensive site for tubing types somewhere or does
> anyone know how 653 fits into the Reynolds line up.
> A secondary question. I see a lot of emphasis on 531 tubing almost like it is
> the Holy Grail of bike tubing. Yet I see that is has been around since 1935
> and surely metallurgy has progressed since then so why the fascination with
> this tubing. Since I am still new to the lightweight world this may seem like
> a stupid question but that never stopped me before.


> Thanks


> Ray Homiski

> Elizabeth, NJ