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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a builder rustle me up a new 'retro' frame and he's got a bunch of old pipes. I'm torn between Reynolds 753 and Columbus SLX, but there are also other options as follows;

Reynolds:
531, 631, 753:p , 531 Super Tourist

Columbus:
SL, SLX, Cromor, Hexagonal, Starshape, Air with seat-post

And when get to fork I can consider;

Aero Columbus air aerodynamic blades & fork crown, MaxAero Columbus larger section aerodynamic blades and fork crown, Unicrown Columbus EL round section one piece blade and crown.

I know 531 and 753, how do the others sit? SLX like 753??? What would you consider and why, or would you go retro style, moderm pipes..................:rolleyes:
 

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Usually an experianced builder would be the best judge of the tubeset to use for you and the type of bike you want to build. With that said I've always wanted a 753 frame after seeing a beautiful 1980 Mercian frameset that weighed a full pounfd less than my SL/SP frame. I think there are some issues building with 753 though, so again an experianced frame builder would be important.
 

· BrooklynVelo
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DannyBoy said:
I'm having a builder rustle me up a new 'retro' frame and he's got a bunch of old pipes. I'm torn between Reynolds 753 and Columbus SLX, but there are also other options as follows;

Reynolds:
531, 631, 753:p , 531 Super Tourist

Columbus:
SL, SLX, Cromor, Hexagonal, Starshape, Air with seat-post

And when get to fork I can consider;

Aero Columbus air aerodynamic blades & fork crown, MaxAero Columbus larger section aerodynamic blades and fork crown, Unicrown Columbus EL round section one piece blade and crown.

I know 531 and 753, how do the others sit? SLX like 753??? What would you consider and why, or would you go retro style, moderm pipes..................:rolleyes:
Why not ask the builder? A good builder will be able to select the best mix of tubing for a given riders pref's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have asked the builder...........

Just waiting for his e-mail.

I just wondered if anyone had practical experience of any of these.

I think 753 may be the superior tube, as you rightly point out it needs to be handled by an accredited frame builder and I think it can only be silver soldered.

DannyBoy.
 

· naranjito
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531 is pretty much the standard tubeset against which all other steel tubesets were judged for years. 531 super tourist (531ST) i think is the same alloy, but with a different butting pattern (or possibly no butting at all - think extra stiff for all the extra weight usually carried on a tourer and the extra weight was not an issue). I think 631 is a more modern version of the old 531. 753 was always the top of the range, until about 8 or 10 years ago when 853 became available. a builder needed to be certified to be able to use it - silver solder only and it's a lot more 'delicate' during the building process (can't be overheated, etc). 753 makes a light and stiff frame, but perhaps not as dent resistant as 531 because of the thinner tubes.
On the columbus side, SL was more or less equivalent to 531, SLX = 753. I'm not sure at all about the others - they may use different alloys, or may be the same alloy as SL or SLX but with a different tube profile.

For the fork, depends a bit on the lugs you choose and the 'era' you want to base the frame on. lugged or unicrown (internally lugged), straight leg or curved, aero or non-aero profile?

FWIW, I have a 15 year old reynolds 653 race frame (inbetween 531 and 753 in it's day, but the rear triangle was always 753) which is a really great ride and has taken some serious beatings in it´s time. it was a custom frame which I still ride occasionally, but I have grown out of it over the years as my position has changed.
I also have a 3 year old 525 26" wheel touring frame with the most oversized tubes available and tandem chainstays which rides really well, even with a total bike+panniers weight of 60kg. In the past I have had a 531ST 700C frame too, which was very comfortable but not as solid under 40kg as the 525 is under 60kg (the 525 and 531 frame were both from the same builder - nothing wrong with the 531ST at all, I just preferred the 26" wheel version with a beefier tube)

As others have said, check with the builder as to which tubeset will be best for what you're looking for and what you need. you can't really go wrong with any of them, but remember also that most of the difference between frames is due to the build quality and geometry. I'd choose a well built 531 frame from a reputable builder over a badly put together 753 frame from someone I didn't have total confidence in.

foz
 

· "It's alive!"
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DannyBoy said:
Just waiting for his e-mail.

I just wondered if anyone had practical experience of any of these.

I think 753 may be the superior tube, as you rightly point out it needs to be handled by an accredited frame builder and I think it can only be silver soldered.

DannyBoy.
531 is good, basic stuff. It cuts like butter, so it's easy to mitre when you are building the frame. Someone just posted that 753 is basically heat-treated 531, so it's likely to be harder and more with a higher ulitmate strength. It is lighter, but also significantly more fragile than 531. You have to silver-braze it - no brass allowed.

Columbus SL, SP, SLX and SPX are all good ole' butted 4130 cro-moly. SL is the lightweight version. SP is the heavy-weight version. SLX and SPX have wacky spline butting. It's all good stuff, but not really any different from Ishiwata 019 and 022 (other than the wacky spline butting on SLX and SPX). Still, there's nothing like a Columbus sticker on your frame to say, "I am just too cool for school."

Tange Prestige is, hands down, my favorite retro tubing. It is heat-treated 4130 cro-moly (butted, of course). I hated mitering it because it was so darn hard. We had to switch from tool steel to carbide cutters when we started building with it. But the pains endured by a framebuilding apprentice while mitering the tubes translate to a beautiful, light steel frame for the end user. If you can get ahold of the "Ritchey Logic" version of Tange Prestige tubing, it's even lighter because of thinner walls and shorter butts.

Yours,

- FBB
(former frame-building apprentice at Moots Cycles, back before the days of titanium)
 

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I bet you wouldn't notice any difference in the way they ride, so I would go for the Columbus tubing for the coolness factor of the sticker as mentioned in the above post. I have a bike made with SPX that I like a lot. Having said that, if I were to have someone build me a retro style frame today, I would like one made with a more modern tubing like Nivacrom. For me it would be Columbus MAX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I may go for 753. Being from the UK have a bit of an afilliation to Reynolds tubes. That said most of my modern rides are made of columbus. I can see me getting more than one frame from this guy......I gather a 56cm 753 frame is about 1300g so not bad.
 
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I have a bike which is now getting on to 20 years old.

It is a custom built 753, currently outfitted with a Brooks Team Pro saddle, Look pedals and Wolber Super Alpine rims on C-Record hubs, double butted spokes. The bike is all C-Record except fopr the brake calipers which are Super Record.

That bike, fully built without my butt on it is right on 20 pounds.

Nothing to complain about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think 1300g must have been the weight of the tubes sans lugs and pre brazing, but that's what the builder told me! It does sound light for a complete frame, my Columbus Foco compact is about 1350-1400g.

Either way, it's not really about weight, more about getting my hands on something I dreamed about whilst riding my 531 Raleigh as a boy. 753 and SL/SLX were the dream materials back then.
 

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If your builder has a set of 753 around GET IT! That is some amazing tubing, and was only sold on a very limited basis to a literal handful of the highest-grade builders. He had to have bought that as a close-out from somewhere. It was the only tubing in history that REQUIRED certification of the builders. A very big deal and doing silver solder is far different than brass. The only reason they stopped making it is because of that. Consider that silver solder is about $190 lb vs. brass for about $8 lb. and I'm sure that factored in more than a little.

Ooops! I'll look at the date of the original post next time, the poster is probably using a walker by now.
 

· We, the Mediocre...
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renaissance_warrior said:
Ooops! I'll look at the date of the original post next time, the poster is probably using a walker by now.
The line of the week.

kh
 

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renaissance_warrior said:
If your builder has a set of 753 around GET IT! That is some amazing tubing...
True 'nuff, but be a bit careful. 753 is very lightweight stuff and not suitable for folks over... what... 200lb or so?

But if you are a "typically sized" person, 753 is pretty darn groovy.

Yours,

FB
 

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I had 753 frame that I loved, unfortunately a very nasty crash broke the chain stay and it was out of my price range at the time to have it repaired. I had that frame for 18 years and enjoyed every minute I rode it. I would not hesitate to get another 753 frame. One of my save searches on eBay is 753 in road bike frames.

Shawn
 

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753 was a thin walled tubeset so 753 frames are flexible, not stiff like some people claim. And the reason it was pulled from the market is because the alloy is temperamental; overheat the tubes and they are weakened significantly. 853 is every bit as strong as 753 and has almost none of the draw backs. A well executed 753 frame is a beautiful thing and rare. Both good things to the vintage crowd. 853 is a superior tubeset though.
 
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