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  1. #1
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    What is the difference between Reynolds 501 and 531 tubing

    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between Reynolds 501 and 531 tubing?
    Which is the better quality?
    Last edited by applejack; 12-09-07 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    in a nutshell: 531: Chrome/manganese/steel alloy
    501: Chrome/molybdenum/steel alloy
    It's also a slightly cheaper tubeset...not sure why, but others will know and tell us.

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    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    I do believe 501 is seamed tubing, and of course chromoly.

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    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Which 501 tubeset? Which 531 tubeset?

    Look here: http://www.equusbicycle.com/bike/rey...-transfers.jpg

    Generally, the answer is weight, but there are many factors involved. Are all of the tubes 501 or 531, only the main three tubes, or is there a mix of tubes? Is it plain gauge or butted?

    Here's a chart that compares the gauge and weight of a variety of common tubesets (I assume, but am not certain, the overall weight refers to frames with a 'full' tubeset of each variety - main tubes, stays and forks):

    http://www.desperadocycles.com/The_L...per_Tubing.htm

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I've always heard that 501 is a little heavier, but also stronger. I have a couple of both type bikes, and the 501's feel lighter. Mostly because components were lighter on newer bikes I bet, but anyways. I like 501, one of the few on here that do probably. It always gets insulted and downgraded every time I see it mentioned. It doesn't cause me to like it any less,,,,BD

    My 501's

    83 Trek 560
    85? Peugeot PGN10

    My 531's

    Falcon San Remo
    Peugeot PX10
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

  6. #6
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    in addition to 501 being a lower cost seamed tubeset,iirc it's main reason for being was that the butting was adjusted to better cope with mass production techniques

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    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Yes, because it's common knowledge that 531 bikes were NEVER mass produced.,,,,BD
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

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    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    My Trek 520 is 501, I like it, heck, I love 501, It's just nice to have something with a Reynolds decal!
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  9. #9
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckwes View Post
    My Trek 520 is 501, I like it, heck, I love 501, It's just nice to have something with a Reynolds decal!
    And probably a better choice for a loaded tourer, since it will be less flexy under load and stronger.

    What is 'better' often depends on application.

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    in a nutshell: 531: Chrome/manganese/steel alloy
    It is generally classified as a manganese/molybdenum steel, and it does include some chromium.

    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    501: Chrome/molybdenum/steel alloy ...
    This should make it similar to Columbus and the Japanese CrMos, although it is the tubing wall thickness, including butting (taper), which determine weight and resilience.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  11. #11
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    It is generally classified as a manganese/molybdenum steel, and it does include some chromium.

    This should make it similar to Columbus and the Japanese CrMos, although it is the tubing wall thickness, including butting (taper), which determine weight and resilience.
    I stand corrected, mangy-moly steel then.

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    The difference is 30, clearly.

    What do I win?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
    I've always heard that 501 is a little heavier, but also stronger. I have a couple of both type bikes, and the 501's feel lighter. Mostly because components were lighter on newer bikes I bet, but anyways. I like 501, one of the few on here that do probably. It always gets insulted and downgraded every time I see it mentioned. It doesn't cause me to like it any less,,,,BD

    My 501's

    83 Trek 560
    85? Peugeot PGN10

    My 531's

    Falcon San Remo
    Peugeot PX10
    My PGN10 also has 501 tubing and I always liked it, too. The bike is just too big for me, though.

  14. #14
    and riding...just riding
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    The difference in the ride quality is huge with the 531 riding like a cloud. 531 is not all the same though as I've owned a Masi that absorbed bumps like it was a suspension bike but also was pretty whippy when ridden and being sprinted with wild abandon....a love/hate relationship developed. Current Austro-Daimler just rides great. Ralgeigh 501 rides solidly in comparison and taught, though angles are completely different. Addition of 531 forks to the 501 bike would probably be a nice upgrade though I've not tried that.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I can feel no real difference at all, you must have a more sensitive posterior region, hehe.,,,,BD
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
    Yes, because it's common knowledge that 531 bikes were NEVER mass produced.,,,,BD
    okie- let me spell it out more clearly for ya-

    531 was developed primarily for relatively low temperature, long duration brazing techniques(ie-lugged construction). On the butted 531 tubesets, the butts are longer and more gradually tapered.

    501 was developed as a lower cost, more robust, tubeset intended for high volume production methods which require a heavier wall thickness specifically to handle high temperature, short duration TIG & robotic welding techniques.On the 501 DB tubesets, the butting is shorter, and tapers quickly.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I knew what you were talking about. I think I've read that exact 501 description before?,,,,BD
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

  18. #18
    juneeaa memba!
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    Okay, so what is Reynolds 525? I know it can be welded...and it seems to ride very nicely...

  19. #19
    juneeaa memba!
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    ah, I missed this in my first search...

    "REYNOLDS 525 / 525 OS info

    Reynolds 525 non heat treated chrome moly has been in Reynolds inventory of bicycle tubes for many years. Since 1998 it has been reconfigured and up graded to a strength level very similar to that of Reynolds legendary 531 tubing. The primary reason for it existence is its ability to be tig welded, thus producing lower cost and lower quality frames. It has no advantage over 531 except for this singular feature. Jackson does not use this tubing for the 3 main tubes as there is no added benefit to the cyclist.
    "

    I've never looked at this site before. Lots of good, human tubing information here.

  20. #20
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    Here's another comparison chart for 501 and 531. Note that 531 has higher tensile strength as well as considerably lighter weight.

    http://equusbicycle.com/bike/reynold...80brochure.jpg

    Neal

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I guess that only counts for road bike tubing? I was wondering why my Trek 830 weighed so much, hehe. It felt extremely stiff though, IMHO.,,,,BD
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    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

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