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Old 05-02-12, 10:17 AM   #1
ilikebikes
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Reynolds 531, any way to know besides the decal?

Its a "Portland" bike, made in England, three speed SA thumb shifter, SA three speed hub, looks like the typical English bike of the times....well besides a really laid back seat tube. There are no Reynolds markings on the frame, we only (the last owner and I) think there may be a slight chance its a Reynolds frame but this is soley due to the larger seat tube size. I tried to use a seat tube from an English bike that the last owner told me was the same size as a Sports seat tube but it didn't fit (to small) then I tried the seat tube from my Sports and that was also to small. I don't have the seat tube size from the Portland but will be measuring it today. I know that info is lacking but maybe someone can come up with an answer with it.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:30 AM   #2
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The tubes themselves may have faint stampings on them, but you would have to strip the frame to see.

Not much help, I know, but if you are planning a repaint take a look.

-G
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Old 05-02-12, 10:36 AM   #3
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I've seen some old English racing 3 speeds that were built with Reynolds tubing, drop bars, and a tighter range of gearing. One thing to look for is whether the tubing is seamed or not. You can run your finger on the inside of the tubing. If it is seamed, it is probably high tensile steel. There is good quality seamed cro-moly and other steels out today but that would not have been the case when this bike was built. If it is seamless, then you have a bike with a higher quality steel and given the age and country of origin, you are probably talking Reynolds tubing.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:37 AM   #4
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Thanks but the paint is in good enough shape that I'm not going to repaint it. Good to know about the poss stamping though. ;0)
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Old 05-02-12, 11:05 AM   #5
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If by "Reynolds" you mean Reynolds 531 double-butted, then a 27.2 mm seatpost opening would be de rigeur (typically seat tube was unbutted on top end, similar to Columbus). Reynolds made a ton of different tubing specs: seamed, seamless, straight-gauge, butted, so bikemig said, if it's English, then the possibility is good that tubing came from Reynolds. The best indicator of a special -quality tubeset is going to be the overall weight of the frame and fork.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
If by "Reynolds" you mean Reynolds 531 double-butted, then a 27.2 mm seatpost opening would be de rigeur (typically seat tube was unbutted on top end, similar to Columbus). Reynolds made a ton of different tubing specs: seamed, seamless, straight-gauge, butted, so bikemig said, if it's English, then the possibility is good that tubing came from Reynolds. The best indicator of a special -quality tubeset is going to be the overall weight of the frame and fork.
Thanks, I'll try a 27.2 seat post, and I'll weigh the frame when I get it taken apart. BTW I justdid a bit of research and found that the Portland falls into the "Roadster" catgory. Thanks again!
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Old 05-02-12, 11:27 AM   #7
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My 73' 531 Raleigh Competition didn't take a 27.2 seat post. I usually determine if it rides like your sitting on the shoulders of an angel then it's usually 531. I can't speak for 531C though.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:31 AM   #8
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If the correct post is 26.4, that's likely 531 straight-gauge tubing.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:34 AM   #9
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Wow! Los of different info! If it helps the frame looks a lot like a Raleigh Superb Roadster, but it is NOT a RSR, but does fall into the Roadster frame style.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:58 AM   #10
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I applaud the attention to seat post sizes, but I have some bad news for you guys.

My Norman three speed from the early 50's, which is not 531, takes a 26.4 post. I read somewhere on Sheldon's site that most Pre-Raleigh or Non-Raleigh three speeds took a 26.4 post, while Raleighs take a 25.4. He does not say so, but this is true of all Raleighs of that period, including the 531 ones; my 1951 Lenton Sports (straight gauge 531) my departed 1958 Lenton Grand Prix (straight gauge 531), and my 1948 Raleigh Record Ace (butted 531) all take 25.4 posts. I also have a Falcon from the 60's that takes a 26.2 post and it has a 531 decal, the type that indicates straight gauge tubing. For completeness' sake I'll also mention that my 40's Fothergill (unknown tubing, but it looks like it came with a 531 decal) takes a 27.0 post and my (departed) 1950 Norman Rapide (butted 531) was 27.2.

If you completely unbuild the frame, weigh it carefully. This will tell you a lot. Weigh the fork separately. I don't have my notes with me now, but I can tell you my RRA is considerably lighter than all the others.

I would like to see photos of your Portland. For some reason I have a Portland head badge.
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Old 05-02-12, 12:09 PM   #11
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When Reynolds was offering the 50th anniversary decal, they wanted a tracing of the serial# from the bottom of the bottom bracket. When I sent that, they sent the decal. I would think you could take a tracing an send it to themfor an answer. Andy
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Old 05-02-12, 12:11 PM   #12
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ase
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I applaud the attention to seat post sizes, but I have some bad news for you guys.

My Norman three speed from the early 50's, which is not 531, takes a 26.4 post. I read somewhere on Sheldon's site that most Pre-Raleigh or Non-Raleigh three speeds took a 26.4 post, while Raleighs take a 25.4. He does not say so, but this is true of all Raleighs of that period, including the 531 ones; my 1951 Lenton Sports (straight gauge 531) my departed 1958 Lenton Grand Prix (straight gauge 531), and my 1948 Raleigh Record Ace (butted 531) all take 25.4 posts. I also have a Falcon from the 60's that takes a 26.2 post and it has a 531 decal, the type that indicates straight gauge tubing. For completeness' sake I'll also mention that my 40's Fothergill (unknown tubing, but it looks like it came with a 531 decal) takes a 27.0 post and my (departed) 1950 Norman Rapide (butted 531) was 27.2.

If you completely unbuild the frame, weigh it carefully. This will tell you a lot. Weigh the fork separately. I don't have my notes with me now, but I can tell you my RRA is considerably lighter than all the others.

I would like to see photos of your Portland. For some reason I have a Portland head badge.
Haha! rhm, glad you tuned in! I will post pics in a few minutes so please stay tuned!
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Old 05-02-12, 12:20 PM   #13
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Sometimes there is a stamp on the steering tube.
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