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  1. #1
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    New Reynolds 921 Stainless Steel Tubeset (not a typo)

    This looks like it might give KVA MS2 a run for its money.

    Reynolds 921 Stainless Steel Tubeset Revealed

    It's commonly referred to as 21-6-9 because of its chemistry (21% Chromium, 6% Nickle, 9% Manganese), but the AISI designation is Type S21904.

    - Stan

  2. #2
    Randomhead
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    I thought they were getting tubes from KVA?

  3. #3
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I'm excited to build a SS CX frame out of this.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  4. #4
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I thought they were getting tubes from KVA?
    The raw material for 921 (21Cr-6Ni-9Mn) is sourced from a U.S. supplier, so I guess it's possible KVA is the supplier. KVA MS2, the alloy used for the KVA tubes, is a totally different alloy though (410 stainless).

    Since Carpenter Technology supplies the raw material for 953 and 931, and they produce 21Cr-6Ni-9Mn, it would seem to make sense for Reynolds to source the raw material for 921 from them as well, but that's just a guess.
    - Stan

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    But but-it isn't stronger- or lighter than 853-but it costs more??
    What is the point?
    Expensive frames-never or rarely "rust out"
    why bother with weaker steel-higher price??
    because in 20 -30 years-it might rust out?

  6. #6
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    But but-it isn't stronger- or lighter than 853-but it costs more??
    What is the point?
    Expensive frames-never or rarely "rust out"
    why bother with weaker steel-higher price??
    because in 20 -30 years-it might rust out?
    I think one of the attractions of stainless is that there's no need to paint it in order to protect it from rust. There's no paint to scratch, scrape, oxidize, or add weight. A polished stainless frame will look brand new for decades. Wiping it down with a damp towel is all you need to do to keep it looking great.

    1000 MPa tensile strength is plenty strong, and we'll just have to wait and see how Reynolds prices 921 and how it fares in the marketplace.
    - Stan

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Wouldn't mind a stainless frame.

    Elongation numbers are kind of low, not sure if that's anything to be concern with though.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

    Good/Bad Trader Listing

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    I think one of the attractions of stainless is that there's no need to paint it in order to protect it from rust. There's no paint to scratch, scrape, oxidize, or add weight. A polished stainless frame will look brand new for decades. Wiping it down with a damp towel is all you need to do to keep it looking great.

    1000 MPa tensile strength is plenty strong, and we'll just have to wait and see how Reynolds prices 921 and how it fares in the marketplace.
    Ahh-so you can leave it natural-but polished-like a 1930's airplane.
    Thanks

  9. #9
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Ahh-so you can leave it natural-but polished-like a 1930's airplane.
    Thanks
    Exactly. This is polished 953.

    Last edited by Scooper; 11-24-13 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Changed image link
    - Stan

  10. #10
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    This is pretty exciting. I got an e-mail from Keith Noronha this morning with pricing, which is very competitive.

    921 price for a 25.4mm .7/.45/.7 60cm top tube is $40.

    By comparison, a KVA MS2 25.4mm .7/.4/.7 60cm top tube is $62.
    - Stan

  11. #11
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    out of curiosity... is there good choice in stainless lugsets?
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  12. #12
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    out of curiosity... is there good choice in stainless lugsets?
    Yes, but most are for OS tubing, and the stainless versions are a little more expensive than the mild steel versions. Here are some sources:

    Richard Sachs

    Darryl McCulloch (Llewellyn Custom Bicycles)

    Nova Cycles Supply
    - Stan

  13. #13
    Randomhead
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    nova is the U.S. source of Llewellyn lugs. Bikelugs.com has stainless lugs when they are in stock, none right now

  14. #14
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    When 953 came out they made it a pro only tube, and a lot of pros have pretty distinctive paint worked out already. Some stainless work people do is so labour intensive that it just seems like a fancy way to go bankrupt. I don't know what shops that do this stuff do, but in other trades there is normally someone with connections to cheap labour they farm polishing out to. Most people aren't going to not paint it if they want it to really pop, and there will be graphics on top of that. Just so long as you are getting paid oodles of money on all of that stuff, cause otherwise I don't see it. There are lots of things where people will pay 5K for some chrome, polish, or paint. Bikes, not usually so much.

  15. #15
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    When 953 came out they made it a pro only tube, and a lot of pros have pretty distinctive paint worked out already. Some stainless work people do is so labour intensive that it just seems like a fancy way to go bankrupt. I don't know what shops that do this stuff do, but in other trades there is normally someone with connections to cheap labour they farm polishing out to. Most people aren't going to not paint it if they want it to really pop, and there will be graphics on top of that. Just so long as you are getting paid oodles of money on all of that stuff, cause otherwise I don't see it. There are lots of things where people will pay 5K for some chrome, polish, or paint. Bikes, not usually so much.
    I'm not sure I understand; are you saying the framebuilder will go bankrupt because of the time spent trying to achieve perfection, or the customer who is willing to pay the premium will go bankrupt?

    A highly polished bare stainless frame will show every minor flaw like file marks, sloppy shorelines and voids. They'll stand out like a sore thumb. Customers who are willing to pay a fairly high premium for the extra work involved in achieving nearly flawless craftsmanship want to admire it and show it off; they don't want to cover it up with paint.

    I don't believe builders who have worked hard to earn a reputation for great skills with stainless (Dave Wages, Dave Anderson, Carl Strong, etc.) will ever go bankrupt because there is a demand for the work they do. Their products are durable, rideable art that customers are lined up to buy. I don't believe their high dollar customers are in danger of going bankrupt, either.
    - Stan

  16. #16
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    I hadn't thought of the customers. That might well happen, habits today being what they are.

    No, the only point I was making was just that it is a lot of work, and that very few makers seem to actually get paid for the work they do in bikes. Bike work is fairly poorly paid compared to other fields for the exact same level of fabrication skill, which isn't all that high really. So you have two choices normally, turn over more product, charge more money. Since I start from the premise that cyclist are for the most part incredibly cheap, I don't think there is much upper end. I would also add that makers seem to resist it. Whenever someone at NAHBS gets recognition for anything a little creative, the traditional builders get angry, they don't say, WOW look at the margin they got on that one. That's honest, they want to stick to the basics, they want to sell milk and not wine.

    So if the customers won't pay, then the turn ought to go up. I don't see the benefit in running projects longer just so as to maximize the part one gets minimum wage for. Of course if you live near the kind of border where you can get someone for third world minimums, it might be a business.

    So when I was in the guitar biz. There was at the time a 500 dollar upcharge on factory guitars for rosewood, and a lot more than that for Brazilian. As a small time maker, I would get that in my prices also, and whatever else custom was worth. Now my cost for rosewood was 40 dollars, my cost for maple, from which the upcharge was applied was 100+. Now that is a business. It cost me less money to make the rosewood guitars, they were easier to make look good, and sound good, and they brought 500 extra dollars for nothing. They were harder to grind out on the abrassive planer, but that was about the work of finishing a single point on a lug. Where is that in promoting a stainless bike. what is the upcharge, relative to the cost, and additional labour. If it's 5K, OK, otherwise you are a fool to make one. You aren't in business if you could make more money selling pencils. Buying something for 40 and selling it for 500 is a great business, too bad one had to make a guitar to close the sale. All the stuff I enjoyed doing, and took pride in, just cut into my profits.

    And if as you say, the people just want a shiny bike, then it isn't even technically all that serious. It's up there with the Naked bikes at NAHBS people seem to find something to complain about.
    Last edited by MassiveD; 11-24-13 at 05:49 AM.

  17. #17
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    I won't disagree with you when it comes to 953. Many consider it the gold standard for stainless, but the same properties that make it so desirable also make it expensive, hard on tools, and difficult to work with. So far, 953 has been limited to custom frames for the most part because the $600 cost of just the tubes alone and the higher labor costs discourage manufacturers from building stock frames on speculation.

    The reason I started this thread is that I think the introduction of 921 will lead more manufacturers to build stock frames with stainless steel.

    SOMA already has the stock Smoothie SS in limited production using KVA MS2. Those frames are fillet brazed and retail for $2K (frame only). The fact that 921 costs 2/3 the price of KVA MS2, its ability to be machined without undue wear and tear on tooling, and its suitability for TIG welding will likely lead to more affordable stainless steel frames. I applaud that.
    - Stan

  18. #18
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Prolly has a couple of videos about 921 and 953.
    http://prollyisnotprobably.com/tag/bespoked/

  19. #19
    Senior Member sannerbikes700's Avatar
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    Are 953 fork blades available anymore?

  20. #20
    Framebuilder
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    Saw a post from Dave Anderson in another forum and he said they do have fork blades, both straight and raked. Apparently Reynold SS blades aren't supposed to be raked by the builder.
    FWIW, KVA also has blades and you can rake those yourself.

  21. #21
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sannerbikes700 View Post
    Are 953 fork blades available anymore?
    Hi Tim,

    Yes, they are. I emailed Keith Noronha in mid-October asking about 953 fork blade availability, and here is his response:

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Noronha
    Hi Stan,

    Thanks for your email.

    Yes, we have fork blades (inventory does change but OK for now). They can be ordered direct from the UK – can your builder do that for you?

    Best regards,

    Keith.
    ...and a follow-up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Noronha
    Hi Stan,

    Reynolds are trying to improve availability, and have a good supply of 953 raw material for blades in house now. So, when you are ready….

    Best regards,

    Keith.
    These are the 953 fork blades on the 2013 953 range list Keith e-mailed me in October.

    Last edited by Scooper; 12-09-13 at 09:36 AM.
    - Stan

  22. #22
    Senior Member sannerbikes700's Avatar
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    Awesome, thanks Stan!

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