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Old 08-14-01, 11:19 AM   #1
dirtsqueezer
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Reynolds 853 Frames

Last night, one of the salespeople in my LBS told my buddy that bike companies were having difficulties getting a hold of Reynolds 853 tubing (supply issue) hence the lack of 853 steel frames in most bike lines.

Any thoughts? My gut feeling is that most buyers look at weight, but more subtle issues like stiffness don't come to mind. Hence, the emphasis on aluminum. Any idea on cost comparison between steel and aluminum for materials and welding?
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Old 08-14-01, 12:03 PM   #2
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I believe 853 is Reynolds top of the line steel, which is why you don't see it in a lot of bikes lines - it just costs more. Not sure if there is any shortage. Just like steel, aluminum come in diff. grades plus things like tube manipulation come into play for the cost, so comparing cost might not be to easy.
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Old 08-14-01, 01:50 PM   #3
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Well hopefully this will help you. Reynolds 853 is a tubing that was designed to be Tig welded. Under the welding process tubing at the union areas looses strength due to heating. Hence the reason for butting at the union areas. Reynolds 853 on the other hand looses no strength at the union, and actually gets stronger at the union. This type of tubing is known as heat treated steel. True-Temper not to be out done by Reynolds came up with OXIII and the newest OX Platinum. OX Platinum has a phenominal KSI ratio something in the neighborhood of 175000 ksi.
The reasson for the shortage is due to either development of new alloy to compete with True-Temper, or they ran out, or time it takes to make more.
The MTB industry's demands for hartails is becoming obsolete. The trend is toward FS rigs. Therefore high end cro-mo hardtails are not being built much. It is a shame because pound for pound nothing and I mean NOTHING is as hardcore as Reynolds 853, True-Temper OXIII, or OX Platinum. Their strength to weight ratio far outdoes any alu, or ti. alloy. Sorry folks the facts do not lie. Here is a link that may help you. I bulit this page for those wanting tubing information.
http://mtbdogs.homestead.com/mtbed4.html
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Old 08-14-01, 02:30 PM   #4
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Jackpot! Thanks Hunter, that should keep me reading for a while.

I assume Niva Crome is not in this same category? Santana charges high end prices for their Niva Crome Tandem frames because their are fillet brazed. Now a Tandem with a 853 tig welded tubeset.... hmmm, the brains clicking now.
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Old 08-14-01, 03:03 PM   #5
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Fillet Brazing is a completely different process than welding. If you want the IMHO and that of other's the ultimate in construction, and ride charachteristics that is how you build a frame. Waterford maker's of IMHO the finest frame's on the planet, makes a SWEET fillet brazed MTB frame. They use 853 tubing and henry James stainless steel dropouts. Simply a piece of art work, and world class craftsmanship. of course you pay for this but their warranty is FOREVER on original owner.
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