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  1. #1
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    Reynolds 520 vs Cro Mo 4130

    I've read some articles saying they mostly differ from the way they manufacture the tubes. But in terms of sturdiness, they're generally the same for street riding.

    I'm not too sure about the difference in weight.

    I'm asking this, because the OEM frames in my area are generally made from Cro Mo 4130 but more people here prefer the Kilo TT's Reynolds 520.

    Does it really matter?

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    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    "Cro Mo 4130" can simply be heavy thick straight guage tubing. 520 is double butted with shaped tubing. From the looks of it, 520 has wider diameter which should go towards frame stiffness.
    Last edited by hairnet; 09-10-12 at 08:41 AM.
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    Hi, I'm Bryan. jimmytango's Avatar
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    CroMo 4130 is a generic term. Reynolds 520 is a brand and model designation. As with most things, the generic one is more cheaply made and is of lower quality. Example: would you rather buy whiskey that is simply labeled "Whiskey" or labeled "Balvenie Doublewood 12-year"?
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    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zackae View Post
    I've read some articles saying they mostly differ from the way they manufacture the tubes. But in terms of sturdiness, they're generally the same for street riding.

    I'm not too sure about the difference in weight.

    I'm asking this, because the OEM frames in my area are generally made from Cro Mo 4130 but more people here prefer the Kilo TT's Reynolds 520.

    Does it really matter?
    "4130" is the SAE designation for a chromium/molybdenum steel alloy. It includes all forms of this alloy: plates, rods, seamed and seamless tubes of all types of cross-sections, diameters, and wall thickness, etc. "Reynolds 520" is the trademark for a specific type of 4130 steel designed to be used on bicycle frames.

    http://reynoldstechnology.biz/our_materials_525.php

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    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...highlight=4130

    Weeeeeird.


    This is an amazing post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Falanx
    Not just similar, but actually 4130.

    Here's a quick inside tip for people wondering about exotic, custom compositions of steel. They don't exist. Unless you go to a welding filler rod manufacturer like ESAB, well, infact, only ESAB really, or have a custom 100lb heat made in a research department's electric melting facility, you won't get a 200 tonne steel mill to make you a damned thing that isn't an internationally accepted, standardised steel. They do this for various reasons:

    1.) No-one but you wants it

    2.) It's not a standardised steel, so no-one has any idea how to heat-treat it (They like to work from fifty year old Jominy tables). So no-one but you wants it

    3.) It's mechincal properties, fracture behaviour and - most important to contruction - welding behaviour are unknown so no-one but you wants it.

    See a pattern?

    Even the brand new Reynolds 953 is in fact disguised Carpenter Custom 455, which is a thirty-year old standard precipitation hardenable 455-grade stainless steel.

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    Thanks Dan, but even with the facts, is there a difference in riding experience with Reynold's and another tubing from 4130? Would the difference be as big as an aluminum alloy vs. steel kinda deal? Especially for Fixed gear riders, since the first few strokes on the pedal tend to be more stressful on the frame. I've only had experience with hi tensile steel on a SE draft.

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    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    The difference, as I understand it, is the shape of the tubes- whether it's butted, if it has been extruded with or without a seam.

    There are subtleties to steel frames, but it's more akin to the differences between varieties of apples compared to a true apples and oranges comparison like steel vs. aluminum.

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  8. #8
    Dread Pirate Aerobeard RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
    The difference, as I understand it, is the shape of the tubes- whether it's butted, if it has been extruded with or without a seam.

    There are subtleties to steel frames, but it's more akin to the differences between varieties of apples compared to a true apples and oranges comparison like steel vs. aluminum.
    There can be major variation in 4130... more so then Dan points out (But he does know his stuff). Case in point I own several mtb's one being a 1992 GT and another being a late 80's DB the DB is smaller and both are 4130.. but one weighs a lot less and rides a lot better.. hint.. it's the GT. The DB is like riding a lead noodle... night and day differences.

    If the decisions between generic 4130 that you can't get enough detail about, or a frameset that's 520.. I'd pick the 520 every time unless I can lay hands on both bikes for a test ride.
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  9. #9
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmytango View Post
    CroMo 4130 is a generic term. Reynolds 520 is a brand and model designation. As with most things, the generic one is more cheaply made and is of lower quality. Example: would you rather buy whiskey that is simply labeled "Whiskey" or labeled "Balvenie Doublewood 12-year"?
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    Falanx drops incredible amounts of knowledge in the framebuilders forum. When he talks, I take notes. I agree that the shape of the tubes and the butting profile determine the desirable qualities of good steel bikes. Those choices appropriately implemented by the knowledgeable builder are what makes a well crafted bike differ from an mass produced bike.
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  11. #11
    Dread Pirate Aerobeard RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
    Falanx drops incredible amounts of knowledge in the framebuilders forum. When he talks, I take notes. I agree that the shape of the tubes and the butting profile determine the desirable qualities of good steel bikes. Those choices appropriately implemented by the knowledgeable builder are what makes a well crafted bike differ from an mass produced bike.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...highlight=4130

    Weeeeeird.


    This is an amazing post:
    Wow, I read that same post a while back when researching my current bike, which is Reynolds 520. I was surprised to see that it's essentially the same as 4130.

  13. #13
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigglyPuff View Post
    Wow, I read that same post a while back when researching my current bike, which is Reynolds 520. I was surprised to see that it's essentially the same as 4130.
    Reynolds 520 *IS* 4130 steel. So is Columbus SL/SP/SLX/SPX. And Tange "Champion" and "Prestige." And Ishiwata 022/019/017/015.

    The differences between them are not the alloy, but the company that produced the tubes and any specific manufacturing processes that may have been involved. For example, Reynolds long touted their "taper gauge" fork blades as a proprietary feature. Columbus SLX and SPX had proprietary rifling on some tubes. "Champion" tubing came is a wide range of wall thicknesses (#1 being the lightest, #5 the heaviest), as did Ishiwata (022 being the thickest, 015 the lightest). And Tange "Prestige" tubing was heat treated Champion #1 (again, 4130 alloy) tubing.

  14. #14
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    Ah I see. Class is in session. Thanks for the info.

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