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  1. #1
    MAK
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    Steel is Real...Confusing

    Okay, I know that I can Google this and spend an hour doing research, but I'm sure that someone has this knowledge readily available and is dying to tell everyone.

    I'm going to be selling a vintage tourer and buying a new 2013 or 2014 model. When I see 4130 CroMoly, Reynolds 630, Reynolds 631, and Reynolds 520, etc., it gets confusing.

    Could someone give me a quick opinion (or website that's compiled this info) regarding strength and ridability (comfort, etc.)? I'd appreciate it.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    pretty much all the aftermarket brands are some slight variation of 4130... that's about all I got though... the way the manufacture spected the tubing (thickness, butting etc) has more impact on how the ride feels...
    mtbr clyd moderator

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    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    What you need to know about modern steel frames;

    In terms of overall tensile strength, here is the order from strongest to weakest of common bike tubing steels;
    1. Heat-treated air hardened steel (Reynolds 853, Columbus Foco, TrueTemper OXPlatinum)*
    2. Heat-treated CrMo(Tange Prestige HT, TrueTemper Verus HT Reynolds 725)
    3. Cold-drawn air hardened steel (Reynolds 631)*
    4. Cold-drawn 4130 CrMo(Reynolds 525, TrueTemper Verus, Tange Prestige/Infinity)
    5. High tensile steel(cheap dept. store bikes, cheaper bike shop bikes)
    * Air-hardened steels actually gain strength in the weld area after welding, but not along the whole tube.

    Modern Reynolds steel: http://www.fairing.com/Reynolds.asp?...ubreynolds=631
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAK View Post
    Could someone give me a quick opinion (or website that's compiled this info) regarding strength and ridability (comfort, etc.)? I'd appreciate it.
    The truth is: for touring bikes it doesn't matter much which alloy you pick. Sure, if you spend a ton of money for Reynolds 953 you'll end up with a frame that's a bit lighter than standard 4130 Chromoly. Mount the frame over some high-volume touring tires then add racks, panniers, luggage and pretty soon you won't be able to tell which alloy was used.

    Personally, I'd worry more about geometry and fit than which steel alloy you're going to pick. Then again, I think my cheap Nashbar aluminum touring frame is pretty terrific... as long as it's riding on 700x32 or larger tires.

  6. #6
    MAK
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    Great site!!! Thank you.

  7. #7
    MAK
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    Barrettes, sstorkel and Doug64...I knew bike Forums would come through. Thank you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    The truth is: for touring bikes it doesn't matter much which alloy you pick. Sure, if you spend a ton of money for Reynolds 953 you'll end up with a frame that's a bit lighter than standard 4130 Chromoly. Mount the frame over some high-volume touring tires then add racks, panniers, luggage and pretty soon you won't be able to tell which alloy was used.

    Personally, I'd worry more about geometry and fit than which steel alloy you're going to pick. Then again, I think my cheap Nashbar aluminum touring frame is pretty terrific... as long as it's riding on 700x32 or larger tires.
    I Think sstorkel nailed it, as long as it is nicer than Hi Ten steel you will be just fine. If you are going the custom route let your builder know your intentions and he will pick a suitable tubeset although like was mentioned, high dollar tubesets are not really worth it on a touring bike IMHO. If you are going with something off the shelf, just pick the bike that has the geometry that best fits your body and preferences.

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    I agree with sstorkel too. The best thing you can do is test ride and go with what fits and feels good.
    Not saying that the specific tubing used doesn't ever matter, but the actual stiffness, weight, handling, feel, weight, etc. are all affected so much by the frame geometry that you'll drive yourself nuts trying to tease out the details. Go for some test rides. If you can, and you are testing bikes that have racks mounted, bring some panniers full of bricks and try the bikes out with those mounted, too.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the weight carried on the bike, touring , plus things like the bottle bosses , holes in the center..
    really does not require superlight steel tube, thin wall DB are somewhat less important ..

    unless you are really keeping the weight down to an absolute minimum
    sawing off toothbush handles kind of 'weighty' items .. obsession .

  11. #11
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    If you are looking for a little extra insight into the sometimes subtle differences between the various steel alloys, here is a link to an old article that is worth a read: http://www.bgcycles.com/frame-tubing-selection.html

    As for my own opinion, I must agree with sstorkel's reply. Geometry, fit, and versatility are far more important aspects of a touring bike than the differences between chro-moly alloys.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the 87 reprint is about road bike frames .. if you buy one of Bruce's Rock and Road touring bikes

    he will make an experienced choice for you, go with it..

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