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Old 03-22-21, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
The 531SL blades were thinner, I thought. At least the ones I have are.
I have a Reynolds catalog from 1978 — I think, hard to tell. It does have a mysterious code of "778" on the back though. It covers 531, 531SL and 753. This was back when 753 only came in metric. Three choices in gauges of the main triangle tubes, but all just called 753, no "R" or "T" after it, at that time.
It just says all the blades are 19/24 gauge (British wire gauge), where 19 gauge (1.0 mm) is the wall at the top, and 24 (0.56 mm) is the gauge at the bottom before tapering. After tapering they are just a little thicker at the bottom than at the top, essentially plain gauge.

It's a bit frustrating that they give all the thicknesses of all the tubes in the 531SL and 753 charts except for the blades, where only the outside dimensions are given. But the earlier page on just fork blades specs them as 19/24 with no other choices given. Well, they had "Continental Oval", which to Reynolds meant the older, skinner 19 x 16 mm oval, and those are quite a bit thicker, 18/21 gauge. The 19/24 gauge was for the "New Continental Oval" (NCO), the one similar to Columbus, about 28 x 20 mm, which was what all 531SL and 753 sets came with.

That 19 gauge number jibes with the later (early '90s?) catalog I have that gives the blades as 1.0/.5, for 753, 731OS, 708 and 653. (531SL didn't exist anymore when that catalog was made.) It also jibes with the "Reynolds Tubing Constructors Guide" (late '80s?) which lists the blades for 531c, 753, 708 and 653 all as 1.0/0.5 mm. Only 531 ST (touring) blades were different, at 1.2 mm.

Yes, I know that catalogs often don't reflect reality, so I will be glad to get any real world measurements. Can you dig your 531SL blades out and measure? I know that is "assigning homework" and may not be what you wanted to spend your time on, so feel free to say No. But if you do feel like it, that would be educational and much appreciated.

I have 531SL, 753 and 531 sets in stock and I can measure them again to refresh my memory. It's been at least 10 years since I did that exercise, maybe 20. Those tubesets are pretty well buried though — my storage is in the midst of a long remodel project so it may take me a while to get that done. But anyway that'll only tell us what those particular tubesets came with. We won't be able to definitively say that 753 (or 531SL) never came with other, lighter blades at other times, or by special order. Hard to prove a negative.

Mark B

Last edited by bulgie; 03-24-21 at 06:18 PM. Reason: wrote "jives with", meant "jibes with"
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