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Falcon Europa - what grade of Reynolds?

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Falcon Europa - what grade of Reynolds?

Old 11-05-18, 11:39 AM
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Falcon Europa - what grade of Reynolds?

Hi folks

I think I know the answer to this, but I'm not 100% as I can't find another bike like this on the whole internet. It's a Falcon Europa with a torn Reynolds sticker on it. My hunch is that it's a 501 as I've seen a Falcon from the same era that was 501 tubing, but many of their earlier frames were 531. The sticker says TI Reynolds 531 Limited at the bottom, but the only ones I've seen on line don't include the number in that line (just TI Reynolds Limited)

Also, I've not come across that light action rear derailleur before, so if anyone knows anything about this bike or its components, I'd love to know what I have. Thanks




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Old 11-05-18, 11:50 AM
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Searching for “Reynolds Cromalloy-M” images suggests you are right.
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Old 11-05-18, 01:01 PM
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Shimano introduced the "Light Action" series in 1986.

Reynolds added "531" to their address line in 1989. As what remains of the sticker reads "Cro-Mo", it is likely 501.

So your Falcon Europa probably was from between 1989 and 1991, (when, [Tmar notes], the "Light Action" series was discontinued).

Last edited by machinist42; 11-06-18 at 12:48 AM. Reason: Changed date range as per Tmar's correction regarding the end date for Light Action.
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Old 11-05-18, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for your replies aubergine and machinist. I figured the bike was an early 90s model because of the biopace chainrings which seemed to be the defining feature of mountain bikes in 1991. First time I've seen them on a road bike though, so it's kinda quirky.

Can't make up my mind about this bike - I mean, it's ok to ride, but I was expecting it to be nicer cos of the fancy tubing, but actually, my raleigh 4130 cro-mo from a few years later is much more fun to ride.
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Old 11-05-18, 04:52 PM
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While I agree that the tubing is Reynolds 501, it appears to be older than suggested, assuming the rear derailleur is OEM. The rear derailleur appears to be an RD-532-SS, which is 1987-1988, possibly 1989 depending on excess stock. The exposed cage pivot bolt was eliminated from the Light Action models for the 1989 model year and Light Action was discontinued by 1991. There should be a date code consisting of a double alpha character on the back of the parallelogram body.
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Old 11-06-18, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs View Post
Thanks for your replies aubergine and machinist. I figured the bike was an early 90s model because of the biopace chainrings which seemed to be the defining feature of mountain bikes in 1991. First time I've seen them on a road bike though, so it's kinda quirky.

Can't make up my mind about this bike - I mean, it's ok to ride, but I was expecting it to be nicer cos of the fancy tubing, but actually, my raleigh 4130 cro-mo from a few years later is much more fun to ride.
The bike’s geometry and wheels make much more of a difference than the tubing. Try swapping the wheels with a compatible set that you like, and see if it changes things.
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Old 11-06-18, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys - interesting stuff about the rear derailleur. I'll go take a proper look and see if I can get the part number and post it tomorrow.

Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

The bike’s geometry and wheels make much more of a difference than the tubing. Try swapping the wheels with a compatible set that you like, and see if it changes things.
I wondered about putting my good wheels on it, but it would mean spreading the rear triangle to accommodate the wider wheel... and then push it back again if I decide I don't like it, and want to pass it on with the original 5-speed wheel...
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Old 11-06-18, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs View Post
Thanks for the replies guys - interesting stuff about the rear derailleur. I'll go take a proper look and see if I can get the part number and post it tomorrow.

I wondered about putting my good wheels on it, but it would mean spreading the rear triangle to accommodate the wider wheel... and then push it back again if I decide I don't like it, and want to pass it on with the original 5-speed wheel...
The part number isn't important.What we need to verify the year is the date code, whuich consists of two letters.

Given the era, I'd expect 6 speed and 126mm dropout spacing. Maybe the previous owner just installed a 5 speed freewheel on the 6 speed hub? You can insert a 130mm hub, just to try it with different wheels, without cold setting the rear triangle. It should pop back to 126mm after you remove the wider wheel.
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Old 04-03-19, 11:07 AM
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So (necro thread apologies) in a strange twist of fate, the original owner of the bike saw my ad on facebook and sent me a message. He bought it new in 1988 and rode it from John O Groats to Lands End! And then 30 years later took it to the tip haha.

Apparently it's completely original except for the tyres too.

Pretty cool, huh?
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