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Reynolds 531P for commuting

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Reynolds 531P for commuting

Old 11-30-16, 08:20 AM
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Reynolds 531P for commuting

I thought about posting in the commuting forum but I figured there would be more experience with the tubing here... I was looking to upgrade my commuter bike so I bid on a bike on Ebay that I thought would be great. Has all the eyelets I could need for commuting and it even has a decent frame, Reynolds 531!! I never really knew the differences with with all the different Reynolds 531 types, I just knew it was good stuff. I was looking over the pics again while waiting for the bike to get here and noticed a "P" and "Professional" after 531. I googled it and it seems like it might be a little weak/light for anything but racing. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has been commuting on a 531P frame? I'm about 190 pounds (hopefully getting lighter) plus I carry a few pounds of stuff like uniform, tablet, food and sometimes extra jacket. My commute is 10.5 miles and I work 12 hour shifts so I kinda carry a little more stuff than what is normal I suppose, and I go over about 6 train tracks so I'm sure that wouldn't be helping the frame but I take those slow anyway. I'm probably worrying about nothing but figured I'd try to see if someone else about as heavy as me has been using their 531P frame without issues. Thanks!

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Old 11-30-16, 08:30 AM
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Think wheels and tires.
wider tires would be good.
I would not worry about the frame.
wheels may perish faster with how you have explained it, to extend the life of them-
"Ride Light" lift your weight off the saddle just a bit when you encounter railroad tracks, or observable distortions of the roadway. Avoid potholes. (with the duration at work mentioned, be sure to have decent lights, I have one to illuminate the roadway, the other set to flash, drivers see the flashing lights, I see with the steady light)
Eventually the saddle lift will become second nature. Letting the bike "float" under you over tracks just makes is so much easier on the bike and your contact points.

With any purchase of a new frame set, drop the fork, remove the crown race and inspect.
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Old 11-30-16, 08:30 AM
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If you're worried about frame failure IMO you're probably fine, but you may want to consider carrying your small load in either a handlebar bag or a saddle bag, because the tubing may be too flexy for carrying much on a rear rack.

I think the bike will likely be a fine commuter, and maybe even a fun one, but I wouldn't go grocery shopping on it.
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Old 11-30-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Think wheels and tires.
wider tires would be good.
I would not worry about the frame.
wheels may perish faster with how you have explained it, to extend the life of them-
"Ride Light" lift your weight off the saddle just a bit when you encounter railroad tracks, or observable distortions of the roadway. Avoid potholes. (with the duration at work mentioned, be sure to have decent lights, I have one to illuminate the roadway, the other set to flash, drivers see the flashing lights, I see with the steady light)
Eventually the saddle lift will become second nature. Letting the bike "float" under you over tracks just makes is so much easier on the bike and your contact points.

With any purchase of a new frame set, drop the fork, remove the crown race and inspect.
+ 1 on all this; think wheel and tires. I doubt you'll put much more stress on the frame commuting than a TdF racer did racing the bike around France back in the day.
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Old 11-30-16, 08:47 AM
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I wouldn't worry about. If it's going to be year round, all weather commuter, I'd prep the inside of the frame with frame saver before building up.

Also, we need pics!
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Old 11-30-16, 08:48 AM
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+1 to what repachage said. What matters most is how light you ride. If you keep your butt firmly planted in the saddle while going over potholes, curbs, and tracks, you will break it. If you right lightly, you won't. But that is true for any bike. So learn to get off the saddle and let the bike rock under you when you are going over rough spots.

It's on the light side for you but should be fine for a commute. Keep an eye on it anyway.

Run the fattest tires you can fit.

If you were racing and training hundreds of miles/week on it, I'd say it's too light for you, but you're not. IIRC 531P wasn't as nutso light as 531SL. Frames were a few (8?) ounces lighter than regular 531.
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Old 11-30-16, 09:20 AM
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If you figure Trek made the 720 Touring bike out of 531c.

IME- My 531CS framed Trek 620 "feels" lighter than my 531c framed Trek 720. However it is considered a much more robust tubeset.

Personally, if it has eyelets for racks/fenders- it seems that the bike is intended for some other purpose than just racing.
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Old 11-30-16, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Personally, if it has eyelets for racks/fenders- it seems that the bike is intended for some other purpose than just racing.
Yeah, I agree. It's also possible that the seller simply said it was 531P, because it sounded better and fancier than regular 531. We do not know what this bike is, as no pictures or even basic information has been posted.

OTOH, older race bikes often had fender eyelets for winter training. If it only has one set of eyelets, this could be the case. If it has double eyelets for racks and fenders, then I do not believe the seller.
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Old 11-30-16, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
If you're worried about frame failure IMO you're probably fine, but you may want to consider carrying your small load in either a handlebar bag or a saddle bag, because the tubing may be too flexy for carrying much on a rear rack.

I think the bike will likely be a fine commuter, and maybe even a fun one, but I wouldn't go grocery shopping on it.
This sounds like my experience with my first -- now dearly departed -- Capo Modell Campagnolo, a 1961 or 1962 55cm frame with double-butted Reynolds 531 tubing. I used to load a stack of textbooks on my Pletscher "mousetrap" rear rack for the commute up the hill to UCLA. The frame flex was quite noticeable on the morning climb, and I had to be somewhat careful to keep oscillations under control on the return descent. Despite this "feature," I still greatly enjoyed it as a school and work commuter and part-time recreational rider.

As starving car-free newlyweds -- part-time high school math/art substitute teacher and grad student -- we did most of our grocery shopping on our bicycles, sharing the load among our big orange backpacks and our Pletscher racks. For a relatively short and easy trip, this worked out well.
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Old 11-30-16, 11:43 AM
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Knew I should've added pics

Here's a couple of pics from the listing. It'll be a little bit before I get it since it's coming from France One of those why did I do that purchases... but I love me some fillet brazing plus my commute is about 21 miles a day so I treated myself to a hopefully decent bike on a whim, don't judge! It only has one set of eyelets for fenders so looks like winter training comment is right. But it does have the mid fork eyelets so I can definitely spread the weight around with a front rack and I've already gotten into the habit of lifting on all of those tracks so I think it'll be ok!
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Old 11-30-16, 01:15 PM
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Decent? That looks like a fantastic bike!! It appears to be a top of the line Rando machine. Braze on Mafac GT? Simplex retrofrictions. Geez... You may even want to make that your main weekend rider and use something cheaper for commuting.
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Old 11-30-16, 01:18 PM
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Oh, a French bike. No worries then, they often fib about the tubing used.
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Old 11-30-16, 01:29 PM
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Oof, please don't use that to commute
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Old 11-30-16, 01:31 PM
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I like it too :-)
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Old 11-30-16, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Decent? That looks like a fantastic bike!! It appears to be a top of the line Rando machine. Braze on Mafac GT? Simplex retrofrictions. Geez... You may even want to make that your main weekend rider and use something cheaper for commuting.
Ha ok it is pretty fantastic... Now it will be my nicest bike so I am sorta rethinking the commuter thing but at the same time I want a great bike to love on my commutes. I guess I'll decide for sure when it gets here but for now I'm leaning towards ride it daily and just try not to wreck it!
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Old 11-30-16, 01:47 PM
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I have one frame made from 531P, and it's definitely one of the lighter ones in my fleet. It came to me used with a fair amount of small dings, which I associate with the thin gauge tubing, but I don't know that for sure.
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Old 11-30-16, 04:35 PM
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Now that's a lovely bike. Congrats! Doesn't get much nicer. I would commute on that, just ride carefully and have another bike for bad weather. What better way to enjoy a bike than to ride it every day? Then again I used to commute on my 1960's Cinelli so maybe I'm not a good judge. Bikes were meant to be ridden though. Ride it, enjoy it, take care of it. You only live once and it's now your bike.
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Old 11-30-16, 04:40 PM
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Boy the more I look at this bike the more I love it. Not normally envious, but...
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Old 11-30-16, 05:14 PM
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Nice bikes are meant to be ridden, so I would definitely commute on this bike. Doesn't have the best tire clearance, but other than that you've got something of a nice pavement-only randonneur on your hands.
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Old 11-30-16, 05:21 PM
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If I ever get a frame made for myself it will be near to this color, a bright blue mica. My truck is Toyota Speedway Blue and I really, really like it.
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Old 11-30-16, 05:27 PM
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$662 (approx)shipped for that bike is an awesome deal, IMHO. I say ride it everywhere.
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Old 11-30-16, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Decent? That looks like a fantastic bike!! It appears to be a top of the line Rando machine. Braze on Mafac GT? Simplex retrofrictions. Geez... You may even want to make that your main weekend rider and use something cheaper for commuting.
+ 1. I love this bike and would also think about using it as a main weekend rider rather than as a commuter. But it would certainly make a dandy commuter.
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Old 11-30-16, 06:04 PM
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The only reason not to use it as a commuter is that it's too nice. Frame damage really shouldn't be a concern. But it's nice enough I wouldn't want to leave it locked outdoors anywhere that theft might be a fear.
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Old 11-30-16, 06:14 PM
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Yeah, locking it up would be the main concern. I'd commute on it for sure if it could be brought inside and locked up at your workplace.

Looks like it has Mavic 550 (?) sealed hubs and obviously MA40 rims. Should be pretty tough.

If you're new to this, a randonneur bike is kind of like a race quality bike for cycling enthusiasts that don't race. They are optimized for riding long distances in comfort, while being able to carry a light load like lunch and a jacket.
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Old 12-01-16, 01:18 AM
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Gorgeous bike ! I have always wanted a bike With those braze-on studs for the centerpull brakes. Elegant and probably way stiffer than the regular way.
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