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Reynolds 753: Timeline?

Old 05-01-14, 04:50 PM
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fender1
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Reynolds 753: Timeline?

There do not seem to be a large number of 753 frames floating around. It got me to wonderin' when the tube set was introduced and when it was phased out? Was there a particular reason why?
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Old 05-01-14, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
There do not seem to be a large number of 753 frames floating around. It got me to wonderin' when the tube set was introduced and when it was phased out? Was there a particular reason why?
Presented in late 1975, but bikes did not show up for quite a while.
First on Raleigh Team Pros.
"French" outside diameters first.
It was expensive.
A builder had to be certified first.
You had to use silver to braze it.
Also expensive.
So, the pool of builders who could order it was metered out, you had to buy the test kit, submit your example and wait for approval.

Beyond that I think Reynolds 653 replaced it, but even Reynolds USA has the date wrong on that. I think 1989.
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Old 05-01-14, 06:07 PM
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Waterford continued building the model 1200 using 753 OS until 2002 when Reynolds discontinued 531 and 753, and put all of its promotion behind 853 (which had been introduced in 1995).
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Old 05-01-14, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
Waterford continued building the model 1200 using 753 OS until 2002 when Reynolds discontinued 531 and 753, and put all of its promotion behind 853 (which had been introduced in 1995).
Thanks! I also found this thread on another forum where you weighed in as well.

What's the deal with Reynolds 753? - Page 2

For the folks who ride 753 frames, what do you like and what don't you like, if anything?
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Old 05-01-14, 07:13 PM
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Heh. That thread really got into the nitty gritty.
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Old 05-01-14, 07:25 PM
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Disclaimer...my 753 frame is kind of funky on sizing and was custom for someone else, so it's likely not the greatest sample. I don't like my 753 much at all...it's very flexy. It's probably the flexiest road bike I've ridden. I don't like that it can't be cold spaced. I have a more appropriately sized 753 frame in the build que, so perhaps that will help. If my 753 wasn't what it is, I'd have ditched it long ago as it's the last bike I'd chose for riding.

I know your preferences a bit and don't think you'll love it.
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Old 05-01-14, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Was there a particular reason why?
Can't TIG weld it.
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Old 05-02-14, 07:03 AM
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I raced on 753 from 1978 thru 1983. First was a Harry Quinn track bike. (see photo's) I knew Harry personally and was a regular at the Walton Rd shop. Harry told me that Raleigh commissioned him to work with 753 as they were having difficulty keeping it together.
Mt other two frames were one track and one road built right in Ilkeston in 1982. The team issue road bike was absolutely the nicest road bike I have ever ridden on. Felt like I was driving a luxury car. One issue with 753 was it's brittleness. My road bike experienced this twice. One time it developed a hairline fracture where the seat stays braze to the seat tube. The other was right at the bottom of the seat tube entering the BB. That's when I decided to hang up the old mare. She is now only for admiring. Performance wise 753 was fantastic. It could handle the any stress and power put to the pedals. ( and yes, I do have similar experience with Columbus, but my favorite it 753)
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Old 05-02-14, 07:49 AM
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Anyone else ever have one of these? It was an early 90's, I think, Raleigh SP 1000 frame. The frame stickers said Reynolds 753 Titanium. It's from the last technium days, the front triangle was bonded 753 titanium and the rear stays were 531. Checked by magnets to make sure. I had heard that they made a carbon main triangle that year as well called the SP 2000 too.

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Old 05-02-14, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Disclaimer...my 753 frame is kind of funky on sizing and was custom for someone else, so it's likely not the greatest sample. I don't like my 753 much at all...it's very flexy. It's probably the flexiest road bike I've ridden. I don't like that it can't be cold spaced. I have a more appropriately sized 753 frame in the build que, so perhaps that will help. If my 753 wasn't what it is, I'd have ditched it long ago as it's the last bike I'd chose for riding.

I know your preferences a bit and don't think you'll love it.
Based on my experience you have a very poor example of 753 and like very many in forums are ill informed on cold setting. 753 is a difficult tubing, but in a skilled craftsman/artists hands is wonderful tubing. I regularly ride Reynolds 853, True Temper S-3 and several nice Columbus frames and my Ian Laing 753R frame set will hold it's own with any of them with the exception of the S-3. I know what the engineers say about 753 however as a retired mechanical engineer I can tell you craftsman can surprise. When acquired my 753 fork was visibly tweaked and the frame also proved to be far out leaving the bike unrideable. I tried cold setting the fork and it would spring back out of alignment as I loaded it. Took it Andy Gilmour Bicycles and Andy straightened the fork and frame and coldest the rear to 130 for $80 (2012 prices). I have over 2,000 miles on it now and it is in my daily rider 4 bike rotation.
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Old 05-02-14, 08:35 AM
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While I agree that it's the builder and not the material, when you're getting one that wasn't built for you, you have to be aware of some tendencies. I know fender's preferences a bit - and I don't think most 753 is going to thrill him.

As far as quality, let me assure you that mine is likely as well built as any out there given what it is and what it was for. It was also built for a very different rider and, as said out the outset, that surely biases me.

I have no question that a skilled builder can make a 753 frame to do what someone wants it to do. I also think that in fender's case, and given what most 753 frames were designed for, there should be some skepticism. You never know until you throw a leg over it.

I don't pretend to be an expert on cold setting, but I'll tell you that I've been told by frame builders that you can't cold set 753. If it worked for you, great. I won't do it.

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Old 05-02-14, 08:37 AM
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It's a fact that standard diameter 753 tubes with 0.5mm wall thickness is quite flexy when used on larger frames with heavy riders (SL for example has 0.6mm walls).

thinktubes is right; the main reason for Reynolds phasing out 753 is that it can't be welded because at welding temperatures it lost the high strength that had resulted from heat treating. This is the reason Reynolds insisted in certifying framebuilders before selling them 753; they wanted to ensure the tubes weren't overheated during brazing.

The introduction of weldable air-hardening 853 doomed 753.

From 1976 until production ceased, 753 was the bomb for lighter riders.
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Old 05-02-14, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
It's a fact that standard diameter 753 tubes with 0.5mm wall thickness is quite flexy when used on larger frames with heavy riders (SL for example has 0.6mm walls).

thinktubes is right; the main reason for Reynolds phasing out 753 is that it can't be welded because at welding temperatures it lost the high strength that had resulted from heat treating. This is the reason Reynolds insisted in certifying framebuilders before selling them 753; they wanted to ensure the tubes weren't overheated during brazing.

The introduction of weldable air-hardening 853 doomed 753.

From 1976 until production ceased, 753 was the bomb for lighter riders.
Stan - curious - would you consider cold setting 753? I know Bilenky and Kellogg won't do it because I asked.
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Old 05-02-14, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Stan - curious - would you consider cold setting 753? I know Bilenky and Kellogg won't do it because I asked.
No, Aaron, I wouldn't. The Reynolds 753 Technical Advice says not to, and that's enough for me not to risk it.
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Old 05-02-14, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
No, Aaron, I wouldn't. The Reynolds 753 Technical Advice says not to, and that's enough for me not to risk it.
I had a feeling Stan. good enough for me and good enough for this uninformed forumite to feel comfortable saying not to.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Stan - curious - would you consider cold setting 753? I know Bilenky and Kellogg won't do it because I asked.
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
No, Aaron, I wouldn't. The Reynolds 753 Technical Advice says not to, and that's enough for me not to risk it.
At Trek, we tried cold-setting a 753 team frame (it had been crashed and we were building a replacement anyway). We put it on the alignment table and went at it with the Long Levers but the frame just kept springing back to its original setting. Eventually enough force was applied, and the down tube crumpled at the lever bosses.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:54 AM
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I have a Rivendell Road, made in 753 by Waterford in '97. I understand that GP spec'd slightly thicker tubes (than 753 racing bikes) for the Rivendells. Probably closer to standard 531 tubing dimensions. So, mine feels very strong and not super light. Yet, somehow, just a bit flexy in all the best ways for a smooth ride, and quite fast. It's probably the whole package of GB Lierre tires, Velocity/Phil wheels, and a great frame; that bike just rolls so well.

I have two other bikes of heat-treated steel, but each is a different design so it's hard to compare. My Schwinn KOM-10 is Tange Prestige HT, but it must be thick-walled because that frame is heavy. My Giordana is Excell Eco, and feels paper-thin in spots. I can feel that bike flex, but in a fast and springy way, not noodly.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:26 AM
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Further to the above, I was interested in the timeline for 753r framesets and found the following on a thread at Retrobike:

Originally Posted by Mike Mullett former Works Manager for Raleigh
:

1) 753 is Metric-diameter tubing (28.0 mm O.D. for the seat and down tubes, 26.0 mm O.D. for the top tube), and was introduced in about 1975. Seat posts for 753 frames are either 27.0 (for small frames) or 26.8 mm (for large frames).

2) 753R and 753T are Imperial (English/Inch) diameter tubing (28.6 mm O.D. for the seat and down tubes, 25.4 mm O.D. for the top tube), and began production in 1983. Seat posts for 753R and 753T are either 27.2 or 27.4 mm.

Of particular interest is the thinner Imperial tubing which takes the 27.4mm seat pin (pillar). Not a lot of people are aware of this. All these tube sets have a part number starting 80*, but Reynolds seem to have lost these specs.

A seat pin should be an easy fit and it should not be necessary to fit the saddle to act as a tommy bar to gain extra purchase.

For those who are searching for a time scale for their frames*, the following is as near as dammit a time line from Mid 1974 until close down. Hope this helps.

[*Note: It's not completely clear from the quoted text, but the following numbers are for dating Raleigh Pro framesets.]

Year Number
1974 0
1975 200
1976 700
1977 1400
1978 2100
1979 2800
1980 3500
1981 4200
1982 4900
1983 5600
1984 6300
1985 7000
1986 7700


Mike Mullett former Works Manager for Raleigh
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can anyone confirm if 1983 is the date when 753r was introduced, or is that date only for Raleigh Pros?
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Old 05-02-14, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
Can anyone confirm if 1983 is the date when 753r was introduced, or is that date only for Raleigh Pros?
1983 is about the time we started using it at Trek, anyway.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
Can anyone confirm if 1983 is the date when 753r was introduced, or is that date only for Raleigh Pros?
I can't answer that, but I can confirm that at least some Reynolds 753 28.6mm OD seat tubes took 27.4mm seatposts. Waterford even cautioned owners of some early 753 Waterford frames not to use 27.2mm seatposts because of potential failure of the seat stay brazing at the seat cluster due to stresses imposed by the undersized seatposts.

Regarding cold setting 753, I would venture guessing that an experienced framebuilder like Andy Gilmore could temper the part of the frame that needs to be cold set, then cold set to the proper position and finally heat treat again. My understanding is that this does risk introducing internal stresses, but I am not a metallurgist and am just basing this on literature I've read over the years. I may be mistaken in guessing this would be feasible.

For a brief tutorial on heat treating, THIS ARTICLE is pretty good reading.

Here is the 753 Technical Data Sheet. Note the underlined caution about cold setting and the underlined warning about loss of strength if the material is heated above 700° C.



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Old 05-02-14, 12:29 PM
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Was there a weight restriction? I ride 59cm-61cm frames and weigh 185lb-190lb. Any guess if I am too fat for 753?
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Old 05-02-14, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Was there a weight restriction? I ride 59cm-61cm frames and weigh 185lb-190lb. Any guess if I am too fat for 753?
I'm guessing that at your weight and frame size it would be too flexy for you.
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Old 05-02-14, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
I'm guessing that at your weight and frame size it would be too flexy for you.
Did you just call me fat?!!??
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Old 05-02-14, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Did you just call me fat?!!??
Hey; if you're fat so am I. I'm 6' 0" and weigh 185. I ride a 61cm frame.
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Old 05-02-14, 02:00 PM
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I am riding a 56cm C-T at 220 and it has not collapsed under me......yet.
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