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Reynolds 531c weight rating?

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Reynolds 531c weight rating?

Old 07-30-20, 12:13 PM
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Reynolds 531c weight rating?

I've lost 85 lbs since March and started riding again. I'm still at 225 lb and intend to continue what I'm doing until I get down to a 36" waist. I've got an '84 Raleigh Portage set up for touring and errands with racks, fenders and carradice camper long-flap, and an '83 Trek 620 (531c main triangle) set up for more speedy endeavors. The Portage has a more portly tube set than the Trek. At 225 lbs, am I exceeding the capacity of of my Trek, because I LOVE riding that bike. With the weight loss and a focus on reducing inflammation, the pain and numbness I had in my hands, wrists and arms for 10 years is about 90% reduced, and I can ride longer distances once again.
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Old 09-09-20, 09:56 PM
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I don't know the answer to your question, but on several occasions I have called trek's technical dept. They have always been helpfull and prompt, never stumped them yet. A lot of their bikes are rated at 300lbs, good luck.
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Old 09-10-20, 09:30 AM
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That's like asking, "How much will an I-beam hold?" The one on an interstate bridge will carry a lot more than the one on your cheap backyard shed roof.

I suspect either bike will be fine for your weight. 35+ years ago there wasn't as much emphasis on low weight at any cost, so the designs usually had more safety margin built in. You can help by "riding light" -- avoid the potholes, don't try to jump curbs, and if you see a rough spot ahead, unweight the saddle (i.e., stand up slightly) so the bike can move a bit as you go over that obstacle.
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Old 09-12-20, 10:55 AM
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Its an old bike. They are always a gamble, and the current folks at Trek probably weren't around when it was made. Most of us have more trouble with wheels than with frames, ride it.
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Old 09-15-20, 02:12 PM
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I believe the Trek 620 was a touring model, no? It is very likely more than robust enough. The original wheels, though, may have come with Maillard Helico-matic hubs, witch were crap and certainly not suitable for a modern heavier rider doing lots of miles.
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Old 10-26-20, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson
I believe the Trek 620 was a touring model, no? It is very likely more than robust enough. The original wheels, though, may have come with Maillard Helico-matic hubs, witch were crap and certainly not suitable for a modern heavier rider doing lots of miles.
yes the 620 was a touring model...

I would happily ride it... I've put a good number of miles on my 83 560 which is a "proper" racing bike and been up to 340lbs on it... I'd honestly prefer one of the "slower" handling bikes like the 500 or 520 but that has nothing to do with the strength... that being said if I really crank down I know I get the BB moving but I don't power though very often while riding but it is noticeably a faster and lighter bike than my surly disc trucker
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Old 10-31-20, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by donalson
yes the 620 was a touring model...


I would happily ride it... I've put a good number of miles on my 83 560 which is a "proper" racing bike and been up to 340lbs on it... I'd honestly prefer one of the "slower" handling bikes like the 500 or 520 but that has nothing to do with the strength... that being said if I really crank down I know I get the BB moving but I don't power though very often while riding but it is noticeably a faster and lighter bike than my surly disc trucker

Reynolds 531c is listed as a competition tubeset by Wikipedia. After looking at some pictures of this year 620 it looks to be a lightweight racing weight bicycle with a triple chainring up front and probably 27"x1 1/4" wheels. I believe that the triple chainring is why they call it touring. It probably shouldn't carry very much in panniers. A proper touring bicycle is built strong enough to carry rider and loaded panniers through far away lands without frame or fork failure. Despite the light weight tubing I think it will carry you just fine. As far as bottom brackets flexing from side to side during pedaling this is pretty normal for tall steel frames. One of my bikes flexes a couple of inches. All of my steel frame bikes flex some. I just don't watch it. If the frame cracks or deforms then you know that something has been exceeded. I've yet to break a bottom bracket loose from the flexing. Rear wheels have always been a problem for me and I build bulletproof wheels now. Reliability is paramount when it comes to riding away from home and having to walk back due to wheel failure. With older used bicycles proper ongoing inspections of frame, fork and components is part of owning and riding them. I own and ride a 67cm tall 1981 Schwinn Sports Tourer with 27"x1 1/4" wheels and have no problems with it.
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Old 10-31-20, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman
Reynolds 531c is listed as a competition tubeset by Wikipedia. After looking at some pictures of this year 620 it looks to be a lightweight racing weight bicycle with a triple chainring up front and probably 27"x1 1/4" wheels. I believe that the triple chainring is why they call it touring. It probably shouldn't carry very much in panniers. A proper touring bicycle is built strong enough to carry rider and loaded panniers through far away lands without frame or fork failure. Despite the light weight tubing I think it will carry you just fine. As far as bottom brackets flexing from side to side during pedaling this is pretty normal for tall steel frames. One of my bikes flexes a couple of inches. All of my steel frame bikes flex some. I just don't watch it. If the frame cracks or deforms then you know that something has been exceeded. I've yet to break a bottom bracket loose from the flexing. Rear wheels have always been a problem for me and I build bulletproof wheels now. Reliability is paramount when it comes to riding away from home and having to walk back due to wheel failure. With older used bicycles proper ongoing inspections of frame, fork and components is part of owning and riding them. I own and ride a 67cm tall 1981 Schwinn Sports Tourer with 27"x1 1/4" wheels and have no problems with it.
I think the main triangle you are prob right... for the touring label along with the 3 rings and the 27 1 1/4" tire... it also has longer 440mm chainstays over the 415mm chainstays of the racing/crit frame (which I still manage to fit 700x32mm tires in but requires me not inflating till it's in the stays cause of the old school angled dropouts push the tire into the seat tube) and about 10mm more rake on the fork

I can say if I had a 620 I'd happily ride it based on my experience of other old lugged trek frames... again I'd rather the longer/slower chain stays... but for the price I see these frames I'll prob end up spending a bit more and getting a similar geometry modern steel frame.
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Old 10-31-20, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by donalson
I think the main triangle you are prob right... for the touring label along with the 3 rings and the 27 1 1/4" tire... it also has longer 440mm chainstays over the 415mm chainstays of the racing/crit frame (which I still manage to fit 700x32mm tires in but requires me not inflating till it's in the stays cause of the old school angled dropouts push the tire into the seat tube) and about 10mm more rake on the fork

I can say if I had a 620 I'd happily ride it based on my experience of other old lugged trek frames... again I'd rather the longer/slower chain stays... but for the price I see these frames I'll prob end up spending a bit more and getting a similar geometry modern steel frame.
I have an 80's Nishiki Sebring and like your bike it is fairly tight with 700c x 32mm Gatorskins. It is amazing to think mine was a 27" x 1 1/4" bike. I think in the day it was designed more for 1 1/8" or even 1" tires in the 27" size. I got the Nishiki for $35 dollars. Quality used bikes are so cheap even just going back 10 or 15 years. Hard to not use them. At my age and power output I really could not tell the difference between longer or shorter chainstays. So like you I like longer stays because of easier wheel installation and bigger tire options.
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Old 10-31-20, 07:56 AM
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IceNine it is so good to hear of your weight loss. A lot of us Clydes suffer health problems due to our obesity and it is really hard to control yourself and lose weight. I'm very happy for you. Keep up the good work.
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