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Reynolds 853 Steel Gravel Frames?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Reynolds 853 Steel Gravel Frames?

Old 02-27-20, 12:31 AM
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996
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Reynolds 853 Steel Gravel Frames?

Hi Guys - looking to build up a steel gravel endurance style bike. The better deals I see out there are from bikesdirect with their Motobecane frames coming with full Ultegra disc.

Any other frames and/or complete steel bikes anyone recommends? Threaded bottom bracket is a must for me. Reynolds 853 (lighter steels) preferred. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-20, 12:44 AM
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The Rodriguez Bandito is the lightest steel bike I know of.
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Old 02-27-20, 05:02 AM
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Ritchey Swiss Cross
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Old 02-27-20, 10:54 AM
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All these come as framesets or full builds.

Fairlight Secan uses Reynolds 853 main tubes that are formed and shaped 4130 stays. I got a frame last fall and like it a lot, it feels like a road bike that can handle large tires(vs an MTB with drop bars). https://fairlightcycles.com/product/...v=7516fd43adaa

Mason Resolution 2 uses Columbus Spririt for at least the main tubes and maybe all tubes. https://masoncycles.cc/products/resolution-frameset

Niner RLT 9 uses Reynolds 853 tubing. https://ninerbikes.com/products/rlt-9-steel

Ribble 725 CGR uses Reynolds 725 steel. Custom paint is available too. https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-725/

Breadwinner uses Columbus Spirit and is higher end/cost. https://breadwinnercycles.com/product/b-road/#frame

Gunnar Hyper X is stock or custom and you can choose paint as well as alter geometry if needed. Gunnar Cycles USA ? Hyper-X Disc Cross hand-built bicycle frames

All City Cosmic Stallion has quality house branded ACE tubing and a Columbus Futura fork. https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/cosmic_stallion


To me, more important than the tubing logo is the design and geometry. The Fairlight Secan is external cabling, which I was hesitant about, but hasnt been an issue for how/when I ride. Also, the rear stays that are generic 4130 are marketed as a benefit rather than a cost savings since 4130 is easier to shape, yet still just as strong as 853 or any other still in the same thickness and shape. I buy into that since I have cut and filed generic 4130 as well a a couple different heat treated tubes(TT OX Platinum and Columbus Spirit) and the heat treated tubes are harder/more difficult to manipulate. Point is- though something isnt a name brand throughout doesnt make it inferior.
Any steel for bikes that has the same butting will weigh the same- so 8/5/8 butted 853 will weight the same as Spirit which will weigh the same as generic 4130.

These frames mentioned(and most others in this category) will weigh within a couple hundred grams of one another. Production gravel frames that need to pass testing will inherently be heavier(using 853 DZB tubes for example) than an 853 road bike. DZB is 853 thats commonly spec'd for 2934/ATB frames. For example, the Secan selectively uses a DZB downtube and Niner uses DZB for all main tubes(not sure if DZB stays exist?).
Reynolds 853, Columbus Spirit, 'ACE' tubing(All City), and whatever Gunnar happens to use currently - all these are quality. The noticable differences will be in how the frames are built/finished(internal or external cables, brazed or welded, bottle mounts, etc) and the geometry(quick or slow steering, sitting 'in' or 'on' bike, tire clearance, etc).
Frames with quality tubing will be within a couple hundred grams of one another and forks will be within 100 grams(450-550g), most likely. With the lightest frame being maybe 300g lighter than the heaviest, its pretty minimal.



Yup- I drifted off topic yet again. Apologies.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 02-27-20 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 02-27-20, 11:16 AM
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Kona usually has something too.
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Old 02-27-20, 04:40 PM
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Wouldn't be super light like the Bandito but I've always wanted to know the weights of those Breezer Inversion frames, after reading reviews of the bike. Press-fit though.
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Old 02-28-20, 08:31 AM
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Reynolds told one OEM not to use 853 for their gravel bike as it is too stiff - so they went for a different series. I gotta say, Tom Ritchey does some nice stuff with steel that feels very nice. Not all builders are gonna make something that sublime - on average steel tends to be a bit over built on modern bikes.
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Old 02-28-20, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Reynolds told one OEM not to use 853 for their gravel bike as it is too stiff - so they went for a different series. I gotta say, Tom Ritchey does some nice stuff with steel that feels very nice. Not all builders are gonna make something that sublime - on average steel tends to be a bit over built on modern bikes.
Got a link or details on who Reynolds told to not use 853? I geek on stuff like this and would love to see who used something different and what was instead used.

Agreed- modern steel is over built. The Ritchey Outback with a 1/18 steerer is going to be the opposite of overbuilt and itd probably be great for most users. That frameset in a larger size with a bit more tire clearance would be super cool.
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Old 02-29-20, 09:41 AM
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I have a Reynolds 853 mountain bike and was in the market for an 853 gravel bike last year. I ended up with a Gunnar Hyper XF and am thrilled with it, but I'll share the list I was working with:

Voodoo Rada. Reynolds 853.
https://www.cxmagazine.com/voodoo-cy...kes-big-rubber

Niner RLT9, Reynolds 853

Independent Fabrications, Reynolds 853
Independent Fabrication - Custom Bicycles. Handmade in the USA. - Gravel Royale - Steel

Fat Chance Chris Cross, Reynolds 853
https://fatchance.bike/product/chris-cross/

Ritchey Swiss Cross disc
https://gearminded.com/gravel-bike-b...ss-cross-disc/
https://www.cxmagazine.com/in-review...s-bike-steel/2

Ritchey Outback
https://www.cxmagazine.com/ritchey-o...vel-cyclocross

All-City Macho King
https://www.bikeparts.com/BPC438402/...lack-teal-fade

Mosaic XS-1/GS-1**

Stinner Refugio

Independent Fabrication Planet X, $2300 frame plus fork

Genesis Croix de Fer
https://bikerumor.com/2018/03/06/gen...ing-road-bike/

Speed One RT30D
https://www.amazon.com/Speed-One-RT3.../dp/B074G46JHV

Kona Roadhouse

Donhou DSS2

Genesis Fugio:
https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/blog/0...roducing-fugio
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Old 02-29-20, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Got a link or details on who Reynolds told to not use 853? I geek on stuff like this and would love to see who used something different and what was instead used.
I don't. I'm guessing it was someone like Genisis, and I remember they stepped "down" a series to something like 725. If I look at their Croix de fer, I see they use 725, so that might have been the bike. They do use 931 on their road race bikes. My takeaway was that while the 900 series was light, stiff, and responsive, something with a more traditional damped steel feel would be more appropriate for a gravel bike.
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Old 02-29-20, 02:15 PM
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Was it Noble? Salsa? All City? Cant remember, but i thought I read it on the ridinggravel.com board
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Old 02-29-20, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Got a link or details on who Reynolds told to not use 853? I geek on stuff like this and would love to see who used something different and what was instead used.

Agreed- modern steel is over built. The Ritchey Outback with a 1/18 steerer is going to be the opposite of overbuilt and itd probably be great for most users. That frameset in a larger size with a bit more tire clearance would be super cool.
seems really odd, given that there are several 853 gravel bikes in the market (see my earlier post).

My guess is that in fact Reynolds was suggesting not to use the 9-series tubes for gravel bikes?

Last edited by KeatonR; 02-29-20 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 02-29-20, 06:21 PM
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We do not really know if Reynolds said that. Some bike company person claimed that Reynolds said that according to a bike rider. It may be true, or they may have just said that to justify a less expensive tube set to the customer.

Last edited by Gconan; 02-29-20 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 02-29-20, 06:28 PM
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It does seem odd that they would not recommend their own best tube set.
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Old 03-01-20, 01:31 PM
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The Kona Rove 853 version frameset is a good deal and, someone correct me if I'm wrong, fits 2.1 X 27.5 tires. There aren't many mass-produced gravel frames that fit 2.1" and my sense is that tire size is the best cost/benefit of weight vs. traction, and plushness. Fatter tires like this are more reliable and easier to run tubeless at lower pressure, and because they absorb shocks you can build a lighter wheelset. I don't see the point of skinnier tires on a gravel bike.

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Old 03-01-20, 09:39 PM
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As I remind my son regularly when he has some wacky statistic to quote, not everything you read online is true. Seek out trusted and verifiable sources.

Cased in point: A quick google source on this rumor reveals.... Drum roll please... Someplace called bikeforums is the only identified source...

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Old 03-02-20, 07:06 AM
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Someone I know has an 853 All City Macho Man King. I think if Reynolds had a problem with 853 on gravel, QBP wouldn't have built that bike. With the nature of our gravel, this guy would have broken his bike by now if there was an issue
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Old 03-02-20, 08:30 AM
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Nobody mentioned Soma. The Wolverine & Double Cross have threaded BB's, Tange Prestige tubing and wide clearance. Wolverine has a belt drive frame option too. Another steel builder is Black Mountain Cycles.
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Old 03-02-20, 09:15 AM
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What's your budget?

Tom Kellogg and Ritte combined forces and made a dream gravel bike. I've got a Tom Kellogg signature Spectrum old school road bike and it's an absolute dream.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bic...-phantom-news/

Probably the highest cool factor in the steel market. Not particularly wallet friendly.
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Old 03-02-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by veloz View Post
Nobody mentioned Soma. The Wolverine & Double Cross have threaded BB's, Tange Prestige tubing and wide clearance. Wolverine has a belt drive frame option too. Another steel builder is Black Mountain Cycles.
For what it's worth, I'm happy with my Black Mountain Road+
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Old 03-02-20, 12:04 PM
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With Soma, the Tange Prestige isnt the same as what it was back in the 80s/90s. Its beefier at 8/5/8 than the 7/4/7 Japan Prestige of old. In the same butting profiles and tubing diameters, the new Prestige is heavier. Not saying thats worse, just that it isnt the same as what was revered, even though it has the same name. There is a reason why one is called 'Prestige' and the other is 'Prestige Japan'. Also, a fork from Soma will be an aluminum steerer, QR dropouts, and post mount brake. All that is totally fine, but its also not really the most up to date in terms of trends, if that matters.
Product Detail ********************?? Tange International Co., Ltd.
Product Detail ********************?? Tange International Co., Ltd.


Black Mountain frames are really nice, I have one, but I didnt mention it due to a steel fork(i just assumed the OP would want a carbon fork) and it isnt 'high end' tubing. The tubing relatively light 8/5/8 butting that is heat treated, but it is rolled and seamed tubing(per internet comment by Mike Varley). Seamed tubing turns some away for whatever reason and it isnt usually considered to be as good of quality as seamless(right or wrong).


If a Black Mountain MCD or a Soma frame are considered, then it could be paired with a Whiskey no 9 thru axle 1 1/8 straight steerer carbon fork to drop about 600g(21oz) off the Black Mountain steel fork or 1.5oz off the Soma carbon QR fork. Assuming the geometry combo works for what you want you can buy the Whiskey fork from Universal Cycles for $442 with free discount code. https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...s.php?id=92901
The result is a quality frame and light thru axle carbon fork.
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Old 03-02-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Got a link or details on who Reynolds told to not use 853?
I think this is what they are referring to:
"The Tamland is made from steel, Reynolds 631, to be exact. Raleigh went to Reynolds when they were developing the Tamland with the intentions of using an 853 tube set. However; it was changed to 631 on the insistence of Reynolds when they learned it was to be a more vibration reducing design for gravel. 853 being deemed too stiff for the application."

https://ridinggravel.com/gravel-news...-two-reviewed/
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Old 03-02-20, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RocThrower View Post
I think this is what they are referring to:
"The Tamland is made from steel, Reynolds 631, to be exact. Raleigh went to Reynolds when they were developing the Tamland with the intentions of using an 853 tube set. However; it was changed to 631 on the insistence of Reynolds when they learned it was to be a more vibration reducing design for gravel. 853 being deemed too stiff for the application."

https://ridinggravel.com/gravel-news...-two-reviewed/
Nailed it!
That declaration hasnt aged too well, though so much in gravel has changed in the last 6 years that not much would age well. Considering the hyper-changes, that Tamland Guitar Ted helped design is still really neat.
There is a perhaps key wording that allows this to make sense- the design was to be vibration reducing, which is why 853 wasnt use. I am not aware that 631 reduces vibration better than 853. There has to be some abbreviation in the reasoning as listed on the review.
Different tubing models will be equally stiff if made in the same diameter and butting.
Perhaps the 853 was going to be too stiff due to some/all the tubes being larger diameter than the 631 that was selected? That could make sense.
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Old 03-02-20, 06:19 PM
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that sounds like marketing b.s. to get past the fact they used a much cheaper tubeset
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Old 03-02-20, 10:18 PM
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Aye, I wonder what the price difference is between 631 verses 853? 725?
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