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Nova Branded Tubing

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Old 10-10-18, 06:19 PM
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TiHabanero
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Nova Branded Tubing

Any personal experience with Nova branded tubing out there? Opinions? Reviews?
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Old 10-10-18, 06:49 PM
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unterhausen
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It's good tubing. Which tubes are you interested in?
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Old 10-10-18, 06:58 PM
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I'm in mid stream with two frames using their 31.8 .8/.5/.8 down tubes. So far they cut, file, braze, cold set like any other non heat treated cro moly. Andy
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Old 10-11-18, 04:03 AM
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Its as good as any other non-heat treated tubing. I used it on most of the frames I built until about a year ago. Nova's shipping costs are quite high, especially if you only need a few small parts. I had a customer service issue, where I received a dented top tube, and sent them an email about the problem. Its been almost and year and I still never received a response.

Vari-Wall has a good selection of non-heat treated tubes in the same (or lower) price range and the quality of the tubes is awesome. https://shop.vari-wall.com/bicycle-tubing/
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Old 10-11-18, 06:17 AM
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they are a little old-fashioned, so calling them is best if you have a problem. This may change since they recently hired someone that is changing things. But the one time they shorted me, an email fixed it.

I recently made a small order and asked them to ship it USPS, and it was less than half what Fedex would have charged me. Also got there on the next business day, which is pretty good from California to Pennsylvania. Fedex would have taken a week. USPS has been killing it recently, I think all the Amazon business has sped them up. Pay over the phone if you want USPS shipping.
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Old 10-11-18, 10:10 AM
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I've used quite a bit of the Nova tubing, and really haven't run into any issues either with orders, fulfillment, or customer service. I've only had one tube fail in service, and that was due to a feature I put on, and no fault of the tube itself.
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Old 10-11-18, 06:10 PM
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Unterhausen, I am looking at the Nova Road Standard tube set. Getting the itch to build another frame for myself after this last one for my daughter. Just want to be sure the stuff isn't prone to failures as it will be used on an all purpose bike used for commuting and rough road riding (gravel roads).

While I have your attention, is there a current tube set that is similar to the old 531 stuff from Reynolds? I believe 531 was a manganese alloy, but am not sure. Really like the flex it gives the frame. RC2 from True Temper was close, but is no longer available.
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Old 10-11-18, 08:36 PM
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Don't get hung up on the alloying aspects between 4130 and 531. For all intents and purposes their performance (in the building as well as the riding) is the same for the same tubing dimensions. 531 was made, like current 4130 tubing, in a number of dimensions. The most common main triangle tubes used 25.4 by .9/.6/.9 top tubes, 28.6 by either .9/,6/.9 or 1/.7/1 down tubes and a single butted seat tube at .9/.6. There a number of current tubes with much the same dimensions and I would expect these to function much the same too. There is a slight bit more variation with stays and blades. Most current blades are of a 28x20 top section. not the 28.5x16.5 of classic 531. Also the drawing/wall thicknesses can vary for the same top portion walls. Andy
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Old 10-11-18, 09:10 PM
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There were a lot of 531 bikes made with the 28x20 blades, my 531 bike has them. I really like the way my 531 bike rides, but I was always happier with Columbus tubes. I have no recollection of why I built this one with 531 instead. Nowadays, I like to build with Columbus SL reissue
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Old 10-11-18, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
There were a lot of 531 bikes made with the 28x20 blades, my 531 bike has them. I really like the way my 531 bike rides, but I was always happier with Columbus tubes. I have no recollection of why I built this one with 531 instead. Nowadays, I like to build with Columbus SL reissue
When I started this stuff the supply chains were more England then Continental based, at least in the East of NA. ( Cycle Imports and Proteus). So the tubing was Reynolds and at that time the standard blades were the 28.5x16.5 shape. Soon enough the racing focus and it's love of anything Italian took over and Reynolds SL sets with the 28x20 shape was the gig. I can say that about every frame I've done since about 1982 has been with the 20x28 shape, regardless of the brand.

I could say something about the wider blades' stiffness, but then I'd sound like a marketing guy. Because both shapes get you up that hill just fine. Andy
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Old 10-12-18, 04:48 AM
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One of the distributors that we ordered from carried Reynolds, Mel Pinto maybe? We ordered a lot from Gus Betat in New Orleans, that's where I got Columbus and Cinelli.

Every Trek 531 frame had 28x20 blades, they started in '77 or so? I suspect that once Reynolds introduced that size that production of the skinny blades went way down. Eventually I'll get the fork I'm making with skinny 531 blades done, I worked on it this week. They are fairly stout blades, I guess that's why I couldn't sell them.
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Old 10-13-18, 05:41 PM
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I recently placed a couple of small orders with Nova and after asking for a discount on shipping they supported. Default was something like $16 for some parts that fit into a $7 USPS small flat rate box.
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