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Reynolds 520 tubing vs 6011 aluminum tubing

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Reynolds 520 tubing vs 6011 aluminum tubing

Old 12-13-14, 10:05 AM
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Oregonroadruner
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Reynolds 520 tubing vs 6011 aluminum tubing

Are frames built from these two tubing types drastically different? In looking at gravel grinder bike built from these materials.
Thanks
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Old 12-13-14, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Oregonroadruner View Post
Are frames built from these two tubing types drastically different? In looking at gravel grinder bike built from these materials.
Thanks
Different how?

They are very different materials and the only thing they have in common is that they're both metals. Reynolds 520 is 4130 chromoly steel and 6011 is aluminum alloy, so there are big differences in physical properties like density, modulus of elasticity, ultimate tensile strength and yield strength, fatigue limit, etc.

EDIT - After thinking about your question it occurred to me that you may be asking about ride characteristics of frames made from different materials. If that's your question, there are enough variables like tubing shapes, diameters, wall thickness, frame geometry, etc., that a good builder can design and create a bike from any of the commonly used materials that will ride similarly.
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Last edited by Scooper; 12-13-14 at 02:49 PM. Reason: afterthought
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Old 12-13-14, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
Different how?

They are very different materials and the only thing they have in common is that they're both metals. Reynolds 520 is 4130 chromoly steel and 6011 is aluminum alloy, so there are big differences in physical properties like density, modulus of elasticity, ultimate tensile strength and yield strength, fatigue limit, etc.

EDIT - After thinking about your question it occurred to me that you may be asking about ride characteristics of frames made from different materials. If that's your question, there are enough variables like tubing shapes, diameters, wall thickness, frame geometry, etc., that a good builder can design and create a bike from any of the commonly used materials that will ride similarly.
Yes, I was asking about ride characteristics but let me rephrase my question. If you were to build a gravel bike which material would you use.

thx
mike
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Old 12-13-14, 09:20 PM
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Which ever material that I was skilled with and also could be found in the specs needed to get the results I wanted. I work in steel so steel is my choice. Your choice could be other. Andy.
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Old 12-13-14, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Which ever material that I was skilled with and also could be found in the specs needed to get the results I wanted. I work in steel so steel is my choice. Your choice could be other. Andy.
ok, I have asked the wrong group of people this question.
Thx
mike
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Old 12-14-14, 07:23 AM
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i've not built any frames, so i have no authority what-so-ever in that area (but a long time ago I bought a mechanical engineering degree from a reputable university)
- my opinion, based on some experience riding both aluminum and steel on gravel -
- you can through rocks and "stuff" at an aluminum bike and chip the paint and never worry about rust / corrosion showing up (oxidized Al is a nice protection all on it's own)
- if you get a really fat tube Al bike - it's going to shake your teeth out of your head as you ride - I'm talking about a Cannondale fat tube bike. Something like a slightly skinnier tube Al Trek might be nicer on gravel.
- steel "can" give a more compliant ride on gravel, but the roads I've ridden have tended to be so bad, I'm not sure I could tell.

As mentioned by the building pros - so much comes down to geometry.

- My personal experienced - I ditched an Al-Cannondale cyclocross bike because it shook all my teeth out - I ditched an Al-Cannondale touring bike because it shook all the teeth out of my head again (and it was too small....).
Now I ride gravel roads on a Specialized RockHopper - steel, sized OK for a touring MTB, but too small for a road bike. My teeth still get shaken out of my head, but I think the comfy seat helps. I just switched to a Brooks - aka a leather couch for your bike.

Any of that help, whatsoever?
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Old 12-14-14, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mrv View Post
i've not built any frames, so i have no authority what-so-ever in that area (but a long time ago I bought a mechanical engineering degree from a reputable university)
- my opinion, based on some experience riding both aluminum and steel on gravel -
- you can through rocks and "stuff" at an aluminum bike and chip the paint and never worry about rust / corrosion showing up (oxidized Al is a nice protection all on it's own)
- if you get a really fat tube Al bike - it's going to shake your teeth out of your head as you ride - I'm talking about a Cannondale fat tube bike. Something like a slightly skinnier tube Al Trek might be nicer on gravel.
- steel "can" give a more compliant ride on gravel, but the roads I've ridden have tended to be so bad, I'm not sure I could tell.

As mentioned by the building pros - so much comes down to geometry.

- My personal experienced - I ditched an Al-Cannondale cyclocross bike because it shook all my teeth out - I ditched an Al-Cannondale touring bike because it shook all the teeth out of my head again (and it was too small....).
Now I ride gravel roads on a Specialized RockHopper - steel, sized OK for a touring MTB, but too small for a road bike. My teeth still get shaken out of my head, but I think the comfy seat helps. I just switched to a Brooks - aka a leather couch for your bike.

Any of that help, whatsoever?
Yes, this was helpful. Thx
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Old 12-14-14, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Oregonroadruner View Post
ok, I have asked the wrong group of people this question.
Thx
mike
Mike- Sorry if I sounded a bit condescending. I didn't mean to but this is a forum about building frames so I took that to be the context to answer within. Andy.
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Old 12-14-14, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Mike- Sorry if I sounded a bit condescending. I didn't mean to but this is a forum about building frames so I took that to be the context to answer within. Andy.
No, your answer was fine. I Wasn't sure how to word the question so it was really my fault for asking the wrong question.
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Old 12-14-14, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Oregonroadruner View Post
Yes, I was asking about ride characteristics but let me rephrase my question. If you were to build a gravel bike which material would you use.

thx
mike
Mike, if I were building a purpose built gravel grinder for my own use it would be made with OS chromoly steel like Reynolds 520 and designed to accept 38c tires.

Reynold 520 has the same specifications as 525 (520 is made in Taiwan to Reynolds specs).



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Last edited by Scooper; 12-14-14 at 12:34 PM.
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