The way a bicycle rides and feels is much to do with the frame and how it’s constructed. Each steel variant has its certain characteristics and as with all the materials we use, it’s not just about the quality of the raw product, but the way in which the jigsaw is put together.
Here's our breakdown of the Reynolds tubing you'll find in the 2018 range. Missed our Q&A with Keith Noronha (the man, the myth, the legend, MD and all round nice guy at Reynolds Steel)? Check it out here.
Very similar in strength to 853 but thanks to its 17% Chromium content (thus designating it a stainless steel), with excellent corrosion resistance to boot.
Reynolds 931 is a seamless, cold-worked, precipitation-hardening (also known as artificial aging/age hardening) steel-alloy based on a Carpenter Technology custom 630/17-4PH grade alloy composition. Used extensively in both the aviation and motorsport industries, 931 is ‘Builder-friendly stainless’ in that it’s more workable and less labour-intensive than 953 (reflected somewhat in the price).
Probably the most popular and widely used of all of Reynolds’ performance-orientated steel offerings; hitting that sweet spot of performance, weight and cost.
Drawn at their Birmingham workshop, 853 is a seamless, cold-drawn, heat-treated Chromoly with the added benefit of air-hardening properties. In layman’s terms this means that the material’s strength increases after welding (and cooling) – particularly beneficial in boosting fatigue life of the weld join areas.
Classic seamless Chromoly (as above) but heat-treated to boost tensile strength. Think of it as Chromoly on steroids. It’s heated to around 1600F where by a structural change in the steels’ crystal lattice occurs (a stronger, more uniform orientation), it’s then quenched (cooled rapidly) to lock-in the structural change. As it’s stronger we can get away with using less of it, so thinner butts are the order of the day helping to achieve a lighter overall frame weight and livelier ride without compromising strength.