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Thread: Reynolds 921

  1. #1
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    Reynolds 921

    I've just received info of the tubes Reynolds will be offering and I'm pretty excited/interested to see what people will be doing with it. It has also made me feel slightly guilty about accusing Reynolds of being 'old fashioned and slow' when it comes to offering new tubes; they might not have done the bent seat tubes they mentioned a while back but they've clearly been busy on other things.

    So, does anyone have any interesting things planned for 921? (I know I do)

    Matt

  2. #2
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    I gave up on stainless a long time ago. To me, you might as well just either do Ti if you want the bling and corrosion resistance or normal steel if you're ok putting in some framesaver and don't habitually leave your bike outside all winter. So *to me* it's a solution looking for a problem.

    But that's just me. I have not seen the 953/KVA/etc stuff much or at all (I built one frame with 953 but then it turned out Reynolds had been giving us all the wrong instructions on the order in which we should miter/join/heat treat and I had to scrap it as potentially unsafe) and I seldom even get questions about it. I guess the main market is high end road bikes maybe?

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    the people I know that would be well-served by stainless want Ti. Nobody ever mentions stainless to me. Maybe I should make myself a stainless frame to change the conversation.

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    I might give it a go for myself.
    Fairing told me that they can't carry it, have to go through reynolds directly. (at least for the time being they say)
    Seems a bit odd... anybody confirm that?
    cheers
    andy walker

    this is for the US, Matt I think is near Manchester probably could bike over to the factory

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    We're closer to Sheffield, about a third of the way to Manchester, Reynolds are Birmingham which is a couple of hours drive south. We have done a mad dash run for a tube that got cut too short in the run up to a show but that's another story.

    By the looks of it 921 will open up lots of options for MTB frames as it's being drawn in the DZB profiles and the 31.6 seattubes too. I'm waiting to hear back about chainstay options. We've seen quite a bit of Ti failing and a few brands drop their Ti models because of failure rates, I think Reynolds are trying to make stainless a competitor for Ti as you will be able to treat it exactly the same.

    I guess it will only be me messing about with it then, ho hum

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    Not trying to be a downer. Hope I didn't come across that way - but the other stainless offerings have been around a while and have not made any positive impression on me so far. Haven't seen any real demand for/interest in stainless from customers either, though that's obviously just anecdotal. I don't think I know any builders who use stainless on a regular basis other than Dave B?

    What are you planning to build? What's going to be special/new that you haven't or can't do with non-stainless steels?

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

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    If 921 is an austenitic stainless steel, does one have to worry about carbide precipitation at silver brazing temperature (Fillet pro, etc)?

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    Walt, I didn't read it as a downer, I think you are exactly the wrong target market for it. It will enable me to build a stainless mtb frame to the same spec as a non-stainless frame and satisfy the desire for shiny things. I realise it won't be for everyone and that it doesn't add a huge amount but it's another option. We're seeing quite a bit of interest in one of the 931 frames that we stock (from Genesis, not our own frames) but at the moment it's not really feasible to build the same kind of thing for MTB, maybe 921 is the answer.

    As far as joining methods are concerned Reynolds only mention TIG and lugs in the release info, the test frames were TIG too. We would be planning to TIG so it's not something I'll be specifically asking about to be honest.

    Matt

  9. #9
    650b me
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    Stainless could be a nice alternative to Ti for us brazers. Alex at A-Train cycles is doing some nice work in stainless. His bike was my favorite of the new builders section at NAHBS 2013.

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    I'll be ordering some, just got my price list, tube dimensions from Keith.
    Great to try new stuff, and happy to support the biz.
    Plan to do a stainless touring bike with it, tig welded.
    cheers
    andy walker
    walker bicycle co

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    This is slightly off topic, but here are some notes I took at the last NAHBS where Keith and Paul Murphy held a one-hour seminar about the stainless steels from Reynolds. If you were there, I was the geeky guy in the back that kept raising my hand with questions. There was no mention of 921 at the time. Iíve been looking for a thread to post these notes, and this is the most appropriate one Iíve come across thus far. Sadly, some of my notes are illegible (I am a physician after all).

    953 is a martensitic steel meaning it has a fine martensitic granular structure. All martensitic steels are heat-treated. Martensitic steels have less nickel than austenitic steels and are not as corrosion resistant. 953 is 40% stronger than 853. They can only make 953 with very thin walls and they said it was, therefore, more appropriate for road bikes than for mountain bikes. 953 can be TIG welded, joined by silver fillets, or lugged with silver brazing. For silver fillets they recommend fillet pro SS. For TIG welding they recommend 17-4 stainless wire. If you cannot heat treat after TIG welding, the heat affected zone of 953 will still be as strong as a heat treated CRMO. In theory, you can join 953 with brass brazing, but in doing so you will leave the steel very weak. Crevice corrosion, which can occur when martinsitic steels brazed with zinc containing brazing rods are exposed to water or humdity, is really not an issue. You might end up with some green buildup at the edge of your fillet or shoreline but it should not cause the braze to fail (unless it was very poorly done). They do recommend placing varnish over your shorelines for bikes in humid environments. No heat treatment is needed after silver brazing.

    931 is a precipitation alloy, similar to 17-4 stainless steel. It is also heat treated but does not have a uniform martensitic structure. It is about as strong as 853. They can make 931 with much thicker walls (> 1mm) than 953, so 931 is more apropriate for MTB. With TIG and silver brazing, you can mix and match 953 and 931 tubes. They have a tapered head tube machined from 931 but it is very expensive.

    KVA is also a martinsitic steel, and is basically a 420 series steel. Columbus XCR is very similar to 931 and 17-4 stainless.

    I left out some stuff about the history of stainless steel, carbide precipitation in austenitic steels, and how austenitic cannot be heat treated. Hopefully this info will be of use to someone. Alas, I can finally recycle my chicken stratch notes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by afwalker View Post
    I'll be ordering some, just got my price list, tube dimensions from Keith.

    andy walker
    walker bicycle co
    So don't hold out, how about listing that here?

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    I'm curious what tubing this bike uses:

    2014 Vaya Travel | Bikes | Salsa Cycles

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    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK View Post
    I'm curious what tubing this bike uses:

    2014 Vaya Travel | Bikes | Salsa Cycles
    "Custom-spec'd, quadruple-butted stainless steel..."

    Quadruple-butted? Seriously? It must be better, cuz it's got more butts. Huh-huh...

  15. #15
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    Well, here's a pic of the tube choices,
    Reynolds 921-2013-nov-921-price-list-usd-stock-page-001.jpg
    cheers
    andy walker

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    We will be ordering some next month!
    Very interesting
    www,chernibikes.com

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by afwalker View Post
    Seems a bit odd... anybody confirm that?
    cheers
    andy walker
    That's what I was told too. I typically use KVA, but there were some offerings that Reynolds had that interested me. Getting stuff shipped from overseas doesn't seem ideal, but I would be curious in how your experience goes. Dealing with Fairing seems like it would be easier.

    Customers like to throw in a stainless steel top tube for some extra nostalgia and extra color without actually adding color. Then there are those who like exposed fillets and enjoy steel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by afwalker View Post
    I might give it a go for myself.
    Fairing told me that they can't carry it, have to go through reynolds directly. (at least for the time being they say)
    Seems a bit odd... anybody confirm that?
    cheers
    andy walker

    this is for the US, Matt I think is near Manchester probably could bike over to the factory
    Andy Fairing are making the KVA stuff overseas hence i think a confict of interest we asked them for straight guage 0.5mm wall at eurobike

    When we were told reynolds had something new in the works we were looking at using KVA ,we were excited as we might not need to go to overseas vendors hence we found out where they were making it and what price we could get it

    the excitement went downhill however when we discovered 921 was nothing more than an available grade of stainless often used as aerospace hydraulic tube thats thin in the middle....we dont even need the thick bits at the end anymore so it was moot

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by compositepro View Post
    Andy Fairing are making the KVA stuff overseas hence i think a confict of interest we asked them for straight guage 0.5mm wall at eurobike

    When we were told reynolds had something new in the works we were looking at using KVA ,we were excited as we might not need to go to overseas vendors hence we found out where they were making it and what price we could get it

    the excitement went downhill however when we discovered 921 was nothing more than an available grade of stainless often used as aerospace hydraulic tube thats thin in the middle....we dont even need the thick bits at the end anymore so it was moot
    I'm a little confused with this post. KVA is made in the states and sold directly through KVA. I'm under the impression they will make you your 0.5mm wall SG tubing if you order enough of it.

    Custom Welded Stainless Steel & High Alloy Tubing Manufacturer | 888-410-WELD | KVA STAINLESS?

  20. #20
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    Forgive me for jumping into this thread. Why do I not find production "adventure bikes" made out of Reynolds 953 given its greater tensile strength that production titanium bikes. Thanks,

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