Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

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Salade_Lyonnaise
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Joined: 21 Jun 2019, 11:18am

Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby Salade_Lyonnaise » 2 Jul 2019, 4:25pm

Hello all,

Again, I've searched, re-searched, and read so many opinions — just wondering if I should make the effort and continue building up this frame, or look for another?

531c Raleigh Record Ace for:

- European cycle routes
- Some sensible unmade roads / tracks etc
- To take some load (but not the kitchen sink). Luggage, camping kit sometimes.

Should I resume search for something more robust?

Thanks for your time!
Last edited by Salade_Lyonnaise on 2 Jul 2019, 7:10pm, edited 1 time in total.

PT1029
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Re: Opinions - 531c for loaded touring

Postby PT1029 » 2 Jul 2019, 6:21pm

Probably a bit whippy/flexey if you do camping on 531C, particularly if you pack everything on the back.
I'm a fan of low riders to even out the load distribution a bit.
Something with 531ST might have more clearance for slightly fatter tyres + mud guard clearance also (I'm thinking 32c tyres here, which are probably a bit tight (if possible) with mudguards on a Record Ace, from vague memory, so open to correction).

scottg
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Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Opinions - 531c for loaded touring

Postby scottg » 2 Jul 2019, 6:23pm

Does it look like this?, If so sell it then buy and Surly LHT and some racks and panniers.
If it is a 24in, I'll buy it.

avt-rra1.jpg
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

Jamesh
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Re: Opinions - 531c for loaded touring

Postby Jamesh » 2 Jul 2019, 6:41pm

Just build up two bikes....
:D :D :D :D


Cheers James

Des49
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Re: Opinions - 531c for loaded touring

Postby Des49 » 2 Jul 2019, 6:49pm

In the mid eighties I did a 3 week heavily laden tour of Ireland on my Record Ace. Clamped low riders to it too, bar bag and Karrimor Iberian panniers. Took a rucksac and heavy walking boots too. But I didn't know any better either.

Certainly don't remember the frame being flexy. A couple years later the frame down tube cracked, but this was near the head tube where there was a little indent following a frontal prang. Shame it was a lovely bike, especially in the light metallic green.

iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: Opinions - 531c for loaded touring

Postby iandriver » 2 Jul 2019, 7:04pm

Probably depends on whether you weigh 60 or 110 Kg.

If your a reasonably light rider, I'd worry a lot less.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

Salade_Lyonnaise
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Joined: 21 Jun 2019, 11:18am

Re: Opinions - 531c for loaded touring

Postby Salade_Lyonnaise » 2 Jul 2019, 7:17pm

Jamesh wrote:Just build up two bikes....
:D :D :D :D


I know, don't tempt me! :lol:

iandriver wrote:Probably depends on whether you weigh 60 or 110 Kg.

If your a reasonably light rider, I'd worry a lot less.


I'm probably about 12 stone now (76kg?).

scottg wrote:Does it look like this?, If so sell it then buy and Surly LHT and some racks and panniers.
If it is a 24in, I'll buy it.

avt-rra1.jpg


It's an 83 Record Ace I think. Great frame, I love it, but I'm willing to part with it if anyone's interested at the right price :)

PhilD28
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Joined: 26 Sep 2016, 8:31am

Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby PhilD28 » 2 Jul 2019, 8:08pm

Basicly it’s too light for loaded touring if you are camping particularly in anything other than the smallest sizes.
Saddlebag based touring with hostels/B&B would be ok even then out of the saddle climbing will feel a bit flexy.
Really loaded touring requires something like 531st or as a minimum 0.9/0.6/0.9 butted main tubes.
That said before I knew any better I did a camping tour on my Joe Waugh 531c frame, it was an unnerving experience but it got me away for a few weeks many years ago. I wouldn’t chose to repeat the experience. A rigid frame mountain bike frame from the 90’s such as an Orange Clockwork would be way more suitable and cheap to buy too.

pwa
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Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby pwa » 2 Jul 2019, 8:23pm

My Missus used to tour on a Reynolds 753 road bike with fittings for rack and guards, but it was basically a road bike rather than a tourer. But it worked because she was small and light (she still is) so the frame was about as small as you could get and therefore quite stiff, and it didn't have much weight to carry. I don't think it would have been the same story if the bike had been in a larger size with a heavier rider.

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Mick F
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Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby Mick F » 2 Jul 2019, 8:32pm

531c Mercian fully loaded with four full panniers JOGLE in 1994.
Helmsdale.jpg
Mick F. Cornwall

David9694
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Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby David9694 » 2 Jul 2019, 8:59pm

Ah, the Record Ace, the bike that Andy Maynard in the year above me had, but we were too poor for me to have one. (Had to settle for a Clubman). I’ve posted a paint code for it here, having restored or created three, of which one both started and ended as a Record Ace. Mine rides beautifully, but I just do 2-3 hours on-road.

It would be great, if you could post a picture.

I tend to think if you’re posting on fora and writing to agony aunts, you’re in enough doubt about your situation that you’ve answered your own question and you might well feel better about approaching this differently. You can pay just £60 for a 531 frame if it’s from a competent, if undistinguished marque.

Under load, you’ll likely get some “whip” at times (I don’t think it’s going to drop to bits on you) and you might find a 531ST frame more suited to the rougher, heavier end of your plans - your choice of wheels and tyres is as important in this regard.

Greystoke
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Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby Greystoke » 2 Jul 2019, 9:43pm

Barron cycles made me a made to measure 531c touring bike in the mid 80's. I've loaded it up, front & back panniers, tent etc and gone all over on it. 700x28 tyres and I weigh similar to you. It's a lovely bike.

pwa
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Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby pwa » 2 Jul 2019, 9:55pm

I have ridden a 24.5" bike , my weight being about 85kg at the time, and with panniers it did feel wobbly. It just flexed too much. I think it was 531ST. I now prefer oversized tubes on a tourer.

But if in doubt, slap a rack on, load it up and give it a go. It won't take long and it will answer any questions.

Brucey
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Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby Brucey » 2 Jul 2019, 10:22pm

IME if it is a small frame size with a moderate load (say 10-15kg) you will be OK, if it is a larger frame size it will be (in a touring context) as floppy as an old sock.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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531colin
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Re: Opinions - 531c frame okay for loaded touring?

Postby 531colin » 2 Jul 2019, 10:26pm

pwa wrote:…..But if in doubt, slap a rack on, load it up and give it a go. It won't take long and it will answer any questions.

^^^^^THIS!!
Bung any bits you have knocking around on it and ride it.

An artisan framebuilder using closely-toleranced cast lugs can build a frame from 531c that's OK for touring as long as you aren't too tall, too strong, or carrying too much.
However, there are other things that govern the stiffness of the frame apart from the tubing....the tubes should be accurately mitred so they are brazed together within the lug. The tubes should fit the lug closely, and the joints between the lugs and tubes should be completely filled with spelter. This should all automatically be the case with an artisan built frame, but its much more of a lottery if the frame is built by bored operatives on piecework in a dingy factory using cheap bulge-formed lugs.
The last of the UK built Dawes Galaxies (that folk on this forum go all misty-eyed over) were immensely variable in terms of stiffness. ….all made from 531.
Nobody has mentioned steering geometry or chainstay length yet?