Reynolds 501

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Colin63
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Reynolds 501

Postby Colin63 » 7 Jan 2010, 9:24pm

Can anyone here explain to me where 501 fits into the great scheme of things. I have an inherited 1980s Raleigh bike down in the cellar. It's nothing special, but it rides well and is made of 501. All my early bikes were 531 and to be honest the Raleigh is just as comfy to ride as they were. I might use it to build up a salty roads bike while the road is off limits.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby hubgearfreak » 7 Jan 2010, 10:20pm

it's soewhere between these two. your experience (and mine) suggest the latter 8)

it's no more than marginally better than gas pipe
it's just as good as 531, but without the snob value/kudos.

here's a technical chart with the respective values.
Image

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531colin
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby 531colin » 7 Jan 2010, 10:25pm

Hi Colin
I think 501 was one grade down from 531. I think 501 was un-butted, "recently" 531 was always butted , but if you go back far enough you could get plain gauge 531.

regards, Colin

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby hubgearfreak » 7 Jan 2010, 10:30pm

this may help too, giving the max rider weight and frameset weights to compare.
http://www.desperadocycles.com/The_Lowd ... Tubing.htm

PW
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby PW » 7 Jan 2010, 10:33pm

IIRC the alloy is chrome/molybdenum as against the manganese/molybdenum of 531. Having had a couple of Dawes Horizons made of 501 I'm of the opinion it gives a heavier frame for the same size, but it's strong and the bikes always felt/handled well. They certainly gave good and long service.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

Colin63
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby Colin63 » 7 Jan 2010, 10:42pm

That's all very interesting, and thanks for that link HGF. So it's just a little thicker and heavier than 531 and it is double butted. 531 was the only tubing talked about back in the early 80s, but this looks like a damned good budget alternative to me. There's no sign of any corrosion on it either so I should get to work asap. Excellent, a project. I'll start stripping it down in the morning. 8)

thirdcrank
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Jan 2010, 10:55pm

ABccording to their website, 501 was only made as bike tubing from 1981 -1989. (Or at least that's the period when they put 501 transfers on.)

531 transfers started in 1935. I don't know anything about 501, other than what's published but 531 has been used for a lot more than bike tubes. It has been and may still be a sort of standard for tubes used in construction.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby hubgearfreak » 7 Jan 2010, 11:04pm

Colin63 wrote:So it's just a little thicker and heavier than 531 and it is double butted


that's it. between 501 and 531st there's 0.1mm and 100grammes difference.
but the total load that it can take is 25kgs more

and given all the talk of rough stuff world tourers, unbreakable winter bikes, steel is real, horizontal dropouts, 559s being the world standard and etc., although 501at is heavier, it makes you wonder why these are so cheap. ; raleigh montage


the one pictured was £20, mine - i simply asked if i may take it from a chap's skip :shock:
keep them peeled :wink:

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Mick F
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby Mick F » 8 Jan 2010, 11:26am

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think 501 only came on main tubes. Stays and forks for the frames were bog standard hi-tensile steel.

I had a Raleigh Clubman in the 1980s that had 531 main tubes, but the stays and forks were hi-tensile steel, AFAIK, 501 used the same system.

You could always get "531 throughout" but 501 was never offered like that.
Mick F. Cornwall

York Commuter
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby York Commuter » 8 Jan 2010, 12:33pm

I have an early to mid 90s Dawes Horizon (very similar it the contemporaneous galaxy)

it boasts of 501 double butted main tubes and 531 front forks.

It will become my "classic" tourer as I have set up galaxy with V-brakes and butterfly bars - I'd have liked to have done it the other way but the front fork canti studs were too close on the horizon.

regards

Stephen
A commuter since 1991 when I moved to York.
A tourer since 1992
Now a married man who spends longer in the garage repairing and building than riding!

Tonyf33
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby Tonyf33 » 8 Jan 2010, 2:28pm

My first half decent bike was a 1990 Raleigh Record Sprint with reynolds 501 that I bought new for a tour round N.France. 70 miles a day were a pinch & afterwards it got used in all weathers, carrying a reasonable load for 3 years solid commuting and fast rides at the weekend(circa 150/wk) With an alloy rack it weighed a tad over 11kg (23" frame).
I sold it on eventually after 12 years good service and the new owner was more than pleased to be using it as his commuter bike.
If it rides okay for you, does it matter what it's made of?
Last edited by Tonyf33 on 2 Oct 2011, 3:55am, edited 1 time in total.

Colin63
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby Colin63 » 8 Jan 2010, 2:41pm

I'm now off to the cellar to start stripping down the frame. What a fun project.

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Paul Smith SRCC
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 8 Jan 2010, 3:01pm

501 was indeed below 531 in their range, even the quality frame builders would confirm that it was a good tube set, they seldom used it as for these quality builders the price difference was quite small, enough of a difference to influence the volume mass production market, but insignificant enough for them consider it as a cheaper alternative. This is because the tubes only represent a fraction of the total cost, lugs, paint/enamel finish and of course labour charges are also a consideration, all of which will normally be cheaper on production bikes.

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glueman
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby glueman » 8 Jan 2010, 4:07pm

501 was cromolly when cromolly was seen as a 'cheap' alternative to 531 mang-moly. Now 'steel is real' (!) cro-mo is seen as a cut above mass produced alloy frames. Raleigh used to make frames from it when every other financial corner had been cut to get down to a price point and the bikes were no worse for it. I used to tour with a friend who had a 501 frame and it had a pleasing solidity to it and handled well even with 4 panniers and a handlebar bag.

A near perfect commuter thrasher material.

Colin63
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Re: Reynolds 501

Postby Colin63 » 8 Jan 2010, 5:42pm

Well this is the bike I'm going to turn into a natty winter bike. I wish I'd thought of doing it earlier in the season.
The Project 1b.jpg