Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Is It Possible To Identify A Reynolds 531 Frame When There's No Stickers?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Is It Possible To Identify A Reynolds 531 Frame When There's No Stickers?

Old 05-05-11, 05:22 AM
  #1  
robbied196
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robbied196's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Englandshire UK
Posts: 216

Bikes: Harry Hall, Vitus 979, Viscount Aerospace, Dawes Galaxy

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 1 Post
Is It Possible To Identify A Reynolds 531 Frame When There's No Stickers?

Any Tips?
robbied196 is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 05:24 AM
  #2  
shorthanded
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: frederick, md
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you can tell something about the alloy steel is comprised of by the sparks it throws when you cut it... you can try that.. but it makes resale a little difficult.
shorthanded is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 05:30 AM
  #3  
robbied196
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robbied196's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Englandshire UK
Posts: 216

Bikes: Harry Hall, Vitus 979, Viscount Aerospace, Dawes Galaxy

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by shorthanded View Post
you can tell something about the alloy steel is comprised of by the sparks it throws when you cut it... you can try that.. but it makes resale a little difficult.
lol I'm a bit worried about damaging the paint!
robbied196 is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 05:36 AM
  #4  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,382

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 483 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1692 Post(s)
Liked 154 Times in 115 Posts
Pull the fork and examine the steerer tube for any markings there. My Trek 720 has the words REYNOLDS 531 stamped there, as well as the number 720 cut in with a Dremel. On the other hand, my Fothergill --which apparently came with a 531 decal-- has an Accles & Pollock stamp on the steerer.

Other than that... well, what's the seat post size? Reynolds butted tubing typically has a 27.2 post, though there are exceptions.
rhm is online now  
Old 05-05-11, 06:53 AM
  #5  
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 19,850

Bikes: 1959 & 1960 Capo; 1982 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 816 Post(s)
Liked 173 Times in 139 Posts
The relationship between seat post size and seat tube OD will distinguish butted from straight-gauge. As rhm noted, 27.2/28.6 (26.4/28.0 for French bikes) indicates butted. Straight-gauge 531 bikes are usually more like 26.4/28.6.

A given frame builder may leave additional hints. All Capo frames exported to the U.S. ca. 1960 were full Reynolds 531, but the ones w/ butted tubing had additional brazed-on ornamentation at the tops of the seat stays, on the rear dropouts, and on the fork crown, which their straight-gauge cousins lacked. (Note diagonal 531 decal on first specimen and cursed bike license sticker on second one -- why did people so frequently do this?)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
capo_17_12.jpg (32.0 KB, 203 views)
File Type: jpg
bikes 003 (2).jpg (83.2 KB, 217 views)
File Type: jpg
cowgill_capo2.jpg (63.3 KB, 199 views)
File Type: jpg
capo40324 004.jpg (64.6 KB, 191 views)
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324
Capo: 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

Last edited by John E; 05-05-11 at 06:59 AM.
John E is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 07:29 AM
  #6  
Ex Pres 
#39
 
Ex Pres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Posts: 7,212
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 396 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 32 Posts
Strip the paint, then you can see a faint "Reynolds 531 butted tubing" etched onto the tubes. It seems to be easier to find on the seat and down tubes than the top tube

I found out one of my Columbus SL decaled frames was Reynolds 531 that way

Edit: rhm commented below that he did not see any markings on his. I will tell you that the lettering is not just faint, it's extremely faint, particularly after any mechanical means of cleaning (blast, sandpaper, etc) the final remnants of paint from the tubes. And it's closer to the ends than the middle of the tubes. Even after finding them, it wasn't easy to "re-find".
__________________
72 Frejus, Holdsworth Record & special CNC / 74 Italvega NR / c80 ?French? / 82 Raleigh Intl MkII / 83 Trek 620 / 87 Centurion IM MV / 03 Casati Dardo / 08 BF IRO / 09 Dogma FPX / 10 Vassago Fisticuff


Last edited by Ex Pres; 05-05-11 at 09:03 AM.
Ex Pres is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 07:39 AM
  #7  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,382

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 483 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1692 Post(s)
Liked 154 Times in 115 Posts
Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
Strip the paint, then you can see a faint "Reynolds 531 butted tubing" etched onto the tubes.
When I had all the paint off my Fothergill frame, I found no stampings on the tubes beyond the Accles & Pollock stamp on the steerer tube. The ghostly shadow of a 531 decal was evident, though.
rhm is online now  
Old 05-05-11, 07:46 AM
  #8  
RobE30
Wherever I may roam....
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Topton Pa
Posts: 1,893

Bikes: A few bikes

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
On my Free Spirit, Reynolds 531 is stamped into the upper inner side of the fork blade. Also, on my Astra (French 26.4 seat post) there is the faint remnants of a French 531 decal at the top of the seat tube
RobE30 is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 08:21 AM
  #9  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 25,199

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 986 Post(s)
Liked 806 Times in 524 Posts
See if you can find out what model your frame is from matching it to others and manufacturer catalogs. Best method I've found; provided catalogs are available.

-Kurt
__________________







cudak888 is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 09:20 AM
  #10  
Uptown
Junior Member
 
Uptown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 14

Bikes: 1982 Austro-Daimler Vent Noir II; 1979 Trek 714; 1970 Peugeot PX10; 1968(?) Peugeot PX10; 1973 Raleigh International; 1970 Raleigh International; 1984 Peugeot PSN10; 1985 Davidson Discovery; 1979 Austro-Daimler Puch Force II

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Flick-tap at the center of your main tubes with your index fingernail. Is the sound produced a bright, clear ring? ...or is it more of a dull thwak? I find that my butted 531 bikes make a ringing sound (almost like crystal), while my Raleigh Grand Prix and junkyard Peugeot mixte make a noticeably duller sound.
Uptown is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 07:35 PM
  #11  
old's'cool 
curmudgineer
 
old's'cool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago SW burbs
Posts: 4,322

Bikes: 2 many 2 fit here

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 21 Posts
Unfortunately, most non-destructive methods of material identification rely on non-deterministic discrimination. And the deterministic methods tend to be not only destructive (at least partially), but also expensive.
__________________
Geoff
"There is no Fail without Try" - Yoda Simpson
old's'cool is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 07:52 PM
  #12  
conspiratemus1
Used to be Conspiratemus
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hamilton ON Canada
Posts: 1,105
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by John E View Post
The relationship between seat post size and seat tube OD will distinguish butted from straight-gauge. As rhm noted, 27.2/28.6 (26.4/28.0 for French bikes) indicates butted. Straight-gauge 531 bikes are usually more like 26.4/28.6.

A given frame builder may leave additional hints. All Capo frames exported to the U.S. ca. 1960 were full Reynolds 531, but the ones w/ butted tubing had additional brazed-on ornamentation at the tops of the seat stays, on the rear dropouts, and on the fork crown, which their straight-gauge cousins lacked. (Note diagonal 531 decal on first specimen and cursed bike license sticker on second one -- why did people so frequently do this?)
This has always confused me. The top end of a seat tube (where the seat post enters) is not butted, at least when you consult those charts that describe the gauge of the various frame tubes. So all else being equal (and it never is, that's why it's confusing) butted and non-butted tubes should take the same seatpost. Yet they don't. This implies that cheaper non-butted tubing is thicker throughout, which makes sense when you think about it.
conspiratemus1 is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 08:01 PM
  #13  
sailorbenjamin 
26 tpi nut.
 
sailorbenjamin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Rhode Island (an obscure suburb of Connecticut)
Posts: 5,703

Bikes: one of each

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
look inside the tubes with a flashlight. If there's a seam, it's not 531
__________________
I have spoken.
sailorbenjamin is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 08:04 PM
  #14  
Ex Pres 
#39
 
Ex Pres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Posts: 7,212
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 396 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
This has always confused me. The top end of a seat tube (where the seat post enters) is not butted, at least when you consult those charts that describe the gauge of the various frame tubes. So all else being equal (and it never is, that's why it's confusing) butted and non-butted tubes should take the same seatpost. Yet they don't. This implies that cheaper non-butted tubing is thicker throughout, which makes sense when you think about it.
On a seat tube, the thicker butted section is only at the bottom, so the post is inserted into the "thin" cross section of the tube.
__________________
72 Frejus, Holdsworth Record & special CNC / 74 Italvega NR / c80 ?French? / 82 Raleigh Intl MkII / 83 Trek 620 / 87 Centurion IM MV / 03 Casati Dardo / 08 BF IRO / 09 Dogma FPX / 10 Vassago Fisticuff

Ex Pres is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 09:30 PM
  #15  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 21,537

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2172 Post(s)
Liked 538 Times in 371 Posts
The ends of most Reynolds tubes were stamped:



This is usually most evident on the steer tube, but it sometimes can be discerned on other tubes as well. N.B. on smaller frames in particular, the stamped areas of the tubes may have been lost when the tubes were trimmed.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 10:04 PM
  #16  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,994
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1523 Post(s)
Liked 413 Times in 296 Posts
Speaking of stamping, was it common for older frames to have the angle degree of the various tube joints stamped into them? My Lejeune(not 531) has a 72 and 61 stamped on the top and down tube lugs respectively. It also has an angle # stamped on the seat tube lug as well.
seypat is offline  
Old 05-05-11, 10:50 PM
  #17  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 25,199

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 986 Post(s)
Liked 806 Times in 524 Posts
Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Speaking of stamping, was it common for older frames to have the angle degree of the various tube joints stamped into them? My Lejeune(not 531) has a 72 and 61 stamped on the top and down tube lugs respectively. It also has an angle # stamped on the seat tube lug as well.
Very common - lugs continue to be stamped or casted with these markings today, though most builders fill or file them off.

-Kurt
__________________







cudak888 is offline  
Old 05-06-11, 08:41 AM
  #18  
CV-6 
If I own it, I ride it
 
CV-6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cardinal Country
Posts: 5,036

Bikes: Lejeune, Raleigh, Raysport, Jan De Reus, Gazelle, Masi, B. Carré, Springfield, Motobecane, John Howard, Greg Lemond

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 400 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 160 Times in 95 Posts
BE aware that even if the sticker says all 531, it may not be. Two of my "all 531" Lejeunes have Nervor steerers.
__________________
Please do not "like" my posts. This isn't Facebook.

Lynn Travers

Photos

CV-6 is offline  
Old 05-06-11, 09:48 AM
  #19  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 21,537

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2172 Post(s)
Liked 538 Times in 371 Posts
Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
BE aware that even if the sticker says all 531, it may not be. Two of my "all 531" Lejeunes have Nervor steerers.
Would you feel bad if you found one of these in your "all 531" frame?

JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 05-06-11, 11:07 AM
  #20  
CV-6 
If I own it, I ride it
 
CV-6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cardinal Country
Posts: 5,036

Bikes: Lejeune, Raleigh, Raysport, Jan De Reus, Gazelle, Masi, B. Carré, Springfield, Motobecane, John Howard, Greg Lemond

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 400 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 160 Times in 95 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Would you feel bad if you found one of these in your "all 531" frame?

I don't feel bad. It is just a statement of fact.
__________________
Please do not "like" my posts. This isn't Facebook.

Lynn Travers

Photos

CV-6 is offline  
Old 05-06-11, 01:46 PM
  #21  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 25,199

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 986 Post(s)
Liked 806 Times in 524 Posts
Were those Campagnolo steerers stamped as shown in the catalog, or are they yet another unmarked Campagnolo part?

-Kurt
__________________







cudak888 is offline  
Old 05-06-11, 02:59 PM
  #22  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 21,537

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2172 Post(s)
Liked 538 Times in 371 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Were those Campagnolo steerers stamped as shown in the catalog, or are they yet another unmarked Campagnolo part?

-Kurt
They were stamped as shown.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 07-10-20, 08:18 AM
  #23  
ViaBike
Junior Member
 
ViaBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: The state with just 1 neighbour in contiguous US
Posts: 10

Bikes: Recycled Brands

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Still debating if a 1970's Velosolex St. Tropez (< 25 lbs) that shows no seams (per salorbenjamin) and passes Uptown's ring test above has some 531 tubing.
ViaBike is offline  
Old 07-10-20, 04:33 PM
  #24  
non-fixie 
Shifting is fun!
 
non-fixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Holland, NL
Posts: 8,843

Bikes: Yes, please.

Mentioned: 223 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1409 Post(s)
Liked 761 Times in 428 Posts
Pictures for reference. A fork I found with an early seventies Mercier frame.




__________________
Peace!
non-fixie is offline  
Likes For non-fixie:
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
puchfinnland
Classic & Vintage
31
11-22-12 05:21 PM
zazenzach
Classic & Vintage
18
09-29-12 05:22 PM
pstock
Classic & Vintage
22
09-01-10 10:54 AM
TrekWyoming
Classic & Vintage
37
07-26-10 05:51 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.