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 Post subject: Re: Longstaff Audax
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:34 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 1430
Location: The Lovely Lincolnshire Wolds and by the sea in Sussex
American Friend wrote:
roadking wrote:
American Friend wrote:
ah, I see now. So nothing to do with this frame.
As for your question about mixing tubes, it was not uncommon on custom frames, especially touring frames. Reynolds even had a special tubeset called Designer Select with mixed tubes at one point, but custom framebuilders in the UK had already been mixing tubes from different tubesets for years. Sometimes I suspect this may have been done partly out of expediency, using what was at hand, rather than for pure design reasons, but plenty of good framebuilders in the UK sometimes mixed tubes from different tubesets on custom frames because they felt a better frame could be built that way in certain cases. I should re-word that. Mixing tubes wasn't so uncommon. I think what happened is that after Reynolds started introducing new tubesets, framebuilders started experimenting with mixing them, whereas for decades all that had been available was 531, although even 531 had different varieties that could and were mixed sometimes. I suppose there was also a commercial argument for offering custom frames with mixed tubes as it was a way of making an already custom frame even more unique and special. Apologies to the OP for the digression. :facepalm:

Correct, mixing tubes has for many decades been common practice amongst the top British framebuilders, and there is much confusion among enthusiasts about tubesets - Reynolds in particular. For example; Designer Select is not strictly speaking a tubeset, neither is 653; 653 is a concept tubeset and is a mix of 753 and 531 tubes - 653 replaced the 531 Professional tubeset which in turn replaced the 531 Superlight tubeset.

Reynolds would also produce one-off sets if the builder was sufficiently highly regarded. For example, I have a rare"Allin"that is built from a tubeset akin to 531 Superlight many years before that set became commercially available.

Apropos the question of tube suitability: that is surely an issue for the builder and the true use the rider will put the bicycle to? A top builder will want to consult the customer in some detail (notwithstanding the issue of correct sizing), as the SBDU did when I ordered my frame in the 1980s.


P.S Roadking, as in the American motorcycle of that name ;-)

Among the many bikes I’ve owned, I’ve had three custom frames made over a span of 40 years by some respected framebuilders in the UK. I’ve had an interest in steel frames for a while and know a bit about the subject, but I wouldn’t pretend to be an expert. Only a few very experienced framebuilders really understand all the tubesets and how to mix them for any particular frame, and even among them there were, and still are, disagreements about this. You’re right though about Designer Select. My wording was poor. Reynolds came up with the DS transfers so that framebuilders could stick them on frames they’d built with mixed tubes. It was a bit of failed marketing exercise I think. Incidentally, tubes were not just mixed from Reynolds. Framebuilders even mixed tubes from different manufacturers, usually Reynolds and Columbus but occasionally also other manufacturers like Vitus.

This has gone slightly OT. Maybe a new thread could be started, if not about mixing tubesets, then perhaps vintage motorcycles. Personally, I’d take a BSA, Norton, or Triumph any day over a Harley. :wink:

In conclusion my oldest frameset is a '47 Hetchins built for my Grandfather. And the majority of my bicycles are"heirloom"machines built for members of my family, or close friends of; or myself.

The Roadking is my modern, I also have a small collection of classic British motorcycles (some featured in books and magazines).


Last edited by roadking on Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Longstaff Audax
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:15 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:02 pm
Posts: 1273
Location: north hamshire
thank you both, id be well proud if i had a relative linked to hetchins. proud of just owning one ! im deff going to get one of those black/chrome maybe brown leather handle bar tape and brown saddle or red . i would like to do a sportive on one and stay on the drops, and try and stay focused... motorbikes... i read somewhere Robert millar was a keen biker...snight prob thinking " what the hell is going on ! " ha ha.. and a good week to all of you !

 Post subject: Re: Longstaff Audax
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:38 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:29 pm
Posts: 298
Location: West Lancashire
Finally managed to get the bike all finished and ready for the winter rides! Really pleased with how it looks and im looking forward to comparing the ride and feel of the Colubus Zona steel to my 1980's Walvale 531c.

Its built up with a bit of a mixture of campag;

Veloce compact chainset
mirage brake levers / shifters
veloce front mech
mirage rear mech
veloce 9 speed cassette
got some NOS mirage 32 hole hubs from Italy, cheap as well!
Mavic open pro rims
Tektro R359 deep drop brakes

Really looking forward to getting out on it for the Sunday club run. Would be interested to hear from anybody that has one of these, to see what they think. All in all it's prob cost me a total of around £400 to complete (Inc cost of the frame and forks) so i think ive got a bargain.

Here it is anyway


 Post subject: Re: Longstaff Audax
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:35 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:02 pm
Posts: 1273
Location: north hamshire
looks mint ! wheels look strong
look forward to hearing your report .

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