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Thread: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

  1. #1
    Out of fucking control spirito's Avatar
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    Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    In conversations with some old timers and retired framebuilders I've heard references about locally made 531 tubing for some of our early Australian bikes and recently have seen a few with the rare and quite distinct tubing decal intact, clearly showing "Reynolds 531" and "Aircraft Tubing" together with BTM. Just thought I'd post this info here so that it remains in the archives and show pics so that the Reynolds 531 trainspotters can add to their compendium's. This is history.

    In his excellent publication "Light as a feather… Strong as a lion! The History of the Malvern Star Five Star" (version 2.0, February 2003) Rolf Lunsmann writes "Australia’s first steel tube rolling mill was built in Newcastle, NSW in 1934, and the second in Kilburn, South Australia in 1938. This second mill, known as the British Tube Mill (Aust) (BTM or BTMA), was a joint venture between Stewarts and Lloyds (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. and the Tube Investment Company of England who were also the parent company of Reynolds. The Kilburn mill therefore had access to Reynolds patents and produced a number of different tube sets co-badged as BTM and Reynolds. These tubesets included 531."

    Funnily enough, Malvern Star never used the tubing stickers so below are Healing and Cecil Walker frames showing the somewhat rare and interesting "Reynolds 531 BTM" decal.



    Last edited by spirito; 13-10-2010 at 09:40 AM.
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    Signature Moderator nexus's Avatar
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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    Sweet bit of Aussie history there. Well done !!
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  3. #3
    NJS Certified clarion's Avatar
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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    Must have been a large scale operation at Kilburn - it had its own railway station and multi shifts throughout the day:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tube_Mi...tion,_Adelaide

    Also produced handlebars and pumps.

    Really epic decals, good find.

  4. #4
    Johnj
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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    Woohoo, looks like my Healing is famous now. :-)

  5. #5
    Out of fucking control spirito's Avatar
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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnj
    Woohoo, looks like my Healing is famous now. :-)
    All around the world :wink:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemontime View Post
    What should I eat for food?!

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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    I scored a Tom Wallace "Special" track bike today from the scrapmetal dumped outside Scott Steel in Woolloongabba. The frame decal is in poor condition, but seems to be the rectangle decal - the A and BTM are quite clear.

    The bike is looking a bit sad and has a fair bit of surface rust, but the frame looks straight and I'd like to resurrect it.

    The seat and chain are cactus, and the crankset, pedals and wheels may be beyond repair. I'll pull off these parts initially to get the bike rolling, and see how we go.

    It should go well as the Brisbane built track bike, alongside the Sydney "Paino" and Melbourne "Northcote".



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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    T'was a big factory site as well.Took up a fair slab of the northern end of Kilburn init's day.Was still operating in the 70's when I was a wee lad ripping around the area on me dragstar.
    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Don't bother....seriously.
    Loads of people say "I want to build a bike to last". Most people swap things around and buy more bikes and end up selling the one they were going to keep for life.

  8. #8
    Everything to no-one nikcee's Avatar
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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by supermanlegs
    It should go well as the Brisbane built track bike, alongside the Sydney "Paino" and Melbourne "Northcote".
    <threadjack>
    you have a paino track bike? this i'd like to see... my old man was good friends with 'cranky franky' and had a couple of his frames. loved them quite a bit too...
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    itís like when i eventually win the warny. It will be through a tremendous cocktail of ergos, racing, training alone, micro dosing, and three power metres/meters.
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    Re: Reynolds 531 tubing was once made in Australia

    I'll try to get a photo of the 3 bikes up soon - I'm a dumb arse though so if any of the Bris boys going to Chandler on Wed can take a photo I'll bring them along so you can post up.

    The "Special" rolls beautifully - have swapped most parts out because it is too small for me though. They will sit in the mud room

    Parts I have been able to identify under the rust are - brampton BB, Utility cranks and Strata adjustable alloy toe clips (I think antmandan might be the beneficiary of those) - all stating made in England.

    Frame ID is V1747 - guessing might be a 1947 build?.

    I would like to just clearcoat over the rusted frame if that would work to preserve it somehow - the frame is quite pitted with rust from weathering, but you can see some lovely handpainting in parts.

    The forks look to be painted on top of chroming, so I don't even want to wash it down as the artwork will come off.

    If anyone can give me tips on preserving it would be appreciated - not interested in glamming the frame up, just preserving what is left.

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