Tried 531 but still go back to 501


Smile a mile bike provider
have tried a couple of 531 and 531 c tubed racing bikes for daily commute , but apart from the 531c feeling a lot more nimbler i couldnt really tell the differance , between standard 531 and a 501 framed racer , even a couple of weeks commuting on a carbolite 103 tubed peugoet didnt feel any differant .

i really enjoy riding steel tubed old bikes


Manchester. UK


Über Member
me too. there's a difference between 28 tyres with no accesories compared to 42 tyres with rack & guards, but i too struggle to see what a small weight penalty matters in a total bike and rider combination (c.100kg):biggrin:

as for loving old steel, i wouldn't ride anything else. ;)

bonk man

Well-Known Member
Grasen said:
and what is special about columbus slx
Everyone has their own opinions as to what makes a decent frameset.... :sad:
I think SLX is similar to Reynolds 708 tubing, rifled pipes.

Personally I like 531c as I had a Mercian with that tubing and it was great but then it would be,,, being a Mercian.

A lot of it is down to the builder... and also you are more likely to find different tube sets being used for different types of bike. 501 can be found on all sorts of sports bikes but less so on really flash totally race orientated machines with swift handling; those will have 531c-653-753 etc

This might well mean the 501 framed bike will have slightly slower and more stable handling, not so much the tubeset but the use it has been put to.
I have a time trial bike made from 501, it is more comfy than my old alloy one but I suspect it might have been better made with 531c as it would have been lighter and have a bit more zing if you know what I mean.

To put the cat amongst the pigeons here.... I have a Holdsworth with 531cs tubing.... excellent fast tourer type, nearly as good as my old Mercian..
Worth looking out for as it seems a decent compromise tube set that is built into practical bike frames, it was a tube set that was to bridge the gap between 531c racing tubing and 531st heavy touring so would have been used on club bikes and what would now be called an Audax bike.


Smile a mile bike provider
have got a mercian 531c framed racer at moment very nice but steel feels real , never tried columbus or carbon will have to see and try both or either .

long live old steels


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Columbus SLX is pretty old....from about 1984 to 90's before Genius came in then all went alloy/carbon. Of the Race tube sets, SL was a great standard, SLX came with the 'ribs' and increased stiffness with a slight weight penalty, and TSX was even lighter than both, but as suspected at the time (by my frame builder) wouldn't last long as it was very thin - i.e. you couldn't chrome it.... chroming the rear end and forks was fairly important for a regular 'racer' as the bike was in and out the back of a car.... and it looks mint in the sun....
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