We were recently invited to tour the Reynolds factory, a really awesome experience given the amazing history of the company and their role in some major achievements in the pursuit of speed and engineering excellence.
It was the expertise of the Reynolds Tube Company that helped build the frame of the Thrust2, the famous jet-propelled car that held the land speed record for some 14 years between 1983 and 1997. Donhou are no strangers to this type of feat, making our own tilt at a similar, although perhaps slight lower-powered record, for our Experiments in Speed film a few years ago.
Reynolds is known for its iconic numbered decals – relating to the different properties of the steel alloys they produce. We typically build a lot of our custom frames and all of our Signature Steel range with Reynolds 853, their top end heat-treated, air-hardening steel, but we’ve also used their other tubesets when the situation has called for it. We’ve done track builds with stainless 931, used 725 for oversized chainstays and made use of the incredible strength of their marquee 953.
It was a great insight to see where the steel we build with comes from and it really adds some depth to the narrative that runs through every bike. Seeing the process of using rollers to expand and contract the tubes to release the various mandrels that give the unique butt profile of each tube was very interesting.
When you see the process, you get a real sense of the journey, all the way from hundreds of tubes, all looking the same sitting on a factory shelf, to the unique Donhou custom bicycle that they become.