Reynolds Technology Ltd in Birmingham, UK is one of the key suppliers for the unique Marchese ice blades. Their 853 tube is an essential element of the long track blade that is the lightest and strongest on the market today. Managing director Keith Noronha is as passionate about Reynolds' outstanding tubing technology as Paul Marchese is about tuning speedskates. No wonder that their collaboration has lead to one of the most outstanding innovations since the introduction of the clap skate: Marchese Record. A few questions for Keith:
1. What position does Reynolds take at the moment in steel tubing industry, related to the Italian manufacturers such as Columbus and Dedaccia? or in other words: What makes Reynolds steel unique and different?
Reynolds remained focussed on high end metallic tubing supplied to “spaceframe” fabricators around the world. In our view, the consistent performance from metals, the high innovation possible with modern alloy compositions, the long product life and damage tolerance, and finally the ability to re-cycle metals for re-use make this an attractive market sector for our business.
With our ability to make very strong materials (e.g. 853, 953) and very thin tubes (down to 0.3mm) compared to any competitors this makes us unique. And the increasing use of our tubular metals in special high end products like the Aerial Atom Sports titanium car chassis, tubing for MRI scanners, motorbike/car chassis tubing shows how high strength metals can be used in other sectors.
2. How does Reynolds look at their tubes now being used for high-end ice blades, a different sport as cycling ....
Reynolds are delighted that we have a continuing link with CadoMotus as a very innovative company who want to stay at the leading–edge in this sector. We have worked together to push the boundaries on what can be done with some sizes of metal, the shaping in the case of 631 was never achieved before, and for the 853 project the very thin wall but high straightness requirement need specific work in our factory.
To Reynolds, this kind of working relationship is very important to keep us on our toes, and thinking about new products.
'proven advantage of our 853 steel are the high strength welding properties and fatique life'
3. Currently Cádomotus has chosen the 525 and 853 for their models. How would you describe the advantage over steels used by other brands that use stamping and roll forming techniques to create their tubular steel blades.
The Marchese Record 853 uses 853 seamless tubes, air-hardening steel alloy which is made in small quantities for Reynolds. Although more expensive than the alloys used by other brands, the proven advantages in high weld strength and fatigue life has helped us increase sales in a number of industries.
The Reynolds 525 Chrome-Moly steel is also stronger than many other brands, and has been cold-drawn to the specific dimensions requested by CadoMotus to achieve a competitive weight for this series of ice-skates.
Reynolds 853 steel development took nearly two years, as the material properties were tamed. On numerous occasions, the steel drawbench jaws broke when pulling the material through the dies needed to make the diameters needed for cycle framesets. Each tube length requires repeated annealing (softening) after each stage, so that the material is suitable for the next manufacturing process as it "work-hardens" easily, in addition to its air-hardening properties on welding. Reynolds 853 is the world’s first commercial air-hardening steel for bicycle frame tubes.
Reynolds is knows as a famous steel tube manufacturer and inventor of butted tubing (1897). The 531 tube is legend with Tour the France victories of Charly Gaul, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond and Miguel Indurain.