The dependence of transport critical-current density Jc on axial tensile strain ε was measured at 76 K and self-magnetic field for YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) coatings on buffered, deformation-textured substrates of pure Ni, Ni–5-at. %-W, and Ni–10-at. %-Cr–2-at. %-W. Expectations have been that the strain tolerance of these composites would be limited by the relatively low yield strains of the deformation-textured substrates, typically less than 0.2%. However, results show that the irreversible degradation of Jc(ε) occurs at a strain equal to about twice the yield strain of the substrate. Therefore, YBCO/Ni-alloy composites may satisfy axial-strain performance requirements for electric devices, including the most demanding applications, motors and generators in which a strain tolerance exceeding 0.25% is needed. Furthermore, the YBCO/Ni–5-at. %-W conductors showed a reversible strain effect, which may be induced by a reversible strain-field broadening around mismatch dislocations at the grain boundaries. This effect may contribute to the unexpectedly large usable strain range of these conductors. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.