A good combination of strength and toughness in HSLA steels can be achieved by the addition of microalloying elements such as Nb. Nb can retard the static recrystallization of austenite at low temperatures by either a solute drag or by a precipitation pinning (when bonded to C or N) effect. Both mechanisms result in improved mechanical properties due to grain size refinement of the transformed ferrite. In this study, 3 Nb-microalloyed model alloys were designed to investigate the solute drag and the precipitation effect separately. The first alloy, containing a stoechiometric ratio of Nb and C, was designed to study the retarding effect of NbC on the recrystallization behavior. A second alloy, containing Nb and only few ppm C, was casted in order to study the effect of Nb in solid solution. The two alloys were compared with a C-Mn reference alloy. The recrystallization behavior of the three alloys were compared by multi-hit torsion tests and double hit compression tests. The Nb-C and the Nb-very low C showed small differences in recrystallization behavior. These results show that Nb delays the recrystallization by a solute drag effect or by the formation of a very small amount of precipitates.