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  1. #1
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    Chromoly vs. hi ten steel

    Hey,
    I was just wondering how big the difference between chromoly and hi ten steel was. i've heard that chromoly was way better than hi ten, but i want to know what you guys think

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    Your Sport Sucks I_Suck_At_BMX's Avatar
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    what do i think? I'll tell you what i know....and thats chromoly is way better. highten steel sucks and only exists on low end bikes.

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    Chromoly is a high carbon steel.
    Meaning it is stronger and you can design stronger/lighter components with it. It is brazable and weldable.
    So yeh it's stronger then hi-ten, however costs that bit more, but will last longer and less prone to snapping/bending. Hope that helped.

  4. #4
    Yeah. I Race. minichamp31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rok5tarr View Post
    Chromoly is a high carbon steel.
    Meaning it is stronger and you can design stronger/lighter components with it. It is brazable and weldable.
    So yeh it's stronger then hi-ten, however costs that bit more, but will last longer and less prone to snapping/bending. Hope that helped.
    There ya go. Couldn't say it better myself.

  5. #5
    Senior Member michaelscycles's Avatar
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    One thing that you do need to think about is that a lot of people are really concerned about weight. So the manufacturers want to build lighter weight bikes. By using stronger materials, they can make the tubing thinner. By making it thinner, the frame will not be as strong. So a steel frame could be as strong as a chromoly frame but heavier. The chromoly could be weaker if it is too thin. It all depends on how it is made. Any frame can break no matter what it is made of if you try hard enough.

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    high-ten is softer hence weaker..chromo rocks it..do some chromo makers still offer lifetime warrentys? I remember being able to send back a GT back for a new one, and the same with a cannondale...

    4130!!

  7. #7
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    chromoly all day

    In December I got hit by a Durango in downtown Atlanta. Luckily I landed flat on my back and was able to walk it off. But he dented my top tube, right be for my knee, and sent it a lil bit outta alignment. I was able to ride that frame still with no problems for about 6 months. Its a beeter frame now but if it wasnt cromoly I'd had to can it that day.

    Got that ripper frame now, landing gear rigid fork. Total beast.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Chrome Moly, 4130, is carbon steel + a trace of Chromium and Molybdenum, it has a higher potential tensile strength.

    Typically in the Bike Biz, that is taken advantage of by reducing the tube wall thickness with out compromising strength.

    1010 is OK, commonly the tube spec lets the wall thickness be a bit thicker , so weighs a bit more , but will still be adequately strong.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscycles View Post
    One thing that you do need to think about is that a lot of people are really concerned about weight. So the manufacturers want to build lighter weight bikes. By using stronger materials, they can make the tubing thinner. By making it thinner, the frame will not be as strong. So a steel frame could be as strong as a chromoly frame but heavier. The chromoly could be weaker if it is too thin. It all depends on how it is made. Any frame can break no matter what it is made of if you try hard enough.
    You're right in theory. In real life pretty much every chromoly frame is better than high ten.
    I don't think theres any chromoly frames out there that are too thin and therefore weaker than hi-ten(both are steel by the way). You aren't getting added strength from hi-ten. Chromoly allows them to make frames that are lighter AND stronger.

  10. #10
    We win all charity rides Street rider's Avatar
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    NO company would make the walls of their parts so thin that they would be weaker than hi-ten. Never buy anything that isn't chromoly just as a rule of thumb.

  11. #11
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    Wow, that's pretty shameless. Sending us from one forum to another with a vaguely similar subject. There was nothing useful in your link and you are obviously trying to drum up traffic for a new forum. Seriously, a discussion about hi-ten vs chromoly and you add a link to a very poorly written post about Aluminium?

  12. #12
    Senior Member tyler11's Avatar
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    ummmm last hi-ten frame i weighed it was just shy of 7 pounds....
    most cromo frames weigh 4-5 usaly
    the heavyest cromo frame iv seen is the dragon 2 and its 6.1....

  13. #13
    Senior Member tyler11's Avatar
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    i know that...
    the way you worded it it sounds like you ment a hi-ten frame and a cromo frame weigh almost the same. lol
    just trying to make sure no ones confused

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    a cubic inch of both steels weighs the same.

    but ChromeMoly ; 4130 to use AISI number has a 97,000 #/inch tensile strength

    1015 is 61,500..

    so equivalent strength in use, takes less 4130 than 1015

    and that isnt even thinking of heat treatment processes
    Ref : machinery's handbook, 23rd edition.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-16-10 at 07:19 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridegrindshine View Post
    In December I got hit by a Durango in downtown Atlanta. Luckily I landed flat on my back and was able to walk it off. But he dented my top tube, right be for my knee, and sent it a lil bit outta alignment. I was able to ride that frame still with no problems for about 6 months. Its a beeter frame now but if it wasnt cromoly I'd had to can it that day.
    Hi-ten is still some pretty strong stuff. In Jr High School, I t-boned a car that stopped in front of me in a parking lot on a 26" Huffy 10-speed. I was moving at a pretty good speed too, learned my lesson that day about looking back for your friends and riding fast thru a parking lot, even if it wasn't congested that day. Impact bent the steel rim and the frame down tube about the first inch where the head and down tube are welded. The fork was fine, replaced the rim and rode the bike for another 10 years thru college. That Huffy was an ugly pig, but it was also bomb proof. I think Hi-ten gets a bad review because it's most commonly associated with Wal-Mart bikes. If a hi-ten frame has quality components from the start, a hi-ten frame isn't a bad bike. The trouble is, it's hard to find a hi-ten frame that has high end components. Because inevitably, the frame material faces the hi-ten vs chromolly material scrutiny.

    Anyway, assuming that a hi-ten frame is "totaled out" in the same accident a chromolly frame isn't, is purely speculation. And to be honest, a car hits me and it's their fault, I don't care if the frame is made of lead crystal, I'm getting a new frame out of the insurance claim.

    Another point, how bad can hi-ten really be, if the knock on it is weight and strength/hardness, aluminum is far and away softer. But higher end aluminum bikes are preferred because they are lighter, more rigid, but have to have fatter tubes too. Hi-ten gets scrutinized harder because it most resembles the chromolly pipe. Carbon and Aluminum being perceived as different animals. A good welder can do a very good job with hi-ten.
    Last edited by fuji86; 10-23-10 at 01:20 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    Hi-ten is still some pretty strong stuff. In Jr High School, I t-boned a car that stopped in front of me in a parking lot on a 26" Huffy 10-speed. I was moving at a pretty good speed too, learned my lesson that day about looking back for your friends and riding fast thru a parking lot, even if it wasn't congested that day. Impact bent the steel rim and the frame down tube about the first inch where the head and down tube are welded. The fork was fine, replaced the rim and rode the bike for another 10 years thru college. That Huffy was an ugly pig, but it was also bomb proof. I think Hi-ten gets a bad review because it's most commonly associated with Wal-Mart bikes. If a hi-ten frame has quality components from the start, a hi-ten frame isn't a bad bike. The trouble is, it's hard to find a hi-ten frame that has high end components. Because inevitably, the frame material faces the hi-ten vs chromolly material scrutiny.

    Anyway, assuming that a hi-ten frame is "totaled out" in the same accident a chromolly frame isn't, is purely speculation. And to be honest, a car hits me and it's their fault, I don't care if the frame is made of lead crystal, I'm getting a new frame out of the insurance claim.

    Another point, how bad can hi-ten really be, if the knock on it is weight and strength/hardness, aluminum is far and away softer. But higher end aluminum bikes are preferred because they are lighter, more rigid, but have to have fatter tubes too. Hi-ten gets scrutinized harder because it most resembles the chromolly pipe. Carbon and Aluminum being perceived as different animals. A good welder can do a very good job with hi-ten.
    Umm. You're wrong. Hi-ten is crap. Don't even try to suggest that it isn't. When you're younger it will probably get the job done and there's nothing wrong with having a hi-ten frame but it is nowhere near as strong as Chromo. The difference is night and day.
    This has nothing to do with wal-mart bikes. A hi-ten fit, kink, we the people, or anything else is still hi-ten and not nearly as good as a chromo frame from the same company. This is also reflected in warranties. Hi-ten frames do not have nearly as good of a warranty s Chromo frames usually do. Because the manufacturer knows it isn't as strong.
    Seriously, stop trying to rationalise it and realise that hi-ten does just kinda suck.

  17. #17
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Ref : machinery's handbook, 23rd edition.
    Engineering ftw!
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertv View Post
    Umm. You're wrong. Hi-ten is crap. Don't even try to suggest that it isn't. When you're younger it will probably get the job done and there's nothing wrong with having a hi-ten frame but it is nowhere near as strong as Chromo. The difference is night and day.
    This has nothing to do with wal-mart bikes. A hi-ten fit, kink, we the people, or anything else is still hi-ten and not nearly as good as a chromo frame from the same company. This is also reflected in warranties. Hi-ten frames do not have nearly as good of a warranty s Chromo frames usually do. Because the manufacturer knows it isn't as strong.
    Seriously, stop trying to rationalise it and realise that hi-ten does just kinda suck.
    I guess that's why there are so many hi-ten frames still in service from the 1970's ? I have a 13 year old atb made of hi-ten, it seems to ride just fine, weighs ounces +/- of what many newer chromolly bikes weigh in at. But I guess I'm wrong and you're right ? If the two aren't readily marked, could you even tell the difference ?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    I guess that's why there are so many hi-ten frames still in service from the 1970's ? I have a 13 year old atb made of hi-ten, it seems to ride just fine, weighs ounces +/- of what many newer chromolly bikes weigh in at. But I guess I'm wrong and you're right ?
    He's right, and your argument's irrelevant, as there's a colossal difference in the way that the bikes are meant to be ridden; nobody's jumping 20' doubles, grinding tall drop ledges, tricking big sets, or, frankly, doing anything else that could really break a frame on a 13-year old all-terrain bicycle, much less a frame from the 1970s.

    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    If the two aren't readily marked, could you even tell the difference ?
    By looking at them? No. By riding them? Probably not, until the rear triangle twisted the first time that you under-rotated a 360, or the headtube snapped off coming up short on a double...

  20. #20
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    Didn't realize everyone was doing 20' doubles, grinding tall drop ledges, tricking big sets ?

    So only the non hi-ten frames are indestructible ?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    Didn't realize everyone was doing 20' doubles, grinding tall drop ledges, tricking big sets ?
    Funny that you conveniently leave out the last part of that sentence. That being said, if hi-ten was so great, why isn't anyone riding that sort of thing on a hi-ten frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    So only the non hi-ten frames are indestructible ?
    Did I say that? Are you seriously suggesting that a hi-ten frame, of a very similar weight and build to my current frame (4.45lb Solid King Cobra with Supertherm chromoly...) is going to be no less likely to bend or break? Because that's what you appear to be implying by comparing your Fuji 21-speed to a more modern, chromoly bike... as if that's the least bit relevant when the forces at play on BMX bikes are of completely different magnitudes than the forces at play on an all-terrain bike. Unless you're bombing trails or something with that bike, which I think is about as likely as Solid using Supertherm when cheap hi-ten is just as good, than I doubt it. I repeat, sir: I doubt it.

  22. #22
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    I didn't conveniently leave it out, not everyone is going to be able to be part of the bmx show that performs at that level. Hi-ten frames are beginner bikes, meaning the next stars may just start out using them to develop ? If one has the talent, will develop the skills hi-ten is fine for that purpose. Which is the point I was making with my next comment, stick the landing wrong with chromolly, aluminum or anything else you want to weld a frame together out of and you'll have a warped and twisted wreckage of a bike just the same ? That's only if the cyclist isn't injured, even crippled ? A lot of cyclists can do those tricks, but they're a miscalculation away from being a cripple and forgotten in the sport ? Disposable heroes for lack of a better analogy ? Take motorcycle jumping, the few that do that lunacy, they break equipment constantly. Same goes for NASCAR, Indy Racing. You don't think a good car builder & body mechanic isn't on the team ? And do you think they only bring one bike to the show ? I mean a bad bad landing usually ends it for the cyclist by injury, but if it's equipment failure, they have backup hardware just the same.

    I will bring up another thing, the most skilled bmx trick artists can do what they do on a hi-ten bike just the same as any other. But a hi-ten bike doesn't sell for as much for their sponsors.
    Last edited by fuji86; 10-28-10 at 04:44 AM.

  23. #23
    We win all charity rides Street rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    But a hi-ten bike doesn't sell for as much for their sponsors.
    Because everyone who actually rides and has done even just the tiniest bit of research knows that Chromoly is a lot stronger and just a touch lighter than hi-ten. I took my brothers hi-ten bike out one day to just mess around, hopped a 6 stair, and i bent the rear dropouts. I did the exact same set on my bike dozens of times before, and with other stuff added in, not just hopping it, and never once did anything happen to my frame. Why? Because it's made out of chromoly.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    I will bring up another thing, the most skilled bmx trick artists can do what they do on a hi-ten bike just the same as any other.
    I feel like I should call Ryan Nyquist up right now, and see if he'd be down to run a hi-ten frame in the Dew Tour next year. Oh, wait, I'm not going to do that, because that's a terrible idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    But a hi-ten bike doesn't sell for as much for their sponsors.
    If hi-ten steel was as good as you claim in comparison to chromoly, I can guarantee you that companies would be using it, and making higher profits because the material is cheaper.

  25. #25
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    Yeah, like you could call Ryan Nyquist ? Name dropper !

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