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Hi-Ten steel

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Hi-Ten steel

Old 07-16-08, 11:33 AM
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Hi-Ten steel

When a bike is made out of Hi-Ten steel, what does that mean? Hi-Ten=High Tensile? Is that some sort of economical/cheap process of putting together a steel bike?
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Old 07-16-08, 11:37 AM
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Why would anyone advertise *cheap*?

It doesn't mean anything. It's like when they say DIGITAL.
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Old 07-16-08, 11:40 AM
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It's the heaviest, cheapest kind of steel. Basically just glorified pipe steel. Utility bikes, 3-speed "racers" and cheap 10-speeds used to be made of it. I rode a 10-speed made of it for a long time because I couldn't afford any better in those days. Perfectly fine for riding, just very heavy. The bike probably weighed 35 lbs (not just because of the heavy frame, but all the other steel on it).
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Old 07-16-08, 11:42 AM
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Hi-tensile steel is a cheaper form of tubing than chromoly steel. It's not as strong as chromoly so to get the same amount of strength in the bike the tubes must be thicker, meaning a hi-ten bike will be heavier than a chromoly bike.

A hi-ten frame can make a perfectly decent bike, though. I have an old hi-ten schwinn for my fixie and it's a nice ride. Chromoly rides a bit better because the tubes are thinner, and it's also lighter for the same reason, but hi-ten is OK stuff.
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Old 07-16-08, 02:20 PM
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thanks?

Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post
Why would anyone advertise *cheap*?

It doesn't mean anything. It's like when they say DIGITAL.
you confuse.
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Old 07-16-08, 02:23 PM
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He is saying that non chromoly steel needs a name other than 'low end', or 'cheap' steel, so they gave it a cool sounding name.
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Old 07-16-08, 02:56 PM
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So it's nothing like digital since digital means info comprised of 1s and 0s.
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Old 07-16-08, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TimJ View Post
So it's nothing like digital since digital means info comprised of 1s and 0s.
digital = composed of 0's and 1's
hi-ten = mild steel
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Old 07-16-08, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
It's the heaviest, cheapest kind of steel. Basically just glorified pipe steel.
I am no expert but isn't hi-ten some intermediate between pipe steel like the electro forged Schwinn's and cro-moly? For comparable frame sizes my 1020 Voyager frame is certainly a few pounds lighter than the Continental I had before it, but still a few pounds heavier than the butted cro-moly Trek I used to have.

Regardless hi-ten is not the lightest but still gives a comfortable ride on the commuter I built, and appears to be very durable as it is a 30 year old frame, and a few pounds don't make any difference for my application.
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Old 07-16-08, 05:05 PM
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Hi-ten isn't the worst kind of crummy tubing in the history of the world.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:21 PM
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Hi Ten = High Tensile.
Not clearly defined. It's just higher tensile than a lower grade steel it's compared to. It may be negligibly stronger and be called that.
"Pipe steel" can be a very high grade. High pressure boilers, nuclear reactors etc. use "pipe steel", along with the water pipe going to your house. Another "undefined" term.

When applied to bicycles, it basically means "next to the cheapest" grade.
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Old 07-16-08, 07:03 PM
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High tensile steel is wonderful stuff compared to cheap tubing like electrical conduit and other non pressure bearing tubing. The high tensile tubing is actually the same steel then use for pressure rated tubing and pipe.
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Old 07-16-08, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
High tensile steel is wonderful stuff compared to cheap tubing like electrical conduit and other non pressure bearing tubing. The high tensile tubing is actually the same steel then use for pressure rated tubing and pipe.
As a former Marine Boilermaker (I completed an apprenticeship in that trade) I'll say you are correct!
Part of the time.
There are a lot of different steels used in high pressure pipe & tubing.
Boiler steam generator tubes tend to be a low carbon steel because they need to be easily bent. Nothing close to "high tensile". High pressure steam piping is a different matter.
There are too many variable for a "one type fits all" scenario. Heat, shock, vibration, fluid/air impingement....
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Old 07-16-08, 07:59 PM
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So, it seems that perfectly fine bike frames can be made of hi-ten steel. But, those frames could always be improved if made from cromo or similar higher-quality alloy steel.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
So, it seems that perfectly fine bike frames can be made of hi-ten steel. But, those frames could always be improved if made from cromo or similar higher-quality alloy steel.
A stronger material allows them to be made lighter, since the material doesn't have to be as thick to achieve the same strength.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:01 AM
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<3 my cro-moly 83 shogun 500 then. woo woo.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
So, it seems that perfectly fine bike frames can be made of hi-ten steel. But, those frames could always be improved if made from cromo or similar higher-quality alloy steel.
Having ridden a couple of the old hi-ten bikes I found that they seem to soak up a little of my effort and don't give it back as well as Cr-Mo frames do. Granted this is a pretty darn small set of examples that I'm talking about but out of the three frames that I rode back to back days with Cr-Mo bikes in between this was what I felt. It wasn't a big difference but I was definetly huffing and puffing a little less after a Cr-Mo ride than one with a Hi-Ten bike.
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