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Odd question about Hi Tens Frames

Old 01-05-17, 07:07 PM
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Odd question about Hi Tens Frames

I fear I may be opening a floodgate here,b but let me preface:

I know Hi Tens frames aren't exactly super duper awesome. I get it. I'm aware, I don't need to be reminded.

My question is this: A relative knows im into cycling of all sorts (mtb, road, thinking of giving Cyclocross a try), also knows I've been looking at maybe trying out BMX racing, so they bought me a bmx. It's nothing special, believe me. A Framed Impact, Hi Tens, One Piece Crank, etc. I've seen Mongoose with better specs (actually the Mode 900 doesn't look horrible, believe it or not). Regardless, free bike. I'm gonna ride the damned thing till the wheels come off.

Anyhow, point is, at the moment I'm on a pretty tight budget and won't be able to pick up anything really workable until Summer-ish. My question is, would a Hi Tens bike work for some entry level racing? I know it'll take a beating and probably not last a year, and I'm okay with that. I guess what I'm asking is how much wear will I get out of it before the track has an imprint of my face on it?

Thanks guys and gals.
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Old 01-06-17, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by wpd821
I fear I may be opening a floodgate here,b but let me preface:

I know Hi Tens frames aren't exactly super duper awesome. I get it. I'm aware, I don't need to be reminded.

My question is this: A relative knows im into cycling of all sorts (mtb, road, thinking of giving Cyclocross a try), also knows I've been looking at maybe trying out BMX racing, so they bought me a bmx. It's nothing special, believe me. A Framed Impact, Hi Tens, One Piece Crank, etc. I've seen Mongoose with better specs (actually the Mode 900 doesn't look horrible, believe it or not). Regardless, free bike. I'm gonna ride the damned thing till the wheels come off.

Anyhow, point is, at the moment I'm on a pretty tight budget and won't be able to pick up anything really workable until Summer-ish. My question is, would a Hi Tens bike work for some entry level racing? I know it'll take a beating and probably not last a year, and I'm okay with that. I guess what I'm asking is how much wear will I get out of it before the track has an imprint of my face on it?

Thanks guys and gals.
There's some decent Hi-tens out there. You usually see Hi-Ten in freestyle bikes because they can actually take much more of a beating then 4130 CroMo, and Aluminum. For example 4130 is half the weight, but is more brittle and can snap.

With racing what counts is the rider. You can have the lightest, and most expensive bike but if you're slow then guess what you're going to loose. With Roadbike racing it's a endurance test so you feel the weight difference dramatically. With BMX it's a short sprint!

The best story I can give is my friend...He was unusually fit, and he could keep up with cars doing 50km/hr easily, with his hi-ten BMX that he found at the dump. We would go around and find guys with their uber high end Bianchi's, then diss them, and then bet them $20 he could beat them in a race over 3-4 blocks. It was like taking Candy from a baby, he never lost. Because in a quick sprint it's rider first, so the advantages/disadvantages of the bike dissolve quickly.

TL;DR: What we BMX'ers all did BITD. Was slowly upgrade all the junk parts on our bikes one bit at a time as we could afford them. Eventually you build up a great set of parts like wheels etc, and by then you know what you want when you upgrade the Frame & Fork.
We all started somewhere man! It's better to start of riding the heck out of something, then being some poser with a expensive bike he doesn't ride.

Last edited by cbrstar; 01-06-17 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 09-19-17, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cbrstar
There's some decent Hi-tens out there. You usually see Hi-Ten in freestyle bikes because they can actually take much more of a beating then 4130 CroMo, and Aluminum. For example 4130 is half the weight, but is more brittle and can snap.

With racing what counts is the rider. You can have the lightest, and most expensive bike but if you're slow then guess what you're going to loose. With Roadbike racing it's a endurance test so you feel the weight difference dramatically. With BMX it's a short sprint!

The best story I can give is my friend...He was unusually fit, and he could keep up with cars doing 50km/hr easily, with his hi-ten BMX that he found at the dump. We would go around and find guys with their uber high end Bianchi's, then diss them, and then bet them $20 he could beat them in a race over 3-4 blocks. It was like taking Candy from a baby, he never lost. Because in a quick sprint it's rider first, so the advantages/disadvantages of the bike dissolve quickly.

TL;DR: What we BMX'ers all did BITD. Was slowly upgrade all the junk parts on our bikes one bit at a time as we could afford them. Eventually you build up a great set of parts like wheels etc, and by then you know what you want when you upgrade the Frame & Fork.
We all started somewhere man! It's better to start of riding the heck out of something, then being some poser with a expensive bike he doesn't ride.
Chromoly is LESS prone to cracking, it is LESS brittle than hi-ten.

It weighs the SAME pound for pound.

4130 chromoly allows for MORE flexing before it snaps or bends than hi-ten. Hi-ten has more carbon element in the mix and is one of the reasons why it is more brittle. Hi-ten has LESS elasticity and LESS tensile strength.

I created a profile here just to clarify this.
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Old 09-19-17, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bulletpup
Chromoly is LESS prone to cracking, it is LESS brittle than hi-ten.

It weighs the SAME pound for pound.

4130 chromoly allows for MORE flexing before it snaps or bends than hi-ten. Hi-ten has more carbon element in the mix and is one of the reasons why it is more brittle. Hi-ten has LESS elasticity and LESS tensile strength.

I created a profile here just to clarify this.
Hi Ten is a broad term for many types of steel and there is the odd one that is close as the same weight as 4130 like for example Reynolds 531. But generally Hi-Ten is heavier then Cro-Mo.
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-adv...materials.html

"Carbon or high-tensile steel is a good, strong, long-lasting steel, but it isn't as light as its more high-tech brother, the steel known as chromoly."
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Old 09-19-17, 11:55 PM
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I think you will find with a bit of searching on the interweb that the "hi-ten" steel usually used to make bmx and other type frames is the same weight if the same thickness tubes are used for both. The reason a hi-ten frame will usually be heavier is because more material is used to compensate for the weaker blend of steel. Chromoly steel can be thinned out (butted, tapered, etc.) and still be equal in strength or even stronger (depending on weld quality and design).
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