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High tensile 1020 butted tubing

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View Poll Results: Should I always stay away from high tensile 1020?
Yes, find something better
5
16.13%
No, 1020 butted is OK
14
45.16%
Maybe, a few good bikes were made with 1020 butted tubing
12
38.71%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

High tensile 1020 butted tubing

Old 04-30-11, 07:52 AM
  #1  
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High tensile 1020 butted tubing

I'm looking at a 1980 Japanese bike with high tensile 1020 butted tubing. The bike has nice components as weighs about 25 pounds.

If the bike was 4130 Chrome-molybdenum I would get it.

Should I always stay away from high tensile 1020?
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Old 04-30-11, 07:56 AM
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If you like the bike, buy it. 1020 is run of the mill. so is 4130.
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Old 04-30-11, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyb View Post
If you like the bike, buy it. 1020 is run of the mill. so is 4130.
And Carbolite 103 is?

I'll repeat an observation from a recent thread on bike frame steel. All steels have the same modulus of elasticity but the different alloys have different tensile strength. "Softer" alloy tubes have to be thicker to compensate. This makes the frame stiffer and heavier. But the thickness itself is the only thing that affects frame response. If the builder made good choices then a decent frame can be built with any alloy, the only difference being weight. So if the weight is okay to you (and assuming the builder was good at the trade) then the bike should be fine.

Personal experience: I have begun some commuting on a UO8 I've owned since just after the dawn of recorded time. It's a "run of the mill" frame. As equipped it is heavier than a performance bike, but the frame response is just fine. If the weight is okay for you, then so likely is the bike.
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Old 04-30-11, 08:42 AM
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That chrome Panasonic 1020 bike is pretty nice. I avoid 1020 bikes as they tend to be finished with lower end stuff, claw RD hanger, etc. But I would have been happy to find that chrome Panasonic.
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Old 04-30-11, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I avoid 1020 bikes as they tend to be finished with lower end stuff, claw RD hanger, etc.
I don't mean to be a contrarian but when youa re riding can you tell the difference between a claw and and integrated RD hanger? I sure couldn't.
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Old 04-30-11, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
And Carbolite 103 is?

I'll repeat an observation from a recent thread on bike frame steel. All steels have the same modulus of elasticity but the different alloys have different tensile strength. "Softer" alloy tubes have to be thicker to compensate. This makes the frame stiffer and heavier. But the thickness itself is the only thing that affects frame response. If the builder made good choices then a decent frame can be built with any alloy, the only difference being weight. So if the weight is okay to you (and assuming the builder was good at the trade) then the bike should be fine.

Personal experience: I have begun some commuting on a UO8 I've owned since just after the dawn of recorded time. It's a "run of the mill" frame. As equipped it is heavier than a performance bike, but the frame response is just fine. If the weight is okay for you, then so likely is the bike.
I used to have a u08 and found it to be very dead feeling, not bad, just run of the mill. And really all I was saying was that there isn't much difference between the two.
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Old 04-30-11, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyb View Post
I used to have a u08 and found it to be very dead feeling, not bad, just run of the mill. And really all I was saying was that there isn't much difference between the two.
Actually, I was sort of agreeing with you. The dead feeling you describe could be as much due to wheels as to the frame. (My UO8 has good wheels.) With goo designe the frame material is mostly a matter of weight.
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Old 04-30-11, 09:27 AM
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the difference in frame weight of great steel vs ok steel is only a few pounds (at most), so right there the argument should end. there is also a difference in weight and ride from a 50cm to 60cm frame, but you can't make yourself shorter or taller so there's no use worrying about that either.

if you like the frame, and you say it has nice components, then you shouldn't even be thinking twice.
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Old 04-30-11, 09:29 AM
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i'm taking this hi-ten bike on a 70 mile, semi-fast (15-16mph) ride today. imo, it is not all that heavy with decent wheels, but is is sooo smooth and fun to ride:
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Old 04-30-11, 09:30 AM
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Should I always stay away from high tensile 1020?
There is nothing wrong with the tubing or the ride quality it is capable of offering. That said, just about bike could be made from 1020 steel, however; the butted examples would be reserved for mid level bicycles, mostly. To that the OP added that the bike is fitted with nice components, once again suggesting decent quality.

I think?-(

From actual experience, one of the nicest riding bikes I have owned would be the Peugeot Course, a Carbolite 103 framed beauty that would be similar to what you are considering.
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Old 04-30-11, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
I don't mean to be a contrarian but when youa re riding can you tell the difference between a claw and and integrated RD hanger? I sure couldn't.
It hurts resale, at least around here. And even on keeper bikes, I consider resale, as I typically pass on at least one keeper bike every year.
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Old 04-30-11, 09:57 AM
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Barrettscv, I have no problem hopping on my unbutted '80 gas pipe Raleigh (well actually after the new shifters arrive ). While it isn't as sophisticated as my other bikes, nor nearly as light it's still a fun bike to ride, a true blast from the past.

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Old 04-30-11, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
i'm taking this hi-ten bike on a 70 mile, semi-fast (15-16mph) ride today. imo, it is not all that heavy with decent wheels, but is is sooo smooth and fun to ride:
Beautiful bike illwafer, a great reason not to dismiss hi-ten bikes. Here's another - my Trek TX300 in Ishiwata hi-ten.

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Old 04-30-11, 11:13 AM
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There are plenty of high ten bikes that I like a lot - more so even than some haughty-tubed bikes, because geometry (and good wheels) makes a far greater difference than a little extra weight.

Examples include the Pug U-08, 70's Raleigh GP's, & Fuji Special Racer.
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Old 04-30-11, 11:20 AM
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Personally, I don't think I'd buy a butted 1020 frame, especially if I were a heavier rider. The reason most 1020 frames are straight gauge is because the yield strength is about half that of 4130, so that the thinner center section of butted 1020 tubing (< about .8 mm) isn't very strong (1020 yield strength is 29,700 psi, 4130 yield strength is 63,300 psi).

Straight gauge (18 gauge, which is 1.214 mm, or thicker) 1020 is fine, but heavy. I'd save my money and buy a 4130 butted frame.

My $.02.

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Old 04-30-11, 07:30 PM
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Scooper, those tables contain good data but they don't tell you what processing the tubes for an individual bike frame have been given. And they don't have 1:1 correspondence. That said, there's no doubt that properly handled 4130 will eclipse 1020 in tensile strength. My point is, your numbers are good examples, but are not necessarily indicative of actual bike frame tubing tensile strengths for 1020 and 4130.
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Old 04-30-11, 07:45 PM
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1020 or not, I'm very happy with mine--Panasonic DX 2000. I'm in the process of restoring it (the comfort seat is gone alreadly). It's a nice bike.

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Old 04-30-11, 08:03 PM
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When I was a kid, 16 I had been riding a Nishiki for a couple years. The Nishiki had Hi-Ten steel or something, got rid or it for a new Ralighi Technium with aluminum tubes. After the new bike feeling wore off I realised I had a bike that was noodley and didn't handle well. The Nishiki was the better bike. And that Crome Panasonic is Badazz
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Old 05-03-11, 10:46 AM
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I decided not to buy the bike. While the condition was minty, the price was high and I'm not sure I would have been happy about the overall performance of the bike.
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Old 05-03-11, 11:33 AM
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I was talking to a friend about this the other day, my lower end bikes see a lot of riding. I feel as a whole they are still just as, and in some ways more fun to ride partly because there is a lot less worry involved. scratches, chipped paint, theft, rust etc.
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Old 05-03-11, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I decided not to buy the bike. While the condition was minty, the price was high and I'm not sure I would have been happy about the overall performance of the bike.
You never mentioned what the price was or what components it had. Price would make a big difference.

That being said, 25lbs is exactly what my Raleigh Gran Sport weighs and it feels like a lightweight to me. However it sounds like you weren't going to be happy with it anyway so it's probably best that you let it go.
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