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Any reason for high-ten?

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Any reason for high-ten?

Old 03-06-15, 05:12 PM
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Yes, you could make thicker tubes out of cro-mo but they might be more expensive. So the real answer is when you stiffer and lower cost. Of course there are some really great bikes made of hi-ten and similar.

I really don't know what my UO8 is made of. Peugeot didn't use any recognizable frame sticker other than in oxydible or something. I've always supposed it was like hi-ten. Except for the slightly higher weight it rides very nicely. So I must conclude it goes up to hi-eleven.
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Old 03-06-15, 05:36 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
High-ten was cheaper. It was mainly featured on low-priced bikes. CrMo is today seen as cheep, but back in the '60's until lately it was a more premium product. Also being stronger it allowed thinner tubing walls which in turn allowed a better-riding frame, which was a usually marketed as a feature of more costly frames that were built up with better parts.

It doesn't make too much sense to evaluate high-ten against the best that is or was out there. But from a product design point of view (utility, durability, performance AND cost) it could make a superior product at a price point...
One really noticeable benefit of the thicker and straight-gage main tubes is, for me, a very noticeable improvement in stering precision and steering response.

This from a 145lb rider.

I picked up an unused-but-dirty-and-corroded 1988 Schwinn Traveler yesterday (for Goodwill's third-time discounted final price of $71).
The straight-gage, albeit CrMo-maintube frame on this 26lb bike has exceptional steering precision and response such that I returned to goodwill today buy a vacuum cleaner and was able to haul it a few miles home over hilly terrain, and in traffic, but with total confidence in the bike's composure riding it one handed. Angles are quite steep on this bike, yet it felt extremely confidence-inspiring even with the 8cm stem that itself surely takes something away from the stability.

No "before" picture unfortunately, but here after 7hrs of work:


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Old 03-06-15, 05:42 PM
  #28  
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I agree on the great UO-8 ride and the hi-eleven!

Peugeot back in the day was vertically integrated with its own steel mills and steel fabrication (like rolling) mills, just like Henry Ford. Mainly, they probably had the engineers to design and produce the materials as well as the ones who designed the bicycle. They had a lot more flexibility than a company that just bought steel. I suspect they did some deep thinking about how to optimize something like the UO-8 frame for performance, weight, and price. Because they could control the material as well as the product design they could do a better job on the product as a whole than others could.

But except for Peug having the steel mill, this is all hypothesis.
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Old 03-06-15, 05:44 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
One really noticeable benefit of the thicker and straight-gage main tubes is, for me, a very noticeable improvement in stering precision and steering response.

This from a 145lb rider.

I picked up an unused-but-dirty-and-corroded 1988 Schwinn Traveler yesterday (for Goodwill's third-time discounted final price of $71).
The straight-gage, albeit CrMo-maintube frame on this 26lb bike has exceptional steering precision and response such that I returned to goodwill today buy a vacuum cleaner and was able to haul it a few miles home over hilly terrain, and in traffic, but with total confidence in the bike's composure riding it one handed. Angles are quite steep on this bike, yet it felt extremely confidence-inspiring even with the 8cm stem that itself surely takes something away from the stability.

No "before" picture unfortunately, but here after 7hrs of work:

Nice looking, and an interesting point.
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Old 03-06-15, 05:45 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
All these answers you all giving are about why high-ten is quite often acceptable, the OP was asking about situations where high-ten would be better. Apart from the stiffness-due-to-tube-wall-thickness one, I don't think any of your answers satisfy the OPs question. And even then, you could, if you really wanted to, make thicker walled tubing out of cro-mo*, so even then, hi-ten is not really any better.

[/troll]

*and yes, I realize one the advantages of cro-mo is you can make thinner tubing from it, thereby saving weight.
Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
Yes, this was exactly what I was asking.
The question has been answered. Hi-Ten has exactly two advantages over other materials (as outlined in my first reply).

1) Price.
2) Tubes are more resilient (by virtue of being thicker).

That's it. Everything else says CrMo etc are better.
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Old 03-06-15, 06:02 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
The ubiquitous British 3 speeds of the "For the Love Of" thread are hi-ten.
Remarkably durable, inexpensive and pleasant to ride in village or town, accept no substitute.

-Bandera
I think some of them are made from butted tubing.
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Old 03-06-15, 06:20 PM
  #32  
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Not sure but the fork on that vacuum may be bent.
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Old 03-06-15, 06:26 PM
  #33  
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UO-8 hi-ten? I doubt it. I know the love here for UO-8s runs very deep, but my experience with my 1967 UO-8 suggests the frame was closer to mild steel. Every time I laid that bike down, even in otherwise completely inconsequential spills, it rode differently afterwards. I gave up trying to keep it aligned and just accepted it as a slinky. Maybe Peugeot changed the tubing later, but what I had was not hi-yield steel by any means.

Ben
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Old 03-06-15, 06:41 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
Is there any purpose for which high-ten or high-carbon frames are better suited than cromoly?
If you want to ride something vintage on a daily basis and the distance you need to cover is not enormous, and there might be a possibility of your ride getting stolen, then I would rather offer up something in the "hi-ten" category. Not that they offer any sort of improvement in theft deterrent (as bike thieves are opportunist with very low cash outlay), just that I might feel slightly less worse in being ripped off. I also think that some "hi-ten" frames offer a certain degree of road bump absorption superior to chromo or fancier frames, but this might be more accurately attributed to the sport geometry angles more common in the "hi-ten" corral of rides (versus fancier race geometry).
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Old 03-06-15, 07:12 PM
  #35  
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I have a hi-ten 1980 Miyata 210 and a CrMo 1986 Miyata 1000. The 210, albeit heavier, is a comfier bike in my opinion.
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Old 03-06-15, 07:18 PM
  #36  
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I don't think hi tensile steel is "better" for any application but it is fine material and works very well for many applications especially for a beater bike. My bridgestone BB-1 is my beater bike and it has a hi-tensile steel rear triangle. It's a great bike.
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Old 03-06-15, 08:15 PM
  #37  
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Hi-ten serves a very necessary function in the realm of frame tubing pecking order. If we didnt have them, what fun would it be to have Columbus and 531c (and P) on Huffy's, C Itoh's, cheap Fujis and Moto's??
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Old 03-06-15, 08:20 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by yipyipyip View Post
The question has been answered. Hi-Ten has exactly two advantages over other materials (as outlined in my first reply).

1) Price.
2) Tubes are more resilient (by virtue of being thicker).

That's it. Everything else says CrMo etc are better.
I'm trying to understand what you mean here by "more resilient".

All I know for certain is that thicker walls make for stiffer tubes. The grade/alloy of the steel in itself does not affect the stiffness.
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Old 03-06-15, 08:30 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
UO-8 hi-ten? I doubt it. I know the love here for UO-8s runs very deep, but my experience with my 1967 UO-8 suggests the frame was closer to mild steel. Every time I laid that bike down, even in otherwise completely inconsequential spills, it rode differently afterwards. I gave up trying to keep it aligned and just accepted it as a slinky. Maybe Peugeot changed the tubing later, but what I had was not hi-yield steel by any means.

Ben
I think that the term "Hi-Ten" can be used flexibly, i.e. that there is no standard numerical specification for the tensile strength or yield strength of steel that is named "hi ten".

I also believe the same applies to "hi protein" as applied to this granola for example, which may have a higher protein content than most other granola, but which still is very high-carbohydrate food source.

But maybe there was some international standard for the "precision steel" that the label describes on my Steyr Clubman seat tube(?).

Or maybe for the "titanium alloy steel" that some 1990's K-mart Huffy bikes were labeled with...
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Old 03-06-15, 08:41 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
UO-8 hi-ten? I doubt it. I know the love here for UO-8s runs very deep, but my experience with my 1967 UO-8 suggests the frame was closer to mild steel. Every time I laid that bike down, even in otherwise completely inconsequential spills, it rode differently afterwards. I gave up trying to keep it aligned and just accepted it as a slinky. Maybe Peugeot changed the tubing later, but what I had was not hi-yield steel by any means.

Ben
I rode a peugeot in the early 90s for a few races, and it was the most fleixible bike I have ever been on. Out of the saddle climbing almost always resulted in ghost shifting as the rear wheel went out of plane with the crank.

I believe they often used (a) 'manganese-moly' alloy(s) on a lot of their bikes.
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Old 03-06-15, 08:58 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
I rode a peugeot in the early 90s for a few races, and it was the most fleixible bike I have ever been on.

I believe they often used (a) 'manganese-moly' alloy(s) on a lot of their bikes.
I'm sure it depends on which Peugeot you are talking about. Also FWIW, Reynolds 531 is manganese-molybdenum.
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Old 03-06-15, 09:47 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I'm trying to understand what you mean here by "more resilient".

All I know for certain is that thicker walls make for stiffer tubes. The grade/alloy of the steel in itself does not affect the stiffness.
Hear, hear.
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Old 03-06-15, 10:12 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I think that the term "Hi-Ten" can be used flexibly, i.e. that there is no standard numerical specification for the tensile strength or yield strength of steel that is named "hi ten".
I believe "Hi-Ten" was Tange's trademarked name for their AISI 1040 equivalent steel bicycle tubing, variously termed "high tensile" or "high carbon" by other manufacturers.
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Old 03-07-15, 05:26 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I'm trying to understand what you mean here by "more resilient".

All I know for certain is that thicker walls make for stiffer tubes. The grade/alloy of the steel in itself does not affect the stiffness.
Correct. What I mean by more resilient is that Hi-Ten tubes (by virtue of being thicker) dont ding as easily as thinner butted tubes.
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Old 03-07-15, 07:45 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by yipyipyip View Post
They're cheaper and don't ding as easily as thinner tubes. Perfect for beaters and city bikes. I have a hi-ten fixed-gear and it's lovely. Indestructible, low-maintenance, fun to ride.
This exactly.
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Old 03-07-15, 08:25 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
UO-8 hi-ten? I doubt it. I know the love here for UO-8s runs very deep, but my experience with my 1967 UO-8 suggests the frame was closer to mild steel. Every time I laid that bike down, even in otherwise completely inconsequential spills, it rode differently afterwards. I gave up trying to keep it aligned and just accepted it as a slinky. Maybe Peugeot changed the tubing later, but what I had was not hi-yield steel by any means.

Ben
So I think generically that is what manufacturers were using the label "Hi Ten" or "Hi Carbon" for: to distinguish from mild steel. Whether or not they were accurate or just a sticker is another debate, but it enabled inexpensive frames to be marketed as somehow better than other inexpensive frames.

And I agree on the lower end Peugeot frame comment - minor spills could easily tweak things: just looking sideways at the forks can move them out of alignment. Still love mine.....I just try not to spill.....

Edit: for what its worth, this debate exists in the motorcycle world too. Bultaco (a sadly departed Spanish brand) moved from "flexy" mild steel frames to supposedly superior stiff CroMo frames in the early 70s.....so instead of bending they just cracked.

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Old 03-07-15, 08:45 AM
  #47  
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Differences between steels with some history novela

High ten and high carbon are relative terms and have NO technical meaning when discussing different types of steel products. Same thing with hot rolled, cold rolled, heat treated, high tensile and other descriptive terms.

"High tension" is "Jinglish" - an inaccurate Japanese translation for "high tensile" steel (see above).

High tension refers to high voltage electrical transmission cables that carry electricity over long distances via towers. They are stretched under "high tension" between the towers.




"melt forged" is another Jinglish term which is a euphemism for injection molding or pressure cast technology where molten metal is forced into a precision mold - there is NO forging involved!!!


Getting back to the topic...

Steel is an alloy of Iron and Carbon plus various amounts of other elements. In general, most steels are much stronger than most types of iron.

Pure Iron is an elemental metal but the word is commonly used as a descriptive term that covers many different mixtures of Iron, Carbon and other materials plus different manufacturing methods e.g. Cast Iron, Wrought Iron, Ductile Iron, Grey Iron and so on.

There are all kinds of explanations about the difference between Iron and Steel. The simplest is that in most types Iron much of the Carbon is free and not in solution with the metallic Iron.

In Steel the Iron and Carbon are converted into a compound (various flavors of Fe3C ferrous carbide) via high heat which also removes many of the impurities in the Iron

Small quantities of steel were produced from Iron for at least a thousand years but it was a costly, time consuming process used mainly for making weapons.

The first economically viable way to produce large quantities of steel - the Bessemer Process was developed in England in 1856. It was another 10-15 years before problems with the steel that was produced were resolved.

These first types of commercially produced steel where what are classified as "Plain Carbon Steels". The strength, hardness and other properties were manipulated by controlling the carbon content and heat treatment processes.

Carbon content ranged from ~0.10% to 1.00% or higher by weight (low, medium and high carbon steels). Lower carbon content resulted in soft ductile steel that lacked strength.

Steels with ~0.70% carbon were used for cutlery and other applications that required high hardness and strength. The higher the carbon content, the harder and stronger the steel could be made but there was a tradeoff with brittleness.

The descriptive terms like high tensile, high or low carbon and so on were used to describe the relative properties of different types of carbon steels back then. That's when terms like High Tensile, High Carbon, High Ten came into use for bicycle tubing.

Alloy Steels had been used by swordsmiths for centuries. Their techniques were very secretive like the Samurai sword makers in Japan. Those metal workers sometimes used metallic meteorites as a source for the alloying elements that improved the properties of the steel. In certain areas, the Iron Ore contained alloying elements like Chrome and Nickel.

Between the late 1800s and WW1 there was a lot of research done in the industrialized steel producing countries around the world to develop alloy steels to overcome the shortcomings plain carbon steels.

Many of the formulas became standardized such as those for Chrome-Molybdenum steels. In the US during the 1930s and 1940s the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) were both involved in efforts to standardize a numbering system for classifying steels.

The world standard alloy structural steel callout 4130 came out of those efforts. The numbers 41 indicated Chrome-Molybdenum alloy and 30 was the designation for 0.30% carbon content.

Columbus "Cyclex" steel used in SL, SP and the other tube sets from that period were 4130. Same thing with Tange, Ishwata and other Japanese "Chro-Mo" tubes.

The alloying elements in those types of steels were less than about 5% by weight. All steels and some irons contain Manganese (Mn) which is used to increase strength and ductility plus remove excess Sulfur which is an impurity in most cases.

Higher Mn content can alter the properties of the steel. "Mangaloy" and other low alloy steels take advantage of this quality.

Reynolds 531 and 753 were made of a slightly different alloy that used a slightly higher Mn content than 4130 plus it replaced the chrome in the formula. Reynolds 501 was 4130.

This is a good article on various classifications of steel in the US:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_steel_grades


Now here's the real difference in types of steel used in bicycle tubing.

The lowest quality steel tubing (also referred to Gas Pipe Tubing) has a yield strength of ~25,000 psi. It's seamed, made from flat sheet metal rolled into a tube then the joint is electro arc welded.

So called high carbon steel tubing for bikes has a carbon content of ~0.30% and a yield strength of ~35,000 psi. This would be the equivalent of US standard 1030 Carbon Steel.

High Ten or High Tensile is marketing garbage terminology used in the UK in the 70s then picked up by the Japanese as High Tension Steel. At best it would have a yield strength of ~55,000 to 60,000 psi.

Mangaloy and similar Mn alloy steel tubing has a yield strength of ~70,000 psi.

Alloy Steel tubing like Reynolds 531, Columbus Cyclex, 4130, Super Vitus 971 and 980 have yield strengths of 112,000 psi.

Reynolds 753 is 531 that has been heat treated to increase the yield strength ~134,000 psi.

The newer exotic alloys from Reynolds, Columbus and others can have before brazing strengths of up to ~200,000 psi before brazing or welding.

In the 1970s Motobecane made bikes with 1020 and 2040 tubing stickers.



Raleigh used the phrase "The All Steel Bicycle" in the early days of cycling to distinguish themselves from competitors who used cast iron and structural iron in their frames. Later they claimed that their frames were made of 2030 steel tubing.

Since 1020, 2040, and 2030 were US classifications not French or British call outs it hard to say what kind of steel those frames were actually made of.


So what's this all mean?

Weaker steel tubes have to have thicker walls for adequate strength. This add weight plus takes away resilience from a bike frame and gives a dead ride.

The stronger the steel used in bike tubing the thinner the wall thickness and the livelier the feel of the ride - what the French call "Supple" (su-play) or suppleness.

Also, alloy steel tubing is going to have at least twice the fatigue resistance of plain low carbon steel tubes.


Now the goring of the oxen....

Many, many millions of bikes around the world made of what ever euphemistic term for gas pipe tubing, serve the basic function of providing very efficient transportation. So, if a 50 Lb. (22.6796 kg) clunker meets someone's needs that's great.... Really...

Call me a snob, but... for me, when I ride a bike I'm not interested in basic transportation! I like to ride 19 to 26 Lb. sporting bikes for pleasure, exercise and other non-tangible reasons.

The joy of rolling along at 20-25 mph (32-40 kph) and feeling the wind and the road is what drives me to ride... then there's coming down a long hill, taking curves at 35 mph+ (56 kph). That all brings back the joys of my misspent youth!

That's one reason why I collect and ride classic steel derailleur bikes!

Life is too short to drink cheap wine... :-)

BTW, speaking of Jinglish, in Japan, back in the 70s the name for the mini-muscle car Datsun 240Z (and so on) was "Fair Lady Blue Bird"! Brings out the testosterone in you doesn't it!

verktyg

Chas.
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Old 03-07-15, 06:57 PM
  #48  
old's'cool
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Excellent summary, verktyg, thanks!
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Old 03-07-15, 07:40 PM
  #49  
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@verktyg Thanks for that! I've been wondering about what exactly the "Fuji 331" steel in my America was made out of, and you've given me a very probable answer (4130).
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Old 03-08-15, 09:52 AM
  #50  
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I'd say that the "gas-pipe" term as we throw around can mean anything less than the Mangaloy level, but I take this just from the popular, current usage of this term.
Like Chas said, we often don't really know what kind of steel that a lower-level bike's frame sticker is used to describe.

I somewhat have an issue with describing a stiff frame as "dead". It's just not what comes to mind.
And "lively" as flexible, doesn't seem intuitive either.
But I know that many have these terms down by now, at least within the world of bike discussion. I just call a spade a spade and say a "stiff" frame is stiff and that a "flexy" frame is flexy.
The French terminology as stated by Chas does seem to make the most sense, intuitively.

Of course a bike's dimensions and geometry can also weigh hugely in terms of how a frame's flex characteristics are expressed, so this is a big part of the art of bicycle frameset design.
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