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How bad is a high tensile steel frame really?

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by Roadrunner78, 22 Oct 2010.

  1. Roadrunner78

    Roadrunner78 Senior Member

    I've been researching for my next bike. I love steel! I mean alloy steel like Reynolds etc. In my research I came across a forum where this guy was talking about his old steel bike.. Except it was a hi ten frame he was talking about. He said he replaced stuff as it broke as it was cheap to start with but 25 years on the frame is fine?!?

    Also quoted from same forum "all that titanium and lightweight components ruined by a thermos and and a pickle sandwich".

    I guess if I think about it I know quite a few family members and friends with 15+ year old cheap steel bikes that still run fine. Heck my wifes bike from her teens is still in her dads shed!
  2. marcw

    marcw Well-Known Member

    I've got a HiTen Japanese bike that my dad gave me 17 years ago. It would have been several years old then. The frame is fine, has chips all over it but rust hasn't taken hold, has been stored in a dry garage when not in use. Some of the tubes make a nice ping when you flick them, others a dull thud. I guess they are the cheap ones.
  3. Gerry Attrick

    Gerry Attrick Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant

    From a durability point of view, HT frames are fine. I still have an old Dawes Shadow in HT which is now my pub bike. All is original on it and it runs fine. The snags with HT is that it is heavy and has no flexibility where it matters. The result is an unforgiving, unyielding frame with on rough roads is tiring and uncomfortable to ride.
  4. snailracer

    snailracer Über Member

    Probably no more so than an aluminium-framed bike.
  5. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    That can be the case but I don't think it is a guarantee. My Peugeot UO-8 rides fine, on the other hand, I have a cheap sit up and beg lady's bike from the early '80s which can be a bit rough at speed but this type of bike wasn't really built for speed (and the bolt upright riding position feeds every bump into your spine. Spring saddle on the shopping list). If it's unbearably harsh, you've over-inflated your tyres.
  6. dav1d

    dav1d Senior Member

    I don't know how bad a Hi tensile frame is, but thought I should point out my 1990's Apollo bike is Hi Tensile steel, so it may not be so good. Having said that though, it's coped well with overloaded heavy pannier bags.
  7. Gerry Attrick

    Gerry Attrick Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant

    Perhaps I could have expressed myself more clearly. My last sentence should be "The result is a frame with a tendency towards an unforgiving and unyielding ride on rough roads which can be tiring."

    There are always going to be some frames better than others of the same material. But that applies whatever the material.
  8. OP

    Roadrunner78 Senior Member

    Thanks for the replies. Im still a fan of quality steel bikes. There is a place for the hi ten tho.
  9. dav1d

    dav1d Senior Member

    I've looked properly at my Apollo, it doesn't actually say steel on it, just says "Hi tensile special tubing", so I imagine it is some cheap frame material?

  10. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    My first multi-geared bike was a Hi-ten framed bike. It was a Halfords Olympic 26" youths sports bike.

    I used to ride 50 miles in a day on that at twelve years old.

    By gad, it got me fit. I was chosen as Loose Head Prop in the school rugby team and my side of the scrum always wheeled round forward.