Is a steel frame a steel frame, a steel frame?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is a steel frame a steel frame, a steel frame?

    x-post. I know, a stupid question, but are most steel frames pretty much comparable in stregnth? I know there are different factors, as far as material, and thickness, but in xc riding would any steel frame make do? I wanted to biuld a steel hardtail for xc riding. I eventually want an on one, but as a budget build with most of the parts being spares I had in the garage, I bought for $40 otd, a schwinn frontier steel hardtail frame. The whole build cost about $150. The welds look good, and the frame looks and feels sturdy. My concern is how well it will hold up. So what makes this frame different from any other(non custom) steel hardtail?

  2. #2
    Rod
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    How much does it weigh? Some steel frames weigh a ton. The first thing that comes to mind is the steel nashbar hardtail frame that weighs a lot.

  3. #3
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    It really doesnt weigh that much more then my alum ones. There is a sticker that says cro-mo hi tens. Here are some pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Just another FOC'er
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    Steel frames hold up a lot longer than Aluminum. I've got a 20+ year old steel hardtail that I bought new and I still ride it occasionally. My biggest problems with it are the fact it's got no disk brake tabs and the headtube is the old threaded type.

    Your Schwinn looks great, I would sweat it breaking anytime soon if ever.

  5. #5
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    I'm in the same boat as you. I currently ride a 1991 Haro Extreme. Chro-Mo steel. Weighs 33 lbs (on the bathroom scale)


    Steel is great on the trails. Very little flex.

  6. #6
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    This frame came along at the right time. I have two fs, and three alum ht's, so naturally I wanted a steel ht. I had almost all the parts for another bike, and just needed a frame.

  7. #7
    Former Bike Wrench
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    The Schwinn Frontier steel frame is a mostly 1020 Hi-Tensile frame with I believe a 4130 CroMoly seat tube. Hi-Ten steel is weaker than standard CroMoly steel and even more weaker than some of the more exotic air hardened steel (think Reynolds 853, True Temper OX Gold, etc.). So to compensate, bikes made with Hi-Ten steel will use more material. While a higher end 19" steel frame will usually weigh between 4-4.5 lbs, a Hi-Ten steel frame will easily exceed 6 lbs. Also, because Hi-Ten steel frames have much thicker tube walls and are generally not butted, they tend to have a "dead" feel to them, unlike the classic "lively" feel of a high end steel frame. But as far as durability, it should hold up fine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    Also, because Hi-Ten steel frames have much thicker tube walls and are generally not butted, they tend to have a "dead" feel to them, unlike the classic "lively" feel of a high end steel frame. But as far as durability, it should hold up fine.

    So this is going to ride like an alum ht? Well, sh!t, that blows.

  9. #9
    ups and downs
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    probably ride like a heavy straight gauge aluminium frame but be 2 pounds heavier...

    read more about steel frame tubing here...

    http://www.reynoldscycles.co.uk/cgi-...act=c&l=1&c=20

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

  10. #10
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    Frontier IS a frame that is found in walmart... so... Basically all the hype about steel is with the high end stuff in terms of ride quality. The cheap stuff works.. but maybe not as well, is a lot heavier too.

  11. #11
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    Try tracking down a nice Kona Explosif frame

    http://www.konaworld.com/frames_main.htm

    nice lively and fairly inexpensive steel hardtail...

  12. #12
    Rod
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    I saw a jamis dakota xc, reynolds 853 steel frame, on ebay for 125 bucks buy it now. The bike new and fully assembled was 1500, so it's not a low quality frame. I'm sure that frame is worth more than 125 dollars. If I rode a 21'' frame I would pick it up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeegeek2112
    So this is going to ride like an alum ht? Well, sh!t, that blows.
    You are under the misconception that the material dictates the ride quality of the frame. It does not. It is HOW the material is used, not WHICH material.

    A light, lively bike can be made from aluminum, steel or titanium.

    A heavy, dead feeling bike can be built from the same materials.

    The trade offs are durability and cost.
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