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I've recently saw that a bmx frame was hydroformed.Is it better than not hydroformed?

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Better how? Easier? Cheaper? Stronger? More flexibility in the manufacturing process? And better than what? – jimirings Jun 6 '14 at 16:56
@jimirings "better than not hydroformed" for example stronger final design per same amount of material.What do you mean by "Easier?"? – BMXftw Jun 6 '14 at 18:11
I meant easier to manufacture. My point is that asking if something is better is open to various interpretations based on what it's better for or how it's better. – jimirings Jun 6 '14 at 21:38

According to wikipedia, hydroforming is a cost-effective way of shaping ductile metals such as aluminum, brass, low alloy steels, stainless steel into lightweight, structurally stiff and strong pieces.

In reality, most aluminium frames are made this way. They start with a simple round tube and form it in more suitable shapes. You wil have to look hard to find non-hydroformed frames.

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I've actually read that article but I'm still asking "Is it better than not hydroformed?" "You will have to look hard to find non-hydroformed frames." After reviewing countless bmxes this is the first one showing off a hydroformed frame. – BMXftw Jun 6 '14 at 15:44
@BMXftw - on the assumption that Papuass makes that most BMX bikes are hydroformed, when the catalog you've seen describes the bike as hydroformed, that sounds like the marketing department to me. I must admit I'd never heard the word before I read your question - odds are it is designed to impress thickies like me. – PeteH Jun 6 '14 at 18:56
Where do you get your information that most frames are made this way? – Paparazzi Jun 6 '14 at 20:02

Not inherently, but hydroformed tubing has more possible shapes and distributions of material, and potentially allows the bicycle designer to design a lighter bike of the same strength, or a stronger bike of the same weight.

Or maybe the bike just looks cooler.

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Where do you get your information that hydroformed tubing has more possible shapes? What I know it is just the opposite. – Paparazzi Jun 6 '14 at 20:14
"more possible shapes" than what? Casting? Extruding? – Nuі Jun 7 '14 at 4:41
@Nuі See my answer. Than air forming. – Paparazzi Jun 8 '14 at 20:05

I think this link to Niner explains it best

The answer is that is depends


Frames with simpler shapes can be hydroformed and still achieve the tolerances we need to create a light, strong bike. Frames with very complex shaping or with tubes that need to interface with bearings or pivot hardware are typically airformed. Airforming allows for much more precise tolerances and more elaborate shapes that can include both bending and twisting. A great example of this level of complexity is the stay bridge on our alloy full suspension frames.

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That link is very informative, thanks. – Nuі Jun 7 '14 at 4:40

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