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Old 03-30-07, 03:41 AM   #1
GCRyder
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Creative "live with" stuck seatpost solutions?

I recently spent $35 on an early 80's Univega with the infamous SR LaPrade fluted seatpost. It's stuck - REALLY stuck. The paint burned off around the seat cluster should have been a clue - live and learn, but at the price I paid, I probably would have taken the bet, anyway. I've worked my way through all of the suggested solutions, including alchemy, in Sheldon Brown's "15 ways" article - freon, PB blaster and ammonia have all failed, as has brute force in the vice and hammering on a pipe wrench. Sheldon's suggestion of using the saddle for leverage was a joke - I mangled the saddle with my bare hands in about 20 seconds. I'm right at the "last resort" point where I'm about to cut through the post and slice it into sections. Unfortunately, I spent some time reading the "screwed the pooch" thread from a few months ago on the C&V forum, and I expect I'll find a tube with 1/2" thick walls when I make the cut.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has some creative solutions for living with the post as is, or modifying it to make it work without getting it freed. The saddle needs to be about 1 1/2" higher. One thing that's occured to me, for instance, is that I could just cut the post and drill/tap into the two sections, and put a smaller-diameter hollow tube and supporting spacers in the middle. Anybody out there have experience with some other "live with it" solution to this problem?
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Old 03-30-07, 04:08 AM   #2
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Try and find a really tall saddle? Low profile pedals?

I'd whip out the saw if the above two don't help.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:33 AM   #3
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Consider it a cheap mistake.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:22 AM   #4
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Ugh. I just went through this on a junky old frame I was building up for one of my kids.

All the various techniques failed. Spent more than a month with the frame variously filled with liquid wrench and vinegar. Unleashed my inner Gorilla on it. Nothing.

So, last weekend I cut off the post and then started slicing up the post into sections from the inside using a hacksaw blade. Managed that without screwing up the frame tubing (took HOURS). But none of the sections I created would budge either.

Then, I did something stupid. I figured if I put a cold chisel on one of the sections and pounded it down that it would break free and thereby free up the whole mess. Well. It finally budged. The whole thing finally budged. I pushed the whole thing down into the frame out of reach.

I halfheartedly tried to pull it out (running a threaded rod down the center, threading on a couple of nuts and then trying to pull the mess up). No deal. Re-stuck.

So, I pushed it all down as far as it would go and will just put a different post in over it.

On my bike, the knowledge that my seat tube was filled with extra aluminum would drive me nuts. But on a beater kids bike I think I can come ot grips with it. Maybe it makes the tube stronger, right? Maybe he will grow into a powerful sprinter and needs that extra frame strength, right?

Good luck.

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Old 03-30-07, 08:09 AM   #5
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oh I thought you were looking for creative uses for the frame if you couldn't get the post out.

we used to cut off the top and down tube at the seat tube/bottom bracket, spread the chainstays about a foot apart, put on a huge cruiser seat, and make a stool out of the thing.

cdr
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Old 03-30-07, 08:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgedwa
On my bike, the knowledge that my seat tube was filled with extra aluminum would drive me nuts. jim
Definite sign
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Old 03-30-07, 10:28 AM   #7
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Cut the seatpost off close to the frame. Then take a hacksaw blade and carefully make a couple of longitudinal cuts in it.
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Old 03-30-07, 12:19 PM   #8
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maybe try drilling a hole in it big enough to get a good sized screwdriver in it...then an even longer pipe to get a bunch of leverage on it to try and spin it free then it could slide out once you break it free enough to spin around. just a try before you go performing surgery on it.
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Old 03-30-07, 12:27 PM   #9
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How about cutting the post of level with the top of the ST, then threading a toggle bolt onto the end of a slide hammer, clamp the frame in a vice and muscle it free that way? Make sense?
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File Type: jpg toggle.jpg (11.5 KB, 3 views)
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Old 03-30-07, 12:46 PM   #10
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lennard zinn has something to say about stuck posts in his book that is coming out.

here it is.

cdr
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Old 03-30-07, 01:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions. The brute force and leverage methods have already failed, including all of the methods prior to step seven of the Zinn how-to. I've considered using longer cranks and a taller saddle, but doubt that will get me enough separation. As a C&V devotee, it's hard for me to admit, but I've also considered the "Consider it a cheap mistake" option. I honestly bought this bike intending to move its classy 600 Arabesque components over to a much nicer-looking Univega frame that has been in storage. But if you frequent the C&V threads, you know that these frames are dearly beloved, sort of "under the radar" classics made by Miyata from some really quality material. When I got this one home from the second-hand store and weighed it, my jaw dropped - 23.2 pounds, even with 27" wheels, cheapo tires and this despicable beast of a seatpost. It makes a perfect "stealthy beater."

Anyone know how I might be able to learn the inside diameters of available seatposts? This one is standard, early 80's 26.8mm OD, and since seatposts have become both larger and thinner-walled since those days, I'm wondering if it might be possible to find one with an inside diameter that would nest over the stub of the old beast, and that I could cut short and fortify with a cross-bolt.

Last edited by GCRyder; 03-30-07 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 03-30-07, 01:40 PM   #12
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I watched my mechanic to the "vertical cuts" method on my stuck post about 4 weeks ago. It works. After you make two cuts, bend or crack off the piece between the cuts. Crush the remaining seatpost with a pliers, grasp it with a vise grips and twist it out.

It's not easy, nor pretty. the mechanic used a 'sawsall'. Using a manual saw would take a while. Be careful note to cut too far into the seat tube.

good luck.

joel
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Old 03-30-07, 02:35 PM   #13
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I have a bike that pretty much exclusively gets ridden to school and back. Campus is about 7/10th of a mile from my apartment. Anyways my point is that I keep the seat on that one low since I share it with my gf, I would estimate it's around 1.5" low for me and for short distances like that I hardly notice.
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Old 03-30-07, 05:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCRyder
Anyone know how I might be able to learn the inside diameters of available seatposts? This one is standard, early 80's 26.8mm OD, and since seatposts have become both larger and thinner-walled since those days, I'm wondering if it might be possible to find one with an inside diameter that would nest over the stub of the old beast, and that I could cut short and fortify with a cross-bolt.
I have a SR LaPrade seatpost 26.6mm OD marked '87 that is ~19.4mm ID, so don't plan on putting anything inside. Also in the parts bin I have a Syncros 26.8 OD with fairly thin walls. It has a 22.85 ID, so you lose about 4mm. 26.8mm + 4mm = 30.8mm OD for your outside post. I'll bet you can find one that works.
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Old 03-30-07, 05:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpiuva
I have a SR LaPrade seatpost 26.6mm OD marked '87 that is ~19.4mm ID, so don't plan on putting anything inside. Also in the parts bin I have a Syncros 26.8 OD with fairly thin walls. It has a 22.85 ID, so you lose about 4mm. 26.8mm + 4mm = 30.8mm OD for your outside post. I'll bet you can find one that works.
That's the kind of thing I need to know. For those who haven't see the C&V thread referenced in my OP, this is why I'm not confident that I'll be able to crush and twist it out even if I get it cut into segments:
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Old 03-30-07, 05:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jroth
I watched my mechanic to the "vertical cuts" method on my stuck post about 4 weeks ago. It works. After you make two cuts, bend or crack off the piece between the cuts. Crush the remaining seatpost with a pliers, grasp it with a vise grips and twist it out.

At the risk of sounding harsh to the OP, cutting the seat post out with a hack saw blade is THE CORRECT SOLUTION. Pick up a handle that is designed to hold a hack saw blade and use a medium course toothed blade like an 18 tooth/inch. Cut the seat post off but leave about one inch above the top tube so you can peel the section out of the frame once you get the seat post cut. Use smooth even strokes and watch your progress using a flash light to keep from cutting through into the frame. Take your time and you will get it. I extracted a seat post this way once and it was not bad at all – took about one hour.

Fix the frame the right way, you will gain satisfaction after the job is completed.

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Old 03-30-07, 06:16 PM   #17
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i havent dealt with this problem personally, but im just offering something that sounds good in my head

drill a hole horizontally through the seat post, then use a strong thick screwdriver with a breaker bar to turn the seat post, you know to get it loosened up?
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Old 03-30-07, 06:50 PM   #18
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I had the same SR LaPrade stuck on an early 80s Specialized. Luckily, I didn't have the same problem - it came loose with Wd40 and brute force. But I agree with the OP, even though cutting with a hacksaw is probably the "correct" solution, it may take nearly forever. Those seatposts must weight 3 pounds!

I had to replace mine because the saddle mount was stripped out - the cheapo, on-size fits all replacement weighed less than the LaPrade, at twice the length (before I shortened it).

If you are willing to take the time and cut it (which it seems you are), more than likely it will work. It just might take a while.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:06 PM   #19
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Be careful using extreme twisting force - you could ruin the frame. Another way would be to cut the seatpost and ream it with an adjustable reamer, if it's not very far into the seat tube.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:14 PM   #20
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just an idea here, but it can't hurt, I suppose...

If the inside of your seatpost looks like the one in the pic above when you get it cut open, a drill press and a jig and a 1" (or smaller) drill bit would probably save a lot of hacksaw-time and make it easier to crush and remove once you had it sectioned. although that's probably mentioned in one of those links up there that I didn't read.

I wouldn't try it without a press and jig though, it'd be too easy to get into the seat tube.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:27 PM   #21
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If the frame is semi-beater you could drill a small hole in the bottom bracket shell and drive a rod through the shell onto the edge of seat post. Bang on the rod, it bangs onto the seat post. I think you'll find it best if you remove the bottom bracket first .

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Old 03-30-07, 09:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrapple

If you are willing to take the time and cut it (which it seems you are), more than likely it will work. It just might take a while.
I'm willing to spend the time to do this the "correct" way, and I have the tools called for. What has me considering alternatives is what I've seen from spending several hours over multiple days reading "frozen seatpost" threads. Quite a few posts from people who've dealt with this specific LaPrade post. I have yet to come across a single account from anyone who succeeded in cutting this post out. Being the first to succeed where others have failed is a nice aspiration, but the effort has to be tempered with some realism.
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Old 03-30-07, 09:38 PM   #23
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The walls of that post are much thicker than my 2 LaPrades. To be able to get a wedge out is going to require a large kerf. Good luck if you try, maybe you can be the first.
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Old 03-31-07, 02:56 AM   #24
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The idea of cutting two slits and bending is not workable on suche a thickwalled post IMO. Go the slow and tedious way of cutting more slits and prying the slivers out. Once you have got one sliver out the process gets easier. I have taken out some posts and stems this way. It just takes a lot of time. And get the best toothed blade for aluminum you can get. Have fun
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Old 03-31-07, 06:48 AM   #25
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+1 on this idea

I think we've got a winner here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandnhome
just an idea here, but it can't hurt, I suppose...

If the inside of your seatpost looks like the one in the pic above when you get it cut open, a drill press and a jig and a 1" (or smaller) drill bit would probably save a lot of hacksaw-time and make it easier to crush and remove once you had it sectioned. although that's probably mentioned in one of those links up there that I didn't read.

I wouldn't try it without a press and jig though, it'd be too easy to get into the seat tube.
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