Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-13-09, 03:09 PM   #1
kinokokun
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
aluminum seat post stuck in steel frame removal (success) story

I bought a vintage Trek frame a few weeks ago only to find the seatpost severely stuck in the frame. The guys at the LBS put it in the table vise but it wouldn't budge. I finally got it out by soaking it in ammonia and then using a pipe wrench. Here's what I learned here and elsewhere about stuck seat posts:

* Pay attention to what metals you are working with. I figured my post was aluminum because a magnet did not stick (though apparently this is not a foolproof test). The LBS guys heated up my post which would actually cause it to expand (in a way this could still be good after the post cooled down, maybe?). Apparently with steel frame and aluminum post you want to cool everything and then heat the frame because the steel will expand faster than aluminum (saw that on a post here I believe). I eventually removed the seat post without using any heating or cooling.

* Sheldon is right that ammonia eats at the corrosion that forms between steel and aluminum. I turned the bike over and poured the ammonia (bought it at Kroger grocery for $1.99) into the seat tube from the bottom bracket area. I was able to fill up the whole seat tube until I could see from the BB hole that it was full (it leaked out very slowly if at all -- luckily my seat post was impermeable and I did not have to use any tape). I let it sit for about 48 hours, occasionally banging a bit with wood on the seat post and seat tube hoping to move things around a bit.

* Sheldon might be wrong when he says not to use a pipe wrench. A pipe wrench, I found out, is designed to tighten onto a round pipe as you pull. I was finally able to free my post by putting the pipe wrench on there, laying the bike over, and, using the ground as leverage against the end of the pipe wrench, standing on the whole thing so that the force of my weight downward turned the wrench.

* There's this place called Harbor Freight that has ridiculously cheap tools and other hardware store items (thanks to the LBS for this tip!). If there is one near you I would definitely check it out: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/retail_stores.taf

* Word, thanks to everyone else who posted on stuck seat posts and helped me free mine!

Last edited by kinokokun; 07-13-09 at 03:17 PM.
kinokokun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 03:59 PM   #2
Panthers007
Great State of Varmint
 
Panthers007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dante's Third Ring
Bikes:
Posts: 7,479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The LBS might want you to shop at Harbor Fright (as I call it) as their tools are cheap and tend to break - or damage what you're working on. Then you'll need to take your bike back to the LBS for surgery.

Perhaps this may be a cynical point-of-view, but Harbor Fright tools, by and large, are garbage. There are a few exceptions though. My advice is to save up your money to by the BEST tools made for bicycles. Unlike Harbor Freight's offerings, you won't end up buying top-quality tools twice.
Panthers007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 04:08 PM   #3
kinokokun
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
The LBS might want you to shop at Harbor Fright (as I call it) as their tools are cheap and tend to break - or damage what you're working on. Then you'll need to take your bike back to the LBS for surgery.

Perhaps this may be a cynical point-of-view, but Harbor Fright tools, by and large, are garbage. There are a few exceptions though. My advice is to save up your money to by the BEST tools made for bicycles. Unlike Harbor Freight's offerings, you won't end up buying top-quality tools twice.
Yeah I think it depends a lot on what you are getting. I got some compartmentalized plastic storage cases for a couple of bucks, locktite $1.99, a big steel pipe wrench $7.99, a nice hammer $2.99, orange hand cleaner $1.99. I probably wouldn't go for their $14.99 drill, though.
kinokokun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 04:10 PM   #4
kenhill3
use your best eye
 
kenhill3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Olympia, Washington
Bikes: '75 Bertin, '93 Parkpre Team 925, '04 Kona King Kikapu, '05 Bianchi Vigorelli
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
The LBS might want you to shop at Harbor Fright (as I call it) as their tools are cheap and tend to break - or damage what you're working on. Then you'll need to take your bike back to the LBS for surgery.

Perhaps this may be a cynical point-of-view, but Harbor Fright tools, by and large, are garbage. There are a few exceptions though. My advice is to save up your money to by the BEST tools made for bicycles. Unlike Harbor Freight's offerings, you won't end up buying top-quality tools twice.
LOL! I'll add the moniker: Horrible Fright.

I work as a carpenter and will never buy a crap tool there unless I plan to use it once then throw away. I do buy some consumables there like SDS masonry bits.

HF= Godawful crap. I've ended up hating the smell of cosmoline or whatever the hell it is hanging in the air there.

End of rant.
__________________
"I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.
kenhill3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 07:36 PM   #5
bikemeister
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes:
Posts: 771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Appreciate that info about the ammonia, newbie!
Gotta love a forum like this - everybody can learn something!
bikemeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 02:43 AM   #6
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 5,489
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kinokokun View Post
...
* Sheldon might be wrong when he says not to use a pipe wrench.
No, but you're working from different premises. A pipe wrench is likely to gouge the post severely, even to the point of making it structurally inadvisable to reuse the freed post. it you have no intention of re-use, this concern of course goes right out the window.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinokokun View Post
....A pipe wrench, I found out, is designed to tighten onto a round pipe as you pull.
... And can easily do so to the point where the post caves in on itself, which isn't a problem either if you see the post as sacrificial. If you've grasped the post right where it exits the frame, squashing it will turn the situation from bad to worse.

If it's a post with an integrated saddle clamp, grasp immediately below the clamp where the post is at its strongest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinokokun View Post
...I was finally able to free my post by putting the pipe wrench on there, laying the bike over, and, using the ground as leverage against the end of the pipe wrench, standing on the whole thing so that the force of my weight downward turned the wrench.
Great care needs to be taken with that kind of brute force approach, you can bend a frame/drop outs that way.

Anyhow, congrats on getting it out.
dabac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 09:35 AM   #7
dwood
Keeping A Low Profile
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Atascadero, California
Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Sport [1998], Dahon Speed P8 2007, 1994 Diamond Back Ascent and a couple of Schwinn Stingrays [one boys, one girls] from circa 1977.
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=Apparently with steel frame and aluminum post you want to cool everything and then heat the frame because the steel will expand faster than aluminum (saw that on a post here I believe).QUOTE]

The coefficient of expansion of aluminum is greater than steel, so the aluminum post will expand faster than the steel frame. Using heat with an aluminum/steel problem is usually a bad idea.

DON
dwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 10:04 AM   #8
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
Posts: 6,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwood View Post
The coefficient of expansion of aluminum is greater than steel, so the aluminum post will expand faster than the steel frame. Using heat with an aluminum/steel problem is usually a bad idea. DON
Unless the steel is on the inside - like pedals stuck in crank arms. Boiling water is not hot enough to damage a crank arm, but will cause enough expansion.
AndrewP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-15, 11:36 AM   #9
brianbarber
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I hesitate to resurrect dead threads, but this is one of the ones I read when trying to extract an extremely stuck seatpost. I had to resort to sawing it out. Here is my success story: The Experimental Runner: The Straight Goods on Removing a Stuck Seatpost. Thanks, everyone! Let the build begin...

Last edited by brianbarber; 02-09-15 at 11:45 AM. Reason: typo
brianbarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-15, 01:27 PM   #10
le mans
Senior Member
 
le mans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Australia
Bikes: Many [fluctuates]
Posts: 304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i used the same procedure for a steel seatpost stuck in a steel frame, except i soaked it with vinegar with success. gripped the bottom of the seatpost with a large pipe wrench.. got it out.. which left a few marks but it didn't matter.. it was positioned pretty high for my liking and is reusable.
i have another one coming up but its an alloy seatpost stuck in a steel frame, it isn't set too high and i want to reuse it for the bike. should be a challenge.
le mans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-15, 10:22 PM   #11
Jimsl78
Senior Member
 
Jimsl78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ontario Canada
Bikes: mostly old steel 70's 80's 90's
Posts: 117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbarber View Post
I hesitate to resurrect dead threads, but this is one of the ones I read when trying to extract an extremely stuck seatpost. I had to resort to sawing it out. Here is my success story: The Experimental Runner: The Straight Goods on Removing a Stuck Seatpost. Thanks, everyone! Let the build begin...
Sweet victory comes to those who refuse to give up.
Most people wouldn't go through all the trouble and they don't understand, but you made it your mission to save that frame from becoming trash!
Bravo!
Jimsl78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-15, 01:34 AM   #12
lopek77
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: lower mitten
Bikes: With round 700c & 26" wheels
Posts: 1,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
lopek77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-15, 05:48 AM   #13
Canker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
I used the lye method on my surly. I tried cutting out the seatpost but didn't have the patients for that crap. Then I tried using an adjustable reamer which worked pretty well but I couldn't get it deep enough into the bike frame to get all the seat post. After I reamed a lot of the post out I tried jamming things like screwdrivers down between the frame and seatpost hoping to break it free but all that did was totally mangle what was left of the seat post. Then I finally decided to go with lye because I had nothing left to loose. Wish I had just done that from the start. Had what was left of the set post dissolved in a day or two with very little effort on my part. Just had to go out and refresh the solution every so many hours. You don't have to go to the extreme hazmat setup they used but you do need to be carefull.

Last edited by Canker; 02-10-15 at 05:54 AM.
Canker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-15, 07:56 AM   #14
Reynolds 
Passista
 
Reynolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes: 1998 Pinarello Asolo, 1992 KHS Montaņa pro, 1980 Raleigh DL-1, IGH Hybrid, IGH Utility
Posts: 5,483
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Brute rotating force can tear open a thin wall seat tube (I saw this happen - not to me).
Reynolds is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-15, 12:52 PM   #15
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Bikes: '89 Miyata 1400, '82 nishiski (current utilty/commuter project)
Posts: 4,141
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbarber View Post
I hesitate to resurrect dead threads, but this is one of the ones I read when trying to extract an extremely stuck seatpost. I had to resort to sawing it out. Here is my success story: The Experimental Runner: The Straight Goods on Removing a Stuck Seatpost. Thanks, everyone! Let the build begin...
that is not true since that is exactly what you have done with 3 out of your 4 total post.

Just post and quit reviving threads
__________________
'82 Nishiski commuter/utility
'83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
'89 Miyata 1400
Soma rush Fixie
06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
Electra cruiser (wife's bike)
squirtdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-15, 01:16 PM   #16
brianbarber
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Will do, squirtdad. I'm normally a good little poster, but I saw a different collection of posters on each thread and wanted to let all of them know how much they helped. Thanks for your input, too. I suppose I let my enthusiasm get the best of me.
brianbarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:31 AM.