First Birthday Ride and Seat Tube Miscellany
Last year I got back into biking in early May, and by the time my birthday rolled around I was only doing 15 mile rides. I wanted to try a 31 mile "Birthday Ride", but that amount of distance seemed so monumentally epic that I just couldn't do it.
Fast forward a year. 32 mile Birthday Ride:
The difference between today and a year ago? Today's 32 mile ride is merely the smallest ride I'll be doing this week. Did 35 on Sunday, 50 on Monday, 32 today, and my plan is to do 40 tomorrow and 50 on Saturday. Funny how times change. Let's hope next year I'll be doing twice as much without batting an eye.
Last night I was looking at some pics of my bike that I took right after getting it from the bike shop. That's when I noticed that I could see the entire seatpost logo, with an inch to spare before the tube got hidden in the seat tube. That didn't seem right to me, so I looked at the bike, and sure enough, more than half the seatpost logo was below the clamp. The really odd thing is, I just raised the seat about an inch a few weeks ago to its current position. I hadn't realised the seat had fallen so much since November. My theory is that riding it in the Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar cold, the metal contracted and made the seat post fall down about 4 inches.
So today I corrected the tube length to where it was when I was initially fit, based on the photograph and visible wear pattern on the tube. At first it felt alien, I had been biking for months at a much lower seat length even though I was fitted for a much higher position (and indeed, when the LBS guy fit me he said I should raise it in a few months after I get used to the high position, for more power). The first thing I noticed? I had far more power than usual. Today there was a very stiff wind, but rather than my usual "oh god where did my legs go?" feeling as soon as I hit the headwind, I was able to easily power through it 2-3mph faster than normal. After 10 miles into the wind, my average speed was 15mph... something I've never done before. Amazing!
Some of you may recall my thread a week back lamenting about how much more difficult I am finding hills. I am now thinking that the difficulty I was facing was primarily caused by my bike falling into a less-optimal fit. I found myself powering up bridges and minor hills at a full 15-17mph at times; inclines that would have normally dropped me to 10 or even less. Into the wind, no less. Granted, longer slopes of a half-mile or more still ended up dropping my speed down to 10mph, which means I still have to work on my long haul endurance, but tonight was extremely encouraging.
The only issue of course was that my seatpost seemed to have dropped an inch over tonights ride. I've already readjusted it upward again, but this actually worries me and I'm wondering if I'm going to have to readjust it after every ride. Lord knows the constant unscrewing and rescrewing will end up weakening the clamp long before its life should end. As clydes, is this a common problem? Is there a common solution to this? I'm using a Surly seatpost clamp, 30mm. Are there clamps better suited for, erm, people of stature? I tightened the clamp as much as I dared to. I'm not entirely certain what the proper torque is, and I'm worried about stripping the screw.
Ask your LBS if they have something they can recommend for putting on your seat post. For carbon seat posts, I have a tube of something to wipe on the post first that makes it a little grittier, there may exist a similar product for you. As far as I know, the worst thing you can do is strip your seat post screw and that's hardly the end of the world. I have a carbon post and a carbon frame and I crank right down on mine.
My spouse had this problem and the LBS gave him a new heavy duty clamp. No issues since.
Originally Posted by Mithrandir