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Old 12-30-08, 05:27 PM   #1
europa
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Seat post tantrums

For a combination of reasons, some that even make sense, I've been forced to drop the saddle on my Jamis by nearly 2 cm ... after 1,000 happy km at the old height

Trouble is, she's a very big frame and before I reached the right spot (I was still getting slight lower back pain), my beautiful FSA seat post with exactly the right amount of set back (I need a lot) decided it wouldn't go any further - it swells slightly at just the wrong spot

So I dug out the old seat post, a cheap, horrible unit with a daft adjustment system on top that doesn't have those deep splines that a lot do and which relies on guess, pagan gods and human sacrifice to set correctly ... which goes a long way to explaining why it's been in the spare parts box

I installed said horror and was able to get the saddle height right at last
I also fitted a nice new Brooks B17
The old B17 which had been on the Jamis is going onto my Europa - I did the swap because I've got a lot of commuting coming up so the new saddle will get broken in quickly.

Anyways, the new saddle is nicely adjusted and settling in fine (comfy right out of the box), I'm 20 km into my ride to work when all of a sudden it starts feeling weird, then definitely rude Yup, the stupid seat post clamp had shifted and the nose was tilting upwards at a definitely uncool angle. Only 2km to work so I toughed it out and fixed it at lunch time.

That rotten seat post shifted twice on the way home
Then again on the way to work yesterday
Lunchtime again. Set saddle. Do a gorilla act on the allen key.

It didn't shift at all on the way home.
Nor did it shift on the way to work today.
Am I happy?
Not on your flamin' life! I've set it too flat haven't I and keep sliding off towards the nose. It's not out by much, just enough to really give me the tom tits and the worst part is, now that I've got it so it won't shift while riding, I've got to loosen the stupid thing to adjust it again

Yes, I will be buying a new seat post ... but have no idea when I'll be able to get to the lbs.

Grumps
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Old 12-30-08, 05:59 PM   #2
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Richard, I'm sorry you're having seat post trouble but I love your descriptive post.
"Tom tits" You're a fellow curmudgeon after my own heart..

Once, I broke a seat post clamp and of course the seat post drops all the way into the frame.
Try pedaling 30 miles home with your knees practically touching your ears!
It looked ridiculous.

Hope you get to the LBS soon!
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Old 12-31-08, 01:14 AM   #3
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Check that the post is not so long that it goes down into the seat post into an area where there is a burr or thickening of the internal diameter to stop it being inserted too far.
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Old 12-31-08, 01:19 AM   #4
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Check that the post is not so long that it goes down into the seat post into an area where there is a burr or thickening of the internal diameter to stop it being inserted too far.
Sadly, that's not the problem (easy fix if it was). The post has a cast head on it and starts to swell noticeably just where I don't want it - there are even scrape marks made by the top of the downtube made when I twisted the seat post trying to make it go deeper.

Hmm, I wonder if I could take a hacksaw to the top of the seat post ...

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Old 12-31-08, 09:07 AM   #5
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I guess if I said it was really the B17 that caused the issues it might start a riot???
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Old 12-31-08, 07:20 PM   #6
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I guess if I said it was really the B17 that caused the issues it might start a riot???
For once, the B17 is quite innocent of complicity.

I seem to have the thing settled at a reasonable angle at the moment. Now the front gear shifting refuses to work properly. Dead set, this ruddy bike is possessed!

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Old 01-01-09, 08:22 AM   #7
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For such a "minor" component, the seat post really is an important bit. I've had similar issues with a post in the past. That is, after 30 or 40 miles, no matter how securely it was tightened, the thing would allow the saddle to slip and rock backward. I'm happy to say that the seat post was unceremoniously discarded upon the purchase of a new one. (I'm a bit surprised we haven't seen the "get a bent" post yet.) Now in terms of the bike being possessed, perhaps it is just in need of more of your undivided attention. Often children will act up in a bid to get attention from the adults around them. Have you cleaned, polished, readjusted cables, repacked bearings with new grease, cleaned and lubricated the chain, gone over the wheels with a spoke wrench, and put on new bar wrap and break pads lately? This mis-behavior might just be the bikes way of seeking more attention.
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Old 01-01-09, 03:20 PM   #8
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The bent boys already have chapter and verse of my bent woes. Actually, the last twelve months on bikes have been a litany of similar tales ... and it all started when I ordered the bent. Them bents truly are instruments of the great horned one. For the record, the bent isn't for sale, it's gathering dust until I can devote some time to it.

As for attention on this bike. If she can't accept that my favourite is the old green Europa in my avatar she ain't welcome. I gave her a good bath yesterday. Tried out Sheldon Brown's chain in the bottle technique ... and had the cut the bottle open to get the chain out We'll see how it shifts today. That drive train did about 2,500 kms on my Trek before being transferred onto the Jamis - it always behaved faultlessly on that bike. The first 500 km on the Jamis were faultless. The last 500 km have seen the front shifting descend into a semi-ordered form of chaos. Something's changed that I can't spot. Some sort of subtle wear issue? Actually, I've just realised that my shifting woes started when I gave her a new rear cassette and chain (used the old ones for the Trek rebuild) - nah, that can't be it.

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Old 01-01-09, 08:32 PM   #9
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The Bontrager Race aluminum seat post on my '04 Trek 2300 winter bike split today in the area of the saddle clamp insert. Saddle suddenly dropped down to the back. Lucky I wasn't pushing it at the time. Was only a couple miles from home and rode back standing up with the saddle in my hand.
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Old 01-01-09, 09:06 PM   #10
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Ouch.
My experience with my Trek520 has been that improvements have all come from removing parts stamped with the Bontrager brand. The seat post in particular featured one of the coarsest adjustments I've fought with.

Trek. They really don't think much about the design of their bikes. One example that springs to mind are the mounts for the rack - they're directly in line with the brake arms. You have to mount the rack high and then bend the metal straps down to get to the mounting points - they could have spent the same amount of money and placed the things half an inch higher ... but that wouldn't work because racks would be easy to fit then.

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Old 01-01-09, 10:43 PM   #11
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Wow, I am really surprised to read of your seat post woes. I've had lots of bike component problems over the years (40+ years now) of cycling, but never with a seat post. I've used Campagnolo Record (with the bolts on top!), Super Record (one 13mm bolt on bottom), American Classic, SR La Prade, SR-SL (a Campy Record copy), Ritchey, Easton and even Bontrager (on my wife's Lemond) . . . and never a problem.

And now I read about yours, and these other problems; maybe I should start to worry!

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Old 01-01-09, 11:24 PM   #12
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Try buying elcheapo because it's all they have in the shops in your size. Works for me ... or doesn't work depending on how you want to look at it

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Old 01-01-09, 11:30 PM   #13
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Try buying elcheapo because it's all they have in the shops in your size. Works for me ... or doesn't work depending on how you want to look at it Richard
With only two exceptions (my GT mountain bike and my Hercules 3-Speed), all my bikes have used a 27.2 seatpost. That seems to be the most common in the U.S.; not sure about OZ.

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Old 01-02-09, 12:43 AM   #14
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Most of my bikes have cheap Kalloy Laprade seat posts that work just fine. They seem to come in more sizes than anything else. What is the oddball size of the post that is giving you trouble?
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Old 01-02-09, 12:55 AM   #15
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I too like the Kalloy range - they've given me good service over the years and are pretty reasonable in price.

She's a 27.2, though she's the only bike I've got that is. I was probably in there on a bad day - they had a great pile of seat posts but only one in the size I needed **shrugs** and when you're trying to get a new bike on the road, and you need a seatpost, and they only have the one ...

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Old 01-02-09, 01:50 AM   #16
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Have to admit that it does take a bit of time for a bike to settle down but once I get everything dialled in-it behaves well. Probably down to checking the bike regularly and getting the nuts and bolts etc to the right torque. Have to make a trip to the LBS soon though- the seat clamp on Boreas has had to be tightened up just a bit more than usual and I don't like the fact that the two faces on the clamp are nearly touching. But before I suddenly have seat post slippage on a ride- I will get it corrected.

But those Bontrager parts. I do not use them- have never bought any of them but I don't like them. All I have had to do is maintain my mates bikes that have them fitted and from that experience- I will not fit them. To me they are Inhouse parts- at a very expensive price.
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Old 01-02-09, 04:44 PM   #17
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I had been looking for years for a nicer seat post for my Bridgestone and its oddball 27.0 size. The only one in silver I could find was the Kalloy. It worked fine, but lacked the shine I wanted for that bike and was a single bolt design where I really wanted a two bolt to be able to more easily fine tune the seat angle. I finally found a nicely polished and two bolt no-name seatpost on eBay that seems to be of good quality. My only concern was that it is a no setback type post and I use a Brooks B-17 saddle which has shorter than normal rails and so less adjustment range. Fortunately I had not been using all of the available adjustment with my setback post and so I was able to match the position by sliding the saddle as far back as possible with the new post. So far it seems to be a good upgrade.
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Old 01-02-09, 06:27 PM   #18
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To replace the failed Bontrager seat post, I picked up a Felt, carbon wrapped aluminum seat post at the LBS. I think it is a swap-out from another bike, and they only charged me about $20. The carbon matches my FSA K-wing handle bars, not that I was obsessing about parts on my winter bike. I'll see how it installs tomorrow. Hopefully no slippage.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:35 PM   #19
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There's now a nice new Pro, two bolt seat post sitting on my dining room table waiting to be fitted

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