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  1. #1
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    Thumbs down 2010 Cannondale Quick seat post clamp - how to screw-up a wonderfully simple design

    I bought my first real bike two weeks ago. It's a dead-sexy Cannondale Quick 3 that had somehow evaded the lustful eyes of shoppers for long enough to be shamed with the title "last year's model".

    Seconds after I bought it, credit card still on the counter (not sure if I even signed the receipt yet), the associate helping me is adjusting the seat for me, just a tad up after the test drive. Well, this is a weird seat post clamp, and when he tried to tighten the quick release down he had to put all his weight into it and then bent it. I looked at it and said "I'm pretty sure it fit better than that a minute ago", "yeah, I think it's bent", "did you just do that now?" "yeah, I think so". Here's what the "integrated seat post clamp" looks like (bent- it's supposed to fit tightly together along the length ):


    Now, the clamp has been on backorder from Cannondale for these two weeks, the LBS told me today it's because it's "such an old model" (2010...old!?). The seat is still a little too low for me, and just using a wrench to tighten the other side makes the whole clamp ride up the post, making it very difficult to tighten properly. I think that being stuck slightly open is making it more difficult as well, but I don't want to risk breaking the damned thing by trying to bend it right. Why did Cannondale do this? A seat post is so simple, so easy, so reliable...and then they made it none of those things for one year.

    Has anyone had to deal with this crumby "innovation"? Is there a way around it? Maybe a replacement or hard-to-find-parts dealer that will have it in the back?
    Last edited by monkeydentity; 07-25-11 at 04:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Sorry to hijack your thread but I just found something strange on goodle. I was searching for info on your question and your exact question (word for word) is linked to a gambling site with virus's on google. I'm not suggesting you have anything to do with it. I suspect bike forums has a problem. The site in question is w w w cyclebetting dot com.

    Bummer about your clamp but of course the bike shop is responsible so they'll find a solution for ya. Can't they just put a nice regular clamp in place of it? Will you have to regularly change your seat post height?
    Last edited by giantcfr1; 07-25-11 at 08:41 PM.

  3. #3
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    !? what question? shoot...i saw there was a reply and thought there might be someone with a helpful tip :-/

  4. #4
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeydentity View Post
    !? what question? shoot...i saw there was a reply and thought there might be someone with a helpful tip :-/
    "Can't they just put a nice regular clamp in place of it? Will you have to regularly change your seat post height?"

    I mean, do you really have to use the exact same clamp, because maybe the same problem will happen again. Won't a standard clamp fit? Various clamps are available in most good bike shops, or do you actually want the exact same clamp.

  5. #5
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    i could get another clamp of some kind, but do you see that the frame forums to this one? i don't know of any other clamp that will fill that space right, and there may not be one that fits the space even without looking as good.

  6. #6
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    If you contact these people they may be able to help source what you're after.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/

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    I know that clamp design too. It's one of several reasons I turned down less expensive 2010s for a 2011 Quick 3. At the least, the clamp was hitting and scraping the frame on the 2010.
    I can't imagine Cannondale not having repair parts for this. The bike is under warantee. Did you try calling Cannondale directly about the problem?
    And congrats on the Quick 3, it IS a sexy looking bike!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lexi01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeydentity View Post
    Seconds after I bought it, credit card still on the counter (not sure if I even signed the receipt yet).
    I wouldn't have signed it. Should have demanded your money back and said you'll come back when the part is in...guarantee they'd be harassing Cannondale twice a day until they got it. That piece of advice doesn't help you now of course...

    I had a bit of a google about the issue too...the design seems weird that's for sure...but I couldn't find any threads saying its a cruddy design with heaps of issues...probably just the guy at the LBS not being familiar with it and forcing something that didn't need to be forced.

    Its a shame to start a new bike purchase like this but in a few months when you've been flogging the Quick 3 to death this 2 week wait will seem like nothing. Best of luck.

  9. #9
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    There's no adjustment nut on the opposite side of the post?
    2012 Roam 0
    2009 Gary Fisher Tassajara
    Donated to my sons:
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    Hangin on a hook in my garage:
    ~1982 Peugeot Record Du Monde

  10. #10
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1g bleu View Post
    There's no adjustment nut on the opposite side of the post?
    yes, as I said:
    just using a wrench to tighten the other side makes the whole clamp ride up the post, making it very difficult to tighten properly. I think that being stuck slightly open is making it more difficult as well, but I don't want to risk breaking the damned thing by trying to bend it right.

  11. #11
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    Can you tighten the other side enough so that you can close the quick release lever tight enough to keep the post from slipping? I'd suggest trying to push on the (bent) curve rather than on the end of the lever, because it could snap. Thick leather glove might help you push hard enough. Aluminum does't do well once it's been bent. Trying to bend it back into proper shape is a definite no-no. It seem like you know this stuff though. I was just curious if the bike is rideable while you wait for new clamp.

    The shop guy screwed up, but owned up and that's cool. We all make mistakes.

    The clamp design looks cool but I agree it's needlessly complex and I think I remember having that opinion before I read about your problem.

  12. #12
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    as it is, the bike is rideable. I have adjusted the seat with the bolt, leaving the lever closed(as much as it can be). The problem is that I need to put a hug amount of downward force on the middle of the clamp as I tighten the bolt, or the whole thing slides up-post as i tighten, eventually moving past the part of the frame that needs to be compressed to fix the post. Theoretically, if the lever was working alright, the inward force of clamping it closed would be perpendicular with the post, and would be less likely to ride up. As it is, it's difficult to keep the clamp flush with the frame while tightening the bolt. ridiculous.

  13. #13
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    That's messed up. Return the bike and demand your money back.

  14. #14
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    i really love the bike....i won't be taking it back. but man i hope this part comes in, i really wish there was a better option than a direct replacement.

  15. #15
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    UPDATE. got the new seat post clamp, after waiting about 6 weeks I think. The new one isn't a quick release, but works about as well as the last one. STILL it won't fit into place when tightened, STILL it won't keep the seat from moving UNLESS I let it tilt the way it wants to when I tighten it. So, now it works if I put it on super crooked like. I hate this thing. I'm trying not to let it get to me but stopping to adjust the seat 1-3 times on a 10mi ride really bums me out. I contacted Cannondale in hopes of some crafty solution...guess I'll wait and see. Wish I could trade it in but the shop doesn't do returns.

    ALSO, this post was stolen by another website!!
    http://www.cyclebetting.com/cycling/...simple-design/

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lexi01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeydentity View Post
    I'm trying not to let it get to me but stopping to adjust the seat 1-3 times on a 10mi ride really bums me out. I contacted Cannondale in hopes of some crafty solution...guess I'll wait and see. Wish I could trade it in but the shop doesn't do returns.[/B]
    http://www.cyclebetting.com/cycling/...simple-design/
    Mate...the shop screwed it up. You've been more than patient with them. They ordered you a part and it's still not fixed...they need to replace the bike.

    Maybe consumer law is a little different in the states (I'm in Australia)...but that'd be an open and shut case...as soon as you mention consumer affairs to the LBS with that particular series of incidents they'd replace it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  17. #17
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeydentity View Post
    ...ALSO, this post was stolen by another website!!
    http://www.cyclebetting.com/cycling/...simple-design/
    That clamp would also give me the poo poos. Is your post carbon? If so you could use the carbon compound to stop slippage. The compound can be used on aluminium too. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...x?SSAID=332695

    I've found that cyclebetting . com steals many of the posts and you are then flicked to their web site. Maybe BF mods should check out what's happening.

  18. #18
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    it's not carbon, but for $3 it's worth a try!

    I just emailed a person at Cannondale that I've had some small contact with, told her that I'm pretty bummed about tis issue and wonder if it's time to go back to a different model. I called the LBS today, didn't mention my particular issue (then they'd definitely know who was calling though), but asked what the return/exchange policy was on bikes. I was told they don't return bikes, "except maybe in a REALLY extreme case". Maybe having a continuing issue with a bike for 7 weeks with no solution in site is "extreme"?

    I'll order that compound, was also thinking I could add an additional (more conventional) seat clamp...then could put the crappy one on in the right position (but loose), then tighten the new one above it, then tighten the crappy one. Hopefully that would stop the crappy one from sliding up when tightened. BUT, then I just paid nearly $1000 (not a small sum for a graduate student) for a bike that requires little ghetto-rigged mods to make it work properly. Pretty lame

  19. #19
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeydentity View Post
    ...I'll order that compound, was also thinking I could add an additional (more conventional) seat clamp...then could put the crappy one on in the right position (but loose), then tighten the new one above it, then tighten the crappy one. Hopefully that would stop the crappy one from sliding up when tightened...([/b]
    I'm sure on this, but doesn't the current badboy and hooligan have a double seat clamp (possibly your colour too) Maybe it clamps on both the frame and post.I'm looking for a link now.

    edit... FOUND IT:

    Last edited by giantcfr1; 09-02-11 at 01:00 AM.

  20. #20
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    To be clear: they BROKE your bike adjusting a QUICK RELEASE for you on a model THEY SELL?! Which was sitting in the shop FOR A YEAR!?

    Was this in Brooklyn? Which shop was it?

    Adjusting a seat 3 times in 10 miles is absolutely broken.

    You should tell them it isn't a "return" its reimbursement for theft, and you should write to Cannodale corporate sales (dig for a number or email) about their vendors' letting unqualified people adjust bikes as well as the BBB as soon as possible.

    Especially if its New York - an unsecured quick release will get stolen. By a thief who will probably bend the thing even more.

  21. #21
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    Return to the store and tell them that you can't tighten your seatpost clamp. Maybe they can show you how. If they can't tighten it, return the bike for a warranty replacement. If the post cannot be tightened with a clamp sitting flush with the seat tube, not crooked, the bike is defective. Crooked will put seat tube and seatpost in danger of breaking.

    If there something wrong with the frame? Can you figure out why the new clamp doesn't fit?

    My Cannondales came with loose fitting seatposts. I could make them tight enough without a shim, but I shimmed them with pieces of aluminum can to minimize deformation of the seat tube. I don't like seeing that slot squeezed together, I like it straight. Maybe you should try a shim.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky velocist View Post
    To be clear: they BROKE your bike adjusting a QUICK RELEASE for you on a model THEY SELL?! Which was sitting in the shop FOR A YEAR!?

    You should tell them it isn't a "return" its reimbursement for theft, and you should write to Cannodale corporate sales (dig for a number or email) about their vendors' letting unqualified people adjust bikes as well as the BBB as soon as possible.
    I completely agree with cranky velocist. This is an absolute outrage to be treated like this when the ENTIRE incident was THEIR fault! And the fact that it's been 7 weeks? Psh. That's only because that's how long it's taken them to "deal" with it!

    Not like you care what I would do, but I'm going to tell you anyway because I am so shocked at this ridiculous treatment you've received. I would go in there and speak to the owner. Immediately. If he's not there, schedule a time to meet with him. Outline (calmly, but very firmly) the sequence of events. Maybe even write down the sequence of events and ask the owner to sign and date it to show that understands and acknowledge that you've had this conversation with him. Remind him how patient you've been ("everyone makes mistakes, I understand that; maybe the sales guys was just having a bad day"). Walk him through it with a few well-placed words to stress or dramatic pauses so he can feel your frustration, yet be reminded of your patience.

    THEN... Tell then you expect an immediate plan of quick resolution: meaning, either a complete replacement of all damaged parts, or an completely new bike of equal or greater value (same model, same year; same model, new year; same model but one step up; that kind of thing). If they have a plan and you are agreeable, have them put it in writing with when it will happen (if not while you're standing there).

    If they don't jump into line, remind them that you will be contacting the Cannondale corporate office and sharing this experience with them -- repeatedly, if necessary -- including this specific sequence of events, photos (if you have them, and take some before you let the LBS touch/see the bike again), whatever other documentation you might have. You will also be contacting the BBB and the local bike clubs, as well as being sure to let all your biking friends know the run-around they've give you.

    Maybe I sound like a jerk, and maybe I've just had a rough day and am venting, but they've already wasted half your summer with this. You have been incredibly patient. Obviously far more patient than I would've been.

    Good luck!!
    Fitness rider on a 2010 Specialized Sirrus Sport, traveling on windy, hilly country roads with gravel shoulders. Hate the wind but love to ride! :)

  23. #23
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    thanks for all the comments. i'm going to go in and talk to them tomorrow. i'll share how it goes down...

  24. #24
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    The shim didn't work?

  25. #25
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    didn't try the shim...but the shop came up with a solution coming from the other way.

    the two problems:
    1) the clamp would slide upward when tightened.
    2) the seat post would move even when the clamp was tightened as far as it could go.

    the two solutions:
    1) try EACH new clamp that cannondale sent to the LBS (RideBrooklyn) until one of them was found not to slide upward when tightened.
    2) use a hacksaw to cut a sliver out of the middle of the clamp to allow it to close further.

    IT WORKS! i think...rainy today so i didn't get to ride my normal trial run. I'll raise hell if this isn't resolved.

    Final thoughts...
    1) does cannondale test their parts!??? it took three different clamps and a hacksaw to make it work!!
    2) does cannondale give a damn? They only responded to any of my emails when they had good news (they let me know they sent the new clamps out)
    3) NEVER take a bike out of the shop if there is ANYTHING not in perfect working order...if i had waited until the first clamp worked I would have ended up buying a different bike, and avoiding the drama altogether.

    thanks for all the comments/suggestions/encouragement, i thought about all your responses when I was working this all out.

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