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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-30-06, 04:20 PM   #1
lunacycle
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Ever break a seatpost while racing?

I did yesterday. The bolt that clamps the seat to the seatpost snapped in half during a race. The whole assembly just sort of exploded all over the race course. I wouldn't have minded so much if it was later in the race, but it was on the third lap, and I was just getting into my groove. The disturbing thing is that there was absolutely no warning before hand.

So now I'm kind of questioning the serviceability of the rest of my components. I've been running the same bike for five seasons. I've never really followed any sort of replacement schedule for components -- when they break, I replace them. But having your seat suddenly disappear while riding over a bumpy course, and leaving nothing but a pointy aluminum post pointing skywards kind of gets me thinking.

So, should one routinely replace such items, or should this event be considered more or less an anomaly?

Last edited by lunacycle; 10-30-06 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 10-30-06, 04:54 PM   #2
Shiznaz
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anomaly... Ideally the only things you should be changing are (in approximate order of how often replaced):
tires
brake pads
bar tape
cables
chain
bearings (BB in particular)
MAYBE cassette and chainrings, but they can last forever

Of course you always end up needing to replace other stuff, but with proper maintenence and not crashing, you really should never need to replace anything else. Also if you're like me you may like to drink beer while working on the bike so that doesn't help with long term component durability. Sounds like this time it was just a freak failure though

Good thing this didn't happen during a remount!
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Old 10-30-06, 05:56 PM   #3
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Not an anomaly. Superlight components have a definite lifetime. Most especially aluminum parts.

Critical components should be inspected at least annually and replaced on a regular schedule if you're using very light stuff.

1) Seatpost locknuts
2) Seatposts
3) Saddle rails
4) Steering post - a shop should inspect these once a year if they are anything other than steel.
5) Pedal Axles
6) Bottom Bracket
7) Stem
8) Handlebars

Carbon stuff that's made fairly heavy is typically more reliable than ultralight aluminum. But I'm a little leery of the latest superlight carbon stuff and won't ride it myself.

There's a cost to using very light parts and that cost is constant vigilance.
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Old 10-30-06, 06:33 PM   #4
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I saw a bike (sans seat) on the top of a car after the race at Como Park yesterday. I joked that it was a funny way to save a few hundred grams. Bummer that it happened duing the race though. I am glad that you weren't injured. It was a fun, albeit bumpy course. I probably would not replace seatpost bolts routinely. I just make sure bolts are tight, but not too tight, every so often.
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Old 10-30-06, 07:15 PM   #5
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exact same thing happened to me during a mountain bike race last year in mile 1 of a 16 mile race. I came down hard on the nose, which caused the binder bolt to break off (the post was 10 years old, btw) so I removed the rest of the post and did the whole rest of the race standing up. Fortunately I could pull it off because my MTB has a sloping top tube which left me with plenty of clearance. Not sure if I'd try the same thing in a 'cross race though. on one hand since I started singlespeeding, I have been standing most of the time anyway, but on the other hand, my CX bike has much less clearance.
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Old 10-30-06, 08:07 PM   #6
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Replace it with a Thompson seat post, if you break that, your a god ahah
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Old 10-31-06, 08:35 AM   #7
lunacycle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixed Up North
I saw a bike (sans seat) on the top of a car after the race at Como Park yesterday. I joked that it was a funny way to save a few hundred grams. Bummer that it happened duing the race though. I am glad that you weren't injured. It was a fun, albeit bumpy course. I probably would not replace seatpost bolts routinely. I just make sure bolts are tight, but not too tight, every so often.
Haha, yeah, that was mine -- a yellow GT. The funny thing is that the bolt was definately not a lightweight component, and it was plenty tight. There was no creaking or anything. There was a dip in the course, and snap! The bolt just sheared in half -- I found it sitting on the ground.

Oh well, I don't feel that bad. It was my first DNF in 5 seasons of cyclocross. Plus, now I have an excuse to buy a new component.

Any recommendations for reliable seatposts? I'm leaning towards the Ritchey Comp.
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Old 10-31-06, 08:56 AM   #8
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Thomson Elite - I'm about to replace my crap Ritchey post (not the comp though, one below that...) on my Conquest with one, im breaking a washer/spacer in the seat clamp part. I'm lucky it didnt break during my race sunday now that I look at it off the bike...
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Old 10-31-06, 12:22 PM   #9
lunacycle
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Yeah, the Thompson posts look really nice. A bit spendy, though.

Okay, so how about the Salsa Shaft. I've heard only good things about them.
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