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Removal & replacing seat post to fit bike in car

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Removal & replacing seat post to fit bike in car

Old 12-16-18, 03:01 PM
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SurlyRoadRider
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Removal & replacing seat post to fit bike in car

Hi all
I'm just wondering if any significant wear or damage would be likely to occur if I frequently remove my seat post to fit my bike inside my car. It's a steel frame Surly road bike that I've had for 4 months.

I decided that since it just takes a few minutes to remove the seat post and front tire from the bike to fit it inside the car, that for me that's as easy as using a bike rack. The seat tube has a seat post clamp to tighten the post down, and I've not had any problem removing and replacing the post. I'm pretty careful with it and tighten just enough for the seat post to be secure. I load and unload the bike about 4 times a week to drive to the bike trail.

Can I remove and replace the seat post going forward for years without worrying about damaging the steel seat tube? Doesn't seem like it should be a problem, should it?

Thanks in advance

Last edited by SurlyRoadRider; 12-16-18 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 12-16-18, 03:13 PM
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No problem with this at all, actually a bit better than never removing the post as it facilitates appropriate lube to post and minimizes frozen post
problem. I would eyeball the inside of the seat tube with a flashlite now and then just to check for rust simply because you can, not because
you need to. A friend with a tandem has tied a short string to one of the saddle rails the precise length of the distance from the rail to the top
tube to make it easy to set post height.
It would be prudent to wipe the post off after the ride and lube it weekly to prevent trail/road debris from getting into the tubing. Expect the seat
post to look a bit scratched up over time.

Last edited by sch; 12-16-18 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 12-16-18, 03:26 PM
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No problem at all. This even gives you a chance to lube and inspect the seat post and seat tube, just keep it clean. I like a thin smear of white lithium inside the seat tube and on the seat post.
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Old 12-16-18, 03:57 PM
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I do exactly that when I carry a bike inside my car. I put a drop of red nail polish on the seat post just above the top of the seat tube clamp to act as a depth gauge when I reinstall it.
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Old 12-16-18, 05:49 PM
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The only major possible issue I can see is one of forgetfulness. The more you remove and reinstall the more the chance to do something wrong, like over tighten the clamp or scratch something. Andy
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Old 12-16-18, 06:22 PM
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One advantage to a seat post sizing shim sleeve is a lot of wear and tear can be the sleeve, which can be replaced without gouging the seat post itself..

There are 2 common post ID 1" 25.4* and 27.2 ..

*25.0 is less common.. I have a couple very nice <C> seat posts from my AlAn.. , I got some sleeves to use in steel frames..
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Old 12-18-18, 07:36 AM
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Just take off the rear wheel. It'll fit in the car then much easier than removing the seat post every time
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Old 12-18-18, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Just take off the rear wheel. It'll fit in the car then much easier than removing the seat post every time
This

I see a few issues with removing the seat post. 1) You need to align the seat L/R each time, else you've got some issues that might develop with a seat off to one side or the other. 2) If the clamp is the welded thing on the seat tube, as opposed to a separate collar, you might eventually overtighten and crack the frame. I did this on a Klein road bike once, frame was toast as I didn't have enough seat tube below the clap to install a separate collar.

Rear wheel removal seems much easier.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:17 AM
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My older mountain bikes have quick releases on the seat posts -- essentially manual dropper posts. It is not uncommon to move things around several times per ride.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:19 AM
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Or, get a dropper post.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:47 AM
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Put a piece of tape at the level were you want your seat to be when you put it back in.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
Put a piece of tape at the level were you want your seat to be when you put it back in.
Or a shaft collar. https://www.amazon.com/Climax-2C-100.../dp/B001VXU0UK

It also reduce the need for clamping force on the seat post, as the clamp just has to resist rotation, and not support the rider's weight.
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Old 12-18-18, 04:05 PM
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^ If you have a 1" (25.4mm) seat post ^
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Old 12-19-18, 12:58 PM
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1) It's a separate collar that tightens down the seat post, not tightening the steel frame directly, as on my old Raleigh 10 speed.

2) I've never removed and replaced the rear wheel, seems like as much or more work than removing and replacing the seat post. Are you suggesting removing the rear wheel, leaving the front on? I haven't tried that.

3) I do have tape on the seat post for seat height reference. A shaft collar would support the rider's weight by sitting atop the steel frame tube?

4) I didn't know about seat post quick releases. Interesting.

Thanks all!
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Old 12-19-18, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SurlyRoadRider View Post
1) It's a separate collar that tightens down the seat post, not tightening the steel frame directly, as on my old Raleigh 10 speed.

2) I've never removed and replaced the rear wheel, seems like as much or more work than removing and replacing the seat post. Are you suggesting removing the rear wheel, leaving the front on? I haven't tried that.

3) I do have tape on the seat post for seat height reference. A shaft collar would support the rider's weight by sitting atop the steel frame tube?

4) I didn't know about seat post quick releases. Interesting.

Thanks all!
Really?? You haven't replaced a rear tube or tire yet then? Taking wheels off and reinstalling them is the start of one's mechanical education. What will happen when you get a flat? Andy
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Old 12-19-18, 07:41 PM
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I wouldn't do the rear wheel removal thing personally. Too easy to bang the RD while loading/unloading.
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Old 12-19-18, 11:40 PM
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LOP- I read your post with a mixed feeling. I certainly understand a rider's inexperience with things mechanical but as I alluded to think that's a sadly limiting condition. Again what's so different between a flat repair on the road/trail side and placing a bike in the back of a car/truck? Both take some basic care, no more. I wonder if you are, like many here have seemed to buy into the, concerned about hanger misalignment. Maybe it's my riding steel bikes with steel drop outs, maybe it's my dealing with derailure adjustments and gear systems repairs for decades, maybe it's having put hundreds of bike in cars over the years, maybe it's my hobby building frames BUT I just don't see the amount of connection between shifting issues and hanger alignment that so many leap to on their posts here. Placing a bike in a car/truck should always have the gear side up, no mater whether the rear wheel is removed or in place. There should be no reason to bend a hanger, or twist a derailure or a chain unless something goes really wrong. (and then maybe a exterior bike rack with all their potentials is the better method).

Sorry but I just don't see the concerns. Wheels are designed to remove and reinstall repeatedly, many times over the years of a bike. Seat posts less so. But if pulling a seat post get's you out and riding then so bet it. Andy
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Old 12-20-18, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
LOP- I read your post with a mixed feeling. I certainly understand a rider's inexperience with things mechanical but as I alluded to think that's a sadly limiting condition. Again what's so different between a flat repair on the road/trail side and placing a bike in the back of a car/truck? Both take some basic care, no more. I wonder if you are, like many here have seemed to buy into the, concerned about hanger misalignment. Maybe it's my riding steel bikes with steel drop outs, maybe it's my dealing with derailure adjustments and gear systems repairs for decades, maybe it's having put hundreds of bike in cars over the years, maybe it's my hobby building frames BUT I just don't see the amount of connection between shifting issues and hanger alignment that so many leap to on their posts here. Placing a bike in a car/truck should always have the gear side up, no mater whether the rear wheel is removed or in place. There should be no reason to bend a hanger, or twist a derailure or a chain unless something goes really wrong. (and then maybe a exterior bike rack with all their potentials is the better method).

Sorry but I just don't see the concerns. Wheels are designed to remove and reinstall repeatedly, many times over the years of a bike. Seat posts less so. But if pulling a seat post get's you out and riding then so bet it. Andy
I drove Toyota Corollas for years and usually didn't have a rack. Putting two bikes in a Corolla, then pulling them out again, then putting them in again, then pulling them out again, things can go wrong with those RDs exposed. It only takes one time tweaking the RD alignment at a trailhead to leave a bad taste. Of course MTBs from a few years ago also had disc calipers exposed when rear wheels were removed.


Sounds like the OP has a collar style seatpost clamp, so I'd do that over rear wheel.

Honestly I'd rather do neither, Nowadays I have a big Minivan, even the tandem MTB fits in there with both wheels on!

One important note: If running hydraulics and transporting with any wheels removed, remember to put in bleed blocks just to make sure brakes don't shut on you if the lever is accidentally pushed during loading or transport.
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Old 12-21-18, 03:44 PM
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Without knowing the type of car and storage method (i.e., backseat, trunk, hatch, rear of SUV, etc.), you might want to try just removing the seat. This may give you the clearance you need to fit the bike inside your vehicle, without removing the seat post.
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Old 12-21-18, 04:48 PM
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I'm a seat/bar/lever/pedal position NUT, down to the millimeter. I'd have less time in removing both wheels and re-installing them than re-installing my seat. When paint gets older (especially on vintage Italian bikes) it can start to flake off around the seat post binder bolt. Loosening and tightening it every time you transport the bike can accelerate that.
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Old 12-24-18, 12:48 AM
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Andy, I hadn't ridden much for years but now for the past 4 months much more extensively on the new bike. Except for once I've not been further away from my car than an hour or less walk back if I had a flat. I just haven't gotten around to everything with the bike yet. I have a replacement tube but have just started checking videos on changing tubes and removing the rear tire. Over years of riding on pavement I never had a flat with my old Raleigh 10 speed. Now I'm riding with wider tires with some leaf and branch droppings on the paved trail, so you're right, I should be prepared for a flat. I did have one form a thorn on the front tire that didn't go flat until the next day after the ride.
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Old 12-24-18, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
Without knowing the type of car and storage method (i.e., backseat, trunk, hatch, rear of SUV, etc.), you might want to try just removing the seat. This may give you the clearance you need to fit the bike inside your vehicle, without removing the seat post.
LOL! Some might consider this to be jumping out of the pan and into the fire Many of us have spent a long time getting their seat in just the position (fore aft and angle, not height) and having to go through this all over again, for every time we wish to not start our ride from home is not what we want to do.

As much as I don't like the suggestion to pull the post/seat every time the bike is loaded into one's car it's a FAR better solution then playing with the post/seat clamp. The worst that can happen is that the ST clamp will need replacement, as it's removeable that's easy to do. Having voted in our great country many times I can recognize that taking the lesser of evils is the better choice. Andy
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Old 12-26-18, 11:26 PM
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NOTE: My car is a 2006 Accord Sedan. The back of the back seat flips down.

Loading the bike in today with the seat post out and front tire off, I took a look at the space there and I'm not at all sure removing the rear wheel would be sufficient to fit the bike without also removing the front wheel, and possibly the seat post as well. With the bike nestled in, the space narrows around the mid point of the length of the bike. For the handle bars to be able to turn to the side to fit under the trunk lid, the front wheel would almost surely still have to be removed even with the back one off. And heading the bike in front first doesn't seem plausible, since the drop handlebars would have to clear the space in the middle and loading would be awkward. Also, if both wheels were off, the only place for them would be the front passenger seat, which only needs to accommodate the front wheel with the method I've been using. Removing the back wheel seems like a less desirable solution.

Last edited by SurlyRoadRider; 12-26-18 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 12-27-18, 12:29 AM
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Is it putting zig-zag scratches into the seatpost? Perhaps one could hone the frame. Some lube also helps.
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Old 12-27-18, 04:05 AM
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It is fine. If you donít already have a quick-release seat post clamp, get one.

With a qr seat post clamp, removing the seat post is IMO a little quicker than removing and replacing the rear wheel, and LOT faster than the saddle.
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