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Titanium seatpost clamp, solutions?

Old 12-10-08, 05:14 PM
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Titanium seatpost clamp, solutions?

I have a 1994 Litespeed Ultimate, lately the seatpost has been slipping down in the seat tube. It appears that the back of the clamp ears are touching before the seatpost can be gripped fully.

The frame is built for 27.2 seatposts and I've tried multiple 27.2 posts, they all slip.

I've tried using a soda can shim (doesn't fit), sanding the surface of the seatpost (but its a Thomson so it's already serrated). It seems like the clamp is just warped.

I've also tried different clamp bolts.

It is my daily bike so I want to get it fixed as soon as I can, any ideas?

Thanks.

pic:

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Old 12-10-08, 05:24 PM
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It is true that Ti is very ductile. It is probably stretched out. Do you think that you could get in the next size diameter post? Back the bolt all the way out and measure the gap in the notch on the seattube. If it is more than the difference than the next size up, then it may fit.

Also, you may be able to grind the inside of the ears down some, so that they will pinch farther, but that is probably best left as an absolute last resort.
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Old 12-10-08, 05:42 PM
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Thanks! I measured the gap and it's about 3mm, so maybe I could use a 27.4. It's an odd size with only one type on ebay, a Kalloy.

Do you know of any other seatposts in that size?
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Old 12-10-08, 05:43 PM
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I doubt the next size up seatpost will fit. The slightly larger diameter measured at the top probably doesn't translate down the entire seat tube. Grinding between the ears might work, otherwise a bottom out collar clamped around the seatpost would at least keep it from sliding down.
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Old 12-10-08, 05:54 PM
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If it is exactly 3mm, then the mouth of the clamp would take up to a 28.1mm post. As frankemike said, it will probably not maintain that all the way down the seattube. You could jam it down, but that is not a good idea. If you can get the 27.4 or something a tish larger, you will probably be good to go.

The main problem with shaving off the inside of the ears is that as you do, the threads keep getting more and more out of alignment, which will eventually screw them up as well - again, Ti is ductile.
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Old 12-10-08, 06:47 PM
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You could cut off the rear portion clamp and replace it with an external collar type clamp like that used on Titanium bicycles around my house (Litespeed Blue Ridge, Serotta, Santana tandem, and Ti-Cycles).
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Old 12-10-08, 06:56 PM
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Send it back to litespeed and let them figure it out. Lifetime warranty is part of the premium you paid
(I have 2 litespeeds, and one has been in for warranty, so I'm not just talking out my ass)
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Old 12-10-08, 07:05 PM
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On the warrantly, I am not the original owner, unfortunately! I bought it second hand.

I have thought about replacing with a clamp but the rear of the collar is below the top of the top tube, so the clamp would have to be at an angle. I don't know how this would work.

I am going to try a 27.4 seatpost to see if it fits. I certainly hope it does for the sake of my nerves.

What is interesting is that about 3-4 inches below the top of the seat tube, the inside seat tube diameter widens from 27.2, so it might be easier to get the 27.4 down there.
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Old 12-10-08, 07:37 PM
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Two ideas:

1. Make friends with the local litespeed dealer, send for warranty.
2. Get in touch with litespeed and get a quote to replace the seatpost clamp. I bet it's more reasonable than you think.

That's a nice frame. It would be a shame to see something like a seized post or split seatube from using the wrong size post.
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Old 12-10-08, 07:42 PM
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If you do want to try and fix it yourself, I'd try and cut the slot in the clamp area a bit wider. I'm not sure how well a typical angle grinder works on ti.
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Old 12-10-08, 07:44 PM
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Also, lose the extra washer on the clamp bolt and get the proper length. Alternately, you can grind the female part shorter or use an M6 capscrew on the male side.
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Old 12-11-08, 09:02 AM
  #12  
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I'd use a Dremel with a cut-off wheel or a hacksaw to widen the slot between the ears to allow them to pull closer together.

I expect the previous owner (or you) routinely over-tightened the seat-post bolt and stretched the clamp area to the point it won't hold firmly. I have a '96 Catalyst with the same clamp arangement and it still has plenty of holding force since i never distorted the clamp area.
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Old 12-11-08, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by i_brad View Post
two ideas:

1. Make friends with the local litespeed dealer, send for warranty.
2. Get in touch with litespeed and get a quote to replace the seatpost clamp. I bet it's more reasonable than you think.

That's a nice frame. It would be a shame to see something like a seized post or split seatube from using the wrong size post.
+1
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Old 12-11-08, 12:53 PM
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Why are the inside surfaces of the bolt lugs so buggered? Even if the frame is under warranty, Litespeed might void it due to abuse.

Love the washer; nice touch on a high-end bike!
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Last edited by rmfnla; 12-12-08 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 12-11-08, 02:26 PM
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I don't think you're gonna do anything except get frustrated if you try to widen the slot with a hacksaw or dremel. Perhaps an angle grinder and cutoff wheel might work.
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Old 12-11-08, 07:09 PM
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Thanks for the advice all.

Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post

Love the washer; nice touch on a high-end bike!
It's kind of temporary since my other fixing bolt snapped, you know? Appreciate the sarcasm and literary italics, though.
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Old 12-11-08, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by nathbdp View Post
It's kind of temporary since my other fixing bolt snapped, you know?
Hmmmm, maybe that explains how the clamp ears got tightened so much.
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Old 12-11-08, 11:53 PM
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No, it was probably the previous owner who had it for 15 years. I just finished it a month ago and it is only recently that I realized my seat was sliding down (knee pain).
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Old 12-12-08, 01:57 AM
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I had the exact same issue on a Columbus SL frame. All 27.2 posts are not created equal. The latest, a two bolt BBB cheapo now seems to hold fine. I left it long, so there's tons of post in the frame.

I had been considering hacksaw gap widening, but worried the fixing bolt would snap if the outside edges of the ears went any more out of parallel.
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Old 12-12-08, 09:16 AM
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Looked at your photo again.
The inside slot in the tube isn't closed.
The ears have simply twisted in. Unless I'm mistaken.
My new advice is to widen the gap between ears with a thin file.
Then find a way to make the new bolt seat properly on both sides. Perhaps with pair of custom wedge-shaped washers.
Don't over tighten.
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Old 12-12-08, 09:33 AM
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Try several 27.2 posts.
If it were a beater bike I would file the slot, then if the seatbolt wouldn't align, I would run a straight screw and bolt setup through there, like an old schwinn. But it's not a beater bike.
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Old 12-12-08, 09:39 AM
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just saw your thread, and I have/had the exact same problem with my habanero ti frame..

what you need to do is find a bike shop that has a knurling(sp?) tool

I had slipping, tried a new 27.4 kalloy post, sandpaper, new heavy duty bolts, broke the bolts because I tightened too much , bear can shims...NOTHING WORKED!!! really pissed me off

I finally took it to my lbs guy, and he knurled the seatpost(a thompson 27.2) and put on some carbon anti seize

the knurl tool makes a ridges on the seatpost to roughen it up so it won't slip

that slowed the slipping but it still slipped slightly, just enough onb long rides to make it irritating, nothing major

so the knurling tool and the carbon anti seize worked enough

I finally took a salsa 28.6 liplock seatpost clamp in silver and put that on(I had to file the little ridge off)......problem solved

http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ils&sku=ST8641
Parts & Accessories Catalog - AEBike.com

it doesn't look too bad, the silver accents the ti and it works perfectly

here is a link (I am selling it) take a look at the flick for a close up


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MESE:IT&ih=004
52cm Track Road Frame Frameset Fixed Gear Single Speed - eBay (item 140287133978 end time Dec-15-08 18:57:49 PST)


also if you want to try a 27.4 Kalloy post....I have one you can have, pm me with an address and I will send it to you

good luck!!

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Old 12-12-08, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by nathbdp View Post
Thanks for the advice all.



It's kind of temporary since my other fixing bolt snapped, you know? Appreciate the sarcasm and literary italics, though.
Glad you know it's all in fun.

As for your bike, if the bolt lugs have started to bend in they will continue to bend because the metal has now weakened.

If it was my bike I would consider grinding the lugs off completely and fitting an external seat collar, but I can do that kind of work so I'm comfortable with it.

I suggest you contact Litespeed and ask their advice first. They may have some useful suggestions and they might even help you out for the PR. It can't hurt to ask.
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Old 12-12-08, 03:29 PM
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The 27.4 seatpost I got works and there's space left between the ears. I only think this works because the seat tube widens below the clamp area, allowing the post to go in with less resistance.

Litespeed offered to replace the collar for $365 + shipping, but that's moot now.

Thanks again...
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Old 12-12-08, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
If it was my bike I would consider grinding the lugs off completely and fitting an external seat collar, but I can do that kind of work so I'm comfortable with it.
That's a good fix if the frame allows it. From what I can see, the seat tube has to extend at least 1/2" above the top of the top tube to make room for an external collar.

I have a '96 Catalyst and I've wondered what I would do if the seat post clamping ears distorted or broke (it hasn't happened in 70,000 miles so, so far, so good). This frame does have enough seat tube extension to make your proposed fix work.

However, I also have an '83 lugged steel Trek and the seat tube stops nearly flush with the top of the top tube and there is no way a seatpost collar could be fitted.

The OP's photo doesn't show how much the seat tube extends above the top tube so it's not clear if it would work on his bike.
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