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Slightly wide-railed saddles on Campagnolo 2-bolt posts?

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Slightly wide-railed saddles on Campagnolo 2-bolt posts?

Old 03-28-15, 11:44 PM
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leicanthrope
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Slightly wide-railed saddles on Campagnolo 2-bolt posts?

I've got a new saddle which has rails that are a couple of millimeters wider than the standard. On some seatposts, it isn't really a problem: pinch the rails a bit, clamp and go. However on the Campy-type two bolt seatposts, it's a bit of a fight. The bottom clamps want to get pulled outwards on their little posts, and it's proving really difficult to get the rear bolt tightened down enough.

Anyone have any tricks?
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Old 03-29-15, 02:53 AM
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I've used a wood working clamp with rubber ends to compress the Brooks rails together while tightening the two PIA, hard to reach 10mm bolt heads. This has worked for me. There's no way around the fact that it is awkward, no matter what.
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Old 03-29-15, 05:18 AM
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"a couple of millimeters" ?

Clamp, as Bob has suggested. I think I would compress them together using a clamp, off the bike, and secure by tying, with something that will hold.
Where the ties won't interfere. Remove clamps and mount, tighten bolts well and remove ties.
What a hassle.
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Old 03-29-15, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
I've used a wood working clamp with rubber ends to compress the Brooks rails together while tightening the two PIA, hard to reach 10mm bolt heads. This has worked for me. There's no way around the fact that it is awkward, no matter what.
This problem with Campy seat posts is made a lot easier with a slotted saddle. It doesn't help with the way the rails fit, but it lets you use a socket wrench like the convenient Hozan 8-9-10 triple wrench to reach the 10 mm bolts.
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Old 03-29-15, 06:27 AM
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Flex head 10mm ratcheting wrench.
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Old 03-29-15, 06:52 AM
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Too funny...I'm going through the exact same thing right now.
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Old 03-29-15, 08:08 AM
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Channel lock-type pliers (one hand) will let you move the rails close enough together to tighten the seatpost clamp bolts (other hand).
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Old 03-29-15, 08:56 AM
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Can't you bend the rails so they stay at the right distance from each other?
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Old 03-29-15, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Can't you bend the rails so they stay at the right distance from each other?
That's what I'd recommend. Squeeze the rails together on a vise, enough to cold set them to the correct width. It's a common problem and pretty easy to fix.
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Old 03-30-15, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
That's what I'd recommend. Squeeze the rails together on a vise, enough to cold set them to the correct width. It's a common problem and pretty easy to fix.
+1^
This way you are not asking the clamp to do something that it was not designed to do ... ideally, of course, find an example of the saddle with correct rail spacing ...

Last edited by gfk_velo; 03-30-15 at 04:59 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-30-15, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
That's what I'd recommend. Squeeze the rails together on a vise, enough to cold set them to the correct width. It's a common problem and pretty easy to fix.

Funny but, I tried that with one of mine. You know, Rootboy has many vises. The rails just sprung back. Maybe I didn't do far enough but I was afraid of breaking the connection at the cantle plate on my old Brooks Pro.
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Old 03-30-15, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Funny but, I tried that with one of mine. You know, Rootboy has many vises. The rails just sprung back. Maybe I didn't do far enough but I was afraid of breaking the connection at the cantle plate on my old Brooks Pro.
"Spring back" has been my experience as well.

I guess we could take a torch to the rails and heat them up so they'd be more pliable.

Scott, after you mentioned securing the rails after compressing them, I thought about Zip Ties and how well they should work in this application.
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Old 03-30-15, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
That's what I'd recommend. Squeeze the rails together on a vise, enough to cold set them to the correct width. It's a common problem and pretty easy to fix.
Funny but, I tried that with one of mine. You know, Rootboy has many vises. The rails just sprung back. Maybe I didn't do far enough but I was afraid of breaking the connection at the cantle plate on my old Brooks Pro.
Well, yes, that could happen. These steel rails are pretty tough, and for good reason. The weld at the cantle plate should also be pretty tough, but yes, I realize what "should" implies.

Another way to accomplish the same result is to bend the cantle plate. Not difficult, but not for the faint of heart. Place the saddle, upside down, over two blocks of wood, one under each end of the cantle plate, with a gap of two or three inches between the blocks of wood. Ideally the contact point would be right on the rivets, but better something soft between the leather and the wood to protect the leather. Then pound on the middle of the cantle plate, again using a piece of wood between the hammer and the metal, to protect the leather and the surface. As you add a little curvature to the cantle plate, the rails should come together. Heh heh, there's that "should" again.
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Old 03-30-15, 07:38 AM
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Leicanthrope mentioned a new saddle but did not mention if it was a traditional or plastic shell type.
My only comment is that the top cross trusses of a Campagnolo seatpost should be of two shapes, one holds the rails in place very snugly, the forward one has wider tunnels, to capture the common to the day narrowing of the frame when the saddle is adjusted back.
When these parts were easy to get I used two aft truss parts to feel secure about the assembly on some assemblages.
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Old 03-30-15, 08:07 AM
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"Back when" I used a simple U-shaped tool w/ grooves machined at the bottom of the U to firmly/gently position rails on Brooks saddles to the exact width of the Campy 2 bolt seatpost.
I'll have to look but I think that it came w/ other very useful tools in my Paramount tool kit from the '60's.

@Michael Angelo has it right the modern ratcheting 10mm wrench is the best tool for tightening the bolts.

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Old 03-30-15, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Leicanthrope mentioned a new saddle but did not mention if it was a traditional or plastic shell type.
A little bit of both. A traditional plastic shell type - one of the Mexican Unicanitor [clones?].
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Old 03-30-15, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by leicanthrope View Post
A little bit of both. A traditional plastic shell type - one of the Mexican Unicanitor [clones?].
Those were notorious. Time for a simple seat post and basic single bolt clamp assembly. No Campagnolo for that one, it is possible, but a Royal Pain. The rails are most likely not parallel as they do not have much of straight length to work with.
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Old 03-30-15, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Those were notorious. Time for a simple seat post and basic single bolt clamp assembly. No Campagnolo for that one, it is possible, but a Royal Pain. The rails are most likely not parallel as they do not have much of straight length to work with.
That's exactly what I've done for the time being. I found a "Hupel Rider", the stock seatpost for my Fuji Pro after about a year of hunting at more or less the same time I found a reasonably appropriate vintage saddle. I was hoping to get the two to play nicely together, but after a bit of swearing I just put the nice simple Nitto back on for now.
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