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Lowering a quick release bike seat clamp

Old 02-23-22, 06:49 PM
  #1  
rocketrich
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Lowering a quick release bike seat clamp

Greetings!!

I am about to purchase an e-bike. The problem is that almost all have minimum seat heights TO THE GROUND higher than is comfortable for me (30") but there are seveal that are close. I am wondering how difficult it is to remove the existing quick release seat clamp, cut down the seat tube (assuming there is room) and replacing the quick release seat clamp. I might also need to trim a little off the seat stem. This scheme assumes the quick realease clamp is easily removed.

I could really use your expertise before I purchase an expensive e-bike.

Thank you!
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Old 02-23-22, 07:57 PM
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If it is a true quick release seat clamp it should be rather easy to remove by just unscrewing the lever and pulling the clamp off. May require a little help to loosen the clamp using a screw driver to pry it open.

If you have an angle grinder, or can get your hands on one, cutting the seat tube will take about 30 seconds and about the same for the seat post. Caution: angle grinders can be extremely dangerous if used improperly. Can’t say if you will ruin the structural integrity of any part you decide to cut, and you definitely will not be able to return the bike for any issues.
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Old 02-23-22, 08:05 PM
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You should go test ride some bikes first. I don't know what you are looking at but there are tons of great options out there for shorter folks probably a lot of the cheap online stuff is going to be OSFS (One Size Fits Some) but you can find a lot of quality stuff in different sizes which might work. It is possible you may need to cut down a seatpost (unfortunately a lot of companies use one size for their posts to save a little cash) but that isn't so bad but you shouldn't need it slammed beyond slammed and if so there are other options.

If you do decide to cut down a seat tube on the frame, you will void the warranty for sure and that could suck when you deal with a company say like Specialized that has a lifetime warranty on their frames and fork and Roval Wheels. You may not ruin the integrity of it but they generally don't make frames to be cut down.

I would try and find a more dedicated e-bike store that sells a wider variety of brands or go to a few local shops and try what they have if possible. Don't be afraid to travel either. I have had people come from many states over to test bikes and purchase because we have a really broad selection of e-bikes and know how to work on them.
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Old 02-24-22, 05:31 AM
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Bike Friday will make Electric Assist bikes with some of their models, and fit well with shorter stature riders.

https://bikefriday.com/electric-assi...-city-commuter

You may be able to simply remove the clamp and use a "quill" seatpost. Often found in 27.2 sizes. But, they're rather rare and hard to find.



Here is a thread from a while ago about a person modifying a Bilenky bike to lower the seat mast.

Modifying a frame

It had a unique clamp that was a solid tube with two half moon inserts that were clamped against the seatpost.





In this case, the clamp was simply moved down on the frame.

While that clamp may be unique, it may not be hard to make a similar seatpost clamp.

A steel frame may be easier to modify than an aluminum frame.

Make sure you are confident the resulting bike will fit you and will be comfortable to ride.
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Old 02-24-22, 06:23 AM
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Perhaps this is not what you want to hear, but what comes to mind is that if you need to be able to touch the ground with your feet while sitting, your bike handling skills might not be on-par to handle the higher speeds of an electric bike in the first place.

You might be better off first getting more comfortable with handling a bike, your knees will also be thankful for the higher saddle position.
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Old 02-24-22, 06:25 AM
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The seat height should allow you a full leg extension at the bottom of the pedal movement, so it'll need to be a few inches too high from the ground. If you can sit on the seat with your feet on the ground, you're not going to be comfortable riding it. You'd need to lean slightly to put one foot down, or stand up in front of the seat.

Definitely get a bike that fits and is comfortable to use, rather than buying one and cutting down the frame.
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Old 02-24-22, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
The seat height should allow you a full leg extension at the bottom of the pedal movement….
+1

Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
…..so it'll need to be a few inches too high from the ground.
Unless it’s a ”crank-forward/ pedal-forward” or any other semi-recumbent design.
Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
If you can sit on the seat with your feet on the ground, you're not going to be comfortable riding it.
I’d agree with that if you change it to ”feet FLAT on the ground”.
It’s quite common to be able to reach the ground with your toes while seated.
Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
You'd need to lean slightly to put one foot down, or stand up in front of the seat.
….or be on your toes….
Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
Definitely get a bike that fits and is comfortable to use, rather than buying one and cutting down the frame.
+1
Cutting into a frame should definitely be a last-ditch approach unless you’re utterly CERTAIN that your anatomy/medical condition calls for it.
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Old 02-24-22, 09:36 AM
  #8  
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You mean with the seat lowered all the way to the seat tube collar, it is still to high to reach the ground?
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Old 02-24-22, 11:00 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Unless it’s a ”crank-forward/ pedal-forward” or any other semi-recumbent design.
Good point, I was assuming a traditional upright bicycle.

I’d agree with that if you change it to ”feet FLAT on the ground”.
It’s quite common to be able to reach the ground with your toes while seated.
If the bottom bracket it low enough and the pedals low enough to the ground, then sure. I'm used to off-road bikes with higher clearance.
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Old 02-24-22, 11:18 AM
  #10  
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I would be very careful about cutting the top off the seat-tube. It may be thicker at the top to support the seat-post, may have a brazed-on or brazed-in sleeve. If you cut the top part off the ID may be larger at the depth you reach and therefore be unable to clamp the seatpost. It depends on the frame.
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Old 02-24-22, 01:19 PM
  #11  
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Look for an e-bike with a more sloping seat tube and you might find you can somewhat comfortably sit with both feet touching the ground at stops. I'm guessing you have only been looking at e-bikes that have seat tube angle more on the line of hybrids and road bikes.

I'd think something is out there for you. However, if you are basing your decision on what looks like a sports car over what looks like a inexpensive economy car, then you'll probably not find something easily.
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Old 02-24-22, 01:21 PM
  #12  
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Weird. Nearly every e-bike I've seen is either compact or step-through frame.
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Old 02-24-22, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rocketrich View Post
cut down the seat tube
Absolutely not.

This is downright dangerious, damages the integrity of the (aluminum) frame, and will 100% void the manufacturer's warranty.

You can easily cut a seat post, but never a tube stay,

Shop for another bike. Pay more if you must. There are loads of step-thru bikes out there with very low frames.
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Old 02-24-22, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
Absolutely not.

This is downright dangerious, damages the integrity of the (aluminum) frame, and will 100% void the manufacturer's warranty.

You can easily cut a seat post, but never a tube stay,

Shop for another bike. Pay more if you must. There are loads of step-thru bikes out there with very low frames.
Perhaps a photo of the actual bike being modified.

I think the OP was wanting to cut down some kind of a mast which may well not be structural, although, as @guy153 pointed out, the tubing thickness may not be uniform, and the design may be for a few inches of 27.2 inside diameter tubing, and larger inside diameter tubing the rest of the length. I.E. Support for the seatpost may not be uniform, and one may cut off a critical section.

But, one also needs to carefully consider the whole goal for the E-Bike as people above have mentioned. On a motorcycle, one can just put the foot down. But, on a "road" bike, one generally hops off of the seat when one stops.
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Old 02-24-22, 05:00 PM
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It may be that one should better define the project, then build the bike from an existing non-motorized bike having the frame characteristics one desires.

A hub/wheel based conversion might be relatively easy to build up.

The Schwinn OCC Chopper is a fun bike that people motorize, and is low to the ground. But it would take some custom work to get the motor squeezed in. Perhaps build a custom front motorized wheel.
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Old 02-24-22, 05:05 PM
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I have now decided that the risk of voiding a frame warranty overwhelms my thoughts of cutting down a seat tube to lower the seat beyond its design. That said I do disagree with 2 other points..................
1. As a retired engineering manager with years of experience with structures and materials, I strongly doubt that cutting the seat tube down an inch of maybe a little more will not negatively impact the frame's structure as long as no joints or welds are disturbed in any way.
2. Being retired and fully or partially immobile for the past 9+ months, I have had plenty to search for the ideal e-bike for me. Thus far I have only found 1 fat tire, step-thru e-bike with a minimum seat height to the ground to be 30 inches. That bike is the HJM Toury Step-Thru. If there are others I would like to know what they are. I am only interested in purchasing a bike from a local shop or a direct to consumer on-line company. I do not think a purchase from a third person company like Walmart is a good idea because contacting the true marketer or manufacturer will be difficult and slow.

Once again, I appreciate all the great support I have received in this thread.
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Old 02-24-22, 05:25 PM
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Folder brands - Dahon, Tern, Brompton - have seatposts that can be lowered well below 30", and e-bike versions.
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Old 02-24-22, 05:29 PM
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https://www.radpowerbikes.com/collec...-fat-tire-bike
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Old 02-24-22, 05:34 PM
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Have you looked at these? They aren't the sportiest looking things. But I think they'll give you the 30" saddle height.

https://electra.trekbikes.com/us/en_...ode=greenlight

Verve looks a little more modern, but no sportier and might also come close to the 30" saddle height.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...colorCode=blue
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Old 02-24-22, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
The seat height should allow you a full leg extension at the bottom of the pedal movement, so it'll need to be a few inches too high from the ground. If you can sit on the seat with your feet on the ground, you're not going to be comfortable riding it. You'd need to lean slightly to put one foot down, or stand up in front of the seat.

Definitely get a bike that fits and is comfortable to use, rather than buying one and cutting down the frame.
All of the above, plus, if you really need to have that seat low to mount the bike, you might consider a dropper post. That would allow you to get on the bike with a low saddle and then raise it to ride, and lower it again to get off.
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Old 02-24-22, 08:47 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by rocketrich View Post
I have now decided that the risk of voiding a frame warranty overwhelms my thoughts of cutting down a seat tube to lower the seat beyond its design. That said I do disagree with 2 other points..................
1. As a retired engineering manager with years of experience with structures and materials, I strongly doubt that cutting the seat tube down an inch of maybe a little more will not negatively impact the frame's structure as long as no joints or welds are disturbed in any way.
2. Being retired and fully or partially immobile for the past 9+ months, I have had plenty to search for the ideal e-bike for me. Thus far I have only found 1 fat tire, step-thru e-bike with a minimum seat height to the ground to be 30 inches. That bike is the HJM Toury Step-Thru. If there are others I would like to know what they are. I am only interested in purchasing a bike from a local shop or a direct to consumer on-line company. I do not think a purchase from a third person company like Walmart is a good idea because contacting the true marketer or manufacturer will be difficult and slow.

Once again, I appreciate all the great support I have received in this thread.
That bike looks like a wide range of cheap bikes online that are not worth your time or money. You don't need fat tires unless you are actually almost always on sand and snow otherwise you are buying a heavy slow machine with harder to find parts and no real benefits. Like I said earlier head down to your local e-bike shop or don't be afraid to travel and find one that has a large selection. If you are already having fit issues before you have even been on the bike means you need to test ride it and you need good support behind it so they can help you out down the road when you need it.
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Old 02-24-22, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rocketrich View Post
I strongly doubt that cutting the seat tube down an inch of maybe a little more will not negatively impact the frame's structure as long as no joints or welds are disturbed in any way.
Then go ahead and do it.

It's your bike. Whatever you do, will have no consequences to the rest of us here.
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Old 02-25-22, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
All of the above, plus, if you really need to have that seat low to mount the bike, you might consider a dropper post. That would allow you to get on the bike with a low saddle and then raise it to ride, and lower it again to get off.
Good point. I'd fit a dropper to all of my bikes if I could even if just for that reason.
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Old 02-25-22, 08:27 AM
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I am admittedly a novice to the e-bike world. When I started looking for an e-bike last year, I was surprised at how expensive they could be. Being retired and, frankly, since I don't know how much use I would get from an e-bike, I decided I did not really want to spend more than $2,000. I have to keep in mind that I am recovering from surgeries on both ankles in 2021 that have left me with limited range of motion although my ability to stand on my toes is improving slowly. In summary, I am a 67 year old, retired, short, overweight male. I have been mostly sedentary for the past 10 months and have an urge for some moderate exercise. Thus the e-bike. I did try out a bike a few months ago and found that at least for now I do need a low seat. Over time, I will raise the seat to improve pedaling. We live in rather rural area of Southeast PA and have many steep poor maintained country roads. Thin roads, certainly with no bike lanes. I also tried the male's bike I have had for years. The seat is at 36 inches and for now the bar and seat are too high for me. I am expected leisurely rides. We do have a number of gravel and dirt trails that I expect I will ride on. Besides not spending more than $2,000, the bike I want should have the following characteristics.
1. A minumum seat height to the ground of 30 inches. (Not the seat height to the bottom of the pedal stroke). I will say that as my ankle range of motion has improved I can probably deal with a minumu seat height to the ground of 32".
2. I have no interest in a folding bike. I just do not like the appearance of a folding bike. I like the look of a traditional bike frame.
3. I am open to wheels as small as 20". I settled on fat tires because they make for a more comfortable ride for my fat butt. I understand that rolling resistance from fat tires plus my weight will reduce the range.
4. I want the battery to have good capacity. I have settled on the pretty standard 14AH. The last mile returning to our home is very steep up hill. I want to be sure I have the battery capacity to get me up these final hills. I will likely want a second battery eventually.
5. It must have a rear rack.

So with all these constraints, I must admit that there are bikes that physically meet these requriements. The sugggested Radpower bike at $1,999 plus the optional rear rack would be a pretty good alternative to the HJM bike. The suggested TREK bikes recommended also look real good but at $2,700+ are too expensive to me. I found it interesting that I cannot find the voltage and Amp-Hours of the Bosch batteries that the TREK bikes use. The BOSCH/TREK range calculater does say that I would get an impressive 50+miles out of a charge.

Hey Veganbikes/Mr. Griswold, Assuming you are commenting on the HJM bike writing that it is a cheap bike that is not worth my time and effort, I am interested in learning what specifically you find substandard with HJM bikes. Other than the frame, controller, and display, all other components or alternatives should be availiable from other sources. I do have some concern with any bike company making the electronic parts harder to replace. As I pointed out earlier, I am novice to e-bikes and am open to as much learning as I can get. That said you are correct that I do not need fat tires, but I am financially limited to spending $2,000. So please let me know specifically what would keep me from enjoying leisurely, moderate rides for many years with the HJM bike.

One last thing, since I plan to ride the numerous trails here in SE PA, I will need a bike rack that is capable of carrying 2 e-bikes for when my wife gets an e-bike.

I appreciate and have enjoyed reading all the replies I have received. One think I have definitely decided is that I will not cut down the seat post. I do not want to risk any warranties.
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Old 02-25-22, 08:58 AM
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E-bikes are expensive. Just like all bikes, you can get dazzled in the search and purchase of one and may very well buy the wrong one for you. Even if you get one that suits most of your purposes and goals, then after riding it regularly for a couple years you might find that you really will be better on a different bike, whether a slight change of geometry and size or a different style of bike altogether. So don't bust your piggy bank on a bike that you may not be able to recoup your money on and not be able to buy another bike.

Are you absolutely certain that you can't get up that last hill home on a bike only powered by you? There are some bikes with very low gearing that should easily let you pedal up most any hill. If you are at a low point for stamina and strength right now, then with regular riding and exercise it won't take you long on the correct bike appropriately geared to be able to ride that hill home with no issue.

And you might do that with a bike much less expensive than an e-bike so that you'll be able to just scrap it and get something else when the time comes.
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