Seat post sheared off - is this normal?!

mrkwr
mrkwr Posts: 11
edited November 2008 in Road beginners
Out for a ride this morning when my saddle fell off - the seat post had completely sheared through and my Brookes Professional was bouncing all over the road. Anyone else had this happen?

So as I was cycling back the 16-odd miles standing up on the pedals, I thought these thoughts:

- you should always have the right tools with you. My multitool set had lots of allen keys but no (Imperial) spanners. With the right spanner I should have been able to loosen the seat post and put the saddle back on, even if very low. But ... when I actually when I got home I discovered that the seat post is corroded into the seat tube (well, I've had no reason to take it out for the last 30 years) - I haven't been able to shift it yet even with a 12-inch mole wrench. So a spanner would just have been unnecessary weight.

- a better tool would probably have been a credit card - if I'd have one, I could have gone on the couple of miles to Clevedon and found a bike shop to replace the seat post. (Of course, Sod's Law being what it is, I'd have probably found they didn't one in stock that fitted, and/or couldn't shift the old post either, etc.)

- If I wasn't such a man about not asking for help, many of the small farms & house I rode past probably had the tools and the muscles to get it done ...

- If an aluminium seat post can shear off, presumably so can an aluminium crank of the same vintage? Cycling home standing up was one thing, doing it with one leg would have been something else

Any other lessons... ?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3205/303 ... 084490.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3158/303 ... 87a4fb.jpg

Comments

  • topdude
    topdude Posts: 1,557
    If an aluminium seat post can shear off, presumably so can an aluminium crank of the same vintage? Cycling home standing up was one thing, doing it with one leg would have been something else
    If you ever do find yourself cycling home with no saddle and one crank can you please come my way, i would realy like to see that :D
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • Mister W
    Mister W Posts: 791
    If that's an aluminium seat post in a steel frame then the best of luck getting it out. My hack is siezed solid and I've yet to find a way of getting the seat post out. If you do manage it please let me know how you did it.

    Thanks :)
  • Saw a straight line accross the top of the seat tube wide enough to fit a screw driver or other metal object across the top to use as twist leverage???
  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    Unless the number of bike shops have increased in the last few years I think you'd be hard pressed to find a bike shop with a seatpost in stock of your size. I know of two plus one in Yatton.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • Hey there,

    I've just had to deal with the same problem. I'm building a project bike (an excuse to try out my mechanical skills). The seatpost was stuck fast, so I left the bike over a radiator so the heat would loosen it a tad. I then did as another poster suggested and twisted it off.

    I usually look for any excuse to use a big hammer, but it didn't work on a seat post.

    Cheers
    Pedroooo
    Giant TCR Advanced II - Reviewed on my homepage
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  • Don't saw a line across, drill 2 holes opposite each other that you can put a long screwdriver or something to lever it off.

    Don't forget to marinade in WD40 overnight first!

    (And next time, take the seatpost out every now and again to clean it and check it's not seized!)
    Boardman Road Comp '08
    Spesh FSR XC Expert '08
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Well its not normal for it to happen but then again its prob not normal for it to be in use for thirty years ?
  • Coke is a wonderous drink! If you can find a way immerse the seat tube in coke beyond the sheared seat post, while the bike is upside-down, there are good odds you can remove the post after a couple of days.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    An old Cast aluminium seat post yes they can sheer like that.

    Have a read of the 12 way to remove stuck seat posts on Sheldon Browns webby.

    when you do get it out use some anti seize compound on it.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • croggy
    croggy Posts: 116
    Don't saw a line across, drill 2 holes opposite each other that you can put a long screwdriver or something to lever it off.

    Don't forget to marinade in WD40 overnight first!

    (And next time, take the seatpost out every now and again to clean it and check it's not seized!)

    +1
    I drilled two 1/2" holes then passed a bar through, then put a pipe over each end for extra leverage.That and a combination of heat and WD40 did the trick.
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    THIRTY years without removing the post and greasing it? I rather imagine the frame is shot anyway - or certainly will be once you've subjected it to the sort of violence that will be required to part two objects so closely associated and for so long.
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Why are you posting in beginners if you've been riding 30 years anyway ? ;-)
  • croggy
    croggy Posts: 116
    cougie wrote:
    Why are you posting in beginners if you've been riding 30 years anyway ? ;-)

    Just a thought - how long does a person have to be a cyclist before they are not a beginner?
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,698
    Between 0 and 30 years it seems. ;)
  • topdude
    topdude Posts: 1,557
    I guess Mrkwr qualifies as a beginner at taking his seatpost out :wink:
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • JGS
    JGS Posts: 180
    Caustic soda solution will dissolve the seat post without doing too much damage to the frame. I've heard this used on aluminum frames to loosen off the seatpost as generally a post will be softer alu than the frame. I do reccomend extreme caution with this stuff though as it's extremely corrosive, and needs thorough cleaning afterwards as well as using goggles and protective gloves / apron.
  • ademort
    ademort Posts: 1,924
    Last year while cycling home from work, my saddle suddenly broke off. I managed to keep control of the bike and stop without injuring myself. On inspection it turned out that the saddle bolts sheared off. I never found the saddle bolts or the upper part of the saddle cradle. The seatpin and saddle had been on the bike for 4 years, unexplainable really. This year on my good racing bike my Quest aero carbon seatpin broke off, it was less than 1 year old, again i was lucky enough to stop without being injured, The ride home on both occasions was uncomfortable to say the least, Ademort
    ademort
    Chinarello, record and Mavic Cosmic Sl
    Gazelle Vuelta , veloce
    Giant Defy 4
    Mirage Columbus SL
    Batavus Ventura
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    I've been cycling for well on 30 years or so and just had to say that I've never seen a seatpost quite that thick before. Even way back when.

    Dennis Noward
  • The same thing happened on my old bike, I was going at speed and and it was the strangest sensation, god knows how I stayed on but had a good bruise on the inside of my leg. As there was some corrosion on the base of the frame that i had kept my eye on, I initially thought the back of the bike had gone, but what seemed like seconds later I was still on the bike!
    It was time for a new bike and that's that, I took it as a warning sign!
  • mrkwr
    mrkwr Posts: 11
    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

    I was a bit wary of sawing or drilling the seat post, because of the swarf falling down the seat tube into the bottom bracket. (I think BB's are unsealed on bikes of this vintage, hence it would go straight into the bearings?)

    Finally got it out by: anointing with oil overnight; hitting down with a lump hammer to free the seat tube (while gripping with my mole-wrench to prevent it disappearing into the seat tube!); then twisting and pulling for about 20 minutes to get it out.

    Bike UK in Clifton had the right diameter seat tube (26.4mm since you ask) but the first two shops I went to didn't.

    As for the frame being "shot", it's a classic Holdsworth 531 steel frame - I was planning to have it re-enamelled after using it as a winter bike next Spring!

    And why post in Beginners after 30-years of owning this bike? Well (a) its the forum I most like reading; (b) I think of myself as a long time general commuter/all-purpose cyclist but a beginning roadie (at 53!) - did my first sportive this autumn!
  • croggy
    croggy Posts: 116
    Good news mrkwr! Hope the frame is ok.
    I'm a bit like you in the way that I've been cycling for 30 years but still browse Road Beginners,mostly to see if I can offer advice to newbies.And there's also a chance that I might learn a few new tricks.