Swiveling Seatpost - Cheap Fixes?

I have an old no-name (Sun style) uni that I want to lend to the neighborhood kids. The thing isn’t worth anything so I don’t want to spend much on it. The biggest problem it has is that I can’t tighten the seat post clamp enough to prevent the seat from twisting. The post is old and beat up.

Looking for a cheap fix. Was thinking of wrapping a single ply of aluminum foil around the post… Any other ideas?

A kid on my block is having the same problem with the handlebars on his bike. Maybe the same answer will work for both.

Make Shure there is no excess greese

Thanks Knox. Don’t think that’s the problem though.

Try cutting an aluminum beer/soda can

This has worked for me in the past. As Knoxuni said eliminate all grease etc. Try cutting an aluminum beer/soda can into a strip using snips or scissors. Wrap the aluminum strip around the post an appropriate # of times to fill the gap betwen post and seat tube. Ideally you’d like to have no more than 2 revs around the post, but take it from there. That is a $0 fix, nothing more than some time invested, and hopefully minimal trial and error.:slight_smile:

Great idea! Thanks.

Try wrapping the seat post in with some electrical tape. That should do the trick.

Thought about doing something like that but it is a messy solution in the long run. I will try the aluminum shim idea first.

Unlike most Americans I don’t have an aluminum can…yet.

if your issue is more the clamp than the size of the post, you may want to look into placing your spacers between the clamp and the frame. this is a better idea in the long run, as placing shims between post and frame allows for more slip-surfaces and decreases the strength of the clamp substantially.

That is a good point. The problem isn’t a mystery, the parts are worn. I will look at where the washers are and see if they are helping or hurting. Just waiting for a can to fall out of the sky …

This may or may not work depending on how loose the seatpost is, but a layer of paint is an easy way to increase friction and stop seatposts from twisting. This has worked for me before and I have also noticed that old scratched up seatposts twist far easier than fresh new seatposts.

I’ve had the seat swiveling problem also. Drill it through for a 10-32 machine screw. Put the screw completely through the seat post assembly and thread a nut on the other side, then tighten down. Be sure to cut and file down any excess threads on the nut side so no fingers will get hurt. Problem will be fixed forever.

See what is stopping the clamp from tightening all the way. If the two sides are meeting you can usually file one or both sides to make the clamp close further. I went too far with this once and it resulted in a bent bolt and some messed up threads but the clamp was garbage anyway.

Or for less hassles, bite the bullet and put on a nice, double-bolt clamp. Otherwise, I would go with Skrobo’s suggestion of shimming between frame and clamp. This is after paying two guys at my LBS last weekend to wrassle the seatpost out of my custom 36er. I was ripping my vise off its mount trying to get the thing out; apparently due to some foreign matter or kinks in the shim creating horizontal grooves. I did reassemble it with a little grease in there, but my 2-bolt clamp holds it nice and tight, even with its long handlebar.

So it was greasy after all. Cleaned that up…(Can’t remember the last time I greased my seatpost :frowning: )

I have done this now. It took a little effort to get it right. Had to be careful when swiveling it into position as the aluminum strip would get kinked up in the slot in back. Was holding really well but was still too tall for the kids. Lost a little perfection when I pressed the post in farther but it is still holding. Could do it again at the correct height if it doesn’t hold.

Another good idea.

That is a simple answer that I will keep in my back pocket for when I am sick of screwing with it. :wink:

Interestingly, the gap in the back of the frame is nowhere close to being closed. Maybe the clamp is just weak which brings us to JF’s answer…

That might be the simple truth right there. I have an old quick release clamp that I smack down with a mallet. Not very confidence inspiring. If the free fixes don’t work I will buy a decent double bolt clamp.

I would have included pics but my camera was out of batteries when I was working on it and now it is at the neighbor’s house :slight_smile:

As for the local kid’s handlebar problem - the top of the stem was upside down. Sorted.

Thanks everyone once again for helping bounce some fix-it ideas around!

so did you fix it?

Yes but it will have to behave for a little while to gain my trust. :slight_smile:

what ended up fixing it?

A strip from the aluminum can wrapped around the post inside the frame. A poor man’s shim. :sunglasses:

I have since turned it back over to the neighborhood pre-teens and have no doubt in their ability to break things. Time will tell if it returns with a new problem or the same one again. I should take bets.

new one for $1

OK. But only virtual dollars. LOL.

Kid from next door just came to show me his progress and return the uni. Up to 6 or 7 revolutions since zero yesterday.

“Nah kid, hang on to that thing for awhile. Good work.” :slight_smile: