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Leveling Saddles

Miranda2010-04-28 17:17:43 +0000 #1
Have any of you had the experience that some saddles are not designed to be level?

I have been on the saddle search for a while. The upside is that I've become quite skilled with my multi-tool, and DH's level tool out of the garage for installing . But, some of them I just can not get level .

I wonder if I need a shim in the clamp to make it work? Sorta like a micro-adjustment.

Example: The saddle I rode tonight was a mens Specialized Avatar. I knew it was nose down slightly by the level, and could feel it in the ride as I was sliding forward onto my hands. When I tried to tilt it up to the next groove, it was nose up. Which means a wee bit too much pressure on the lady bits. I can hold it with my hand in the clamp, with the tool on it level... But, when I go to tighten the clamp, it does not stay that way.

This is not the first saddle I've had do this (mens and ladies models). I wonder if it's my seat post clamp grooves? (btw, regular road bike, wsd Giant OCR1). Some do level out nicely. So, is it just the saddle then, and not my bike?

Thanks for any thoughts!


indysteel2010-04-28 17:31:42 +0000 #2
I have the same problem and my seat post is to blame. My fitter can get my saddle level more or less but it's difficult. He's recommended a Salsa seatpost (I'm sorry but I don't know which one) as being particularly easy to level.
Miranda2010-04-28 17:33:25 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by indysteel

I have the same problem and my seat post is to blame. My fitter can get my saddle level more or less but it's difficult. He's recommended a Salsa seatpost (I'm sorry but I don't know which one) as being particularly easy to level.

Thx for chiming in. I thought I was going to have a big girl pity party one day right in the middle of my formal dining room where my bike lives and pms cry my eyes out.... all about leveling... "boo hoo, I just can't get it, bwaaa".

It's too much to drag to the shop as many things as I've tried, but I took their mechanical tips on use the tool, not the eye, etc. If your own bike monkey has trouble, I feel less like crying now .

I think the seat post your lbs guy is talking about is this one in the link below. I just googled Salsa seatpost, and went to their web site. It looks like it it has two screw adjustments in the clamp. My current seat post just has one vertical screw that threads through the two piece clamp.

Here's the link...(called the "SHAFT" seatpost)

www.salsacycles.com/seatposts.html
emily_in_nc2010-04-28 18:10:23 +0000 #4
I had the Salsa Shaft seatpost on the Aegis Swift bike I recently sold. It is indeed a GREAT seatpost for leveling the saddle. It also has a nice amount of setback (23mm), which is good for those of us with longer femurs for our height. That's the primary reason I got it. I do remember that the only drawback was that it wasn't particularly light. My bike builder commented on that. Still, I was happy with it.
aicabsolut2010-04-28 18:41:22 +0000 #5
Yeah, that sounds like your seatpost. Some are infinitely adjustable. Some have little notches. It seems like you need to be in between 2 notches on yours to get the right fit with that saddle. There are a lot of seatposts that are smooth at the top clamp so you can put it wherever you want.
Tokie2010-04-28 18:00:46 +0000 #6
The seatpost on my Trek is the easiest to adjust ever! It really makes a huge difference!

tokie
Miranda2010-04-28 18:41:08 +0000 #7
Quote:

Originally Posted by aicabsolut

Yeah, that sounds like your seatpost. Some are infinitely adjustable. Some have little notches. It seems like you need to be in between 2 notches on yours to get the right fit with that saddle. There are a lot of seatposts that are smooth at the top clamp so you can put it wherever you want.

YES... that is exactly what my seatpost clamp looks like. It has grippy grooves/notches in the clamps that resemble that of a plastic zip tie. I think when I go to torq down the tension, the nothes (if lined up on top of each other wrong, aka male to male pieces, vs female to male) slip... unleveling the saddle from where I had it originally.

My OCR1 is an aluminum frame, with carbon being only in the forks and seat post. When I got the bike as a new rider, it was plenty for my skills. Now, I want to upgrade to all carbon to smooth out the ride from the aluminum frame chatter. The carbon in the forks and seat post are suppose to be something in the current design that helps to smooth that out.

Hmm, obviously there are other seat post that might do it, but I wonder if some modification to what I have would do it...

OK, in reality, I'm assuming in this would not be "secure" on a ride, but I'm thinking about filling up the grooves in the clamp with tape, maybe a smooth rubber shim, *something* for a test. All I have on hand now is tape. Things like seat post rack clamps, handle bar light clamps, etc. come with rubber shims. That's sorta what my brain was thinking. Sure a shop could find me a carbon post without the groove issue (for a price, dunno what though).
Miranda2010-04-28 19:50:02 +0000 #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tokie

The seatpost on my Trek is the easiest to adjust ever! It really makes a huge difference!

tokie

Thx Tokie...

As you know I have been saddle searching for a while. Part of this I just thought was the saddles. The SI slr lady is one of the few that's a pretty level saddle to start in design, and probably one reason why it has felt better to me than some of the rest... cuz I could actually get it in the correct position to ride it! Hmm, it makes me wonder now how many other saddles might have worked better for me if the leveling challenge didn't exists .

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