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Stuck Seat Post

Kano2010-04-29 01:04:05 +0000 #1
So, what's a girl to do about this?

DH has this old bike -- Schwinn High Plains, dating back to the mid to late '80's. Poor thing has collected a lot of dust over the years, but he commuted for a while in decent weather, and used it when we were getting back into biking, until one day, I said to him, "your seat's too low."

It hadn't bothered him, and still didn't, except that I pointed out to him that he was losing power by not being able to stretch out his legs fully as he pedalled.

THAT bothered him. It took a LOT to convince him that the thing to do was make use of all 21 of his gears, not just the big one. His theory was that he was getting the most distance per revolution of the pedals, and never mind that it hurt his knees. (this from the man who was doing this "to get in shape for ski season because his knees hurt when skiing)

Well, anyway, I was looking at it today again. See, the seat post is stuck, so the saddle can't be adjusted up to the right height. It doesn't go anywhere. We tried penetrating oil -- lots -- that last summer he was riding it. Nothing. I was reading Sheldon Brown's site looking for something else lately, and saw this thing about aluminum -- penetrating oil doesn't work, use ammonia. I got the bike out today, because this intrigued me, and I wanted to see if this idea would work.

Nothing yet.

So, I noticed, as I was poking around with this bike, there are lugs! Steel, maybe? What if the seat post is aluminum and the frame is steel? do I have to mix the ammonia and penetrating oil? (what will happen if I do that?)

Seriously, though, any suggestions for getting this stucker freed?

It would be a nice commuter for him if we can get it "working" again, and cleaned up. (he likes his comfort-beast, but this one really is a nicer bike than the beast!)

Karen in Boise


mimitabby2010-04-29 01:14:25 +0000 #2
Karen,

I was at a bike shop about a year ago. There was a custom Rodriguez bike there with a stuck seat post. the LBS guy said, this is the worst problem a bike can have. We're trying this one more thing; and if it doesn't work, this bike cannot be fixed...!!!!

so good luck!!

sorry about the bad report here.
DebW2010-04-29 01:27:32 +0000 #3
I've heard of clamping the post in a vise and trying to twist the frame (you'd need a new seatpost after that). They can get really stuck and sometimes there's nothing you can do. That's why you always grease a seatpost.
kat_h2010-04-29 02:10:40 +0000 #4
Here's the farm fix - wipe off any oil or grease (anything flamable) then hold a lighter to it, not enough to set anything on fire but just enough to make the metal expand a bit. Then give it a sharp whack with a mallet, not up or down but just to make it twist. Once it's moved even just a little it will be easier for the oil to get in between the parts and you'll be able to wiggle it to where you need.
VeloVT2010-04-29 02:48:02 +0000 #5
Clever, Kat!

Sheldon Brown has an extensive article on stuck seatposts (of course):

sheldonbrown.com/stuck-seatposts.html

RIP Sheldon Brown...
BluePeace22010-04-29 01:58:32 +0000 #6
As a music teacher you get a lot of students who get their mouth pieces stuck in their brass instruments, normally we have this nifty tool but with tubas it doesn't work so we would put the tube (your bike frame) against a softish hard surface (mdf or something like that) and tap tap tap with a rawhide mallet, always worked. it'd give it a go.

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