Monday, December 21, 2009

All I want for Christmas is a new Seat Post Clamp

What is it with my timing lately. The seat post clamp on my P4 broke this weekend and with us being right in the middle of the Holiday season I won't be able to get another seat post clamp soon.

During my ride on Saturday it felt if my seat was lower than it should be but I thought it was my imagination because I haven't been on the bike a lot. When I finished my ride I carried on my other things and only remembered on Sunday about it. When I measured my seat height on Sunday I saw that the seat was a good 1.5cm lower than what it is suppose to be.

I loosened the clamp, adjusted the seat and when I tried to tighten it the nut just turned in circles without any tension. When I removed the seat post I saw something that I did not like and I almost started crying. Not because of the clamp that broke but because I knew I was not going to get a new part this time of the year.

My fears were confirmed when I phoned the bike shop today. After sending them the pictures of the clamp they confirmed the news I already knew. The Cervelo agent in South Africa is closed but they managed to pursue him to have a look at his stock and they don't have any P4 clamps in the country.

They need to order one from Cervelo HQ and can't tell me how long it's going to take.

Luckily for me my Workshop Manager has the skills and Tools to help me out. I gave him the broken piece and he said he will machine a new part for me tonight. I will use this part for time being and when the real part arrive from Cervelo I will just replace it.

In the mean time I still need to see what can I do to prevent the seat from slipping. One option is to loose weight but that's the long term solution and I need a short term solution. I don't want to tighten the bolt more than 6Nm although Cervelo states you can torque it up to 7Nm maximum. The last thing I want is a cracked frame.

The clamp fits into the frame just above the "S" and when you tighten it, it push the seat post against the frame. When I gave my P4 report a few months ago, I said that this is one of the weak points of the bike as it keeps slipping.

I gathered everything I thought I will need at work today and after my swim training tonight I started with my mission to fix my bike and prevent the saddle from slipping.

This is the tools I think will do the job.
I used an industrial sponge that is more dense that a normal sponge and after cutting it in pieced I shoved it down the frame. Above is the end product. Luckily the seat post tapers down and the frame is smaller than the post making it possible for the sponge to stop where the seat post meets the frame otherwise I would have had a very heavy frame stuffed with sponges.

At first I did not filled it enough and when I sat on the bike it was still lower than my seat height but without the clamp. I used DJ to help me and after I shoved more pieces of sponges in DJ will get on the bike and I will measure it and so we carried on.

Finally I just had enough in the frame and when I sat on it, it was just at the right height and that is even without a clamp. Now I don't need to worry about a seat post sliding down all the time. I can even ride without a seat post clamp.

Kim made the remark that I need to change my nickname now from "Skillie" to "SpongBob Squire Pants"

Talking about Kim. Last night I was laying in bed reading the January issue of Triathlete and when I turned the page I saw a Mark Allen Online full page advert thanking/congratulating all the MAO athletes who participated in Kona. I told her look, here is a list of all the athletes names and my name is in the magazine.

Her remark was " Where's your name, right at the bottom" I replied with something starting with a "F" and ending with "you". She thought it was very funny. I then had a look at all the MAO athletes results and had to give her the news. Out of the 37 MAO finishers my finishing time was one of the top ten times. Not last my baby!!!

On the training side I did a 3km swim today and I was just concentrating and working on my forearm pull and "swinging" the body the whole session. It is hard on the body at this stage but I can feel it is going to work.

I didn't want to race some 100's again and just did two 25's at the end of the session to see how fast I can go. Nr.1 was 16.5 seconds and Nr.2 was 17.9 seconds. For the first time I feel I am going somewhere with my swimming and want to do my swim training where in the past I hated it.

Today's training:
Swim: 1H09, 3km.
Bike: Not possible, will try and catch up "1hr high cadence spinning" during the week. Luckily we have a few Holidays this week and the dealership closes at 12pm on Thursday.



  1. Hope the bike repair works and gets you through until Cervelo(based on Canada) gets you the part required. Congrats again on the result at Kona! Great inspiration! CHeers!

  2. John
    Thanks. will know today if repair could be done.