Sunday, September 4, 2011

Journey of the Boardwalk: Part 11 - LitePro Seat Clamp

My new LitePro components had arrived a few days ago, from Cyclopedia.com, the local LitePro distributor. However, I did not have the time to install them yet. Also, I did not want to put on new components for a tough ride like the King of Da Hills without some testing around the neighbourhood first.

Decided to change the seat clamp first, because I thought that it would take the least amount of time. Will be changing my seat clamp from the current silver seat clamp to the new gold coloured LitePro seat clamp!

My first impression of the seat clamp is that it is really well made. The edges are nicely finished with no burrs or sharp edges or scratch marks from machining. Brass shim between clamp and lever that does not deform when you clamp tight, unlike those with a rubber shim. Brilliant gold anodized finish, a quality product.

New gold coloured LitePro seat clamp!

There are two different sizes of seat tube clamps for Dahon bikes, 40mm and 41mm. This measurement refers to the outer seat tube size. For steel framed models, the size is 40mm, while the aluminium framed bikes use the 41mm clamp size. You can check the clamp size of your original seat clamp by looking at the bottom of the clamp. It should write 40 or 41mm, depending on your frame material.

40mm seat clamp for my Chromium-Molybdenum steel Boardwalk frame!

Adjusting nut of the clamp. It may look small, but is surprisingly easy to adjust!

Bye bye silver seat clamp.

First step is to remove the current seat clamp. This is actually harder than it seems, because the current seat clamp is probably stuck to the seat tube already! In a way it is good when in use, because it will not move about when the clamp is loose.

Tried to remove it by pulling apart the clamp and lifting it out.However, the clamp is quite strong and there is only so much that you can open it up by hand. To lift it out, you will need to open the clamp wider than the lip of the shim. It already takes two hands to open up the clamp, no more hands to pull out the clamp! In any case, even with two hands it is difficult to open the clamp wide enough to clear the shim lip. Fiddled around with it for quite a while without success, before I had an ingenious idea!

Ingenious idea: Find two M5 sized nuts, and screw them onto the seat clamp lever bolt as shown above. It should be a tight fit between the gap. Of course, the clamp would still be stuck on the seat tube at this point in time.

Next, take a size 8 hex wrench and turn the two nuts so that they move apart! By doing so, you will force the clamp open with ease. And the clamp will stay open thanks to the nuts. Do not overdo it, just open it to the extent that the clamp can fit past the shim lip, and then lift out the seat clamp.

The bare seat tube! Note the lip of the shim, which will come in useful if you want to lift out the shim.

At this point, you can just put on the new seat clamp and the seat clamp change would be done. I decided to go a step further and remove the shim, just for fun!

As expected, the shim is also stuck within the seat post. I tried using pliers to pull out the shim, but it was stuck fast. Hardly any grip or leverage on the tiny shim lip. And then I had ingenious idea number 2!

With the nuts on the seat clamp lever bolt still apart, flip the clamp upside down and put it around and under the shim lip. There is also a lip on the clamp. Then, turn the nuts so that they come together and the clamp closes up. The clamp lip will tighten around the shim, and you can just pull them out easily! Without the clamp, it would be difficult to get any grip on the shim.

Ta-da! Note the rust, which is from the steel frame, and not the shim itself as the shim is aluminium.

Rusty inside of seat tube! Still not too bad though. Must be from those wet rides where rainwater got in.

Cleaned the seat tube and shim, and then put on the clamp. It is easier to put on the clamp first, because without the clamp, it is difficult to judge how far in to insert the shim.

New gold-coloured seat clamp! The clamp lever is on the other side because of the wording on the clamp lever.

Insert the shim back into the seat tube. The lip of the shim will rest nicely on the clamp.

Last step, put back the seatpost and everything is completed! Took me almost an hour for the job, as I could not remove the seat clamp and shim, before I had the two ideas. With the tips above, it should take you much lesser time to change the seat clamp yourself.

The gold LitePro seat clamp! Compare it with the original one shown below.


Still have some more LitePro components, but will need to find more time to install them! Just as a teaser...

24 comments:

  1. Steve...the shim part...somehow after I removed the shim and slotted it back, the shim is loose...this causing no grip at all when I unfold my bike when adjusting the seatpost position. Any tricks to make the shim tighter so it does not move?

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  2. Steve I'm having the same problem as above
    After changing my seat post clamp n shim and reinstalling... The shim is loose n I have problems removing my seat post... The shim will be stuck on my seat post... Any tips

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One way is of course to change back to original shim. Other way is to make the shim stick to the inside of the seat tube. Can try double sided tape or some weak glue.

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  3. Where to purchase litepro stuffs? What is the size for tern p18 seatpost clamp?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can buy them from Taobao.com. All Tern bikes are aluminum and use a 41mm seatpost clamp.

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  4. How about headset? Can tern p18 used litepro headset which is 44mm?

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    Replies
    1. This one I am not too sure, as the Tern headset design seems to be different from Dahon. The stock Tern headset should be quite OK since it used sealed bearings, as compared to loose ball bearings for Dahon.

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  5. Is there any litepro stuffs in bike shops?

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  6. Mybikeshop carries some LitePro stuff. But as far as I know they only have the seatpost, stem and a few other accessories.

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  7. Hi Steve,

    I got myself this CT 33.9mm seatpost with the CT 40.5 seatpost clamp for my Verge P9 but i have no idea how to mount it. Am i missing anything like shim or such to mount that clamp?

    http://i.imgur.com/wBlc1e8.jpg?1

    Or so i have to force the clamp down? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't see much from the picture. There should be a shim inside the seat tube. As for the clamp, you will need to open the clamp slightly before fitting it on the seat tube. The clamp has a right side up, so don't try to install it upside down.

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    2. No shim found after removing the stock clamp.

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    3. The shim is inside the seat tube, for the seat post. The clamp itself does not have a shim.

      In the picture that you posted, is the shim already in the seat tube, or am I seeing the inside wall of the seat tube (without shim)?

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    4. Correct, you are looking at the inside wall which no shim can be seen...The stock post clamps first straight in as well..

      Anyway, kinda like the stock syntace clamp so i swop the controltech carbon lever over..

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    5. By the way, where did u purchase ur Evoke RL saddle??

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    6. Last time I bought it from Treknology. Not sure if they still have it nowadays.

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  8. Hi Steve,

    My original seatpost is 33.9mm and I have my eyes on a 31.6mm seatpost for my Boardwalk. I am not able to find a suitable shim. Do you know have any solutions for this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please don't do that, it is not safe. The diameter is 33.9mm and not smaller, for a reason. Due to the long seatpost extension, the diameter needs to be larger in order to have enough strength and stiffness in the seatpost. Just get a 33.9mm seatpost.

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    2. Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the reply. That makes my choices very narrow then. I need only 350mm effective length in black and no offset. No suspension or pumps required. Looks like I can only go for Control Tech?

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    3. You can check out LitePro seatposts, available locally or from Taobao. 350mm exposed length, but you will require at lease 100mm of inserted length. Most Dahon seatposts come in lengths of 560 to 600mm.

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  9. Thanks for the advice. Me and my bike will not in Singapore for an extended time unfortunately. I checked them out on Taobao and they seem so cheap (too good to be true?). Do you have any recommended sellers that you have had good experience with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Litepro.taobao.com is where you can get all the Litepro stuff.

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  10. Steve, I bought the Litepro clamp after seeing the article but the Litepro clamp is either to tight, making the leveler unable to lock in place or too loose.

    How's your experience with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can adjust the tightness by rotating the nut. Make it as tight as possible, while still making sure you can open and close the lever.

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