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TOUR 05/2017

Carbon seat post in a workstand?

Reader’s question

I have a slightly aged workstand with clamping jaws and recently bought a carbon road racing bike with carbon seat post and the rechargeable Di2 battery integrated in it. What is the best way of clamping the bike in my workstand? Do I have to use an aluminium seat post or is it possible to carefully clamp the carbon seat post with an additional padding, such as foamed material, nevertheless? As a matter of fact, I find it actually very unpractical to change the seat post for minor maintenance and cleaning, all the more as the saddle height has only just been set during a bike fitting which was not that cheap. The alternative would be a completely new workstand which holds the bike at the drop-outs. This would entail a significant investment and require a wheel dismounting and remounting every time. In addition, I use the workstand with the clamping jaws also for other (non carbon) bikes. On the internet I found devices, such as clamping systems, allowing even a carbon bike to be clamped into a workstand. What do you think of that?

Reply by Dirk Zedler, TOUR technology expert and bicycle expert

You are not the only one dealing with this issue. Still wilder frame and seat post shapes render bicycle clamping difficult. Extremely delicate frames at weights of only a few hundred grams have already been crushed by workstands as well as by the bicycle clamps of bicycle carriers on cars. Clamping round seat posts is not as critical, as long as you tighten reasonably and, as you suggest, use padding material to increase the friction. This allows you carrying out minor maintenance work. However, you should not apply high forces when working on the bike, for example pushing out bearing races with a remover tool or forcefully dismount bottom brackets. This can also harm a seat post. Such kind of clamping systems clamping the bike on inner points that you found on the internet have proven their worth over many years in our company. You need a little more time to clamp the frame, but then you can work as hard as you want. In view of the investment for such kind of three-point clamps you must ask yourself, what kind of work you actually do on the workstand. With a standard clamping: doing minor works - yes, doing harder works - definitely not!