All about bicycles, electric-assisted bikes, technology and safety in the press

The most common safety risks that we come across in our daily work around bicycle safety, technology and operating instructions are also published by us in articles in the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR (Europe's road bike magazine no. 1), BIKE (Europe's mountain bike magazine no. 1), MYBIKE and EMTB in order to make this information, which is important for the industry, available to a wider public.

For many years now, the Eurobike Show Daily, trade fair magazine of the annual Eurobike Show, has also given us the opportunity to publish our view of major developments in the cycle industry in full-page articles.

We also speak regularly in independent expert presentations about all areas of bicycle technology and the bicycle market. In addition, we are quoted by further special-interest magazines of the industry and the trade as well as increasingly by radio and television in their media reports, which shows us that we are spot on with our advice. The section "News" informs you about the latest news from our specialist areas. The reports and publications of this section are listed chronologically or according to areas of interest.

TOUR 03/2005
Reading time 2:00 minutes

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Seat posts are not very much looked after - until they break. This happens more often than cyclists probably want. TOUR explains why this happens and how you can prevent it. Tested: 18 up-to-date seat posts

Actually, a seat post's task seems to be quite simple: It connects frame and saddle and allows for the rider to find his/her individual position on the bike - provided that the seat post can well be adjusted in length and angle. You could assume that this task can be fulfilled quite easily - but time and again seat posts break causing bad injuries. When examining these breaks, the damage can roughly be devided into two categories.

One is very mixed: Neither material nor weight, price or construction of the seat clamp structure the damage; seat posts burst directly at their frame exit or somewhere in the middle of the tube, clamp heads or the shell of the holding mechanism break. Faulty construction can just as well be the reason as faulty assembly.

The other category, however, is very clear: In it, you find the classic patented seat post. One single bolt clamps the saddle - and it breaks. This is by far the number one cause of accident.


Short and crisp

The seat post is a sensitive component, which needs accurate assembly with proper tools in order to work durably and safely. Seat posts with double-bolt-clamps are preferable, but they also need to be tightened with the right torque. The construction principle of the patented seat post with only one bolt to clamp the saddle with is generally problematic. It is negligent not to use a torque wrench.



Wrong tradition

Crashtest-safety and occupant protection nowadays are major development goals and offensively advertised sales arguments with cars. The trend of more safety seems to pass the bike tracelessly, though bike riders are exposed to the dangers of road traffic much more directly. How else could it be explained that in the form of patented seat posts a construction principle is sold millionfold which according to reputable engineering has to be assessed dangerous? When using patented seat posts, the saddle and with it the rider's safety hangs on one single bolt which is furthermore stressed improperly at inflexion. The problem can at best be controlled when tightening the bolt tight enough with a torque wrench. With a normal hex key or minitool most people cannot generate enough strength. The seat post can hold, but does not have to - the danger of breaking always is a fellow passenger. Show responsibility and ban patented seat posts from your bikes!


Author: Graduate engineer Dirk Zedler, bike expert



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