Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Techie Tuesday - Easton Seatpost Fix

As is well-documented on the web, the Easton EC70 seatposts have a problem - they keep sliding down. I tried the cheap alternative to carbon paste, toothpaste, and  that was an utter failure. In fact, it seemed to make it slide much faster. (I'm still a little concerned about the catastrophic failures resulting in groin injuries)

Frustrated, and thoroughly pissed that a good name like Easton would make such a crap piece of gear, I decided to try something a little more aggressive. I cut a strip of 1500 Wet or Dry sanding paper about 20mm wide, long enough to cover all but the front 7mm of the stem, completely wrapping the retarded, flat, RAD back of the post. (on my bike the hole-relieved slot on the seat tube is in back, and the clamp slot is in front)

I turned the paper so the gritty side was to the post, NOT wanting to risk damage to the frame. I had to work the post gently back and forth a bit to relax the seat tube and open  the slot in the frame. You might also just try removing the seat and clamp and leaving it unclamped overnight.

I cleaned both the post and frame with 99% rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth before wrapping the strip around the back and sides and then holding it very tight around the post while I slipped it down inside the seat tube.

I admit, there is was no particular reason to choose 1500 grit paper. I just happen to have some. Something as fine as 2000 might work, or as coarse as 600, but Wet or Dry paper has a very tough back, so I was careful to choose Wet or Dry. (it's actually a cloth back)

I was a little surprise at how easily the paper fit. I had no problems at all getting the paper-wrapped post to slide down inside the seat tube, and the edges of the paper did NOT hang up on the frame. (if they hang up on yours, try trimming the bottom edges at an angle) In fact, I have the definite impression that the post is a little under-sized, and the paper actually makes a perfect, and necessary, compressible shim. The frame doesn't seem noticeably pinched at the top now, like it did before.

I went for a 32 mile ride last night, up to Old Folsom on the bike trail. Up and back on the west side of Lake Natoma because I spent 15 minutes trying to find my HR strap before giving up and riding naked. I just didn't have the daylight to burn going through the lights in Folsom, so I just turned around at the base of the footbridge and came back on the west side.

I ended up riding with a woman on a beautiful Cervelo.  She was real easy to look at too, and kept looking back over her shoulder to encourage this brick to catch up with her after she dropped me on the one good hill on that stretch. Good thing the HR strap was at home! :D

I caught her a half mile later, and we rocked the ARPT back to Hazel Ave, where she turned around to head back to Folsom on the east side of the lake. She was wearing the same Tifosi Vogel sunglasses as I. She likes the auto-darkening feature. I like that too, but love the face seal it gives me at high speeds.

I got passed by the strongest tandem team I've ever encountered, taking a couple of long pulls off my waterbottle just past Hazel Ave. I jumped on it and bridged up to catch their wheel. They were riding a sleek, blue Santana, and were really flying! We averaged ~ 25mph, and peaked at ~ 35 going down a short 500 meter hill. After the hill they stopped trying to drop me, and things got a lot more fun. I could hear them talking, and their communication was excellent.

I really liked their very aggressive use of "LEFT", which left nothing to chance. I'm normally barking "LEFT" or "SIDE" early and loud to make very sure people know they're being closed on. The stoker had her bark timed almost perfectly with mine. On every occasion when I drew in an extra deep breath to bark, her's would ring in my ears. Awesome!

I returned home and checked the 3mm gap I'd left between the seatpost clamp and my Profile Designs seatpost mounted water bottle rack. It was completely intact. Very encouraging.


I had some time to do some research over the weekend, as I had to abandon an 85 mile ride - returning home with a bout of IBS after just 20 miles. If this seatpost fix ends up failing, I'll go with the Syntace Carbon P6  post.

The quality of my Syntace aerobars is just immaculate, so I trust their quality, and also love the way it supports a wide range of adjustment, but still provides almost twice the support for the seat rails as conventional posts.

The people at Syntace just seem to be more clever in design, and more determined in their quality control processes. In short, they just seem to be doing it better. Too bad their English documents suck so bad.

I hope this fix holds up, because the Easton seatposts are going for HUGE discounts online, so this simple fix may make for some great bargains, but if not, Syntace is getting my next chunk of money.


Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

What I love most about this post is the fact that you noted the chics bike first. LOL! You are such a man :)

Grey Beard said...

LOL, yeah, machine, woman, drink, food. That's the guy ranking system. :D