Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Infuriating.

Now, when I saw that this video was to describe a frame's seat clamping system, I was skeptical prior to even clicking play. A seat clamp clamps your seat post. It generally does this through you tightening a bolt. How much more complicated than that could it be? And if your seat clamp system needs an explanatory video, maybe that tells you you should re-design it?

I should've known prior to clicking play as well that the seat in question was probably going to be slammed, meaning that whatever clamping system it required wouldn't have to be that good in any case, and so it was no surprise when it was indeed a slammed seat.

At this point, it's probably best to let you watch the video so you can get the point of it all.



Yeah, what were they thinking? I'd been told from a few people via e-mail I was being too critical on here and being a sourpuss and all that, but honestly, this isn't a unique system, and it's not even a good one. Firstly, the "Bolt your seat into your frame" idea has been around for a while. I went to Farnborough skatepark and out of the 15 or so people there, I was the only one with a normal seat-clamp. Everyone else had a bolted in post to varying degrees of sophistication and accuracy. Regardless of that though, what about people - like, for example, me - who don't have access to a vice and a power-drill? I thought the days of having to mess around using industrial tools to piece your bike together were over, but apparently not. Making someone have to drill a product to be able to run it on your frame is ridiculous.

This whole 'locked in' idea that everyone seems to get for stuff like seatposts, stems, forks and bars is also a really, really bad one. George French wrote about it at length in a Ride tech column a while back, but essentially, a bit of give in your bike is a good thing. If you fall off and your, say, stem/forks are locked together, if you hit yourself into your bars there's going to be no give. Instead of the stem twisting on the forks and giving you a bit of a cushioned impact, it's full force (Unless you bend your bars - how can that be a 'good' thing?). The same goes for your seat. I've taken a seat to the leg before, and even with a bit of give it still hurt and still tweaked my seat a bit. If it had been totally locked in, the bruised calf I got would've been a lot worse. Equally, my seat would've probably been a bit worse off too. I'm pretty sure everyone's seen a "Gonzo" Pivotal seat - it's even such a recognised problem that Eclat have named their seat that theoretically reduces the problem in it's honour - so having your seat taking the full force of any impact isn't really a great idea, is it?

Anyway, that's probably enough. For those tuning in for news 'n' stuff, that's coming up next. Apologies for the superfluous nature of this post!

3 comments:

Grass Roots said...

That is the best argument you could come up with, for why that is is a bad idea? How about trying to drill the required hole in your seatpost accurately enoughso it is perfectly central? Just 1mm off and the whole job has gone to pot, cue wonky seat alignment or ever, or until youv'e enough pocket money for a new pivotal nub post. Anyway Mark, I'm sure you'll be on this like hot buttered toast, like the other fads, plastic pedals, skateboard back hub etc. Back it up son!

Mark said...

That wasn't the 'best arguement' I could come up with, it was part of it. I thought I'd been clear enough that I thought it was a bad idea...

Regarding 'fads' - running Fly metal pedals, and about freecoasters, for a more current example, look at that Haro 80's demo at the worlds. All running freecoasters. 20+ year old fad?

Mark said...

Also, I'd have thought listing 5 reasons for it being bad was probably enough anyway. Didn't particularly want to labour the point...