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I have one of the older style seat clamps, the one with the bolt all the way through it with two male ends that tighten on either side. I'm not sure if the bolt side goes to the front of the post or the back of the post, or if it makes a difference. I have it to the front right now because it makes the seat closer to the bars and shortens the cockpit nicely, but looking at my friends bike, it seems like it may go the other way, and I don't want to bend or break anything.

Which way is the seat clamp supposed to go, to the front or the back? Does it make a difference?

Here is a picture of the clamp:clampy clamp

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New bikes always coming with he clamp to back of seat post. Here is Sheldon Brown's article about all you need to know about adjustment of the seat: sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#adjustment –  Alexander Jan 27 at 7:26
    
Could you post a picture of it? Based on your description, I think I know what type of clamp you're talking about, but I'm not sure. –  jimirings Jan 27 at 11:19
    
@jimirings I'll do that, I'm confused looking at my own question. –  JFA Jan 27 at 13:50
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you align the gap of the clamp to sit over the gap of the seat post, you'll need much less clamping force to keep the seat from sliding down into the seat tube. There are likely some riders who place the clamp in a position they like strictly for the aesthetics, while others go for functionality. From what I remember, the position is determined by how much force you intend to apply to keep the seat from moving left, right, or down.

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the bolt should be behind the post. but it doesn't HAVE to be.

If it fits better with it in front and the angle of the seat is comfortable it doesn't matter.

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what @Lucky said is correct. Seat tubes have gaps to allow clamping to happen. The bolt needs to be on the same side as the gap. 99% of the older frame I've seen have the gap on the back side. Newer bikes however, are cropping up with gaps on the front of the seat tube (looking at one on my Salsa Vaya right now). –  Paul H Jan 28 at 15:37
    
@PaulH The question is not about the seat tube clamp, it's about the clamp that holds the seat on the seat post. –  jimirings Jan 30 at 12:41
    
just like there are zero offset seatposts with clamps built in and negative offset (would be the same as a turned around clamp) for time trials. It all depends on the seat, your reach and where you want to be in relation to the pedals. –  Jeff Wurz Feb 4 at 15:04
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