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In a previous question I asked how to remove rust from my seat tube/post. In the comments of one answer somebody said I should be oiling my seat post to prevent it from rusting into my seat tube, but I'm concerned this will cause the tube to slip when jarred.

Should I be applying a thin coat of oil to my seat post to prevent rust from forming between it an the seat tube? What sort of oil, if any, should I be using?

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As an aside, I have some fairly thick Wet Ride chain oil for winter cycling; is this an appropriate oil to use for the seat post? –  meagar Dec 9 '10 at 22:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Greasing your seatpost will prevent problems like this: "Removing Seat Post rusted into downtube".

Don't use chain oil, grease is what you want. As whatsisname pointed out, all fasteners on your bike should be lightly greased. This is what keeps them from corroding and seizing over time, becoming a real pain to remove.

If you have trouble with a slipping seatpost (like me), carbon grease is what you need. Contains enough grit to keep from sliding, while still offering protection.

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I can't imagine using any grease on it. I've had a lot of trouble with slipping seat posts when they're dry! Maybe for you lightweight riders it's OK, but not all of us are 5'8" and 120lbs. :-) I even had a hard time finding pedals because I'm well over the max weight for a lot of them on the market... –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 10 '10 at 13:28
    
@Brian: Its possible your seatpost that has been slipping is the wrong size for your frame. Especially if it slips when its dry. It should fit snugly in the seat post without grease. When you have a proper seat tube/seat post fit, only a very, very fine layer will remain on the seatpost, which will protect against corrosion. I weigh 200 lbs and I have no seatpost slippage problems. –  whatsisname Dec 10 '10 at 15:52
    
@Brian Knoblauch: I'm 6'3", 220lbs on a good day. Trust me, the carbon grease works and won't require a hammer & vice to remove the seatpost in the future. –  darkcanuck Dec 10 '10 at 15:56
    
This is on my road bike. It fits well, no gaps, but still slides easily. I torque it down and it will be OK for a ride or 2, then it'll start slipping down if I don't re-torque it. Maybe it's because it's an Al frame? My now 24 year old beater bike that I ride in the Winter, which has a Steel frame, doesn't have that slipping problem. It also doesn't have the sticking problem either. I went a good dozen years without adjusting it and it moved fine after loosening the bolt... –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 10 '10 at 19:44
    
@Brian: worth posting as a separate question? –  darkcanuck Dec 10 '10 at 22:34

You should absolutely grease your seatpost (unless it is carbon fiber). It won't slip around if your seatpost clamp is properly tightened.

Get a thing of grease from the bike shop, like the park tool grease. Better yet, get the big tub.

Then, generously apply it all over inside your seattube. When you think you have enough, add some more. Then put the seatpost in and twist it around a lot and move it up and down to ensure the grease covers all of the seatposts surface.

Screw threads are often greased when they are installed, but that doesn't cause them to get loose any easier. Same thing with the seatpost.

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That grease is also useful on pedal threads, and probably also a million other places. –  Neil Fein Dec 10 '10 at 2:17
    
My rule of thumb is that if you want to take it apart later then grease it when you put it together. For some parts, such as bottom bracket, where creaking can be an issue copper slip is often the way to go. –  Jackson Dec 10 '10 at 11:19

Heavy, water-proof grease is a good idea.

Slipperiness isn't the reason for the grease. The goal here is to keep out moisture and oxygen, thereby discouraging oxidation. Aluminum oxide is especially problematic, as its molecules are substantially larger than the aluminum molecules in your seat post. Oxidation will cause it to jam very tightly.

In general, you don't have to worry your seat post slipping. The surface of the seat post and seat tube are not perfectly smooth. The "high spots" will push the grease out of the way, in to the "low spots" where you might otherwise see moisture and oxygen.

It doesn't take much grease to do the trick, since the seat post is already quite snug. Just make sure it's all covered.

In some cases it's possible for grease to get trapped and not be able to squeeze out, giving a result similar to hydroplaning. You tighten & tighten and things are still slippery. It's not likely in this case, because the seat post clamp is narrow.

For overkill, you can even use anti-seize:

Anti-seize

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