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I would like to change the position of my seat-post lever but in order to do so, I have to untighten its screw.

The problem is that I can't manage to access the screw, due to the presence of the hard metal cable going to the lever: it's right over the screw!

Here is a picture:

enter image description here

So here is my question, what's the type and size of the screw? How to access it?

  • 1
    Would it help if the brake lever was loosened and rotated out of the way? – Swifty Feb 18 at 17:17
  • 1
    Doesn't the picture show you inserting an Allen key? – gschenk Feb 18 at 17:47
  • @Swifty Yes I tried removing the brake, but it's the same. I wonder why would you build it like that? – Francesco Pegoraro Feb 18 at 18:34
  • @gschenk not quite, I can't insert it because of the cable! – Francesco Pegoraro Feb 18 at 18:35
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    Sorry to be dumb, but from the picture it's not at all clear how the cable is even in the way. At the moment it looks like the Allen key is almost in and that you haven't even touched the cable. Maybe you can change the angle of your photograph for a better illustration? Or draw a diagram? – user2705196 Feb 19 at 0:36
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In my line of work as well as on bikes, a cut down Allen key can be very useful. A dremel or good hacksaw applied to the short end of the tool can be used to make it even shorter, just be sure to tidy up the cut.

In your case the long end of the Allen key could then stick out at about 10 o'clock (in your picture). You'd only get around 1/6 of a turn at a time but that's OK.

Another useful tool (though not always a good idea on tight screws) is a ball end Allen key. A set is well worth having. These allow you to drive the screw without the tool being among the screw axis, so once the screw is slightly loosened with the cut down key, you could easily take it out with a ball end key.

  • 1
    Sometimes a super-long allen/hex driver is helpful too, but +1 to ball points. – Criggie Feb 18 at 18:17
  • I want to add that a remote dropper lever does not need high torque to sit on the handlebars. Certain manufacturers recommend a value as low as 1 Nm to their products. This means that, if installed properly, not much effort is needed to remove/install one. – Grigory Rechistov Feb 18 at 18:18
  • Yes that's what I did, I cut an Allen key, but it didn't work, maybe it's just a different type of screw... – Francesco Pegoraro Feb 18 at 18:33
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    @FrancescoPegoraro I have seen a few Torx screws on handle bars (for sram break leavers and rock shox dropper post remotes, so far) and i have to admit i confused a few for hex at first sight. In that case Chris' suggestions of ball head + cutting might not get you far (haven't seen torx ball heads or torx keys that could be cut). – pseyfert Feb 19 at 8:00
  • There are long hex tools with a T-shaped plastic hand-grip. – Carel Feb 19 at 12:23
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Have you tried to use a hex key with a ball end (see image below)? You may insert it askew into the bolt's socket and turn it. The ball shape works like in a Cardano joint (aka universal) when you drive the bolt with it.

It looks on your photo that there is enough room right at the bolt to insert a tool. While there is not enough space in a straight line from it.

Allen Wrech with ball end by Lenilucho via Wikimedia

@Chris H mentioned in his answer that using such a tool might not be a good idea for a tight screw. The reason is that compared to a regular hex driver the ball engages with a much smaller area in the hex socket of the bolt. One may mangle the socket when applying more than a few Newton-metres of torque. Soft materials in screws and tools that are not well made exacerbate this.

It might be a good idea to apply a few drops of a penetrating oil with a solid lubricant, for example MoS2. Put it at the base of the screw such that it gets pulled by capillary action into the threads.

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