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I’ve got a bike whose seat post uses the traditional style saddle clamp. It works! The saddle is firmly attached to the bike. Hooray. However. This bike is sort of a “café racer” - I mainly pootle around town on it in street clothes. No padding or spandex here. I got a new saddle, which I love, but due to its shape my jeans are taking a beating in the inseam area:

close up of saddle with problem area circled

Due to the way I have it adjusted, the bolt that secures the saddle onto the seat post has its ends sticking out past the edge of the saddle. These are catching on my jeans every few pedal strokes and it’s taking a toll on their structural integrity.

Options:

  • Buy cycling jeans with reinforced crotch. I probably will, but I’d like to solve this another way in order to give them a shot at a long life, since they aren’t cheap.
  • Move the saddle forward a bit. This would work, but the bike wouldn’t fit me as well, which would make riding it less fun, which would make me do it less, which is counterproductive. Though it would make my jeans last longer...
  • Find another bolt that’s about six threads shorter. Possible; would require quite a lot of rummaging in the bolt bucket at my LBC (local bike collective).
  • Get a new seat post with the newer style clamp. I would like to do this, but I couldn’t find one in the right diameter at the LBC, and I try to confine my parts-buying activity to their used parts bins on principle (and to save cash). I’ll keep looking.
  • Convert this seat post to the newer style clamp. I would like to do this as well. It’d have the additional benefit of covering that hole where the split saddle looks right down into the open seat post. If anyone has tips on how to do that, I found this Q which could use some answers.
  • Ride with my knees out all wacky. Works but isn’t sustainable. (Not least because I look like a dork.)

That’s about all I’ve come up with. Does anyone have any other ideas for things I could do to work around this while I wait for the right replacement parts to come along?

  • I found this question after posting but its answers all address the general wear and tear pants take from any saddle. I believe this is a specific, different issue with different potential solutions. – hairboat Jul 27 at 21:51
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    I think you have the wrong clamp for that saddle. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 27 at 23:47
  • @DanielRHicks Might be. I’ve also got it further back on the rails than most people would run it - if it were mounted in the standard position it’d probably be fine. But alas! – hairboat Jul 28 at 0:15
  • What's the orange stuff? the bolt is too long, but then you will have still friction with that stuff. – EarlGrey Jul 29 at 15:14
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    @EarlGrey It's hard to tell from the angle, but the orange bit is an Ottolock that is hanging off the back of the saddle rails. It hangs low and back enough that my legs don't touch it when I ride. Just looks mixed up in the bolt stuff because of the angle. – hairboat Jul 29 at 15:22
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I would suggest cutting off the extra threads. If you have access to a Dremel or similar tool it wouldn't be too difficult. Doing it with a hacksaw could be a real pain. Alternatively you could check your local hardware store for acorn nuts. The smooth ends should cover the threads which is likely doing the most of the damage.

  • I had the same concern about the hacksaw... I’ll see if I can scare up a friend with a Dremel. Acorn nuts are a great idea. Might even be able to find them in the shop. – hairboat Jul 28 at 0:16
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    A temp solution may be ducktape around the bolt, unsightly but may keep your jeans usable. – Willeke Jul 28 at 8:17
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    An alternative to acorn nuts: rubber screw covers or furniture feet. An example of what I'm thinking of: allglides.com/plchgl.html (though likely the wrong size.) Or these soft screw covers: amazon.com/CNBTR-Rubber-Thread-Protector-Length/dp/B01EYG9042/… – arp Jul 28 at 17:01
  • Another cheap/temp solution: heatshrink on the exposed thread. – Chris H Jul 28 at 18:23
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    Not sure about the acorn nuts, the will increase the overall height of the protruding end. The jeans will still wear over time. Besides, if the bolt ends touch the jeans, the nut will press into the flesh, which I expect to be pretty uncomfortable. – toolforger Jul 28 at 19:56

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