Recommissioning Nishiki-san : Unsticking the Seatpost

I am in the process of slowing restoring my 1983 Nishiki Continental touring bike for active touring duty.

I say restoring, but really this bike is in very fine shape and it needs little work. When I bought it it was with the intention of using it for light touring. Then I found out just how light, smooth and fast it is to ride just as it is. I began to question whether I should start encumbering it with all the touring accessories.But, in the end I am a practical, utilitarian sort of cyclist. This bike was built to tour and tour it shall. Besides, this gives me an excuse to shop for another vintage road bike to use as a speed machine.

This was supposed to be a quick first check to see how stuck the seatpost was.

The fellow I bought the bike from warned me that the seatpost was stuck. He had brought it to a local bike shop and they were unable to remove it. “That’s OK”, I thought, “It’s set at about the right level so I wont worry about it.” However, as I rode the bike over the next month it became obvious that the seatpost was actually a little bit too low. It wasn’t enough to be a big concern over the course of my 11km commute but I could definitely feel a slight extra strain on my knees. This wasn’t going to be good if I tried to ride it for 8 hours a day.

Researching stuck seatposts on the internet I discovered that I might be in for a bit of a struggle. Some  are easy to remove, I learned, and others….not so easy. Given that the bike shop mechanic had failed, I figured this would be a tough one. Most likely I’d have to cut it out and buy a new post.

I brought the bike to work where I have a greater assortment of tools. My first step was to clamp it in the vise and use the bike frame as a lever to torque the post out. I was careful to not apply too much force as I have heard that it is possible to bend the frame doing this. To my surprise, after only a moderate amount of twisting the seatpost broke free and turned! Take that LBS mechanic! My initial elation was a little dampened when I realized that it still wasn’t going slip out easily. Nevertheless, after less than half an hour of straining and twisting (and wondering how long the damned post actually was) it came out.

Triumph!

The post was chewed up by the vise but was structurally undamaged (EDIT: It only now occurred to me that I should have clamped the post near the top where any damage would be hidden by the seat) . A quick trip to the sandblaster and a little buffing afterwards and it was looking a little more presentable. I figure I’ll ride with it like this for a while and maybe replace it at a later date.

Next project: mounting some metal fenders.

Cleaned up it doesn't look so bad. At least I can shop for a replacement at my leisure.

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2 thoughts on “Recommissioning Nishiki-san : Unsticking the Seatpost

  1. Thanks. This was a first for me and I’m glad it wasn’t quite the chore I was expecting. FWIW, my past attempts to true wheels have shown me to be less than stellar with a spoke wrench.

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