As an SDC I haven't met many bike parts that I haven't been able to break, and when I say break I mean completely obliterate. Here is a short list of bike parts that I have been able to destroy;
- Bottom bracket spindles (broken clean-off).
- Crank arms (drive side and non-drive side).
- Saddles (crush the rails like a tin can).
- Pedal spindles.
- Cleats (yes plural cracked two this year before switching brands).
- Wheels..... oh so many wheels.
- Hub axles.
- And of course bike frames (Peacock Groove knows my destruction well)
Until last Friday there was one bike part that remained solid as a rock, the seat post. I mean come-on it is one piece of large diameter metal inserting into another large diameter piece of metal!
On Friday I took my Surly Moonlander out for a ride at River Bottoms with my buddy Bob. Now of course as a SDC, even the 24" Moonlander is a little bit small for me so I had to switch out the stock 350mm seat post for an old 400mm post that I had laying around in my basement. With a mechanics salary I have to try to save money where I can so I figure, cheap seat-post what could go wrong? One big bump and I found out.
While trying my best to descend the hill just past the Lyndale Ave. Parking lot my body got thrown backwards and I felt the seat disappear from under my butt.
Somehow I stayed upright and as I rolled to a stop I heard Bob say "woah, what the?" After I climbed off the bike I quickly saw what the... The seat post folded like a cheap suit.
I frantically checked over every inch of the (almost brand new) Moonlander for damage to the seat-tube but to the unbelievable credit of Surly, the Moonlander tubing escaped unscathed. Those things are built like tanks. I wish I could say the same for my $15 seat post.
The next day with some very sore quads I decided to order a proper seat post from Thompson.
When talking to customers about what parts they want to put onto their bikes, I often get the question of why does this part or that part cost what it does? Sometimes the answer is because you are paying for a lighter part, but in most cases it comes down to one issue; build quality, and when you have the chance, always pick quality made parts.
Hopefully my bad decision can serve as a lesson for other folks, save your quads, buy quality.