Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DIY Saddle Security

My neighbor recently had her bike saddle and seatpost stolen and she was pretty bummed about it. I know the feeling. A few years ago I had the same thing happen, a thief stole my Brooks saddle, seatpost and tool bag while my bike was locked up to a bike rack. While quick release levers make it easy and simple to vary your saddle height, they also make it really easy for some nasty person to steal a seat in seconds. Allen bolt, security bolts, or a cable through the saddle rails can make things more complicated for a thief.

For her new saddle & post, we added the bit of zero-cost security shown below. We ran a bit of old chain through a section of old inner tube, looped the wrapped chain around the saddle rails and frame and connected the chain with a chain tool. The tubing protects the bike frame and helps keep the chain from clanking around too much. This bit of added security should make the saddle a somewhat less tempting target to the scum of the earth. Of course, a scumball with tools can still steal stuff, but every bit helps.

Keep 'em rolling and keep 'em safe,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


MzunguEriki said...

I dunno Kent. Seems changing to a bolt might be easier. How often does she change seat post height? I could see if you are changing height on mtn bike becuase of terrain. But the older I get the less I am certain of anything.

Kent Peterson said...

She and her husband share that bike, so the seat height gets changed a fair bit so they wanted to keep the quick release. That's why the retaining chain is set up with a bit of slack.

Liv said...

Nice, I live in fear that my lovely Brooks saddle will get pinched while I'm on the road. I met another bicycle tourer that had been cycling the world for years without a saddle because every time he got a new one it was pinched.

Tim Punn said...

Chain, rubber, and leather are a classic fashion vocabulary. Done right, as here, the materials synergize to give the saddle a chic, confident voice when speaking to admirers, and not just thieves. A chained Brooks saddle with rubber hose accessory speaks playfully of bondage while answering the question "Theft? Make it work!"

Andy Squirrel said...

These are the best investment I've ever made:

Anonymous said...

I don't think the QR itself is the vulnerability. The critical thing is how the seat is bolted to the seat post. If you use a bolt having a nonstandard head (one for which typical thief doesn't have wrench)or fill the head with supergue, then the chain strategy can work in that it slows a thief down or moves him on because he would still to deal with the whole shebang being locked to the frame. So, I wonder, how easy is it for a thief using small, hand-sized cutters to cut through a chain as compared to a cable? I am assuming the thief doesn't carry a chain breaking tool.