Monday’s Magnifying Glass

We’re starting a new series of blog and Instagram posts called Monday’s Magnifying Glass. Every Monday we’ll take a closer look at a design or process detail and explain why we do something a certain way, and what led us to that solution. I think this will be a really cool way to give some insight into the thinking that goes into what may seem like a simple detail, and also just how many details it takes to create a handbuilt bike frame.

This Monday’s Magnifying glass will be looking at: the seatpost slot.

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And the only real detail that makes it unique: it’s facing forwards, not back. Traditionally, the seat tube slot faces backwards towards the rear tire. This is a holdover from older lugged road bikes, where the seat cluster lug often had an integrated seatpost clamp, and the slot was facing backwards because there’s little or no tube sticking out above the top tube.

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Image and incredible work courtesy of Bilenky Cycle Works.

So even when mountain bikes evolved past lugs, and the seat clamp became a separate part of the bike that just slips over the top of the seat tube, the slot stayed in the back.

So why do we put the slot in front? Simple. The slot acts as an entrance for water and dirt flung up by the rear tire. If you’re caught in the rain, even a short ride can put such an astonishing amount of water down the seat tube slot that it can fill the bottom bracket shell. So we put ours in front to protect you from accidentally carrying around a goldfish habitat in your frame, and of course this helps the longevity of a steel frame by keeping it as dry as possible.

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It’s a small detail, but it’s one more good idea that makes the bike work better. And that’s our job.

We look forward to sharing these details with you every Monday. You can sign up to follow the blog by going to the main blog posts page and using the signup sidebar.

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