Slightly off topic, but I thought it would be worth sharing my attempt at what might seam the trifling problem of securing a bike seat or saddle to a bike.
As many cyclists will know, seats or saddles can be a real target for thieves — I’ve had at least two stolen. The trouble is good saddles can get a reasonable price on the black market. If you’re in London, just pop down to Brick Lane on a Sunday and you’ll find the coveted and pricey Brooks saddles being flogged for 10s of £s.
To save myself the cost — not to say the uncomfortable ride home, saddle-less — I’ve been looking into ways to better secure my saddle. The crude option is to use some way of locking the saddle to the frame, like a small lock or part of a bike chain (see here for ideas). At the more expensive end there are dedicated bolts/nuts you can buy with personalised ‘keys’, such as the Saddle Lock from Atomic22 (~£29) and options from PitLock (although it’s not clear they have something to bolt the seat to the seat post). These look good, but they’re quite expensive and I’ve found if difficult to tell which options will fit my bike’s seat-post and saddle.
A solution I’ve come up with is to use a combination of a generic security bolt and nut. I’ve found both on an online shop called Security Safety Products.
Locking the seat to the seat post
First I chose a security bolt to replace the one that attaches my saddle to the seat post. To do that I measured the gauge (width) and length of the current bolt and then bought the corresponding security bolt and appropriate security screw.
What you get are 10 bolts (minimum order) and a small screw driver insert with a special fitting. The latter as the website explains “”
All I had to do is replace the original bolt that secures your saddle to the seat post, with the new security bolt.
Locking the seat and seat post to the bike frame
To secure the seat post to the bike I found a M8 security nut that fit the existing seat-post bolt, again on the Security Safety Products site. You can see from the picture on the left that the original nut was a standard well-used bolt.
Also, you need to buy the specific drive socket that fits the security nut — for me, this was a “Removable Security Nut 1/2 drive socket KM8R”. Not sure why, but this is pretty expensive at £17.99, so it may be worth looking for other options here.
The fitting is pretty straightforward. Use a standard spanner to unscrew the original nut and then the drive socket (attached to a socket ratchet or wrench) to screw on the new bolt.
A few general comments
The downside with this solution is you can only buy a minimum of 10 bolts and 10 nuts, but at £14.22 and £7.90 per pack (respectively), it’s not too painful. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of the security screw and drive socket though which in my case was £3.58 and £17.99. Also, although Security Safety Products provide a good service, their postal charges are quite steep.
Of course, nothing is failsafe, and this idea is vulnerable to thieves having the right fittings — I don’t think that’s likely, though, not until they read this post anyway.
Naturally, this idea won’t work with all seat and seat post fittings. It could work with different arrangements though, just make sure to get the right gauged nuts and bolts and that you’ve got enough room to tighten them with a screw diver or spanner.
If you’ve read this far and you think you need a M8 bolt or nut (and live close to East London) drop me a line. I’ll probably have spares of both.
Screw driver with replaceable fitting.
This kind of thing.