My laziness had meant I was in the market for a new seat bolt. I’d over-tightened the nut on the old one and stripped the threads. The one before that had rattled out, which was particularly inexcusable given it was a Campagnolo one.
When I got into cycling Campagnolo dominated the professional scene and was the kit to have on your bike. A seat bolt was about the simplest and cheapest way to open your account with Campag – that’s why I’m annoyed that the first one rattled out.
As a result of my slapdash maintenance, I’ve been riding my Allin round London with a MTB quick release seat bolt to stop the saddle falling down. Every time I saw it I thought how ugly it looked. Worse than that, the combination of quick release and an aged Brooks leather saddle is cat nip to any budding bike thief. Left in public too long, it’d be off and sold quicker than you could say “Brick Lane Market”. So I’d try to disguise the saddle by covering it in a Tesco shopping bag whenever I left it.
A seat bolt is about the most basic component on a bike, in fact many modern bikes don’t have them. They have a separate collar that fits over the frame to tighten the seat pin in. I was surprised to find that most bike shops don’t even sell seat bolts. But not Condor Cycles. Any excuse to pop in there’s a good one, even a £5 seat bolt. Of course my visit didn’t just cost £5 because I found myself leaving with two back issues of Boneshaker, a stainless bottle cage and some fancy cleaning brushes – and a big smile.