Contrary to popular belief the squeaky seatpost or bike seat noise is rarely caused by loose posts, clamps or parts. That’s why no matter how much you tighten the clamp or grease your seatpost, the squeak’s still there!
Usually the squeaking you hear is the result of microscopic movement (friction) between the dry, un-lubricated threads of your seatpost clamp or saddle clamp.
Over time any grease that was on the threads has been washed out, leaving them dry. Without lube, your weight, pedaling motion, and the bumps on the trail, load and stress those un-lubricated parts, causing friction. That friction then gets amplified through your hollow frame to produce that wonderful noise you hear!
But don’t fret. It’s all an easy fix. Follow the steps below to eliminate the noise and get your clamp working smooth and easy, just like new.
How to Fix a Squeaky Seatpost
1. Remove your seat post from your mountain bike
2. Mark the position and angle of your saddle on the saddle clamp using a marker pen, or take a close-up with your phone camera.
3. Remove saddle
4. Remove your quick release seat clamp or fixed clamp
5. Dis-assemble the saddle clamp and lay parts on a rag in order of disassembly. Take a photo to refer to during re-assembly.
6. Clean the saddle clamp parts, the post, around the top of the seat tube where the clamp collar sits, as well as inside your bike’s saddle tube using a bike cleaning fluid like Muc-Off. Rinse with water and dry all parts with a soft cloth.
7. Inspect all parts, including the seatpost and seat tube and remove any sharp edges with grade 400 or finer sandpaper
8. Wipe parts clean again
9. Dis-assemble your quick release or fixed clamp, laying parts out on a rag in order. Take a photo.
10. Clean all clamp parts, including washers and nuts, cams and threads, and remove any sharp edges.
11. Re-assemble saddle clamp, and using bike grease, lubricate any pivot barrels and the cam contact points, including the cam section on the lever. Also lubricate the bolt thread and nut or internal thread. Do not lubricate under bolt heads, saddle rails or actual saddle clamp sections.
12. Apply a thin film of grease to the seatpost clamp collar where it mates to the frame down tube/seat tube and re-fit the seatpost clamp. Keep grease away from seat tube and post.
13. Re-assemble saddle clamp with saddle in place, applying a small amount of bike grease to all external and internal threads
14. Do not grease saddle rails
15. Fit saddle post / saddle assembly into the frame down tube.
16. Adjust and tighten seatpost quick release or fixed clamp. Note: When adjusting the clamping tension, start with the quick release quite loose at first. Turn the adjustment nut a little more with each test of the clamp lever, until the clamp is secure enough to stop the saddle from turning. Now that everything is lubricated, you’ll be surprised at how little closing force the QR lever needs to hold well. Let the cam, not your clamping force, do the work of holding your seatpost in place! Excess clamping force can lead to seatpost, clamp or even bike frame failure. (SNAP!)
17. Re-position saddle on post as per previous photo. Tighten saddle clamp bolts as per manufacturer’s specifications.
18. Go and ride squeak-free!
19. Click Like below and Share this page with a friend to stop their post form squeaking!
Super Tips to Keep Your Bike from Squeaking
Re-lube Regularly: Clean and lube your seatpost clamp every couple of months to keep in noise and operating easy.
Oil is Okay: Chain oil is better than nothing if you don’t have bike grease. Just keep it away from parts that don’t need lube.
Wheels Too: Do the same for your quick release wheel skewers so that they open and close easy again.
Never Lube Your Post: Ever. Applying grease to your mountain bike’s seat post is asking for trouble big time. Greasing the post only increases its chance of slipping and attracting dirt and dust. Together they’ll form a nice grey abrasive paste on your post that you just don’t want. Exceptions: Some manufacturers recommend carbon grease on carbon seatpost.
Post-Mud Clean: Wash your bike after each ride using the 3 Minute Bike Wash and Lube Video Guide. Just keep in mind that you could be washing lube from your quick releases.
If you regularly drop your seatpost by hand, wipe the post with your glove first to avoid sliding grit into your seat tube.
Still squeaking? Your clamp, post, saddle rails or frame might be damaged. Have your local bike shop check it out for you.
Where to Next:
The Best 3-minute Bike Wash and Lube video
How to Straighten Your Handlebar and Tighten Your Headset in 1 Minute – Zero Fuss
How to Climb Better in 90 Seconds – watched over 500,000 times!