I would ride, and even for short distances (less than 5 miles) I noticed the seat post would slip. I posted it to the LHT and CC Google group (just because it’s quite active and often very helpful) to see if anyone had any experience with such slippage on any of their Surlys. Being as the seat tube on a Karate Monkey is the same diameter and tubing as any other Surly bike, I thought it was worth asking there. I heard a few stories where LHT frames were replaced by Surly, and others where it was just a matter of an undersized seat post. I hoped the ladder would be the case, but as it turned out, neither were.
I changed out the seat post with a different one (thanks to the good guys at Bowcycle) and that didn’t make a difference. I measured the seat posts with my digital calipers, and I was getting anywhere from 27.03mm to 27.18mm. The size is stamped 27.2mm and I assume that these are typical manufacturing tolerances. After calling Kurt at Bow, he asked if I could just bring the whole bike in. So I did, and Blue (one of those great bike mechanics who knows much about bikes, even weird stuff like retro-direct drives, and home brew 2 speed fixed setups) thought right away that it was the seat post locking collar. That thought entered my mind, but I doubted it for some reason. Surly used to make their constrictor seat post binder, but got complaints that it was just too beefy and ugly. My KM (as well as my LHT) came with the new collar. So, we strolled around the store until we found a cross check with the old style seat post binder.
Here is a comparison between the two Surly seat post clamps - photo credit goes to Chubby Super Biker -
I took it home, have it a try, and wala. I’ve got about 30 miles of gravel in on the KM this week and she’s holding steady. Man it feels good to get these little nagging problems taken care of. Kudos to Bow for making this top priority, and doing whatever they could to make it right. The customer service there is second to none. Kurt apologized numerous times for the inconvenience and always notified the mechanics when I was going to be coming in so I wouldn’t have to wait at all. They’d pull a bike out of the stand and put mine in there as soon as I walked in the building. I can’t say enough good about Bowcycle.
The new manly constrictor!
(I was told by a creative mind that melting a little wax to the seat post sometimes will help give it a little extra stick. Sounds like it might work, unfortunately, for me it didn't. Interesting idea though.)