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  1. #1
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    Kindshock LEV Seat Clamp Coming Loose

    I picked up a LEV a few months ago. It's a dream come true except for the seat clamp which chronically comes loose. I used carbon grease on the cradle and seat rails, no grease at all, and swapped seats. Torquing the bolts to spec or reefing on them makes no difference as the seat would start to creak about ten minutes into a ride and the bolts would gradually back out. Loctite and a strip of rubber sandwiched in the cradle seemed to diminish this issue somewhat though the seat still occasionally creaks. Took it back to the shop and asked them to see about replacing the clamp, and the bolts since they were nearly stripped from being tightened repeatedly. Two months of going back and forth with Kindshock and finally sending the seatpost itself to get an RMA, they only ended up replacing the clamp assembly. In the meantime, I replaced the bolts with flat, countersunk ones from the hardware store, but they do not seat properly and the seat is looser than ever. I've searched around and seen a couple posts on the seat rail clamps not staying tight on these seatposts. Has anyone come up with a fix for this? I'm so disappointed that a post that cost as much as my first mountain bike cannot keep the seat clamped, yet the $10 post on my commuter is trouble-free. Contacting Kindshock tomorrow. Any suggested fixes from other LEV owners out there?
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  2. #2
    dab
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    KS LEV Problems

    I feel your pain, the same thing is happing to my seat post I got last year. I actually bent the seat clamp and had it replaced, I still have the problem of the seat creaking and the bolts backing out. I think the seat clamp is a bit thin which causes it to flex under weight, as it flexes this allow the bolts to loosen. FYI I am about 175-180lb fully geared up, so I don't think for me it is a weight issue. They should redesign the seat clamp to make it more rigid. Currently I have noticed that the seat clamp is bending at the edge again, I might just order a new seat clamp from KS as a backup.

  3. #3
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    I was having the same problem, but I finally figured out that I wasn't torquing the seat clamp bolts down properly. They really should do something about those nuts though...hex and countersunk locknuts please!
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  4. #4
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    After 1 month of riding I started to have the same creaking issues. Bolts are torqued to spec. Tried grease, then tried carbon paste. Both only helped for about 5 minutes at best. I love the shock, but the creaking is very distracting. Looking for a fix too. Hopefully KS reads these posts.

  5. #5
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    Did anyone find a solution to this problem?

  6. #6
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    I spoke with Ron at KS. He sent me new screws, bolts and clamps. He also suggested not using any grease.

    What worked for me so far: Finish Line TEFLON Grease generously placed on the bolts, screw heads and both top and bottom clamps. I still need to tighten screws after every ride. I am going to try blue lactate after next creak. Love the shock, hate the noise! Let me know if that works for you.

    Jeff

  7. #7
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    I've found that blue "lactate" works well for me... 220 lbs and ride in some pretty muddy conditions (this summer has sucked so far)
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  8. #8
    AFI
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    I have same issue. Seat became totally loose during ride. Lately it hasn't really loosened but creaks badly which is super annoying.

  9. #9
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    I had the same issue, mine started creaking after a few rides, I re-tightned, tried lube & carbon paste but the creaking always returned. Then I got a torque wrench but when I took everything apart I realized it was too late; the clamp had already bent. I cleaned it with alcohol and torqued to just under 10mN but the creaking continued.

    I emailed KS and got a replacement seat clamp assembly, torqued it to 6mN, re-torqued after the first couple rides and now it seems to be holding up ok and not loosening.

    Certainly not a robust design, but based on my experience so far if you keep both bolts torqued equally, check it frequently and make sure they don't loosen, you can banish the creaking. At least I think... only had maybe 10 rides since replacing my clamp :-)

  10. #10
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    Both my riding partner and I also have the same issue. We paid top dollar for the "best" dropper only to find it has a fatal flaw in the seat clamp design. KS replaced my riding partners seat clamp parts, which made no difference.

    My parts were supposed to be replaced after an RMA was issued. I even thanked them for sending them BEFORE my week-long trip to Moab. Now it's 2 weeks later and I still don't have the parts. And I rode all of Moab with a creaking POS seat that kept sliding back. With the seat all the way back, my ass was rubbed raw like you wouldn't believe! Thanks, KS.

    It makes sense their customer service would be as bad as their cheap a** seat clamp. I hope Thomson will come out with a stationary cable mount. Like I said, the dropper works perfectly, but the seat clamp problem is unacceptable and a DEAL BREAKER.

    Sorry KS. You perfected the dropper - and then dropped the ball on the clamp. Maybe I'll forgive you when my ass heals.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LALAW View Post
    Both my riding partner and I also have the same issue. We paid top dollar for the "best" dropper only to find it has a fatal flaw in the seat clamp design. KS replaced my riding partners seat clamp parts, which made no difference.

    My parts were supposed to be replaced after an RMA was issued. I even thanked them for sending them BEFORE my week-long trip to Moab. Now it's 2 weeks later and I still don't have the parts. And I rode all of Moab with a creaking POS seat that kept sliding back. With the seat all the way back, my ass was rubbed raw like you wouldn't believe! Thanks, KS.

    It makes sense their customer service would be as bad as their cheap a** seat clamp. I hope Thomson will come out with a stationary cable mount. Like I said, the dropper works perfectly, but the seat clamp problem is unacceptable and a DEAL BREAKER.

    Sorry KS. You perfected the dropper - and then dropped the ball on the clamp. Maybe I'll forgive you when my ass heals.
    This is literally my exact experience. The clamp rails have never been reliable, and I've tried every method to have the seat be secure. After every ride, the seat has slid back as far as possible.
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  12. #12
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    Oh jeez. I am trying to decide on a 27.2mm dropper post and was going to get this one but maybe not after reading this. I weigh 200 lb before gear.

    Curiously, my Spesh Blacklite's seatclamp came undone on me yesterday, but that was after a year and a half.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LALAW View Post
    Both my riding partner and I also have the same issue. We paid top dollar for the "best" dropper only to find it has a fatal flaw in the seat clamp design. KS replaced my riding partners seat clamp parts, which made no difference.

    My parts were supposed to be replaced after an RMA was issued. I even thanked them for sending them BEFORE my week-long trip to Moab. Now it's 2 weeks later and I still don't have the parts. And I rode all of Moab with a creaking POS seat that kept sliding back. With the seat all the way back, my ass was rubbed raw like you wouldn't believe! Thanks, KS.

    It makes sense their customer service would be as bad as their cheap a** seat clamp. I hope Thomson will come out with a stationary cable mount. Like I said, the dropper works perfectly, but the seat clamp problem is unacceptable and a DEAL BREAKER.

    Sorry KS. You perfected the dropper - and then dropped the ball on the clamp. Maybe I'll forgive you when my ass heals.
    I had exactly the same experience. However as I did not notice the clamp coming loose subsequently the carbon rails of my 240 $ saddle broke.
    Only when pulling out the broken saddle I noticed that the seat clamp was totally bent.

    Being very upset I mailed to KindShock customer service who replied that they would send me over a new clamp assembly.
    After 4 weeks without any shipment I mailed them again, kindly asking when I could expect the parts, only to get the reply that they do not ship to Europe and that I should contact the local customer support.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, KINDSHOCK!!! Why they could not tell me that in their first reply remains a mystery.
    It's always great to wait for a shipment that never comes in the middle of high season when you actually need the seatpost.

    I really cannot understand how you can fail on such a low tech part of an otherwise great performing high tech product.

    Even if the dropper mechanism works perfect I am over with KindShock and their inferior customer service. Will sell my LEV as soon as this one becomes available: Adjustable Seatpost moveloc - VECNUM

  14. #14
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    Just FYI for those following this thread - here's my latest interaction with KS:

    My question:

    I am on my second saddle clamp assembly and after a few months riding it is also starting to bend. Does KS plan on offering a more permanent fix for this issue? I have never torqued the bolts beyond 6 nm, and have been exceptionally careful to tighten them equally and check torque after each ride.

    Their response:

    We are always looking to improve our products. There is no immediate changes coming for the seat clamps on the LEV. Please follow installation guide lines to insure proper torque values.

    -----

    So... hopefully I can get another season out of this thing, but I won't purchase another unless they improve the design. My current clamp is still mostly ok, only just starting to deform. In my particular case I ride with the saddle back almost to the Max marker on the seat and I'm sure doesn't help, but there's still no excuse for the clamp to *bend* under normal use.

    Last night I took it apart and reassembled with some blue loc-tite on the threads of the bolt, hopefully that will help.

  15. #15
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    Read this thread and proceeded to see if I could fix it myself. Perhaps mine is new version (bought March 2013)- screws are countersunk and all I needed to do was applying Park Tool grease to top of the post where bottom collar rises up to and tightening both screws to 7Nm. The creaks are now completely gone. I'm happy with my LEV as day one again! Hope this helps.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ehien View Post
    .... Perhaps mine is new version (bought March 2013)- screws are countersunk ....
    I bought mine in December 2013. Is this what the new screws look like?
    Kindshock LEV Seat Clamp Coming Loose-r0013313_lost_spherical_nut.jpg

    I was optimistic when I contacted KS in December. Ron Easton said "We will mail the parts out to you asap." It's now over 30 days later and I haven't received any parts. More disturbing is that my subsequent emails have gone unanswered.

    If this was some $40 eBay purchase from Asia I would feel foolish and accept my loss, but this was a $400 purchase. I would buy a replacement nut if I could find one, but I can't find any source for it. I would substitute different hardware (and use nylok fasteners) but I don't want to void my warranty. I regret this purchase.

  17. #17
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    Thanks, that is one part I didn't think of greasing.

  18. #18
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    Worked for you?

  19. #19
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    This is an old thread but I struggled a while on this problem and would like to post my solution for anyone still in need.

    I bought a KS LEV Integra in the autumn and immediately ran into saddle rail slipping problems. My installation was exactly to spec. You weren't there, so you can either take my word on this or not.

    The top clamp deformed such that at fastener torques under 10Nm, it would bow and contact the lower clamp. Contact between upper and lower clamp releases force on the rails, allowing slipping. I receieved no help from KS support other than an automatically generated RMA, which I was not interested in pursuing.

    There is a lot of trouble-shooting I'm glossing over here, involving different hardware from other seat posts to see if the strange spherical nuts and or cheap-looking bolts were to blame.

    I finally fixed the problem by replacing the entire clamp (top, bottom, and hardware) with the clamp assembly for a Rockshox Reverb. Though I am currently running the bolts from a cheap OE post because the (spherical/conical) washer had a better profile for angling up correctly than did the Rockshox bolt and washer.

    This was a gamble, because the radius cut into the upper post is different from a Thomson, a Reverb, a KS. Rather than the lower clamp fitting flushly around the radius, the round clamp bottom makes two points of contact. Armchair engineers will reason that this increases stress that those points and may deform the top of the aluminum seatpost stanchion. I have noticed no problems so far.

    KS should have just used better clamp hardware (both in shape and materials), and for all I know they are sending improved stuff to owners who go through the return process. I have been happy for many months with the hybrid setup.

    Many people may have a Thomson clamp assembly laying around (for instance from the seatpost that their new dropper replaced). It may be that the Thomson clamp works as well in the way I have described (imperfect fit between stanchion and lower clamp). The real test is whether the bolts can angle in from the post to the clamp. The RS was available as easily obtained SRAM replacement parts for around $20.
    Last edited by Snfoilhat; 02-03-2014 at 12:58 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post

    The top clamp deformed such that at fastener torques under 10Nm, it would bow and contact the lower clamp. Contact between upper and lower clamp releases force on the rails, allowing slipping. I receieved no help from KS support other than an automatically generated RMA, which I was not interested in pursuing.



    KS should have just used better clamp hardware (both in shape and materials), and for all I know they are sending improved stuff to owners who go through the return process. I have been happy for many months with the hybrid setup.
    That's the exact issue mine had. KS finally replaced the upper and lower clamp plates on mine and also the bolts and spherical nuts. The new nuts have notches in them to bite into the nut-gland in the upper clamp plate. The new plates look thinner and cheap. The LEV has the worst clamp assembly, and I'm surprised (or not) by the little band-aid fixes instead of scrapping it and having a real solution. It's been the most aggravating situation (having the clamp fail countless times, sending it in, no communication...etc) of any bike part I've had.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nixgame22 View Post
    The new plates look thinner and cheap.
    Even thinner than the old ones that deform at less than 10Nm? Jeeze. Can you post pics? Notches on the nut hopefully will help with gradual loosening that has me re-torquing every few rides. I settled on 6Nm and so far the assembly on my Integra (identical to the one on my old LEV) has been ok.

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