ASK MBA: SHOULD I TRIM MY FRAME’S SEAT TUBE FOR A LONGER DROPPER SEATPOST?

Not all modifications make sense.

We highly discourage ever taking a hacksaw or drill to your frame if you ever plan on riding it again as it can be very unsafe to do so.

 

MBA AGAINST FRAME MODS

Q: I recently got an XL-framed Santa Cruz 5010 as my first mountain bike, and it’s a lot of fun, but I think the seat might not go low enough. Would it be bad to trim an inch or 2 off of the frame to lower it just a bit more? The bike is a little too big, and I knew that buying it, but it was too good of a deal to pass up.
Troy Vinny
Charlotte, North Carolina

A: Trimming the seat tube isn’t recommended in any way, as it can affect the structural integrity of the frame. There is also the seat clamp and post-insertion depth that you need to think about. Just chopping off the top of the seat tube will not fix your problem. We recommend replacing your current dropper with one that has less travel to achieve what you need. We understand it sucks to not have more travel on the dropper, but it’s better to do that and feel comfortable than to chop up the frame, put yourself in danger of catastrophic failure, and ruin the value of the bike if you want to resell it.

Another option we think you should consider before you continue would be selling this bike and buying a more size-appropriate bike with the money. We have a few reasons for making this suggestion, chief among them being your personal comfort on the bike. With bikes that are too big, you’re always going to have problems with the reach and standover. You’ll constantly feel stretched out while riding, which affects your maneuverability and reaction times on the trail. With too high of a standover height, your top tube will always encroach on your personal space, making it uncomfortable before the riding even starts. A properly fitted bike will help you with confidence as you ride along with comfort when mounting and dismounting. We hope this answers your question and maybe motivates you to get a more appropriately fitted bike.

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