Small in size, but huge in importance, no keen cyclist should ever underestimate how critical a role a bike seat clamp in deterring pesky thieves.
Even though you may only notice them when adjusting your saddle, they are essential in the way they ‘clamp’ down on the seat tube, holding the seat post in place and stopping the saddle from rotating or the post from sinking into the frame.
Here, we’ll look at how to secure a bicycle seat, as well as going through four of the best seat clamps currently on the market:
TOP TIP: Don’t Use Quick-Release Clamps!
If your bike seat is secured with a quick-release skewer clamp, it’s a question of when – not if – your saddle will be stolen.
Anyone can walk up to your bike and take your seat in a matter of seconds without any tools.
How to Prevent Your Bike Seat from Being Stolen
- Non-quick release seat clamp – any opportunistic seat thief would be out of luck – any potential seat-stealer would need to have their tools on them to remove the saddle. These usually come in two forms: Allen key seat clamps, which can be retrofitted to almost any bike, and Nut & Bolt saddle clamps, which are more common among children’s bicycles or cheaper models.
- Locking seat clamp – offer even more protection, given they need a manufacturer-specific tool to release the seat clamp, making it harder and longer to remove the saddle.
Top 4 Anti-Theft Bike Seat Tools
Bike Security Skewers
Replacing quick-release skewers with security skewers is the most common way to protect your bike.
It certainly prevents thieves from being able to steal your seat with their bare hands, but if they have the right type of hex key with anti-theft pin hole, they can still quite quickly make off with your seat or bike wheels.
Bike Skewer Tip:
If you use a bike wheel skewer, fill glue into the skewer head so it can’t easily be released. When you need to take it off yourself, simply put nail varnish remover on it, and the glue will dissipate.
Best bicycle anti-theft skewers
- 100 mm front hub
- 130 – 135 mm rear hub
- 28 – 32 mm bike seat post clamp
Kicking us off are these three-piece quick-release bike anti-theft skewers, which come with a five-sided lock to stave off thieves when your back is turned from your bicycle.
Made of durable steel, this bike skewer lock is easy to install and offer extra comfort and security that most quick-release designs don’t provide.
Quick to set up and dependable for a long time, they also provide excellent value for money under £20.
Gravity Bolts and Clamps
These are a type of bike skewer that can only be used if the bike is turned upside down.
So, if you lock your bike in a way that keeps it upright, the seat clamp bolt can’t be taken off. But, when/if you need to change your seat position (or a tyre – as it also works to protect bicycle wheels), it’s not hard for you to release it when needed.
Best bicycle gravity lock
- Striking orange design
- Made of sturdy, durable steel
- Perfect for city bikes
If you prefer a locking seat post bolt, look no further than this Abus bike saddle clamp, available in a more aesthetically pleasing orange, too.
A great choice for commuters or urban cyclists, the ‘nut’ is fitted with a mechanism that only releases the screw below when the bike is on its side, making it impossible to access the screw otherwise.
If the bike is locked upright, the Nutfix can’t be removed, thus preventing access to the ‘nut’, giving you just the sort of peace of mind you’re craving.
Reusable Secure Zip Ties
These are an environmentally-friendly alternative to the plastic defences you will more commonly find, and take less time and effort to release, too.
To reuse zip ties, simply push back the locking mechanism with something pointed, like a pin, pencil or a pair of scissors. They are not only built to last, but are particularly durable, too.
3. Hiplok Z LOK
A quality, dependable alloy steel zip lock
- Lightweight design
- Flexible, tough nylon outer design
- Multi-use and reusable
Weighing a mere 20g (including its key), you’ll do well to find a lighter bike lock than this Hiplok design, available in an array of colours including lime, orange and red.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it isn’t tough enough, though – its flexible, solid nylon outer complements its reinforced steel core and locking head perfectly and is more than enough to put off potential thieves.
Plus, it has the luxury of being made of multi-use, reusable security ties – perfect for short cycles, such as city commutes.
Bike Seat Lock
These are either ‘normal locks’ you can run through your bike seat to keep it in place, or alternatively, a bike seat bolt that doubles up as a lock for your entire bike. As you’ll see below:
2-in-1 bike saddle + lock
- Saddle turns into a solid block easily
- Ultra-strong chain for most reliable protection
- Ergonomic, lightweight saddle
Finally, for your more typical variation of bike saddle locks, this SEATYLOCK design is a virtually impenetrable bicycle seat lock which turns into a solid block to keep thieves at bay.
With an indestructible chain, nobody will be breaking into to this saddle, which also boasts an ergonomic, lightweight design tailor-made for riders who prioritise agility as they cycle.
For more bike locks, be sure to check out our run-through of top lockable bike saddles here.