Eleanor Blair (lnr) wrote,
Eleanor Blair

Bike woes

So yesterday the freewheel mechanism on my bike broke, such that the pedals and chain and cogs would go round quite happily but without turning the wheel. So this morning I took it to Drakes who diagnosed the problem, said the block would need replacing and agreed that it would be wise when I asked if I would also need a new chain. The only problem they said was that they would have difficulty finding a block which had a bottom gear as low as my current one. This is because most bikes these days have two or 3 cogs on the front and get really low gears by changing to a lower gear at the front so they don't need to go so low at the back.

OK I thought, I'll just have to live with that, and they said they'd use the lowest they had. But the whole thing has cost me 30 quid, 10 quid of that is the cost of the chain and seems about market price, 20 quid for the block seems expensive though given the only ones I can find on the web only cost about a fiver! And the bottom gear is now about halfway between what was 2nd and 3rd on the old block and not really as low as I'd like, and is almost indistinguishable from the new 2nd gear anyway. What's the point of having them so close together when you could have made the bottom gear a bit lower and had a more sensible spacing?

I've been out to peer at it and it is a Shimano one, which doesn't surprise me at all. It's a 14-28T one, and I can't seem to find anything better than that (ie with the top number bigger than 28) on the web at all, or not in 5-speed. I dunno if they come in some versions more expensive than others but the standard Shimano one on the web seems to be about 6-8 quid most places, so to pay 15-20 for it (I'm not sure how much I paid for the work) seems an enormous markup. I think I'm going to give them a ring on Monday and ask.

I've asked the combined wisdom of uk.rec.cycling if they know of a source of more widely spaced freewheels anywya, but I don't hold outmuch hope.

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