Warm Weather Means the Shop is Getting Busier

You know, half of what I do at a bicycle shop is educating the customer. I had a few gathering information today. It starts with listening to the customer and asking some targeted questions to understand what they really want and/or need. If it had not been raining today, they would have taken the bikes out for a test ride. That will be for another day.

Tune-ups are also starting to come in. And this reminds me that there are some items that need to be checked and replaced so that other more costly items don’t have to be.

Very important is the chain.

Stretched chain

Stretched chain

The chain in front is the stretched one. A chain doesn’t really stretch, but the pins and holes loosen up effectively making it longer. The picture above has a new chain in back and the old chain in front. (Sorry it’s a bit blurry)

What happens when you ride with a chain stretched beyond tolerances is that it kind of deforms the cassette or freewheel teeth. You will see the spaces between the teeth uneven and sometimes several teeth will look like a shark fin. If this goes on too long, even the front chainrings will get deformed.

While you may be able to ride like this without problems for a bit, when it comes time to replace the chain it won’t run over these deformed teeth smoothly. You will get skipping and/or slipping. All deformed parts will have to be replaced.

Expensive.

So, make sure when you take your bike in to get serviced to have the chain measured. Could save you a bundle.

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