Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ratcheting up for a letdown

After two successful days of getting around on two wheels I'm having mechanical problems. The ratcheting mechanism has gone out, so my bike is now an oversized scooter. I have to take it to the bike shop this weekend - and to think I thought the bike would need less maintenance! Hopefully it won't be too expensive.

I thought I'd share about my bike. It's a fairly stock 1998 Trek 820. Yeah, it's a mountain bike and I'm in the flatlands of south Florida. The only modifications I've made are skinnier tires for lower rolling resistance, lights, and a rack on the back. It was a deal on Craigslist at $30, or so I thought. There are some problems with it. The largest sprocket on the crankset is worn pretty bad, but I'm on the middle sprocket for now, so no big deal. The smaller sprockets on the freewheel are a little worn, but still usable. I figure a day will come when the whole drivetrain gets to be replaced. For now, though, I just want to get riding again.


  1. You want to stay on the middle sprocket as much as possible. The outer and inner ring create extra wear on the chain and should only be used on more extreme grades. Besides, the lowest and the highest gears on the middle ring actually overlap with those of the outer and inner rings, the bike doesn't have a linear 1-21 or 1-24 gears. Sounds like the bike's previous owner didn't know that.

    For what it's worth, I'm 240 lbs on an early 90's Haro Impasse with Maxxis Hookworms for tires. Luv 'em, absolutely luv 'em.

  2. Thanks for the advice, Lou. The chainrings are staying for now, but the mechanic tells me the cassette needs a total replacement (which means a new wheel?), and the bearings in the bottom bracket are shot as well.

    I really do like my bike. It's heavy but strong, traditional looking but with an interesting paint job, and "old" but new to me. Just like me, it's "special."