Bike Shop Zen


The relatively new gears on the bike had been pretty slick until I was trying to fit the new mudguards and racks. Keeping the bike upright without a stand whilst working on it is a bit of a pain so I ended up having to prop the bike up against a bench, and where it naturally rested was against the rear mech.

Mudguards and racks on (more on that later) and suddenly I couldn’t shift down to the smallest cog on the back. I figured I must have knocked the mech whilst working on it. After a few weeks of commuting with it like that, and having got a discounted workstand, I eventually got around to finding some time to tweak it.

The far reaches of adjustment of the mech are set by upper and lower limit screws which make sure the mech can move just far enough to reach all the cogs but not so far that the chain drops off the inside or outside of the cassette.

Try as I might, I could just not fix it. Even though there was space between the limit screw and the mech, the mech would not drop down onto the smallest cog. I tried lubing the pivots, playing around with the indexing to see if I could release some tension in the cable but nothing worked. It got late and dark and I quit.

The next day I rang Moose Cycles who said they could look at it the same day so I popped it in. They rang a couple of hours later and said…:

“Mr Goodman? We’ve looked at your bike in the workshop. Then we took it for a ride to see how it was on the streets. It’s…errr… well, perfect. If all of our gears changed as slickly as yours we’d be well happy”

Cue me feeling like a bike-problem-chondriac…:

“Really? Are you sure? I mean, last night it just wouldn’t work… At all. I’m not making it up. Honestly… I’ll come and pick it up then…”

And sure enough, both on their stand and on the commute yesterday, the gears were slick, quiet and smooth. Even the indexing, which I’d really messed around with, was perfect.

Bike shop zen. Those guys are so good that just being in their presence sorts out all my bike’s ills. Now if only I could manage to have that effect…

Posted in London to Switzerland (2011), Planning and tagged , .


  1. As I say, always treat inanimate objects with authority! If you don’t, they will take advantage/slack off on the job!

    • Haha. Yes, maybe that’s the problem- I wasn’t bring firm enough with it. I’ll talk more sternly to it next time, maybe manhandle it a little bit so it knows it’s place:-)

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