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cleaning up a donation bike

Slowspoke2012-07-24 14:23:34 +0000 #1
I got a bike from free cycle that I am cleaning up for a student of mine who is in desparate need of transportation. It's an old huffy mtn bike that has been kept inside except for last winter . They said it needs new tubes. The back tube is pulled somewhat out of the back tire, which leads me to believe maybe they didn't understand that you have to actually remove the wheel from the bike to change the tube! There is a little rust on the wheels and chain. I am going to attempt cleaning both but I may replace the chain. Other than that, a quick clean and lube and it should be good to go. I only have changed a chain on a single speed. It was raining when I brought the bike home. I know it is 18 speed sram. How do I know what size chain to get? I am off to garage sale for a back rack. Hopefully when I get back, I will have some chain answers!
lph2012-07-24 14:31:55 +0000 #2
Try lubing the chain well and wiggling it around. If it loosens up and doesn't have any kinks, and shifts smoothly, you might not need to replace it. Poor shifting doesn't have to mean the chain is worn either, just that the derailleur wire needs tightening.

If you do need to replace it, tell the bike shop how many cogs the bike has in back, that determines the width of the chain. If it's 18 gears you either have 2 in front and 9 in back, or 3 in front and 6 in back.

I love that you're fixing up an old bike for someone
jusdooit2012-07-24 15:09:19 +0000 #3
You need to match the chain to the rear cassette. This is what dictates the width of the chain required. You also need to count the number of cogs on the rear cassette, this dictates the number of gears (or "speed" of the bike, ie 8 spd, 9 spd, etc.). To determine the length, count the number of links in the original chain & match that number on the new chain. You may want to take pictures of the routing of the old chain before you remove it so you can be sure you can duplicate it with the new chain. You'll probably need to make soe minor adjustments to the derailers for the new chain.

I also suggest replacing the rim tape when you replace the tubes.
laura*2012-07-24 14:35:19 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Slowspoke

... an old huffy ... 18 speed

Almost certainly 3x6.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slowspoke

How do I know what size chain to get?

Today, five, six, seven, and eight speed cassettes all use the same chain. So ask the shop for an eight speed chain. (Actually, there are some older chain designs that are rated for fewer speeds. KMC makes one that is good for a max of 7 speeds - when we stocked it at the co-op, it sold for $6. This chain would work for you!)

You'll also of course have to trim the new chain to the correct (same as the old one) length...
Slowspoke2012-07-24 16:08:34 +0000 #5
Thanks for th info. I lucked out and it cleaned up well. I lubed the chain and it is good to go. I didn't find a rear rack yet, but I will keep my eyes open.
marni2012-07-24 15:39:10 +0000 #6
< ok, I admit I DO want a pickle, but I still want to ride my bicycle! >

oh snap! someone finally got my signature line!

marni

"I got a friend named Ike, My friend Ike has a motor bike."

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