Sophie Gets a New Drive Train, and She Rides Like Buttah

After pedaling 6,860 miles on Sophie, my Fairdale Weekender Archer, she was due for an overhaul. Shifting gears wasn’t hard, but the teeth on the cog were beginning to look like shark teeth — a key indicator they were wearing out. So I took her by Sun and Ski Sports and got a new chain ring, cassette and chain. (A new derailleur is probably next.) This is that story.

You might be wondering when you should you change your drive train. According to the the mechanic, about 2,500 miles for the chain (or when it becomes too loose, as measured by a chain tool)), and 7,500 for the rest. Your mileage may literally vary. But you can also ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you shift hard, meaning you keep pedaling while shifting?
  • Do you keep your chain lubricated (hopefully not overly so)?
  • How often do you clean the chain and gears?
  • Do you leave your bike uncovered outside in the elements?
  • Have you had any chain slippage while climbing hills?

I can honestly say that the new parts have done their trick. My ride home was smooth, like the aforementioned buttah. Shifting was more effortless, and that makes for a more pleasant ride. Of course over time the parts will get used and not be pristine, but I am trying to be more careful with how I shift. Not putting pressure on the pedals while shifting, especially up hills, is a bit of skill, although it becomes unconscious fairly quickly.

For now I feel like I have almost a new bike in some ways. Sophie is a happy girl, too. Take care of your bike, and it will take care of you. If you’re in Austin, the guys at the shop are happy to help. If you go by, tell ’em A Dude Abikes sent ya. If you’re in Austin, I can get you a 10% off coupon. Leave a comment below and we’ll figure it out.

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15 thoughts on “Sophie Gets a New Drive Train, and She Rides Like Buttah

    1. Seems a bit neo-Luddite… What about supporting your friendly local bike shop? If love to know everything an experienced full-time bike mechanic knows, but I have a blog to write, a book to edit, a bike to ride…


    1. I’d like to know how to do it all but as I mentioned to another commenter I’ve got a blog to write, book to edit, bike to ride, etc. And supporting your friendly local bike mechanic is a good thing. Truth is, I coulda taken it to Yellow Bike Project and figured it out with help. But I didn’t, and the mechanic actually gave me a beer!


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