So Monday I ran down to Bikes on Wheels in Kensington and bought the gear I thought I would need for the repair:

Seems simple enough. Took the back wheel off and then spent 45 minutes wrestling with the Freewheel puller (the nut type thing top left). Turns out I was turning the wrong way. I thought I had read the instructions correctly. Apparently not. Reread. Tried the opposite direction … 5 minutes later we had the freewheel off. The mechanism is so screwed and clearly what I thought was wrong – wasn’t. The problem is internal so I’m not going to be able eye-ball the mechanical failure.

Bright side – I now have a reason to take the freewheel apart!

Another 5 minutes I had the new Freewheel installed and the wheel back on the bike.

Another 5 minutes and I had taken the first test ride.

So the only real complication is that the new Freewheel has a much bigger ring in 1st gear. That big black ring is 34 teeth, so its lower, but also far too big for the current derailleur set-up.

First ride I was stuck in 3rd gear because the derailleur was rubbing up against the big ring when in 2nd and wouldn’t even contemplate shifting down another notch. I’ve made some more tweaks (read as – brute-force) and I now have the full range again. The big ring is sooooooo loooooow that it feels like cheating. I’m sure there are hills that will prove otherwise (Avenue Road I’m looking at you).

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