The colorful wolf

March 23, 2010

Bikeshopguy ripped me off again!

Filed under: Cycling,Spirit of Japan — randy @ 17:46
Tags: ,

A couple of weeks ago I went to one of the two decent bicycle shops in Atsugi to get some new brake blocks, which, oddly enough, they didn’t have.  The owner explained to me that he only had one pair left, and that I should come back later for more. Well, I would have, except that since then the shop has never been open. This is really too bad, because that shop was really great. The guy was not particularly nice, the parts were not particularly cheap, but he always did a good job of fixing my bike, and I never felt any ill intent from him.

Fast forward to today: the nice bike shop still closed, I am going to the other shop, which is the one where I originally bought my bicycle three years ago. This shop just gives me a bad feeling recently. It’s run by two people, and the owner, who was very nice to me three years ago when I bought the bicycle, now completely ignores me and lets his ‘disciple’ handle me. This ticks me off a bit. They also usually recommend me to replace things of which I don’t feel the need for at all, which makes me wonder if they’re ripping me off or not.

Still, both bicycle shops recommended me to get some maintenance done on my chain, so I finally succumbed and asked the guy that didn’t ignore me to replace the chain. He recommended me to also replace the sprocket, but I told him I’d never had problems before, and this is a ‘just-in-case’ measure which I thought wasn’t even necessary. Note that replacing the chain cost only 4000 yen, whereas replacing ‘all bad parts’ (his words) would cost 15.000 yen. No thanks.

The chain was replaced, and then the problems started. Just as I was cycling away, putting some force on the pedals, the chain skipped. Not just once, but all the time, and in all the gears except one. Basically my bicycle is now a rattling skipping mess and it’s completely unusable. Thanks a lot, bikeshopguy… Never had any problems with the old chain…

While I suspect him from somehow messing up the installation, proving that would take a long time and do me no good. Since the sprocket is indeed nearly dead, I’ve decided to go along with it and order a new sprocket. This way bikeshopguy will have one more chance to properly fix my bicycle, and I won’t have to replace the parts myself along the way (which I might not be able to, despite my general overconfidence in my skills). I have to wait one week for the parts to arrive, so I’ll be in Atsugi for at least one more week.

Oh well, at least it will finally be fixed properly. OR ELSE…


  1. That bike guy was very nice to us…I guess its not everyday there are gaijins who choose a bike from the catalogue!

    Comment by Kamil — March 23, 2010 @ 19:49 | Reply

  2. True, and it’s not everyday that we find someone able to speak in English to us in Japan. Actually, he only started ignoring me after I started speaking Japanese to him. Weird.

    Comment by rheide — March 24, 2010 @ 15:39 | Reply

  3. Hey, maybe the bikeshopguy was right when he told you also to replace the sprocket. Problem is, that after years of usage chain and sprocket show some abrasion. When you now only change the chain, it will skip because the sprocket doesn’t fit the new one. That’s because of abrasion of the sprocket teeth. Can you understand what I want to tell you?! So whenever you have a really old pair of chain and sprocket, change both parts, otherwise you will run into problems.

    Comment by boris — March 24, 2010 @ 20:27 | Reply

  4. You are of course right, and I have no choice but to change both parts. It’s still an unexpected expense though, and I’ve been having too much of those lately 😦

    Comment by rheide — March 24, 2010 @ 20:31 | Reply

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