A lesson from a bike shopBMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3006 (Published 16 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3006
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Fundamentally the message is never change a worn bike chain without changing the sprocket and almost certainly the chain-wheel.
If the chain has stretched and worn so much, what do you expect will have happened the the teeth of the sprocket and chain-wheel, it's been running on?
In my day . . .!
Competing interests: I used to tinker with lots of bicycles in my youth!
I agree with Dr Kenwright that the secondary message from this piece is that a little self-monitoring and self-care will prevent the need for expensive replacement surgery. For a very few pounds one can buy a simple tool to measure chain stretch (eg from Velosolo.co.uk). The procedure is painless, takes 10 seconds and the equipment lasts indefinitely (more than can be said for most monitoring procedures). I do it once a month when I check my BP and fasting sugar. In this case early diagnosis really does prevent further trouble; even Des Spence could not argue with that.
Competing interests: None. Specifically, I have no connection with Velosolo other than as a customer.
Cycle experiences have taught me much and there are lessons to be learnt from this account. Perhaps the most striking comparison is that of the patient who consults his GP for marked obesity and ends a series of appointments on treatment for diabetes , eye problems , statins etc... but is still obese. The crunch problem is that the patient knows so little about self-care and Elwyn Davies shows the same lack of regard for the "machine" in question. I bet the bike did need a new chain - and a cartridge and chain set - but mostly it needed the owner to treat it with a bit more respect and understanding. Then the bike shop would not have had to follow a policy of breaking bad news gradually?
Competing interests: No competing interests