My 2010 Jamis Aurora was brand new when I bought it in April 2012. Guy’s Trek 520 is a 2008 and he bought it second hand in April 2012 and replaced the cassette (rear gears), the chain and a few cables making it like new at that time.
Last week (August 2012) my Jamis started to click. Urgh. It was a steady click, while peddling, and sounded like a broken ceiling fan. The clicking was on and off but always present on an uphill climb so I was suspecting a problem with the crank bearings. We were scheming a three day tour so we headed to the local bike shop to get it checked out.
This time we chose Fairview Cycle. They are Jamis dealers and Paul helped us out when we were riding the Ohio to Erie Trail in May-June 2012 and were stranded in London with a broken wheel on the Jamis. The mechanic rode my bike and of course it was silent. He disassembled the crank and lubed the bearings. He said it could be dirt and the lube job would help to let the grit work itself out. It continued to click on and off for the next 50 miles, then it stopped. I rode another 50 miles in silence. Nice. Our bikes were so quiet rolling along the Western Reserve Greenway that we were flushing out owls, hawks, herons, ducks, deer, ground hogs, and raccoons.
We got our chains checked at Fairview Cycle and both were ready to be replaced.
My Jamis is just over 1000 miles and Guy’s is closer to 1500 because he has been commuting to downtown Cleveland this summer. We have learned that it is advisable to replace the chain as soon as it starts to stretch to make the cassette last longer. We paid $20 each for the chains and $25 labor for the installation and lube job on the Jamis. A new chain makes your bike feel smooth and responsive and shifts with no effort. Ripping through a few chains a year is a good thing! It means you are riding a lot and you are happy, healthy and having a good time. Your mileage may very.