Author Topic: USA: Getting 9 speed parts in bike shops  (Read 3615 times)

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Offline BikeFreak

USA: Getting 9 speed parts in bike shops
« on: March 18, 2023, 03:15:37 pm »

If my 9-speed cassette (12-23) gets worn during a cross country trip, what is the chance that a standard bike shop along the ACA routes in USA or Canada will stock such an item? Likewise for 9-speed chains.

For some reason I sense it will be an uphill battle.


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: USA: Getting 9 speed parts in bike shops
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2023, 04:30:45 pm »
TBH I have no idea what availability is like today, but (as an internet expert) I have some guesses.

Nine speed chains are probably more readily available than cassettes, especially if you want a particular size.

College towns are more likely to have either or both; thinking of Ashland, Charlottesville, Carbondale, Missoula.  Tourist centers like Damascus, Canon City, and West Yellowstone probably have above-average chances.

Then there are the places in between.  Off the top of my head I can't think of a place on the TransAm in Kentucky or Missouri that I'd bet would have the cassette you want, and your best shot at a chain might be Walmart.

You can plan for this, of course.  Start with a new chain and cassette.  Borrow a tape measure every week or so to track the chain wear.  Be regular about wiping your chain clean, and re-lube it when it squeaks (like after a rain).  You might carry a chain, buy one when it's looking iffy, or stop by a library or motel and order a chain to be delivered a week ahead of you (post office, General Delivery).  You might order a fresh tire for the rear at the same time to see if you can get free shipping.  Make sure your mini-tool includes a chain tool, and you can swap the chain when you need to, well before the cassette gets worn.

Offline BobG

Re: USA: Getting 9 speed parts in bike shops
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2023, 05:09:42 pm »
I've led several TransAm groups in the past. Enroute I'd order items for group members online and request overnight UPS delivery to a future campground if the item was urgently needed. Back then Nashbar was the best option, now there are many bike part companies to choose from. If you can't install it yourself at least you'll have the part when you arrive at a bike shop. Pat's suggested towns are good.

As previously suggested, if you start with a new cassette and chain you should be good for the duration. You may need a range wider than 12-23.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 05:56:22 pm by BobG »

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: USA: Getting 9 speed parts in bike shops
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2023, 06:44:34 pm »
Buy them before the trip and have someone ship them to you when/if needed?

Offline canalligators

Re: USA: Getting 9 speed parts in bike shops
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2023, 08:03:09 pm »
If you start the trip with new chain, cassette and chainrings, they'll last 4,000 miles, though they'll be toast when you're done.  Carry a spare link and a couple of quick links.  Otherwise, the mentioned towns and shipping are your friends - most any merchant, including Amazon, will ship to USPS/General Delivery. 

I started a westbound Trans Am with a lightly used granny ring.  By the time I hit the Mississippi, its teeth were seriously cupping.  You'll be using that puppy a lot.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 08:09:03 pm by canalligators »