Is this even worth trying to fix? I have a Huffy 10-speed I'm riding around town this summer. I had intended to look at bikes for awhile and buy something better in the spring.
The chain had a habit of skipping once or twice when I first accelerated from a stop. It's been doing this for years, but I used to ride so infrequently it didn't seem to matter. Now that I'm trying to start riding daily, I thought I'd try to do a little simple maintenance.
That was my problem--that "thought" part. That always gets me into trouble.
Anyway, I figured the first thing to do was to remove the factory chain that's been on there >10 years and replace it. I bought a cheap chain at the local hardware store (bike shops are an hour away, and the bike is pretty junky anyway) and put that on. Oddly, it was exactly as long as my old chain. I got a cheap chain tool and got the chain installed, no problem. I adjusted nothing else. Got on the bike, and it sounds like a capgun. Every revolution of the crank, the chain skips. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!
The only thing that stops it is to go to a higher gear so I'm not pushing so much force through the crank to get moving. (I generally start out on the smallest cog, front and rear, and I don't shift on anything but the worst hills.)
I started thinking again (still dangerous) and remembered people talking about "stretch." So I removed a link from the chain and tried again. If anything, it's worse, so shortening the chain doesn't seem to be the solution. I have three questions:
1. Is there a way that I can fix this myself, that can be explained so that I can understand it?
2. Is it even worth fixing this thing? Or am I talking about throwing bad money after good? I just hate to write it off since I really can't afford a new bike right now, even in the $200-$300 range. I was planning to buy a helmet, shorts, etc. and save for the bike over the winter. I could ride my wife's model of somewhat newer vintage as long as I keep my wrench away from it, though hers is a women's version with pink trim.