Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: DC / Maryland suburbs
Bikes: Homebuilt tourer/commuter, modified-beyond-recognition 1990 Trek 1100, reasonably stock 2002-ish Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
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Originally Posted by powers2b
Cables & housings are cheap.
Hubs are $$ and generally not servicable.
BBs are $$
If the owner neglected those items enough he/she probably neglected the more sensitive $$ items as well.
A whole new rear hub would probably cost $30 online for something like a Shimano Deore. However, if it's just the freehub body (the part that allows the hub to coast), then it might only be $20-30 for a replacement. Hubs generally *ARE* completely serviceable, I have overhauled many of them. It is a fairly messy task (lots of dirty grease and bearings) and requires a couple very thin wrenches (cone wrenches) as well as some practice.
Bottom brackets are not that expensive either. You can get a new square taper cartridge BB from Nashbar for about $15. If the BB is an old cup-and-cone style, rather than a cartridge BB, it may only need some new ball bearings and grease. Again, a messy job requiring a couple special tools, and very similar to overhauling a hub... once you learn one job, you'll have no problem with the other.
joyster, I recommend this book
which is a very basic and well illustrated--but very thorough--guide to bike repair and maintenance. Also, Sheldon Brown's web site contains even more and better repair info, but it's nice to have a book laying in front of you when actually working on your bike. You can definitely learn all this stuff at once, but be patient and be aware that it may be a steep learning curve.