“A customer has come with a bike,” said the sales team on the phone “She said she bought it last week and the gears don’t work”

“Oh dear.” I replied, or words to that effect anyway.

The customer had changed into a lower gear while riding up a hill and suddenly there was no resistance; she nearly fell off her bike. I’ve mentioned before that the local culture is sometimes very “British” and here’s another example: the customer actually apologised for bringing the bike back.

The problem was intermittent and I couldn’t replicate it but her description sounded like the cable tension was insufficient. The system used on this bike relies on the cable being to just the right length; I’d set it according to the instructions, but it turns out that theory doesn’t always work in practice.

This time I reduced it by about 3mm, put the plastic top on, nearly lost the tiny screw to hold it down (again), rebuilt the bike and tested it for a good ten minutes to make sure it worked.

It didn’t do anything unpleasant so hopefully I won’t see it again until the 6 month service…