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My wife convinced me that we should buy bikes (2x$100.00) @ a dept store. I found a Mongoose (which I can remember used to be decent) and within 6mos I broke the bracket that holds the shifter in place (not sure on my lingo here). It says it is Shimano, but I don't know if I would be better off trying to replace it on my own(I am a smart DIY guy but have no experience w/Bikes), taking it to a bike shop, or just looking for a used Trek hybrid on CL? Please advise.

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Duct tape? Or throw a metal hose collar around it. Does it really matter for a $100 bike? – dotjoe Sep 22 '10 at 16:48
    
Hose collar would fail less miserably than duct tape but both these ideas stink. I can't afford a great bike right now so anything <$20.00 would be a logical repair for me to at least have a bike to ride. – lazfish Sep 24 '10 at 13:18
up vote 9 down vote accepted

If it is easy to get the bike to a bike shop, it is worth asking the shop the cost of a replacement. It is not likely to be more than a few dollars. Otherwise take the old bracket to the bike shop to get the replacement to match.

If the bike shop is able to do the replacement on the spot, let them do it and watch how it is done, otherwise it is not hard to do yourself and will save you the time of having to collect the bike.

This you will be left with a cheap bike that you can ride. You may still wish to buy a better bike, but will have the time to find a good one.

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I fixed mine using a scrap of metal strapping, bent to go around the handlebars. Then I used a tiny bolt through the original hole in the other piece of the shifter. It depends how much is left of the original one. Generally you can't glue them effectively.

Last resort is to replace the shifter. I bought a brand new 7 speed indexed shifter for $40 NZ, and it worked fine. Get one with teh same number of clicks as your rear cassette has cogs.

You may also have a bike coop in your city that can help out with parts and fitting, either for free or a donation.

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You can also buy a thumb friction shifter for 5 dollars. Or a SRAM Attack! gripshift for about 10 dollars. (In the US). I'd suggest going with a thumb friction shifter, given that they practically never fail. – Batman Dec 7 '15 at 18:09
    
@batman Parts pricing around the world varies a lot - How should we express relative costs? I know what I paid for a X locally, but that may be more or less than in OP's location. Do we use the bread index or the big mac index, or just quote last known local price in local currency and let the reader figure it out ? – Criggie Dec 7 '15 at 19:32
    
Just put whatever cost it is in your area. People will need to do their own research into costs in their area (esp. with vastly different tax schemes). If you want to be standard about it, US market prices based on somewhere like chain reaction cycles or jensonusa or something is probably best. – Batman Dec 7 '15 at 20:37

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