I've a Marin San Rafael, 2005. The cassette is an 8 speed 11-28 shimano, exact model number unknown. The chain and freewheel are whatever came with the bike..
I've always thought the chain had a problem, stiff link perhaps, because it would feel like it skipped a tooth/jumped particularly when running on the smallest two cogs and pedalling hard.. everything else has been mechanically good, though lately the freewheel has developed a problem, probably stuck pawls. It's slipped and crunched enough times that I'd say it warrants replacing rather than cleaning and regreasing.. The bike has always been stored indoors, some use in wet weather but mainly dry, and has probably done about 2000 miles. I'm reasonably tall/heavy at 193cm/110kg and live in a hilly region which may have contributed to what I think is a premature failure
So, I'm setting about ordering bits but I'm not sure what to get - there aren't any obvious model numbers on these components and I can't find exact specs on what came as standard
- If I replace like for like, do chain/free/cassette come as a set?
- Will any shimano 8 speed cassette fit?
- Do chains have a standard length and need shortening to suit?
- What keywords do I need to search (e.g. eBay) for to ensure I get the set of things I need?
- If I go for upgraded components (cos I don't think I'll be getting smaller any time soon), are there particular keywords to search/look in the tech specs for (e.g. Number of pawls-I've no idea what makes one freewheel more heavy duty than another)?
- Are they a standard fitment hence a drop in replacement or do other things need to be changed too/do I need to match it to the hub?
I don't use the bike enough to warrant eg a sprag hub and rear wheel rebuild, but l'll be using it regularly, soon
Note, I'm not after particular product recommendations, I'm after knowing how to search for and buy the right set things over the the internet, what things are called, what's needed to ensure the job can be done in one swoop working finding something missing - the mechanics of fitting them is not part of the question either