The Subway 8 is officially dead, I picked it up from the Halford’s morgue on Wednesday. Sadly there’s little to salvage from it other than £45 worth of tyres with 2,000 miles of wear in them (never punctured in all that time) and I’ll transfer the saddle because the one on my Claude Butler squeaks. I’ll also donate the bell to Maria’s trike as Alex’s trike already has one and she’s quite envious.
I took the bike to work for the last time just over a week ago and managed most of the journey using the 4 remaining working gears but alas about a mile from the office they too started to fail. I took it to the Halfords on Chester Road at lunchtime and Michael the senior mechanic happened to be there (the only one who will touch the bike). I told him that if the whole hub needed replacing then not to bother as I knew that would cost £200. 2 days later he phoned to tell me the bad news, he seemed to be struggling to describe the state of the bike without swearing and in his Aussie burr summed it us as best he could as "Look, it’s a real mess, mate". Just to add a little salt in to the wound, a few hours later I picked up a voice-mail from Michael saying in a cheery tone I’d never had the pleasure of hearing before "I’ve fixed your bike, come in any time to pick it up!" then there was a pause before a quickly garbled "oh, I think I’ve phoned the wrong number".
The bike was 15 months old when the hub failed, admittedly this coincided with me dropping the bike, but from the looks of the gear hub and all the rusty shit that’s fallen out of it the unit was not watertight anyway. I’ve read of other people suffering this problem with Nexus 8 hubs, and the broken seal would also explain the gears freezing up on a number of occassions in the winter. I’m going to write to complain about it and the whole maintenance free claim they make about the bike, I probably won’t get anywhere with it but it’ll make me feel a bit better about it.