Thank you for your website, Jim. I have gone to it many times. I have a problem and maybe you could help? I have for myself a re-hab bike. someone had it out by the street and I took it. Seemed to be in okay shape. I lost some parts. This is the bike: TAKARA DELUXE 12. It has a city bike sticker, or bike pass dated 1982.
I lost a nut and bolt for the small ring gear. It's a 12 speed and the large crank gear is 52 tooth and I guess the small crank gear is a 38 tooth. They mount by 5 each nuts and bolts and they are small. That is 5 each and I lost a pair and I have only 9 pairs. Everything bike shops down here have shown me are way too big. The screw size is a M5 X .08 metric (also the nut hole size). It is off the small crank/pedal gear. Can you help?
ANSWER: This should be an easy fix, Dan. Since that bolt is a 5 x 8, any bike shop should have something they can make work because lots of bolts on bikes are that size. For example the standard water bottle bolts are 5 x 8 so maybe one of those with a nut and a washer or 2 will do the trick. It won't be original but it should get you going. Maybe an easier option would be to visit any decent hardware store and simply buy the nut in the metric bolt aisle? This is a common size and should be easy to find and by experimenting with washers and the nut you ought to be able to get thing going again.
Of course, if you check with enough bike shops it's not out of the question that you'd run into a shop with some old inventory and they'd have exactly what you need. It's not like 1982 is all that long ago ;-) A good shop would have a chainring bolt drawer and in that drawer they would have old and new bolts. You just need to find a good shop that's been around awhile. Usually these exist in any larger city so it might mean calling a few in the city near you to find the exact chainring bolt you need.
Hope this helps,