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OES said:
Simple and cheap: They have these in both 6 and 7. Look at the Megarange if he REALLY needs a low gear.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/freewheels.html#7
If it's a 20-year-old 6-speed, it's a freewheel, and probably will fit a 7-speed freewheel. For 20 bucks he can get a 7-speed with a 28, which would lower his lowest gear about 11%; changing the 42 ring to a 39 (another $20 for a cheap ring) would lower it only about 7% (changing both would lower it about 17%). He might need a new (longer) chain, which he probably needs anyway. Front deralleur should work; the only issue might be the rear derailleur handling the extra wrap, but you can probably make it work with the 28. The megarange with the 34 is more iffy.
 
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