I recently acquired a Nishiki that had been sitting in someone's garage for the past 25 years. Everything on the bike was in fantastic order, with factory grease still on the chain and in the headset. My question relates to the freewheel, which is giving me some trouble, but which appears to be equally new.
The freewheel, a Suntour Perfect 6 speed 13-30, from time to time fails to engage. There seems to be no consistent pattern to this pawl skipping. When it occurs, the freewheel will spin and spin and spin while I turn the cranks forward. Then, without discernable reason, it will engage again. Sometimes it will re-engage after I spin the cranks backwards; I must admit that when it does happen, I spin the cranks randomly forward and back until it re-engages. The problem is persistent, random, and time-consuming enough to be maddening.
Although it may be unrelated, I had my chain break on me while out for a ride. I stood up out of the saddle to start from rest and the chain snapped. The chain, as with the rest of the parts, is new. This could be an error on my part; I put the chain back together recently and re-used a pin.
I'd like to keep the same freewheel if possible because of the classy gold color, Suntour name, and fantastic gearing. Any ideas what is happening? Is it possible that I had too much chain tension? Is the chain break related? Could bearing adjustment in the freewheel be an issue? Did I just get a lemon freewheel?