Bike: Early 80s Raleigh Rapide 10-speed road bike. (I'm in the process of overhauling the bike.)
In a previous thread, I explained a noise coming from my rear wheel. Today, I figured out that I think the noise is coming from the freewheel. It still works fine but I don't think I can live with the clicking noise it is making while pedaling. When you shake the freewheel with your hand, you can hear a rattle inside. I'm assuming that isn't normal.
I don't think many people try this but what are the possibilities of taking it apart and fixing whatever seems to be making the noise inside? I'm assuming most of you will just say it isn't worth the time. If I thought I had a decent chance of fixing it, I would give it a shot.
More than likely, I will end up replacing it. I would like to get a recommendation on what freewheel I should replace it with. It's a 5 speed Suntour Perfect (model name) 14-28. It might be nice to have a little bigger size on the first speed (like 30 or 32....I have a hill or two in my neighborhood that just about kills me.) I'm not wanting to spend any more money than I have to but I don't want a piece of junk either.
* Is it possible to upgrade to a 6 or 7 speed freewheel? Is a 6 or 7 speed wider than a 5 or are the cogs just closer together? This bike uses friction shifters if that matters. Also, I measured the frame width and it looks like 126 mm. The freewheel is 27 mm thick and it doesn't look possible to me to replace it with one any wider than that. I'm having trouble visualizing how a 6 or 7 speed freewheel could fit.
* Are all of the wheel threads standard or do I need to worry about a specific size when I buy a freewheel?
* Any specific brands/models to stay away from? I don't know the quality rating of the Suntour Perfect that's on the bike now but I think one of similar quality to it would be fine. I would not be happy with the one that is on my wife's Wally World bike. It looks like total junk. (then again....so is the entire bike)
* I have a 2 prong freewheel removal tool so one that uses that same tool would be a plus but I'm doubting if that is possible unless I get a used one. Correct?
Thanks for your help.