I was out riding Kanuga Trail in Paris Mtn. State Park here in Taylors, SC when I heard a loud pop. As a super-Clyde I am hard on parts. Let me explain and see if you can diagnose the problem.
I was in the easiest speed on the bike (1-1; smallest in front, biggest in rear) because I was going up a really steep technical section at very slow speeds. In one particularly steep and difficult section, I stood up to pedal and that is when I heard the popping noise. At first I thought I broke my chain again, but when I got off to look at it, the chain was fine (it is fairly new). Also, my RD hanger is perfectly aligned and I could not ask for a more perfect chain alignment.
So, next, I checked my chain rings and cassette for broken or damaged prongs or deformations. Once again, everything looks brand new in the front and rear. I walked the bike up the steep technical section because I am not skilled enough to start on something that steep. Then I got back on the bike and noticed that my bike didn't like to coast. When the back wheel spins during coasting, it wants to turn the cassette as well, instead of spinning freely. In addition, at the next little hill I went up it popped again and basically won't let me put any high load on it.
The shifter still works fine (aligned etc) and this problem happens in any gear combination. The bike is not changing gears when it pops.
Here is my guess, but I have zero experience: The rear free hub ratchet mechanism is shot. That is the only thing I can think of. The crank set is perfect. The chain is perfect. The RD is perfect. The cassette is perfect. Everything is aligned. I think it's the free hub ratchet mechanism.
Anybody have this problem?? The bike is only 1 month old--Gary Fisher Piranha.