My freewheel tarted slipping this week. It slips most from a stop with no pressure snapping to significant pressure on the pedals. Slipping may be the wrong term as it really isn't engaging. Once it "hooks up" and pressure is continuously applied there is no slippage.
Bike is a 3 years old, kona humu-humu, and used for daily commutes in Montana. Stored in an unheated shed at night, left out in the elements during work M-F 9-6, a couple times a month year round while out on the town.
Past couple months I've been hearing a banging sound out of the rear cog which I assumed was the chain slipping on the cog, but now I'm wondering if it the ratcheting mechanism in the freewheel.
Recent weather included a large snow storm which caked the bike in snow/ice followed by a week of sub 0F weather, so the snow stayed caked on. Two days ago riding it home after dark in like roughly -20F temps the issue first occurred. Thinking it was a chain slippage and being very intermittent I brought it inside got the bike warmed up/dry tighted the chain and did some other routine maintenance.
Next day, same issue occurs but easier to recreate while off the bike and I can see the chain is fine and the freewheel just isn't hooking up.
I have a couple theories but not how likely each is. I'm also not sure how serviceable the freewheel is.
Theories: - Water worked it's way into the freewheel and is now frozen inside the freewheel. This is changing how the moving parts operate. - The banging sound was the freewheel and is a sign of or the cause of major wear. The mechanism providing traction now has a loose fit and the extreme low temperatures are enough to further loosen the connection to unusable. - It's too cold for the springs/oil in the mechanism to perform adequately for normal usage - Something else?
I need to swing by the local shop anyways as I'm swapping out some parts shortly, but if there are some simple fix ideas I'd love to hear them.
EDIT: Freehub not freewheel + Single speed cog.