|New-to-me, Suntour Cyclone derailleur.|
So, I rode the bike last fall for a while, but put it away after a couple rides. At the time I couldn't deal with diagnosing the problem.
However, this spring while the Trek was in the shop, I started riding the Miyata again. Obviously, the problem didn't heal itself. In fact, it became worse.
Twice, I spent time rotating the chain, inspecting for skips. As the jumping was minor, I couldn't pinpoint the exact spot so I lubricated the chain and twisted the links slightly, hoping to loosen the problem link.
It didn't fix the skipping. Lucky me!
But one day, while riding home in the granny gear the chain decided to jump off a pulley wheel in the derailleur. Did you know that could happen? It turned out to be a godsend. I bent over the back wheel (a biker's version of opening the car hood and scratching one's head) to discover the upper plastic wheel was worn. That I could fix.
Or so I thought. By the time I arrived home, a half hour late, I'd also deduced that whenever I rode in the granny gear, the chain was slack. This was clearly a derailleur issue. The part couldn't do it's job properly, keeping tension while springing back into position.
So I did what any bike lover would do. I scoured our stash of parts, came up with two derailleurs (thank you hubby for collecting stuff) and headed to a local bike shop.
It turns out a spring was broken in the derailleur, irreplaceable at this shop. The lady mechanic mounted the Suntour Cyclone, explaining that it's a nice one, as opposed to the low end black Shimano. I said goodbye to the Suntour Mountech, original to the bike, though I'll keep it for parts. Sometime I plan to run it to another shop, one more versed in older bicycles.
The Suntour Cyclone suits the Miyata in more ways than one. It functions well, plus the all-chrome style and brand fits the era when all bikes came equipped with Suntour components.. It's also prettier than the Mountech—if such a thing can be said about a derailleur.
In hindsight, I now realize the initial chain skip was due to a worn derailleur pulley. And more recently, the spring failed.
And, for all the angst over what I suspected was a stiff link, the chain functioned fine once another derailleur was installed. It's nice to know I can still connect a chain old school style.