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Old 11-14-10, 07:22 PM   #26
DanJH1202
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so I'm also new to bicycling and I found a 10-spd free spirit dynasty in what looks to be very good condition on CL. The seller is offering it for $150. Is this a bum deal?
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Old 11-14-10, 07:38 PM   #27
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Yes.
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Old 11-14-10, 07:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by charlisity View Post
There was one made by Puch?
Somewhere around 1970 they changed from Puch-built to U.S. built. The Austrian ones have the euro look about them, kind of like a Dutch bike. They also have decals that look like this:





(I reallly liked this bike but had no practical use for it so I traded it to someone who liked it.)
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Old 11-14-10, 07:55 PM   #29
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I went through an Austrian built Free Sprit this summer, heavy but actually a pretty nice ride although not the prettiest thing on earth. I have no clue what year it was/is but with the wing nuts I'd guess late sixties or early seventies?







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Old 11-14-10, 08:09 PM   #30
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Wow, that has some serious fork rake! Kind of a graceful bend, too.

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Old 11-14-10, 09:56 PM   #31
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I was just getting ready to post a thread on my newly completed Free Spirit 10 speed. I have a bike with similar decals, but several mechanical differences. It isn't lugged, it has an Eagle deraillieur, and the brakes are center pull Dia Compes. It still has the same wing nut-attached wheel and the seat is a similar design with springs. The general layout of the bike are also the same, including the forks. I found a Sears catalog listing for my bike dating from 1975. I haven't gotten it on a scale, but it feels significantly lighter than sewer pipe bikes from the era.

There's also a model given out to salespeople that had Campy grupos. Yes, you heard me right: CAMPY EQUIPPED DEPARTMENT STORE BIKE!

Are these bikes bad? No. They're more low end bike shop than department store, but they carry department store prices. I paid $20 for mine and had it ready to ride with some new tires and brake cables.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:23 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
I was just getting ready to post a thread on my newly completed Free Spirit 10 speed. I have a bike with similar decals, but several mechanical differences. It isn't lugged, it has an Eagle deraillieur, and the brakes are center pull Dia Compes. It still has the same wing nut-attached wheel and the seat is a similar design with springs. The general layout of the bike are also the same, including the forks. I found a Sears catalog listing for my bike dating from 1975. I haven't gotten it on a scale, but it feels significantly lighter than sewer pipe bikes from the era.

There's also a model given out to salespeople that had Campy grupos. Yes, you heard me right: CAMPY EQUIPPED DEPARTMENT STORE BIKE!

Are these bikes bad? No. They're more low end bike shop than department store, but they carry department store prices. I paid $20 for mine and had it ready to ride with some new tires and brake cables.
True, the one I did was a LOT lighter than a Schwinn of the same era and my son loved riding it until it got sold. The kids got it made, he gets to ride anything in the stable that he can fit on.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
Are these bikes bad? No. They're more low end bike shop than department store, but they carry department store prices. I paid $20 for mine and had it ready to ride with some new tires and brake cables.
The three or four I've come across were heavy and the components were low-end, but one beautiful mustard yellow ladies frame surprised me in how well it shifted considering the drive-train. I'd say they're more like 70's low-end bike shop bikes than 2000's low-end, but still much better than the "Schwinns" and "Raleighs" at Tar-Mart.

IMHO the $150 asking price for a Dynasty model is about $100 too much unless it has been recently tuned-up and has new tires/wheels.

If you're looking for a good first bike from craigslist, try to ignore flashy bikes as they are typically hiding the fact that they are low performance. There are good Japanese and Taiwanese-built bikes under names like Fuji, Shogun, Nishiki, Univega, Miyata, etc that are a better value than Free Spirit.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:21 PM   #34
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Don't think I'd really ever pay more than $20 or so(in Really great condition) from a garage sale or something, If it had fenders and I needed a rainy day commuter. They're nice heavy beater bikes that are kinda fun to ride that you don't have to worry about ruining.

I picked up a 3 speed that looked practically new a couple years ago for $15. It's served well and problem free despite my girlfriend leaving it outside for two winters in WI while she used it in college. I'm giving it a tune-up this week to go back into duty as a winter commuter for myself to work and back. I am actually kind of disappointed that mine sat out to rust for two winters just due to the condition it was in before, but I think I'm going to get it a cheap powder coat, and there's no shortage of these things, so I'm not too upset.
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Old 11-15-10, 05:16 AM   #35
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Right now I have a Free Spirit 3 speed with a lugged frame and three piece crank and a nice green 5 speed model with a more typical welded frame. Both are heavy, but nice. Unlike say an Kmart All Pro, the Free Spirit name plate could indicate something nice or not so nice,
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Old 11-15-10, 05:53 AM   #36
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a recent p/u - havent had time to work on it yet

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Old 11-30-10, 04:06 AM   #37
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If you are talking about a Puch 10 speed racer from the 70's. I have one!
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Old 11-30-10, 04:34 AM   #38
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Sears offered a "Ted Williams", Puch made road bike that was built with Reynold's 531 tubes and was equipped with some middle of the road Shimano gear... it is a fairly light frame and fork with a bunch of rather heavy bits hanging off it.

These are rather nice.
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Old 09-11-11, 11:15 AM   #39
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I have a matching set of FS3 Free Spirit Mens and Womens if anyone is interested
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Old 09-11-11, 11:17 AM   #40
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I have a matching set of FS3 Free Spirit Mens and Womens
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Old 09-11-11, 12:04 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Sears offered a "Ted Williams", Puch made road bike that was built with Reynold's 531 tubes and was equipped with some middle of the road Shimano gear... it is a fairly light frame and fork with a bunch of rather heavy bits hanging off it.

These are rather nice.
Here's mine (parts upgraded). I have one as my daily single speed too.
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Old 09-11-11, 12:07 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ianjk View Post
I was bored, had a welder and ended up making my first tallbike out of them
Ha, ha, haven't seen one of those since I was a kid. Used to be popular in my hillbilly town!
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Old 09-11-11, 02:31 PM   #43
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I've done some research in the intervening year, while my FS was converted to a single speed and later a five speed to give to a friend. I've put quite a few miles on it in the meantime.

Sears started selling Huffys as Free Spirits around '75, but they kept the Puch line until the early '80s. In '82 you could get the 10-speed Huffy for around $110, and the 10-speed Puch for $150. I have a 76-ish Huffy version, which has a small cult following because the construction makes it extremely comfortable for a road bike (A Huffy that doesn't suck? Amazing!) Puch bikes also got a step up in equipment all around.

All Puch Free Spirits have lugged construction, Huffys do not.

Sears licensed Ted Williams' name for their sporting goods in the '60s, and continued using it until the late '70s. The Williams name went on some Free Spirits. The red, white, and blue bicentennial bikes were sold in both Huffy and Puch versions. Puch-made Williams bikes have "Made in Austria" on the headbadge. Huffys have an identical headbadge minus this phrase.

Before Ted Williams, Sears sporting goods were named after department head J.C. Higgins, and pre-WWII bikes carried the Elgin name. Early-60's Higgins bikes were made by Puch.

I weighed my bike before the SS conversion at 39 lbs, and 34lbs. after. The old Shimano freewheel and chain are WAY heavier than modern components.
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Old 09-11-11, 05:00 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Sears offered a "Ted Williams", Puch made road bike that was built with Reynold's 531 tubes and was equipped with some middle of the road Shimano gear... it is a fairly light frame and fork with a bunch of rather heavy bits hanging off it.

These are rather nice.
Yes! And those came in a sort of electric-green color. One of those framesets, with the appropriate higher-quality vintage parts installed, can be quite a nifty bike.

Edit: Like dbakl's shown above!

Last edited by 753proguy; 09-11-11 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Added 'Edit: comment'
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Old 09-12-11, 09:14 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
Sears licensed Ted Williams' name for their sporting goods in the '60s,
Ted Williams was one member of their sports advisory team which also included Edmund Hillary. Ted of course was knowlegeable about baseball, but also hunting, camping and fishing. In fact, he is in the fishing Hall of Fame as well as in Cooperstown. I doubt he knew anything about bicycles!


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Like dbakl's shown above!
Thanks. I got that fairly complete and original off ebay, but was quite disappointed in the original parts, so I rebuilt it with a bunch of better Japanese stuff I had lying around. I think just the frame and deraillers are all that's left...

Last edited by dbakl; 09-12-11 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 09-12-11, 10:46 AM   #46
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A friend of mine has been riding a '75 Free Spirit 10-speed continuously since he bought it new back then. He keeps up with the group rides just fine. He recently upgraded the original seat and wheels to more modern components. (Took him 35 years before he started breaking spokes!)
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Old 02-08-12, 06:46 PM   #47
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I know this thread has been dead for a while, but I just found it. My husband and I have this Free Spirit 10 Speed. I know nothing about it and was wondering if anyone could tell me how much it's worth repaired or maybe what year it is? Here are some pictures to help

[ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH]DSC01860.jpg[/ATTACH][/ATTACH][/ATTACH]
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File Type: jpg DSC01859.jpg (94.6 KB, 622 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01861.jpg (90.1 KB, 606 views)
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Old 02-08-12, 06:57 PM   #48
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Hi Welcome to the forums. is there something wrong with it? It looks ot me like it just needs a basic tuneup and some zipties to tidy up the cables.

I do not resell may bikes so I can't help much on the value, but it looks ot have seen little use





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Old 02-08-12, 07:03 PM   #49
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I know this thread has been dead for a while, but I just found it. My husband and I have this Free Spirit 10 Speed. I know nothing about it and was wondering if anyone could tell me how much it's worth repaired or maybe what year it is? Here are some pictures to help

[ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH]Attachment 236655[/ATTACH][/ATTACH][/ATTACH]
Very low end bike boom model. Early 70s, judging from the color and graphics. Equal or less than a Varsity or Vista of that same era, but without the collector market. Seriously, you might do better donating to a local charity and taking the deduction. The cost for a tuneup, tires, and adjustments would likely be 2X the return value.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:22 PM   #50
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Yup,
IIRC, that was my older brother and my beater bike to get around the campus in college in WI back in the early 80's.
Thing weighed a ton, rattled like crazy and was kinda ugly with it's metallic green paint, Grab-On covered bars and white plastic tie type cable guides, ashtabula crank, hideous looking quilted vinyl covered plastic saddle........but it was reliable and never even threw off its chain on us. It could never kill us when we fell off it as it was so slow anyway. No one ever bothered to steal it when it was parked outside of the buildings during classes protected by a chintzy little chain lock from K-Mart. So we never had an excuse to be late to our classes.....

Thank you Free Spirit, where ever you are now (Probably rusting quietly in my brother's basement or attic in WI....).

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