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Old 10-25-09, 09:48 PM   #1
gna
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Sears Austrian 3-speed

I found this bike for sale on Craigslist. I couldn't see anything in the Craigslist posting, but I was able to find a link to this picture:


What's up with the cranks? Should I stay away?
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Old 10-25-09, 09:54 PM   #2
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Pretty bike... looks like it has an SA hub too.
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Old 10-25-09, 10:11 PM   #3
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Those are steel cottered cranks, perfectly normal for that type and vintage bicycle. How much do they want for it? It looks like it's in decent shape and pretty much original.
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Old 10-25-09, 10:14 PM   #4
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If it's just a busted cotter pin it should be fine. If you can't find a replacement locally, Google Flying Pigeon LA (as in Los Angeles). They sell those kinds of parts.

I've got one of those Austrian Sears bikes, a ladies model. It has a Shimano Lark 5-speed derailleur, and it also has a centrifugally tripped two-speed built into the rear hub, making it a pseudo 10-speed. Only problem is that the rear axle nut is stripped so the rear axle slides around a little.
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Old 10-25-09, 10:24 PM   #5
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Pretty bike... looks like it has an SA hub too.
Probably F&S Torpedo hub, actually.
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Old 10-25-09, 10:54 PM   #6
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Probably F&S Torpedo hub, actually.
Doubt it. First the bike has a front and rear brake, no reason for a coaster brake. Second you can see a Sturmey Archer shifter, pulley, and cable mounted on the bike. Gonna have to go with Sixty Fiver on this one...

As far as the offset cranks go it could be a broken (compressed) cotter pin, or somebody could have installed one backwards. They have to be installed opposite each other. Either way, as long as the hole in the crank arm is not enlarged it is easy to fix.

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Old 10-25-09, 10:58 PM   #7
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If it's just a busted cotter pin it should be fine. If you can't find a replacement locally, Google Flying Pigeon LA (as in Los Angeles). They sell those kinds of parts.

I've got one of those Austrian Sears bikes, a ladies model. It has a Shimano Lark 5-speed derailleur, and it also has a centrifugally tripped two-speed built into the rear hub, making it a pseudo 10-speed. Only problem is that the rear axle nut is stripped so the rear axle slides around a little.
Or someone could have assembled the cranks backwards. (Cotter inserted from the wrong side)
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Old 10-25-09, 11:46 PM   #8
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The repair on the cottered axle might be pretty straightforward and it may just be a loose cotter in causing the offset... they do have to be checked regularly.

If it has a standard bottom bracket it could also be easily upgraded to cotter less which would knock off some weight and make things easier to service.
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Old 10-26-09, 12:07 AM   #9
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Dang...almost showroom new. Nice find.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:55 AM   #10
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Probably F&S Torpedo hub, actually.
Possibly, but more likely it's a Sturmey Archer clone. They are marked "SEARS" and "MADE IN AUSTRIA" and, as far as I can tell, are otherwise perfectly identical to the SA, including interchangability of parts.

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As far as the offset cranks go it could be a broken (compressed) cotter pin, or somebody could have installed one backwards. They have to be installed opposite each other.
+1

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Or someone could have assembled the cranks backwards. (Cotter inserted from the wrong side)
+1
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Old 10-26-09, 06:32 AM   #11
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Doubt it. First the bike has a front and rear brake, no reason for a coaster brake. Second you can see a Sturmey Archer shifter, pulley, and cable mounted on the bike. Gonna have to go with Sixty Fiver on this one...
Actually, there was also a F&S Torpedo 3-speed Model 415 that did not have a coaster brake, and it had a shifter mechanism that looked very much like the SA unit. The Austrian built Sears bikes did in fact come with F&S Torpedo transmissions, and not English made SA units.

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Old 10-26-09, 06:55 AM   #12
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Doubt it. First the bike has a front and rear brake, no reason for a coaster brake. Second you can see a Sturmey Archer shifter, pulley, and cable mounted on the bike. Gonna have to go with Sixty Fiver on this one...
Actually, there was also a F&S Torpedo 3-speed Model 415 that did not have a coaster brake, and it had a shifter mechanism that looked very much like the SA unit. The Austrian built Sears bikes did in fact came with F&S Torpedo transmissions, and not English made SA units.
We agree, the bike evidently has a three speed hub. What kind? Your vote is noted. So is mine. So is 65'r's. But we don't actually know whether it's Sturmey, Sachs, Sears, or Shimano... either OP will fill us in, or not. Until then, the jury is out.
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Old 10-26-09, 07:01 AM   #13
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Possibly, but more likely it's a Sturmey Archer clone. They are marked "SEARS" and "MADE IN AUSTRIA" and, as far as I can tell, are otherwise perfectly identical to the SA, including interchangability of parts.
Yeah. You are refering to the hubs that Sachs made, they're the ones who made those.


Early version ^^^

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Old 10-26-09, 07:26 AM   #14
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Mine has the same hub as Mr Columbia shows there, except it is "Sear" instead of JC Higgins.
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Old 10-26-09, 07:35 AM   #15
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Yeah. You are refering to the hubs that Sachs made, they're the ones who made those.


Early version ^^^
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Mine has the same hub as Mr Columbia shows there, except it is "Sear" instead of JC Higgins.
I have a few Sturmey Archer hubs, mostly AW's; and one Sears hub as David describes; and a F&S Torpedo that I got on ebay. Axle nuts interchange between Sturmey Archer and Sears, but not F&S; Sturmey Archer indicator threads into Sears but not into F&S; Sears indicator threads into Sturmey Archer but not into F&S; Sears trigger is modeled on Sturmey Archer, not on F&S; and so on. All this leads me to doubt there is any connection between the Sears hub and Fichtel & Sachs.

Elsewhere I have read that the Austrian Sears hub was made by Steyer. I don't know anything about that, but it seems more likely than F&S.
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Old 10-26-09, 07:44 AM   #16
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Good morning, I recently built/laced up a wheel using an old made in Austria "Sears" shell similar to one pictured and my Sturmey S5 internals (needed the 36 holes) I did first compare the sears internals to an AW's and everything matched, so went ahead with the assembly. Tim

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Old 10-26-09, 08:11 AM   #17
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Or someone could have assembled the cranks backwards. (Cotter inserted from the wrong side)
That's what I'm thinking.
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Old 10-26-09, 08:36 AM   #18
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Well it's certainly possible that Steyr could have the hubs themselves, they would have had the ability. But generally they sourced running gear from Sachs. Their mopeds all used Sachs engines and gear boxes - and I know that they did get three speeds for their bicycles from Sachs too (as I have had a couple which did not have sears re-branded hubs).
I'm sure if Steyr did manufacture the hubs themselves, somebody's gotta know about it.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:04 AM   #19
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Looks like the rear reflector is broken, too. That and the cotter are not that big a deal, then.

I emailed the seller, and he says it's a 21" frame, 31" standover height. It may be a bit small for me, as I'm 5'11". Any one know if they came in a bigger size, or is this it?

Unfortunately, he is in a distant suburb, and not home until the afternoon. I'll have to work around daycare pickup, etc. I had a couple of hours yesterday; I should have gone then instead of riding my Raleigh.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:17 AM   #20
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I think they made a 23" frame too? Maybe that will be too tall then.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:20 AM   #21
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21" frame, 31" standover height. It may be a bit small for me, as I'm 5'11". Any one know if they came in a bigger size, or is this it?
Larger sized frames did and do exist, at least in some brands; but finding one is another matter. I'm 6' and ride a three speed with a 21" frame quite a bit, and it's not too bad. I had to install a longer seat post, and even so, my hands are a little lower than my preference; but it works.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:33 AM   #22
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Larger sized frames did and do exist, at least in some brands; but finding one is another matter. I'm 6' and ride a three speed with a 21" frame quite a bit, and it's not too bad. I had to install a longer seat post, and even so, my hands are a little lower than my preference; but it works.
Well, that's where I started this madness. My first C&V bike was a 21" Robin Hood; I can ride it but it feels a bit cramped. I was looking for a Brooks saddle, and I stumbled across a 23" Raleigh Sports. It fits better, so that's what I usually ride. I'm looking for another 3 speed that will be easier to update than the Raleighs, with more standard threading, bracket, forks, etc. I have yet to find any other 23" 3-speed, though, so I wonder if I should keep looking or just find a 21" frame I like.

Or maybe stop the madness...

Gary
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Old 10-26-09, 10:57 AM   #23
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Actually, there was also a F&S Torpedo 3-speed Model 415 that did not have a coaster brake, and it had a shifter mechanism that looked very much like the SA unit. The Austrian built Sears bikes did in fact came with F&S Torpedo transmissions, and not English made SA units.
Ah ok. I was under the impression that all sachs stuff that had the "torpedo" associated with it had a coaster brake. Learned something new...
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