Hi Bike Forums community!
This is my first post, so I'll start with a quick introduction (I know this should be in the introductions page). I live in Chicago and ride my bike to work most days. I had been riding a '97 Raleigh M-40, but years of neglect and abuse have taken their toll on that bike. Plus, the seat post can't extend any more.
My other bike is a '93 RB-1 that my wife was given by an ex boyfriend. I didn't really know what it was until I was riding one day and a guy next to me said "Is that an RB-1? I've never seen one in person before!" I went home and looked it up. Cool thing to inherit.
Anyway, I started looking for a new bike for every day commuting. I wanted one with fenders (so I can commute in/after rain) and one with a bike rack so I can take a briefcase and not wear a backpack. After looking through the selection at Working Bikes (a bicycle cooperative), I figured I'd try my luck on Craigslist. I saw a posting for a 1968 Austrian made Sears Bicycle. I liked the look of it (from the not great craigslist photos) and kept coming back to look at the posting for a few days. I started researching 3-speeds and became enamored.
I ended up picking it up. $40. I put some air in the tires and took it for a spin. Despite sitting on the most uncomfortable seat I've ever sat on, I liked it. The gears worked and the brakes worked to a point. So, although I probably paid too much, I'm not complaining.
Now to my question: I've read a lot about the Puch made sears bicycles with hubs stamped sears. Mine has a Shimano 333 and the frame is not stamped "Made in Austria" anywhere. The head badge is not the stylized "SR" or the all caps "SEARS". The head badge says "Sears" with "Sears and Roebuck" going around it in the circle. So, how can I know this bike is made in Austria? It is a black frame, with the red and white accents I have seen on photos of other Sears bicycles made in Austria.
I know photos will help, but I haven't taken any yet. I'll try to get some tomorrow. My next task is to fix it up. I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions for this group as I start that process.