Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-23-04, 10:48 AM   #1
Bikerbyday
Gettin outta the office
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SW Michigan
Bikes: Specialized Allez Comp; Trek 930 Mountain Bike
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sears Robuck & CO Free Spirit Ted Williams Bike

I recently acquired 2 old Sears Robuck & CO Free Spirit Ted Williams Bike (his and hers).

I have looked around on the internet trying to find some info on these and have not had much luck.

Anyone have some links to websites to find old bike info. I'm trying to find out how old they are and I would like to rehab them so I also need to find some parts
Bikerbyday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-04, 12:32 PM   #2
alanbikehouston
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 5,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My vague recollection is that Sears used those tradenames on many different bikes over a period of decades. During the 60's and 70's, some were imported from Europe. In the 80's, from Asia. To get parts for one particular bike, your LBS would need to examine the bike closely. I put tires on a Free Spirit 3-speed that were impossible to get off. Turned out the rims were a old europeon type that were about 1/8th inch larger than the rims on Schwinn or English 3-speeds of that era.
alanbikehouston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-04, 02:59 PM   #3
jemoryl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey, USA
Bikes:
Posts: 1,007
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is what I can recall from working in a shop during the '70s. Some of the FS Ted Williams bikes were very poor quality - US made frames from the likes of Huffy or Columbia (the bike maker, not the country), one-piece iron (Asthabula?) cranks, low level Shimano gear, etc. Typical dept. store bikes from that time. There were some other Sears bikes of a somewhat higher level made in Austria (maybe Puch?) but I don't recall these being labeled Ted Williams. Most of these were classic 3-speeds or similar. Maybe you could post a picture?
jemoryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-08, 12:15 PM   #4
virx
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ted Williams 10 Speed Blue Bike made in Austria Pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by jemoryl View Post
This is what I can recall from working in a shop during the '70s. Some of the FS Ted Williams bikes were very poor quality - US made frames from the likes of Huffy or Columbia (the bike maker, not the country), one-piece iron (Asthabula?) cranks, low level Shimano gear, etc. Typical dept. store bikes from that time. There were some other Sears bikes of a somewhat higher level made in Austria (maybe Puch?) but I don't recall these being labeled Ted Williams. Most of these were classic 3-speeds or similar. Maybe you could post a picture?
I have a Blue 10 speed Sears Roebuck "Ted Williams Brand" made in Austria made around 1969 - 1970. The picture is the label.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TedWilliams bike 001.jpg (56.8 KB, 174 views)
virx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-10, 08:33 PM   #5
robin-d
Bi(cycle)-curious.
 
robin-d's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: St Louis
Bikes: Walmart Poopcycle (stolen), Diamondback (forgotten?), BC America (summer project bike junked after left home), Nishiki Olympic (stolen), Nishiki Royale (stolen), Schwinn LeTour (stolen), Nishiki Alien (current), Terratrike Rover (significant other)
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi..

there is a beautiful pair of these being listed on my local craigslist (http://lascruces.en.craigslist.org/bik/1853492524.html)... I was curious if you guys thought I should jump on this?

-robin
robin-d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-10, 07:19 AM   #6
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Bikes: 1954 Hetchins M.O., 1959 Viking Severn Valley, 1970 Raleigh Pro, 1972 Fuji "The Finest", 1974 Raleigh Superbe&Comp, 1976 Raleigh Team Pro, 1996 Giant Iguana, 2000 Bob Jackson Arrowhead
Posts: 14,352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you're looking for them to use, and you're satisfied with them for the type of riding you are going to be doing, and they fit, go ahead.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-10, 06:45 PM   #7
sykerocker 
Senior Member
 
sykerocker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Montpelier, VA
Bikes: The keepers: 1960 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, 1968 Ranger, 1969 Magneet Sprint, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1973 Raleigh Tourist, 1973 Lambert, 1973 Schwinn Super Sport, 2 - 1988 Rossins
Posts: 3,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sears, Ted Williams and Free Spirit bikes were all over the map when it came to price and quality. As previously mentioned, the cheapest models were welded gaspipe frames, one-piece Ashtabula cranks, and most likely Shimano Eagle derailleurs (which were the cheapest you could get in the first half of the '70's). Quality wise, they were the on the high end of department store cheapies - the stuff that came through the bike shop always reminded me of Huffy bikes made on a good day. I believe a Sears cheapie cost a couple of dollars more than a Huffy, and the Sears name did have a quality reputation at that time.

Once you get into lugged frames and three-piece cranks you're most likely talking Puch's, although I think some other European manufacturers also made them. I think Sears, Roebuck & Co. put out specs to various manufacturers and entertained bids for the following year's production. The frames on these bikes were about the equal of a UO-8, Grand Sport Deluxe or Roger Riviere, although it always seemed the paint was a bit cheaper. Where they usually fell down was the components weren't quite as good as the French bikes. They usually used German hubs, cranks, etc., which weren't quite as nice as the French components.

Then there were the Reynolds 531 Ted Williams bikes. Hardly a Paramount, but then they didn't cost much considering you got a 531 frame.

As to the names: For years, Sears had a contract with Ted Williams for it's top of the line sporting goods: Bicycles, shotguns, badminton sets and Lord knows what else. Once the contract ran out, they started using Free Spirit on the bicycles, and I think some other stuff - at this time they quit dealing in lugged bikes, and I don't think I've ever seen a Free Spirit frame that wasn't an American made cheapie.
__________________
Syke

"No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton
sykerocker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-10, 06:54 PM   #8
sykerocker 
Senior Member
 
sykerocker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Montpelier, VA
Bikes: The keepers: 1960 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, 1968 Ranger, 1969 Magneet Sprint, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1973 Raleigh Tourist, 1973 Lambert, 1973 Schwinn Super Sport, 2 - 1988 Rossins
Posts: 3,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin-d View Post
Hi..

there is a beautiful pair of these being listed on my local craigslist (http://lascruces.en.craigslist.org/bik/1853492524.html)... I was curious if you guys thought I should jump on this?

-robin
From what I can see of details (admittedly, not much, those pics ain't great) you're looking at a combination of a welded lugless frame but a three-piece cottered crank. Can't really see the derailleurs, but the dork disc on the men's is the typical Shimano one that came with an Eagle setup. Guessing on that, I'm going to say mid line bikes if the lugged frame jobs were still being made at the time, or top of the line bikes if they weren't. Having the Ted Williams name means they weren't the $69.95 cheapies. By the way, I'm guessing 27" tyres - Sears tended to go with them at prices that the competition still used 26".

Like USAZorro said, if they fit, and they're good enough for what you want to use them for, why not? I think the price is a little high, but if they're actually as mint as the pics make them appear, they might not be a bad buy.
__________________
Syke

"No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton
sykerocker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-10, 10:17 PM   #9
SirMike1983
Upright bars
 
SirMike1983's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Bikes: Roadster
Posts: 1,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The Austrian Sears/Williams are in all likelihood Puch bicycles. They're decent utilitarian bikes and are pretty sturdy. The heavier Ashtabula stuff is likely lower-end American stuff made by Huffy and others.

The Sears house brand was sold under the name "JC Higgins" prior to the use of the Williams name, so if you see that, then it's a Sears house brand too. For the cruiser type bikes, the older the better with Sears. During the late 1950s the Higgins label actually had some decent equipment: F+S coaster brakes, detailed and striped fenders etc. But as time went on things went downhill.
SirMike1983 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-10, 03:36 PM   #10
Taxi Rob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bland Diego, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just came across what I believe to be one of the Puchs mentioned above; it has the Ted Williams headbadge but also labeled "free spirit" on the top tube. This frameset features a small BB shell for either cottered or tapered cranks, and a dérailleur hanger on the rear dropout (!). I have never seen a Sears bike from that era with such high tech features, haha, thinking about building it up with an older brifter setup for something really unique, since it also has a clamp on cable stop where downtube shifters would mount... Whaddya think, worth $65 for a 6lb steel frame?
Taxi Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-10, 04:58 PM   #11
wrk101
DRF aka Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
Posts: 19,959
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No. But if you just want to have some fun with it, go for it.
wrk101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-10, 05:49 PM   #12
dbakl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Bikes: Cinelli, Paramount, Raleigh, Carlton, Zeus, Gemniani, Frejus, Legnano, Pinarello, Falcon
Posts: 5,775
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
For years, Sears had a contract with Ted Williams for it's top of the line sporting goods: Bicycles, shotguns, badminton sets and Lord knows what else. Once the contract ran out, they started using Free Spirit on the bicycles, and I think some other stuff - at this time they quit dealing in lugged bikes, and I don't think I've ever seen a Free Spirit frame that wasn't an American made cheapie.
Pretty much throughout the 60s and early 70s. Ted Williams was a member of Sears Sporting Goods Advisory board which included Edmund Hilary. I'm not sure how much influence they had on Sears sporting goods, but Ted Williams was certainly more knowledgeble about baseball, hunting and fishing than bicycles. I have a couple of the 531 Sears frames; ok but no Colnago or even Raleigh. Most were pretty much what you might expect from a department store.
dbakl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-12, 05:28 PM   #13
Leroysue
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow Iactually just acquired two, man's,woman's, Austrian made,Ted Williams Free Spirit,Sears and Roebuck however on the back wheel is a device that powers up the safety lights? Does that sound correct?They are in great shape been hanging in a garage for years ,years, not a exaggeration .YEARS, plus a childs AMR Roadmaster two wheeler,VINTAGE
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bikes together.jpg (58.2 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg bike 2handel bars.jpg (56.2 KB, 40 views)

Last edited by Leroysue; 01-16-12 at 10:26 AM.
Leroysue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-12, 06:18 PM   #14
cb400bill
Forum Moderator
 
cb400bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Bikes:
Posts: 11,569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Leroysue, welcome to the forum!

Please post up some pics of your bikes. We like pics!
__________________
F.O.B.D.
cb400bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-12, 07:16 PM   #15
dbakl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Bikes: Cinelli, Paramount, Raleigh, Carlton, Zeus, Gemniani, Frejus, Legnano, Pinarello, Falcon
Posts: 5,775
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Probably the best place to get dates/info are old Sears catalogs! Probably the earliest one, 60s:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg searsTWbike.jpg (67.5 KB, 67 views)
dbakl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-12, 10:30 AM   #16
Leroysue
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We added [pictures ,not very good ones ,I 'm sure these are the best ones from Austria, well it say's made in.Also it has as mentioned a little pedal-charged light system, kinda cool huh?You can see the little pedal charger on the back wheel
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bike 1 girls.jpg (56.7 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg bike boy's.jpg (54.2 KB, 36 views)

Last edited by Leroysue; 01-16-12 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Actually pictures came out nice ! These bikes are great
Leroysue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-12, 10:36 AM   #17
Picchio Special
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Bikes: '39 Hobbs, '58 Marastoni, '73 Italian custom, '75 Wizard, '76 Wilier, '78 Tom Kellogg, '79 Colnago Super, '79 Sachs, '81 Masi Prestige, '82 Cuevas, '83 Picchio Special, '84 Murray-Serotta, '85 Trek 170, '89 Bianchi, '90 Bill Holland, '94 Grandis
Posts: 5,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've mentioned before here that someone in the building my folks live in at their retirement community has a super clean on sitting in the downstairs indoor garage that I'd love to own. It's the 531 frame, and has Campagnolo derailleurs (Gran Sport) and maybe a stronglight crankset. The owner has it setup with a rectangular handlebar bag with a map cover. It looks just "right" for tooling around Lancaster County. Maybe some day ...
Picchio Special is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 12:27 AM   #18
Wonser
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am new to this forum, I have a 10 speed Ted Williamson bike, put out by sears Roebuck, with serial number 517 473120 and trying to find out what year it was made, it's in good shape, it has a schwinn approved (label) on seat, it is a girls bike and has free spirit stickers on body, also states on front of bike that made in France.

Last edited by Wonser; 07-19-13 at 12:31 AM.
Wonser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 12:28 AM   #19
Wonser
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for any help.
Wonser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 08:15 AM   #20
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Bikes: Univega, PR-10, Ted Williams,UO-8, Puch, PHLE, UO-18 Mixte
Posts: 1,734
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is one of my family's favourite bikes - They call it the sleeper cause its light weight and fast - I came a hair breaths away from tossing this frame and then noted how light and well built it was - Here's a pic of my FrankenTed...



Here's a link to some GettoCals I made for it...

See Post #78 http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...light=gettocal
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FrnknTed1.jpg (99.5 KB, 34 views)

Last edited by zandoval; 07-19-13 at 08:18 AM.
zandoval is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 08:42 AM   #21
juvela
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alta California
Bikes:
Posts: 3,244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
one thing to keep in mind when servicing a Steyr (Puch) built Sears bike is that they use a 26.0 mm steerer so the headset parts are unique.
juvela is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 10:36 AM   #22
Wonser
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How much do you think I should sell it for if I want to get rid of it for. Also I noticed the label is different then zandoval label is mine has a V in front of Ted Williamson. Here are some pics.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xhdq5dalff...719_091344.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0y3eg0q1bb...%20%281%29.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0vp4e8vv8r...%2031%20PM.jpg

These were taken prior to a wash. Found in my grandfathers shop.
Wonser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 10:42 AM   #23
oddjob2 
Still learning
 
oddjob2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North of Canada, Adirondacks, NNJ
Bikes: Too many
Posts: 9,323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your question belongs in appraisals, not in this forum.
__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
2016 Additions: 1981 Miyata 1000, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 chrome, Schwinn Paramount 50th Anniversary, Dawes Galaxy, Raleigh International, 1985 Raleigh Alyeska
oddjob2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 10:51 AM   #24
Wonser
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Your question belongs in appraisals, not in this forum.
Ok, maybe the question of how much, might. But I am not saying I'm selling it, just curious. I also want to find out about it. That is why I posted the serial number, cause I don't Evan know when it was made. I read somewhere you can tell by serial number. I was told by someone this is one of the bike that was offered when sears first ever offered a bike that was mass produced, and the it was a schwinn, how much truth to that I'm not sure.
Wonser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-13, 10:52 AM   #25
wrk101
DRF aka Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
Posts: 19,959
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
$10. Bottom of the line womens drop bar dept store bike in needs quite a bit of work condition. Basically has everything going against it value wise.

Basically, everything you were told was wrong.

Sears does now sell the Chinese Schwinn knockoffs (Schwinn went bankrupt in 1995).

Last edited by wrk101; 07-19-13 at 01:13 PM.
wrk101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:45 PM.