Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    Gettin outta the office
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SW Michigan
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez Comp; Trek 930 Mountain Bike
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,251
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    1,007
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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?

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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 Attached Images

  5. #5
    Bi(cycle)-curious. robin-d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Southwest US.
    My Bikes
    Nishiki Olympic (?) and two department store bicycles.
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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

  6. #6
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    My Bikes
    1954 Hetchins M.O., 1959 Viking Severn Valley, 1970 Raleigh Pro, 1972 Fuji "The Finest", 1974 Raleigh Superbe&Comp, 1976 Raleigh Team Pro, 1994 Trek 830 MTB, 2000 Bob Jackson Arrowhead, Unicycle
    Posts
    13,034
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  7. #7
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Montpelier, VA
    My 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
    3,809
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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

  8. #8
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Montpelier, VA
    My 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
    3,809
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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

  9. #9
    Upright bars SirMike1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    My Bikes
    Raleighs, Columbias, and Schwinns.
    Posts
    1,259
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    English Roadsters, American Roadsters, and Balloon Tire Bicycles
    The Bike Shed classic bicycle blog: http://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bland Diego, CA
    Posts
    111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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?
    1985 Nishiki Century/198? Miyata 610/19?? Omega 12/198? Univega Alpina Pro/198? Unknown MTB/1991 Koga-Miyata Randonneur Alloy/1996 GT Rage/199? DB "Frankencross"

  11. #11
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,246
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    No. But if you just want to have some fun with it, go for it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    My Bikes
    Cinelli, Paramount, Raleigh, Carlton, Zeus, Gemniani, Frejus, Legnano, Pinarello, Falcon
    Posts
    5,775
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  13. #13
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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 Attached Images
    Last edited by Leroysue; 01-16-12 at 09:26 AM.

  14. #14
    Lanterne Rouge cb400bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo MI
    Posts
    7,327
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Leroysue, welcome to the forum!

    Please post up some pics of your bikes. We like pics!
    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

    Viscount Aerospace Pro Trek 770 Cannondale Synapse

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    My Bikes
    Cinelli, Paramount, Raleigh, Carlton, Zeus, Gemniani, Frejus, Legnano, Pinarello, Falcon
    Posts
    5,775
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Probably the best place to get dates/info are old Sears catalogs! Probably the earliest one, 60s:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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 Attached Images
    Last edited by Leroysue; 01-16-12 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Actually pictures came out nice ! These bikes are great

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    My 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)
    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 ...

  18. #18
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  19. #19
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for any help.

  20. #20
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bastrop Texas
    My Bikes
    Univega, PR-10, Ted Williams,UO-8, Puch, PHLE, UO-18 Mixte
    Posts
    1,628
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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...

    FrnknTed1.jpg

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

    See Post #78 http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...light=gettocal
    Last edited by zandoval; 07-19-13 at 08:18 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Alta California
    Posts
    619
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  22. #22
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  23. #23
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    North of Canada, Adirondacks, NNJ
    My Bikes
    Too many
    Posts
    4,958
    Mentioned
    22 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(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
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

  24. #24
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  25. #25
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,246
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(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.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •