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Old 06-30-03, 07:54 PM   #1
The Terminator
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Sears not selling bikes anymore.

I went to the mall today with my son. We stopped in Sears to look at bike stuff. I was told that Sears no longer sold bikes. Has this happened with anyone else, or is this just a local occurance?
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Old 06-30-03, 08:33 PM   #2
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I noticed this too in the Sears around my way. The bikes did sell but from what I understood, they had a low profit margin. Once in my economics class (years ago) they had an example of what it takes for a retail establishment to make a profit. The book stated that Sears made about $1.73 of net profit per bicycle on a sale of $120.00 dollars. This was over 15 years ago and I can imagine they probably make less than half that today.

What surprised me was the fact that these bikes from Sears were NOT cheap. The average cost of a Sears bike was around $129.00. I remenber seeing bikes selling for $229.00 and people were buying! Folks. For that much money, your better off going to a local bike shop. Totally insane.
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Old 06-30-03, 08:40 PM   #3
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A couple of years ago, I was looking very seriously at some Sears bikes, mountain bikes, for around $350. I didn't know a thing about bikes, and like most, I thought, the more you pay, the better product you get. I just never bought one from them.

I can't figure out why mtb's are so popular for folks who are really better suited with a touring/ comfort type bike. I see them every day. I would bet that 90% are used like mine is, around the neighborhood, and for most others, on the rail to trail. It seems a waste of a good machine.
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Old 06-30-03, 09:19 PM   #4
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Over the many years, Sears did offer some pretty neat and inovative bicyles and bicycle contraptions.

Look at some of the old Sear catalogues from the late 1800's, early 1900's. They carried Pope, Columbia, and many of the best bikes of the era for a reasonable price.

My first bike was a Sears all steel clunker- ugh. They offered better bikes at the time, but my dad just wouldn't have it. His logic was first suffer with a clunker, then you'll really be ready for the real deal.

In the late 1950's, Sears imported some extremely nice three speed bikes made to look like Raleigh's 'British racer". The bicycles were made in Austria and were terribly under-valued.

Anyway, in the 1960's, Sears carried the Sears Spaceliner which is today a highly collectible bicycle due to it's extremely modern and space-age designs.

Sears offered Schwinn Varsity knock offs known as Free-Spirit 10-speeds in the 1970's. The frames were gas-pipes just like Schwinn, but for the money had comparable components.

I think Sears did a pretty good job of providing bicycles for the clients they served. They were reasonably good machines at a price the middle class could afford. They were designed and built to satisfy the needs of those most likely to buy them - kids bashing around the neighborhoods, parents going for a ride around the block after dinner, Grandma going to buy a newspaper and smokes.

Farewell to the legacy of the Sears bicycle and their contribution to American bicycle heritage.
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Old 07-02-03, 07:15 AM   #5
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And remember that Sears marketed the Ted Williams
special (or something like that)
Reynolds 531 tubing throughout
Campy N. Record gruppo (or other high quality components)
Decent wheels.

all in all a fairly decent bike. . .

Marty
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Old 07-02-03, 10:00 AM   #6
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Sears used to sell the JC Higgins line, not sure who actually made them. Sort of like the Silvertone/Harmony guitar relationship. My very first bike was a Sear's girls bike, then my second also, a 3-speed black English racer type. Wow I was proud of that thing.

Did ANYONE ever so much as oil a chain back then? I don't remember doing anything to maintain any bike I ever had, including my Peugeot in the 70s. I mean, maybe I put some 3-In-One Oil on the chain, but I sure as hell never cleaned it. "Maintenance" was keeping the tires aired up!
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Old 07-02-03, 05:35 PM   #7
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In the 1960s, my main bike maintenance was replacing gear cables frequently on my Huret Allvit equipped Bianchi. Now, I get several years of service out of each cable.
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