Join Date: Jun 2005
Bikes: Raleigh, Rudge, James 3spds., and a cast of many
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Welcome to BF! The kind of bike isn't really as important as the fun of getting back into riding.
Not all Free Spirit bikes are the same; over many years they were sourced from different manufacturers, including Austrian-made Puch. For what it's worth, I have a Sears Free Spirit, a couple of Fujis, Raleighs, a Panasonic and a Univega, and the Free Spirit is as good as the others.
What you may find, however, is that your old friend's performance has gotten worse over time, due to bearing grease drying out, chain needing service, brakes dragging on the wheel rims, cables needing adjustment...little things that added together make a big difference in how enjoyable your rides will be.