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Old Sears bike help...

Old 10-10-16, 04:57 PM
  #1  
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Old Sears bike help...

I'm looking for info on this Sears bike I ended up with. I paid $15 for it when I picked another bike. I'm going to use this as my guinea pig for bike maintenance and refurb. I thought I'd better ask tho, before I tear it down.

https://imgur.com/a/poj4K






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Old 10-10-16, 07:09 PM
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That might be an English made 3 speed bike popular back in the day. It has no monetary value, but these are a good, solid, reliable ride. I had a similar Huffy branded bike made in England that looks alot like yours.
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Old 10-10-16, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
That might be an English made 3 speed bike popular back in the day. It has no monetary value, but these are a good, solid, reliable ride. I had a similar Huffy branded bike made in England that looks alot like yours.
Ok. I was wanting to make sure it wasn't special before I had it powder coated or painted or messed it up somehow.
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Old 10-11-16, 09:35 AM
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Any idea what year this one might be?
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Old 10-11-16, 12:40 PM
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Early to mid 1970's?
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Old 10-11-16, 01:36 PM
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I would check the rear hub shell for a date. It looks like it may be a hub licensed by Sturmey Archer.
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Old 10-11-16, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
I would check the rear hub shell for a date. It looks like it may be a hub licensed by Sturmey Archer.
The hub does say Sturmey Archer. I'll look this evening and see if there's some numbers on it.
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Old 10-11-16, 03:11 PM
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The shifter looked like a Sturmey Archer, but the Bendix coaster brake arm threw me off - that is why I thought it may have been a licensed hub.
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Old 10-11-16, 03:19 PM
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Yep, Sturmey Archer shifter.
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Old 10-11-16, 03:42 PM
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You may find the year of the shifter here.
https://genetics.mgh.harvard.edu/hanc...satriggers.pdf
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Old 10-11-16, 03:53 PM
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Thanks! This one looks like the one on page 7...it says it was in use until about 1966.
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Old 10-11-16, 03:54 PM
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Not worth a lot about $75 in excellent ready to ride shape maybe half that as presented. Based on the head badge it is from the early 70's they started using the alloy black circle 68/69 and switched to Free Spirit branding in 75. It should make a great project bike to start wrenching on, only issue is the Bendix 3 speed bub with coaster brake can be a bit of a PITA to get apart and put back together in working order.
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Old 10-11-16, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
It should make a great project bike to start wrenching on
Thanks for the info. That's my plan for this bike.
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Old 10-11-16, 04:40 PM
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OK, I was mistaken. It's actually a Bendix Torpedo hub. I guess just the shifter is Sturmey Archer.

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Old 10-11-16, 10:27 PM
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OK, well that was easy.

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Old 10-12-16, 10:55 AM
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Awesome. It's complete. Should clean up real nice. Don't mess it up by painting it. Keep it original. Be good. Have fun.
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Old 10-12-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
... Don't mess it up by painting it. Keep it original. Be good. Have fun.
Too late for that lol. My brother manages the body shop and service dept. at the local GMC dealership. I handed it off to him to get it professionally sprayed.
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Old 10-12-16, 02:51 PM
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Thanks for post and photo nr. 14 BicycleMonkey.

The ribs on the hub shell are a clear Torpedo/Sachs indication. This combined with the Bendix marked arm and the SA trigger made for a puzzle until I could see this picture. Suspect SA trigger may be a replacement. Likely original would have been Sachs/Torpedo.

Presence of Sachs/Topredo hub makes it possible it could be a Steyr product. An easy check is to measure the outside diameter of the steerer. If 26.0mm bicycle is likely a Steyr item. If 25.4mm then likely not.

Last edited by juvela; 10-13-16 at 02:35 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 10-12-16, 06:42 PM
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I was looking closer at this photo and the clamp on the coaster brake there is way too big for the chain stay. I wonder if the Sturmey Archer shifter is the original part and the rear wheel was replaced at some point.

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Old 10-12-16, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BicycleMonkey View Post
I was looking closer at this photo and the clamp on the coaster brake there is way too big for the chain stay. I wonder if the Sturmey Archer shifter is the original part and the rear wheel was replaced at some point.

You could check to see if rear rim matches the front one.
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Old 10-12-16, 09:10 PM
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The rims appear to be the same.

The chain guard cleaned up nice.

Vintage Sears Bike - Album on Imgur



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Old 10-16-16, 02:23 PM
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I got the frame back and installed the fork. After a couple days, the paint is still delicate. I buggered the paint up a little on the fork where I was holding it to tighten down the nut. How long is one supposed to wait to reassemble after painting?



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Old 10-16-16, 09:28 PM
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I did a similar hand mark on a fork a few days after I painted it.
I buffed it out with a soft cloth after letting the fork get warm by laying it in direct sunlight.
Good luck, buff gently.
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Old 10-16-16, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dsprok View Post
I did a similar hand mark on a fork a few days after I painted it.
I buffed it out with a soft cloth after letting the fork get warm by laying it in direct sunlight.
Good luck, buff gently.
I'll try that. It's supposed to be 86 here tomorrow. How long did yours take to dry enough before you could clamp the components back to the frame?
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Old 10-16-16, 11:15 PM
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History-wise, it's an interesting bike to figure out since it appears to have been modified in the past, such as already mentioned, by using a Sturmey-Archer hand-shifter with a Bendix 3-speed (w/ coaster-brake) hub.

Its chainguard is a classic after-market chainguard (google for a replacement chainguard and you'll see the exact same thing still being sold today).

Its block pedals (sans reflectors) means it is likely earlier than the 1970s when pedal reflectors were required by law.

While it may NOT be a collector's delight, your bike is still a decent 3-SPEED bike that can certainly be tweaked out and appreciated for many years to come.

I have two 3-speed Sears bikes (both c. 1970s) and they are both very nice. One is a Sears Sheffield (made by Raleigh w/ SA shifting), and the other one probably made by Huffy or Murray, but with a Japanese Shimano hub. Sears didn't actually make their own bikes, so figuring out which bike company made them for Sears under contract is half the fun.

Sturmey-Archer hubs are supposed to be better, but for the last 3 years I ride daily (and hard) on a Steyr that has a 3-speed Shimano hub, and it has taken my abuse without a whimper (I weigh about 210 lbs and I hit speeds around 20 mph on my daily workouts). I don't have any Bendix hubs, but I'd sure like to find a cheap 2-speed Bendix hub.

As for your bike, since it's not a collector's bike, paint away! Personally, I like two-tone paint jobs on that type of bike, such as I did on this old 1970s era Huffy that I bought for $20 (it was a mess and had to be re-painted):

https://i.imgur.com/972DSI3.jpg

Any bike older than 10 years old needs to be properly re-lubed, especially the lower main-crank. Fortunately, on that type of bike breaking apart the one-piece main crank is relatively easy to do since it will likely have caged bearings. Even so, when you break it apart, lay down an old sheet to catch any loose ball bearings just in case.

My paint is usually dry enough to work with after 2 or 3 days, but drying times can vary.
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