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Old Sears Roebuck & Co. Bike

Old 06-10-21, 11:11 PM
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Old Sears Roebuck & Co. Bike

Picked this Free Spirit up at a goodwill for $25, just wondering how much itís actually worth. Tires have dry rot, (still hold air), and the breaks are a little loose but it rides fine otherwise. I think everything on it is original, including the seat. It is a 10 speed too.

It has 3 numbers on it-
Located on the sears sticker, 03-80
On one side of the frame - B1598840
On the other side - 502 473131

I think the photos are in a gallery or something, Its my first day here and im not sure how this works.
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Old 06-11-21, 05:52 AM
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Hello Urbana and welcome to the forum!

Please give our regards to Champaign.

the long number with the prefix of 502 is an item number, not a serial

it indicates the cycle was produced for Sears by Murray of Ohio, a great many Sears branded cycles originated with this producer

if you would like a date for the machine there are back Sears catalogues archived online, make an estimate of the cycle's birthday and begin your exploration with that annum...


your member page indicates you have not created a photo album there

even though you are a new member you can upload photos of the bicycle to your member album and readers will be able to view them and place them into the discussion thread

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Old 06-11-21, 09:41 AM
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Hello Urbana, welcome to the forum.

From the numbers that you have transcribed:

As stated previously, 502 473131 is a Sears number. 502 indicates the supplier Murray Ohio.
B1598840 is the Murray Ohio serial number.
03-80 is a Murray date code: March 1980.

pictures are here:

Looks good for 1980.
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Old 06-11-21, 09:53 AM
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...these make good commuter or grocery shopping bikes. They are not especially valuable, except less likely to attract thieves. They have value for this reason.
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Old 06-11-21, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...these make good commuter or grocery shopping bikes. They are not especially valuable, except less likely to attract thieves. They have value for this reason.
Are you saying thieves have bad taste?
more cops have been killed by donuts than guns it is a medical fact ask any doctor

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Old 06-11-21, 10:45 AM
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The value is going to come from what someone might value the bicycle for its utility. Not from especially valuable components or collectability.

So maybe if you had it fixed up completely so it rides perfect and the tires are new and you took some amazing pictures and the buyer didn't do any research online about quality bicycles, then you could get close to 100. But in reality, it's going to take just the right buyer. I do think the fenders and rack help a considerable amount in this regard.

I'd say for 25 you got a fair deal for something to ride around and have fun on, but your time spent fixing it and then trying to sell it will net you worse than minimum wage. But for some of us, it's fun to work on these and we do it anyway.
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Old 06-11-21, 10:57 AM
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I had one found it in a dumpster.
Kept it many years.
Buy some new tires and enjoy it.
Fred "The Real Fred"

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Old 06-11-21, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
Are you saying thieves have bad taste?
...nobody steals a step through frame. They think it's a "girl's bike". I commuted on one the entire time I lived in Merced, for that reason. Bicycle theft is almost exclusively a male pursuit, and in the demographic that pursues it, riding on a "girl's bike" is uncool.
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Old 06-11-21, 11:12 PM
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Photos -
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Old 06-12-21, 01:19 AM
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As Hummer & 3alarmer said, it won't have any collecible value or anything significant in the used bike mkt.

This does not mean that it is not a good general purpose bicycle for someone or yourself to enjoy for relaxed, slow-riding ( 8 to 15 mph).

THE ONE PIECE CRANK is unbreakable, and Bullet-Proof Reliable as long as the caged-bearings are freshly greased and undamaged(not pitted or rusted).
Non Schwinns such as your Murray of Ohio for SEARS, will use a quantity of two Number 66 (#66) caged bearings for the crank within the hanger set(BOTTOM BRACKET

It is incredibly simple to remove and replace these caged bearings to clean and re-grease them -OR- to replace them if necessary.
New replacement #66 caged bearings are only approximately about $3 each. YOU NEED NOT REPLACE THEM UNLESS THEY ARE PITTED OR DAMAGED!
Simply soak the old bearings in Formula 87(unleaded gasoline taken from your Lawnmower/chainsaw's REFILL CAN).
Cut two 12oz Coke or beer cans in half. You should remember which bearing came off the left side and which came off the right. Use one can for each bearing.
Put a couple ounces of FORMULA 87 in each of the cut in half Coke cans. You ONLY NEED JUST ENOUGH TO sink the caged bearing with.
Drop each caged bearing into the FORMULA 87 in the cut in half Coke cans. Let it soak for about an hour or two......perhaps longer if necessary BUT REMEMBER EXTREME CAUTION ---CHILDREN---PETS-- and Fumes-Vapor could potentially ignite from an ignition source like open flame, sparks....SO OUTDOORS AWAY FROM BUILDINGS & BUILDINGS' VENTS & INTAKES etc...
--Ronson LIGHTER FLUID (naptha) that is Re-Fill Fluid for old Cigarette & Cigar lighters like Zippos etc MIGHT BE THE BEST CHOICE as you would not have the danger from volatile vapors & fumes as you do with FORMULA 87.
Use a wooden toothpick to clean any specs of loose grit or crud left after the bearing dunk.
A 5 inch piece of coathanger with a tiny J bend on the end is perfect for fishing the caged bearings out of the cut in half Coke cans.
I recommend "GREEN GREASE" thats the brand, it is headquartered in Texas and it is the finest quality and synthetic/waterproof and INEXPENSIVE TOO!!
AUTO ZONE or any FLAPS(friendly local auto parts store) will carry this in a cartridge for a grease gun(THIS LOOKS LIKE A FrozenMINUTE MAID Orange Juice cylinder container, except a little larger). PRICE is under $10. Yes, it is enough grease to do at least twenty bicycles.... YOU SIMPLY OPEN ONE END OF THE Green Grease CONTAINER(cartridge) is a vinyl-plastic container and spoon out the grease using a McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken plastic spoon. Close the containter with Reynolds Wrap Aluminum foil and a couple of rubber bands, and then use an old loaf of bread wrapper to place the sealed container into.

YOU CAN BUY A 12 Inch CRESCENT WRENCH for around $10 at HARBOR FREIGHT. *****Okay the EXACT wrench at HARBOR FREIGHT has 300mm HEAVY DUTY stamped on one side of the wrench's handle, and it has 12" DROP FORGED on the other side of the wrench's handle********** THAT IS THE PERFECT WRENCH THAT YOU WILL NEED FOR YOUR ONE PIECE CRANK or ANY ONE PIECE CRANK BICYCLE!!!

Should you need any replacement cables (brake or shift), which you probably DO NOT, if they move and function...
The BELL Pitcrew 600 cable set costs $ 10 at some Walmart stores and WALMART ONLINE as well as ACE HARDWARE ONLINE(ace store don't have it ).
THAT BELL PITCREW 600 is a great set for the money and is PERFECT for when you swap out the drop bars and install TOURIST BARS/Levers on to their old ten speeds. YOU WILL NEED TO BUY/BORROW/OBTAIN A BICYCLE BRAKE CABLE CUTTER TOOL(pliers) can find decent no-name NEW versions on the BAY from various vendors for about $17 total including shipping --OR--- You can use a DREMEL with a cut-off wheel.

40MM BICYCLE BRAKE PADS are easy to find on the fresh and new on the Bay from various merchants........They are really inexpensive but some may be significantly better than others......Gray is typically better than Black on old steel wheels. You don't need KOOL STOPS or costly salmon color replacement pads unless you're planning to ride in the rain/wet where there are hills

If you are not planning to open up the rear axle and the front axle to check and re-grease the wheel bearings etc, YOU CAN JUST USE AUTOMOTIVE MOTOR OIL......Something like 15W-40 or straight 30 weight.....or really anything in an Automobile oil. ****YOU DON'T NEED ANYTHING BUT THE CHEAPEST AUTOMOBILE OIL FOR OILING-Lubricating A BICYCLE!!!***** Hey, if you have a little Mobil 1, or Chevron, Havoline, Quaker State or whatever brand left over from an oil can certainly use that, but if you're gonna buy a qt can of oil for bicycle use, just buy the cheapest no-name stuff unless you already own something like an old 69 vette or '72 911 or a '65 Corvair that leaks oil, if that is the case, then just buy & use the same stuff that you use to top off your old oil leaking/oil burning car.
--------How do you use the automotive motor oil to OIL the bicycle wheels? Well, you do it by the DRIP METHOD. Lay the bike sideways on the ground and lightly drip a little bit (a tiny bit at a time) into the axle-wheel bearings.......YES IT (the Oil) WILL SEEP INTO WHERE YOU NEED IT TO GO...........Spin the wheel by hand......drip a tiny bit more.......SPIN the wheel by hand...................The Wheel should go to spin nearly forever compared to what it might have spun before doing this oil thing.
Turn the bicycle on it's side---The Other Side----to do the drip thing on the other side too.......................WHEELS SHOULD SPIN & SPIN & SPIN......for a long time with ease by doing the Pat Sajak SPIN THE WHEEL thing.
Using Paper Towels, Wipe up the excess oil that gets on to the spokes or where it doesnt belong.
RIDE THE HELL OUT OF That OLD SEARS Bike Once You Replace the Tires/Tubes.......if the tires are new enough, you can ride the existing tires, BUT REMEMBER THAT TIRES ARE YOUR CONNECTION TO THE PAVEMENT AND IF THE TIRE SELF DESTRUCTS OR COMES OFF and APART While Your Going Downhill, You're likely gonna get hurt. The risk is very low if you are on flat pavement and going very slow but risky if going 10mph or more.
NEW TIRES/TUBES can be easily found from merchants with ebay stores and amazon and these web bike stores' direct onlne sites.
That is the way to go. WHY? Because your local bike shop IS NOT GONNA CARRY either 27" (32-630mm) or 26" (37-590mm) bicycle tires that your SEARS bike uses....your bike is gonna need one of those sizes depending on what wheels that 1980 Murray for SEARS bicycle has. A local bike shop does not want to order a tire size like that......what they really want you to do is to Stop Riding That Old Bike and to BUY ONE OF THEIR NEW EXPENSIVE BICYCLE OFFERINGS. Yeah, they could order the tires but that is just cutting their own throat because there is no real profit margin in doing so and more importantly, they would be canibalizing a potential lucrative sale by assisting in keeping an old basic and simple DIY durable bicycle on the road.

The "GLENN's COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL" (c) 1973 339 PAGES 8.5" x 11" softbound, sold probably over 1 million copies in a dozen or so printings during the Seventies. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND a Used Ex-Library copy FROM ONE OF MANY OF THE mega-book sellers on The Bay........EXPECT TO PAY AROUND $7 TOTAL INCLUDING might find it for less than $7..................You shouldn't pay any more than $7 unless you want to because the mega book sellers have copies of it and they can ship books for almost nothing which an individual that is not a mega book seller cannot do.

You also have the OPTION of CONVERTING YOUR 10 SPEED to a 5 Speed, BECAUSE THE One Piece CRANK makes it easy to change to a Single crankchainwheel.
WHY? well, say just if you wanted to, -OR- say for example that your front derailleur is not working properly and you can't make it behave properly......
Hey, you have a huge assortment of possibilities as to the NUMBER of TEETH that you could use if you go to a Single front crankchainwheel.
You would want to do the MATH and compute what would give you the Best GEAR range for YOU!
The MATH is so simple that even if you're a bonehead in math, you can let your 5th grader 10 year old child do the computations.
Hey, the steel replacement single crankchainwheels are all inexpensive and you've got a huge selection to choose from.

Yes, the "CYCLISTS" will tell ya that that bike is heavy and bottom of the line. Yeah that is true but bottom of the line here does not mean not durable.
That Murray made for SEARS might not be a Schwinn but it is still a very dependable-durable bicycle if it is not rusted or abused. It is extremely simple and if only basic DIY service-oiling is attended to every 6 months or so, that MURRAY could be roadworthy in the year 2091 if it is stored indoors and not exposed to salt, etc.
Hey, if you wanna have fun, you could repaint the SEARS-Murray in a cool color that you'd love......then re-decal it with a COLNAGO, or MASI decal set......or if you love turquoise color or miami dolphins sea green blue, you could apply a BIANCHI decal set......................That would be fun, wouldn't it.........Give the bike an "upgrade" and tick-off the "CYCLIST" crowd at the same time. Hey, there are thousands of decals and decal sets that you could choose to use. Peugeot and Favorit have some really neat looking decals, as do most every bicycle marques had during the sixties and seventies and earlier too. Mix & Match, or have your own made up just for you.
If you're creative and like art, you can do something that would look superb.
Hey, that Sears MURRAY, isn't gonna be something you'd ride in a local triathlon and certainly not in an IRONMAN 70.3 or if you wanna do the dance like lance and have dreams of the yellow jersey in the tour de france, you're gonna need great bike BUT IF YOU'RE JUST GONNA RIDE BASIC & SLOW, THEN NOTHING NEWER OR MORE EXPENSIVE IS GONNA BE SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER FOR YOUR NEEDS. Sure, something newer and more expensive will be lighter and maybe better gear range, certainly faster with better brakes, but if you're just gonna ride basic and slow and have no need for speed and the weight isn't a material issue for how and where you ride, then Yes, your old SEARS murray will serve you just fine, and it won't cost you much as you can do most everything that it might ever need.

Get out and ride, a little pedalling and a little sweating while the sun is shining will bring a smile to your face. GET A NEW HELMET & WEAR IT. Even a new $10 helmet online from ShenZhen China is okay and definitely better than not wearing one. FIND A GOOD AREA TO RIDE WHERE THERE IS LIMITED AUTOMOBILE TRAFFIC AND THE POSTED SPEED LIMIT IS 30 MPH or BELOW.
Get your pedals turning but don't head out on the highway........get back, get back to a safe area where you belong......let JO JO be the dum azz to ride where here come old Escalade doing about sixty .........
Have fun. Ride!! Slow ride, Take it Easy..................(that old SEARS-Murray 1980 bike is perfect for that) ......not everyone likes or needs Life In The Fast Lane.
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