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Sears and Robuck lives?

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Sears and Robuck lives?

Old 10-28-19, 01:30 PM
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Sears and Robuck lives?

This was a near freeby. I liked the rear wheel, the crank, the front derailleur and maybe the handlebars. The chain was in a bag and that's about it. I did a little research and these bikes came from a variety of sources. The cutouts on the lugs are kinda cool. Does anyone know the source of these models?








I thought Puch might be a likely candidate. I think I've got a matching or near matching front wheel, some used cables and a decent flat bar and stem with brake levers and shifters I took off a criminal retrofit to a Univega GT. It could be a college runabout especially if I'm willing to "rattle-can" it after spending some time in prep. (I know it's probably time unwell spent but WTH)
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Old 10-28-19, 02:05 PM
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AD/Puch supposedly made the Ted Williams Free Spirit bikes that are labeled made in Austria like yours is, so that seems like a good possibility. The Ted Williams ones have 531 stickers on frame and fork, which I donít see on yours, so it might be a lower model.
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Old 10-28-19, 02:26 PM
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Yes, Austrian Puch-made bikes. Even if it's a non-Reynolds, it will be a good quality bike, if a bit heavy. If you decide to restore/rebuild, take care not to lose the headset parts, as Austrian headsets have specific dimensions and are not so easily available.
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Old 10-28-19, 03:23 PM
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Not many original parts on it (the front wheel assy, shift levers, derailleurs, crank assy... all of them are of later vintage), but, I'm always on the lookout for one of these, so, for about free, I would have picked it up too. I remember staring and reading, over and over, the Sears catalog sent to our house every spring with it's selection of bicycles. If there was ever a half way decent bicycle that COULD have possibly been within the dusty, one stop sign, town I grew up in, it would have been a Sears bicycle. Sears was the only porthole to the outside world. In an alternative reality to how I really grew up, I would have found a Sears bicycle like this one, and rode it to a career as a marginally acceptable yet totally forgettable bicycle racer. I never found one of these, and I blame that for my lack of early bicycling prowess. But for only reasons known to me, and the dusty cobweb of stories I told myself as a child, I still desire one.
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Old 10-28-19, 05:50 PM
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Oh, my poor baby!
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Old 10-28-19, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Yes, Austrian Puch-made bikes. Even if it's a non-Reynolds, it will be a good quality bike, if a bit heavy. If you decide to restore/rebuild, take care not to lose the headset parts, as Austrian headsets have specific dimensions and are not so easily available.
Thanks for the heads up. The headset is in a sealed snack bag in a duffle bag with everything else that came off the bike. 😁
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Old 10-28-19, 07:39 PM
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Funny I tell myself a similar story -I didn't stumble onto C&V until I was in my 40s after getting back into cycling in my late 30s. For my 16th birthday (1980) my parents gave me a Huffy 10 speed I don't think I rode it more than 3 or 4 times. I wonder what might have happened had that bike been a Raleigh or Peugeot.....?

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Old 10-28-19, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Not many original parts on it (the front wheel assy, shift levers, derailleurs, crank assy... all of them are of later vintage), but, I'm always on the lookout for one of these, so, for about free, I would have picked it up too. I remember staring and reading, over and over, the Sears catalog sent to our house every spring with it's selection of bicycles. If there was ever a half way decent bicycle that COULD have possibly been within the dusty, one stop sign, town I grew up in, it would have been a Sears bicycle. Sears was the only porthole to the outside world. In an alternative reality to how I really grew up, I would have found a Sears bicycle like this one a step up.
I get it. I lived in Montville Connecticut and pedaled my Dunelt 3 speed with the fenders removed and the handlebars turned upside down. 😂

The rust is very superficial so the restoration is going well. I'll probably swap out a few parts for something newer/cheaper but the "Sears" will ride again. Don't know if the next owner will realize the significance of the bike he/she will be riding but it will be a good-looking, reliable and convenient way to travel.
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Old 10-28-19, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Funny I tell myself a similar story -I didn't stumble onto C&V until I was in my 40s after getting back into cycling in my late 30s. For my 16th birthday (1980) my parents gave me a Huffy 10 speed I don't think I rode it more than 3 or 4 times. I wonder what might have happened had that bike been a Raleigh or Peugeot.....?
When I got married, my wife didn't want the shotgun in the house so I traded it for a Gitante with Cannondale panniers and never looked back.
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Old 10-28-19, 08:01 PM
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Congratulations. You have one of the rare Sears 10 speeds that was actually a decent bike. That's really amazing. (Almost like finding a unicorn). (Most Sears 10 speeds are absolute rubbish). I'm pretty sure the wheels are not original. But, it should be a real smooth ride with that front fork geometry. Clean it up and ride it. Be good. Have fun.
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Old 10-28-19, 08:22 PM
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The crank, FD, and shifters are newer upgrades - and in a good way.

Would make for a nice upright-bar cruiser. That slack geometry is halfway to a Raleigh DL-1

-Kurt
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Old 10-28-19, 09:01 PM
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Bob R?s 1969 Sears (Puch) 10-Speed Racer | Old Ten Speed Gallery
https://picclick.com/Rare-Old-Vintage-10-Speed-Steyr-Clubman-Bike-292599462569.html#&gid=1&pid=12


Some reference material. /\

Probably the easiest way to identify the Steyr/Puch/Austro Daimler bicycles made for the Sears/USA market is the big scoops at the top of the seat tubes. I don't think any other bicycle manufacturer had a design quite like it. It would fun (but probably cost prohibitive) to do a Euro parts restoration/upgrade.... sort of what I would expect a "serious" rider to have done to make this bicycle more competitive at the local classic (aka, the single course/single time) race. I'd probably go Huret Duopar derailleurs, Weinmann brakes (sounds like they were original equipment, and their levers are at least a usable reach for my normal sized hands), Weinman alloy rims/Normandy hubs, etc. (Day dreaming, just like my youth version of myself.)

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Old 10-28-19, 09:57 PM
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I wouldn't put an upright bar on one of these unless the rider's fit would require a longer stem.

The reason I say this is because, despite the slack ~71-degree frame angles, these framesets seem to have low trail courtesy of the heavily-raked fork.

I ended up using longer stems on my SEARS and Steyr bikes, since the handling felt too light with the 8cm original stem.

Here's my 1968 SEARS 10 SPEED, with 10cm stem and a longer-reach handlebar it handles quite well in spirited riding.

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Old 10-28-19, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I wouldn't put an upright bar on one of these unless the rider's fit would require a longer stem.

The reason I say this is because, despite the slack ~71-degree frame angles, these framesets seem to have low trail courtesy of the heavily-raked fork.

I ended up using longer stems on my SEARS and Steyr bikes, since the handling felt too light with the 8cm original stem.

Here's my 1968 SEARS 10 SPEED, with 10cm stem and a longer-reach handlebar it handles quite well in spirited riding.

Damn dude. That's a mighty nice looking bike.

Maybe I've fallen into the trap of underestimating these bikes. Although a "bit" heavy they're still pretty nice. Makes me wish I had more of the original parts.
Say, I think I've got a simplex RD in a box somewhere. Too bad I didn't keep that 3 piece crank I took off an old Stella.
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Old 10-29-19, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
Damn dude. That's a mighty nice looking bike.

Maybe I've fallen into the trap of underestimating these bikes. Although a "bit" heavy they're still pretty nice. Makes me wish I had more of the original parts.
Say, I think I've got a simplex RD in a box somewhere. Too bad I didn't keep that 3 piece crank I took off an old Stella.
Thanks, Cycle Tourist!
Bikes like these I wouldn't go to the trouble (lots of hours) unless they initially looked appealing in the paint department.
I took a chance with the SEARS and the Steyr Clubman because they looked cool to me and were being offered for just $80 in both cases.
I was quite pleased with the first one (the Clubman), as far as how it's riding qualities turned out. The quality looked iffy, especially the 26mm Austrian headset, but I found that replacements are available from a SF area moped parts dealer.
The Sears model I bought a year later also turned out to be a great rider.

The bb parts on these bikes seem very high quality, good hard metal there, and the 14-ball (!) headset retainers can be re-packed with like 22 or 24 balls for a big improvement in durability there.
I removed my cotters for bb servicing after first using a torch on the ends of the crankarms to spare any damage to the precious original cotters. Heat them till they start issuing some smoke and then the cotters should come out without any damage. This applies to any cottered crankset. After driving the cotters back in, I alternate between nut tightening and moderate blows with a hammer until the nuts don't want to turn any further.

I've ridden my Steyr thousands of miles on quite-sporting rides, it's a comfortable bike that gets down the road pretty good with only a 13-24t 5s freewheel and it's original 52-36t Agrati-style chainset.
The frame tubing on these is "Precision Steel", so is fairly thick-walled straight-gage tubing. So not overly flexy, but like I said very comfortable in use.

No great loss on any missing plastic derailers. They shift fine for me, but less so as you go up toward using a 7s freewheel or a bigger freewheel. I re-badged a short-cage Deore rear derailer after I took the photo above, though I frankly miss the quicker action of the original Simplex. My FD had already been replaced when I got the bike.


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Old 11-03-19, 04:20 PM
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So this is me looking disappointed one Xmas in 1973 ... my parents wouldn't dare go to a proper bicycle store ... if it wasn't Montgomery Wards or Sears, it wasn't bought. (Unless it was golf clubs for themselves).
At least it had a lugged frame and was made somewhere in Europe? Steel 26" rims, Simplex drivetrain (the downtube shifters were constantly sliding down the tube because they forgot to braze a stop), steel cottered cranks ... this bike would be stolen when the repair shop was broken into to fix the downtube shifter issue under warranty for the umpteenth time ... and replaced with a welded stovepipe Mongomery Wards bike. :/

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Old 11-11-19, 06:29 PM
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Picked this up in a free pile, replaced fork and front wheel, but everything else looks original. Sugino Maxi crank and early Suntour GT. Aluminum bars and seatpost. Not sure what to do with it.

Through frame brake cable.


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Old 11-11-19, 06:41 PM
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Nice weld on that stem!
Wow, internal rear brake cable routing?
"Made in Austria" = Puch? I know Puch supplied motorcycles under the Sears Allstate brand.
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Old 11-11-19, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zbillster View Post
Nice weld on that stem!
Wow, internal rear brake cable routing?
"Made in Austria" = Puch? I know Puch supplied motorcycles under the Sears Allstate brand.
Has a made in Germany stamp on the brake bridge. I'm guessing that stem came with the fork.
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Old 04-25-20, 06:10 AM
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1982

I have one that definitely needs tlc. Is it worth putting new tires rims cables and derailers on? Looks like I might spend about $1000 I donít think the bike is worth it. Except for the nostalgic part.
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Old 04-25-20, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by zbillster View Post
So this is me looking disappointed one Xmas in 1973 ... my parents wouldn't dare go to a proper bicycle store ... if it wasn't Montgomery Wards or Sears, it wasn't bought. (Unless it was golf clubs for themselves).
At least it had a lugged frame and was made somewhere in Europe? Steel 26" rims, Simplex drivetrain (the downtube shifters were constantly sliding down the tube because they forgot to braze a stop), steel cottered cranks ... this bike would be stolen when the repair shop was broken into to fix the downtube shifter issue under warranty for the umpteenth time ... and replaced with a welded stovepipe Mongomery Wards bike. :/

That's the "Italian Sears".... apparently supplied by Chiorda. Another noteworthy Sears bike, though probably not valuable (I have this bike, waiting, possibly, for a restore). Nice pants, btw.
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Old 04-27-20, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Vburrall View Post
I have one that definitely needs tlc. Is it worth putting new tires rims cables and derailers on? Loks like I might spend about $1000 I donít think the bike is worth it. Except for the nostalgic part.
Why new rims? What's wrong with the rims? New spokes on a nice well polished rim and hub can make a bike. That being said, pulling some derailleurs out of a parts bin is ideal but new derailleurs make the rebuild too much for what you wind up with. There's a better way to spend your time if your trying to get the most for your money.
If you like the bike though, you can find parts for it that will work fine for a fraction of $1000 and learn a lot along the way.
In short it's a bike with history which in my mind makes it worthy to be saved and some pastimes are more fun than others but shop around and look for value.😁
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Old 04-27-20, 09:06 AM
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If you spend over a hundred bucks, you've gone too far. That's probable what they sold for new.
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Old 04-27-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Vburrall View Post
I have one that definitely needs tlc. Is it worth putting new tires rims cables and derailers on? Looks like I might spend about $1000 I donít think the bike is worth it. Except for the nostalgic part.
If it were my Sears bike, I'd bargain shop at the local bicycle coop for some period appropriate replacement parts, like some Suntour GT and Spirt derailleurs, and alloy rimmed wheels. Even online auction places can provide bargain/period appropriate derailleurs, if you are patient and diligent. Finding those bargain parts are part of the enjoyment of having a bicycle like this, imo. Periodic tire and cable replacements are just part of upkeep/maintenance of any bicycle, so, I really don't worry as much about their cost reflected in the whole cost of the purchase.
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Old 04-27-20, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
If you spend over a hundred bucks, you've gone too far. That's probable what they sold for new.

Yeah, no WAY my 1970s parents were going to spend over $100 on a bicycle!
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