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1972(?) Ted Williams Free Spirit

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1972(?) Ted Williams Free Spirit

Old 04-14-20, 11:42 PM
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1972(?) Ted Williams Free Spirit

Was looking for a desk, ended up seeing this bike buried in a moving sale ad for $60. It was a few blocks away so I checked it out thinking it was junk but I think it's a gem. Was surprisingly light and when I saw the Crane derailleur I took a chance on it.

​​​​​​Frame: Reynolds 531. Triangle sticker on the forks. ID number 503.47448.0. There's a rogue '2' stamped perpendicular to that serial number. Made in Austria.
RD: Shimano Crane. Pretty sure it's the D100 model as it has no screw/pin and no date code.

FD: Shimano titlist small label. No date code.

Brakes: Weinmann 610/Vainqueur 999. Licensed center pull Diacompe 1234 model

Wheels: Weinmann 27' x 1ľ made in Belgium

Crankset: SR cotterless. Date code in a circle 78 (with the 8 at 7 o'clock) on one arm and 79 (with the 9 at 6 o clock) on the other. I'm assuming this is Showa calendar format with the 7 meaning 47 aka 1972 according to this.

​​​​​so all indications are that this is a 1972/1973. SR date code matches 1972, the combo of crane 100 and titlist derailleurs with 333 shifters and brackets indicates 1971-1973, the '2' on the frame could mean 1972, the color indicates pre 1974 I think.

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Old 04-14-20, 11:52 PM
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wow, nice find.

I'm guessing you won't be using the desk for a while
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Old 04-15-20, 01:17 AM
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I'd love to come across one of these someday. Are you planning on keeping it stock or messing around with it? Personally, I think it'd make a great 3 speed english club racer sorta bike. Or maybe a 1x5 townie for pleasure rides.
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Old 04-15-20, 05:27 AM
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Nice! I have one of those, found as a frameset on eBay and built as a townie with a 2-speed rear hub. Here’s the 1972 catalog page:

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Old 04-15-20, 05:33 AM
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The frame only came in ONE size? Plus, no kickstand?! What a rip-off!
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Old 04-15-20, 08:17 AM
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In '71 or '72, I bought with money saved from odd jobs for over a year, the "New Racer with steel alloy frame...," pictured on the top right in nlerner 's post above. My first 10 speed and I was the first in my sub-division to own a racing bike! I quickly replaced the vinyl saddle with a leather one. My dad used to tease me that the saddle alone made me go 10% faster. I don't remember the brand, but I don't think it was a Brooks. Probably a Wrights.

Great memories on that bike through high school. Unfortunately it was stolen during my first semester my freshman year at college.
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Old 04-15-20, 08:21 AM
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$50 for a Reynolds 531 frame is a great deal even if it is a Sears,

These are neat bikes manufactured by Puch, right?
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Old 04-15-20, 08:33 AM
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I STILL look for one of those. You did really well picking that up! Eager to read about the rebuild up on this one.
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Old 04-15-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
$50 for a Reynolds 531 frame is a great deal even if it is a Sears,

These are neat bikes manufactured by Puch, right?
I had one briefly. A friend still has it and likes it.
I would say itís a decent rider and an interesting curiosity. The color is cool. The fork crown is cool. The lugs are not cool.
I would certainly pick one up for a low price, but I donít think it needs to be anyoneís grail bike barring special circumstances, like TW was your great-grandfather or something.
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Old 04-15-20, 10:07 AM
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What? $189 and no kickstand!!!! Are you guys trying to rip me off?

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Old 04-15-20, 10:09 AM
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I had no idea Sears sold 531 framed bikes.
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Old 04-15-20, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
$50 for a Reynolds 531 frame is a great deal even if it is a Sears,

These are neat bikes manufactured by Puch, right?
Yeah, it's Austrian made, so Puch, Steyr, etc.
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Old 04-15-20, 11:00 AM
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Had one of these pass through my hands a couple of years ago. Someone long ago painted the head lugs and seat stay caps black. I bought it for next to nothing, cleaned it up, repacked the bearings, and added new cables. The cruiser handlebars were on it when I found it so I just left them. I sold it to an older gentleman who was looking for a upright bike with Reynolds 531 tubing, he couldnít have happier to find it. I recall really enjoying the smooth ride of this bike before I sold it.
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Old 04-15-20, 11:58 AM
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Oo I was looking for it in the Sears catalogue but couldn't find it that's great to have it confirmed. I think they measured it from bottom to top rather than center of the crank cause it's definitely 22.5'.

I'm going to keep it stock. I'm going to disassemble it and clean it all up since it's so gunky. I already bought an Apollo Club Tourist for my main bike so I don't know if I should keep both or sell one. I was thinking of getting a crappy second bike that I can leave parked at night downtown for things and originally thought this would fit the bill but now I'm attached to it haha
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Old 04-15-20, 12:11 PM
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What's cool? Seeing a Ted Williams Sears bike in person.

What's cooler than cool? Riding a Ted Williams Sears bike

What ice cold? Riding a Ted Williams Sears bike, in Boston, to Fenway Park. To watch a playoff game.

nlerner locking it up 3 blocks from Fenway at his super secret spot. Note the 2 speed automatic shifting IGH hub.
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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