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Has anyone heard of a Free Spirit?

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Has anyone heard of a Free Spirit?

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Old 12-16-12, 06:35 PM
  #76  
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if it is a swiss made free spirit it is valuable
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Old 12-17-12, 06:58 PM
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Before 'Free Spirit' and before 'Ted Williams', Sears stuff was sold under the 'J.C. Higgins' name. My folks had black 3-speed J.C. Higgins 'English Racers' (SA hubs) that they bought back around 1960... I got my Sears 3-speed (Shimano 3-spd hub) back around 1969-70... I broke the frame of my 3-speed one winter after hitting a frozen snowdrift and had it re-welded...
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Old 01-10-13, 02:27 PM
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Sure am glad I found this forum. Neighbor brought over a Free Spirit 10 speed he found at an abandoned house 'cause he knew I was looking to get a bike. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear it was my old bike from the early 80's. And to be honest, not sure what brand it really was, except bought it in Omaha, NE for about $80 or so brand new.


Part # for this particular bike is 489.471380. Sears no longer carries the owner's manual so not exactly sure what year this particular bike was manufactured. Maybe the model # indicates that??? The diagram Sears offers on its PartsDirect site is for the 26" Free Spirit (found images for owner's manual on another site), even though it did recognize the part # as a Sears 27" Lightweight Bicycle.


Would really like to fix this bike up; however, not sure if standard parts would work. Right now all I can see that needs to be replaced are the tires, tubes and a rear brake pad is missing. Other wise, the bike is rather descent condition considering it's been out in the weather for "who knows" how long.


Anyway, any help would be appreciated.
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Old 01-10-13, 03:53 PM
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Standard parts should pretty much fit it. Go through it, lube the Bottom Bracket, wheel bearings, headset, seat post, quill stem and check all cables. Not a valuable bike, but good solid transportation. They were generally well made, with lower end components. I know some here will look down on it, but they were really OK bikes...Welcome to the nuthouse! Lots of wisdom and knowledge here (of over at bike mechanic area) great bike to learn to wrench on.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:42 PM
  #80  
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I did purchase a Free Spirit bike in very sad shape for only $10.00. After changing the tires and cleaning up the extensive surface rust, I have been rewarded with a good looking vintage bicycle. It still needs some work to get it mechanically solid but it will be an interesting project.
I am not an expert in bicycles, but I still don't understand all the relentless bashing these bikes endure. Surely they aren't high end bikes, but, I can't imagine that everybody who doesn't drive a BMW bashing the ones driving Fords or the like.
Restoring any kind of bicycle is expensive and sure, it might not be economically viable in all cases, but, most enthusiasts doit for the mere pleasure of seeing a finished product. Your opinions?
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Old 01-11-13, 05:46 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Odlorah View Post
I did purchase a Free Spirit bike in very sad shape for only $10.00. After changing the tires and cleaning up the extensive surface rust, I have been rewarded with a good looking vintage bicycle. It still needs some work to get it mechanically solid but it will be an interesting project.
I am not an expert in bicycles, but I still don't understand all the relentless bashing these bikes endure. Surely they aren't high end bikes, but, I can't imagine that everybody who doesn't drive a BMW bashing the ones driving Fords or the like.
Restoring any kind of bicycle is expensive and sure, it might not be economically viable in all cases, but, most enthusiasts doit for the mere pleasure of seeing a finished product. Your opinions?
It would be a good bike to learn wrenching on . Don't put anymore money into it than you have to.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:17 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Gravity Aided View Post
It would be a good bike to learn wrenching on . Don't put anymore money into it than you have to.
Agreed... That was my personal boundary when I decided to get myself busy with this project. Thanks for your following up.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:52 AM
  #83  
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Sears sold a nice 1976 Bicentennial Edition 10-sp, white with red/blue stripes.
I thought it was the nicest bike in town. I took it apart, repacked everything, and re-assembled it.

99.99 on sale, 106 with tax, I think. I sold it 3 years later for 105.
I'd give that, plus, to get it back.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:54 AM
  #84  
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Sheldon Browns site as well as the Park tool site both have great knowledge and instruction on the basics of bicycle repair, so it is a good first place to look to familiarize oneself with the terminology and just how something works. It helps to show a little initiative in solving ones own problem before asking for help as well as clarifying just what the problem may be. "The spinny thing on my bike goes Clunk, how do I fix it" is NOT specific enough! ;-)
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Old 01-15-13, 10:13 AM
  #85  
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Thank you for all the input. Would anyone happen to know, based on the model #, what year this bike was manufacturered/sold, and which company manufactured it for Sears? As I mention, this bike looks so much like the bike I use to have; however, I don't believe I purchased that bike from Sears back then. In fact, if I'm not mistaken mine was a Huffy. Again, thanks for all the assistance.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:26 AM
  #86  
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Check the components for date of manufacture codes, back of the crank arms, back of the brakes, back of the derailleurs, and such. THOSE codes will probably be the key to a date.
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Old 02-05-13, 06:50 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by FORDSVTPARTS View Post
I went through an Austrian built Free Sprit this summer, heavy but actually a pretty nice ride although not the prettiest thing on earth. I have no clue what year it was/is but with the wing nuts I'd guess late sixties or early seventies?








I have this bike, i bought it to make a fixie out of it, it had some rust spots, i took it all apart, so i can paint it...its is/was/still is my first fixie project.
im no pro, so i took the rattle can and did some nice coats, came out nice, left it in the yard for a while and did not get back to it...it rained during that time,
the rust spots now show through the new paint...i think i was suppose to hit a clear-coat over it...donno?
i still want to make something out of it, anyway to fix the rust issue????
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Old 02-05-13, 07:06 AM
  #88  
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i found a brittany free spirit at goodwill for 25 bucks, i cut my teeth on cleaning that thing up, it came out really nice, ended up giving it to my dad's gf, she loves it...
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Old 02-05-13, 07:25 AM
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What about Open Road? I think they were sold by Montgomery Wards. My first 10 speed was an open road trans-am with 24 inch wheels. It was blue with the firebird sticker on it. I gave it to a younger cousin at some point who didn't take care of it. I wish I still had that bike.

When I was a kid you had 3 choices to buy a bike Sears, Wards or Schwinn.
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Old 02-15-13, 11:13 PM
  #90  
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3-Speed Free Spirit Bicycle

Can't resist this thread. I bought a Free Spirit 3-speed about a year and a half ago for $30 to be my commuting beater, something I wouldn't be afraid to leave outside all day in the rain at work or at the bus transfer center (I'm in Seattle). I think it's an American-made model from the 80's. Heavy, but dependable. It's just like the 3-speed I had back in the early 70's when I was 15.

Sorry about the blurry photo.

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Old 02-16-13, 08:19 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by road2you View Post
I have this bike, i bought it to make a fixie out of it, it had some rust spots, i took it all apart, so i can paint it...its is/was/still is my first fixie project.
im no pro, so i took the rattle can and did some nice coats, came out nice, left it in the yard for a while and did not get back to it...it rained during that time,
the rust spots now show through the new paint...i think i was suppose to hit a clear-coat over it...donno?
i still want to make something out of it, anyway to fix the rust issue????
Maybe Naval Jelly and some silver paint to match. That, BTW is an Austrian- made Puch Free Spirit, much nicer than the usual Sears offerings . Notice the 3 piece crank , SR and Shimano Tourney parts, and the nice lugwork. Not a premium bike, but definitely a cut above the usual Free Spirit Experience.
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Old 02-18-13, 09:09 AM
  #92  
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These are pics of my Free Spirit bike. Last summer a person on here was kind enough to send me a speed selector as my old one was missing. I installed the selector recently but found that the cable to it was rusted out inside the sheathing and couldn't be repaired. I bought a new cable but found that the little piece that is clamped by the metal clamp on the frame to hold the cable in place was mising. I tried ,as you can see in the picture,to use a hose clamp with a piece of rubber to hold the cable in place but it keeps sliding so the gears won't change properly. So I'm looking for the little plastic piece and a new or used shifter cable for which I'll pay any reasonable price. Hope somebody here can help. Pete
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Free Spirit bike 001.jpg (101.6 KB, 300 views)
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Free Spirit bike 002.jpg (99.9 KB, 294 views)
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Free Spirit bike 003.jpg (100.9 KB, 291 views)
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Old 02-18-13, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by road2you View Post
I have this bike, i bought it to make a fixie out of it, it had some rust spots, i took it all apart, so i can paint it...its is/was/still is my first fixie project.
im no pro, so i took the rattle can and did some nice coats, came out nice, left it in the yard for a while and did not get back to it...it rained during that time,
the rust spots now show through the new paint...i think i was suppose to hit a clear-coat over it...donno?
i still want to make something out of it, anyway to fix the rust issue????
You will need to sand the paint back down to the rust and sand as much of the rust off as you can. Then get some Phosphor,it's liquid rust inhibitor,and apply it to the rusted area. It will turn the rusty spot black. Then sand over that and repaint. Once rust starts you can not stop it except with a good rust inhibitor. Rustolium will work for awhile but not as well as Phosphor. Get it at most hardware storeso r boat shops. Body shop supply places should have it too. Nice looking bike. Pete
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Old 04-10-13, 06:33 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by ratcycle View Post
Has anyone or knows where I can get information on a Free Spirit bicycle. The tires are 26" and coster brake.


Thank you
Not sure what your looking for, I have an older Catalina beach cruiser free spirit.
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Old 04-10-13, 07:59 PM
  #95  
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This is the funniest thread, going since '07, proves we are not C&V snobs.

I found a Free Spirit cruiser with a coster brake and gave it to my sister.
Later I asked her why she didn't ride it, and she said it was hard to ride, so I gave it a spin. I was so loose at all the joints, you couldn't keep a straight line, wobbled all over the road.
At some point, snobbery is safety.
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Old 04-11-13, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by David Newton View Post
This is the funniest thread, going since '07, proves we are not C&V snobs.

I found a Free Spirit cruiser with a coster brake and gave it to my sister.
Later I asked her why she didn't ride it, and she said it was hard to ride, so I gave it a spin. I was so loose at all the joints, you couldn't keep a straight line, wobbled all over the road.
At some point, snobbery is safety.
It's not snobbery, just common sense. I also have a Free Spirit like that, awaiting a need for steel tubing. And a Free Spirit Trike. I'll probably replace that heavy trike front from Free Spirit with a Schwinn Continental frame soon
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Old 11-23-13, 12:35 AM
  #97  
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I know this is an old thread, but....although I cannot help about how much these Free Spirit bikes worth, but to answer the thread question, yes, I have heard about these bikes as I own one and still riding it! I'm using it to get to my college every single day (even tonight I got home with it). Those, who say it is hard to ride, I don't think so. Sure, compared to a race bike it is hard to ride, but compared to other bikes it is not hard to ride at all. And it is soooooooooooooooooooo quiet sometimes I'm not sure I'm moving. The only thing is that I might have to replace soon the cotter pins...I haven't replaced them at all and have had this bike for 15 years (don't know how many times the previous owner replaced it, I bought it used for $25). Anyway, just thought to chime and and greet everyone along with my Free Spirit bike.
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Old 11-23-13, 12:37 AM
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@Norgale : My Free Spirit is very similar looking than yours, except mine is a male bike. I'll take a picture it tomorrow during day time...just to brag and boast about my bike.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:01 AM
  #99  
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This is Insanity.

I bought one of these at Sears for around a hundred bucks. Not sure of the year but I recall passing the electronics department and people were playing a tank game on the new Atari2600.

Anyway, it was heavy and a very basic bike. It was as standard as any department store bike of today without the Chinese possibility of it falling apart on you.

The Huffy FreeSpirit was reliable. It served it's purpose for the way it was made. However, being worth a large amount of money today? Nonsense. However, for the sake of personal nostalgia or sentimental value then fine for whom wishes to spend said amount.

6 years later some lunatic nicknamed TV LENNY who operated a company called American TV gave me a free bike with the purchase of a computer. This bike was a strangely named "Firenze" and was an incredible upgrade from the FreeSpirit.

Neither was a bikeshop bike.. but the Firenze seemed to do a better job at pretending to be one.

Looking back, the Freespirit was $100 but if I would have gone to Patio Bike or Wheel and Sprocket (2 local bike shops) and spent around $700 I would have had a lighter, higher quality and much better fitting thus much more comfortable and rewarding bicycle.

The difference today is that you can go to Walmart and spend $100-$200 on a department store bike.. which is similar to 30+ years ago. However, for a bikeshop bike today you are looking at 2k instead of the $700 30 years ago. Both currently made in China.


The Freespirit was a nice bike for a ride around the neighborhood.

However, I traveled on a ferry to Mackinac Island with mine. Toured the Island in it's entirety on it as well.

So I am living Proof that a Freespirit has indeed, Rocked Mackinac Island. /cue crowd cheer
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Old 11-23-13, 10:28 AM
  #100  
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In 1972 I went to a local bike shop and bought a brand new lugged frame Olmo with Campagnolo Valentino derailleurs, alloy bars and stem, and quick-release hubs for $129. The most expensive bike in the shop, Columbus tubed and full Campy NR was $400. You could buy a new Schwinn Varsity for $99.
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