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Puch-built Sears

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Puch-built Sears

Old 01-13-14, 03:50 PM
  #1  
PedalTraveler
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Puch-built Sears

I have a bad habit of taking on projects that most people wouldn't as a challenge, this being a prime example. Don't worry, it was very cheap. That said, I really do like this bike for what it is. It is an early enough Sears that is was still built in Austria by Puch, essentially their Bergmeister model with some alterations. This was an interesting bike, seemingly targeted at the growing American market of pre bike boom adult cycling enthusiasts at the time, it even has the gearing ratio on the seat-tube decal. One cool feature is an early example of internal cable routing.

Original Components:
Huret Allvit derailleurs
Huret Luxe axle wingnuts
Nervar crankset
Aluminum Weinnmann Belgian rims laced to Normandy hubs
Weinnmann 999 brakes and gold anodized levers
Atom freewheel (dead and to be replaced)
S. Marco saddle (Pure evil and to be replaced)
Ava Stem and bars

In pre bike boom America it was still a bit exotic, but affordable for the average cyclist.

















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Old 01-13-14, 03:53 PM
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yeah, that one is going to be a lot of work. still, i think it's a handsome bike.
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Old 01-13-14, 04:08 PM
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It just looks like surfice rust, not too bad
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Old 01-13-14, 04:18 PM
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i feel your pain, i do the same thing. i wouldn't hesitate to take that on as a project. i like it.
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Old 01-13-14, 04:26 PM
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Catnap, thank you, the more I work on it the more nice details I find.

Originally Posted by Singlespd View Post
It just looks like surfice rust, not too bad
Yes, I was far more careful than usual in my pre-work inspection on this one to be sure rust was only on the surface and all the tubes were straight.

Sloar, I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this affliction.
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Old 01-13-14, 04:57 PM
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Nice project. I wish I still had the old used Puch-built Sears 3-speed I rode at college. I don't remember, but I think I gave it away. It was a very comfortable ride, and in fantastic shape.
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Old 01-13-14, 05:09 PM
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I like it!

I believe yours is the most-common 56cm size, as I've seen few other sizes for the most part.
I hope the fit is good with the layed-back geometry tending to shorten up the reach foreward. BTW, your steerer/stem interface is 22.0mm.

What does the tubing decal say? My lower-level Steyr says only "Precision Steel".

I especially like those very early Allvit mech's.

Can anyone tell what method of joinery connects the stays to the rear dropouts? I am assuming "pinch and braze", perhaps done using automated equipment(?).
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Old 01-13-14, 05:29 PM
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Here's your plan: once a week (let's say Saturday night); some 60's Motown on the stereo and a couple beers (I don't drink but I can see the virtue in this case) and do one component per session so you don't get too frustrated. After a while you'll have quite a nice coffee-getter.
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Old 01-13-14, 05:46 PM
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Don't feel bad over this upcoming project. You got a good one there. Will be a nice ride when you are done plus some nice components to boot, gold coloured weinmann levers, nice !

Mine keeps coming back in a new buildup for the next season's rides. Will be eager to see" after pics".
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Old 01-13-14, 07:34 PM
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I like it! Well, maybe not the graphics. And I have never been fond of the Alvit dérailleur, I had one of those on my first ten speed and it was trouble.

Oh, and I want a photo of the "pure evil" saddle! : lol:
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Old 01-13-14, 07:48 PM
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Nice find!

I might have to resurrect the Austrian built "Ted Williams" I stashed in the barn loft.
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Old 01-13-14, 09:52 PM
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These bikes do have a bit of an attraction to them. I picked this one up and just finished it (this is the before picture, I haven't taken an after shot yet). Mine is not as old as yours, but I think it is still mid to late 60's. A lot of people got into cycling because of these bikes. They deserve a little credit. Have fun with the rebuild, and yes be patient.

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Old 01-13-14, 10:13 PM
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Looks pretty solid and do-able to me. There is nothing there that some split knuckles, a few loudly spoken choice phrases declaring the unholy relationship between the bikes female parental unit and itself, some thrown tools during fits of rage, and a crate of good used parts (worth say 4 times the value of the completed bike) will not fix. I'm with you in spirit bro. And yes, nothing is better lubricant than motown and cold bruskies. For you I mean; for the bike, stick with lithium grease. And, after pictures, please?
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Old 01-13-14, 10:19 PM
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Aero cable routing no less! That bike was ahead of its time

I think the saddle is "evil" only because while it aged (outside, for a long time and in blistering sun from the looks of the bike) it somehow bowed up in the middle - right where the taint would be. Ouch indeed!

Looks like it will be a fun project.

DD
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Old 01-13-14, 10:28 PM
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Looks like a very solid project bike a lot of surface rust but nothing real bad that likely won't come of with a little soaking in oci acid solution and a little effort. As others have said take your time and do one thing at time and dont get frusterated or over whelmed. You will likely be surprised at just who nicely this one cleans up in likely less time than you thought. Plus if you decide with a little clean up the original componets could be sold for more than you likely paid for the bike likely say $200 or so on Ebay.
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Old 01-13-14, 11:12 PM
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Did anyone see this one on eBay recently? It looks like the same frame but with nice chromed lugs. I don't know if the derailleurs & shifters were standard or an upgrade, but I've never seen a Record rear derailleur with slotted pivot bolts.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Sear...p2047675.l2557


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Old 01-13-14, 11:25 PM
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Ok, I think that I've got the Sears formula down with these bikes.

First, with the OP's bike, a very slight economizing of the better Bergmeister model.

And with brandenjs' orange Sears bike, a very slight economizing of the basic Clubman model, namely the un-covered, industrial fork crown, the lack of chrome on the fork lowers and the fork's apparent lack of separate dropout components. Everything else is just as my Clubman came to me, unless those wheels are original, as mine were hi-flange and came with wingnuts. Even the size, again, is the most-common 56cm.
It also seems a later model than the OP's, due the 52-36t chainrings having replaced the earlier semi half-step, and along with the addition of turkey wing aux brake levers, chainring guard and bigger pie plate on the back wheel. I would put it between '67 and '73.

This is starting to amount to a small Puch/Steyr database, so for reference, here's mine, below, early on (after I had replaced only the saddle and pedals). Only the Rigida rims had any sort of date code, and on mine the date was '72.
Perhaps the Orange bike's date can be ID'd by looking at the rear derailer cage???

The "Michelin Fifty" tires here on mine are possibly the bike's originals, and I did put a few hundred miles on them!

The first thing I noticed about this bike's riding manner was a very light steering feel, despite the frame's 71-degree angles. No doubt the heavily-raked (thus low trail) fork had plenty to do with that, a geometry combination straight out of the mid-50's, according to Dave Moulton's Bike Blog.

This picture was taken around New Years 2013, and I did experience the thrill of wet brakes on chromed rims, going downhill at an seemingly almost accelerating rate despite a full tug on the old cabling using the turkey levers!
Look closely and you can see the tire pressure about to explode the rubber covering on the rear wheel's valve stem:

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Old 01-13-14, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by redneckwes View Post
...I might have to resurrect the Austrian built "Ted Williams" I stashed in the barn loft.

Please get a photo or three of the Ted Williams bike posted in this thread if you can.
It will be cool to have a Steyr/Puch home-base for these older ones here on Bikeforums.

Anybody else have photos of the Austrian 1960's-style bikes they can add here?

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Old 01-14-14, 01:16 AM
  #19  
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Very cool. I dont think it will be as bad as you might imagine. New tires, a lot of cleaning and polishing, new tape, cables and housing, brake pads, chain, maybe a freewheel and it is back to life. Nothing I see there is out of the question.

Edit: now that I look at it...new brake hoods and I wouldnt trust those rusty spokes so a wheel rebuild/maybe new rims is in order. All preserving the vintage integrity but bringing it up to a seamless ride.

Is the seat post or stem stuck?
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Old 01-14-14, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
Nice project. I wish I still had the old used Puch-built Sears 3-speed I rode at college. I don't remember, but I think I gave it away. It was a very comfortable ride, and in fantastic shape.
Yes, me too. My parents ordered it for me from the Sears catalog store when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I rode it for a few years, but did so wishing it was a Schwinn Varsity or Continental like the cool kids were riding around town. Don't know what happened to the Sears-Puch 3-speed. Probably stolen like afew of my other bikes.
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Old 01-14-14, 06:47 AM
  #21  
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The OP's bike is definitely a rebadged Puch Bergmeister. It was a competitor to the Schwinn Continental. The Steyr Clubman above competed with the Varsity for sales. My 1960 Bergmeister was equipped just like that one. It was my first lightweight. They were very popular in Southern CA. John's Bikes in Pasadena sold them. Their high end bikes were Capos.
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Old 01-14-14, 07:42 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy View Post
Here's your plan: once a week (let's say Saturday night); some 60's Motown on the stereo and a couple beers (I don't drink but I can see the virtue in this case) and do one component per session so you don't get too frustrated. After a while you'll have quite a nice coffee-getter.
Yes, absolutely!

This bike and its parts are dirty, but it seems complete and not unduly modified. A lot of repair on these '60's bikes looks more like tampering than anything else, and this has none of that! I could easily see one of my grade school friends (1967 = 8th grade for me!) having let their bike decay to this point, put it in their garage, and left it for you to find 44 years later.

I would take the position of overhauling and rebuilding all parts, then deciding what to upgrade. Parts that cry out for help are rims (upgrade to aluminum with a hooked bead), tires (those old ones might not hold air for very long, and certainly not high pressure), and brake shoes (the old ones might be fine, you can tell after you clean everything up and perhaps smooth the friction surfaces. If you replace the rims use new modern double butted stainless spokes - the wheels will have another 40 years in them.

The saddle is shape-wise in amazingly good condition for the age. I can't see if it has tears, excessive dryness, or excessive cracking. It might surprise you after a light saddle soaping and light coat of Proofide. I would not modify anything on the saddle or treat it any more aggressively without trying these lightweight treatments. An Italian tensioned-leather saddle is a novelty no matter what it came on.

If you can score a copy of "Anybody's Bike Book" by Tom Cuthbertson, most likely on Ebay, you will get some of the most authoritative overhaul and maintenance info for bikes like this from the period - how we saw things back then. I think the first edition might have been 1967, though there were several editions and many printings. It's paperback, should be around $5 plus shipping I guess - less than an Internet connection fee. If your interest (like mine) is to get it back to original mechanically and see how it rides, this is what you need. I would trust what's in that book more than even Sheldon Brown, actually.

We also have a local authority - Auchinlow.

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Old 01-14-14, 07:53 AM
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Why do I do this to myself?


I don't know.
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Old 01-14-14, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I like it!

I believe yours is the most-common 56cm size, as I've seen few other sizes for the most part.
I hope the fit is good with the layed-back geometry tending to shorten up the reach foreward. BTW, your steerer/stem interface is 22.0mm.

What does the tubing decal say? My lower-level Steyr says only "Precision Steel".

I especially like those very early Allvit mech's.

Can anyone tell what method of joinery connects the stays to the rear dropouts? I am assuming "pinch and braze", perhaps done using automated equipment(?).
Thanks! Yes, mine is a 56cm, and the decal proclaims that it is "Racing Alloy Steel" -only the best! haha
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Old 01-14-14, 09:04 AM
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I like the way you think, so that is precisely what I'm doing. Maybe listen to some old Seger or Stooges too, to make the bike feel at home. I always like to focus on components instead of the whole bike, much less intimidating and better results.

Originally Posted by BluesDaddy View Post
Here's your plan: once a week (let's say Saturday night); some 60's Motown on the stereo and a couple beers (I don't drink but I can see the virtue in this case) and do one component per session so you don't get too frustrated. After a while you'll have quite a nice coffee-getter.
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