Free Spirit women's

Sep 13, 2006
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Got a friend at work who's a photographer on the side. Says she wants to come along on one of our Retro-Rides to get pics of cool old bikes. I keep telling her she's welcome anytime, there's plenty of extra bikes she can borrow. Then I saw this at Goodwill for 5 bucks... told her the tires alone are worth more than that and I'd clean it up and get it working for her.

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this is the only missing part. I was sure I had like 2 or 3 of them around, of course I have none.

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I guessed that it's from around 1980 or so and didn't get ridden much, and then someone replaced the tires and seat maybe 10 years ago and it STILL didn't get ridden much. Once I got it home and actually looked at it, I was surprised that it actually seemed to have a nice lugged frame and dropouts. I know it's a low-end not-very-desirable bike from Sears, but does anyone here have a better guess at a year of manufacture or anything else about it?
 
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Jan 21, 2009
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I found one that looks all original with bent forks. No info on the year of the bike though. That seat and reflectors look like early 80's. I also found a 10 speed from 1986 with cottered cranks and the same frame.


 
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Sep 13, 2006
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I found one that looks all original with bent forks. No info on the year of the bike though. That seat and reflectors look like early 80's. I also found a 10 speed from 1986 with cottered cranks and the same frame.


Your red one looks pretty much EXACTLY like mine. I realize it's not great, but for 5 bucks as an occasional rider, I think it'll work just fine. From what I have read and researched, there were two grades of Free Spirit bikes: the Huffy- and Murray-built boat anchors with one piece cranks and ugly frame welds, and the somewhat better entry-level foreign bikes with lugged frames. A couple of different sources mention Steyr-Daimler-Puch as a manufacturer. (@horsefarmer, I didn't know Panasonic made them too.) Looking forward to getting this cleaned up for her for the spring.
 
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Sep 13, 2006
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Does it need a turnbuckle, metric or English, with left hand threads on one side?
I probably wouldn't have remembered that that's what it's called, but yes, it needs a turnbuckle. :21: One side is left hand threaded. Since it's Shimano, I'm going to guess it's metric. It would figure that in my parts stash I have three of the Shimano bellcranks that thread onto the axle and two of the rods that run through the hub, but none of the turnbuckles. :wondering:
 
Jul 31, 2008
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A couple of different sources mention Steyr-Daimler-Puch as a manufacturer. (@horsefarmer, I didn't know Panasonic made them too.) Looking forward to getting this cleaned up for her for the spring.
Yes, Puch was the main supplier for Sears' lightweights, from the mid '50s through the late '70s at least. I'm not sure if these are, being newer, but it's possible. -Adam
 
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