Sears Roebuck bikes
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  1. #1
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    Sears Roebuck bikes

    Now that it's looking like tomorrow Sears may go into liquidation, I'd like to start a thread where people remember their bikes that came from Sears, Roebuck and company.

    My first bike at age 10 was a 26" Sears upright bike with a Bendix 3-speed. I wanted the next-better bike, an English 3-speed (most likely built by Raleigh), but it was too expensive, and in a men's size, only with 27' wheels. The catalog also showed a "10-speed" which I believe was built by Puch.

    I'd WANTED a chopper-style bike, which were all the rage at the time. I sampled one, but at my already advanced height, none fit me. My dad told me I needed something to 'grow into', which it did, lasting me until high school. He even rode it once, the only time I've ever seen him ride a bike.

    I found out pretty quickly that my bike was reasonably fast, and more-or-less light, certainly lighter than most of the Schwinns. None of the other kids could keep up with me, and I could do all the same bike tricks, except for wheelies. At one point, I removed the fenders to lighten the bike, and by the time I got to high school, I'd added paperboy racks to carry my books and trumpet to school.

    Unfortunately, it was stolen from the bike rack at school one day when I forgot my lock. By then my legs were fairly well-toned, and I stepped up to my first '10-speed'. The old Sears bike got me into shape, taught me the basics of riding and mechanics. That bike was my first taste of freedom, taking me much further afield than my parents probably ever planned. There were weeks in the summer I probably put 150 miles on it!
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  2. #2
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    The first bike I started riding on in 1982 was a garage sale Sears bike that was made in Austria. It was lugged, but it was too flexible. I was able to grind the front derailleur both ways, when out of the saddle. I used it for 3 months before buying a Police auction Chromoly frame.
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  3. #3
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    Mom bought us Sears mountain bikes when I was in high school. "Open Road" was the branding if I remember correctly. 1.5" knobbies. Piles of junk.
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  4. #4
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    Were AMF bikes sold by sears, or was that Montgomery Ward?

  5. #5
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    I bought a sears bike as my second bike, and it was when I was probably 30. My first bike was better, but only a single speed.
    Once I decided to hangout with the bike groups I upgraded it to a Trek 600 Al, still bottom of the line, but it was very reliable.
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  6. #6
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    Funny this came up. My dad worked for Sears back in the 70's. In 1977 I was 11 and had a paper route. second payday I had dad order me a bright yellow 24 inch 10 speed. I spent many days working my route up and down hills. That thing was a tank. If it would have had a decent saddle it probably would have been a great ride. I take that back. If it would have had a better saddle it would been a fantastic ride. Well for a kid in the 70's anyway.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Were AMF bikes sold by sears, or was that Montgomery Ward?
    Monkey Wards sold AMF's. Sears sold "Free Spirit".
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  8. #8
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    When I was eleven or twelve I had a Raleigh 3speed, which had already lost its fenders and chain guard in order to make it more "cool" but I wanted and got a Sears 5 speed 'sting ray/chopper" style bike because that was way more cool ('69-70). It had a blue/yellow fade paint job, yellow cello bar wrap, and a Shimano disc brake on the rear - with rubber brake pads! It was much slower than my Raleigh but that did not matter to me. It was "cool" and that was what mattered at that age. I got my first "ten speed" - a Peugeot UO8 - when I was fourteen.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    When I was eleven or twelve I had a Raleigh 3speed, which had already lost its fenders and chain guard in order to make it more "cool" but I wanted and got a Sears 5 speed 'sting ray/chopper" style bike because that was way more cool ('69-70). It had a blue/yellow fade paint job, yellow cello bar wrap, and a Shimano disc brake on the rear - with rubber brake pads! It was much slower than my Raleigh but that did not matter to me. It was "cool" and that was what mattered at that age. I got my first "ten speed" - a Peugeot UO8 - when I was fourteen.
    I assume it was a 5-speed derailleur type? Raleigh also offered a 5-sp chopper, but it was an internal gear hub, and had twin sticks; these are very rare today.

    FWIW, I'm kinda glad I was too tall for the chopper-bike craze. Within 3 years, they were completely out of fashion!
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    FWIW, I'm kinda glad I was too tall for the chopper-bike craze. Within 3 years, they were completely out of fashion!
    The banana seat was useful.

  11. #11
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    I had a Montgomery Ward 10-spd in high school, and it was made by the company that made Rollfast bikes. At that time, in the '70s, Sears was selling many US made bikes under the "Free Spirit" label and other bikes made in Austria. The former were identifiable by the lack of lugs and one-piece Astabula style cranks, and were probably made by Columbia, Murray or similar - they were pretty crappy bikes. The imported ones were better, made by Puch, from three speeds with Torpado gears to a mythical top of the line model made from Reynolds 531 with nice components. I call it mythical, because it was in the catalog, but we never actually saw one in the flesh.

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