New Guy in Need of Advice on First Restoration.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by MattRhubarb, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. MattRhubarb

    MattRhubarb New Member

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    New member here. Really looking forward to diving right into Cycling Forums and to start things off I'm looking for a little help with a Sears 10-speed road bike I found in my grandparents garage today. My uncle says it was bought in the early seventies before he was in high school. He started in '74 so I've got it pegged to '70-73'. I've seen the name Free Spirit mentioned for bikes of this era but that decal doesnt appear anywhere on the bike so I've all but eliminated that possibility. All help with a positive identification on this bike is extremely appreciated.
    I did some searches for NOS parts for this bike and I'm considering a moderate restoration to "smooth working order" condition. As the photos show, there is surface rust throughout on the chrome and steel but It doesnt appear to be anything difficult. Please correct me if i'm wrong. The frame feels and looks pretty solid to me and I wouldn't touch it aside from a good cleaning, but i'd make sure the moving components were all top notch and safe. Pretty excited as this would be my first project. No interest in value really, just any info that could help me on my way. Thanks

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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Shimano components heavy but strong and reliable. Actually lower end components but as stated made to last. You will no doubt need new cables and maybe wheels.
     
  3. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Begs, the question, why? Unless you're looking for a learning experience or the bike has some extraordinary sort of sentimental value, you'll put far more into it than it cost in the 1970s. Consider it this way--when this bike was new, bikes of this quality and age were recycled into parts for B-17s and Sherman tanks.

    If you do go through with it, I suggest new wheels with alloy rims (they'll stay true longer), new cables and housings, new brake pads, new chain and freewheel, tires and tubes, and handlebar tape. Your local shop should be able to order wheels and freewheel, and they'll have the other parts in stock. Everything else should respond well to cleaning, rust removal, and lubrication.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by JH:
    "Actually lower end components..."

    Uh...go back and look at the pic of the brakes. Them be Dura-Ass centerpulls! Email that pic to Swampy! Dura-Ass on a Sears & Roebuck! Where they belong!

    This is pre-Free Spirit model that was manufactured by Huffman or Murray. If J. C. Higgins, it was actually built by Huffy/Huffman. Some pre-Free Spirits were branded as Ted Williams as Ted had a contract with Sears to brand his name onto Sears sporting goods from shotguns to all kinds of stick & ball sporting accessories.

    The value of this bike, in its current condition, is somewhere around $5 to $20. The $20 figure is if a crack freak needs a ride to his next fix and thinks he has a spare twenty in his shoes.

    The least expensive and most expedient means of restoring this bike to a presentable appearance and safe running order would be to buy two to six additional Sears Free Spirit bikes in much better condition for $5 to $20 each and swapping parts. Or just riding the best one of the lot.

    I once saw a Free Spirit with the classic White with Red & Blue decals paint job gently nose off a curb. The head tube separated at the sorta-kinda-welds and the rider did a slow face plant in the street...the fork and handlebars connected to the rest of the bike only by the cables.
     
  5. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    They are lower end components but durable. Bob u dont got to be an ass.
     
  6. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    For the cost of the parts, there are probably bikes available on your local craigslist that can be ridden home.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    OEM parts have been out of production for decades. Like OBC said, for what a pair of steel, non-rusted rims run, let alone the price of having them laced them to non-rusted hubs one can go out and buy a complete bike in good condition.

    Here's one Sears that sold for $25 in what looks to be great condition: http://mansfield.craigslist.org/bik/4550868466.html

    Much better deals can be found at garage sales and flea markets. Trash pickup days and cleanup days in town yield dozens of old '10-speeds' being pitched, free for the hauling.
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. I thought the bike was being "restored" precisely for sentimental reasons ... Not to redefine OP's intentions ...

    1. Does "restoration" actually mean that he simply wants to rejuvenate the bike so that it is rideable?
    2. OR, does he want to update the bike as much as is feasible within a reasonable budget?
    3. OR, does he actually want to restore it to the way it looked when it left the local Sears retail store?
    4. OR, something else?!?

    Regardless, IMO, there isn't that much rust of any consequence visible in the pictures ...
    • So, it's mostly a question of a few drops of 3-in-1 (or, equivalent) oil on the pivoting parts ... a few drops seeped into the headset when the bike is inverted
    • a few drops seeped into each side of the BB where the crank's spindle exists ... disassembly followed by actual repacking of the bearings would be 10x better, BTW
    • Either an SOS/Brillo steel wool pad OR '0000' steel wool + some oil (ANY kind, petroleum or even plant based cooking oil since the excess will be wiped & washed off!) + some elbow grease on the steel (best done when the parts are OFF the bike, BTW) ...
    • Some "Brasso" OR some of the '0000' steel wool OR Bon-Ami (or, equivalent) to clean the oxidation off the aluminum parts (i.e., the Dura Ace Center Pull calipers!!!?!!!) ... OR sell those Dura Ace Center Pull brake calipers on eBay to offset the cost of getting the bike back up to speed!

    APPARENTLY-or-OBVIOUSLY, the bike needs a chain ...

    • if the 'original' chain is not available, then I recommend the least expensive 8-or-even-9-speed Shimano chain, BTW, depending on the vintage of the chain tool the OP has-or-buys.

    The existing Cables & Housing may be okay IF they are lubed/greased ...

    • if the gently remove the end caps on the cables are gently removed, they can be re-used
    • a dab of lithium grease spread on each cable will go a long way toward making them usable whether or not the existing housing is "okay" depends on the type coiled core -- okay
    • parallel stranded core -- probably/possibly needs to be replaced

    New tires & tubes (if necessary) ...


    De-glaze the contact surfaces of the brake pads with some emery cloth ...

    Reassemble, as necessary ...

    DONE!!!?!!!

    THE BASIC SHOPPING LIST:

    1. Cables & Housing -- $12+ (as needed)
    2. Tires/Tubes -- $_?_ (as needed)
    3. Chain -- $20 +/- (if needed)
    4. Chain tool -- $15 +/- (if needed)

    • Household cleaning supplies & household lubricants are not itemized.

    • A Flat file expedites prepping the (replacement?) cable housing (for deburring the ends)

    • Some wire-cutters work well for cutting derailleur & brake cables ... unfortunately, some/most do not ... Harbor Freight's "orange" handled Needle Nose pliers & other pliers from that "group" which have integrated wire cutters can snip bicycle cables cleanly.
     
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