Austrian Built Sears 3 Speed


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dweenk

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 13, 2014
78
68
Maryland
#1
I got this bike several years ago because it reminded me of the bike I had at college. This is in much worse shape than my college bike, which I sold when I headed out west on some hare-brained adventure; but it was the nearest approximation of my old bike at the time.

My old bike was a black J C Higgins in nearly new condition for $5 at a yard sale. I bought a bike rack that clamped to the bumper with U-bolts (remember steel bumpers?). Since I had a '68 VW Beetle, I put the rack on the front bumper - I needed to attend to the engine frequently. Now back to the bike I have.

This one is red (mostly- the red paint did not do well in weather). The decals are decayed or missing. It had no fenders, but it did have the chain guard. Wonder of wonders - the S/A licensed hub and shifter built in Austria functioned perfectly. I did have to replace brake cables and housings. The shifter cable and housing was OK after lubrication. I have had this bike sitting in the garage for a while and decided to air up the tires and take it for a ride today.



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Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
530
363
Concord NC
#3
These Austrian built 3 speeds seemed to use a lot of different parts over the years. They're all similar, but I have yet to see two that are exactly the same. Different chain rings, different stems, different chain guards, etc, etc, etc.
 

MarkKBike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Apr 17, 2017
542
1,183
Chicago Suburbs
#4
Earlier in the year I sold this one. (maybe even last year, I forget). It was in near mint condition. (the orriginal saddle was replaced do to condition, but was offered with the sale).

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A few weeks ago I picked this one up in-expensively. I think it originally looked a lot like yours. I went after it because I needed the tires and the seller told me they were good.

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These bikes are not high value on the retail market, but do ride pretty decent. I think the one in my last pick is a similar model year to yours. It has a 1965 dated rear hub, what does yours have?

If you look at the rear hub, I believe the date will be apparent.
 
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Likes: Oilit

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
205
317
Lansing, MI, United States
#5
I love the Austrian built Sears 3-speeds. They seem to stand up well over time. A little lightweight oil in the hub and your good to go. The fact that they're not highly sought after keeps the price low too. The black Sears were the "standard" models while the red ones were known as the "racers". Here's my 65 Racer. I believe it's all original right down to the Allstate tires. I think the locking grip shift is super cool. I also like the slightly larger chainguard.
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Likes: Oilit

SKPC

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 2, 2018
478
2,106
61
Utah - United States
#6
Those steel-shelled Austrian sturmey clones "click-clicked" real nice when running if clean and lightly lubed. The JCHiggens/Sears versions were also loud clickers.....
 
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Likes: 3-speeder

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#9
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dweenk -

thanks for posting; interesting story.

noticed there appears to be something wonky going on in the vicinity of the fork crown.

the brake caliper is not parallel to the face of the crown.

this could be due to the mounting hole being misdrilled.

sometimes in such a case it is possbile to rectify things by bending the mounting bolt.

another rectification technique which sometimes solves the problem is to asymmetrically file a seating washer.

other possibilities are misaligned fork and misdished wheel. front wheel appears freshly built.

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