| I have an old Sears Free Spirit Bike & would like to know what it is worth?|
| Don't know what they are worth but I would give a doller for someon to come pick one up.|
| I would like to buy bicycles for my wife and myself, but I'm new to this and the jargon in the ads is way past me. We would like coaster brakes and, if possible, a few speeds since there are hills around here. What are important features to have in a bicycle? What are good quality bikes and where is the best place to buy them (both for reliable delivery and price)? Any help would be greatly appreciated.|
| Fabulously complex question, Tom, but I've got the day off... you don't specify your location, but the coaster brake makes me guess US.|
First of all, Shimano, SRAM and Sturmey-Archer all make multi-speed hubs with coaster brakes. These are all reliable and practically maintenance-free, and they meet your specification. Purchased from a parts department (as opposed to included on a new bike) they retail between $100 and $200 for the hub itself.
Second, one of my dad's homilies: You can't get a Cadillac at Ford prices. You have to decide what quality you can afford, and can use. Current bicycle-industry wisdom admits that after a certain point you have to be an elite athlete to appreciate the most expensive options, but that the cheapest bikes aren't satisfactory at any price. You will especially appreciate a fairly lightweight machine in a hilly area. It may have been Tom Ritchey -sorry if the attribution and/or quote are incorrect- who said something like, "Strong, light, cheap - pick two."
Third, the best place to buy _really is_ a reputable local bike shop. If you walk in and ask the question you posted, you might find you're in the right place. You might save a few bucks with mail order, but the first service/adjustment (that the shop would supply free if you buy from them) will eat the difference.
And you need to try a few on for fit, too. Perhaps the most important feature of a bike is how it feels to you personally.
OK, bottom line. Several common makes in the US offer 'city' or 'comfort' bikes (there are no official definitions of these terms) with internal-gear hubs. Unfortunately, the only model I could locate supplied with coaster brake and internal gears was a 3-speed Schwinn cruiser that probably weighs way too much. But you could check it out as a baseline. Trek, Giant, Breezer, Electra all do internals and are pretty easy to find dealerships for. I don't see any from the factory with coaster-brake internal-gear hubs, but a good dealer will work with you. This is your keyword, in my opinion: "We're shopping for bikes with internal-gear hubs and coaster brakes." And if you can afford it, "Not too heavy." If you're serious about getting quality it's possible you'll need to special-order or even to have a wheel laced, and some of those ugly cables removed, at your shop. Or you may decide hand brakes are a tolerable compromise, especially since they really are pretty good.
| Looking for raised white lettered front and rear tires, can be used or new, or can you tell me where to get/find them|
| If anyone has or sees a late 80's Schwinn Le Tour or Le Tour II for sale, please let me know! Mine was stolen in transit back from England and I just have to get another one. Late 80's to early 90's okay. Frame and fork only okay. Any paint okay. Must have rear derailluer hanger integrated into the dropout.|
| I have what appears to be a 1950's Wasp, though it is not in the greatest of conditions. I have stripped it down to the frame, and now I am wondering if I should throw it in the dumpster since the neck is unrelentingly frozen (rust) inside the upper fork. The neck, handlebars, and grips are destroyed, as are both bearing cups in the rear wheel. The coaster brake cones and parts are in very good shape, except for the bearings (most are gone). It's scratched and rusty, but no discerable dents or dings (except the fenders, which are in one piece, but need hammered back into shape). Is this worth posting for sale, or should I just grab the head badge and be done with it?|
| Don't even think of chucking it in the trash - many Schwinn collectors will want it. Put it on eBay.|
Curious, you aren't in South Florida, are you? Just wondering...I've been looking for one ;-)