Here is Doug W’s Sears Ted Williams Free Spirit. Â As we’ve pointed out before, Sears used to market their sporting goods under the J.C. Higgins name, then, in the mid 60s they dropped J.C. Higgins name in favor of a Ted Williams line.Â This Free Spirit lands somewhere during the Williams run, but before they decided to just call their bikes Free Spirits.Â This baby is also BMA/6 Certified!Â According to this Bike Forums thread, the BMA stickers started showing up around ’72 or ’73. Â I will worn you Doug, I am pretty sure that seat height would nullify any warranty expressed or implied.
As for converting this baby to a fixed gear, advising anyone to take that dark dreadful path would completely compromise the mission of this website.Â But if you insist on trying out a fixed gear, I will gladly share my non-committal-fixed-gear-on-a-shoestring-budget conversion method.
Start by gathering as many shoestrings as you can find around the house.Â Long thick boot laces and hi-top laces are preferred.Â Gather enough so that when laid end to end they measure 10 to 12 feet in length.Â Next, remove the rear wheel from the bike, and place it on a clean level surface. Next, start with one ofÂ your shoestrings stretched out in both hands.Â With string in hand, measure up approximately 5 to 7 inches from either end.Â At this point, 5 to 7 inches from the end, “floss” the string down between the pie plate and the large cog of the freewheel.Â Then, take long end of the shoestring and start to wrap in around within the space established between the pie plate and the freewheel.Â Wrap it one or two revolutions and cinch, one or two more and cinch, cinch and repeat, cinch and repeat. It is imperative that you take care to cinch it as tight as you can, I repeat, you can NOT over do the cinching.Â Once you have used your first shoestring get another and repeat the process until you have completely jammed the area between then pie plate and the freewheel.
Now for gear selection. With the freewheel securely jammed with shoestring, take a ride on the bike to find the ratio you prefer (making sure to continue pedaling until stopped).Â With your preferred gear selected, break the chain with a chain tool, remove the chain from the rear derailer. Bypassing the rear derailer, measure the chain for length in your preferred gear setup and remove the excess links.Â Reconnect the chain. Congratulations, you now have a fixed gear on a shoestring budget.Â For a more authentic fixed gear feel and a tad more street cred, I would also suggest loosening the brake cables from calipers, rolling one or both pant legs up mid calf and never ride in anything but dirty jeans and a pair of Vans.
As you can see, the beauty of my non-committal-fixed-gear-on-a-shoestring-budget method is that it is completely reversible and completely free.Â Once the fixed thrill has subsided, you can dig the shoestrings out with a screw driver, reconnect your brakes and be on your way.
New OTS rescued from the side of the road on Thursday. Plenty of WD-40, steel wool, tube, and elbow grease later, she runs like a champ. Sorry the seat is so high, but I am tall. My original plan was to check the comfort fit of the frame, then do a cheap convert to fixie. But I found your site and I torn. Know of anyway to fuse a freewheel? Weld it? I’d like to try out a fixie to see if I like it. I commute each day to work 4 mi each way.