• Patrick

    I recently purchased an old ten speed at an antique shop. They thought it was from the late 50’s. I do not know this for sure but I convinced them that 10 speed bikes were not around yet in the late 50’s. They sort of believed me and came down a little on the price. It is a Sears and Roebucks 10 26″ speed with fenders and a rear carrier. From looking at your website I now know that it certainly could not have been before 1964 or it would have been a J.C. Higgins bike right? Oh yeah it also is a Free Spirit model. I wish there were some way I could find out more about this bike. It only needs new tires a good all around tune up. It has some surface rust in a couple of areas and needs a good clean up which I plan to start on today. I only paid 25 bucks for it. I will post it with pictures soon.

  • http://oldtenspeedgallery.com The Ten-Speed Dreamer

    To my knowledge, the Free Spirit line of bikes were not introduced until the mid to late 70s.

    Unfortunately, Sears Archive does not have information on the life span of either Ted Williams or the Free Spirit line.

  • Patrick

    Yep mid 70’s seems to be the consensus for the free spirit. Which is still ok! When I am done with it, it’s going to be a nice real nice 35 to 40 year old ladies ten speed!

  • spike

    This bike seems to have been made in Austria, by either Puch or Austro-Daimler. The derailleur is probably not original. I’m not sure when Sears discontinued the use of the “J.C.Higgins” name, but it was before 1970, I think.

  • Barry

    I have a 1963 Sears 3 speed, made in Austria, same fork crown. It looks like an english 3 speed. I’m not sure if Sears brand and JC Higgins were both offered at the same time, but I know JC Higgins goes way back in the 50’s or earlier. They made some fantastic heavyweights with all the bells and whistles.

  • mcsf

    I decided to google J.C. Higgins red 10 speed.
    I got my first real bike when I was 11. Harv’s red J.C. is it!! awesome! I still have my second bike too, a 68 Raleigh Record that I paid 69bucks for.
    Of course those plastic Simplex components didn’t last so I went to SunTour Vx in the early 80’s. The front wheel is still the orignal
    Unfortunately back in the 80’s I also wanted skewers so I changed out the axles. By then the axles had a smaller diameter then hubs so I have a 2mm gap.
    I didn’t keep the wing nut style lugs….DUMB! anybody seen those???

  • connie

    I have a 1959 JC higgins bicycle that I recall my Dad saying this was the first ten speed bike made-is this true?

    • Spike

      Certainly not true, but a ten-speed bike in America would have been a rare sight indeed in 1959. The J.C. Higgins brand was marketed by Sears until about 1970, and the bikes were made in Austria. French and Italian racing bikes had 10 speeds by then, and French touring bikes sometimes had 12 or 15 speeds. Getting a hold of such bikes in the US would have been a challenge, so it’s understandable that your father would have thought that your J.C. Higgins was the “first ten-speed”.

      • connie

        Thank you for your answer! Everything is original on this bike-It was my only transportation when I was in college-unfotunately this was a while ago and it needs some tlc-is their anyone interested in buying this bike? 1959 jc higgins-gold paint

        • Spike

          I’d certainly like to see a picture.

  • smokedbacon

    I had a Sears 10 speed bought new in around 64-66. I recall the catalog as offering 2 different 10 speeds at the time mine was a candy apple red with a tint of tangerine in it. To me it it seems as the price back then was $57 or $87. It finally started falling apart in 1967 when the rear derailer went into the spokes in a long ride.

  • http://deadmic.com/ deadmic

    how much