Acquired another commuter project! burgundy Sears Free Spirit bike

Got this from a guy out in the country….haggled on price and got it for a good price I feel…it’s an early 80s Free Spirit PhysioFit bicycle with 26″ wheels, 10 speed, Shimano Positron stem shifters and FH series derailleurs, Sugino 3-piece crank set, with double chain ring….the original steel wheels had bad axles and dry rotten tire casings, so I swapped the casings and SUMO 26x 1.75 wheels from my Coyote Brown Huffy “bug out bike” project; and spent a few hours with Ajax cleaner and water on the chrome parts….due to the knobbies, I am unable to use the rather nifty half- fenders, but I cleaned them up anyhow, since I anticipate that I will put Kenda K-shield tires on the SUMO wheels…. EDIT: apparently the Shimano FH Derailleur came out in 1982 according to

DSCN1825with knobbies put on, and with original half fenders still on; test rode and turns out that due to the knobbies on the shoulders of the tire casings, there’s a rubbing sound from the pinch in the fenders where there’s clearance for the MX brakes.

DSCN1835all cleaned up and fenders removed!DSCN1836Side view, I replaced the WAY TOO wide vinyl “cruiser ” comfort seat for the brown Troxel seat from the Huffy

DSCN1838Head tube with a funky add on decal, added by the previous owner… I like it so I’m leaving it….until I sell the bike.

DSCN1840Sugino chainring/crank set

DSCN1839Shimano Positron shifter; it shifts pretty smoothly even with the extra 6th speed cog in the rear!

DSCN1837DAT RACK. I’ve not seen another that employed 2 bolts to the brake bridge area without eyelets…its pretty sturdy, welded steel rod construction…it was caked with rust and scales….I’ve done my best…but honestly I think it’d be better sandblasted and coated silver…..still, its a nice sturdy rack.

DSCN1835quarter view, the cruiser bars allows for an upright riding position, and while the frame is a couple inches smaller than my former commuter Cycle Pro Oswego, it is still comfortable for me. The frame length is very similar, just shorter…Chain stay length is amazingly 460mm (or 18″), the same as the CyclePro Oswego…In fact, even though it is clearly meant to be a cruiser, I can see myself taking this around town for commuting and possible overnight tours…the frame, I am not sure who made it…..but it is a lugged brazed steel tube construction, and the lugs are pretty good….Heard that the Sears Free Spirit bikes were made by Puch of Austria, and Huffy, and Murray, among others… but I am not sure who made this frame, as it reminds me more of the Taiwan and Japanese bicycles….

updating….still not doing tactical gear; but focusing on bike; bike buckets!

Hello; I haven’t been on for a while….been busy looking for jobs and working on bicycles; I’ve managed to get my hard-sided pannier project underway and the space of one hour.


the boxes before being put on; yes thats a 1 gallon water jug; each box can hold 2.DSCN1594

the mounting hardware; 4x Tactical Tailor MALICE clips; these have 3/16 holes for 6-32 screws, mostly used for mounting kydex holsters and hard sided accessories. I have seen them used to hold heavily loaded rucksacks on the insides of vehicles; DSCN1595

marked locations for the MALICE clips to go inDSCN1596

drilled holes, and mounted MALICE clips with 6x 6-32 boltsDSCN1597

yeah the bolts are a little long…replaced with shorter ones DSCN1598

first one on the bicycle rear rackDSCN1599

showing the first system mounting; I didn’t like how the tabs were at the bottom…and sticking into the tire’s path.DSCN1600

showing the rough locations; this is to ensure that the panniers don’t slide back or forward into the cantilever brakes. DSCN1601

both of them mounted; with revised system; where the tabs are on the top instead, and with revised boltsDSCN1603 DSCN1604total cost of materials;

$25 apiece for Plano Large Marine Storage boxes from local sporting goods; could’ve paid less on Amazon but I didn’t have patience lol

$5.23 for set of 4 Tactical Tailor MALICE clips

$1.29 for 10x 6/32×1/2″ machine screws with nuts package, 2x packages

$.50 for baggy of10x  6/32×1″ machine screws with nuts; from Habitat for Humanity ReStore


much cheaper than spending $2-3 each for J hooks, or buying BikeBins hard panniers, yeah I could’ve saved more by getting laundry/kitty litter buckets, but I need something that can carry books/art supplies/clothes/equipment/tools without compromising with sizes, and the nice thing about these, they have trays and smaller storage pockets on the lids for misc items; I am planning to find a few rope cleats so I can lash things across the top of them.

Finally done with CyclePro Oswego Touring bicycle set up!

SO. I finally got the rear 7 speed wheel on and new tires installed on the bicycle, adjusted brakes and derailleurs, and put a bracket on the front rack; and installed the bag set I want to use, along with my camping gear compression sack; it is basically ready for either commuting or camping!

the bracket I fabricated out of a strut


the bike set up for now; Paratrooper commuter bag up front, with First aid kit pouches for general purpose usageDSCN1541

the rear view of the bike; stuffed compression sack, woodland sustainment pouches, 1 qt canteen/utility pouches and general purpose pouch for toolsDSCN1544

the USGI 9 strap compression sack, attached to the seat with two straps, and resting on the rack, 12 pounds total for the bag itself, have A-frame tent, tarp, poles, sleeping bag, and sleep roll.DSCN1542

the MOLLE Utility pouch,it has my tools and spare tubes in it, also carries a rag and washcloth and cable lock.DSCN1543

almost done with CyclePro Oswego Touring bicycle!

DSCN1529 DSCN1528 DSCN1515I have gotten the tools I need, and decided to put on the original Canti Brakes since the V-brakes did not feel right when I tested them; so here it is!

Brooks CR3 saddle, polished/de-rusted Bull Moose handlebars,

Suntour XC derailleurs and friction shifters

Sugino VP triple front crank, 46-36-26,

shown in pictures are the Araya 26×1.5 rims with Shimano 6 speed gear set, 14-28 tooth

I will upload a couple more pictures with new tires and newer rims with 7 speed gear set

Trek racks, both are technically Rear racks, the back one is the older one, the front one is oriented the way it is because had it been mirrored, it hits the brake cable, and had it been on the rear, it still hits brake cable. now I am looking for a bracket for the front to keep it from falling over and causing an end-over-end accident.

After I get the front rack bracket done, I will be putting pannier bags on it and see how it feels on the road with a load. 🙂


Some more progress on touring bicycle!

Making some more progress with my touring bicycle; got cables installed and adjusted; then mocked up with wheels and tires (very old skinwall tires) for brake adjustments and general appearance; seems that the CyclePro Oswego was originally a Touring bicycle frame…. or a commuter; it has full braze-ons; with the exception of not having newer style rack mounts on front fork; but it has eyelets for fenders and rack legs for the older style front racks; I am not sure if I want drop bars or if I want to keep the Bull-Moose handlebar; all that’s needed are chain, seat w/ seat post, and new slick tires; maybe change rear gearing to lower gears


on the rack after cables installed


with tires and wheels mocked on; no seat/seatpost yet

against the shorter wheel base MT1800 commuter bicycle

the MT1800 commuter bicycle with Pletcher rear rack, MOLLE sustainment pouches, and generic “IDF Paratrooper” bag mounted to front (modified the bag to mount via Tri-glides and straps)


On a break from sewing things; currently focused on bikes

So…. I am on a break from sewing things…. right now I am more focused on getting bicycles fixed/finished and possibly sell a couple of them….

here is my current bicycle project; a late ’80s CyclePro Oswego (fitting, as there is a town in Oregon called Lake Oswego ), 21″ seat tube height, 18″ chain stay length, relatively conventional angles and proportions. right now it is fitted with an old Bull Moose handlebar set that is designed for cantilever brakes; has a full set of braze-ons for rack, fenders, two bottle cages, and what seems to be a fitting for a frame pump..

I have V brakes on it since I only have one set of brake levers, and they were cannibalized from a cracked Schwinn Frontier frame. I am trying to figure out if I should run full cable housings for brakes, and bypass the cantilever brackets, or if I could get away with drilling the rear cable stop and running a cable through it? I think I can get away with routing the cable housing through the front bracket by removing the cable stop nut/bolt. Yes I am using a stand that used to be for two halogen work lights; it works as a stand, even though there is no clamp for the frame. I have a late 80s Mountain Goat that will be restored with new chain, new rear derailleur pulley wheels, correct era seat post and seat, and Araya wheels;

My plans for the CyclePro Oswego;after finishing the basics (new chain, new seat/seatpost, cables, wheel set, smooth tires/tubes), is to fit it out with a rack sandblasted to bare aluminum, and clear coated to match the silver bits on the bike, possibly fenders(either black or silver), and make a couple pannier bags that fit the look of the bicycle for touring…I believe this is a Touring frame, but I could be wrong…..I know I plan on putting a front bag on the handlebars, and a trunk bag on the rear pannier, I would love to find the same style bags as my military themed bicycle have, but in black…so far, I have found black versions of the USGI butt pack, and the Recon Butt Pack, but have not found black version of the MOLLE Sustainment Pouches, much to my surprise..

CyclePro Oswego

front end of bike

rear of bike

the storage shed; with my Mountain Goat Trench Goat bicycle that I will restore after finishing the Cycle Pro

Updating….redid bike bag set ups and did a grocery store run with bike!

So…I redid my bicycle bag set up; and got it to the point where I feel confident in its capacity as well as my own capacity….. anyways; on to the pics!

bike bags as is;

bike bags loaded with food! Left Side

rear view of bike bags loaded

all that food that were in the bags; not shown, the 1 qt canteen and stove and cup, and blanket, gloves, first aid kit, bandanna, hand towel, lock, two 2 qt canteens, and small tools.

and on a short trip today with my overnight stuff in bags;

such a nice day….

off the side of the road in the nice day outside…note how well the spokes blended in the background; the wheels are painted now; with the exception of the brake tracks and chain cogs;