Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Thanks to the advice of a few people on this forum, I am now the proud owner (parent?) of a 1978 Sears Puch Free Spirit! Running great so far, just had a few questions, before I get it into tip top shape...

– Tires: I know there is a lot on this forum about this, but everything seems to be followed by a "don't quote me on this..." or "probably" But is there a decent 17 x 2.25 that will fit (without any fender adjustments) onto my rims? Right now they are 17 x 2.00, but wouldn't mind going a touch bigger.

- Air intake: Any one have a picture of theirs attached to their free spirit? Mine is just dangling onto the carburetor with nothing securing it. The manual shows me (the image I have attached) two things attaching it (serflex clip onto the carb and another clip looks to be screwed into the frame with the ground wire).

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

A 17x2.25 Michelin Gazelle will fit on your rear wheel no problem. A 2.50 should fit as well -- the main issue with the rear is the swingarm, not the fender, and Free Spirts and Magnums have a super wide, super beefy, super awesome swingarm. And since Gazelles are probably the beefiest moped tires you can find, if you want something different, a 2.25 or 2.5 width in a different brand should fit as well. (Gazelles are heavy and difficult to put on, but they're nearly indestructible, and they're a great all-around tire).

On the front ... if you had the chrome fender, I could tell you with 100% certainty that a 2.25 would fit no problemo. Since you've got the red one though, I can't tell you that. I'm like, 90% sure it would fit. And if it didn't fit, it would probably be pretty easy to modify your fender to make it fit. (I know, I know, you don't want to modify your fender). If you can measure the narrowest part of your fender where the tire would go, I can measure an installed 2.25 Gazelle when I get home this weekend.

As for the carb -- #2 is basically a hose clamp that you should be able to get at any hardware store, and #1 is a circular piece of metal that wraps around the back half of the air filter and gets screwed in under the ground screw. I've never really needed #1 because #2 has always been sufficient, but you should be able to recreate #1 pretty easily just with a good hardware store and a little creativity. (I attached a picture, but it doesn't help very much.)

fs carb and air filter.JPG

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Awesome, thank you! Gazelles were definitely my first choice, just triple checking. I'll measure that front fender here in a bit...

That photo actually did help (along with you description). While I was looking at it though, I noticed your cranks look new. Mine have a little bit of an asymmetrical pedaling happening (not sure how to explain it, and is also a non issue at this point). If those are new cranks, just wondering where you got them.

Thanks again!

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Those were the stock pedal cranks -- despite being dirty and the engine having been messed with, the moped was actually just in really good shape when I got it. Treats has a few "universal" versions if you're looking for new ones, although they're mostly out of stock right now.

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Zach Swisher Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Mine have a little

> bit of an asymmetrical pedaling happening (not

> sure how to explain it, and is also a non issue at

> this point).

You can unthread the pedals off the pedal arms (remember, one of them is reverse threaded aka left hand thread) and then with the pedal shaft and pedal arms still on the bike, use a 3' piece of steel tubing to bend the arms back straight. Someone probably laid the bike down once or twice and bent the pedal arms.

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

The crank pedals don't bother me, I can just feel it. Nothing that can't wait, but that steel tubing seems like an interesting thing to try...

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Your bike will handle better with 2.25 tires that are NOT gazelles. Gazelles are HEAVY and HARD and when they are 2.5s, they feel like solid steel gyroscopes. You can quote me on that. I love my freespirit! Congrats on yours. It's cherry!

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

fallout Survivor /

Alternately you can remove the pedal arms, and bang them straight with a sledge hammer, large dumbell or bend them in a vice...

(I would worry about bending the pedal crank if done on the bike).

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Yeah the asymmetry in the pedals will probably be another post down the road..

So if I don't go with the Gazelles (apparently there is a nation wide shortage at the moment, out of stock everywhere!), any other suggestions? I was all ready to order too...

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

I'd love to throw those on (available from treats too!), but those are a bit pricey. I don't mind spending a little extra money, but will a 2.5 fit my particular Free Spirit?

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Congrats on getting your first moped! That one looks so pristine. A little envious here as the red Free Spirits always looked cooler to me than the silver ones, and I almost can't stand how much I love mine.

Good to hear that you're excited to make it perfect & all, but you might want to just ride it as is for a few weeks without messing with it too much right away. Since it's in such fine shape, I think its best to get to know your bike as you found it — plenty of time to make mods to it later.

Replacing 10+ year old tires is always recommended, but you'll probably be fine if the originals aren't very dry-rotted and have some good tread. Bigger is better when you do swap them. 2.75" tires are an excellent choice for the rear, but spacing between the front fender brackets are pretty narrow so you'll probably want 2.00" there.

Do research on the Wiki (click on the header button on this page) when you do get to modifying it for a bit more speed. Its easy to turn your 1.5hp E50 to a 2hp without buying parts or making complicated adjustments, that'll get you to at least 30mph.

Consider getting a helmet if you don't have one already, and enjoy!

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Thanks for the compliments! So far I am enjoying the shit out of it! Thinking about naming it the smile-mobile (fully aware of how creepy that sounds).

Definitely not looking to do any mods on it anytime soon. Would rather spend most of this summer riding.

My concern is the tires are more like 34 years old (originals). They do have a decent amount of tread left, but wow are they dry rotted.

Was also going to replace both chains because the surface rust on those is significant. Saving the "heavy" cleaning for winter storage or maybe a rainy day.

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

1) An installed 2.25" Gazelle is approximately 63mm at its widest point. I wouldn't use a Gazelle unless you've got 65mm of clearance, bare minimum. (And even at 1mm on each side, you'll still probably have some rubbing issues, unless your wheel is perfectly true.) Personally, I love how my Free Spirit handles with Gazelles. I don't worry about rain, or gravel, or bits of broken glass, or anything. No, I'm not gonna win any races on them, and I had to bribe one of my friends to help me install them, but I still like them. A Free Spirit is a pretty beefy and solid moped to begin with, and (IMO) Gazelles add to that feeling. Each to their own, though -- I've never tried anything besides Gazelles and the stock tires on my Free Spirit, so maybe other tires would be better.

2) Smile-mobile - Not creepy. We understand.

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Dry rot = replace. Better do it soon too. Dumping your moped ain't a whole lot of fun and can be really damaging to any unprotected (and sometimes protected) body part that hits pavement/gravel, even at 20mph.

Learned a lot about taking a fall while racing around with friends in construction sites and off road (softer landings), but that was some 30+ years ago. Among us were had 3 Free Spirits, a Hobbit and an Angel that ran only intermittently. Them were the salad days.

Re: Another newbie with a Free Spirit...

Thanks for measuring for me! Really was hoping for the Gazelles (not looking to push the speed limitations of the Free Spirit any time soon...) but the internet totally let me down. Aren't you supposed to be able to find everything on here? Anyways, went with Sava B4 17 x 2.25. Seemed close to the stock tire, so hope those work out well.

My moped salad days are just beginning! Might avoid the construction sites though... haha

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