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My Austrian bike, badged and sold by Sears was given to me incomplete and in rough condition. It had no seat or handlebars, the frame was badly dinged and scratched in many places due to having been wrecked, and the wheels were badly in need of trueing. With the addition of an old seat and bars, a test ride confirmed that the drive train was in good operating condition. The 3 speed gear hub is very similar to a Sturmey-Archer AW hub, however, it is marked "SEARS" and the housing has 3 raised and radiused rings unlike a S-A housing. It has been suggested that it was made by S-A in Austria. The shifter, cable, and indicator chain appear to be S-A.

I disassembled the bike and stripped the frame and forks of paint and rust and filled the scratches and dings with epoxy filler. I devised a paint scheme based upon the colors of the Austrian national flag which are red with broad central band of white in which the Germanic Imperial Eagle is displayed. I found a picture of an Imperial Eagle medallion which I scanned into my PC. I then scaled and converted the image into an oval shape to better fit the seat tube. The image was then printed on Avery label paper and subsequently attached to the tube. I used Duplicolor automotive paint which can be bought in spray cans. After the colors were applied, the decals were attached and several clear coats were applied.

While the paint was curing, I restored all of the components to complete the project. Some components were salvaged from other bikes but most were new. I used drop bars in a reverted/rotated position which results in an upright riding stance. A gel seat with lights, a parcel rack and an alloy side stand was purchased along with tires, tubes, grips, pedals, and cables. Mounted on the bars are; a combination radio/horn/light, a computer, and a Halt pepper spray canister. Small chrome fenders were installed front and rear.

The original cottered crank was replaced by a two speed crank assembly and a 28 tooth sprocket installed on the gear hub. This results in fairly low gearing across the range. The finished bicycle is a lot of fun to ride, attracts a lot of attention, and is a bit showy but I like it. Let me know what you think of my Austrian which appears along with other of my custom bikes in Jim and Dave Wilson's "BikeRod&Kustom" web magazine vol.I. You can see another, quite different version of this bike by CLICKING HERE.




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Last revised: 6/10/99