Monday, April 6, 2009

The Elegant Concord Freedom 12

When I started this blog post this morning I was going into all kinds of detail about this restoration. Then it hit me, that is not why you want to talk about this bike. Sure it was a great find. And I had a great time working on it. And I consider it one of my best finds. But the thing about this bike that I really loved was the way it looked, and how it rode. It had the elegant look of an old Raleigh or MotoBecane. And a ride that told me "this bike is tight". It made me feel like I was part of the equipment. And the thing I`m trying to describe is the feeling of becoming one with the bike. Every once in a while you find something that just fits. Something that you can not think of a single thing wrong with or anything you would change. Well this was that kind of bike for me. And I sold it anyway, because that is what I do. But I gotta tell you, when ever I run across a photo of this bike. I always ask myself the same question. What the #@!! were you thinking!

41 comments:

  1. this is an old post for you, but I stumbled upon it. I have a Concord Freedom 10 speed, and I feel the same way about it. I commute with it daily, it's in fantastic shape, rides like new, feels amazing, and is classic and stylish. Anyone who gets their hands on one should hold onto it!

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  2. An even older post for you but I just got my hands on a Concord Freedom 10 fixie and I love it. I live and bike in Chicago so the fixed gear gets the job done. Funny, It actually looks just like your Freedom 12 except for a few minor differences. You are right, that baby is wonderful and I am very lucky to have gotten my hands on it. That and she's a good looking bike.

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  3. Thanks Anonymous,
    I think these old Concords might be the best kept secret in vintage cycling.
    Cheers,Hugh

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  4. My son just bought me a Selecta 12, black, in great shape. I just took it for a short ride and it feels as good as any road bike I've ridden! For $60 it was a steal !

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  5. Hey Wild,
    Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like a really good buy. I wish I had kept mine.
    But I`m not Jay Leno, I can`t afford to keep them all. I wish I could though (:

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  6. Hello. My little brother lives in Columbus, OH and is a student at Ohio State. He had a Selecta 12 that was mine, and before me it was our Uncle's when he went to Ohio State in the 80's. We kept it in great condition but unfortunately it was stolen from his apartment. I was hoping you maybe could help me locate one. The picture here is a dead ringer for our bike. I'll check back here for a response. thanks!

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  7. Hey Steve,
    I`m sorry to hear the bike was stolen. We have the same problem here. In fact about 95% of my sales are to college students. And about 50% of those are purchased to replace bikes that were stolen.
    Unfortunately that is the only Concord "Freedom 12" aka "Selecta 12" I have ever found.(or seen for that matter) And I have only found one other Concord brand bike. (it was a mountain bike) All I can say is "Google" it often and search craigs-list and e-Bay in your area. You might get lucky. Most likely you will have to settle for something else. Good Luck, Hugh

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  8. Hello! Just a quick story here. Somewhere in the years 1982-1984 my Dad took me to a local bike shop here in NH to buy me a bike for my birthday. I ended up with a Concord Freedom Deluxe Selecta 12. Still have the receipt! $214 was paid for the bike. I loved that bike and it was my transportation around town until I got my driver's license. It didn't get much use after that but I still have it! It needs some attention and I was actually looking for information on the web on how to fix it up when I found this blog. With gas prices predicted to be high this summer I was thinking I would bike to work on nice days and get my excercise that way instead of jogging and also save some money :) Rims are starting to rust, one is a bit warped, cables are a little stiff but work, tires are cracked from dry rot. I am sure the bearings could use some new grease but everything feels ok.
    Cool blog, thanks for sharing!
    John in NH

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  9. Hey do you happen to know the tire size(s) on this bike? I have the exact same bike--rides great, but the tires need replacing and I'm unsure exactly how to measure them.

    danmlnarik@gmail.com

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  10. Hey dsm7, Sorry for the delayed response. I believe the tire size was 27inch X 1&1/4inches. I am not positive as I sold this bike a couple of years ago. You might find another one (besides mine) posted at oldtenspeedgallery.com Again sorry for the delay. Good Luck

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  11. Hey John, Thanks for sharing your story. It is good to hear you still have your Concord.I wish I still had mine. Let me know how the restoration goes. Cheers Hugh

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  12. Tire size is 27x1 3/8. I just bought one for $50.00 and spent the afternoon re taping and oiling everything. I got the Concord Freedom 12 speed. Cant wait to put some miles on it :)

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  13. Hey Anonymous,
    First congrats on a great find. I`m sure you will enjoy your Concord Freedom 12 aka Selecta 12. While there is certainly nothing wrong with running 27 X 1&3/8 tires. I`m "pretty sure" the original equipment would have been 27 X 1&1/4 possibly 27 x 1&1/8. But it really is a matter of personal preference. The 27 X 1&3/8 should deliver a smother ride than the 27 X 1&1/4 And a much smoother ride than the 27 X 1&1/8 As I said what ever is best for you IS the best way to go :)
    Cheers, Hugh

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  14. Hello!
    This is Steve from way back in November. I found a Selecta 12 at a Goodwill auction in Indianapolis. It is the exact bike pictured here, and the same as the one my brother had stolen. It needs some work, but it was only $24! I hope he keeps this one safe since we'll probably never find another. Great bicycle!

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  15. Hey Steve,
    Congrats on a Great & Lucky find! I want to recommend a lock but I can`t remember the name of the manufacturer BRB. Ok here it is "Kryptonite" I think the best model is called The NewYork. It might be well worth the investment.
    Your story reminds me of my own two older brothers. About 40 years ago a crazy guy burnt my new hockey skates. (seriously) It was my brother Joe who went out and bought me a new pair.
    Thanks for the update.
    Cheers,Hugh

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  16. I own this exact bike (same color too). It was a college graduation present from my parents. Some of my friends got cars...I still own my bike and it still works great! It just had it's 1st major tune up since it was purchased in early 1984. Can't wait to try out the tuned up version of old reliable. I will never part with this bike. I lent it to my 17 yr old son one day and now he is addicted to it as well. He can't get over how fast it is.

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  17. Thanks Anonymous,
    Great story, Good to hear about the younger generation discovering just how great these classic road bikes really are. I have a very short list of "bikes I would like to have back"
    And the Concord is right at the top.
    Cheers

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  18. HI HUGH
    I HAVE BEEN READING YOUR SITE. I FOUND A BLACK CONCORD FREEDOM SELECTA 21 SPEED. IT IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. THE TIRES ARE OLD. HAS 27 INCH. TIRES. I FOUND IT AT TRASH PICKUP DAY IN THE TRASH. WHAT IS IS WORTH? CS.

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  19. Hey Clarence,
    Prices vary from state to state and even from town to town. I can only suggest that you check Craig`s-list in your area. (or in the nearest big city) I would expect to pay $20.00 to $40.00 for an un-restored Selecta buying it from an individual. If I were purchasing it at a Thrift-Store I would expect to pay 20.00 to 30.00 for the same. These are not "rare bikes" but they do not come up for sale often. You may have to settle on pricing a similar model.
    Sorry I can`t be more help than that. Good Luck with selling or restoring your Concord.
    Cheers

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  20. Hey Anonymous in Fla. Thanks for the offer, but I`ll have to pass. Due to the excessive cost of shipping, it just is not worth it. But Thank You for the thought.

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  21. Hi Hugh,
    Just bought a Concord Freedom 10 for $45 off Craigslist. I had read this blog before, plus a friend has an old Concord, so I thought it might be a good buy. It was somewhat in disrepair, but I took it apart and cleaned, greased, and lubed it up and it rides great. A very cool bike.
    Greg

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  22. Hey Greg,
    That`s Great, I just had to "take a pass" on a Concord here that was over-priced "for an un-restored example". I think they were asking 125.00 It is good to hear that you enjoy the ride. It amazes me the response this post still gets after all this time. They are a great riding and looking bike for the price. I know eventually I will run across another one.
    I was fortunate enough to run across a 1969 "Custom Built / Made in England / Parliament". The restoration is almost finished and should be posted within the next week. (or sooner) I love that part of this hobby. You just never know what you are going to find next! Thanks for Sharing Your Story and Ride Safe.

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  23. Hugh,

    I have a 1978 Concord Freedom 10 that I have been asked to sell from a friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. It is in very good condition. What would be a fair price on a bike like this? Thanks

    Jeff
    amsdendc@yahoo.com

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  24. Tonight my 15-year old son rode, for the very first time, my 1981 Concord Selecta 12. Until tonight, his only biking experience has been on a mountain bike. He came back with a huge grin on his face, and is now addicted to my beautiful old road bike.

    I decided to google this bike to see if I could find any information on it, which is how I found this page. I bought my bike when I was a senior at the University of Tennessee. I think I paid about $325 for it new, which was a lot for a college kid. I've logged thousands of miles on this bike, and have loved every minute of it.

    The Concord Selecta 12 has a high tensile-strength frame, and an alloy crank, handlebars, and wheels. Mine has 1-1/4" wheels, which I wanted because in college I rode my bike to work and classes across some rough roads. I think my bike weighs about 23 lbs. It's light enough that I can easily lift it over my head with one hand.

    I know that the technology has changed over the years and there are far better bikes. But if you want a durable, beautiful, great-riding bike that will reward you every time you take it for a ride, you cannot do better.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Mansfield TX
      Thanks for sharing that story. And I agree 100%. The Concord Selecta 12 (aka Freedom 12)is a fantastic bike. I do not think "new is really better in every way" but definitely lighter. Thanks Again
      Cheers, Hugh

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  25. Hey Jeff,
    I am very sorry to hear of your friends illness. And I know for sure "We all" wish your friend a "speedy recovery" and "all the best".
    Bike prices vary greatly from state to state. And even from town to town. All I can say is check Craig`s List in your area for similar bikes. It is impossible to give an accurate appraisal without actually seeing the bike. Godspeed to your friend.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  26. Thanks Hugh. Appreciate the insight on the bike and concerns for my friend.

    Jeff

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  27. Nice to know I have such a cool bike. I bought new back in the 80s a red Concord Selecta 12. Was considering getting something new and modern, but this blog has convinced me that that would be foolish. The serial # is 81 5 86744. Wondering if anyone knows if that means it is a 1981 model. This is a great bike and mine is in really good shape. All I've ever done to it is replaced a tire or two.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Anonymous,
      Having a new bike is cool. But having a vintage lugged frame road bike in excellent condition is cooler!
      I do not know how to interpret Concord
      serial numbers. My best guess would be an 1981 or 1986. The 5 could also stand for 1985 as well. Some of the components are probably dated on the back side. But you would have to remove them to check.
      Good luck with your project.
      Cheers

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  28. Just awaiting my Selecta 12 purchase. I remember these bikes from the 70's slash eighties when friends of mine were buying Nishiki, and when Schwinn's prices were increasing; these were a viable option. I buy and sell, and have no problems buying Japanese from this timeframe. Still seeking the purfect Nishiki though.....bam! Miguel

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  29. Hey Miguel
    I hear you, The black Nishiki I did a while back was a little too rough. I would like to find one in a little nicer condition.(paint wise) Good Luck with your Concord. Feel free to post a pic of it on the Blogs face book page. I know I would sure like to see it.
    Cheers,Hugh

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  30. I've had a Concord Selecta Freedom Deluxe since the mid-80s. Great bike! Unfortunately I need to replace the left crank and finding that to be a major challenge. Anyone here have a crank set or left crank for this bike you'd part with? It's a Shimano Selecta 170mm. Send email to pablof117@yahoo.com. Thanks!

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  31. I still have my 1974 Concord Aztec. Bought it right out of high school. It's been all over Indiana with me, and some in Michigan. I’ve ridden it through college, to work, and for exercise. I’m now planning my third amateur repaint, this time going back to the original red (I hope). Trying to find the original chain guard to put back on, along with a steel chrome front wheel. Great bike, great quality. Love the thing almost as much as my children! Can’t think of a better thing to do on a summer evening than cruise along a country road on my Concord, passing cornfields.

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  32. Hi. I have a Freedom 12, says that right on the frame. But it only has 10 speeds, 2x5. I love it. Had it about 20 years now. Just ordered new 27x1.25 Kevlar tires.

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  33. I have a Concord Freedom 12. It has 10 speeds, is that what it should have? I just ordered 2 new 27x1.25 kevlar laced tires from Amazon.

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    Replies
    1. I would assume being a Freedom 12 that it would be a 12 speed.(2X6) The rear wheel and cassette (or just the cassette) were probably replaced at some point. If it works and you like the bike I wouldn't worry about replacing it.

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  34. I have a concord 12 speed freedom deluxe I'm trying to sell all original in wonderful shape. What's a good asking price?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Chris,
      Used Bike prices vary from state to state and even from city to city. I can only suggest you check Craig's List in your area for a similar bike.
      And don't even get me started on the description "All Original". You might want to read my Blog Post "All Original / What That Really Means"
      Cheers, Hugh
      < http://hughsbicycle.blogspot.com/2011/07/all-original-what-that-really-means.html >

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  35. Just picked up a Concord Freedom SIS and it is a 12 speed. How is this different from the Freedom Deluxe or Selecta?
    Thanks

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  36. I am still riding a Concord Freedom Deluxe I purchased new in 1974 from Boardman Cycles in Boardman, Ohio. The bike is still in great shape and has taken me more than just a few miles. I raced the bike in college and easily averaged over 1000 miles per year the first ten years I had it. At the time, Concord was considerd equivalent to, or upscale from the Schwinn Le Tour bikes depending on whether it was the Freedom model or the Freedom Deluxe.

    The Freedom Deluxe was equipped with Shimano Titlist hardware and a very high-end Dia-Compe handlebar and headset. It featured a hand brazed and pinstripped steel frame that was one of the lightest available in that price range (I paid about $220 in 1974). In addition, you could order custom frame sizes with the appropriately sized headset included. Two items of note were the wide-flange hubs and the wide-range cog set. The hubs made for very strong, reactive wheels (although some thought they were a little too stiff), and the cog gear ratios allowed you to both "climb a wall" or cruise at 30 mph. The first and second sprockets are "skip tooth" style to assist the chain in climbing to the larger diameter.

    The wide ratio gear set has been handy, but I would have liked to have a few more choices between 7th and 10th gear. So I recently found a shop owner in DeSoto, Texas who used to sell Concords and he got a kick out of seeing mine. He thought it might be possible to change the front crank set to a triple, but the rear is stuck at five cogs. Still, even as a ten speed, he jokingly told my wife that my thirty year old "classic" would still be about 3 mph faster than her new 21 speed Giant!

    The Freedom Deluxe was equipped with 1 x 1-1/8 tires using normal schrader valve type tubes. I've always run 100 - 110 psi in them without any trouble and appreciated the ease of changing out the more conventional tubes. I have never had any problems with the bike, only replacing the chain and brake cables over the years.

    As for the current value, it will depend on four things: the model, the originality, the condition, and finding the right buyer. I have been told I could easily spend $800 to $1000 with today's offerings to match the performance and features that the Freedom Deluxe had in it's time.

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