Pinnacle Update: Uncovering it’s origin

While the Giant Sedona waits to be used, not much has happened to the Pinnacle. But I have found out more about it…

First, the Pinnacle still lies in a condition where it can’t be ridden. The rear derailleur has been “hanging” while the bike sits perched against the wall in my room.

But wait, there’s more that has been happening.

Upon return from my winter break, the front tire was good but the rear tire was flat – despite being inflated right before break. I broke the tire down and checked the tube… no problems. The only problem was a concerning spot in the tube mentioned in this post. But running a leak check (with water) found that the hole wasn’t leaking air… or at least not quickly.

The defect area

So, I reinstalled the tire and inflated it to 40 PSI. Everything was good until tonight, when I heard a strange “hissing” sound. I thought it was coming from another source, such as my sink, but I quickly found that the Pinnacle’s tire went from being fully inflated to completely flat.

Thankfully, it decided to be a slow, somewhat-quiet release rather than a giant “BANG!” that would wake everyone up in the building I stay in.

Performing a leak test (now the tube wouldn’t even stay inflated for a minute) revealed the hole must have opened up… as it was definitely leaking.

While the hole is near a hole in the rim, I’m believing that it’s coincidental and I just got a “dud” tube. The front tube, manufactured by the same company, seems to hold air just fine. I’ll probably give them one more chance.

The origination of my bike

Now to the information I found out about my bike.

I’ve been interested in finding the origin of my bike, when it was made and who made it. All I knew was it was in the 1980s and Free Spirit was a brand name used by Sears for their bikes.

My original guess was the bike was one of the last bikes made for Sears by the Austrian bike company named Puch. Puch, or Steyr-Daimler-Puch, made bikes for Sears under the “Free Spirit” moniker for a couple decades, ending in the early 1980s. The Pinnacle often shared a bike rack with a 1981 Puch Austro-Daimler “Pathfinder” that had a very similar frame.

However, my Pinnacle was almost completely made of Taiwanese components. The drive train on my Pinnacle, for instance, used components from “Falcon.” While Puch typically used higher-quality manufacturers like Shimano, Dura Ace, and even Campagnolo on the highest end models.

So, my curiosity got the better of me and I ended up asking on a bike forum I frequent. Nearly instantly, I was told my bike was surely of Asian (specifically Taiwanese) descent.

And they were right.

My bike happened to have likely been made by a company known as Kung Hsue She, or ‘KHS’ for short. KHS started out as an OEM for bikes (like my Pinnacle) but would grow to become their own brand, much like Giant and other Asian bike manufacturers.

Another shock was the age of the bike. Instead of my bike being from 1981 as I had thought since buying it, it turns out the frame was made in April 1987, according to the serial number.

So, there you go: the Pinnacle was made in April 1987 by Kung Hsue She in Taiwan.

A similar bike, the Free Spirit “Sovereign” was offered for sale in 1988 by Sears in their Christmas catalog. It is nearly identical to the Pinnacle, including the same graphics typeface and colors. Similar to the Pinnacle, it also featured a lugged frame with a gold paint around the intersections of the lugs.