Free Spirit Sheffield Women's 3-Speed Bike - Blue

We wanna be a Raleigh, but we aren't one

The first thing that jumps out (if anything on a low-end bike like this really "jumps out") about this Free Spirit Sheffield women's 3-speed bike is the way that it looks. The blue paint, gold-and-burgundy graphics and subtle pinstriping on the fenders and chainguard tie it together well. And the overall feel is similar to that of a classic English 3-speed, like a Raleigh. Even the name "Sheffield" is a tip of the bowler hat to jolly ol' England.

But the Sheffield is not nearly as solid or well-built as its English counterparts. With a mild-steel frame, stamped-steel stem, brakes and sprocket, and one-piece crank with American bottom bracket, this Free Spirit is about the same as a Huffy. The only brand-name parts are the Shimano 3-speed shifter and 3S hub, and the Hunt Wilde black plastic grips.

So, a rock-solid reliable UK working-class transportation cycle, this isn't. But for stylish suburban cruising or retro city cycling, it'll do the job.

Scroll down for more photos.

Three-quarter view

Free Spirit headtube graphics and front-end detail

Basic sprung cruiser seat

Stamped steel brake levers

Hunt Wilde plastic grips

Shimano 3-speed shifter

Stamped steel front brake

Front fender pinstriping and fork graphics

Free Spirit Sheffield frame graphics

Is the crown an homage to England?

Cheapo block pedals

Stamped brake bridge and rear brake

Chainguard, sprocket and crank detail

"Ventilated" stamped steel sprocket

A royal crown of arms and the 3-speed thing

Shimano 3S 3-speed hub