When does a bike become vintage?

term1te Posts: 1,462
edited September 2015 in Vintage bikes forum
Just that really, what defines a vintage bike?

I've got a 10 year old Van Nicholas, a ca. 22 year old Claud Buttler, a ca. 27 year old Colnago and a ca. 32 year old Moser. Which of these is vintage? Do we stick with the pre-1987 Eroica rule, or is it not directly related to age?


  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    Never really thought about this but I think the Eroica rule seems good.
    But what is vintage and what is classic?
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  • fnb1
    fnb1 Posts: 591
    I would say 1960/70-80s is classic earlier maybe 1930s to 50s vintage? then perhaps veteran for the really old stuff?

    But to really worry about it you should already have a beard :-)

    of course you have retro? i.e. something new(er) but with steel framed, downtube shifters etc
    fay ce que voudres
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,425
    Not sure owning something until it gets old is truly vintage...until you sell it :wink:
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,570
    With the classic type definitions in the car game something of merit becomes classic much faster than something run of the mill. So a Colnago becomes classic before a gas pipe Raleigh does. Whilst vintage and veteran have specific eras. Veteran in motoring terms is pre 1918, vintage is 1919-1930, this is followed by pre-war and then classic for post WWII stuff that is of sufficient interest.
  • Pre 1987 allows for a wide participation to events like the Eroica, but IMO those are not vintage... 12 gears, sub 10 Kg, they are fairly modern bikes that you can ride anywhere even today... the real vintage bikes have no gears... so you are looking at pre WW2... although already in the 1920s there were devices to allow you to get two ratios (like the famous French Retro'-direct mechanism)
    left the forum March 2023