Classic style bike — BikeRadar
Commuter cycling forum
Classic style bike
Hi guys. As a vintage person, I would say I was born in the wrong century. I love everything in vintage style. Therefore, I’m still confused about which kind of classic bike should I purchase? Please be my consultant. Thanks.
Many questions to follow.
New or used?
More following those.
The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
I am not sure. You have no chance.
PB is the most sensible person on here.
by vintage do ypu mean 1800s or do you mean neo retro 1980s?
Do you mean something in the Raleigh Superbe style? Classic upright 3 speed Sturmey Archer from early 1900's through to the 1980's??
I went that route when I wanted a bike just for short distance commuting a few years ago on the basis that these bikes were built for comfort, longevity, low maintenance and practicality. If you don't need to go up steep hills or want to break any speed records they appear to make a lot of sense.
There are issues however:
Pre 1980's bikes of this style will have been built with overall better quality and are significantly lighter (though still heavy) than modern 'vintage look' bikes (including Pashley and the new version of the superbe) but there can be difficulties around sourcing spare parts that use old non-metric nuts and bolts - some manufacturers even had their own unique standards for bolt threads that were different from other manufacturers of the same period.
Avoid rod brakes - they have the cool vintage look but are fiddly to set up, have very poor stopping power (especially since most wheels on these bikes are chromed steel - the worst possible braking surface.) and make removing the wheel, changing inner tubes etc.. an utter pain.
Obsolete wheel sizes also limits tyre choice.
Go for drum brakes if you can find one.
They are surprisingly fun to ride, very comfortable (especially on our rough roads) and faster than you might imagine. A modern 'vintage style' replica might be easier to live with in terms of availability of parts for maintenance, albeit lower quality overall.