Ultimate Guide To Buying a Retro Bike


{ femme et velo }

Let’s face it, not only is a vintage bike budget friendly on your pocketbook but also super stylish.  Also, vintage bicycles typically have a sturdier frame and better components than the bikes of today. So if you are in the market for a vintage bike here is our ultimate guide filled with tips on selecting the perfect retro match (from a girl who owns 3 vintage bikes).

1. The best place to find a vintage is bike is to search and buy locally. Start by searching online listings website such as Craiglist , KRRB or your local sites such as NYC’s Get Biked. Also, local tag sales, flea markets and thrift stores are a great place to search. And ask around…..you never know Aunt Dottie might have a sweet vintage cruiser just chilly in her garage unused.

craiglist-bike-search 2. Select a vintage bike that fits your needs. Are you going to use this bicycle for everyday transportation like commuting to work or for weekends rides in the park with friends? The best vintage bike age is between 30-50 years old. You should look for bikes made from the late-1950s to the mid-1980s. If you are going to be riding daily, then you may want to select a vintage bike that is closer to the 1980s and require less maintenance.


{ your welcome savannah }

3. Before you purchase, thoroughly inspect the vintage bike. Look for cracks in the tires. The gears should also be in good working order, meaning that they shift smoothly while riding. Once you have found the perfect vintage bike and purchase,  it’s always good to idea to take to your local bike shop. This way your new/old bike can get inspected to make sure everything is working properly.


{ pinterest }

4. Invest in a tire pump. Old bikes tires loose air quickly.  So if you don’t want to be riding (or walking your bike) to your local gas station air dispenser every couple of days. This may be a good idea.


Good luck with your search!

3 Comments on Ultimate Guide To Buying a Retro Bike

  1. Marmorgan
    May 21, 2014 at 10:52 am (3 years ago)

    When figuring out your budget, factor in upgrades you might want to implement. For example, my 1966 Raleigh Lady Sports Deluxe came with steel rims (as do many vintage bikes), and I was accustomed to the better braking that aluminum rims provide, so I had the rims upgraded. When buying a vintage bike you need to consider the total cost of getting it to the condition that makes you really want to ride it. Even with the cost of the rims, my Raleigh (a Craigslist score!) is still a bargain compared to bikes of similar quality sold new today.

  2. Myra
    May 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm (3 years ago)

    I currently have the Linus bike. Although Linus bikes are modern, they are vintage inspired.

  3. Nina the bicycling Midwife
    May 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm (3 years ago)

    Components on old bikes are generally not better than on new bikes. However, it can be worth upgrading the derailleur and brakes in order to keep your stylish ride. The chain and possibly cassette and drive train may all need replacing. This can get pricey. Having said all that, I still keep my 1978 Raleigh with steel mixtie frame as part of my “fleet”.