Thursday, July 23, 2009

Buying Vintage Bikes

There are a lot of reasons to buy vintage or secondhand bikes: cost, style, testing your commitment, nostalgia or sustainability. Buying this way has its pros & cons, but can be a solid way to go. Whether you are buying your bike off of craigslist, ebay, or from your local bike shop - you'll want to make sure that you learn as much about the bike as possible. Some things to check:
  1. Has it had a tune up recently?
  2. Is the frame in good shape (rust, dents, bends)?
  3. How do the gears work, are they transitioning smoothly?
  4. Is there tread remaining on the tires, is the rubber crack free?
  5. Does the bike ride smoothly without any friction?
Your answer should be yes to any & all of these if you are interested in purchasing the bike. I also recommend that you have a chance to get your hands (or ass) on a used bike before committing to purchasing it - this means that craigslist, yard sales & local shops tend to be the best.

There are also negatives to consider when buying a vintage or used bike. First, it can be expensive or hard to repair or replace parts for your older bike. The biggest downfall that I've noticed in riding a vintage bike is the missing out on the modern technology. My lovely bike makes my body work a lot harder, especially with its heavier weight & center shifting system. Last, you'll often find little quirks such as new accessories don't fit right or your seat has adjustment limitations, but these can all be worked around.

I support it. Vintage bikes are good for the soul & can offer a stylish way to get around. I also think that riding a used bike is a strong statement toward reuse & sustainability - not everybody needs a brand-new, super high-tech, super fast bike.

Buying the Best Bike for You at Good.
Vintage Bicycle Guide at Riding Pretty.

Image via Lydia1913.

1 comment:

  1. Great advice. My husband recently bought a vintage Raleigh frame and is now deciding how to build it up. Nothing like old steel :)