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What defines a Vintage or Classic Bike?

Discussion in 'Vintage and Classic Bikes' started by SkipdiverJohn, 17 Nov 2017.

  1. Laurentius

    Laurentius Member

    In terms of mods, I don't think you have to keep anything pure unless it is a rare example. I think there is nothing wrong with modding a period bike in the way it would have been modded when it was current or only slightly out of fashion, many of us back in the day got hold of a frame we liked, and put it through it through various changes of running gear over time. I certainly did. It's the same with cars, some people own classics because they like them and use them and keep them up to current spec, whilst others will trailer a concourse model from show to show.
    Threevok likes this.
  2. Paulus

    Paulus Getting older by the minute

    I think that a set of black SKS 'guards would suit very well.
  3. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Age defines a vintage bike.

    Some kind of historic, cultural or design significance defines a classic - your average Apollo Boat Anchor SIS-15 sponge cake SS could live to be 300 years old, it will never be a classic. Other machines, like the curly Hetchins, original Moultons, or Raleigh Coppers were classics from the moment they hit the shops.
  4. wonderdog

    wonderdog Active Member

    There are many terms bandied about in all ares of classic machinery ... cars, bikes, motorcycles. "Pristine" is often used to describe over-restored trailer queens when in truth it means "undisturbed". "Restored to original" is an oxymoron because how can anything "restored" be "original"? The joys of concours judging and the trials and tribulations of trying to explain the aforementioned to someone who has spent a squillion on a restoration and then not won their class at a show. Pout? Tantrum? I've seen them all.
    buzzy-beans and Rickshaw Phil like this.
  5. Edgy Dee

    Edgy Dee Member

    'Vintage' and 'Classic' have slightly different meanings. I would take 'Vintage' to mean 'not contemporary'. My partner has an alloy Fort which attracts admiring looks. A bit of a watershed is created by the rules for L'Eroica - steel frame, freewheel not freehub, downtube friction shifters, non-aero levers, toe-clip pedals. Classic could be any age as has been suggested. Most bicycles bring joy to my heart, and that's a good enough test of classic for me. The exceptions are of course the BSOs, especially anything with suspension, which brings despair to my heart because I can think of no way of redeeming the contraption, Even if it's gas-pipe, a conventional diamond frame can be turned into a something tolerably worthy of the epithet 'classic' with some judicious curation.
    Last edited: 6 Dec 2017
    Specialeyes likes this.
  6. Chris S

    Chris S Veteran

    They'll be a tight fit with the bigger wheel rims
  7. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Nah, there's plenty of room I've only got 28s on there.

    Chris S and Threevok like this.
  8. OP

    SkipdiverJohn Well-Known Member

    OK, here's one:- modern Classic or just an old hack?? Raleigh Pioneer gents hybrid, built c.1993?, dark metallic purple colour, nice alloy 700c's on what look like possibly Maillard hubs, alloy crankset, full mudguards and rear carrier rack. Went to collect a rough old junker today off someone (mainly to rob the nice sturdy Blackburn rack off it for my Raleigh MTB), and whilst doing that I seem to have also become the proud owner of a really tidy looking £10 Pioneer which I wasn't even shopping for! n+1 I think the term is....
    Rickshaw Phil likes this.
  9. Rickshaw Phil

    Rickshaw Phil Overconfidentii Vulgaris Staff Member

    I'll say modern classic but I'm biased as I love my Pioneer Jaguar which I bought new back in '98. It's no lightweight but I find it a pleasure to ride and the solid construction means I'll hopefully get years more enjoyment from it yet.
  10. OP

    SkipdiverJohn Well-Known Member

    I reckon they're quite a handsome machine if done out in traditional-ish colours (not really a fan of some of the bright two-tone paint jobs I'm afraid) and as you say they seem well built. Mine is buried under a pile of junk bikes and kids toys etc, so I couldn't even get it out for a proper look. Just took a chance on what I could see. Seller is going to extract it ready for me to pick up next week and says if I don't like it after all I can have my tenner back!. Can't say fairer than that.
    My thinking is fit a pair of 35 wide p*ncture resistant Schwalbes to it and use it for 10+ mile trips where it should be noticeably easier work pushing along than riding an MTB on knobblys. Beauty is the MTB-style forks have plenty of tyre clearance, will just need to see what will fit under the mudguards though.