New model bicycles are lighter and easier to handle on the road. But some bike enthusiasts prefer to collect and use classic bikes for its beauty in design and the nostalgic feeling of having a piece of history. Many old bikes can be fixed to be useful again. Specialty parts are available online or can be custom made. Some old bikes are even compatible with bike part readily available today. Bring your old bike to a mechanic with a large collection of spare parts to increase your chances of finding parts that will fit.
Classic Bicycles do not go as fast as the contemporary bike. And they are heavy. With out suspension, they can tire the arms and hand much faster than usual on bumpy roads. An old bike is much better suited for leisurely rides on flat, even roads with little traffic or along bike lanes. The best thing about old bikes is that they are sturdily made in the fashion that is expected from a few decade ago. They are built to last, which is why there are many classic bike frames, leather seats, handles and other parts to be salvaged from junk yards to build classic bicycles. When people dig up an old bike that looks from another era, in their attics or basements, they often try finding an expert to determine how much it is worth. Old bikes might be worth a lot to collectors, but usually they are mostly valued as vehicles that are still useful. Determine if the bike is still mechanically sound. Try to be curious about the history of the bike itself. Determine how old the bike is by asking any living previous owners.
Perhaps even make a history of the bike, such as where it was originally manufactured and by which company. Some bikes have serial numbers, which can hint at how old the bike is. But even the best estimates will give a number that is off the mark by at least ten years. The rarest bikes in North America are those that were built before the 1970's. Some priced bike include the 1940 AutoMoto from France. The AutoMoto Porteur is a beautiful silver bike with wings on the gear guard and a small head light attached to the front wheel guard.The frame and handle bars makes the bike look more like a modern day racer bike, not unlike those used for the Tour de France. But small details reminds that that AutoMoto is definitely a vintage bike, in fact, the speedy messenger bike of its day. Another pre 1970s vintage bike is the Carlton Flyer of the 1950's. The Flyer is a big bike with curved handle bars, it looks like a the early grandfather of the racer bike.
During the 1970's, bike manufacture exploded and over 15 million bikes were being produced. This is why bikes during and after 1970 are easier to find. Although still considered vintage pieces, they are less sought after by collectors. A bike manufactured 30 or 40 years ago however is still road worthy and is worth the time and effort to keep and maintain for regular use. It is a shame to have an old bike thrown in with the junk to rust.
Classic Bicycles in Europe tend to be older, up to a hundred years old because the continent has a longer manufacturing and design history. The oldest bike makers and designers in the world are located in Europe, most notably France and Italy. Such classic bikes are displayed in museums and are considered treasures. A strong bike culture still thrives in Europe and it is not surprising to find bike lanes in most large cities.