Vintage Bike Buying Guide

BIKE BUYING GUIDE

When choosing a bike it’s important to consider your lifestyle and what you’ll be using the bike for. Are you riding to work or hitting the trails? Do you want to look stylish or is speed your top priority? Where, when and how you’ll be riding your new bike will influence what you look for in not only the style of bike but also the components.

Use this guide as an introduction to what makes up a bike and what to look for when deciding which bike is right for you.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BIKE FOR YOU

FRAME

The frame is the heart of the bike. Generally frames are made from either steel, aluminium or carbon fibre. Steel is strong and durable, though a little heavier - it’s also budget-friendly and reduces road buzz. Aluminium is lighter than steel and a little more expensive, but it’s just as durable. Carbon fibre is super lightweight, incredibly strong and built for performance riding.

The geometry or style of the frame will dictate your riding position. If you want to go fast, look for road bike style frames where you’ll sit in a low, aggressive riding position. For commuters, riding in peak hour traffic, visibility should be a priority. This means choosing a frame with a more relaxed geometry that will allow you to sit more upright.

The fit of the bike is also key. It’s just like how a pair of pants that are too big or too small can be very uncomfortable. Your new bike needs to be the right size for you. Use our size guides to determine best fit.

Vintage Frame
Wheels and Tyres

HANDLEBARS

Generally, there are two main types of handlebars - flat bars or drop bars.

Drop bars are traditional, curved road bike bars. This style allows you to alter your hand positions and become more aerodynamic which is great for speed and endurance riding.

Flat bars are more commonly seen on commuter and mountain bikes. They are generally more comfortable and easier to control - perfect for riding in traffic.

Swept back bars, as commonly seen on Vintage Bikes, make handling the bike a breeze. They’re angled towards the rider which means you’ll sit upright and won’t need to lean forward to reach them.

GEARS

The intended purpose of your bike will dictate what kind of gearing you need. Things to consider are the number of speeds, the setup of the crankset and whether you need gears at all!

If you don’t have far to ride or live somewhere relatively flat, you should consider a fixed-gear/singlespeed bike. They’re fuss-free and low maintenance as there are less moving parts.

If you’ve got a longer ride with some hilly terrain, you should look for something with 7 to 14 speeds as entry-level or 21 to 30 speeds if your budget allows.

Considering the crankset is also an important factor - they come in single, double or triple chainrings. A single chainring means that overall the bike will weigh less and the chain will wear better. This is more important for higher end mountain bikes.

Double chainrings are ideal for both road and commuter bikes as you can rapidly change across a wide range of gears - perfect for mixed terrain as you can quickly drop to a low gear to climb a hill.

Triple chainrings provide even more range which is perfect if you have a very diverse commute or are touring - especially with a bike loaded with bags or panniers.

Vintage Gears
Vintage Brakes

BRAKES

There are two types of brakes found in our range of bikes - V-Brakes or Disc Brakes.

V-Brakes are a reliable, entry-level choice and perfect for the everyday rider. They’re lightweight and easy to use. You’ll find them on everything from Vintage Bikes to Mountain Bikes, Commuters and Road Bikes. The downside of V-Brakes is that over time the rim will wear and brake pads will need to be replaced. You will also need to make sure to clear any debris from the brake.

If you’re going to be riding more often, and in wet conditions it’s a good idea to upgrade to disc brakes. Disc Brakes are more powerful and aren’t as affected by wet or muddy riding - this is perfect for year round commuting, road riding and mountain biking. They do take time to “wear in” but once they do, disc brakes require less frequent maintenance.

WHEEL SIZE

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Stylish Colours
Key Accessories

TYRES

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LEARN MORE

So now you have a better idea of what to look for in a new bike, it’s time to check out our category specific buying guides. Are you a commuter or a vintage cruiser? A road warrior or a trail-blazing MTBer? Check out our Bike Buying Guides here.