Vintage Bike Buying Guide


Reid Cycles understand that there’s a huge range of vintage bikes out there. Check out our vintage bike buying guide, and you’ll be able to buy with confidence. Vintage styles of bike embody freedom and convenience, with features like full length mudguards and chainguards so you can ride them in ordinary clothes and baskets so you can leave the backpack at home. With the new bikes available from the Reid Cycles Vintage range, you don’t need to go to the trouble of restoring an antique bike to have classic style with the convenience of modern components. They’re ready for you to ride.

The key things to look for in a vintage style bike are the frame style, the main accessories, components such as gears, brakes and wheels and finally the colour.

Browse our Vintage Bike Range



The frame style is the foundation for your look with a vintage bike.

A traditional and understated step-through design like our classic singlespeed, 3-speed deluxe and 7-speed bikes is practical and extremely easy to ride.

For something a bit different, look at the Mixte style, which features two slender tubes running all the way from the front tube down to the rear axle. This strong and stable design evokes the classic style of French bikes from the early 20th century.

Vintage Frame
Wheels and Tyres


With wheels, there’s two common wheel sizes: 26-inch and 700c. 26-inch wheels are like those found on mountain bikes. They’re wide, tough wheels great for mixed terrain. The 700c wheels is larger and slimmer, a bit more like those on road bikes, but usually with larger tyres to offer more comfort and control. Either way, look for double-wall rims, which are much stronger than old style single-wall rims. With your tyres, a classic look like whitewall tyres or cream coloured tyres is a great way to go, especially with a modern, puncture resistant tyre to avoid flats!


When it comes to gears, a singlespeed is a nice, easy option that’s very low maintenance. Going to 6 or 7-speeds is great if you need to tackle any hills or headwinds, plus it will make it easy to carry a load in your pannier bags or baskets. An internally geared hub, such as the 3-speed featured on some of our bikes, gives you the nice clean lines and low maintenance of a singlespeed, while maintaining the advantages of gears.

Vintage Gears
Vintage Brakes


With brakes, always look for ‘dual pivot caliper brakes’ or ‘v-brakes’. These modern styles of brake are far more reliable, powerful and safe than traditional calipers brakes. The ‘dual pivot caliper brakes’ look a little more traditional, while the ‘v-brakes’ can also be found on high quality vintage style bikes intended for regular use.


Often the most important part of your decision is colour. Vibrant yellows, reds and greens bring a splash of colour! Traditional colours like vintage green, navy, black and white are fantastic for a more subtle and classic look. It’s up to you.

No matter what style and colour you go for, choosing a good quality vintage style bike with modern components means a comfortable and classic bike that you’re sure to fall in love with.

Stylish Colours
Key Accessories


The main accessories that you should look for in any vintage style bike are the mudguards, chainguard, pannier racks, baskets and kickstands.

Full length mudguards mean that water left on the road after rain isn’t a problem. You’ll stay dry.

The chainguard also prevents your trouser legs brushing against the chain and getting a smudge of oil.

A pannier rack is also a great addition that allows you to pop on a rear basket or pannier bag, so you can carry extra bits and pieces easily. The front basket is a simple addon that you can pop your handbag or shoulder bag into while you’re pedalling.

A kickstand is a simple accessory that means you don’t need to lean your bike up against a wall or post; being able to stop anywhere extends the convenience of your bike.


For all new bikes we offer FREE servicing for 12 months, lifetime warranty on frame and forks and 2 years warranty on parts.

If you’d like some more information, give us a call or come into one of our stores for a warm welcome and friendly advice. In the meantime, check out our full range of vintage bikes. 

Browse our Vintage Bike Range