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Category Archives: Retro Bike Buyer’s Guides

Buying a retro mountain bike

October 29th, 2013

Why a retrobike?ameybrook's 1991 Yeti Cycles Ultimate

The coolest people of every generation have an icon. During the 1960s, among the rock n’ roll set on Chelsea’s Kings Road, it was the Jaguar E-Type. In the 2010s, the trendsetters are the 20-something media types of Shoreditch. They wear skinny jeans that stop above the ankle, and the coolest have meticulously manicured moustaches. Their preferred mode of transportation is a retrobike, specifically a fixed-wheel road bike from the 1970s or 80s, such as a Colnago or a Mercian. Less cool, but still way ahead of most of the population, is a slightly older male – mid 30s to mid 40s – typically a graphic designer with a penchant for classic trainers and vintage mountain bikes. On dry spring and summer days, they can be spotted cycling to work at a design studio in Islington on classic mountain bikes from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Some are on top-of-the-range dream bikes like the Klein Attitude, Fat Chance Yo Eddy, and the Yeti FRO, while others ride models like the Muddy Fox Courier, or an early Marin, which – to retrobikers – are just as cool from a design point of view. The main reason for this is that the century-old classic bicycle design reached a peak around this time, before technology such as suspension and hydraulic brakes changed the game. In essence, a retrobike, from entry-level to top end, is a celebration of classic bike design. (more…)

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