Very difficult to define really.
I'd say something like this:
Vintage = pre 1950's
Classic = 50's - 70's
Retro - 70's - 90's
But then you have modern'ish bikes built in the 00's that although may not be considered retro they capture the essence and beauty of the classes above.
This is not definitive just a rough guide created by myself, I'm sure others will disagree.
Hi Tel, I don't agree.
Firstly I don't consider my SBDU (nor my LU Corsa) bought new a"Retro"bicycle, it is, if it has to inhabit a category, a"Classic".
A Retro bike in my opinion is a re-creation
of something older, either a new bike with an older bike look (plenty of those being manufactured these days). Or an old bike (perhaps 70s or 80s) restored with newer components and maybe even losing it's original identity - or a"clone"- something looking like like something it is not.
I would consider a vintage bicycle as being something from the pre-war period.
Grey porridge bicycles...mmm, I'm not sure, but they create a great deal of interest on RB
, and most are not"classic"by my definition.
Or perhaps we adopt the classic car definition? Most post war but pre 1970s cars are often referred to as Classics
with cars from the 70s but particularly the 80s are referred to as Youngtimers
(can't say I like the term though). The Mini and Fiat 500 are examples of retro
I am a member of the V-CC, and have a problem with the club name as most of my bicycles (well you can see) aren't"Veterans". And as a committee member of the V-CC this I see as an issue, as we do need to to encourage a younger membership - and I'm not old: well, not that old!
So despite the length of this post my"classes"are two and simple -
Classic - all post war quality (defined as Reynolds/Columbus) steel tubed bicycles (a few carbon and aluminium exceptions - e.g Vitus/TVT).
Retro - new or re-creations.
Good debate though.
P.S agree with mattsccm's comment, as this has oft been a criticism of mine.
Co-founder of a V-CC section, member South Eastern Road Club and owner of - 2005 Bianchi Reparto Corse (modern), 1985 Raleigh SBDU Pro Super, 1984 Raleigh LU Corsa, 1980 Allin Stan Butler Special, 1978 Ron Cooper, 2 x 1970s Roberts, 1975 Bill Philbrook tourer, 1966 Raleigh Superbe Roadster 1964 Allin Stan Butler Special Belgique, 1951 Hobbs of Barbican S/C, 1950 Hobbs of Barbican S/C, 1947 Hetchins Super Special, 1908 Centaur Featherweight.