Should I buy my first vintage road bike??

BronxCruz

Retro Newbie
Having only had a road bike (modern) for the last 18 months, my knowledge is hugely limited, so forgive my ignorance.

I like older stuff and have numerous omegle xender old mtb, and wish my road bike could take wider tyres to deal with a bit of light gravel. I've seen an early 60s Viking which is really tempting me, but feel that if I left the gearing period correct, I'd rarely pull that bike out of the rack, so some sort of update might be on the cards. Also, I'm unsure about tyre choice for a bike of this vintage - I believe it has good clearance, but what about wheel size etc.

Any advice around these issues? Cheers.
 
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non-fixie

Retro Guru
If you don't mind wielding a spanner, getting your hands dirty, spending hours online searching for stuff and discussing bikes and parts on forums like this one, then yes, by all means, buy it.

Pre-1980 bikes generally have larger clearances for tyres and even mudguards. A 28mm tyre usually fits and is a good compromise for road and light gravel. Most of my Eroica bikes are fitted with 28mm Panaracer Paselas.

They great thing about older bikes is that mixing and matching parts from different suppliers is much easier than with modern stuff, so adapting the gearing should not be much of a problem.

Feel free to ask any questions. Lots of knowledgeable members here.
 

Johnny Ragwort

Dirt Disciple
Yes. Yes you should. Vintage bikes are much cooler and better looking than modern ones. And like non-fixie says, mixing and matching bits is easier.
 

onyerbike531

Old School Hero
I agreed with what non-fixie and Johnny Ragwort say.
The older style horizontal top tube bikes look better than the modern ones.
I found a lovely Peugeot Optimum on eBay a few years back for an absolute steal, that bike helped rekindled my love for cycling, I eventually had to part with it because it was too big for me but not before putting some miles in on it.

My favourite era has got to be the early '90s, you can't go wrong with a steel framed road bike of this vintage, they'll have 130mm rear spacing and parts are still generally easy to source. Just make sure you get one in suitable size that hasn't had an impact or any serious rust issues. Note that racers of this era will probably have tighter tyre clearances and lack eyelets for mounting fixed mudguards. Not a problem as you can get clip on ones that work fine.
 

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Johnny Ragwort

Dirt Disciple
My favourite era has got to be the early '90s, you can't go wrong with a steel framed road bike of this vintage...
Quite right. These are the machines of my youth! My daily ride is an early Dawes Audax Giro 600, which I remember really wanting as a 20something youth after reading about them somewhere. I also use a 1991 Mike Mullett handbuilt in 753 which I picked up for a steal off Ebay. One of the nice things is how cheap parts are, although it's getting harder to source decent quality 7 speed stuff.
 

onyerbike531

Old School Hero
Quite right. These are the machines of my youth! My daily ride is an early Dawes Audax Giro 600, which I remember really wanting as a 20something youth after reading about them somewhere. I also use a 1991 Mike Mullett handbuilt in 753 which I picked up for a steal off Ebay. One of the nice things is how cheap parts are, although it's getting harder to source decent quality 7 speed stuff.
You've got great taste in bikes there Johnny Ragwort, the new stuff just doesn't inspire me, I have to say I've noticed that scarcity when it comes to trying to source close ratio 7 speed cassettes, I've had to opt for a CS HG41 on the road bike I now ride; good for hills but not quite as quick on the flats/downhill as what I had on my Optimum.
 

solarcatthree

Retro Newbie
If we're talking about vintage bikes made before the mid-1980s, there's a good chance that the overall build quality will be far superior to most bikes that aren't in a high price range. ... Vintage bikes are often made from steel, which also means they are a little heavier, but the tradeoff is often worth it. shareit vidmate apk
 
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