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Jamie McGregor, founder of the Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show, collects and sells bicycles, parts, photos, and memorabilia and offers this advice to first time vintage bicycle buyers.
The unique styles and compelling back-stories of vintage bicycles are appealing to both stylish riders and collectors. Jamie McGregor, founder of the Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show, collects and sells bicycles, parts, photos, and memorabilia from North America’s recent past. McGregor offered this advice to first time vintage bicycle buyers:
1. The condition of any vintage bicycle is the most important thing to consider. Before buying, decide just how much work you’re willing to do. Models that haven’t been cared for will require disassembling and reassembling, which can be time consuming though also rewarding.
2. Unique bicycles often feature unique parts. When restoring a vintage bicycle the most difficult parts to source are the original saddles, pedals, and grips. British bicycles can be a challenge to restore, as their components are often odd sizes. Look for more readily available brands such as CCM whose cranks will fit any on of their bicycles made between 1910 and 1975.
3. Look for simple bicycles, such as cruisers with coaster brakes or 3-speed step-through models, as these are easier to restore. Parts for these bicycles tend to last a long time and are often readily available in most places.
4. To make your ride unique mix both modern and vintage parts. A new paint job and a set of decals can bring new life to an old bicycle. Modern parts are often lighter and easier to maintain.
5. A growing number of shops are starting to sell vintage and restored bicycles. Look for collectors’ events, like the Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show, to locate hard-to-find parts and bicycles.