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What is a Vintage and Heritage Bike?
We define a heritage bike as a bicycle manufactured according to the classic design and production methods. In a world filled with the latest technology and the lightest weight bikes ever made, heritage bikes represent a return to the old days where bikes were still made to last several lifetimes. The heritage bikes we carry and also restore is one facet of Mellow Velo we take immense pride in. There are few things in life more satisfying than riding a heritage bike that has more personality than 1000 carbon competition bikes put together.
Heritage and Vintage bicycles are generally found with three types of frame materials, Columbus Spirit steel tubing, traditional steel tubing, and also titanium. Most European heritage cycles are going to be found in a steel variant whereas American heritage cycles can be found with steel tubing and also titanium. Titanium frames are actually an American tradition and continues to be a staple of American craftsmanship to the modern day.
The main defining factor of a heritage bike is that they are produced by hand with quality materials. The production methods are the same as they were 100 years ago and the craftsmen take great pride in keeping the legacy of handmade cycles going. Space age materials, CNC machining, and featherweight components are not a priority for heritage bikes. Instead they tend to opt for handmade and boutique components, source items from small specialty businesses, opt for labor done by a local bike shop, and have the names of everyone who helped put the bike together.
The main deciding factor for going with a heritage cycle is that the end result will be a one of a kind masterpiece put together by craftsmen who live for cycling.
Although back in the day, traditional steel frame bikes were used competitively, they are now relegated to city bikes and wall pieces. The geometry has significantly changed over the years so a traditional heritage bike might feel completely different than a modern bike. These boutique bikes are best for the connoisseur who has everything and also those who are interested in the long tradition of handmade bicycles.
Defining an accurate price guide for heritage and vintage bikes is a very tricky subject. While bikes we carry can start around $1000 for a frame, the final price for a complete heritage bike can range from several hundred for a used thrifted vintage bike and can exceed far above $10,000 depending on how coveted the specific bike is.
Some heritage brands we carry are Ciocc, Cinelly, Tomassini, Moots, Lynskey, Dean to name a few. These are just some examples of heritage bike manufacturers. Over the last 100+ years there has been countless other heritage bike brands out there. If you have a heritage bike that needs love, we specialize in restoration for such pieces.
Who is this for?
The usual customer that is looking for a heritage bike is someone who already has everything out there, has ridden the best trails the world over, and is looking for the piece that can finally complete a stunning bike collection. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you might be needing a heritage bike;
Do you have a love for handmade things? Do you like to have equipment that has a story behind it? Do you have strong views about the French or Italian countryside? Have you watched the Giro D’Italia since the early 70’s? Do you feel all carbon bikes could be replaced with proper Columbus Spirit tubing? Do you feel that friction shifters should have never left?
If you answered positively with any of these questions, head over here to Mellow Velo and we can geek out about heritage cycles together.
The Next Step
If you are interested in knowing more about the bikes we carry, specific models, availability, or test riding our sale bikes feel free to contact us or come to the shop! We are always more than happy to answer any questions you may have!