Vintage Bike Shopping

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Posted by LondonCityCycling on Saturday 24th of May 2014




They may have impractical gear shifters, heavy metal, rust, dents and weird sized wheels, but I still can’t enough of vintage racing bikes. Preach all you like about the benefits of modern machines and their fully carbon this and their lightweight that but don’t tell me they’re pretty. They just don’t quite evoke the same memories as their perfect predecessors. Like the bygone Tab Clear, Air Jordans, 60s rock’n’roll and Sara Lee black forest gateau, I have a fondness for bikes from another era. In fact, a lot of people do. Which is why there are more than a handful of shops and markets in London where you can go looking for them.

If you miss the yellows, purples and fluorescent pinks, the awkward cable loops and the smoothest of rides, then get thee to one of these shops and find a fix of real steel.

Heavens Cycles
Tucked in between stalls selling all manner of things on Broadway Market, you can find Heavens Cycles. Trading in vintage racers and old Dutch bikes, the small stall is now a part of the nearby Lock 7 bike café. So if you can’t turn up for market day then you can head to the shop during the week. Mostly dealing in full builds, prices range from around £150 to £600.

The Hackney Peddler
Regular raids of France and the Netherlands provide The Hackney Peddler with its range of classic bikes. Think Peugeot, Concorde and Gazelle frames as well as a range of scrappy full build stunners. The shop is located in Hackney Downs Studios where you can go to browse, barter (always worth a try) and maybe even buy. Aside from the shop, The Hackney Peddler also has a repairs workshop on-site.

Pedal Pedlar
Another one fond of a pedal/peddle pun is the Pedal Pedlar who has a residence in the back of the excellent Newington Green furniture shop, The Peanut Vendor. Both the back room shop and a nearby storage unit are filled with classic vintage Italian, British, Japanese and Dutch racers along with the occasional French porteur bikes. The shop also stocks a lot of original parts and offers a custom build service that can create the vintage machine of your dreams.

Brick Lane Bikes
Love them or loathe them – I’ve personally never had a problem with their service – Brick Lane Bikes carries a rather sweet selection of retro racing, track and lo-pro frames. There is currently a big batch of amazing Colnago frames as well as a range of golden era Basso, Bianchi, Zanella and Cinelli.

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From Swains Lane to the Epping sticks, Rapha to Condor, fashion to fitness; this is London cycling culture. And why? Because in the words of the late, great John F. Kennedy, "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."

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