bikes Archives - The Bike Project

Second hand? Oh no, this is vintage…

Vintage Dawes Galaxy

Stu is one of our resident bike gurus. An expert in all things two-wheeled, he’s got a soft spot for the vintage variety.

“I’m definitely into vintage bikes. They were finished elegantly, even the frames were fixed together with flowery swirls called legwork. They’re just more unique.”

It’s not all about looks, though. Stu says, “The quality of materials were better back in the day. It’s common for bikes to be 30 years old and absolutely fine. They’re very hard wearing.”

So why does it feel like the vintage bike trend is so new? Stu’s got a few theories. “Cycling’s more popular since the London Olympics, so you’ve got people looking to get back into cycling for perhaps the first time since they were kids. They want bikes that remind them of what they used to ride.

“Also there’s the hipster culture of recent graduates. Money’s tight but they still want something that looks good, so vintage cycling is back on the map.

“And of course there’s up-cycling (pardon the pun). People are trying to be green, bikes are one way they can do that, and a second hand bike is even better.”

And best of all, a second hand and vintage bike from The Bike Shop will help get a bike to refugees in London. There’s always a few in the shop (and there’s a real gem in at the moment – the gorgeous Dawes number in the picture), so keep checking back for new ones.

Ridgeback bike

Stu’s Top 5 Tips for Buying a Second Hand Bike

Stu is one of our bike wizards. He’s worked with bikes for over ten years now, so he really knows his stuff when it comes to buying a second hand one. Have a look at his top 5 tips below to make sure you avoid the rust buckets and get something great.

Of course the easiest way to avoid being sold a dud is by buying your bike through the Bike Project Shop. All our second hand bikes have been fixed up to tip top condition by Stu and our other mechanics, and 100% of the proceeds go towards keeping the Bike Project running.

 

1) First things first

Check the frame and wheels first. If you can see cracks or lots of rust on the frame, that’s a big warning sign and it’s probably not worth it. Give the wheels a spin. A little bit of a wobble is fine, but they shouldn’t be rubbing the brake pads.

2) Chain reaction

One of the most expensive parts to replace is the drive chain and sprockets. Check these are in good nick by touching the teeth on the sprockets. If they feel sharp, or they have a shark fin profile, it means the chain has worn out.

3) False alarms

Bike a bit grubby? Rusty cabling? Make sure you’re not missing out on a diamond in the rough by dismissing things that can be easily fixed. Seats, handlebar grips, brake pads and cabling are all easily replaceable, and a bit of mud or oil is nothing an old rag can’t fix.

4) Ask questions

You’ll learn a lot from the seller. When was the bike last serviced? How old is it? Was it used as a communal bike? This last one is a big red flag – if a house full of people have been using it, it’s probably not worth buying now.

5) Is it registered?

Check if the bike is already owned by someone by going to the bike register website. Look under the bike frame to find a framed code and type it in at the website. If it’s reported lost or stolen, it’ll say.

To check the person selling you the bike is the registered owner, ask them to log into their account there and then to show you their registration. Remember to then ask them to transfer the registration to you, as you can’t register the same bike twice.

 

Bonus tip:

Come to the workshop to volunteer. The best way to learn how to look after your bike is to learn to fix up our donated ones.

Find all of our second hand bikes for sale in the Bike Project Shop.

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Remember all profits go towards keeping refugees cycling!

Jem and Silla

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