Choosing the right vintage bicycle is important, not just because the style matters, but because they are a collector's item that can be an expensive investment. Each brand has its own history that makes the bicycle unique and sophisticated. Consider these vintage bicycle brands:
Ignaz Schwinn incorporated Arnold, Schwinn & Company with his partner Adolph Arnold back in 1895. Thus began the creation and manufacturing of the Schwinn bicycle. The famous vintage Schwinn Black Phantom was introduced in 1949, and was made with chrome fenders and springs, and built-in headlight and tail light. Schwinn introduced the Sting-ray in 1963, which was also made with chrome fenders. Schwinn added a bucket saddle seat, kick-stand, high-rise handle bars, and stick-shift.
Dawes vintage bicycles began with a British bicycle manufacturing company. They built mostly racing cycles until 1971, when they introduced the Galaxy. The Dawes Galaxy is a touring bicycle that has a long wheelbase and a heavy frame that allows luggage to be attached. Dawes bicycles get their heavy and stiff frame from steel, titanium, and aluminum alloy. Dawes also makes tandems and mountain bikes.
In 1887, Frank Bowden bought a bicycle on Raleigh street in Nottingham, UK. He enjoyed the bike so much that he bought the business from the bicycle makers and called it Raleigh Cycles. The classic vintage Chopper bicycle has a straight frame, a 3-speed Sturmey Archer gear hub, stick-shift, high-rise handle bars, a long, banana seat with a back rest, and different sized wheels in the front and back. Huffy Corporation purchased Raleigh U.S.A. in 1982. Raleigh of England allowed Huffy to distribute Raleigh bikes in the US.
Jean-Pierre and Jean-Frederic Peugeot founded a steel manufacturing company and began making bicycles in 1882 with the Grand Bi model. This model has the large front wheel and small back wheel that is depicted in many vintage bicycle pictures. In 1886, chains were added to Peugeot bicycles. The PX-10 model was built for speed, and this model won the Tour de France twice in the 1970s. During the 1980s, Peugeot halted shipment of these vintage bikes to the US, and sold the rights to ProCycle, a Canadian bicycle company.
William Pashley formed Pashley Cycles in 1926. Known for their carrier cycles, tricycles (two wheels in front and one in the back) were created for milkmen, ice cream sellers, and others who wanted to sell their goods. The vintage Pashley Picador is a tricycle with two wheels in back and one in front. It contains a 3 speed Sturmey Archer gear hub, stainless steel rim brakes, and a steel cage basket in back. Pashley also produced tandem bikes and child-sized tricycles. Pashley's Classic Princess bike included seat suspension, a lower frame, and a front wicker basket.
Vintage bicycle brands range in price and style. Each one has unique qualities and features that cannot be compared to others. When purchasing a vintage bicycle brand, be sure that you are buying the real thing by looking for the distinctive logo and serial number.