Last year I drove from Bath to Carlisle – a round trip of almost 600-miles – to buy a bike for £50. I’ll happily admit that this was a silly, not-especially environmentally sound idea but I really had to have the bike in question – a 1983 Raleigh Sprint. You can read more about my reasoning in this Bikeradar story, but the short story is that the Sprint was the first road bike I ever owned and I was riding the Eroica Britannia…
The Sprint is very much going to be a fair-weather, easy ride kind of machine for me from now on but that’s not the case for everyone. When I asked on our Facebook page if any of our followers use old bikes for regular riding I discovered that there are plenty of you still eschewing modern fripperies such as disc brakes and carbon fibre!
- “It’s not old, old but I love my Raleigh Royal from 1990,” says Joanne Bray. “I have had it since 2013. Over the last few years, I’ve slowly upgraded everything apart from the frame and the handlebars and love it! It’s my pride and joy. I’ve Ridden over 4000 miles on it; to work, in sportives – with my panniers attached which meant I was teased quite a bit by other riders on their swanky road bikes – and on club rides, it’s a dream.”
- “My Raleigh Sprint is furnished with modern kit and used as my winter bike,” explains Martin Weeks. “It’s a great ride and not too heavy either.”
- “My 1992 Brian Rourke custom 653 is now a single speed with carbon forks but the brakes are the original Shimano 600 and work fine,” says Jonathan Taylor. “It does the winter duties but does not like the head winds!”
- “I’m often spinning around Hereford on my 1970s Sun GT,” says Peter Evans. “I mainly us it for shopping, though. I don’t think I would want to use it for anything other than popping into town, it weighs more than most motorbikes do these days!”
- Niall Morton told us that his regular ride is a 1963 Carlton Franco-Suisse “…although I did last year’s Eroica on my 1980 Carlton Corsair. I actually did over a thousand miles on the Corsair last year. It’s a great riding bike.”
- Mike Jane told us that on the day that he regularly rides both a 1975 Carlton Corsa and the oldest bike in this list – the 1937 Sun Wasp pictured! “Both bikes are regular rides, the Carlton is my L’Eroica bike this year and I’ve owned it for over 15 years,” says Mike. “The Sun Wasp dating from the mid-1930s is a three speed affair complete with a K series rear hub gear/drum brake. It weighs in at around 32lbs. It’s a very sedate ride, plan for the hills, select bottom gear and then gun it! Once underway, though, you can get a decent lick out of it.”