By keeping some basic guidelines in mind, you can learn how to date vintage bicycles. No matter if you plan on using the bike or simply want it for a conversation piece, having some information about the date of its creation will be extremely useful.
Things you'll need:
- Bicycle code or lot number
- Local antique dealer
- Thoroughly clean the vintage bicycle. Use a clean brush with firm bristles to remove any dirt, sand, clay or cobwebs that may be caked onto the exterior of the vintage bicycle. If the vintage bicycle appears to be especially old, you may want to consider taking it in to a bicycle specialty shop for a professional cleaning.
- Determine what brand of vintage bicycle you are dealing with. While most bicycles will have the name stamped along one of the center tubes, you may have to examine the handlebars or seat posts on older vintage bicycles.
- Create a detailed list of any distinguishing characteristics of the vintage bicycle. Look for a code or lot number that can be used to date the bicycle.
- Speak with coworkers, friends and biking enthusiasts. Tell them about the vintage bicycle and any distinguishing characteristics discovered previously. Ask these people if they have any information about the particular style of bike.
- Contact an antique dealer that specializes in used sporting goods. If the dealer is centrally located to your home, bring the bicycle in so the dealer can examine it in person. If you do not have access to a local professional, take detailed pictures of the bicycle along with a list of all of the characteristics described earlier and send in the mail.