Vintage & Retro Style

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Mens & Women’s Vintage Bicycles by Chappelli

Chappelli Cycles range of vintage bicycles was inspired by the beautiful bicycles of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s that we grew up riding and admiring. We set out to re-create that authentic vintage look with period features including raked forks, gum wall tyres, box style rims, vintage cranks and quill stem head sets. However we’ve kept modern components such as light-weight CrMo frames, high quality calliper brakes and sealed hubs and bottom brackets for superior comfort and performance. We’ve chosen colours based on our favourite classic vintage cars from the same era including Jaguar British Racing Green and an James Bond Aston Martin DB5 light blue. The result is a set of beautifully sleek, high-performing bicycles that are a joy to ride and beautiful to look at.

Women’s Vintage Bike Range

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The women’s range of vintage bicycles, comes with a super-reliable and easy to use 3 Speed hub, mudguards, comfortable saddle and wide tread tyres for better grip and less bumps. The retro-styling is based on a basic step through frame style which hasn’t changed much since the early 20th century. We’ve even kept the simple lines of the old one-speed’s by using a 3 speed hub which avoids the need for a messy, complicated derailleur gears and keeps things nice and clean.

See the range of women’s bicycles here

Men’s Vintage Bicycles

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The mens vintage single speeds come with slick 23mm gum wall tyres for a beautifully responsive and fast ride, as well as lightweight CrMo frame and choice of drop bar or riser bar handle-bars. We’ve also done them in a three speed and five speed versions for those who want a few gears. They come in four different classic colours and four sizes from small to extra-large.

See the full range of vintage single speeds here

See the vintage three speed version here

See the vintage five speed version here

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Chappelli’s classic randonneurs are based on the gentlemen’s bicycles of the 1940’s used by millions everyday to ride to work. They come with a sturmey archer 3 speed hub, mudguards, period features and can be easily fitted with front or rear racks. Some of them have chrome rear triangles and forks and come in four classic colours and four sizes to cover everyone. A beautiful commuter bicycle and great for Sunday cruising also.

See the range of vintage randonneurs here

What are the differences between the vintage and modern range?

The modern and the vintage style bikes share the same history and many of the key components, however they differ in aesthetics and the ride feel is different. For many years we only did a single style of fixie and three speed bicycle that was hybrid of vintage styling with modern components. However, in 2015 we decided to split the range into two distinct styles. The modern style range which looks as modern as possible, using modern style components and colours. And a vintage style which sought to re-create that authentic vintage bicycle look with period features including raked forks, gum wall tyres, box style rims, vintage cranks and quill stem head sets. The lightweight CrMo frame is the same on both bicycles as are the bottom brackets and headsets. However as we detail below the ride feel on the vintage or retro style bicycles is different to the modern bikes.

How does a the ride on a vintage style bicycle compare to a modern style bike?

Our vintage bicycles have a raked fork which gives them a longer wheel base which means the bike will generally be easier over rough surfaces and give a more floating feel in corners and handling. The thinner 25mm road tyres have less resistance but also less grip and will feel faster and smoother on the road. However they are less suited to rougher surfaces when they will have less grip and thus become more slippery. By contrast the modern style bicycles have a shorter wheel base giving them a faster more responsive feel, tighter turning circle and punchier cornering. They have thicker rims which are slightly heavier and thicker 28mm tyres with a tread designed for rougher surfaces. The tyres will grip better and provide superior traction on rough surfaces but will feel slower and smooth roads.

The handlebars on both the vintage and modern style bicycles are interchangeable however generally the vintage bikes have drop bars or swept back bars which have a very different feel to the modern style riser bars which have become very popular. The swept back bars give a more up-right riding position and are wider and set off the front fork which gives the rider a less aero-dynamic feel and the bike will feel less responsive and more cruise like. The riser bars have become very popular because they give the rider a few options on where they are most comfortable yet are narrow and sit close to the fork making them feel solid and responsive.

Ultimately the two bicycle styles are different and each has advantages and disadvantages. For most people the differences in ride feel will be fairly minor and the decision will be made on the basis of which one you like the look of better.