Help & FAQs

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers and, if your query is not answered here, please send us an email.

Who are the people behind Retrospective Cycles? 

Niall McCart and his team who have been working on two wheeled machines since the 1990’s.  Niall personally inspects and buys each bicycle sold here and he will bend over backwards to help you get the right bike.  More information can be found on our About Us page.

How do I pay for your cycles?

We are very flexible with payment and there are plenty of options for you regardless of your location in the world.  Full details can be found on our Payment Options page and are summarised below.

Cash, Bank transfer - sterling only (but fine from any country), Credit cards - most major cards accepted from around the world, PayPal - additional charges apply (2-5% depending on currency), Cheques - UK based banks no problem, international banks with an additional fee

What makes vintage Italian racing bikes so great?

The passion from the Italians themselves for cycling especially road racing. In the 40's and 50,s cycle racing was the no 1 sport above even their beloved football! They have that history and experience, building the finest cycles was a dream vocation, inspired by the heroes like Coppi, Bartali and Magni.  Recent years has seen most frames originating from the Far East replacing the passion and detail with technology.

What is the most important thing to look for in a classic Italian racing bike?

In a word – size, the bike needs to fit you and if it does you will love riding it.  

What makes lugged steel racing bike frames better than modern frames?

Strength, performance, longevity, better looking, decorative, customisation, second hand market – just about everything in fact!

Which are the best Italian classic racing bike brands?

High end Bianchi and any Colnago, the really rare Masi, Stelbel, De Rosa, but this is really an endless list with many special bikes from numerous manufacturers.

How do I get replacement parts for my classic racing bike?

We do not deal in parts but there are many online specialists and, besides Ebay, you should look at sites like Camyoldy and LFGSS also have a look at our Links page.

Where can I get my bike resprayed?

We hope you don’t need to, but we recommend Amourtex in East London, however there are other options if you look online.

Are there any good English manufactured retro racing bikes? 

Yes, almost as many as the Italian's brands including Holdsworth, Claude Butler and Carlton to name a few.  These are not brands that we stock very often though.

How many bikes do you have in stock at any one time?

It normally ranges between 30 and 60 depending on the time of the month, but it can drop well below that sometimes.

How often do you get new stock in?

Every 2 months we personally visit Northern Italy to hunt out and inspect stock, often brining many of the bikes back with us and then loading them onto the website.

Can you locate a particular vintage racing bike for me?

Whilst I would love to say "yes", realistically, this is just not possible due to the sheer volume of bikes made and their varying sizes and componentry.  From experience, the chance of me locating a specific vintage cycle in a particular size and condition is so small that it really is impossible to offer this sort of specialist service.  If you are after something specific then as part of your search, you should sign up to our newsletter which will ensure you are the first to know when we do have a batch of new bikes in stock and you can then take a look to see if your dream bike is in fact there.

How do you prepare your bikes for sale?

We are not a cycle shop that carries out repairs and maintenance, we are finders and importers of rare used Italian road bikes, condition is usually at least rideable “out of the box” with the advice of a service and more than likely some new tyres and brake pads needed.  We clean them and check carefully for damage, a note is made on the Showroom pages listing the work that may be needed (if any).  Many of our customers will undertake work to further restore the bikes themselves or get on and just ride them.

Are the bikes in “original” condition?

Our racing bikes are all classic models from the 1950's, 60's, 70's, 80's and some early 90's. The paintwork is usually original as well as the components, some cycles have been repainted but the Italians don't tend to restore them which is one of the main appeals of the bikes we are selling.  We note this information in the listing pages for the bike.

What sort of guarantee do your bikes come with? 

Remember, you are not buying a new bike; these are perhaps 20-50 years old and will rarely be as new so we cannot offer a true guarantee.  However, any damaged parts which are not caused by the purchaser will be looked at and replaced in a reasonable time from date of purchase, any frames that arrive damaged or were not up to the expected standard can be refunded or exchanged.  We will always work with our customers to find a solution to any problems.

I am new to the retro bike scene - what are your top tips?

Ask yourself what is this bike going to be used for?  A commuter bike?  A training bike? Perhaps it is just something you want to show off on weekends or even its all of these! Get the size right for you and it will always be a comfortable enjoyable bike to ride. If you remember to add a little bit of passion and heart to your choice, you will probably find a real connection with the bike too.  Just remember to keep it locked up - it is probably a one-off.

Can I use a retro racing bike for everyday cycling?

That’s what they are mainly for, steel is strong and durable and these bikes were built to be ridden.  Just remember to keep them very securely locked (or ideally indoors away from jealous passers buy).

Where do you get your bikes from? 

We go to Italy every six to eight weeks and visit our network of suppliers to see what bikes are available.  We will often take some time to travel to a few small villages in areas famous for cycle manufacturing and tie up a deal with a local enthusiast or maker.

How do I know your will be good quality?

We only deal with good brand classic bikes, we take “warts and all” photographs of every bike we sell and provide all the key details about the bike in the listing.  If there is anything we think is of note (good or bad) we will mention it, so you know what you are getting.  Also, feel free to ask for more information about a specific bike if required.

What if I am not happy with the bike when it arrives?

We really don’t want any disappointed customers and there is always a home for our bikes so we are happy for you to return the bike to us (at your cost and in its original condition) for an exchange and we will also consider a refund if you cannot find something suitable.  It is ESSENTIAL that you contact us first before sending anything back to us.

Do you deliver around the world?

Yes, we do deliver to most countries around the world – see our Shipping page for full details.

Why can't I buy the bikes online?

To ensure you get the right bike for you, the best service and are aware of what you are getting, we like to talk to each and every customer who buys from us.  So, at the moment, all the details, including payment, are taken over the telephone or via e-mail.  There was no internet or online payment when these bikes were made so we have retained just a little bit of “old fashioned” service for now.

Can I reserve a bike that I see on your site?

Yes, call up and pay a small deposit and we will hold any cycle for up to 2 weeks for you.