Classic Bike Guide
HOW PROFICIENT ARE YOU MECHANICALLY?
You cannot just take a classic bike to the average bike shop for a service. They’re just not kitted up for working on old bikes with imperial fastnings and where parts have to be made and are not offthe-shelf. It’s best to use someone used to old bikes, but there lies a problem. These people are becoming scarce, as many worked on old bikes when new, so they are of (and often over) retirement age. Not knowing how to fix a problem is enough for some to ruin this new pursuit, so speak to clubs and owners about the bike you’re thinking of – is it imperial or metric fastnings? Is parts availability good, or have you got to scour the autojumbles just to keep going? Some bikes could almost be built from new parts; others are like finding a spare plug for the Mary Rose. There are often those parts that are unobtainable, like Japanese side panels, rare model exhausts, or clocks.