10 Best Vintage Style Bikes – Reviews and Buying Guide

Updated on December 14, 2023

Have you delved into the popular fever of vintage bikes? Throughout my years of riding bikes, old-style vintage bikes are one of my favorites, largely because of their aesthetic value and unique construction. These alternatives are perfectly suited for daily commutes, given the fact that they are simple to operate and include a lot of accessories.

So, if you are planning to invest in these visually appealing city bikes, you need to have a clear idea of your requirements. Here, everything matters from material construction to frame weight, wheel size, speed configuration, and style. To save your day, I have included some best vintage-style bikes along with buying instructions that can help you in choosing wisely. So, let’s get in for more.

10 Best Vintage Style Bikes

1. Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Retro Cruiser

Features

  • Material Construction: alloy steel
  • Wheel Size: 29 inches
  • Number of Speed: 7-speed drivetrain
  • Includes 700c wheels

I am starting my list of the best vintage-style bikes with this all-favorite Schwinn Hybrid Cruiser, all thanks to its aesthetic value. I absolutely loved its commuting efficiency on tough terrains, which is all one needs in a cruiser. Similarly, the fact that it has swept-back handlebars immediately made it a worthy vintage option.

Starting off, it has an 18 inches frame, all of which is made up of steel, making it long-lasting. After using it for a long time, I still haven’t noticed any scratches. Given that it has a retro style, the high-rise handles look absolutely incredible during commuting and immediately get attention across the street.

Lastly, when it comes to performance, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it offers smooth gearshifts and adjustable speed. This is because of the 7-speed drivetrain system, designed to help you control the entire gear. In the end, the fact that it glides overly down and up the hill adds to its value.

Pros

  • Quick gear change
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Effective braking mechanism
  • High aesthetic appeal

Cons

  • It can feel a bit heavy

Wrapping up, if you are in search of something visually appealing yet convenient and functional, this one might work well. I have been using it for some time and would say it remains quite balanced and stable on rocky surfaces. I also found the gear changes quite fast and convenient for the most part.

2. Vilano Step-Through City Bike Commuter

Features

  • Material Construction: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 29 inches
  • Number of Speed: 7
  • Includes twist gear shifters

Vilano is a leading brand when it comes to bikes and related accessories. This one from the brand is a suitable vintage addition to the commuters, owing to its aesthetic and functional construction. I also found the saddle quite comfortable on tough terrains. Lastly, the gear changes were also fast and convenient.

First of all, its aluminum frame is durable and it is coated with epoxy, which resists corrosion and provides you with a long life. I would say I still haven’t noticed any scratches on the frame. Likewise, the saddle is further suspended in a way that it absorbs the maximum shock that comes with potential accidents.

In the end, another thing to appreciate about this model is its intricate elements like bottle mounts and cargo racks that add to its visual appeal. The hybrid handlebar looks majestic in this minimalist design. Although the wheels are simple, I found them sturdy enough to roll over rocks and bumps really easily.

Pros

  • Light and durable
  • It has an ergonomics design
  • Offers easy assembly
  • Intricate cargo racks

Cons

  • It needs improved safety

Final thoughts, this Vilano commuter bike is a great choice for anyone who is fond of subtle yet detailed bike frames. It comes with a hybrid handlebar and a uniquely-shaped cargo space that adds to its appeal. All in all, it is designed to be used on somewhat rocky and bumpy terrains, with balance ensured.

3. Huffy 26″ Panama Men’s Beach Cruiser Bike

Features

  • Material Construction: alloy Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Number of Speed: 6
  • Includes upright handlebars

This subtle aqua cruiser bike is yet another quality option for vintage lovers. Its comprehensive and detailed construction makes it look retro. In addition, it is equally worth mentioning that the frame feels light yet feels balanced on rough terrains. Overall, I found the brakes quite effective on rough surfaces.

To begin with, it has an alloy aluminum frame which will probably last you for the longest time. Here, it is further accompanied by creme tires that are not only unique but also provide you with improved stability on rough surfaces. On the whole, it weighs around 49 pounds which is fairly light for beginners to handle.

Lastly, speaking of its aesthetic value, this one comes with a dual-suspension handlebar that allows you to achieve stability and adds to the retro look. The saddle is padded enough to keep you comfortable for the most part. The bike, finally, has a number of accessories like a rear cargo rack, basket, and fenders that help you with maximum utility.

Pros

  • Aesthetic retro construction
  • Stable and comfortable
  • Fenders for security
  • Offers cargo space

Cons

  • Not for uphill rides

In essence, this Huffy Cruiser bike is a suitable alternative for anyone in search of a supportive, vintage bike for urban commuting. It comes with a six-speed drivetrain system that provides you with quick gear changes. In addition, the padded saddle and cargo space make it worth the money.

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4. NAKTO Electric City Bike for Adults

Features

  • Material Construction: alloy Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Number of Speed: 6
  • Power Range: 350W

If you want the looks of a vintage bike yet the performance of an electric bike, this Nakto city bike is it. I absolutely loved its low-profile design that has a perfect blend of creme and beige colors, providing you with the 70s look. Here, the fact that it can cover long distances in a single charge makes it of great value.

Firstly, its low-profile frame and tilted saddle make it look like the traditional bikes of the 70s. It also has mudguards that look appealing and make sure the frame is not damaged by mud or dirt from the terrain. I would also like to mention that it is made up of aluminum that resists corrosion damage and scratches.

In the end, when it comes to performance, it is powered by a 350W motor that is designed with a max speed of 20 mph. It is further accompanied by a 6-speed system that offers fast gear changes. Overall, this bike can easily last you for around 30-40 miles with the assistance of a pedal which is quite considerable.

Pros

  • Light and durable
  • Includes padded saddle
  • A fair deal of accessories
  • Functional brake system

Cons

  • The battery might issue

In conclusion, this Nakto electric city bike is a perfect option for day-to-day commuting, all credit to its functional design. It is equipped with a high-speed range and pedal assistance that helps you in covering large mileage. Here, the waterproof battery also serves great for outdoor adventures, with proper safety.

5. Schwinn Baywood Cruiser Bike

Features

  • Material Construction: alloy steel
  • Wheel Size: 24 inches
  • Number of Speed: single-speed
  • Includes padded cruiser saddle

Schwinn is a great deal when it comes to commuting bikes for its functional designs. This single-speed bike is undoubtedly the best retro vintage bike for young people and adults, owing to its step-through design. Moreover, the wrap fenders and padded saddle provide you with a comfortable experience.

Starting off, the steel used in the frame is highly sturdy and coated with powder, so you don’t have to worry about its durability. Here, the navy and orange details make it look more appealing. The manufacturers have added padded saddles that keep you comfortable, on rough and rocky terrains.

Lastly, speaking of the performance, it remains stable and balanced on rough surfaces. This is because of the wide wheels and saddle. Here, I also really appreciate the fenders that help you in resisting mud and dirt. All in all, it only has one speed, so you won’t find any issues in keeping it in your control.

Pros

  • Includes supportive wheels
  • It is long-lasting
  • Considerable stopping power
  • Includes wrap fenders

Cons

  • It can feel a bit heavy

In essence, this Schwinn steel-step-through cruiser bike is undoubtedly one of the best vintage-style bikes for daily commutes. It is equipped with one-speed settings and wraps fenders which makes it fairly easy to handle, even for beginners. I also would appreciate the fact that it is absolutely easy to assemble and doesn’t require much time.

6. Schwinn Cruiser-Bicycles Sanctuary 7

Features

  • Material Construction: alloy steel
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Number of Speed: 7
  • Includes twist gear shifters

If you are a retro bike person, looking for something functional yet comfortable to be used on city streets, I would advise you to consider this Schwinn Sanctuary 7. It is massively popular for its light yet durable construction, needless to say, 7-speed drivetrain system. All in all, I found the gear changes quite fast and convenient. The assembly also didn’t take me more than ten minutes which is always a plus.

To begin with, the highlight of this model is its sleek design that showcases different colors, so you can choose the vibe you are going for. The frame is also all-steel, so you don’t have to worry about its durability. It is equally worth mentioning that the manufacturers have added cushioned saddles that keep you comfortable on different types of terrains. On the whole, I was able to smoothly glide on bumps and rocks.

Lastly, another thing to appreciate about this model is its SRAM twist shifters, also known as Shimano Rear Derailleur. This feature is primarily responsible for keeping the ride stable and balanced over bumpy terrains. Here, it is further accompanied by a 7-speed drivetrain system, with which you can easily adjust the speed and can quickly change the gears.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Comfortable and stable
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • It can be a bit heavy

In conclusion, coming from Schwinn, this one is yet another quality alternative for people who are fond of vintage, retro style. The highlight of this model is its SRAM shifters and 7-speed drivetrain setup that facilitates you well on different terrains. In addition, I really like its simple and straightforward design as it is quite easy to assemble together, not to mention, subtle retro looks.

7. Firmstrong Bella Classic Beach Cruiser

Features

  • Material Construction: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Number of Speed: 1
  • Includes white-wall balloon tires

If you have minimal experience with bikes and want something that has a perfect blend of vintage looks and comfort, this one might be right for you. The highlight of this model is that it has a single-speed configuration which makes it fairly easy to use. Similarly, the addition of white-wall balloon tires and cushioned handlebar makes it worth the money. On the whole, its simple design is absolutely easy to assemble together.

Starting off, we have to talk about its design. It is made up of aluminum and has step-through handlebars that are long-lasting and sturdy. The handle is further padded, so you don’t have to worry about it being comfortable. Another thing I really like here is its curvy cruiser body that adds to its vintage looks and makes it visually appealing. Whenever I hit the road, I found people noticing this 70s piece.

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Finally, when it comes to performance, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is the easiest alternative you can use for city commuting. Its single-speed configuration allows you to control the bike over bumps and rocks. Here, the addition of white-wall balloon tires makes it functional on difficult terrains. The only downside I felt with this bike is that it felt a bit heavy, given the fact that it is designed for newcomers.

Pros

  • Includes sturdy wheels
  • Offers easy assemble
  • Decent stopping power
  • Ideal for newcomers

Cons

  • It can feel a bit heavy

In essence, this Firmstrong Bella cruiser alternative is undoubtedly an appropriate choice for beginners who want a perfect combination of looks and comfort on the road. It comes with a single-speed configuration and wide balloon tires that serve you well. Moreover, it is equally worth mentioning that it has the ability to glide over bumps and rocks, with stability and balance ensured.

8. Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle

Features

  • Material Construction: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Number of Speed: 1
  • Includes white-wall balloon tires

If you are a woman who prefers old-school cruiser bicycles, this one might work for you. It has a comfortable design that serves as a great alternative for daily commutes. In addition, the fact that it has one speed and fairly decent stopping power makes sure you do not have to put too much sense while using it. Similarly, it is equally worth mentioning that it costs significantly less than its competitors.

The first thing to note about this model is its curvy frame that imitates the retro style and provides you with great aesthetic appeal. Its vintage colors also make everyone notice whenever you hit the road. Here, the frame is made up of aluminum which is quite durable and resists corrosion ideally. Even after using it for the longest time possible, I noticed absolutely no scratches or peeling of paint.

Lastly, another thing to appreciate about this bike is its wide-wall balloon tires that are not only visually appealing but also smoothly glide over rocks and bumps. Here, the manufacturers have also added cushioned saddle and handlebar, making it easy for newcomers and kids to handle this bike. The single-speed configuration is one of my favorite functions in this bike as it offers a comfortable ride.

Pros

  • It comes in different sizes
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Not for rough terrains

Wrapping up, this old-school Firmstrong bike for day-to-day commute is yet another suitable alternative for anyone who admires vintage looks. It has a subtle and minimalist design, with a padded handle and saddle. The color combination is absolutely complimentary and provides you with a striking visual appeal. All in all, the single-speed and sturdy wide-based tires make it easy to handle for the most part.

9. Heybike Cityscape Electric Bike

Features

  • Material Construction: alloy steel
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Number of Speed: 7
  • Power range: 350 W

This city bike from Heybike is the next product on my list of the best vintage-style bikes. This hybrid bike is absolutely incredible when it comes to the considerable stopping power and speed configuration. In addition, the step-through frame design and high-rise ape handlebar further add to its 70s vintage looks.

To start with, its frame is made up of steel that is durable and lasts for a long time. It is further accompanied by a high-rise handle and step-through geometry which is quite the imitation of traditional 70s bikes. Here, I also found the cushioned seating comfortable, even on rocky and bumpy terrains.

Finally, speaking of performance, the 7-speed drivetrain system makes it function for customization. It also has three different working modes for pedal assistance, so you can adjust the one that serves you well. In the end, the dual-disc brakes are incredible at providing you with considerable stopping power.

Pros

  • High stopping power
  • It is long-lasting
  • Stable and comfortable
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • It can feel a bit heavy

Final thoughts, after using this cityscape bike for the longest time, I would say it is undoubtedly a worthy addition to this list. It comes with three different pedal assistance modes that allow you to achieve stability and balance on different terrains. On the whole, it is absolutely to handle, even for beginners.

10. Schwinn Classic Old School Krate Bike

Features

  • Material Construction: steel
  • Wheel Size: 20 inches
  • Number of Speed: 1
  • High-rise ape handlebar

As an admirer of old-school vintage bikes like me, my little sister also got this bike from Schwinn. It undoubtedly looks like it is straight from the 70s, all thanks to its high-rise handle and banana seat. Moreover, the coaster brake also helps you with fairly decent stopping power, on bumps and rocks.

I have also used this one in the past and would say it gets you hooked from the start. Here, I absolutely loved the banana seat and sting-ray frame that is visually appealing. In addition, its ape high-rise handle also looks retro and whenever I was on the road, people noticed me from all directions.

Lastly, another thing I really liked as a beginner in this model is its single-speed drivetrain. This function particularly made it easy for me to use it on city roads. The 20 inches rear wheel makes it even more serviceable on rocky and bumpy terrains and I noticed no issues with the stability or balance at all.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Unique string-ray frame
  • Light and durable
  • Ideal for beginners

Cons

  • Not for tough terrains

Wrapping up, after using this Schwinn Krate bike in the past, I would say it is undoubtedly a stable and convenient alternative you can find across the market. Its high aesthetic appeal and single-speed setting served me well. Similarly, the overall assembly was easy and also didn’t take me more than ten minutes.

What to Look for While Buying the Best Vintage Style Bikes; All You Need to Know

Choosing the right option for a vintage-style bike can be challenging, specifically when you don’t have all the knowledge about its specifications. Hence, you need to consider everything, from frame specifications to its looks, braking efficiency, tire construction, wheels, load capacity, and assembly requirements. To save your day, I have included some buying instructions that can help you in choosing the best vintage-style bikes;

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Frame Dimensions/ Weight

First of all, while buying the best vintage style bike, you need to look into its frame. Here, I would advise you to make sure it is durable enough to support your weight. Most commonly, you can find options like aluminum or steel, both of which are durable and resist corrosion well. It is equally significant that it is light and doesn’t overwhelm you with its weight. All in all, make sure that your bike does not weigh more than 42 pounds.

The Style You are Opting for

Similarly, you also need to have a clear idea of what style you are going for, specifically while you are choosing the right vintage bike for yourself. Most commonly, these come in two different versions, step-through frames or step-over frames. The latter one has high-rise ape handles and banana seats that are a perfect combination for a retro look. In contrast, the step-over frame is more of the 70s style that is vintage and provides you with a subtle and minimalist look. So, make sure you know what you want.

The Color Options

In addition, now that you know what style you are opting for, you should further have an idea about the right colors. There are two major options out there, traditional/ subtle colors or vibrant ones. Now, if you are a minimalist and want subtle looks, traditional colors like cream, beige, and brown are a perfect match for you. On the contrary, for anyone who likes to make a statement on the street, vibrant options like neon, blue, green, and red colors can make the deal for you. So, choose carefully and wisely.

Wheels and Tires

Moreover, while buying a vintage bike for yourself, you need to consider the wheels and tire construction as it is largely a determinant of stability and control. All in all, I would recommend you go for wheels between 26 and 28 inches to make sure that the bike remains stable and balanced on uneven and bumpy terrains. For city commute, 700c wheels are a perfect match for the fact that they are large and slim and imitate the looks of traditional 70s bikes.

Braking Efficiency

Likewise, another thing you need to look into while buying any bike is its braking efficiency. Now, for traditional models, you can mostly find retro or V-style bikes, both of which are powerful and reliable to be used on different terrains. All in all, I faced no issues with the stopping power. However, if you want the looks of a vintage bike yet need the performance of electric bikes, dual-disc brakes are also quite functional at providing you with incredible stopping power and stability over bumps and rocks.

Accessories

Last but not least, it is equally significant to look for some accessories as they can make the deal for you. If you are limited by budget, you don’t have to worry about it. Given the fact that vintage bikes are designed for commuting, you will most probably find these accessories in almost all models. Here are some things you can consider before buying;

  • Mudguards are great at protecting your bike from dirt, puddles, and even grease from the terrains.
  • Cargo baskets can also help you in keeping your essentials while you are on the go.
  • In addition, home repair stands are absolutely incredible at keeping the bike clean and low maintenance.

In the end, I hope you soon will be able to find the right vintage-style bike, with the help of these buying instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the old style or vintage bikes?

Well, in simple words, vintage bikes were the traditional ones produced in the time period between the 1920s and 90s. These old-school bikes are popular in the present times, for their aesthetic value and unique designs. Most of these have a high-rise handlebar and V-style brakes that are a perfect combination to provide you with suitable stopping power and comfort.

What is the best vintage-style bike?

Firmstrong Bella Classic bike is undoubtedly one of the best for a comfortable commuting experience and subtle vintage looks. It comes with a single-speed configuration and wide balloon tires that help you with suitable stopping power. Similarly, it is equally worth mentioning that the high-rise handlebar and padded saddle provide you with a comfortable experience.

What makes a quality vintage-style bike for you?

Well, there are multiple things you need to look into while buying the right vintage-style bikes. First of all, you need to consider the frame specifications, such as its weight, design, and color. You also need to make sure that it is light and sturdy enough to manage your weight. Apart from this, it is ideal that your desired bike has considerable stopping power and a fair deal of accessories.

Final Thoughts

In the end, These old-school bikes are popular in the present times, for their aesthetic value and unique designs. They serve as a perfect match for daily commuting, all thanks to the fact that they are simple to operate and don’t require any technical knowledge. Finally, here are some of my recommendations from the list;

Finally, I hope this guide will help you in choosing the best vintage style bikes, as per your individual requirements.

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