At Juicy Bike, we’re sensitive, thoughtful types, prone to introspection and the odd existential crisis. The way we see it, though, as long as we’re not in the middle of anything fiddly involving heavy loads or jagged edges to injure ourselves with, then it probably doesn’t do us any harm. Retro/vintage “Dutch style” electric bikes are an essential part of our roster and have been from the beginning. But why? And what does that even mean? What are these terms, “retro” and “vintage”, that we bandy about with such nonchalance, safe in the knowledge that this is Who We Are? Such is our latest neurosis.
Having done a little digging, it seems that “retro” and “vintage”, although often used interchangeably, are, in fact, two distinct concepts.
Put simply, for something to be vintage; it needs to have been made during the time in question, whereas something is considered retro if it is based on designs from days gone by.
Retro design is big business these days. Nostalgia, once considered an illness, now forms the inspiration for designing many of the world’s most sought after products. Fiat, Volkswagen, and Mercedes have all consciously incorporated classic curvy elements from their design archives while embracing innovation in mechanical engineering.
Returning to cycling, Pashley bikes are another case in point. Having been in business since the 1920s, they have gradually come to incorporate modern essentials such as gears, reflectors and a dynamo-powered light whilst retaining their classic curves and gorgeous pastoral colours. And as a result, it perfectly embodies the retro aesthetic.
Elephant Bikes are another excellent example of how feel-good nostalgia works to help promote, in this case, a worthy cause rather than a conglomerate multi-national.
Taking inspiration from the UK’s Pashley Bicycle company, by recycling old “Postie Cycles”, heartstrings are pulled, encouraging new owners to buy two bikes and having one ridden on their behalf for free (by a needy person on the other side of the globe) - twice the wheels, half the effort and with a massive feel-good factor thrown in!