Why Retro? We explain a preference for curvy, vintage design

Our Design Sensitivities


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.


Couple standing by retro Juicy Classsic bikes

Nostalgia: cure-all or feel-good?


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.  


Elephant postal bike with basket

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!


It’s all about loving your bike.

This is the genius of retro: merging the beauty of vintage design with the comforts and technological advances of the modern era. For us, there is an additional dimension. When people choose a retro-styled eBike, they do so, at least in part, for its aesthetic beauty. Because of this, an emotional connection between the rider and their new bike is formed. Riders relish the ritual of polishing, adjusting, and maintaining their two-wheeled companion. Maintenance is no longer a chore but an active pleasure. Thanks to an expanding array of posh cleaning products, oils, and beautifully weighted tools to enhance the experience, the bike continually receives the TLC needs and deserves. When the time comes to move on to a newer model, the old one is not simply dumped in a landfill but passed onto a new owner, in excellent condition, to be enjoyed all over again.