Vintage bicycles are a unique investment. They draw excitement from bicycle enthusiasts and now forward thinking investors because they do not lose their value over time, but simply increase in value year upon year. Often, many of the rare bicycles were only manufactured for a year and rode by cycling legends, they are few and far between and their history is much more interesting than the stock market. At Steel Vintage Bikes we have been lucky enough to have been graced by many of the rarest and most valued bicycles in the world. Therefore, we present to you the 10 most collectible bikes at Steel Vintage Bikes... A little insider knowledge we want to share with you!

1) Bianchi Centenario 1985
How to celebrate 100 years in business? Make a ridiculously good-looking bicycle that is effortlessly cool, obviously. Welcome the Bianchi Centenario. Instantly recognisable, it is iconic in colour and style. Every part of the bike is pantographed with ‘Bianchi Centenario’, just to make it that extra special. The frame is at the heart of every Bianchi and this is no exception. It has Colombus SLX tubing that is delicately coloured with special gunmetal cromovelato paintwork. It doesn't stop there though, Bianchi went the extra mile and fitted the Centenario with a Campagnolo C-Record groupset and extremely rare sheriff star road hubs!

The aesthetics of this bike are so gentle on the eye and the craftsmanship has allowed the bicycle to stand the test of time. This is one rare beauty and with each passing year they become harder and harder to find.

Bianchi Centenario
Bianchi Centenario
Bianchi Centenario
Bianchi Centenario
Bianchi Centenario

2) Colnago Arabesque
Another birthday, another rarity. One for the collectors, the Colnago Arabesque was produced in honour of Colnago’s 30th anniversary and was only on the manufacturing line between 1983 and 1984. The most complete bicylce Colnago has ever produced, a limited number were sold with a special pantographed Campagnolo Super Record Gruppo. This gruppo incorporated 7/8 gold Colnago clubs and the Arabesque frame had a further two gold clubs inserted into the seatstay caps. However, these are extremely difficult to find.

The ‘lugs’ give the Colnago a very distinct look and the frameset is shaped to maximize the advantages of steels riding qualities. This produces an unforgettable ride on quite simply a most beautiful bicycle. Right, just the problem of finding one now….

Colnago Arabesque
Colnago Arabesque
Colnago Arabesque
Colnago Arabesque
Colnago Arabesque

3) Wilier Triestina Ramata
Eye catching, elegant, desirable, collectible and of course rare: Wilier Triestina Ramata. Stemming from no other than Italy, this manufacturing house was founded in 1906 by Pietro Dal Molin, along the banks of the river Brenta in Bassano Del Grappa.

Ramata translates to copper coated and it is this that gives these bicycle frames their distinct finish. Just look at it, absolutely impeccable, if you look you can even see your own reflection. This is the Wilier Triestina trademark and if these bicycles are anything to go by, Bassano Del Grappa is most definitely worth visiting.

Wilier Triestina Ramata
Wilier Triestina Ramata
Wilier Triestina Ramata
Wilier Triestina Ramata
Wilier Triestina Ramata

4) Bianchi Tour de France 1953
When we think of celeste, we think of Bianchi. When we think of the Bianchi Tour De France 1953, we think of Fausto Coppi. After the turmoil of losing his brother in 1952, he rose again in enigmatic style, quieting the naysayers and cycling his way into the history books by sweeping the double of the Giro de Italia and the Tour de France. In honour of such unrivalled victories, Bianchi produced the crème de la crème, the Tour de France.

What really separates this bicycle from the rest is that it paved the way for the future of cycling. It was one of the first bikes to fit the double standard chain-set and have the first cable operated Campagnolo derailleur. Additionally, one of the many factors that contribute to this bicycle being so rare is that it was only manufactured for one year. Due to Coppi’s winning ways, the model and name were changed to reflect this.

A breakthrough in workmanship, this bicycle embodies the nature of its hero; Fausto Coppi.

Bianchi Tour de France 1953
Bianchi Tour de France 1953
Bianchi Tour de France 1953
Bianchi Tour de France 1953
Bianchi Tour de France 1953"

5) Colnago Oval Cx
Cult status for Colnago had already been achieved by the time the Oval Cx came out, so where do you go from there? Aerodynamics was Colnago's answer. Colnago’s venture into the effects of aerodynamics pre-dates the development and use of such techniques by the US cycling team in 1984. Colnago were already head-down in the wind tunnels years earlier scrutinising every last element to create the perfect bicycle. The ovalised tubing addressed issues of frame stiffness, all cables are internally routed and the rear wheel brake is mounted inside the frame to offer less resistance to wind. Light, quick and hard to find, we wouldn’t have it any other way at Steel Vintage Bikes.

Colnagao Oval Cx
Colnagao Oval Cx
Colnagao Oval Cx
Colnagao Oval Cx
Colnagao Oval Cx"

6) Casati Gold Line
Frame building is an art and Casati have been perfecting their game for over 90 years. This one is for the collectors, those that like to take their time riding and getting to know a bike, you may not cross the finish line first but you will certainly fall in love with this bicycle.

Designed and engineered in their Moza workshops in Italy, the Casati Gold Line is a top of the range model. The workmanship is exquisite.  The Gold Line is made of Columbus SLX tubes with added details, such as chainstays with typical Casati ribbing, brake bridge and lugs with Casati engravings. Of course, the finishing touch is the real gold plated forks and chainstays.

Luckily for you, SVB have this masterpiece of a bicycle waiting to go to a new home. If attention to detail, excellent and refined craftsmanship is what you look for in a bicycle, then the Casati Gold Line is for you.

Casati Gold Line
Casati Gold Line
Casati Gold Line
Casati Gold Line
Casati Gold Line"

7) Rigi Bici CORTA
The bicycle was too much of a draw for Giorgio Rinaldi, who walked away from his career as a furniture designer to develop and fine-tune his workmanship with bicycles. Literally translating to the ‘Rigi Short Bike’, Mr Rinaldi threw conventions out of the window and drastically changed the seat tube configuration using two smaller tubes, instead of the 1” diameter standard seat tube. This allows the rear triangle to be much shorter, placing the rear wheel between the twin seat tubes.

This impacts the rider by allowing them to have more control, becoming completely intertwined with the bicycle. The twin tubes placed on the outside edges of the bb-shell provide a rigid structure that is second to none. This bicycle really comes alive on hill climbs and sprints, leaving the rest behind in its dust trail.  The bright yellow and green shine of the bicycle becomes a spec on the horizon, as we question ourselves for not buying such a wonderfully designed bike.

Rigi Bici Corta
Rigi Bici Corta
Rigi Bici Corta
Rigi Bici Corta
Rigi Bici Corta"

8) Frejus 1949
Founded in Turin in 1896 by Emmo Ghelfi, Frejus would soon establish itself among celebrated cycling manufacturers. Champion riders include Cino Cinelli, Guiseppe Olmo and even Gino Bartali. Frejus’s frames are sleek, delicate and usually finished with some delightful lug work. They have such an effortless style, neither loud nor quiet but it sure stands out from the crowd.

Handcrafted and equipped with only the best components of its time, Italians just seem to have a way with bicycles. This epitomises vintage cycling. It is difficult to choose whether to hang this bicycle from the wall or to find the nearest open road and simply relive 1940s racing. At SVB the open road would be too much temptation with this bicycle!

Frejus 1949
Frejus 1949
Frejus 1949
Frejus 1949
Frejus 1949

9) De Rosa Professional SLX
Uga De Rosa had such a passionate interest and a fascination with the manufacturing of racing bicycles that he decided to form his own company. He would go on to work with the likes of Rahael Geminiani, Gianni Motta and the infamous Eddy Merckx. No collection is complete without a De Rosa in there somewhere.

This bicycle frame is super light but stiff from the Colombus SLX tubes which feature the iconic Diamante Chainstays.  An instant classic steeped in history, that’s made with love from Italy.

De Rosa Professional SLX
De Rosa Professional SLX
De Rosa Professional SLX
De Rosa Professional SLX
De Rosa Professional SLX

10) Legnano Roma
Legnano’s history stems as far back as 1906, but their most prolific bicycle has to be the Roma. A lugged steel frame made of falck tubes with the iconic saddle clamp under the seat lug; no Legnano is complete without this! The distinct colour and finish that is unmistakably Legnano green. Normally fitted with original Legnano components (stems and hubs), Universal brakes and original Brooks saddle.

Legnano would be a company that no longer exists without Bianchi or Freust & Wolsit. That makes this bicycle extra special, made within the glory days of Legnano dominating the sport. A truly historic piece of work, that allows the rider to seamlessly go back to a classic cycling era.

Legnano Roma
Legnano Roma
Legnano Roma
Legnano Roma
Legnano Roma

 

Keep your eye out on what bicycles we have in store, as when one of these beauties passes through our workshop they certainly don't stay around for long!