What's Old is New Again: Reviving a 1960's Bicycle

After my wife and I decided we were Key West bound, I soon realized that I would be needing a proper bicycle.

Key West is made for bicycles

The temperature in Key West never drops below 60 (if it does the public schools have a "snow day", no heaters in the buildings!), the roads are all generally flat, highest natural elevation is 18 feet above sea level, bike lanes everywhere and no speed limits above 30mph. Couldn't ask for a better year round riding conditions.

I scoured the brick and mortar bike shops as well as the interwebs, I only found a handful of classy yet functional bicycles, none of them affordable. I mean, we're talking like $1,000-$4,000 for a good looking bike!

Here's an awesome electric bicyle called the Faraday Bicycle, beautiful, but $3,500! I know, it's electric, and very specialized, so I suppose that justifies the price, but it's still way out of my price range.

Here's another beautiful specimen: the Vanmoof. Love this bike and it's configurable options, but again, it's anywhere from $700 t0 $1,400, much more reasonable, but still on the high side.

I realized what I had to do...

Where could I get an affordable bike? That's when it hit me, I'm a creative guy, why not get an old bike and make it exactly what I want? Craigslist here I come! Took me a week or two to find this classic from the 60's, an AMF Hercules, 3-speed English cruiser:

Now all I had to do was make it my own!

After a few months of decision making, product searching, and bicycle reconstruction, this is where I ended up:

I've always been attracted to vintage and antique goods, especially items that mix natural materials with industrial design, as you can see, that's the direction I went.

The fenders are real mahogany wood fenders from Sykes Fenders, love 'em! The seat a real leather Brooks saddle. With the exception of the handlebar grips, the wheels and the rear rack, the rest of the hardware is pretty much original!

I couldn't be happier with the final product! I generally ride it at least a couple times a week.