Circa dating system

To sift through information to try and find similar pictures to your unidentified bicycle would take me months, and I’m already doing similar research on my own bikes.

In March 1985, CBS sold Fender to a group of private investors.

The serial numbers do not reflect this change - Fender continued to make instruments using existing serial number schemes.

’ The answer, in short, is that I do not have time to tell you either. With an estimated 15,000 bicycle manufacturers, the odds are stacked against me recognizing yours; in any case, I do not claim to be an expert, just an assiduous recorder of information.

’ is a question I get asked a lot, nearly as much as: ‘I have a bicycle that looks like one of yours; if I send you pictures please can you identify it for me?

Usually they want me to identify it so they can sell it on ebay.

Luckily, I remembered an old Sufi saying, ‘Only explain things to people in a language they understand.’ So now I answer that such a service, which will obviously increase the value of their unidentified machine, will cost them £50 VAT.Although we are in the so-called ‘Information Age’ and the internet provides a surplus of it – some of it accurate, much of it misleading – there is nowhere near enough information on vintage bicycles. Sometimes, folks with no experience of the vintage hobby who may have recently unearthed an old bicycle contact me and demand that I immediately tell them what it is, how old it is and what it’s worth.I try to explain as politely as possible that such a service does not exist, and they are often abusive as a result.They don’t usually use computers, so much of their knowledge is stored in their heads.By the time we learn from them, it’s second-generation information.My contemporaries and I are in a younger age group – forties to sixties – and we’re busy learning and recording what we can before it’s lost forever.