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As the wear on a vintage bike increases, the greater the likelihood components are not original, either through replacement of worn parts or through component swaps.
Swaps can take place early in the life of a bike as the proud new owner upgrades to new or used components of higher quality.
The Appendix gives dates of initial manufacture for the vast majority of derailleurs made from 1920 to 1999.
Every one of our bicycles is the result of the combination of traditional design, hand-built quality and modern componentry that comes together to give an unparalleled riding experience.
This, along with our heritage that stretches right back to 1926, gives these bicycles an inimitable elegance that has stood the test of time and a build quality that will give many years of riding pleasure.
Of course, all this assumes the bike has the original component.
The most likely components to be original are the stem, handlebars, seatpost, and brakes.
This clearly is when the component was made and not when the bike was made, but unless the component or bike manufacturer had lots of stock lying around in inventory, the date should be a fairly good indication of the year of the bike.
At least it would be the earliest date that the bike could have been made.For Treks, the SR date markings are especially important.Virtually all of the Treks not equipped with Campagnolo or Shimano Dura-Ace components, started life with some grade of SR seatpost and may also have SR stems, bars or cranks.Swaps also can be made as the bike falls out of favor, or is being sold, where the higher quality components are traded for lower quality ones that the owner had onhand.(Don't all cyclists have boxes and boxes of old components in their garage?[Atom] [Brooks] [Campagnolo] [Dia-Compe and Weinmann] [Huret] [Maillard] [Normandy] [Nitto] [SR (Sakae)] [Sachs-Huret] [Shimano] [Strong] [Sansin] [Sunshine] [Sun Tour (Maeda)] [Sugino] [Tange] [Williams] [Dancing Chain] [Saddles]The date of manufacture of a bicycle's components can often be used to determine the date of manufacture of the bike itself.