Designers Jeroen van IJzendoorn and Robert van de Wiel of marketing agency Factor Tachtig in the Netherlands certainly do. Both crazy about retro design and with a fascination for the lightweight, speedy bicycles of the 60s, 70s and 80s, this Dutch duo came up with a unique concept: to transform vintage bicycles into urban bikes for the modern age – cycles with a story to tell.

The idea for Moosach bicycles came about while visiting the German town of the same name. Van IJzendoorn and van de Wiel came across old racing bicycles everywhere they went – classics from a long gone era – and they started to envision bringing these forgotten treasures back to life. With the old frames, they decided to reinvent unique new bikes with an underground feel – each model one of a kind. This resulted in the launch of Moosach bikes at the end of 2011.

Made of a superior quality, old bicycles have stood the test of time, which is why they’re often still around, abandoned in alleyways and garden sheds. Yet, while sourcing old bikes may seem simple, it is, in fact, an ongoing mission of searching garages and attics, both actual and virtual, to find suitable frames. Moosach is constantly on the lookout for vintage bikes with the right ‘vibe’ – a factor that often takes into account the original owners’ stories.

Once a suitable bicycle is located, the transformation commences. The designers find their inspiration for the new look in the old frames themselves and in their history. While they start brainstorming with initial sketches, colour palettes and moodboards, the frame is stripped down to the bone, with all moving parts removed. It’s then taken to a local paint sprayer where the frame and front fork get a new coat of paint.

Luxurious new parts are sourced and then the fun begins – rebuilding the bike. The vintage bicycles are given a new incarnation, each with its own unique identity – as well as its own name. Some of the models the team has created include ‘The Bumblebee’, ‘Strike’, ‘Silver Surfer’ and ‘Ballroom’ – the first ladies’ bike – and they all have a story to tell.

Only 12 models are released each year and prices start from €1400. For van IJzendoorn, parting with them is never easy. “We keep finessing a bike until it’s absolutely right. Each bike is such an eye-catcher that we almost want to keep each and every one of them. That’s how we set our quality standards.”

Moosach will soon commence doing custom-made bikes. Cyclists can drop off their own vintage frame and have the team transform it into a designer piece. “We’re looking for bikes with a story, that’s the basis for a bona-fide Moosach. Afficionados understand this, and freely hand over their very own, much-loved frames to us. Our challenge is to bring gorgeous bike design from yesteryear into the present-day,” says
van de Wiel.  

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