An analog speedometer is a great addition to our vintage bicycles. Speedometers which were made in 50-70′ are true masterpieces and it’s hard to find them in good condition.

In this article I will present a short overview of the analog speedometers and the necessary equipment to mount them.

How does it work?

The speedometer is driven by the cable which is connected to the wheel drive adapter. The adapter is mounted at the front of the hub. Depending on the wheel size whether it be 26 or 28″ and so on, the appropriate adapter should be used.

Left and right speedometers

For most speedometers the drive adapter is mounted at the right side of the wheel. It depends on the direction the indicator needle on the speedometer moves. When it is moving from left to right – adapter should be mounted at the right side of the bicycle. When opposite – at the left.

MPH/KM scale

Most speedometers have double scale for both systems: imperial and metric, with the exception of speedometers from the 50-70’s.

VDO speedometers

VDO is the most popular family of bicycle speedometers. The VDO company have also produced bicycle clocks and speedometers which are mounted inside the headlight.

Preview Description Date
Speedometer from the 50s. The housing and handle is made of a metal. 50′
Bicycle speedometer from the 50s where the scale is aligned to the bottom of the semicircle of the dial 50′
Speedometer from the 50s with a dark dial and golden text 53′
Bosch bicycle headlamp with a VDO speedometer 50′
VDO clock from 50s. It is also used by motorcyclists on their old BMW
Clock and speedometer in one integrated case
Speedometer from the 70s with a blue dial and chromium body 60-70
Speedometer from the 70s where an indicator needle is moving from right to left 60-70
VDO blue clock from the 70s 60-70
VDO blue clock and speedometer on a one handle 60-70
Speedometer from the 70s and flags at the center on the black dial. Chromium body 70-76
Speedometer from 70s where an indicator needle is moving from right to left 70-76
VDO MONO, UNO. Width.: 7cm, height.: 8cm. 80′
VDO DUO. Speedometer with an extra resettable trip odometer. Width.: 7,5cm, height.: 10cm 80′
VDO DUO – white
VDO ALPHA. Rounded speedometer with an integrated handle. Diameter 7 cm. 80′
VDO TRIO70. Speedometer with a large black dial and an aluminium frame. Width.: 8cm, height.: 9cm 78-80′
Rounded speedometer with a metal frame. Diameter: 5cm
UNION lamp with an VDO TRIO speedometer

Pit80 speedometers

The next family of the german speedometers.

Preview Description Date
Metal frame 80′
Width.: 7cm, height.: 11cm 80′
Rounded  speedometer with a metal frame 80′

Huret speedometers

Huret is a French company, these speedometers are not compatible with cables/adapters from the VDO/PIT.

Preview Description Date

Wheel drive adapters

The wheel drive adapter is mounted at the front hub. Depending on the wheel’ size, appropriate adapter should be used.

Preview Description
VDO from 50′
VDO 26,28″ from 60′
VDO 20-24″
VDO 26″ (plastic)
VDO 26″
VDO 27/28″
VDO? shipped with pit80 speedometer. Left side adapter
Blaustern? 27/28″.
Huret 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28″


Most of the pictures come from my private collection of speedometers. However, some of the pictures come from public sources. If you are the author any image and don’t allow its publication – please contact me.

From the author

If you have an analog speedometer and you want to show your set or share your thoughts – feel free to comment. I am always looking for unusual sets and sell speedometers parts. If you have something for sale or are looking for a part please email: or write in the contact form.


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13 responses to “Vintage analog bicycle VDO speedometers”

  1. Danny N says:

    I pulled a VDO analog speedometer off of a curb-picked 1957 Schwinn Corvette 3-speed yesterday. (Also had a CENTURY, hb-mounted horn with a remote, cabled, hb-mounted button).

    The speedo appears to be the black-faced, round, 0-60 mph model shown second to last in your VDO list, above. You don’t have an era listed for it, but just based on design, I’m guessing it’s more of a 70’s-80’s version?? So, not contemporaneous with the cruiser?…Would appreciate any info you may be willing to share on the speedo or the horn! Cool site! Thanks.

    • Tomasz Maciejewski Tomasz Maciejewski says:

      This speedometer was produced in the early 80s. I think that the old VDO speedo from 50s will be better for your Schwinn (on the other page in my site you can see this set)

  2. william says:

    I bought one of these old school speedometers on eBay and it’s a newer plastic model that says it’s for a 26 to a 27 inch rim, when I’m doing 25 on my motorized bicycle it say I’m doing 50 MPH,is there any way to adjust it to the right setting??? It was shipped from China..

    • Tomasz Maciejewski Tomasz Maciejewski says:

      Sorry, I never had a speedometer from China. I don’t think so that it is possible to adjust to the right setting.

  3. Ivan Lozhkin says:

    Thank you Tomasz! I am pleased to see all pictures of old speedometers on your blog. Very beautiful. (sorry for google translate)

    • Tomasz Maciejewski Tomasz Maciejewski says:

      Hello Ivan
      Thanks for your kind words. I would be grateful if you come back in the future.

  4. Peter says:

    Do you sell any of these?
    Thank you

  5. Ebbe Rasmussen says:

    I have an Old Pit 80 speedometer With metal frame. Can I still get cabel and Wheel drive adapters for “28 Wheels?
    Best Rygårds. Ebbe

  6. dan says:

    I need a 22 inch cable for a vdo speedometer..mine broke… It is from a 1976 Batavus moped….

  7. Mark says:

    Hi Tomasz. I just bought a vintage Rudge from the 50’s with a VDO speedo. Looks and feels like a high quality instrument. Only problem is the cable end is snapped off. Looking online for replacements do you have any recommendations? Will I have to buy used or do they still make them for this model. It’s the gold faced one like the first example in your collection. Thanks. Mark from Fresno.

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