Balloon Bicycle

The balloon bicycle was first produced in the 1930s. The term balloon refers to the tires that were on the bikes. The tires replaced the smaller, thinner single tubed tires which were harder to maintain. The balloon bicycle tire was much wider and had a tube that was easier to maintain. These tires also required less air pressure than the older version, giving a more cushioned ride to the bike.

1936 1937 ELGIN Womens Bicycle 26 Balloon Tire
1936 1937 ELGIN Womens Bicycle 26 Balloon Tire

$495.00

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Vintage Hiawatha Bicycle Skip Tooth Springer Forks Balloon Tires
Vintage Hiawatha Bicycle Skip Tooth Springer Forks Balloon Tires

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VINTAGE JC HIGGINS COLOR FLOW GIRLS 26 BALLOON COMPLETE FOUND IN OLD HOUSE GOOD
VINTAGE JC HIGGINS COLOR FLOW GIRLS 26 BALLOON COMPLETE FOUND IN OLD HOUSE GOOD

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1980 schwinn cruiser Balloon Tire Jaguar Panther
1980 schwinn cruiser Balloon Tire Jaguar Panther

$352.00

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ANTIQUE MONARK ROCKET 26 INCH BALLOON TIRE BIKE
ANTIQUE MONARK ROCKET 26 INCH BALLOON TIRE BIKE

$300.00

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1950s schwinn balloon tire girls bike 26 inch
1950s schwinn balloon tire girls bike 26 inch

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PREWAR COLUMBIA BICYCLE ALUMINUM RAIN GUTTER FENDERS MORROW HUB BALLOON TIRES
PREWAR COLUMBIA BICYCLE ALUMINUM RAIN GUTTER FENDERS MORROW HUB BALLOON TIRES

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Huffy Mainliner Vintage balloon Tire Bike
Huffy Mainliner Vintage balloon Tire Bike

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BICYCLE KNOBBY BALLOON TIRES 26 X 2125 VINTAGE OR NEW
BICYCLE KNOBBY BALLOON TIRES 26 X 2125 VINTAGE OR NEW

$54.00

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SCHWINN 20 BALLOON TANK BIKE DELTA FENDER OR HANDLEBAR LIGHT NICE W BRACKET
SCHWINN 20  BALLOON TANK BIKE DELTA FENDER OR HANDLEBAR LIGHT NICE W BRACKET

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Vtg ROADMASTER Goose Neck Seat Post bicycle bike balloon seatpost AMF
Vtg ROADMASTER Goose Neck Seat Post bicycle bike balloon seatpost AMF

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Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Red Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Aa
Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Red Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Aa

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Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Bb
Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Bb

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Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Cc
Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Cc

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Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Dd
Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Dd

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Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Ee
Schwinn 24 Bicycle Balloon Tire Fender Set NOS 3 Wide Needs Repaint Ee

$75.00

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The balloon bicycle was introduced by Schwinn in 1933. In two years this style became the industry standard. All bikes were manufactured with this type of tire for many years, with the war having slowed down bicycle production during the 40's to assist with the war effort. A 1932 Montgomery Ward's advertisement shows pictures of a 1932 Montgomery Ward Hawthorne ACE with balloon tires as well. While it appears on first glance to be a standard 28" tire, it is actually a 26" tire. This ad predates Schwinn's claim of the first balloon tire bike in American in 1933.

The Balloon Bicycle was made sometime in the 1930s until the mid 1950s; however, it is believed that the very first one was most likely presented in the year of 1934. It is alleged that it was named for the huge, fat wide tires with a smooth tread that are commonly referred to as balloon tires. This type of tire runs on a higher pressure than many other bicycle tires.

Balloon bicycles generally had a light on the front fender and a decorative tank that looked like a motorcycle gas tank. The seats were often called saddles because they were made out of leather and resembled a horse saddle. The handlebars on this traditional bike had a number of twists in them. Many bicycle enthusiasts consider the balloon bicycle a classic that is unsurpassable.