You may have heard of “Balloon Bike”, but what is it? It has a frame, a handlebar, a saddle, so far there is nothing extraordinary about this bike, yet the Balloon Bike is not a regular bike. It has one strange components: Huge tires, nearly as wide as those of a scooter!
These alien tires are commonly called “Balloon Tires”. They were invented in the early 20th century, so they are not something new. Unfortuantely, they fell into annals of history until the influx of Beach Cruiser for rolling in the sand. These ultra-comfortable tires whose technology is significantly developed in the present day, have the advantage of absorbing shocks and prevent the rider from feeling the shortcoming of the road. Inflated with low pressure, they give the rider a pleasant sensation similar to that of riding on air cushions.
The collection “Chrono” 2014 from Dutch bran Cortina responds well to this brand, combining vintage with modernity. This brand has very closely followed the evolution of fashion and therefore has met the current demand by preparing for 2014 and 2015 a collection of true marvels. Components such as chrome cable jackets matched with the fork, the lighthouse, and rims rear rack, and wide tires are part of the details of these bikes.
Another high end brand is the Retrovelo. Inspired by the design of the 50s, this brand also illustrates this whimsical tendency to mix styles. This young German company was established four years ago by Matthias Mehlert and Frank Patitz, eager to put forward the style of bike models of their grandparents while assembling them with modern high-end components. They sought to move away from the bike code today and drawing on almost missing values of the golden age of the craft of the bicycle. Retrovelo offers 3 luxurious models for men, Frtiz, Klaus and Paul and two women models, the Klara and Paula, whose components differ but all are equipped with a leather Brooks saddle with suspension, drum brakes and of course a pair of Schwalbe Fat Frank Tires.
Pricewise, if you are looking for true “Balloon Bikes” from Retrovelo that combine old style with new, the it will cost you anywhere between $1,200 to $1,800 for the highest end model.
The Chorono Cortina prices are more affordable ranging at almost half the price that Retrovelo.
Also found in a slightly more modern aesthetics are the Montego bikes with the famous Barrow utility bike with a single management and Balloon CST Palm Bay tires.
Yet, the america market is rarely concerned with the high end models that have attention to the most minute of details. Sometimes, Balloon tires, and a cruiser bike that maintains an upright posture of the rider is all that is required by a customer.
American’s have their own taste in their cruiser bikes. Their cruiser bikes are more simple, less sophisticated yet ride almost as great as as the Retrovelo bikes. Brands such Firmstrong, SixThreeZero, Schwinn, Critical Cycles etc are among the popular cruiser bike brands that manufacture bikes with “Balloon Tires”. Most of these bikes are almost half the price as compared to that of the Chorono Cortina and one-fourth that of the Retrovelo.
Here is an example of cruiser bike with balloon tires that attracts the american market. The following is the Firmstrong Bella Cruiser that is much less expensive than the models shown above.
One thing; however, is clear: Balloon tires have resurfaced in the market after long years of absence and they are here to stay while being featured in bikes ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars.