If you’re just entering the world of vintage bicycles, or if you have been deeply entrenched in this fascinating subject for years, you have probably heard of the Roadmaster bicycle. Certain Roadmaster vintage bicycle models are extremely popular, as is the history of the company.
History of the Roadmaster Bicycle
The Cleveland Welding Company is the maker of Roadmaster bikes. This company made different bicycles for several different retailers. Often, these bicycles were very similar across different brands, and the Cleveland Welding Company was never famous for creating bicycles of the best quality, but they did make some Roadmaster models that are greatly sought after by vintage bicycle collectors.
Tip: Roadmaster bicycles built before the 1980s are of better quality.
The Roadmaster bicycles built in the pre-1980s period gained a reputation for excellence. The bicycles could easily last for decades with regular maintenance. In the 1980s, however, the company was forced to recall its products several times due to faulty bicycle parts.
If you can, buy Roadmaster bicycles made in the 1970s or earlier. They’ll cost more for sure, but they’ll work better and last longer.
Roadmaster’s 1937 Roadmaster Supreme is probably the most notable Roadmaster vintage bicycle. This bicycle looks very unique with its bug-eye horn tank with built-in headlights, rubber cushioned gooseneck, and locking fork.
Another notable Roadmaster bike is the Roadmaster Luxury Liner. The famous Brook Stevens, who also designed the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, designed this bicycle. The Luxury Liner was a bicycle loaded with chrome fenders and trim, a headlight, rear taillights and a “Shockmaster” springer fork.
Purchasing a Vintage Roadmaster Bike
Being the most notable bicycle made by Roadmaster, the Roadmaster Supreme is also the most difficult vintage Roadmaster to get your hands on. This bicycle is considered iconic, and many collectors love the “nostalgic value” of the Roadmaster Supreme. These bicycles even look famous to non-collectors because they are often used by Hollywood producers to depict the classic “good old days.” Depending upon the condition, these Roadmaster vintage bicycles will get anywhere from $500.00 to $1000.00.
Roadmaster Luxury Liner
The Roadmaster Luxury Liner is another rare vintage find. This bicycle was said to be the answer to Schwinn’s Phantom bicycle in 1949, but in reality, the Luxury Liner was released on the market before the Phantom. For vintage bicycle collectors, the Roadmaster Luxury Liner is much more difficult to obtain than the Schwinn Phantom because the Phantom was a more popular bicycle at the time, and sold more bicycles, saturating the market at the time.
Roadmaster Skyrider Deluxe
As far as vintage bicycles go, the Roadmaster Skyrider Deluxe is a relatively new bicycle. Built in the 1960′s, this bicycle missed the era of headlamps but began the era of reflectors. This bicycle had reflectors on the pedals and wheels to increase visability. These bicycles are quite common, and vintage versions can start as low as $40.00, but they have a cool, old bicycle look with a great retro feel.
Since 1936, Roadmaster Bicycles, produced under the Cleveland Welding Company, has been a giant in the world of bicycle production. As demand grew to accommodate the baby boomer generation, Roadmaster was there to meet the demand. This company produced hundreds of thousands of bicycles until 1999 when they were sold to an overseas division in Taiwan and China where mass production of the Roadmaster bicycle continues to this day.