The adage, “old is gold,” is proved by some vintage bikes that increase their value as they age. Among the unique collectibles from old times that are in demand today are the Western Flyer Bikes from Western Auto Supply Stores. The bikes shot into prominence in the 1930s with the emergency of Speedline Airflo bike that took the biking industry by storm. Later on, the company produced the Western Flyer X-53 in the 1950s, and this bike became a phenomenon. Generally, the Western Flyer brand is the most sought-after vintage bike that attracts reasonable prices.
Why The Craze About Vintage Western Flyer Bikes And What Is Their Value?
It is evident that the who is who in the biking world wants a piece of the old. Since most riders wish to associate with popular bikes before their time, the value of vintage bikes shot as demand exceeds supply.
Determining the value of a vintage Western Flyer bike is not a walk in the park. Most factors such as year of production, condition, and model of the bike influence how the machine is valued. The value may range from a few 1,000 USD to 1,000 USD.
Suppose you have a Western Fly bike or intend to buy one, but you lack knowledge on how to value it, don’t panic. We’ll walk you through the journey successfully. We have picked the most collectible bikes and discussed how to value them.
However, before we walk you through the valuation process, let’s look at the history of the Western Flyer bikes.
The History Of Western Flyer Bikes
Western flyer bikes are a product of the Western Auto Supply Company, founded in 1909 by a 23 years old man called George Pepperdine. The company’s location was in Kansas City. It was not until the 1930s that Western Auto included bicycles in their brand name. They traded their bikes under the brand ‘Western Flyers.’
The bikes were in production from the 1930s to the late 1950s. During this time, they marketed some of the best bikes in the biking industry under their brand. Nonetheless, their bikes were manufactured by several companies. For instance, Shelby Cycle Company produced the Western Flyer Speedline Airflo in the 1930s. This bike had impressive features that endeared it to bikers who embraced its unique design.
Another exclusive bike sold under the Western Auto company is the Western Flyer X-53. This bike ruled the biking world in the 1950s as it had the edge over the others. Murray-Ohio built the bike until it got discontinued in 1959.
To date, these two models of western Flyer are the most sought-after bikes in the vintage bikes category.
Besides Murray-Ohio and Shelby Cycle company, other companies such as Cleveland Welding, Huffman, and others crafted famous bikes for western auto Supply Company.
Valuation Of Different Modes Of Western Flyer Bikes
Valuing a vintage bike like a Western Flyer is not a walk in the park. Some factors need to be looked at carefully before arriving at the correct price of the bike. Because Western Flyer X-53 and the Western Flyer Speedline Airflo are the most sought and valuable pieces, we have prioritized them in our discussion.
1. Valuing The Western Flyer Speedline Airflo Bike
The Speedline Airflo ruled the biking industry in the 1930s, courtesy of its impressive features that made it a bike to go to during that time. The bike sold at an affordable price of 75 USD, and it became a household item to who was who in the cycling world.
This bike is making a comeback today for those who value vintage cycles. It is among the most sought pieces, and it can fetch you between 100 USD to 1,000 USD, depending on its condition and other factors that we’ll discuss here.
If you have a Speedline Airflo that you wish to sell, or you intend to acquire one, here are some of the factors that will guide you to make a true valuation of this vintage piece:
Year of Manufacture: Your bike’s year of manufacture plays a vital role in determining the price it will fetch in the market. Like all other vintage pieces, the Speedline Airflo bike becomes expensive with age. If your bike is old enough and other factors are positive, it might fetch you close to 1,000 USD.
You can confirm your bike’s year of manufacture at the bottom bracket or the base of the head tube. Some bikes might feature the manufacturing year on the frame or the tire code. The manufacture date is a code that you have to decipher as it contains the month and the year the cycle was built.
General Condition: regardless of the fact it is a vintage bike, its condition plays a great part in determining its worth. For instance, if the frame is in mint condition, this piece will fetch you good money. However, if the condition is deplorable, even those cyclists attached to vintage pieces will pay less for your bike.
2. The Western Flyer X-53 Bike
Another vintage bike under the Western Flyer brand getting much attention from collectors is the X-53 bike. The bike was introduced to the biking community in the 1950s and dominated until Western Auto stopped its production in 1959.
Like old wine, the X-53’s value is getting better with time. Depending on the condition, the old wheels can fetch hundreds of dollars. The parameters used to value the X-53 are the same as its counterpart, the Speedline Airflo bike.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Primary Factor To Consider Before Purchasing A Western Flyer Bike?
Vintage bikes are a valuable collection. But before you decide to acquire one, ensure that its frame is in a better condition. Other parts of the bike can be repaired or be replaced, but changing a frame is like buying a new bike.
The Bottom Line
Western Flyer bikes such as Speedline Airflo and X-53 were exceptional road machines during their time. If you could like to know how to value them, follow our guide as it points you towards pinpointing the right value of these vintage pieces.