1948 Monark Silverking Hex Bar
In our opinion, the coolest balloon-tire bike ever made.
The Monark cycle company in Chicago started out as a battery manufacturer. When they started building bicycles, a creative switch was thrown and Monark became known for designing some of the most wonderful balloon-tire bikes of the era.
The hex bar Silver King is constructed of hexagonal shaped aluminum tubes. Fashioned with a sense of style left over from the 1920s and 1930s, art deco touches abound. The stainless steel fenders are so highly polished you would swear they were chrome (like the rack and chainguard).
This particular bike was purchased by Bart Fowler of New York City for seventy-nine dollars in 1948.
Antique bicycles usually don’t appreciate in value, but a find like this Monark does. Boys balloon-tire bikes rarely survive the decades with the fenders, rack and lights intact. Young street racers will often strip the heavy accessories off of their bikes, or leave crash-damaged and dented parts where smooth perfection once sat. Today, this bike is one of the most valuable in the collection.