Hey all, I'm a new member here. I'm also a new bike owner! I snagged this 76' Schwinn Stingray from a friend for $40.
My only issue with it so far is that the seat is REALLY uncomfortable.
Any thoughts on what I should replace it with?
They are uncomfortable,,nothing to do about it. You could put a Manta Ray seat on it, they are wider they came in black,,you could get one on ebay for close to 500 bucks lol...here is a pic of one that I paid 275 for 2 years ago. Now you cant touch one for under 400 a nos one like mine 500 lol
You are sitting upright on a rather narrow seat that is mainly a thinly padded sheet of metal. They still make suspension/springer sissy bars or can use a suspension seatpost. Going to have to do a custom reuphostery and add padding like others have mentioned. Finding where you sit on the banana seat and you could pound that section with body tools to form it to your sitbones and then take it to an upholstery shop to add the necessory padding for more comfort...maybe a diamond tuck for some style. That being said, it might be better to go full custom and have a wider and thicker padded banana seat made ala motorcycle chopper style. Seen that done back in the day...mostly with the 24" wheel varients.
Before my bike got stolen, a stingray/manta ray was a short distance bike, not a bike I wanted to ride the 10 miles to the beach. The pain was too much and I only had a single speed which was fine to visit school friends and hit the local stores.
A few years back I built up a 26" wheeled bike into a sting ray lookalike....
....ape hangers, brand new repo banana seat, etc. Took it out for easy ride once and rode it about 2 miles...once! The bike was returned to its original configuration the next day and my butt still hurt while doing it!
if you're not worried about it being original, (and maybe looking some top heavy), you might try a seat from an exerciser. usually one of those things that looks like a cross bettween you rowing a boat and riding a horse (i don't know what they're called)
this one is probaly for certain wider than you want (i went with the widest i could find with the big tire), but i've seen them in sizes bettween this and normal older banana seats. you may have to get imaginative with the mounting and rear support/sissy bar, but if you can find one cheap and can work it out, you may get the comfort you want.