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Beach Cruisers Do you love balloon tires and fenders? Do you love riding the simplicity of a single gear and coaster brakes or a single gear cluster? Do you love the classic curves in the tubing of a cruiser that takes you back to the 1950's and 1960's, stylistically? Here's your home! Welcome to the Beach Cruisers and Cruisers forum!

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Old 07-27-14, 07:34 PM   #1
Mynameisquatron
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New bikes similar to Schwinn Stingray/Raleigh Choppe?

Are any of the new-school cruiser bike brands that sprung up in the wake of Electra's success making muscle/wheelie bikes with banana seats and ape hangers? I don't know how well a 45+ year old bike would hold up, but I really want that old school look
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Old 07-27-14, 10:26 PM   #2
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I don't know what might be out currently, but there were a few things out several years ago. maybe late 2000's or so.

Schwinn did stingray reproductions a couple of times. one was kinda costly, the other sold at walmart for pretty cheap (I got one new for I think $60-80. I don't remember), but now if you find one it's probably being called a collectors item.

they also reused the manta ray name on a stingray sized bike, but with the fat tire like stingray choppers had. again, if you find one the seller will be claiming it's rare or something. I picked one up in a pawn shop for about $100.

there was a bratz bike. I don't know who made it, but it ws kinda like a stingray with some lowrider bike type cues. they pop up at flea markets sometimes.

and a bike called a "bling bling". I'm not sure who made it either. again, I see them at flea markets every once in a while.

now that I think on it, there's a shop here that sells new Raleigh choppers. you might see what's around you.
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Old 07-28-14, 03:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mynameisquatron View Post
Are any of the new-school cruiser bike brands that sprung up in the wake of Electra's success making muscle/wheelie bikes with banana seats and ape hangers? I don't know how well a 45+ year old bike would hold up, but I really want that old school look
In case you weren't aware, TREK purchased Elektra recently. In my opinion a new Trek Pure S might make an excellent lab specimen, keep in mind they are around $400. I have even been toying with a fully functional tank design for one (with integrated horn, light and TOOLKIT), wouldn't mind owning it.

With good care and sound brazing/welds you shouldn't have too much trouble with a 45 year old bike such as that. I gather you mean a 26" frame and not the small frame of the original Stingray, Krates, Rollfast Skoots and store bikes sold for the countless kids of the 60s and 70s...they are not the same size!

The main difference is the presence of a strong brace/bar from the rear axle to the back of the banana seat of these small frames. The modern Stingrays and Choppers are larger and not the same at all. They are more of a response to the custom motorcycles of Jesse James and Orange County Choppers.

As I recall, the juvenile muscle bike of the 60s was either 16" or 20". Don't quote me though...my brother and I used to wear the cheater slicks off our sisters' bikes 38 years ago

The only limiting factors are probably your current weight and leg strength-those will contribute to frame failure over time. Fortunately I have not experienced this much if at all with the classic Schwinn 26" cantilevered middleweights and I weigh just over 240 lbs. I have had a Schwinn and other bikes with diamond (straight bar) frames break and I had to weld a crossbrace at the crank housing on the over 50 year old Rollfast in my avatar to stop it from separating from the seat tube...almost lost it, as I've related several times.

20" frames are too small for adults to pedal without standing and it's like a tiny car in a Shriner's formation at a parade, really silly to operate otherwise and I can go faster sitting. Stick with a frame you fit on and can stroke the pedals efficiently (it's exactly like a car engine, it needs the correct stroke length to turn well.
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Old 07-28-14, 06:23 AM   #4
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I'm okay with a 20 inch because I ride BMX and I'm used to small bikes. If the seat is high enough and the bars are high enough, that is
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Old 07-28-14, 11:08 AM   #5
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Speaking of frames....schwinn middle weight cantilever are about [if not] the best!!!
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Old 08-15-14, 09:16 PM   #6
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You can get a new 20 inch original Stingray/Krate bike frame from any of the online low rider bike houses - along with the banana seats and high rise bars. Price was under $50 for frame, last time I looked. They usually only have the (Schwinn) type springer forks, no rigid forks.
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Old 08-16-14, 08:31 AM   #7
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This is on the Baltimore Craig's list. Not bad for $100

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik/4549437247.html
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Old 09-02-14, 04:01 AM   #8
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A vintage 20" Stingray is surprisingly stout, and will support a 160 pound adult with a 30" inseam very easily. I know, because I once owned three of them. One was a Fastback, another was a De-Lux single speed with ape hanger bars, and yet another was an original with the solo-polo saddle. Back then there was no shortage of decals, correct color paint, reproduction parts, or highly skilled enthusiasts who would do complete restorations for the right price.

They were great for short trips to the grocery store or coffee house, and could turn heads where there were people who shared the same interest. Unfortunately, mine got sold because they weren't making me any money or reducing my transportation costs adequately. For that, I needed something that was reliable and cheap to fix, tune, and maintain. So, I ended up with one of the modern hybrids. These days, I get far more conversations when I'm on my Specialized Crosstrail than I would riding a 1962 vintage Typhoon.

Stingrays and their variants are great when you take them to shows and win prizes. Otherwise, it's a money losing proposition owning and maintaining one. Stingrays have also declined significantly in value in recent years since they had peaked in the late 1990's. I would opt for a Paramount, Colnago, or other classic that will hold its value and appreciate if taken care of.
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