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  1. #1
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    Bad News - Al Fritz has fallen!

    Hey there guys,

    I regret to inform our members, that the great Schwinn giant and inventor of the Sting-Ray, Al Fritz has fallen. His death came upon us last Tuesday as he succumbed to complications from a stroke. He is survived by two sons and a daughter, Michael, Steven, and Julie. He is also survived by six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

    alfritz.jpg
    Last edited by Cfiber; 05-11-13 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I saw that in the paper the other day.

    While we have a plethora of bicycle styles today, most of them are relatively crude adaptations of something we had before. It isn't very often that we see a genuine new genre'. I agree that it's sad news.

  3. #3
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    It should be remembered that he did not pull this design out of the air. Kids were already giving their bicycles the chopper look with aftermarket ape-hanger handle bars and banana seats. I had ape-hangers on my bike. But he does deserve credit for recognizing that kids would go for it, bringing it to market and persisting in the face of slow sales to the parents until kids started to demand them.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 05-12-13 at 07:29 AM.
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  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I was a preteen when the Sting-Ray was introduced, so I was never interested. I would suggest that it was more of a marketing advance than an advance in bicycling.
    I imagine, though, that a lot of kids got interested in bikes who may not have without the Sting-Ray.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm trying to remember if Sting Rays preceded BMX bikes or vice-versa.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    It should be remembered that he did not pull this design out of the air. Kids were already giving their bicycles the chopper look with aftermarket ape-hanger handle bars and banana seats. ..
    Yeah. Around 1960 most of the kids in my neighborhood had bikes and we all "customized" them in different ways. Some of the more well-off kids had banana seats and high bars. This definitely predated the Schwinn Stingray.

  7. #7
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I'm trying to remember if Sting Rays preceded BMX bikes or vice-versa.
    Yes.
    According to Wiki, started in early '70s. Not long after the Sting Ray.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMX_bike
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  8. #8
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    Just to place everything into perspective. First, there was the mother of 'em all, the Cruiser. Al Fritz observed the Cruiser being used like mountain bikes, and children's 20in bikes, being modified (complete with riser handlebars and banana seats), and being used as dirt bikes, in California. He then brainstormed the Sting-Ray from his ingenious imagination, by artistically merging the concepts, together. After the birth of the Sting-Ray, came the BMX.

    Therefore, without the Cruiser, there would be no Sting-Ray. Without the Sting-Ray, there most probably would be no BMX, either. Therefore, I think it's safe to say, that we can credit Al Fritz with both the Sting-Ray model and BMX enthusiasm. Al Fritz, was indeed a great contributor to the cycling world. There ain't no mistaking that fact, for sure!

    http://schwinncruisers.com/bikes/stingray/

    Cruiser ---> Al Fritz ---> Sting Ray ---> BMX
    Last edited by Cfiber; 05-12-13 at 11:43 AM.

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