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1961 Schwinn Stingray

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1961 Schwinn Stingray

Old 08-25-21, 08:38 PM
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Der_Kruscher
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1961 Schwinn Stingray

EDIT - after a few tips and some research, looks like this is probably a 1975 or thereabouts - my birth year!

Got this off of my local Facebook Buy Nothing group today for free. It's a 1961 and pretty much everything appears to be original, including the grips and tires. The paint isn't perfect and has a patch on the seat tube that was touched up poorly with a bad color match - no biggie, it's part of the bike's history. The coaster brake isn't working and I don't have experience with them but I can figure it out. I don't really have a need or the space for another bike but I couldn't resist and I intend on keeping it after cleaning it up (although it doesn't need much!). It'll look cool next to my '73 World Voyageur!

1961 Schwinn Stingray as received (free!).

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Old 08-25-21, 08:40 PM
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I believe that the Stingray wasn't marketed until 1963
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Old 08-25-21, 08:44 PM
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That Stingray looks more like late 60's or 70's.
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Old 08-25-21, 08:51 PM
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I bought a Sting-Ray new in the Fall of 1969.
by the handlebars ‘70-‘71 I think. Bars are not wide enough for earlier.
the 1969 bikes got the mag sprocket as shown and the clipped chain guard. Prior it had a tail fin that passed over the seat stay.
serial number will be on the off drive side dropout or head tube just above the lower cup.

the available colors shifted, the year I bought campus Green was the best available.

might even be later by the reflector set.
’74?
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Old 08-25-21, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I believe that the Stingray wasn't marketed until 1963
You know, you're right...I've forgotten my history. Oddly, the serial number comes up as being produced in '61 though. Hmmm...any guesses why that would be?
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Old 08-25-21, 09:01 PM
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And that's why I came here! As I replied to someone else, the serial number finder indicated '61 which is clearly incorrect (I'm not particularly knowledgeable about vintage bikes or specific Schwinn's in general). I don't remember what site I used to date the bike so I have no idea how accurate their database is in general. Well, I like bikes and I like old stuff, so here's a chance for me to learn something, which I also like. Is that color called "Kool Lemon?"


Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I bought a Sting-Ray new in the Fall of 1969.
by the handlebars ‘70-‘71 I think. Bars are not wide enough for earlier.
the 1969 bikes got the mag sprocket as shown and the clipped chain guard. Prior it had a tail fin that passed over the seat stay.
serial number will be on the off drive side dropout or head tube just above the lower cup.

the available colors shifted, the year I bought campus Green was the best available.
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Old 08-25-21, 09:02 PM
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1975 had cool lemon, black saddle and those reflectors
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Old 08-25-21, 09:06 PM
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Schwinn paint in correct colors, minus fade,
https://www.koolestuff.com/store/c8/...ors_Paint.html
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Old 08-25-21, 09:11 PM
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You're totally right! As someone else pointed out, Stingrays weren't even made until '63. Judging by some very crude, quick research, this is probably a 1975(?). That's my birth year, which means that this bike is also overdue for its first, routine colonoscopy, which I also got today...although it wasn't free :-(

Originally Posted by daverup View Post
That Stingray looks more like late 60's or 70's.
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Old 08-25-21, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for confirming/informing. Usually reflectors get taken off any bike I own, but those are kind of charming.

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
1975 had cool lemon, black saddle and those reflectors
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Old 08-25-21, 09:17 PM
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Routine colonoscopy on Stingrays often find rust in the steel rims..
Still, nice price on that one, fun project
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Old 08-25-21, 09:18 PM
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Not that this is exactly apropos to the discussion but here's one of the "new" Stingray's garage-mates, a 1973 (correct me if I'm wrong) World Voyageur that I also nabbed for free from my local Buy Nothing group. Pardon me if you've seen it before, but I thought I'd share as they'll look nice parked next to one another.


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Old 08-25-21, 10:11 PM
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Damn, people in seattle give away nice stuff!
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Old 08-25-21, 11:18 PM
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I have a Paramount track bike that similarly has a serial number which can be interpreted as 1960's or 1970's because of the way the number system changed.

I had a campus-green 1967 two-speed Stingray for many years, as a kid and into my early teens. I changed out the fork for more of an off-road feel and rode the heck out of it.
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Old 08-26-21, 09:58 AM
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What a great bike. Make me remember fondly my bloody knees covered in gravel and dust. Congratulations!
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Old 08-26-21, 10:17 AM
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One of the upsides of living someplace so expensive: you're surrounded by wealthy folks who'd often rather give stuff away than deal with selling it. I give away a fair amount of stuff to my neighbors too, but I do tend to hold on to the good stuff! And I highly recommend getting onto a local Buy Nothing group on Facebook if you're on FB and you have a BN group in your area. I've met a lot of great folks in my neighborhood and fueled my hobbies without having to spend any money or walk, bike, or drive more than a mile to pick stuff up :-) Plus, it makes my own garage purges faster with less Craigslist-style weirdness when I want to just get rid of something.

Oh, and I should note that the World Voyageur didn't look like that when I got it. It wasn't in terrible shape but it required some work and let's just say that in the end, after replacing wear items and the gross, 1980s lycra saddle that was on the bike, it wasn't free or even close to it!

Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Damn, people in seattle give away nice stuff!

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Old 08-26-21, 10:55 AM
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Be careful about buying pre-mixed paints, especially expensive ones. The pre-made paints usually are intended to duplicate a factory-fresh color, not a faded one for touch-up. You could end up spending a lot of money on paint that doesn't match. It may be more economical for you to buy a couple little jars of Testor's enamel and then mix until you have a match for the particular, aged color your bike has taken. Nail varnish is also a possibility, but I find the Testor's cheaper and easier to work with.
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Old 08-26-21, 02:37 PM
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My feeling is that I'd rather see a clean bike with a little patina than worry about repainting unless a bike is pretty trashed - this one is in really nice condition, so I'm just going to clean it up and get the rear hub in order...it will look really good when completed. And frankly, if a bike is so trashed that I'd consider a repaint, it's not the bike for me - if I can't do it on my own relatively quickly and cheaply I'd rather let someone else do it.

Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
Be careful about buying pre-mixed paints, especially expensive ones. The pre-made paints usually are intended to duplicate a factory-fresh color, not a faded one for touch-up. You could end up spending a lot of money on paint that doesn't match. It may be more economical for you to buy a couple little jars of Testor's enamel and then mix until you have a match for the particular, aged color your bike has taken. Nail varnish is also a possibility, but I find the Testor's cheaper and easier to work with.
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Old 08-26-21, 02:56 PM
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I thought it might be worth posting these pics: to my inexperienced eye, these appear to be original tires. The rear has some dry rot in the spot where the deflated tire was sitting, but otherwise they're remarkably intact for 46 year old tires (if they are indeed that old). I didn't take a pic of the valve caps but those appear to be an older style cap that I haven't seen in years - the tubes might even be original and they do still hold air! Old rubber must have been formulated a lot differently than modern stuff. Anyway, I included a pic of a grip and the underside of the seat. The seat has one minor hole but otherwise looks fantastic.




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Old 08-30-21, 01:02 PM
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Maybe it's the camera angle or the angle of the wheel. The front fork looks as though it might be bent.
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Old 08-30-21, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dombey19 View Post
Maybe it's the camera angle or the angle of the wheel. The front fork looks as though it might be bent.
yep. Not much, but enough.
I usually catch those, good call

a capable shop should be able to fix it.
if they want to just Park Frame Jack it back, smile and wave as you walk out the door
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Old 09-07-21, 09:43 AM
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The fork isn't bent - it's just the camera angle. And if a bike took a hit hard enough to bend the fork I'm not going to risk my teeth by bending it back! Would any shop even be willing to take on that liability? I worked in a shop for a while and we certainly wouldn't have.

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
yep. Not much, but enough.
I usually catch those, good call

a capable shop should be able to fix it.
if they want to just Park Frame Jack it back, smile and wave as you walk out the door
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Old 09-07-21, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Der_Kruscher View Post
The fork isn't bent - it's just the camera angle. And if a bike took a hit hard enough to bend the fork I'm not going to risk my teeth by bending it back! Would any shop even be willing to take on that liability? I worked in a shop for a while and we certainly wouldn't have.
You may believe as you wish.
Test, don't guess.
drop the fork, (the headset undoubtedly needs repacking anyway, these were not well sealed, the bearings are caged, so things wont skitter on the floor) sight the upper region of the fork legs adjacent to the slightly askew black decorative decal, and from the side the legs should bisect the steerer centerline, the fork very slightly tapers along its length.
I am very sure it does not align. pushed back 5-8 degrees. This translates to about .625-.75" less rake than it was designed with.
Remove the crown race and fork crown before adjusting the fork to be double sure, take a straight edge as from a carpenters. combination square rule and set it against the steerer to verify the steerer is not bent.
the steerer on these forks was very strong, almost always the bend is in the legs.

If you can finds a local shop that once was a Schwinn dealer and has a grey haired mechanic, he should be able to fix it.
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Old 09-07-21, 09:46 PM
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Maybe your response wasn't intended to be condescending and patronizing but it sure comes across that way - you may want to consider not starting out with, "You may believe as you wish" in future replies as it sounds like you're calling someone a dumbass. And you're telling me not to trust my eyes and experience when I have the actual bike right here to touch and look at from any angle, but you're also telling me with certainty that the fork is pushed back 5-8 degrees from a picture on the internet? I've bought and sold enough bikes over the years to know that picture angles can play with how you perceive the straightness of a fork - reality doesn't always align with what you think you see. So, you may believe as you wish, but the fork is straight and I have literally no concerns about it. The rear hub is another matter....

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
You may believe as you wish.
Test, don't guess.
drop the fork, (the headset undoubtedly needs repacking anyway, these were not well sealed, the bearings are caged, so things wont skitter on the floor) sight the upper region of the fork legs adjacent to the slightly askew black decorative decal, and from the side the legs should bisect the steerer centerline, the fork very slightly tapers along its length.
I am very sure it does not align. pushed back 5-8 degrees. This translates to about .625-.75" less rake than it was designed with.
Remove the crown race and fork crown before adjusting the fork to be double sure, take a straight edge as from a carpenters. combination square rule and set it against the steerer to verify the steerer is not bent.
the steerer on these forks was very strong, almost always the bend is in the legs.

If you can finds a local shop that once was a Schwinn dealer and has a grey haired mechanic, he should be able to fix it.
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Old 09-09-21, 09:55 AM
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on these bikes that change in geometry is significant.
And yes, I was attempting to rattle you into action.
Visit the thecabe and get their opinion, there are many many Schwinn enthusiasts there.
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