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Schwinn Stingray 50 years old

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Schwinn Stingray 50 years old

Old 06-05-13, 08:39 PM
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PhilWinIL
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Schwinn Stingray 50 years old

Wow!

Talk about time flying! Just read an article in the Wall Street Journal that the Schwinn Stingray hit the 50 year mark June 1st. There werecsome guys in our neighborhood who were always popping wheelies with those and leaving skid marks on the pavement. As I recall, they had a few skinned knees too. And who worried about a helmet back then?!

Meanwhile I was tooling around on the old Iverson 26 icher.

If you go to www.wsj.com and do aa sesrch on the Stingray, you should be aablee to get to the article.

There is annother one entitled "When Stingrays Ruled the World".

Phil
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Old 06-05-13, 09:13 PM
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Coincidentally, the Stingray was the brainchild of Al Fritz, who passed away at 88 a month ago (on May 7).

New York Times Obituary - Al Fritz
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Old 06-06-13, 04:56 AM
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Wait a minute-Stingrays still don't rule the world?
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Old 06-06-13, 05:43 AM
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Phil, I had a Schwinn American and a paper route when the StingRay debuted. I just didn't see the use for them, they were very different from anything else kids were riding at the time and became quite popular.

Brad
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Old 06-06-13, 11:29 AM
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Brad, I was quite happy with the Iverson that I had at the time. The number of skinned knees and elbows was a lot less that the kid down the street with the Stingray! Those were the days when you could ride out to the airport and watch the planes take off and land from the observation deck at the airport. Rode from the house to the airport with no water bottle or helmet; we survived!
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Old 06-06-13, 12:27 PM
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This was given to son about 17 years ago by my mother-in-law. She had kept it in her finished basement all those years gone by. It was my brother-in-laws (he had forgotten it was even there!) 1969 Schwinn Lemon Peeler, 100% original right down to the tubes.

BTW, he barely even rode it, (he's 28 now) as we had just gotten him a new bike. It now resides with my collection in all its pristine glory.
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Old 06-06-13, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilWinIL View Post
Brad, I was quite happy with the Iverson that I had at the time. The number of skinned knees and elbows was a lot less that the kid down the street with the Stingray! Those were the days when you could ride out to the airport and watch the planes take off and land from the observation deck at the airport. Rode from the house to the airport with no water bottle or helmet; we survived!
Every gas station had a water fountain, sometimes chilled. Who needed water bottles? Did helmets exist in the '60s?

Brad
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Old 06-06-13, 03:06 PM
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Oh those were the days. Never had a stingray, those were for rich kids. I had a Murry "buzz bike" bought from the local Western Auto store. It was red with a white banana seat and "cool" as hell. I loved that bike. sniff
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Old 06-06-13, 05:59 PM
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I was too young to catch the first wave of that bike style, and my Dad was too conventional to consider for a moment getting me one, but in my early teenage years I built myself a frankenstingray from salvaged (& some new) parts. I had more pure fun on that bike than any other one I had before or since.
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Old 06-06-13, 10:50 PM
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Mine was a lime green 64, if I recall correctly. I got it used after having a Huffy knock off, it amazed me how much more solid and indestructible it was.
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Old 06-07-13, 04:57 AM
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My "Stingray" was my first bike build, as my parent's weren't about to buy me one when I had a perfectly good Mark V Jaguar given to me on my eighth birthday, five years earlier. I got an old Schwinn kid's twenty incher, had it sprayed deep blue at dad's Chevrolet dealership, and added the seat and bars. And discovered my first lesson about chainwheel size.

That's where my career of being a bicycle mechanic started.
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Old 06-07-13, 07:10 AM
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I never owned a hi-riser either. I inherited my granfather's 3 speed Hercules touring bicycle after he passed away and soon coverted it into an English racer. I lusted after a Cyclo 9 speed conversion kit, but couldn't afford it. I guess I was bit ahead of the curve and pending lighweight boom. However, to appease the hi-riser fans out there, I did assemble and repair more than my fair share of them, though they were CCM models, Mustangs, Marauders, Scramblers, Cheetahs, etc.
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Old 06-07-13, 09:05 AM
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The first bike I ever purchased with my own money was a brand new blue 1976 or 77 Sting Ray - rode it every single day! Eventually turned it into a "BMX" bike as that was all the rage - the thing was indestructible. Wish I still had it in it's original condition...
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Old 06-07-13, 09:29 AM
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My first "stingray" style bike was an Iverson Charger. Very cool, banana seat, sissy bar, chrome fenders, fat tire in the back, skinny one up front, way-cool chain guard, streamers hanging off the handlebars and baseball cards in the spokes for that Cherrybomb sound! Couldn't pull a decent wheelie with it like the "rich" kids on the Raleigh Choppers and Schwinn Crates could, because it weighed a full ton and a half, but I could skid that thing for a city block!

Oh, the memories of those carefree, easygoing, fun-to-be-an-American days! Where did they go?

RIP Al Fritz, you gave us baby-boomers alot of happiness!
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Old 06-07-13, 10:14 AM
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As the story goes, and I'm not sure if it was Al Fritz who made the call to Schwinn, that something different was going on in California. Kids were taking small framed bikes and purchasing "polo" seats for them. (The polo seats were sitting in a warehouse as the manufacturer thought there would be a craze for playing Polo on a bike that never materialized). They (California kids) were also buying these Ape Bars to go on them and having a blast.
So......Mr. Fritz basically capitalized on something that was obscure to everyone else but saw a good idea in the making. And thank goodness he did! Schwinn thought he was nuts.....until they couldn't keep up with the demand!
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Old 06-07-13, 11:38 AM
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According to the book, No Hands: The Rise and Fall ofthe Schwinn Bicycle Company, an American Institution, Sig Mork (Schwinn's west coast sales manager) called Al Fritz and said, "Something goofy is going on. The kids out here, they're buying used twenty-inch bikes and equipping them with Texas longhorn handlebars."

The SoCal Schwinn distributor, Bob Wilson, urged Al to develop the Sting-Ray, promising to order 500 units initially. "It's going to sell,"Wilson said, but Fritz still had to convince skeptics at the factory, including Frank V. Schwinn.
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Old 06-07-13, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I never owned a hi-riser either. I inherited my granfather's 3 speed Hercules touring bicycle after he passed away and soon coverted it into an English racer. I lusted after a Cyclo 9 speed conversion kit, but couldn't afford it. I guess I was bit ahead of the curve and pending lighweight boom. However, to appease the hi-riser fans out there, I did assemble and repair more than my fair share of them, though they were CCM models, Mustangs, Marauders, Scramblers, Cheetahs, etc.
In my 'hood, the one that made the biggest splash was the Fastback 500, when a friend got one new for his birthday. The rest of us were stuck with conventional bikes or home made ratrods.
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Old 06-08-13, 08:01 AM
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My second bike was a Schwinn 3 Speed Stickshift Stingray. I liked it a lot. When it arrived home it was the talk of the neighborhood, EVERYONE wanted to sit on it, neighbors, parents, kids, it was a big deal. It got more attention than when a new car was purchased nearby.

I kept that bike perfect. Up until it got stolen. The saving money for its replacement is one of the factors that got me interested in bikes more completely. I parlayed my ability to clean and service a bike into a way to save for my next.

Still remember the advertising tag line of the day, "Boy I like my Schwinn Bike, Schwinn is the finest Bike!" Indeed it was. Schwinn did not invent the muscle bike but did get the styling down perfectly. That bike was such a hit that they totally missed the BMX trend.
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