Bike Spotting: Schwinn Stingray Love Lives On

27 Jun

The year was 1963. The Beatles were mobilizing for the British Invasion, a youthful JFK fed American imaginations with dreams that launched us to the moon, and lowrider cars and chopper motorcycles prowled the streets with a certain irreverence for authority. And in 1963 Schwinn introduced the Stingray, the bike that captured the hearts of Baby Boomer and Gen-X boys and girls. By 1968 they made up 75% of U.S. bike sales.

Stingray love lives on with reproduction bikes, like this pair I saw on the new Stevens Creek Trail bike bridge. While I was admiring the bikes, the rider Pam recognized me–we worked together over 20 years ago. She and her hubby were riding 1999 Stingrays, much like ones they rode as kids. Nostalgia is a beautiful thing.

Location: Stevens Creek Trail at Heatherstone Way, Mountain View, California, USA


Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Bike Gallery


8 responses to “Bike Spotting: Schwinn Stingray Love Lives On

  1. Rachel Unger

    June 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    … I think I had one of those as a kid. In red. Wow. I hadn’t thought of that bike in years!

    • ladyfleur

      June 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      I wanted one, but didn’t even get the knockoff. My dad just installed ape hangers and a banana seat on my sister’s old bike. Still, I was happy.

      Did yours look something like the pic in this post?

      • Rachel Unger

        June 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm

        It looks like the right shape, but it was more red-red than the one in the picture. That banana seat, though – oh, man, the memories. And streamers. 🙂 Mine might have been a knockoff and not a Schwinn. The memory is faint enough, and the shape similar enough.

  2. Billy Bob Trueblood

    July 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

    These bike’s are awesome! we do not have these kind of bike’s in the Netherlands.
    Some kids in my home town where i grew up had these.
    The where kids from american soldiers working in Soesterberg(a former american airbase in the netherlands)
    I was so jealous!

    • ladyfleur

      July 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Billy Bob, I didn’t have a Stingray either. But my father put that kind of seat and handlebars on a regular bike and it made me happy.

  3. Matt

    June 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Just catching up on these old posts. Our parents got us SEARS versions of these bikes (1967). They should have just painted a big “L” on our faces. However, mine had a tiger-stripe pattern banana seat and was the envy of the entire street. It looked like Ann-Margaret’s underwear on a bike seat.

    The slick back tire was great for making hellish skid marks on the sidewalk. Parents weren’t real happy about that. They don’t appreciate kid art.

    We didn’t appreciate this style at the time, with the high handle bars. See the dip in the handlebars where they meet the stem? We used to hold the handle bars down there, in the middle, to pretend we were “big kids” on 10-speed Schwinn Varsities.


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