Now this brings back memories. When I was growing up in the 70’s the first bicycle I can remember owning was a Schwinn Sting-Ray much like the pic over there on the right. Schwinn first introduced this model in 1963 and by the time I was a year old it was one of the most popular bikes around accounting for 70% of all bikes sold in 1968, according to Schwinn at least. I don’t remember specifically which model of Sting-Ray I had though I think it might have been one of the “Krate” series that had a “Stik-Shift” on it, which turned out to be the most popular model they produced until the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned them in 1974. By the time I stopped riding that poor thing I had beat the living hell out of it and very few of the original parts were still in place. I can specifically remember how the banana seat became a problem after a few years of abuse from jumping it off of homemade ramps and such. You see it got to the point where the two poles that held up the back of the seat would slip down when landing a jump off the ramp due to the adjustable fasteners that held onto them being weakened from the repeated stress. I had a particularly impressive wipe out one afternoon when I jumped off a ramp only to have both poles suddenly dig into the ground upon the rather hard landing which, as you can imagine, brought the bike to a sudden uncontrollable stop. Yeah, those were good times even if I don’t know how I survived them.
Anyway, chances are if you were a child during the late 60s/early 70s you either had one of these bikes yourself or knew someone who did. Well, Schwinn is bringing them back to the market though the new models hardly look like the old ones:
New Schwinn Sting-Ray Muscle Bike
Part chopper. Part cruiser.
100% muscle bike—The new Schwinn Sting-Ray is all about the ride. Built with customized parts—like the Big Boa Tire and signature V-back Handlebars—it’s no wonder Schwinn Sting-Rays are endorsed by Orange County Choppers. Straddle the saddle and hit the pavement… the rebirth of cool has arrived.
OK, I must say that this new model is wicked cool and it makes me want one even as I rapidly approach middle age. It’s probably about the closest I’d ever come to being the chopper riding biker guy that so many folks assume I am from my picture, but the pure ridiculousness of someone like me peddling his fat-ass around on this new Sting-Ray would be worth the cost on its own. Which happens to be, in case you’re curious, around $180 from places such as Toy’s R Us or Wal-Marts. The official website has links to the new commercial promoting the bike along with old video clips of other children from the 70’s injuring themselves on their Sting-Rays and some cool-as-sin wallpapers for nostalgic middle aged guys like myself to decorate their PCs with. Oh, interestingly enough, they’re producing the classic model Sting-Ray as well if you want to recapture the past as you remember it. In the end I should have taken better care of that bike as the site says that “Krate” model Sting-Rays in mint condition are fetching upwards of $2,000 these days!
Link via Boing Boing.