Say the name and half the the adult population over the age of 50 remembers will start telling you about theirs. They’ll tell you the color, where they rode it, and who else had one on the block. And pretty much everyone had them.
Back in the ’60s and early ’70s, no bicycle manufacturer had the market as sewn up as Schwinn. The bicycle giant held a majority market share, produced legendary road bikes like the Varsity, and put more Schwinn Stingrays on street corners than any other bike in the world. The Stingray’s design, much like the Sears Spaceliner, had nothing to do with speed. Small wheels, weird swept bars and a banana seat useful only to give the pretty girl from down the block a ride up to the soda shop. But with that style was a thoroughly American substance that’s still tangible today. The Schwinn Stingray is that little slice of suburbia on a long seat.