The banana seat, the ape hanger bars, the mismatched wheels… Schwinn is bringing it all back with a limited edition Sting-Ray as a tip of the hat to the bike’s late innovator, Al Fritz, who passed this May.
Way back in 1962, Fritz, while working as a Schwinn designer, seized on a trend of young Californians tricking out their bikes with moto-style parts. His Sting-Ray bike, which came out the following year, quickly caught on. Schwinn today claims that Sting-Rays held a whopping 70 percent of US bike sales in 1964. Schwinn kept making the bike until 1981, and has produced a few throwback versions in recent years.
For this holiday season, Schwinn is celebrating the bike and its late designer with the 50th anniversary Fritz Fifty all-chrome Sting-Ray, of which 500 bikes will be made.
The Fritz Fifty Sting-Ray will look quite familiar to those who owned an original Sting-Ray, with the same style frame, a banana seat, a springer fork, and mismatched wheels. Each individually numbered bike will come with a seal of authenticity signed by Al Fritz. A portion of the proceeds from the bike sales will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Al Fritz.