Schwinn 'Banana Seat' Retro Bike For Sale This Fall

With “ape-hanger” handlebars and banana seats, Schwinn first launched its Sting-Ray line of bikes in 1963 after a designer at the company took note of a trend where youngsters in California were retrofitting bicycles with accoutrements made for motorcycles. The result was a “wheelie bike” with a small frame, a long banana-shape saddle, and mismatched wheels (small in front, large in rear). By the end of 1964, Schwinn cites its Sting-Ray line accounted for 70 percent of bike sales in the U.S.A.

schwinn sting ray bike yellow.jpg

Created in the ’60s, available again today!

Banana-seat bikes like the Sting-Ray remain close in memory for many riders today who scooted around suburban neighborhoods and city sidewalks on the easy-to-ride bikes. This fall, Schwinn brings back the line for anyone who wants to relive those carefree moments. The company built 900 Sting-Ray bikes and started shipping them to independent bike shops late last month.

schwinn sting ray bike.jpg

“Grey Ghost” color scheme

The new model Sting-Ray bikes cost $399 and come in four retro color schemes — Apple Krate, Orange Krate, Lemon Peeler, and Grey Ghost. Schwinn has individually numbered each of the 900 bikes in case the 2011 banana riders one day become a collector’s item just like the ones rusting now in your grandparents’ garage.

—Stephen Regenold

Posted by z1ny - 09/26/2011 09:10 AM

umm didn’t they already start doing this a few years ago? The reproductions are everywhere.

Posted by cory - 09/26/2011 10:56 AM

i am sure these are better quality then the “walmart” versions that came out a few years ago.

Posted by Brian - 09/26/2011 11:05 AM

I had that one when I was a child.. I loved that bike.. It was a tank.. The only thing I didnt break lmao

Posted by jpea - 09/26/2011 11:06 AM

I think my parents still have that sucker in the garage – got handed down to myself after 3 of my older siblings used it – awesome!

Posted by mummymunster - 09/26/2011 12:01 PM

It just hurts that these things are so expensive. Been wanting one my whole life but could never afford one. :(

Posted by MikE - 09/26/2011 12:05 PM

Would be even better if the new ones had the brazed frame and were made in the USA like the old ones I had.

Posted by Pete - 09/26/2011 12:55 PM

Made in USA. Now there’s a thought. The chrome,paint,and plastic parts of the original were top quality . Repos are better than nothing

Posted by Duane - 09/26/2011 09:28 PM

The originals had a 5 speed stick shift on the top bar . I had an orange krate myself , miss that bike .

Posted by Jim Davidson - 09/27/2011 11:00 AM

Mine was royal blue, and had tassles coming out of the handlebar grips (I think). Fond memories.

Posted by Alaine - 09/29/2011 03:03 PM

I bought one maybe three years ago. A grey ghost for my son. It was made by Schwinn so they are out there. It is a five speed but the gear shifter is on the handlebar. I guess for safety reasons they moved it. I bought it because I had wanted one so bad when I was a kid but we couldn’t afford it. It’s cool! Still wish I had won the apple crate though.

Posted by FaterMater - 09/30/2011 12:24 PM

Just saw one of these on an old rerun of “Frasier” last night. Niles was learning how to ride a bike. I thought it was a super cool looking bike.

Posted by John Brain - 10/01/2011 09:47 AM

In the 1960’s Schwinn was 3rd in bicycle market share, and only about 10% of the high-rise bikes (or ‘wheelie bikes’ as you call them) were made by Schwinn – not 70%.

The Schwinn “Sting-Ray” introduced nothing new to the American bicycle market (stylistically or design wise). The first banana seat bike sold commercially in the U.S. was a 20 inch model called the Huffy “Penguin” – which was sold in California stores when the Schwinn StingRay was still in its prototype stage.

Posted by Shelley - 10/05/2011 04:42 PM

Any idea where I can buy one.

Posted by curious george - 10/24/2011 12:59 AM

how do you know so much about the huffy penguin?

Posted by Laura - 12/03/2011 05:59 PM

I have an orange Krate Bike seat with mounting bracket still attached it is in great condition. Does anyone know how to tell what year it is? I thin it is a 1968. It still has round tag stickers underneath that say 43. Does that mean it was 43rd one made? It has the white triple stripe with the S and the stripe is off center down the right side of seat. I saw one going for $800. what would one in good to excellent condition go for on the market. Want to sell it cause need to buy XMAS gifts. any one interested email me an offer. Thanks

Posted by darius brown - 04/16/2012 01:35 PM

hey yall i got a banna seat schwinn stingray at my house that im trying to sell for $250

Posted by Jillian Levine - 08/26/2012 12:22 AM

I am looking 4 a bike and seat that has the ability to raise the back portion of the seat 15-20 degrees. Are you able to help or guide me4?

Posted by patlucci - 09/23/2013 09:28 PM

where can i buy a bike just like the ones u should with the bannanna seat luv it

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