For guys from the 70s and 80s, nothing was closer to riding a cool vintage motorcycle than a stingray. This vintage motorcycle-inspired bike captured the imagination of every kid back then and even to date. But can adults ride a Schwinn Stingray?
Well, the Schwinn Stingray comes with 20-inch wheels, which according to Schwinn, are best for riders who are 48-60 inches (or 4-5 feet). While most of these riders are kids, adults within the height bracket can ride the Stingray.
Besides, this bike comes with high-rise handlebars and a stretched-out geometry that accommodates taller individuals. Moreover, it comes in a stronger build to hold adult weight.
So, unless you are over 5 feet or probably 6-foot-tall and plus-size, you can ride a Schwinn Stingray.
Let me explain more about why this bike could be an adult choice. But first, let’s talk about its history briefly.
In a rush? Check out the hottest adult-friendly Stingray bikes on the hotlist below!
3 Best Adult Schwinn Stingray for Adults to Ride
- Orange Krate Classic Stingray – Best Single-Speed Adult Schwinn Stingray
- Coal Krate Classic Stingray – Alternative Best Single-Speed
- Schwinn OCC Stingray Chopper – Best 3-Speed Adult Schwinn Stingray
Schwinn Stingray Brief History
When Schwinn featured the Stingray as an ad in the early 60s, they didn’t expect it to attract such a huge following. Kids in California, in particular, were mesmerized by the bike’s cool vintage design.
They would take their 20-inch bikes and modify them to appear like a motorcycle, the same as the Stingray ad. In that case, they would maintain the high-rise handlebar and swap the original bucket-shaped saddle for the banana-shaped one.
That caught the attention of Chicago inventor AI Fritz who came up with the bike’s prototype, inspired by the kids’ imagination.
When he approached Schwinn with the idea, the giant bike manufacturer’s top executives laughed the idea off but decided to give AI Fritz a chance, though hesitantly.
Contrary to their expectation, the Stingray sold over 45,000 units during its first few months of launching in 1963. So, it became Schwinn’s best-seller and record-breaker, and ever since, Schwinn continued producing the bike.
While the manufacturing began in 1963, the bike was first cataloged in 1964, and the 1964 J38 Stingray went on to become the point of reference for the entire Stingray bike line.
Can Adults Ride a Schwinn Stingray? 3 Reasons They Can
While the Stingray is historically a kids’ bike, several factors make it adult-friendly. They include the following:
1. Inclusive Wheel Size – ‘Size 20’
Generally, Schwinn employs the table below to size their bikes according to the wheel size. From the table, it’s clear that a 20-inch bike can fit a rider who is 48-60 inches (or 4-5) feet tall or 7-13 years.
If you ignore the age part, this bike can fit adults 4-5 feet tall. You can verify that from online customer reviews, as many are adults.
|Wheel Size (inches)||Age (years)||Height (inches)|
2. Stretched Out Geometry
The Stingray’s stretched-out geometry and high-rise handlebars offer adults more leverage when it comes to maneuvering the bike. It allows you to enjoy a more laid-back posture with enough room for your long legs and arms.
Generally, the distance between the seat and the high-rise handlebars is much longer, favoring tall-statured riders. For that reason, the bike is adult-friendly.
3. Stronger Build
The Stingray comes with a stronger aluminum frame that enjoys a lifetime frame warranty. This frame can hold huge weights without snapping out or weakening, making it adult-friendly.
Moreover, the frame depends on a springer suspension, whose job is to absorb heavy impact. So, you can count on it to cushion you against the bumps and absorb the heavy impact associated with massive weights.
The wheelset is the other part of the build that makes it more accommodating to adults. This bike comes with much stronger wheels to hold colossal weight.
Other Reasons Adults Can Ride the Schwinn Stingray
Here are some other reasons why you should get this bike if you are an adult:
a) Cool Vintage Look
How about you walk down memory lane with this fantastic motorcycle-inspired vintage bike? Whether it’s the 60s, 70s, or 80s, there is a Stingray option on the market.
While their ape high-rise handlebars and laidback geometry are their reference point, they also have a few vintage flairs that make them look cool. That includes their chrome mudguards, kickstands, chain guards, sissy bars, among others.
b) Comfort Features
The Stingray is ideally a cruiser bike, making it a comfort bike. While its springer fork and laidback geometry are the centerpieces of its comfort, you cannot overlook its banana seat and cushioned tires.
Its banana seat is one of the most remarkable and comfiest saddles on the market. It comes in a more ergonomic style and is readily adjustable to help you find your comfort seamlessly.
Its wider tires are more cushioned to allow you to ride smoothly and offer shock absorption. Furthermore, they let you sit low as you stretch your arms to the high-rise bars, and that provides you with extra stability.
c) Low-Gear Drivetrain
This vintage bike is generally easier to ride due to its low-gear drivetrain. This bike mostly comes as single-speed, with only a few options coming as three-speed.
So, provided you ride on smoother terrains, you won’t have a problem. Though there is no shifting, you can quickly pedal on urban roads and have fun while at it.
d) Reliable Linear-Pull Brakes
The Stingray doesn’t come with the most high-end disc brakes, but what it offers you are reliable linear-pull brakes. The brakes are easier to use, maintain, and work well in dry road conditions.
And since this bike is a cruiser, you don’t expect to take rugged and wet conditions with it. So, the linear-pull brakes will just work fine. They are pretty responsive in dry and smoother conditions.
Best Schwinn Stingray Bike for Adults to Ride – Your Options
Now, below are three Stingray bikes that adults who are 4-5 feet can ride:
1. Orange Krate Classic Stingray – Best Single-Speed Schwinn Stingray for Adults to Ride
Having disappeared for some time, the Orange Krate Classic Stingray (View on Amazon) is back, and it’s more aesthetic, cooler, and sportier.
This classic bike oozes confidence with its vintage flair and color combination. The iconic high-rise ape handlebars, springer fork, laidback geometry, and a banana seat are just fantastic.
Its high-rise handlebars and laidback geometry allow you to ride upright, thus comfortably. On the other hand, its springer fork absorbs shock, while its banana seat offers it a classic look while assuring you of seating comfort.
Overall, this legendary cruiser bike suits riders 4-5 feet or six years and above.
2. Coal Krate Classic Stingray – Best Alternative Single-Speed Schwinn Stingray for Adults to Ride
The Coal Krate Classic Stingray (View on Amazon) and the Orange Krate Classic Stingray look alike apart from their color differences. You pay more for the Coal Krate because of its look.
Like its sibling, the Coal Krate oozes a vintage flair.
This bike is for those adults who like keeping things low-key. It’s also for those who want to appear like they are riding a vintage motorcycle from the 70s with a bossy sporty motorcycle look.
The fact that it has coaster brakes and a single-speed drivetrain means you can cruise around town confidently. And like its siblings, it fits riders 4-5 feet or six years and above.
3. Schwinn OCC Stingray Chopper – Best Three-Speed Schwinn Stingray for Adults to Ride
The Schwinn OCC Stingray Chopper (View on Amazon) offers you something different from the Stingray Krate. While the Stingray Krate comes single-speed, the Stingray Chopper offers three-speed. As a result, it’s much easier to take on light trails with a Stingray Chopper than a Stingray Krate.
The other difference is that the Chopper enjoys a more aggressive geometry when the Krate has a laid-back geometry. That means you can ride faster with a Chopper.
Overall, the Schwinn Stingray Chopper maintains the original vintage motorcycle look. It comes with fat tires (4.25-inch), which offer extra stability, bump-cushioning, and floatation. Its custom seat and oversized gusset, on the other hand, promise you extra comfort.
Though Schwinn doesn’t specify the height and only calls it a boys’ bike, it has the solid build to accommodate adults, just like the Stingray Krate.
People Also Ask
1. Does Schwinn Still Make the Stingray?
Schwinn began making the Stingray around 1963-1964 and continued its production yearly until 1981 before pausing. Then, they resumed production from 1998 to 2011. So, the last Schwinn Stingray dates back to 2011.
2. How Big Is a Schwinn Stingray?
The original Schwinn Stingray Krate measures 56.2 by 25.6 by 46.3 inches in frame size.
3. How Do I Know If My Schwinn Stingray Is Real?
Every genuine Stingray has a date code under its metal frame, just close to the left pedal. So, turn the bike upside down to access the code. If it’s there, the Stingray bike is likelier to be real.
4. What Is the Rarest Schwinn Stingray?
The rarest Schwinn Stingray is the Stingray Grey Ghost. This iconic Krate Series didn’t sell well during its production. So, Schwinn only made it for one year.
5. What Year Was the Schwinn Stingray Introduced?
The first Stingray bike was unveiled in 1963. However, the bike was cataloged in 1964 after AI Fritz made a prototype of the motorcycle-inspired bike.
6. How Old Is My Schwinn Stingray?
The simplest way to date your Schwinn Stingray is to obtain its serial number and call Schwinn customer support. You can provide them with the serial number, and they can check it on their database to determine its age.
7. What Is a Schwinn Stingray Worth?
The Stingray Krate costs $890.50-$985.80 on Amazon, depending on the color choice.
8. Who Designed the Schwinn Stingray?
Chicago inventor Ai Fritz designed Schwinn Stingray.
Can Adults Ride a Schwinn Stingray? Closing Thought:
Though the Stingray is originally a kids’ bike, adults under 5 feet can ride the legendary motorcycle-inspired bike. So, if you want to enjoy a bike with a heritage that spans over 50 years, then you should get yourself a Stingray today!