Opinions sought on Schwinn Stingray

Over in the any-topic-is-on-topic thread (otherwise known as Rue’s MMP thread), I was saying how my 8-year-old son is longing for a Schwinn Stringray. He has announced he’s saving up to buy one.

This is fine with me because I’m rather disinclined to get one for him. I don’t think he’d enjoy it, for one thing. They don’t appear to be designed for normal bike-riding (especially jumping or riding in the grass, which my son is likely to do), they’re heavy and designed for looks and (I said) are shoddily constructed. I base this opinion on adult reviews on amazon. This one is typical.

Homebrew’s son has one, and he says that while the bike is “heavy and takes a bit of adjustment to ride. But shoddy doesn’t enter the equation.”

Anyone else own a child with a Stingray? What can you tell me about it?

“anything other than paved roads, and sidewalks”
“as awkward as turning a real chopper”

it’s modeled after a chopper, folks. that’s why it acts & feels the way it does. it’s not meant for anything but the road & sidewalks, cruising. it’s meant to look cool.

My Orange Krate was the coolest bike ever, but it was death in O’Hara Woods.

It’s a cruiser, meant to look cool and ride wheelies forever on.

I say let him buy it if he wants to save up for it. It’s an important lesson in consumerism and will help him become a better informed buyer in the long run. Particularly if he finds that it doesn’t live up to his expectations. In relative terms, it’s going to be a cheap but effective lesson to learn. On the other hand, he may really like it and have fond childhood memories of it for the rest of his life.

It’s just a bike not a leased car. Not much sense in making a federal issue of it.

Shoddy implies that it uses cheap materials, the welds are weak and it will fall apart. True, it’s not designed as a MX bike and will not perform as one. But as a cruiser, it is solid. If they built one big enough for me, I’d buy it.

So they’re a fine thing if your child wants to cruise and be smooth, not ride a bike as a normal kid. I personally don’t feel a child needs two bikes, even if the family can afford to provide them. It just seems wasteful. As for him saving up, I’m not telling him he can’t, and I do understand the possible lesson in consumerism. It just seems like an expensive thing to learn this lesson on.

(I learned it on a pair of froofy sandals when I was about 7. Mom told me the cute shells were cheapo and would fall off. The sandals were to last the whole summer. Did I still want them? Yes indeedy. The shells fell off and I was stuck with ugly sandals. Lesson learned.)

Here’s another report from amazon:

I had a Schwinn Stingray when I was a kid (60s). Is this a new model, or a 60s vintage? The one’s back then were durable, they’d have to be with me. We rode them all over the place. Mine was just a single speed, so it was better for cruising, but it was a beloved bike for several years.

I think the Spoiler is an adult size. There’s also the Giant Stiletto which I’ve heard good things about. I own a Rohorn F’lowroller but you can’t buy one anymore.

IMHO the basic Stingray seems like a reasonable quality for a $150 toy. The comments on Amazon could apply to any other $150 bike.