| 50th Anniversary "Fritz Fifty" Sting-Ray|
First Ever Chrome Frame
Schwinn had the privilege to work with Al earlier this year to create the first newly designed Sting-Ray since 1973. And, for the first time in history, the Sting-Ray will have a chrome frame, a feature that had always been a dream of Al’s. The commemorative "50th Anniversary Fritz Fifty" Sting-Ray is Al's last model design of the bike loved by millions. Sadly, Al passed away May 7th 2013 from complications of a recent stroke.
Only 500 of these collectibles will be available at independent bicycle retailers in the U.S. throughout the first week of December, 2013. Each bike will be individually numbered and will include a limited edition 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.
In 1962, Schwinn's engineer, Al Fritz, traveled west to California to check out a growing trend. Young people were customizing their personal bicycles using 20" frames with high-rise handlebars and low-rider seats. This allowed the riders to have more control for doing jumps and making quick maneuvers. Al was so inspired by what he saw that he decided to create a bike that complimented those styles. And so he went back to Chicago and hit the drawing board.
Schwinn's new wheelie bike entered the market in 1963 and by the end of 1964 the Sting-Rays accounted for 70 percent of the total bike sales in the United States. The well loved and famous Krates were produced from 1968 to 1973. The Schwinn Sting-Rays remained in production until 1981. The Schwinn Sting-Ray is an exceptional icon and one of the most recognizable bikes in the world.