BMX Bikes / S / Schwinn / 1972 Schwinn Stingray
1972 Schwinn Stingray

1972 Schwinn Stingray

In 1975 my dad's friend gave me his daughter's bike which she had grown out of. It was a early 70's Western Flyer 16" girls bike. My dad made that bike into a really cool MX style bike. He painted it flat black and bought an MX kit with bars, grips, number plate, fenders and also put a loaf-style MX seat on it. If I recall correctly it had a "gas tank" on it as well but I can't tell from the pics I have.

Anyway, I wanted to do a build loosely based on that first bike. Instead of using a 16" I thought I'd use the bike that help start BMX: the Schwinn Stingray. I found a fairly complete example here for a good price. The bike had 2 colors applied over the last 37 years so there was no worry about ruining an original finish. When I got the bike it was gloss black, under that it was the original yellow and finally the original red Schwinn factory primer. I stripped the frame and applied 4 coats of rattle can flat black.

For components I didn't want to go too high-end but rather find no-name parts like you would've found in the MX kits like my dad put on my old bike. I did splurge a little on the wheels but the bike didn't have original wheels so I used what would've been used in 1975. I tried using an MX loaf seat but the sqaure shape just didn't look right with all the curves of the Stingray frame.  A very cool guy, Brian (a fellow OS member) was kind enough to fabricate some custom seat braces for me and they came out so nice. Thanks again SB. I have the correct number plate but am still searching for the correct numbers for it so it will stay off for now.

Parts Line-up
Frame: 1972 Schwinn Stingray
Fork: NOS Ashtabula stamped
Bars: No-name MX style bars 6" rise 29" width
Grips: No-name waffle grips
Stem: No-name double clamp stem
Headset: Original Schwinn
Front Wheel: Femco steel 20x2.125 rim, ACS 36-hole high flange hub
Front Tire: Schwinn "Studded" knobby reissue 20x2.125
Rear Wheel: Femco steel 20x2.125 rim, Shimano B-type 36-hole coaster hub, 16-tooth cog
Rear Tire: Cheng Shin MX 20x1.75
Crank: Schwinn Diamond 6.5" dated 1976
Chainwheel: Original Schwinn 46-tooth
Pedals: NOS Union rattrap
Bottom Bracket: Original Schwinn
Seat: Original Schwinn banana seat
Seat Braces: Custom prototype 13.5" steel seat braces from Sodbuster Labs
Chain: D.I.D.
Extras: Black vinyl 12" bar pad, 4" double clamp stem pad, NOS O.G.K. rear fender, white oval number plate

  • Non-BMX
  • Company: Schwinn
  • Model: Stingray
  • Wheel Size: 20"
  • Headtube size: 1"
  • Details Mild steel