Remembering Al Fritz, Inventor of the Sting Ray Bicycle

In the News

Al Fritz, the inventor of the StingRay bicycle passed away from complications related to a stroke on May 7, 2013 . He was 88 years old.

The iconic Sting Ray bicycle was produced by the Schwinn bicycle company between 1963 and 1983, writes Mike Ala in his blog, Ride Your Bike.

Ala rode a Stingray when he was a kid. “That was my first real BMX bike,” he said, a bike that he had for at least two years.

Ala lived in Kearny, NJ, where he in his friends would ride their BMX bikes down at the “flats.”

That experience led him to become a competitive mountain biker, racing from 2000 to 2008.

In 2008, Ala placed in the top 5 in New Jersey, and finished top 10 in the Nationals.

An excerpt from Ala’s blog:

[Al Fritz] got the idea when a friend from California who had contacted him about a fad out there where kids were putting low rider seats and ape hanger bars on their bikes. That Trip in 1962 planted the seed and led to the production of the first commercially available Stingray in 1963. Priced at  $49.95, Schwinn sold over 40,000 Sting-Rays in 1963 alone. They would have sold more if the company hadn’t run out of 20-inch tires.

Read more on Ala’s blog.

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