"Helen Wheels" : ...Farewell, Good Summer...pg 7

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There is something about the panache of a muscle bike that really grabs you.

The looks, yes. It's a sports car on two wheels.
The size, yes. It's compact and fits anywhere.
The ride, most definitely. Quick acceleration, tight turns, sturdy small wheels with fat rubber that grip and cushion the ride all at once. The high "look at me" handlebars and the stretched and leaned back rear slung saddle.

The best part, it makes you feel like a kid again. Maybe more than any other bicycle.

I found this on the vintage Schwinn site and thought it worthy to share. The coolest part about this for me was the Schwinn Sting Ray 'evolved' because kids were putting Solo Polo or 'nanner saddles and high 'ape hanger' bars on their 20" cruiser bikes from the decade before, the fashionable '50s.

Basically, the Sting Ray came from a rat rod bike; not the other way around! Much as the mountain bike evolved from rat rod klunkers; old early cruisers with gears, knobby tires, and wide handlebars added on. Now I know why I like this bike so much! :grin:

Here's the excerpt on the Sting Ray; enjoy!

"The Stingray was introduced through the sales ad to the right.

Little did Schwinn know then that they were introducing what would become a wildly popular bike that would sell like wildfire. The Schwinn Sting-ray became Schwinn's best selling bikes almost overnight. It's dramatically different design was new and fresh and modeled after the way many kids were refitting and customizing their own bikes in southern California.

California kids had started to take old 20-inch bicycles and customize them into motorcycle looking sport bikes. They were replacing the factory seats and handlebars and using instead "Solo Polo" or "banana" seats and tall "butterfly" type bars. This California fad was noticed by Al Fritz the director of research and development for Schwinn, and he reacted very quickly, making a prototype that was mostly laughed at by the Schwinn upper management.

They wouldn't laugh long... the entire first production run sold out in a matter of months and they were not able to make more because of supply problems with the tires.

Over 45,000 bikes were sold in just a couple of months after they were introduced. Obviously Schwinn spent the rest of that year making enough Sting-rays for the next year, when sales become even larger. "


My '77 Sunset Strip muscle bike build from last Fall's MBBO #7.

Stingray Final 10.jpg

And the One Owner '68 Sting Ray refurbish I did of my friend's original bike from the MBBO #5 build off.



I dig this little bike !! You could bring it to the next level with a 24 or 26 inch RatTrap fork. Here's a 24 inch on my Buzz Bike
Couple of test shots for the Final Photo today, let me know your thoughts.

1....Dumpster fade paint job matches the bikes..


2...breaking the rules. Had to squeeze the bike and my Scandinavian frame(s) through the chained gates.

The shaded space distracts from the bike in the first pic. Maybe try putting the bike on the neighbors yard and have the side of the dumpster as the backdrop.
Shot some more photos of HW today. Apparently, bright green dumpsters are popular now. Give me your thoughts on the following:


Helen Wheels Final Photo 2.jpg


Helen Wheels Final Photo 4.jpg


Helen Wheels Final Photo 8.jpg


Helen Wheels Final Photo 9.jpg

And my favorite, although slightly 'jazzed up' a bit....

Helen Wheels Final Photo 6.jpg
9 shows the bike off the best, but I think that is because it is looking down on it and shows off the seat.
That last one is cool, but it's overloaded with the filters. Too much like a over-filtered FB selfie :). Cool as an art pic, but blurs the bike too much.
My favorite of these is 4 or maybe 8
Thanks KF for your input. Yeah, the last one is with all the 'mid-tones' taken out. So it's a little ghost like , floating almost in a cloudy mist. Artsy fartsy for sure!

HWFP4 - 1 vote
HWFP8 - 1 vote
I like the dumpster-less photos. The atomic green seems to make the front third of the bike almost disappear. The old board fence looks like a good place for a kid's bike to hang out.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Thanks for the input Andy!

HWFP2 - 1 vote
HWFP4 - 1 vote
You get way better results in the morning or evening or on an overcast day. And I'd try to avoid backgrounds that camouflage the bike.
Huh, that's interesting. I was told on a day that I shot the photo at the car show to make sure I got the sun shining on the frame because it showed off the fade on the frame the best.
"That sunlight really makes the fade job pop! Keep that in mind for your final pics."~ @kingfish254
"Fade looks killer in that last shot. "~ @Chad T


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