How to Tell What Year a Schwinn Sting-Ray Bike Is?

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The Schwinn Sting-Ray was made by the famed bicycle company beginning in the 1960s. These unique bicycles featured the extended backrest off the banana-seat and had three speeds, which were shifted from the stick shift in the center of the bicycle frame. The Sting-Ray has become a collector's item, and value is partially based on the year of production. Schwinn began producing modern versions of the Stingray in 2004. Find the year a Sting-Ray was made by reading the Schwinn date stamp and serial number found on the bicycle.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper

Face the front of an older Sting-Ray and locate the etched date and serial number stamp on the bicycle frame near the handlebars.

Write down the four-digit code/date stamp on paper.

Cross-reference a longer date code with the Schwinn legend for the code for 1960s Sting-Rays. Schwinn used an alpha-numeric code during this time, with an example being D136694. The first letter corresponds to the month made; in this instance D is the fourth letter of the alphabet, and April is the fourth month of the year, so the Sting-Ray was made in April. The first number after the letter represents the year, in this case 1961, as this code was used during the decade.

Cross-reference a shorter code with Schwinn's date code. For example, if the date code reads 1124, the bicycle was made on the 112th day of 1974. The shorter code represents Sting-Rays made in the '70s. The last number represents the year in the decade, and the first three represent the day of the year it was set off the production line.

Turn a newer Sting-Ray upside down and look at the round tube where the bicycle cranks attach. Schwinn uses a similar date code to the 1970s code for the Sting-Rays produced after 2004. The code will read as a six-digit number, starting with a zero. The number after the zero is the year or production, for example a date code starting with 04 would mean the bicycle was made in 2004.

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