This vintage StingRay got new life as an ebike (I did not do this one, I just changed the tire), styling on the byways of Monroe County! The Schwinn Stingray models were the most popular kids bike on the market from the mid-60’s till production stopped in 1981, so this one must be at least 42 years old. (Schwinn has since reissued the classic StingRay.) They created an adult verson with serious meta,l a slick fat tire backend, ape hangers and long front shocks, way ahead of the time.
When people ask about converting their favorite bike to an ebike, I try to discourage them, not because I don’t want the work, but because I don’t think it is a good idea in general. Standard analog bikes are engineered to be as light as possible while meeting the minimum standards for strength. So when you add extra weight and torque and braking needs to a system that is not engineered for that, there can be trouble!
But in this case, the StingRay is built extra strong: a steel frame with a 26″ front and a 20″ fat tire in the back for traction. The 48 Vbattery and controller are hidden in saddle bags and behind the seat, the front wheel hub motor looks like it is plenty strong enough to pull up all the hills in southern Monroe county.
We have done just 2 conversions in the last year. One was a 2012 Trek Transport cargo bike which had been stripped of its motor, battery and controller. So it was a good candidate for conversion, and it was already built heavy. We upgraded to front and back 1000W motors per the clients instruction. I thought it may be a bit much, but with 20Ah of battery, this thing could cruise.
The other was my 1998 Rans Stratus, a recumbent style road bike that I used for 15 years around Monroe county. We put a 36V/500W motor on the front 20″ wheel, and set it up for throttle only. It is my relaxation/exercise bike, I peddle most of the time, but use the throttle as well to go at higher speeds, and to climb the hills!