Banana Seat Bikes

Every kid had this bicycle on their wish list. Advertisement for 1965 Schwinn Stingray Bikes J39 (L) and J38 (R)
Ad for the Schwinn Stingray – 1963

Also known as a wheelie bike, spyder bike, high-riser bike, and muscle bike, the banana bike is a well-designed bike fit for children back in the 1960s.

It was made to have small wheels (16-20 inches/410-510 mm in diameter), ape hanger handlebars, and a banana seat with sissy bars. The Raleigh Chopper, Schwinn Sting-Ray, and the Krate lines are a few of the remarkable examples of this bike. Retailers and manufacturers of banana seat bikes offered models such as Sears, AMF, Ross, CCM, Vindec, Iverson, Murray, Columbia, Monark, Malvern Star, Huffy, and J.C. Penney.

The banana seat bike’s seating is placed over its rear tire. Its style concepts were derived from American muscle cars. Its tires were square-profiled, and the rear wheel is bigger than the front one as well. The banana bike’s small, chrome-coated fenders is a style concept borrowed from the popular bobber motorcycles back then.

Among all the models, the Raleigh Chopper was the most coveted, best selling bicycle for kids in the UK and the US. The banana bike hype boosted bike sales to at least 4 million bike units in the US alone. This is about 75% of the total sales of US bikes in 1968.

If you were really cool, your banana seat bike had to have a Wheelie-Bar from Wham-O

Need a little noise? Remember the Vroom Bicycle from Mattel

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