Schwinn Sting Frame

The Sting frame was unique in that it was hand built in Chicago by welders working for Schwinn’s high end bicycle division called the Paramount design group (PDG).  The frame was hand brazed and burnished- not tig welded like other frames on the market (Tig for Stings was introduced for some frames in 1982). 

Some Distinguishing Characteristics

  1. A road type head tube of one inch – this related back to the fact that the Sting was built by a division that made road bikes.
  2. Full chromoly frame
  3. Ovalized top tube at the head tube junction
  4. Ovalized downtube at the head tube junction
  5. Ovalized Seatpost tube (Oval at the bottom bracket junction)
  6. Round Headbage – not oval – screws were round (half dome type) – not flat like most other Schwinn’s .
  7. A true sting balanced on the rear triangle will not tip forward  – this is not true of a sting comp or SX-2000 frame.
  8. A Serial Number on the left dropout that follows the convention (A#TO###) – with some exceptions.  See page about dating your frame to learn more.

The Sting was available in a number of different frame colors (including to Schwinn press release in the reference section of this website) Yellow – if you have a pic of an original yellow Sting pass it on).  Click on the color description to view additional information about these bikes at the BMX Museum.

Chrome Frames

Chrome is the most common color and was trimmed with either blue or red components.

Chrome – Blue Trim – Photo courtesy of Steve Timm

Chrome – Red Trim – Photo courtesy of Steve Timm

Painted Frames

Cardinal Red Painted Frame – Photo courtesy of Steve Timm
The red on the Sting is a candy color.  As with the blue, the color was achieved by painting the frame with a base coat of silver paint and then overlaying the desired frame color.  The actual color of the frame could vary some depending on how thick the paint was laid down.

Black Sable Painted Frame – Photo courtesy of Scott Loveless
Black were given out as warranty replacements, but, were also available to order.  See press release on references page.

Sky Blue Painted Frame – Photo courtesy of Scott LovelessThe blue like the red is a candy color.  The blue is perhaps the rarest of the colors as it could only be bought as a frameset – not as a complete bike.

Pictures of yellow Sting coming soon (hopefully).

TIG Welded Frames

Interesting Sting submission here – 1982 Tig welded Sting.  One Hundred of these frames were built as Team Schwinn samples and sent only to sponsored riders.  Some other interesting information about these frames:

  • All frames were built in January of 1982
  • One hundred total frames were built – all went to factor sponsored riders as samples
  • All frames had the same geometry as the brazed Sting
  • A majority of the frames were not drilled for head badges (only 10 of the 100)
  • Lots of failures on these frames which make them very rare
  • The Tig welded Sting produced in late 1982 was different from the early production
  • All of these unique Sting’s had a serial number in the format of AT300XX

Tri-Oval Tubing Detail – Seat Tube – note how the tube widens as it gets to the bottom bracket shell

Headtube Detail – not how the tubes widen as they get to the head tube

Pictures of a frame that has been media blased – photos courtesy of Jay Stark