Galleries By Year and Category - 467 Total Images
1971 1972 Gregs 72 Disc Brake Manta Ray New Manta Parts Undated And Other Musclebikes
1971 Gallery (154 Images)
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In 1971, Schwinn introduced the Manta Ray into their strong lineup of musclebikes. It retailed for $89.95. It was basically a grown up Sting Ray with 24" x 1 3/8" wheels and tires. Some call it a Fastback for bigger kids. The 71s had a 5 speed with a Stik-Shifter. Colors included Kool Lemon, Kool Orange, Campus Green, and the more rare Silver Mist. The Mantas had matching seats in Glitter Kool Lemon with black rally stripes, Glitter Kool Orange with white rally stripes, and Glitter Campus Green with White Rally stripes, and Black with white rally stripes.The bike came with a bigger banana seat too. Finding a bike with a nice seat is almost impossible these days. Many people clean up the rusty pan, paint it, then have Hyperformance Ray recover it for $110($60 if you buy the kit and do it yourself). Or they put on a smaller Sting Ray seat. Schwinn never reproduced any Manta parts. So the Manta seat tags are reused although some just use a repro Sting Ray tag.
Rims used 28 spokes F&R and were 24" Schwinn Tubular S-5 which mounted a Schwinn Fastback Slik on the rear and a Superior tire on the front. Kenda makes a decent new replacement tire, but there aren't any new sliks available. Spoke length was 10 3/8" front and reat. The calipers were made by Weinmann in Germany and said Schwinn Approved and LS 2.8. The front brake cable was 26"x20" (#17-227) and the rear 61"x54" (#17-219).
1971 models all used a 52 tooth "MAG" sprocket in the front and the rear cog had 14/17/20/24/28 gears. The 5 speed chain was 3/32" x 55". Rear derailleur model number is 20-456. The top tube Stik Shifters were also used on Sting Ray models from 1970-73 and had an overload tube.
Manta Rays used a medium rise handlebar that was date coded in the center where it clamps to the gooseneck. Grips read Schwinn Approved and matched the 4 paint colors. Schwinn reissued the grips using the original molds in the mid 90s for the reproduction Sting Ray line. Some Original accessories included Schwinn Lever Covers and Schwinn Streamers in various colors. The gooseneck handlebar stems from the Mantas had the same mfg number as the Sting Rays and Krates so they are probably interchangeable. The cranks were date coded in the center and were 7 1/2" in length, 1" longer than the Sting Rays. The 71 kickstand model number was 57 347 and also was longer than the Sting Ray models. It should have a stamp like \\\347/// on it but it may not match the model number exactly.
The frames were considered Lightweight and were a camelback design since the top tubes were curved like the Sting Rays all the way down to the chainstays. The paint was sprayed by hand and you sometimes see runs in it. Hyperformance Ray has some great matched paint for these bikes available in pints or spray cans. Candy colors and Kool Lemon were multistage using an aluminum basecoat on top of a primer with a clearcoat. I've heard that you can get candy powder coats now too. The Chainguards were silk screened originally I believe and you can get matching replacement stickers now, or have Ray silk screen your painted chainguard. The forks had a dart screened on each side also. Schwinn used 2 decals for the bottom tube that read "Schwinn" on both sides. On the seat mast, about 2" below the top tube, you'll find a round decal reading Quality Chicago Schwinn. Often right below that decal you'll find a sticker from the original shop the bike came from. I've read that Schwinn put these decals on top of the clearcoat.
Below are current Ebay auctions for these bikes