Last September, Ridgeback stole a march on Raleigh and Schwinn by launching a Chopper-like Stingray-clone. In January 04, revealed that the real Stingray would be relaunched. Now, Moore Large, the UK importer of Schwinn, has secured Autumn stock of the Stingray, said by Pacific Cycle to be selling like hot-cakes in the US. With Raleigh planning a Chopper-led TV advertising splurge in the run-up to Christmas, will retro set bike trade tills ringing?

UK to get Pacific Cycle’s Stingray; bikes go to IBDs, JJB and TRU

"The new Stingray is a bike that offers something for everyone. Whether a big boys toy or kids crusin’ with their friends, the unique look and custom parts make the Stingray a bike to cross generations," said Moore Large’s sales manager Ian Young.

The first stock Stingrays will arrive in the UK in September and will retail for £199.99.

Demo bikes will be available at the Dirt Demo day of the Saab Salomon 24-hour MTB race held at Eastnor Castle at the end of June. Moore Large will have a consumer launch at Cycle 2004 in London in September.

The stock Stingray will be available to both IBD and mass at the same time.

Bike shops get an IBD-only Stingray, flame red with black trim. Mass stockists, such as JJB and Toys R Us, get a black version without the Schwinn branding.

"We do not intend to offer this model to supermarket outlets," said Moore Large sales director Gary Mather.

"Interest is growing on a daily basis and we have already secured significant orders with volume IBDs. Factories are working flat out to cope with demand in the States. We have placed significant quantities on order and feel extremely confident of a complete sell through."

Mather doesn’t see the Raleigh Chopper as a threat:

"Although the Raleigh Chopper has been well received it has failed to capture the imagination of the key market sector between 7 and 12 years old. Stingray has been developed off the back of the launch of the 1960s Stingray, the fore runner to the Chopper, and seems in the US to have captured the attention of the youngsters and that means sales."

Moore Large will be promoting its Stingray launch with a "large-scale marketing programme," said Mather.

In 2005, Schwinn plans to launch 16/20 and 24/26 Stingray’s.

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