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  1. #1
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    Schwinn High Sierra with Paramount head badge

    Hello,
    New guy here with a Schwinn question.

    I picked this bike up last summer and set it aside until last month
    A little cleaning revealed a Paramount head badge. I stared looking around the net and found a post on Old Roads about the early Schwinn mountain bikes being made at the Paramount factory and there was some talk about prototypes so I contacted Waterford about it. They were gracious enough to take a look at the photos and informed me that it was not a prototype but didn't have any more info for me. I acknowledge that someone could have just stuck a Paramount badge on the bike but I have found a couple of references to the High Sierra with a Paramount head badge. So I am hoping that you guys will be able to shed some light on this for me.
    a couple more pieces of information, the Serial number has been removed from the BB and the head badge has 12.2 stamped into it, the brakes are dated early 1983 I have not dated the other components yet. please not that this is a welded frame not lugged or brazed.DSC02414.jpgDSC02411.jpgDSC02412.jpgDSC02413.jpgDSC02415.jpgDSC02422.jpgDSC02417.jpgDSC02418.jpgDSC02419.jpgDSC02420.jpgDSC02421.jpg
    thanks,

  2. #2
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    That is an '84 High Sierra, the combination of the decals, braze-ons and fork were unique that year. Here is another example that recently sold on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/200899501203

    Note that Schwinn built frames and acquired other components often months in advance of production, so it would be normal to find '83 dated frames and other components on '84 model year bikes.

    Your headbadge is probably original since it is riveted on and date stamped, but if so that is nothing more than either a mistake or the factory simply ran out of the proper "High Sierra" labeled badges on the day that bike was assembled. Replacement badges could be ordered from a dealer back then, but they would be unstamped. The assembly date was normally stamped on the badge as a 4-digit number with the first three digits indicating the ordinal day and the last digit indicating the year. My guess is that the last digit either didn't make it or was obscured by the rivet, in which case your bike was probably built on the 122nd day of '84.

    The ground-off serial number unfortunately indicates that the bike was likely stolen at some point in the past.
    Last edited by Metacortex; 03-09-13 at 01:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    Metacortex is spot on. I have the same frame in that color (smoke pearl i think). it's a nice enough bike for cruising. long wheelbase, slack angles.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
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    Another member on here had one of these with the Paramount headbadge.

  5. #5
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    Yes indeed: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nn-High-Sierra

    Unfortunately the pics are gone. It would be interesting to see the headbadge stamp to see if they were made at or near the same time.

    EDIT: Looks like he sold it without the headbadge: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121003056437
    Last edited by Metacortex; 03-09-13 at 06:08 PM.

  6. #6
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    OK, thanks for all the responses and information. I have a few more questions: Does anyone have the paint code? and about the head badge, to me it looks like there is a point in the numbers "12.2" I have taken another photo the point is right on the inside edge of the black surround I understand that it could be just a ding in the badge but it looks like it's there on purpose.
    and I was wondering where the bike was built
    thanks, I appreciate it

    DSC02427.jpg

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately I don't think Schwinn ever published any paint codes, if you want to repaint it in the original color your best bet would be to take the frame/fork to an automotive paint supply store, they should be able to create a paint that matches on the spot.

    The "point" in the headbadge number must be just a ding, the headbadge numbers were just 4 digits with no decimal points.

    As for where it was built, I believe that the "G" leading off the serial number indicates those bikes were built by Giant in Taiwan.
    Last edited by Metacortex; 03-09-13 at 08:14 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    headbadge is worth 30 or so on ebay

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    OK Gents,
    thanks for all the good info.
    I guess we will never know about the serial number. The evil doer did his work too well, I'm blaming him for the paint job too...
    30 bucks for the head badge sound good...
    Cheers,

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Chicago View Post
    headbadge is worth 30 or so on ebay
    You're just about exactly right: http://www.ebay.com/itm/120989844530

    What's interesting is that the only other known Paramount headbadge on an '84 High Sierra was also stamped with the same "122" number. I think it means that those two bikes were made on the same day. Too bad the pics of that other one are gone, it would be interesting to see where the numbers were stamped and if the rivet hole was also the reason the 4th digit was missing. Those bikes were brothers on the assembly line!

  11. #11
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    As I understand it the 12.2 would be a December 1982 date code. If we are sure that this is an '84, then I would say that Schwinn used left over Paramount badges for their MTB's (maybe others) after Paramount switched to the decal head badge instead of metal.

  12. #12
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    The SN off of the Ebay bike was G0483/3614323 and that would be a Giant frame then?
    So, they made the frame in Taiwan or? and shipped it here for assembly including the old Paramount head badge just so we would have something to discuss here and now
    clever...
    well, its a cool old frame with a unique history, I might have to build it up
    thanks to all,
    S

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericbaker View Post
    As I understand it the 12.2 would be a December 1982 date code.
    It's well known that the headbadge no. is an ordinal day date code.

    I would say that Schwinn used left over Paramount badges for their MTB's (maybe others) after Paramount switched to the decal head badge instead of metal.
    These bikes came standard with "High Sierra" headbadges. So far we have only 2 documented examples having Paramount badges, and both were built on the same day. I'd say this sounds more like they ran out of the proper badges that day, and rather than hold up production they grabbed some Paramount ones.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoticus View Post
    The SN off of the Ebay bike was G0483/3614323 and that would be a Giant frame then?
    Yes, in '84 the High Sierra was built by Giant in Taiwan.

    So, they made the frame in Taiwan or? and shipped it here for assembly including the old Paramount head badge just so we would have something to discuss here and now
    I believe the bikes were mostly built and assembled in Taiwan, then delivered to Schwinn for any final missing components (e.g. headbadges) after which they were sent through the dealer network. From the book "No Hands", in Chapter 14 (Land of the Giant):

    "By 1977, the Giant factory produced its first lug-frame steel road bike for Schwinn, under the World label. It was a gold-colored ten-speed with a smart white band that sold for about $130. The Schwinn name was left off, because the American company's marketers were uncertain how their customers would react to Taiwanese goods."

    The following year or two they dropped the "World" badging and added the Schwinn name: http://bikecatalogs.org/SCHWINN/1979...rld_Sport.html

    The book goes on to say that by 1986 Giant was producing 700,000 bikes a year for Schwinn, which was more than 80% of Schwinn's total production. In 1987 Schwinn struck a deal with China Bicycles to supply bikes, which was largely responsible for Giant entering the US market selling essentially the same bikes it was building for Schwinn, but under the Giant name for 10 to 15% less.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    Wonder why the used the paramount vs the regular schwinn chicago badge

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Chicago View Post
    Wonder why the used the paramount vs the regular schwinn chicago badge

    I still believe it is because they were phasing out the headbadge on the paramounts at around that time, so they had plenty to get rid of where the chicago badge would still be used appropriately on everything else.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    you are correct about the paramount badge. the next year they went to paint as part of the "bold new graphics"

    http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...985Ltwt07.html

    Quote Originally Posted by ericbaker View Post
    I still believe it is because they were phasing out the headbadge on the paramounts at around that time, so they had plenty to get rid of where the chicago badge would still be used appropriately on everything else.

  18. #18
    Large Member realestvin7's Avatar
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    'Twas I.

    I had a High Sierra with a Paramount headbadge. I may have a couple pics somewhere. This is fascinating to me. Espaecially since so many goobers told me it was added to the frame later. This find pretty much bashes that idea.
    Build a drop bar do-it-all MTB!
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  19. #19
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Despite the rough shape cosmeticaly a very nice nice frame. The High Siera's are semi collectiable as they where one of the first MTB's to be mas produced marketed. I would consider it worthy of a basic paint job and build up. Not a great bike value wise but
    a nice rider and one of the best of the 80's hard fram MTB's. As said it wasn't unlikely for Schwinn's of this era to have components
    with a year older or even a year newer than they frame model year. Schwinn was in financial trouble at this time and often finished assemled bikes with parts and frames on hand to meet the booming orders for Mountain bikes.

  20. #20
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    If the G0483 is stamped into the driveside rear dropout, it's the Giant date code (not serial number) indicating the frame was made in April, 1983.
    - Stan

  21. #21
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    I had a good look at the drive side dropout and there are no numbers it only says Suntour. Just for the record this bike is supposed to be smokey pearl? does that mean light metallic blue, cus that's what I have here.

  22. #22
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    Your bike was originally painted "Smokey Pearl" just like the two frames sold in the eBay auctions I linked in my posts above. I think most non-marketing people would call that a light blue/gray metallic. <g>

  23. #23
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    OK thanks,

  24. #24
    Large Member realestvin7's Avatar
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    Here's the High Sierra and headbadge that I had.



    Build a drop bar do-it-all MTB!
    For Sale / Trade:
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  25. #25
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    Looks like the badge is stamped in the same place as mine. It is hard to tell from the photo. Is there a dot between the two's? that is "12.2"
    is there any hint of the 4th number on the badge where the rivet would be? Seems like they would they have stamped the badge before assembly?

    On the other Schwinn's I have the numbers on the head badge are on the opposite side and there are 4 numbers in a smaller script with a tighter grouping.
    DSC02480.jpgDSC02488.jpgDSC02486.jpg
    The photos show badges from (L to R) what I believe to be 84 Le tour, 80 Super Le tour and 79 Le tour. Not to change the subject but the last photo shows the number to be 5089 that is not day 508 of 79 what's the deal?

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