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  1. #1
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    Need help planning a build on a 1989 Paramount

    After months of wavering between upgrading my Raleigh Grand Prix or buying a complete Raleigh Professional, I've finally found the 1989 Waterford-built Schwinn Paramount frame I never knew I wanted. Yeah, Craigslist is dangerous. I am paying $295 for it this weekend. It has a headset but nothing else. I'm excited about the idea of building up a bike from scratch, but also intimidated.

    I want to go with modern components, would like to stay as far below $1000 as possible, and want maximize the potential of the bike without going overboard and pretending to be a racer -- I just want to ride as far and as fast as possible on weekends and maybe impress some girls. I also think I want new stuff, if only because I don't want to spend half of Michigan's fleeting summer responding to more Craigslist ads.

    I've created a shopping cart at Nashbar just to get an idea of prices. I've attached a screen grab for those interested in the nitty gritty (anyone? Bueller?) but here are the highlights along with my key questions:

    Wheelset: Shimano Ultegra 6700: $415
    Is this frame worth such expensive, light wheels? Or am I not going to remotely notice the difference if I opted for one of the sets that are half the price (and which ones?)

    Shimano Ultegra 6650 Compact Crankset with Bottom Bracket: $150
    Seems like a good deal as it includes BB. But again, is Ultegra way overboard for a 23 year-old steel frame?


    Nashbar Microshift 10-Speed Dual Control Levers: $150
    Never used anything other than DT friction shifters and never minded them but as long as I'm getting brake levers figure it'd be worth trying these.


    Thanks in advance if you've read through all this and have something to say.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    Everything seems fine, except those tires. If it was me I would get Continental GP4000s in either 700-23 or 700-25, depending on you weight and road conditions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    I recently built up a 1990 Waterford Paramount OS. I am really, really liking this bike. I compiled and installed an Ultegra 64xx group that dates to right around that time, perhaps a few years later. I built my own wheels using the 6402/6400 hubs, swaged SS spokes and Velocity Aerohead rims. I'm using a modern bar and Nitto stem. The only quirky thing about this build is the use of Campagnolo Ergopwer shifters mated to the Shimano drivetrain (I'm a tinkerer).

    Do your research and build it up with what works for you. Everyone has their own preferences. I believe that your frame is worthy of just about anything you want to hang on it and that you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of the bike if you think through your build and take time and care when building it up.

    I've been riding my Paramount on club rides a good deal lately and people always seem to want to talk about my bike. My particular frame probably has clearance for 28mm tires. I'm currently running Michelin Pro Race 3 25mm tires and am very pleased with them. I agree with Mike above that you should pony up a few extra bucks for better tires. Paselas are a fine tire, but I really recommend spending more for higher tpi, lighter slicks.

    Check out this recent thread about a steel frame built with modern Campagnolo components.

    Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 05-01-12 at 08:34 AM.
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  4. #4
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Want to stay as far below $1000 as possible, then think about a donor bike, as I recommended on your other thread. Piecing together new parts is an expensive undertaking. A lightly used bike with nine speed Ultegra or similar would cost you a lot less than that list above, and you could resell the frame to recoup part of the cost.

    A second alternative is to pick up nine speed Microshift. I picked up a set of shifters, along with front and rear derailleurs, new, from a seller from Taiwan on ebay. Cost me $128 delivered to my home (cheaper than what Nashbar puts the shifters on sale for). I have had it with Shimano 9 speed shifters personally. I have a box of them, DOA right now.

    If you go the second route, you should be able to find some nice lightly used wheels, say tricolor 600 or Ultegra, for around $150 (I have bought them for less, but I look all the time). Then pick up some nice Ultegra dual pivot calipers, and you are good.

    But by far, the cheapest route to a nice build is a donor bike. I picked up an eight speed tricolor bike (600/Ultegra, with good STI) for $180. For the $180, I got a complete bike, with a nice frame that I will pass on to another home for half or more of what I paid for the bike. So at that point, I have less than $100 into the components. Those are going on my Paramount 9C build.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Want to stay as far below $1000 as possible, then think about a donor bike, as I recommended on your other thread. Piecing together new parts is an expensive undertaking. A lightly used bike with nine speed Ultegra or similar would cost you a lot less than that list above, and you could resell the frame to recoup part of the cost.

    A second alternative is to pick up nine speed Microshift. I picked up a set of shifters, along with front and rear derailleurs, new, from a seller from Taiwan on ebay. Cost me $128 delivered to my home (cheaper than what Nashbar puts the shifters on sale for). I have had it with Shimano 9 speed shifters personally. I have a box of them, DOA right now.

    If you go the second route, you should be able to find some nice lightly used wheels, say tricolor 600 or Ultegra, for around $150 (I have bought them for less, but I look all the time). Then pick up some nice Ultegra dual pivot calipers, and you are good.

    But by far, the cheapest route to a nice build is a donor bike. I picked up an eight speed tricolor bike (600/Ultegra, with good STI) for $180. For the $180, I got a complete bike, with a nice frame that I will pass on to another home for half or more of what I paid for the bike. So at that point, I have less than $100 into the components. Those are going on my Paramount 9C build.

    I agree. You could probably find a nice modern bike and just transfer the parts. As a bonus you'll have a matching group, something that adds more value than a mismatched , non brand name group.

  6. #6
    Senior Member liquefied's Avatar
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    I'd scope out used groups and wheels on craigslist. You could easily get a 9-speed DuraAce or 10-speed Ultegra group for less than $500-600 and a Mavic-rimmed/Shimano-hubbed wheelset that will last you practically forever for less than $200, people are always dropping complete new-bike-takeoff wheelsets with tires and even cassettes on CL.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Want to stay as far below $1000 as possible, then think about a donor bike, as I recommended on your other thread. Piecing together new parts is an expensive undertaking. A lightly used bike with nine speed Ultegra or similar would cost you a lot less than that list above, and you could resell the frame to recoup part of the cost.

    A second alternative is to pick up nine speed Microshift. I picked up a set of shifters, along with front and rear derailleurs, new, from a seller from Taiwan on ebay. Cost me $128 delivered to my home (cheaper than what Nashbar puts the shifters on sale for). I have had it with Shimano 9 speed shifters personally. I have a box of them, DOA right now.

    If you go the second route, you should be able to find some nice lightly used wheels, say tricolor 600 or Ultegra, for around $150 (I have bought them for less, but I look all the time). Then pick up some nice Ultegra dual pivot calipers, and you are good.

    But by far, the cheapest route to a nice build is a donor bike. I picked up an eight speed tricolor bike (600/Ultegra, with good STI) for $180. For the $180, I got a complete bike, with a nice frame that I will pass on to another home for half or more of what I paid for the bike. So at that point, I have less than $100 into the components. Those are going on my Paramount 9C build.
    Very interesting advice. Are there any particular brands/eras that I should look out for as far as donor bikes?

  8. #8
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dav305z View Post
    Very interesting advice. Are there any particular brands/eras that I should look out for as far as donor bikes?
    that's the nice thing about a donor bike. Model and brand does not matter. Its all about the components on the bike. So I am agnostic on size, brand and model. I have picked up so many different brands on donor bikes, from Schwinn, to Trek, to Cannondale, to Puch, to Softride, to Concorde, to Fuji, to Falcon, etc. The more obscure the brand, usually the better the deal (fewer buyers out there). And a bike with flat tires, missing a few parts, even better (cheaper)!

  9. #9
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Another consideration is to buy a brand new bike to use. For $800 plus shipping you go with brand new SRAM Apex.


    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...84_-1___202339

    Here's a better deal on Shimano 105.

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...12_-1___202339
    Last edited by pastorbobnlnh; 05-01-12 at 08:03 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member puckett129's Avatar
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    I am about to do the same thing with a 1987 Centurion Le Mans that I just scooped up on E-bay. And yes, I am using a donor bike for the parts. I am a little worried about compatibility with my build as well, but it seems that if the wheels are 700c and the spacing isn't too far off you should be in good shape. I got some great advice when I asked similar questions the other day here.

    I wouldn't go that much on wheels and then skimp on the brake levers/shifter like that. You say you're not racing so you can get a decent wheelset for under $200 such as these. They're not the bee knees, but I have a set and I love them. I agree that your best bet is to get a donor bike. At bikesdirect (or others like the bikes mentioned above by pastor bob) you could get decent components on an assembled bike for $500-$600... talking SRAM Apex or Shimano Tiagra. With that all you would need is some cables and cable stops if your Paramount has braze-ons for downtube shifters.

    Please post pics when you're done with your build. I will do the same!

  11. #11
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Puckett129 makes a great point about wheels. When I was building my '96 Cannondale SR500 up from a frameset last year, I found a great deal on the same vintage NOS Shimano 105, everything except the wheels (or hubs). I didn't want to wait on riding it, so when Nashbar had a sale on this 700c Vuelta wheelset at about $160 with shipping, I jumped.



    I'll admit, as I waited for them to arrive, I was convinced the rims and spokes would be cheap and not tensioned well, the hubs would not be all that smooth, the QR skewers would be weak, and the decals on the rims were too loud. Well I was wrong on all points except the decals (which have nothing to do with the wheels' performance, and BTW, I'm peeling off the decals as soon as the warranty on the wheels is up).

    These wheels are bomb proof 36 spoke, 3X laced, deep V rims, perfect for my heavy weight and rough NH roads. The hubs are silky smooth sealed bearings. The QR are premium grade. The wheels are hand built in the USA from rims and spokes made in the USA.
    Last edited by pastorbobnlnh; 05-02-12 at 08:13 AM.
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  12. #12
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    I've got Vuelta Superlites on my Colnago love them. I think I paid 250 new on eBay and they are just a hair over 1500 grams which is pretty light for that price and being clinchers. Never had any problems for the two years I've had them. Otherwise you can always find full Mavic wheelsets for a decent price and their a quality brand. I've bought some Mavic Askium race wheels for 200 just a few months ago.

    With a grand to spend I could build a pretty nice bike with that frame and wouldn't skimp on the Nasbar shifters.its a quality frame as buying a Waterford frame now would set you back a decent chunk of change.

  13. #13
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    Donor bike.

    Check Craigslist for recent bikes with low miles. The nice thing about looking for a used donor bike is that you don't need to worry about the size. Then you can sell the frame to recoup some of your expenditure. You can swap over most of the parts. Your bike will have 126 rear spacing and modern bikes (nearly all built since the early 90s...) are 130. You can have your LBS cold set the frame or you can just force the rear wheel in there -which sounds worse that it is.


    The bike Pastor Bob recommends are also a great option. Or you could try a http://bikesdirect.com bike. Again, you can sell off the frame to recoup some of the cost. HOWEVER, you won't get much for a Nashbar or Bikesdirect frame.

  14. #14
    Port Rocket-Sauce's Avatar
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    Speaking of wheels....
    Mavic Aksiums for $175 at Competitive Cyclist

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the good advice. I think I'll buy the frame and give the used route a little time. Please bear with me if I ask about a few specific bikes in the coming weeks. Meantime, the current owner sent me a few pics of the frame. So now the most important question: black components/black tape/black Brooks (which I'd have to buy) or silver components/brown tape/brown Brooks Pro (which I already have)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dav305z View Post
    Thanks for all the good advice. I think I'll buy the frame and give the used route a little time. Please bear with me if I ask about a few specific bikes in the coming weeks. Meantime, the current owner sent me a few pics of the frame. So now the most important question: black components/black tape/black Brooks (which I'd have to buy) or silver components/brown tape/brown Brooks Pro (which I already have)?
    Silver/white/white, personally.

  17. #17
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Silver/blue/blue. Brooks has a Royal Blue B-17 and matching bar wrap, which IMO, would look great with that frame!

    You can also find a few of the other Brooks Saddles in blue on ebay.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Barchettaman's Avatar
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    That Paramount is such a cool build, Justin. A joy whenever it appears on any thread!
    Back to the OP. My choice with budget in mind would be a lightly used 9 speed STI groupset, take your pick, and some training wheels with nice rubber. Conti 4000s in 700c/25 is a cracking choice.
    If you get stuck on the build - anything at all - ask on here and the guys will always help out.
    Good luck.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Dav305z, I'll hope that's the last time you spray drywall texture on the ceiling with your frame in the room! Good lord, put a drop cloth over it at least!

    I'm going to have to disagree with PastorBob. Blue saddle and tape will be too much. That frame has all the attention grabbing features it needs with those white speckles. Just go with a black or brown brooks and matching or white bar tape. I would choose silver components, myself.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    Just go with a black or brown brooks and matching or white bar tape. I would choose silver components, myself.
    Good call. The brown saddle and matching tape would look pretty classy on this bike. Much as I love the honey brown Brooks saddles, maybe also consider a Regal (which also comes in brown, btw.) I like the look and fit of the Regal on my '89 Paramount.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member shadoman's Avatar
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    Am I just crazy, or did I miss something ?
    That head tube angle looks awfully steep.
    Is it an odd camera angle ?
    Is this a TT geometry frame ?

    Or just a really SMALL frame ? I'm trying to visualise wheels in there....
    I'm not pokey, but I'm certainly not speedy... sorta half-fast, I guess...

  22. #22
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Oi! why did they paints bikes that way back then?? I would have just told them to hold the splatter and keep it just plain blue. I'm starting to think that bikes from that era and some of the very garish looking paintjobs we saw during the "Maimi Vice" years might not really be worth saving that it could be a good idea to get a good custom paint job on a real nice bike like this Paramount with it's beautifully made frame that's hidden under that splatter and you most likely will not even lose any value on the bike and can even enhance it for the future. If it were my bike, I'd consider repainting it too for that reason.
    You can get very nice period wheels with narrow and light clincher rims that would be cheaper if you shop around too. The might even end up lighter.
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  23. #23
    I like beans eippo1's Avatar
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    I vote silver as well. You might want to check wiggle.com over in the uk for some really good group set costs.
    You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

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  24. #24
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    Looks to be around a 49cm frame.

  25. #25
    Senior Member shadoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
    Looks to be around a 49cm frame.
    And thus the more slack headtube to minimize toestrike ?
    I'm not pokey, but I'm certainly not speedy... sorta half-fast, I guess...

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