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Schwinn Paramount PDG3 series, what to check for?

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Schwinn Paramount PDG3 series, what to check for?

Old 07-15-15, 10:50 AM
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Schwinn Paramount PDG3 series, what to check for?

Just curious if there is anything in particular to check for on what is probably a 1991-92 Schwinn Paramount PDG3 series bike as near as I can tell from the picture I saw of it, I'm guessing on the 3 (might be something else).

I know this isn't a Waterford built Paramount, but it does seem like a relatively decent basic bike. Won't know actual condition until and if I see it in person. I think it is supposed to have 700c wheels and a 7-speed on back based upon online specs. Is there anything funky or weird about the freewheel or cassette and the bottom bracket on these? Or should it be a fairly basic bike with easy to find parts for whatever might be needed? I'm assuming it is still all stock and original.

I'm not looking for a valuation since the asking price is around what a basic generic non-xmart bike is going for, so worst case is I break even on it if I decide to sell it later on. And if I decide to pass on it I'll post up more details later this week. Likewise, if I do get it I'll post more details and some pics of it.

My thoughts right now are to think of it as a similar year Trek or Raleigh or some other non-Paramount branded bike like a Schwinn LeTour or something. If I didn't see the PDG on the top tube in the picture then I'd be more concerned about specifics of what to look for, but for now I'm just curious about anything unique or otherwise that might cause me concerns. (if that makes any sense at all).

Thanks in advance for any opinions.
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Old 07-15-15, 01:26 PM
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Are the early PDG Series numbered bikes made in Japan?

I remember doing a LOT of reading about them, but much more about the MTBs. I don't recall anything outrageously special or surprising about the bikes. Just well designed bikes made either in Japan or Taiwan and outfitted according to their price point.

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Old 07-15-15, 03:01 PM
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From what I've gathered from searching other threads here, the PDG's were built in Japan, Taiwan, and China. Not sure about the one that I might be looking at, but seeing as how the seller has upped the price by $25 I may pass on it, will know more tomorrow sometime.
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Old 07-15-15, 04:10 PM
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Series 2 and 3 were made in Taiwan under supervision of a PDG rep. The same rep supervised, the building of Series 5 and 7 frames, probably at the Panasonic National shop in Japan. Since you've looked at the catalogs, you'll see that the frame description is the same for Series 2 - 7. Having owned a couple of 2's, a 3, and a 7, and having looked at the same 5 a couple of times, I think the filing and lugwork has a bit better attention to detail than the 2 and 3. Paint jobs are good, decals are so 90's, one big one on each side, easy to scuff.

They rode just fine, the 7 being light, agile, precise. The Tange rep at NAHBS-Austin told me he was pretty sure the forks on all of those were Precision-tubed, for the convenience of Tange. The Tange OS tubing on the Series frames is pretty nice, and Schwinn did a lot of the expensive research that ended up being used by other folks to make their OS frames. Same with the Aluminum Series. Underrated, under-equipped, but fine frames.

If Schwinn called it a Paramount, don't discount it. I've been to many bike shows, and the snootiness found in many Paramount owners, generally directed at each other's bikes, just baffles me. The PDG Series are a nice bunch of bikes, and were as good as anything else at their price point. The yen cost Schwinn the chance to really load them up with components equal to the task.
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Old 07-15-15, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
They rode just fine, the 7 being light, agile, precise.
That 7 is still in fine shape and you've still got first dibs on its outrageous paint and 650 wheels.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is nothing out of the ordinary to check on a Series Paramount. Rust around the cable guides, scuffed decals, and bent derailleur hangers are all common occurrences with any steel frame. The paint wasn't terribly durable but most of the Series Paramounts were ridden hard and not used as wall art to impress your friends.

All of the dimensions are industry standard: 27.2 seatpost, 68mm English threaded BB and a 1" threaded headset. I don't recall if it was a JIS or ISO headset but that's a minor problem at best and the 27.0 can be milled down with the appropriate Park tool for 26.4 if you don't like the wide selection of JIS headsets on the market.
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Old 07-15-15, 07:55 PM
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I just picked up a '91 PDG Series 3 a couple of weeks ago. It's got a sticker at the base of the head-tube that says Japan, so I'm guessing in '91 they were made in Japan, and in '92 I think the Series 3's & 5's were made in Taiwan--but whether that's 100% accurate at or not, I can't say. What I can say from the ride so far is that it's a very smooth and agile machine. It's ride and feel is pretty comparable to my '86 Super Sport, but perhaps a bit more twitchy. This Series 3 came with RX-100 components and a 12-21 7 speed cassette, araya wheelset--pretty well stock as far as I can tell. The RX-100 components might have been a step or so below the 105 components of that same era, but performance-wise, they're equal imo. All in all, they're great, solid bikes, easy to find parts for and to upgrade. If you could get it for 200 or under, I'd go for it.
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Old 07-15-15, 08:54 PM
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Nope, my '92 Series 3 also had the Japan sticker. I took it off, but I guess I should have left it on for proof that this oft-repeated fact is wrong!
The RX100 is literally identical to 105SC except for the (better looking) polished finish vs painted for the 105.
I absolutely love the ride of my Paramount.
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Old 07-15-15, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
If Schwinn called it a Paramount, don't discount it. I've been to many bike shows, and the snootiness found in many Paramount owners, generally directed at each other's bikes, just baffles me. The PDG Series are a nice bunch of bikes, and were as good as anything else at their price point. The yen cost Schwinn the chance to really load them up with components equal to the task.
How's a Paramount PDG Series 7 stack up to a Centurion Ironman - at the frame? As you know, I own a Series 7 that I built up from the bare frame. I've not ridden an Ironman, though I checked one out last week, and passed on it because it was a beater (full of rust) and not in rideable shape. I'll grant that Centurion probably put better components on theirs at the same timeframes. But since my PDG Series 7 was built up from the bare frame, I don't care that Schwinn cheaped-out on the components.
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Old 07-15-15, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by coolkat View Post
Nope, my '92 Series 3 also had the Japan sticker. I took it off, but I guess I should have left it on for proof that this oft-repeated fact is wrong!
The RX100 is literally identical to 105SC except for the (better looking) polished finish vs painted for the 105.
I absolutely love the ride of my Paramount.
It might have been assembled in Japan, from a Taiwanese frame. There are all sorts of ways to avoid having to put a "Made in (somewhere less desireable)" sticker on anything assembled from components.
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Old 07-16-15, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
How's a Paramount PDG Series 7 stack up to a Centurion Ironman - at the frame?
Not that I've dreaded the question, but I'd say about equal. Seriously, I can't tell much of a difference, but my (brandon98's) Series 7 was a 650c, so it's not a fair comparison.

Having my hands on several of each, I opine that if Centurion had continued with the Ironman past '89, the '91 and '92 Series 7 would have been a pretty good facsimile. Tange tubing, oval Prestige unicrown fork, seems like a logical extension. Even the paint jobs on the 5 and 7-650 tend to continue the Ironman's conspicuous theme. They feel the same when you're working on them, and that, while intangible and likely imaginary, is there.

The Ironman, however, is a known aphrodisiac.
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Old 07-16-15, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by brandon98 View Post
That 7 is still in fine shape and you've still got first dibs on its outrageous paint and 650 wheels.
And I've not forgotten a bit. I still want that thing.....
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Old 07-16-15, 07:49 AM
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OK, time for a gratuitous posting of a 1992 Series 7 650c version, along with a few others. The Series 3 and Series 5 have both moved to new homes.


I still think the 1987-1989 Prologue was the top of the Panasonic built Schwinns.

I "solved" the under-equipped component wise on these models by rebuilding with better parts. The Prologue and Series 7 are both a mix of Dura Ace, the Series 5 was mainly Shimano 600 tricolor:

[IMG]1992 Schwinn Panasonic Series 7 by bill, on Flickr[/IMG]


Here's a really rare Paramount, a 1992 Series 8 I have yet to have built up:

[IMG]1992 Paramount Series 9C by bill, on Flickr[/IMG]



[IMG]Tools Prologue Series 5 Xmas 006 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]


Might as well add a Series 5 to the discussion:

[IMG]Tools Prologue Series 5 Xmas 013 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]

And a Series 3:

[IMG]1991 Paramount Series 3 53cm 003 by bill, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 07-16-15, 08:08 AM
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Nice images of those bikes.

I'm going to pass on the current deal due to other factors and logistics of getting to it and with wanting to put the funds elsewhere after thinking about it overnight. Plus the seller said he had someone else interested in it.

We were out in Washington on vacation last week and my relatives told me about offerup.com which is sort of a replacement for craigslist (or at least a competitor to it). I was playing around with it the last night we were in town and I found at least a dozen bikes in the Seattle area that would have been worth shipping home if I had found them sooner. So when I got back I started searching around here and found the above Schwinn down in northern Illinois (close to Antioch). Now I've got another place to feed the n+1-1+1 hobby.
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Old 07-16-15, 01:33 PM
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I am the second owner of a 1992 OS2. I bought it in 1999 from the original owners brother. The brother was killed in the first Gulf War. I doubt it had 200 miles on it. I had to replace the tires as one was cut and clean off a lot of chicken s**t from it hanging is a barn for about 5 or 6 years. I also put on a Brooks B-17, Look pedals, a small bag and Vetta C-15 computer. Here are some pictures of the bike and in the head badge picture it clearly says Made In China which I assume means Tiawan. I also own a P10-9 1974 Paramount and the ride is very similar between the 2 bikes. Sorry about the JD picture I loaded it by mistake. Roger
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Old 10-18-15, 07:19 PM
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I have owned the PDG 3 and the PDG 5 they are a lot of bike for the money!
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Old 10-22-15, 02:40 PM
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The nicer Japanese PDG are very nice, but some of the very top of the line did come from Waterford. Here's one a guy in town owns.I think he said about 88. He dealt directly with Waterford as he was working in a Schwinn shop at the time.
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Old 10-22-15, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryFrankie View Post
The nicer Japanese PDG are very nice, but some of the very top of the line did come from Waterford. Here's one a guy in town owns.I think he said about 88. He dealt directly with Waterford as he was working in a Schwinn shop at the time.
Those decals are typical of early nineties Waterford Paramounts.

This is from the 1993 Paramount catalog.

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Old 10-22-15, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_forever View Post
I have owned the PDG 3 and the PDG 5 they are a lot of bike for the money!
+1.
I've had an '87 Waterford-made Paramount (Columbus SLX) and a '92 Series 2 and '92 Series 7. Excellent bikes, with a nod to the '87 on fit/finish, as it should be, given the price difference and production processes involved.

I'd rate the Series 2 on par with an '89 Centurion LeMans RS. I'd rate the Series 7 right there with an Ironman, but mine was 650c and while the frame was "right there," comparing a 650c and 700c is not accurately done, IMO. The catalog described the frames the same, so maybe, psychologically, I had already "discounted" the Series 2.

They ride well, and lively, have great forks, and the OS tubing was very expensive for Schwinn's R&D. The frame's cost appears to have necessitated cheaper components, and this killed the lineup, along with other factors. I'd love to have any Series PDG, from 2 to 7, to build with modern stuff.

The decals were too big and vulnerable to storage, shipping, transportation and wear/tear damages on the OS Series PDG's, but the frame's paint quality was excellent. The Series 7 had the funkiest amoeba-type accents I've ever seen.

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Old 10-22-15, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
Sorry about the JD picture I loaded it by mistake. Roger
What's behind the monster tires?
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Old 10-22-15, 06:46 PM
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The monster tires were something I had and put on the RF to hold the rearend off the ground. Roger
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Old 10-22-15, 11:49 PM
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Over time, My PDG Series 7 that I built up with a modern, but hybrid 9x3 drivetrain, has become my most often-used bike. It's not quite as comfortable a ride as my Tommasini Super Prestige (with Columbus SLX), but it's at least as quick and responsive, and by going with 9x3, I got an extremely cost-effective and versatile gearing setup which is both wide range and closely spaced, with very few double shifts.

I'd say that it's a distinctly superior frame as compared to my 1979 Trek 510 (Ishiwata 022). It's also a far superior frame to that on a Schwinn LeTour. The ProLogue might be in the same ballpark frame-quality-wise.

FYI, my frame cost me $120 2nd hand off CL, and the whole build cost me well under $500. It's a heck of a lot of bike for the $460 or so I spent on it all in. I've seen as original PDG Series 5s and Series 7s on CL for prices between $250 and $400 - although there's some guy trying to sell one for over $700, but I don't think he's in reality mode, and the $250 Series 5 I saw had plenty of rust.

I should add that since these pics were taken, I've removed the Fizik Antares saddle and replaced it with an Ideale Model 80.
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