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1967 Schwinn Paramount Rescue and Restoration

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1967 Schwinn Paramount Rescue and Restoration

Old 02-08-17, 11:42 PM
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RiddleOfSteel
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1967 Schwinn Paramount Rescue and Restoration

CORRECTION ON 2/9/17: THE CORRECT YEAR OF THIS PARAMOUNT IS 1974 - Thank you to all for pointing me straight!

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another Paramount build! (BTW: long initial post)

Story:

Was working at a bike co-op last Wednesday and while working on a different task, heard "...Schwinn Paramount..." and immediately turned around to see this very old yellow frameset with nearly all its components on it save for wheels. Now, the components were a mess. The only plausibly original items on it were the bottom bracket (Campagnolo with English threading), cable guides, Campagnolo FD, and headset. A Campagnolo Record Strada triple crankset (54-46-36) in good shape was dated to 1973. Cinelli stem and 64-series bars. The rest of the parts were newer: Deore RD, Nashbar dual pivot brakes (recessed nut......), and Nashbar-branded Microshift brifters. No saddle or seat post. Oh, and the original fork had been replaced by a carbon one.

Disassembling the entire thing was incredibly weird as pretty much nothing was tight and/or fully threaded on. Simply bizarre! Once we were down to the frame, I set about dating it. Turns out we have a March of 1967 build. Nervex Professional lugs. P-13 model. A later measurement (last Saturday when I came to eventually pick it up) revealed my suspicions that it was indeed a 25" model (62cm CTC)--my size!

The frame is straight as is the fork. Now, the fork was missing for most of the night until right when we were about to leave (10 PM or so) and all of a sudden this yellow and chrome fork appears in this pile. Score! Looks like the original one. The serial number stamped in the steerer 1) existed in the first place 2) matched the serial number stamped on the rear Campagnolo dropout.

Now for the tragedy: Some person decided (HOW?!?!?) to cut the steerer threads off with a hacksaw, leaving me with an inoperable fork! Thankfully one or two threads remain because my immediate thought was to repair or replace the steerer. The chrome is in great shape for a 50 year-old bike (or 20 for that matter), and there are no dents hiding beneath the totally toast paint.

Interesting human component: The presumably original owner carved his name and social security number on the bottom of the NDS chainstay. His name was Ronald W. Cross. Not listing the SSN of course, but I would imagine the man to be very old or not alive any more. The guy liked his bike! Preliminary name research yields no good leads, and I've just started Paramount registry searching, but maybe some of you could help if you knew anything? The Schwinn store it was sold from was called Turrill's Schwinn Cyclery and has a picture of a man riding a pennyfarthing. Couldn't find record of that store either. Anyone have a database of them?

Now:

I am excited as this is my first Paramount and I have been passively looking for one. Didn't expect one this old to come my way! I paid a small sum, and am financially "ahead" per the value of a nice version of the frame. I just get to do all the work to come out slightly ahead or even (though I'm keeping it).

- With the help of fellow BF member and friend Dfrost, we have HT and ST angles of 72°/72°
- Chainstay length of 43cm (measured center of BB to center of horizontal dropouts)
- DB Reynolds 531 tubing (not labeled during these years, as far as I can tell)
- BSA BB size and threading (good shape!), tubes inside look decent
- Brake reach with 700C F/R: 57mm/68mm CTC --- 27" F/R: 53mm/64mm (as best calculated)
- BB drop is 77mm or very close
- 22.2mm quill stem
- 27.2mm seat post
- Axle spacing is 98/120 F/R -- close enough to 100 to not be a big deal at all

Job #1: repair or replace the steerer. R&E Cycles (Rodriguez & Erickson, both custom framebuilders, well respected) offers many times of bike and frame repair along with a cost breakdown. Prices look just fine to me and I have inquired as to overall cost, anything else I need to do for context (I sent measurements and pictures along with my explanation), heat-vs.-chrome, and timeline. Will hear back soon.

Build:

I'm keeping this classic. I am not a yellow guy and since the paint is toast, I'm going to choose a different corner, and I am leaning towards powder coating (if they can mask off the chrome well) for durability, cost ($400-600+ doesn't appeal to me on a bit of an unknown internal-tube condition frame), and "let's ride it and not worry about errant scratches from well-cared use!" I know it's a Paramount, but this is my thought process. I'm taking it a step at a time. First hurdle is the steerer repair, and then I inquire about powder coat or paint (Seattle Powdercoat does bikes and they did a great job for one of mine).

The Campagnolo headset and clamp-on derailleur cable guide (at the BB) will be employed, but I want to go classic Japanese with it as opposed to the nearly-ubiquitous (because of good reasons) Campagnolo builds. I have lovely Superbe brake levers and Superbe clamp-on DT shifters. Superbe (or Cyclone if needed) FD and RD and Sugino Mighty/Mighty Competition crankset. Brooks B17 (I have) and 22.2 quill stem (100-105mm) with Nitto or Sekai bars--no steep Cinelli 64s, though maybe a 65-series... Re-decal'ed with as-close-to-the-year-as-possible graphics (attainable!). I have an IRD 6-speed freewheel, so that will be employed as well. Wheel choice is TBD. Tires as well.

I don't want to use old center-pulls, mostly as I can't find Dia Compe ones that 1) match 2) are in good shape. I'd like to take advantage of modern metallurgical advancements and grab a new Dia Compe center-pull. Dia Compe 610s look great, but there is no 750 model (for the rear) that matches. Dia Compe also makes a Mafac-Racer-esque GC700 that not only is new but also covers the front and rear reach ranges in a single caliper--my preference (must match, if possible). Not cheap, but gorgeous and they work properly.

May be forgetting something, but that's what I have for now. The build won't be fast, but rather quite methodical. The bike is to be a rider that is also more than pretty enough to be shown (not trophy hunting, though). Looking forward to this for sure. I enjoy the redemption process, and will be on that road again with this.

Thanks for reading and comment or inquire and I will do my best!

Last edited by RiddleOfSteel; 02-09-17 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Read the serial number wrong...dang it...
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Old 02-08-17, 11:46 PM
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One of the few remaining decals still legible:


Good chrome and beautiful lugs!


Truth in the headbadge:


Nice masking on that pretty fork...


Inconceivable! But repairable!
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Old 02-09-17, 12:12 AM
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Very cool old Paramount.

I'm sure the GC700 are great brakes and would be worth the $. I love my GC610 set. They'd be a great match with some vintage Sugino cranks and what not, if you want to go that route. However, I might also consider vintage a Weinmann set with some upgraded pads and cables, especially if you keep the campy triple crank.

You will probably lose the chrome on the fork crown when they replace the steer tube, but hope for the best. Perhaps whoever does it can use some heat sink or other trick to prevent excessive scorching.

RE the steer tube. I doubt anyone sawed it off. Steer tubes can bulge and break with age, sweat/corrosion, and preload from the stem wedge. Usually only seen on bikes that have seen a lot of miles, unless someone got all gorilla on the stem bolt.
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Old 02-09-17, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
With the help of fellow BF member and friend Dfrost, we have HT and ST angles of 72°/72°
Note that the actual angles were 73°. The following chart is from '69 and the geometry hadn't changed from '67 to '69:

image hosting sites

Last edited by Metacortex; 02-09-17 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 02-09-17, 12:24 AM
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Again so jealous, you lucky man. If I may, I'm not a fan of yellow either but have always been a fan of stock Schwinn colors when I see a good example in the flesh be it back in the day when they were new and I spent many hours drooling at Gateway Schwinn or nowadays when I see a well preserved one. That being said I would implore you to consider keeping it so. I would also look at the ones that had red lettering as it sounds odd and admittedly looks odd but grows on you I think and some more red with cables and maybe tape could be quite striking. Anyway just sayin.



Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Hi, everyone. Welcome to another Paramount build! (BTW: long initial post)

Story:

Was working at a bike co-op last Wednesday and while working on a different task, heard "...Schwinn Paramount..." and immediately turned around to see this very old yellow frameset with nearly all its components on it save for wheels. Now, the components were a mess. The only plausibly original items on it were the bottom bracket (Campagnolo with English threading), cable guides, Campagnolo FD, and headset. A Campagnolo Record Strada triple crankset (54-46-36) in good shape was dated to 1973. Cinelli stem and 64-series bars. The rest of the parts were newer: Deore RD, Nashbar dual pivot brakes (recessed nut......), and Nashbar-branded Microshift brifters. No saddle or seat post. Oh, and the original fork had been replaced by a carbon one.

Disassembling the entire thing was incredibly weird as pretty much nothing was tight and/or fully threaded on. Simply bizarre! Once we were down to the frame, I set about dating it. Turns out we have a March of 1967 build. Nervex Professional lugs. P-13 model. A later measurement (last Saturday when I came to eventually pick it up) revealed my suspicions that it was indeed a 25" model (62cm CTC)--my size!

The frame is straight as is the fork. Now, the fork was missing for most of the night until right when we were about to leave (10 PM or so) and all of a sudden this yellow and chrome fork appears in this pile. Score! Looks like the original one. The serial number stamped in the steerer 1) existed in the first place 2) matched the serial number stamped on the rear Campagnolo dropout.

Now for the tragedy: Some person decided (HOW?!?!?) to cut the steerer threads off with a hacksaw, leaving me with an inoperable fork! Thankfully one or two threads remain because my immediate thought was to repair or replace the steerer. The chrome is in great shape for a 50 year-old bike (or 20 for that matter), and there are no dents hiding beneath the totally toast paint.

Interesting human component: The presumably original owner carved his name and social security number on the bottom of the NDS chainstay. His name was Ronald W. Cross. Not listing the SSN of course, but I would imagine the man to be very old or not alive any more. The guy liked his bike! Preliminary name research yields no good leads, and I've just started Paramount registry searching, but maybe some of you could help if you knew anything? The Schwinn store it was sold from was called Turrill's Schwinn Cyclery and has a picture of a man riding a pennyfarthing. Couldn't find record of that store either. Anyone have a database of them?

Now:

I am excited as this is my first Paramount and I have been passively looking for one. Didn't expect one this old to come my way! I paid a small sum, and am financially "ahead" per the value of a nice version of the frame. I just get to do all the work to come out slightly ahead or even (though I'm keeping it).

- With the help of fellow BF member and friend Dfrost, we have HT and ST angles of 72°/72°
- Chainstay length of 43cm (measured center of BB to center of horizontal dropouts)
- DB Reynolds 531 tubing (not labeled during these years, as far as I can tell)
- BSA BB size and threading (good shape!), tubes inside look decent
- Brake reach with 700C F/R: 57mm/68mm CTC --- 27" F/R: 53mm/64mm (as best calculated)
- BB drop is 77mm or very close
- 22.2mm quill stem
- 27.2mm seat post
- Axle spacing is 98/120 F/R -- close enough to 100 to not be a big deal at all

Job #1: repair or replace the steerer. R&E Cycles (Rodriguez & Erickson, both custom framebuilders, well respected) offers many times of bike and frame repair along with a cost breakdown. Prices look just fine to me and I have inquired as to overall cost, anything else I need to do for context (I sent measurements and pictures along with my explanation), heat-vs.-chrome, and timeline. Will hear back soon.

Build:

I'm keeping this classic. I am not a yellow guy and since the paint is toast, I'm going to choose a different corner, and I am leaning towards powder coating (if they can mask off the chrome well) for durability, cost ($400-600+ doesn't appeal to me on a bit of an unknown internal-tube condition frame), and "let's ride it and not worry about errant scratches from well-cared use!" I know it's a Paramount, but this is my thought process. I'm taking it a step at a time. First hurdle is the steerer repair, and then I inquire about powder coat or paint (Seattle Powdercoat does bikes and they did a great job for one of mine).

The Campagnolo headset and clamp-on derailleur cable guide (at the BB) will be employed, but I want to go classic Japanese with it as opposed to the nearly-ubiquitous (because of good reasons) Campagnolo builds. I have lovely Superbe brake levers and Superbe clamp-on DT shifters. Superbe (or Cyclone if needed) FD and RD and Sugino Mighty/Mighty Competition crankset. Brooks B17 (I have) and 22.2 quill stem (100-105mm) with Nitto or Sekai bars--no steep Cinelli 64s, though maybe a 65-series... Re-decal'ed with as-close-to-the-year-as-possible graphics (attainable!). I have an IRD 6-speed freewheel, so that will be employed as well. Wheel choice is TBD. Tires as well.

I don't want to use old center-pulls, mostly as I can't find Dia Compe ones that 1) match 2) are in good shape. I'd like to take advantage of modern metallurgical advancements and grab a new Dia Compe center-pull. Dia Compe 610s look great, but there is no 750 model (for the rear) that matches. Dia Compe also makes a Mafac-Racer-esque GC700 that not only is new but also covers the front and rear reach ranges in a single caliper--my preference (must match, if possible). Not cheap, but gorgeous and they work properly.

May be forgetting something, but that's what I have for now. The build won't be fast, but rather quite methodical. The bike is to be a rider that is also more than pretty enough to be shown (not trophy hunting, though). Looking forward to this for sure. I enjoy the redemption process, and will be on that road again with this.

Thanks for reading and comment or inquire and I will do my best!

Last edited by merziac; 02-09-17 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 02-09-17, 12:57 AM
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Nice bike for a build...I also agree the tube does not look cut of it appears as though it fatigued and broke....keep us posted on the progress. I like yellow and still have my P-15...black lettering.
Regards, Ben
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Old 02-09-17, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Very cool old Paramount.

I'm sure the GC700 are great brakes and would be worth the $. I love my GC610 set. They'd be a great match with some vintage Sugino cranks and what not, if you want to go that route. However, I might also consider vintage a Weinmann set with some upgraded pads and cables, especially if you keep the campy triple crank.

You will probably lose the chrome on the fork crown when they replace the steer tube, but hope for the best. Perhaps whoever does it can use some heat sink or other trick to prevent excessive scorching.

RE the steer tube. I doubt anyone sawed it off. Steer tubes can bulge and break with age, sweat/corrosion, and preload from the stem wedge. Usually only seen on bikes that have seen a lot of miles, unless someone got all gorilla on the stem bolt.
Thank you! Yeah, the 610s reach far enough for the fronts but not the rears. Why Schwinn and others did different reaches makes no sense to me. Was it for better rack mounting? Who knows. So far locally and on ebay, no vintage sets exist to my liking (and I'd for sure upgrade pads and cables--it's gotta feel good!). If the bike is going to be high gloss, I can't have anywhere close to dull old calipers. As always, I will keep my eye out.

So far, the Campy triple is at the co-op and not bought by me (yet...), though I consider it...but then think having a 175mm crank would be better. I like being pretty 'low' in my bikes.

Your comments on the steer tube make sense. The jaggedness of the top of it plus the cranked up and weirdly wrapped bar tape, and the random and poorly setup components suggested to me that clear thought was far from the equation. I will hope for the best on the chrome, and hopefully R&E can shed some light on the range of possible results when the repair process is carried out.
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Old 02-09-17, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
Note that the actual angles were 73°. The following chart is from '69 and the geometry hadn't changed from '67 to '69:
Looks like our smartphone initial zeroing was 1° off. Makes sense as we arrived at both tube angles being identical. THANK YOU for providing that geometry chart! I saved the JPEG onto my computer for future reference. This kind of thing is really cool to see.
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Old 02-09-17, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Again so jealous, you lucky man. If I may, I'm not a fan of yellow either but have always been a fan of stock Schwinn colors when I see a good example in the flesh be it back in the day when they were new and I spent many hours drooling at Gateway Schwinn or nowadays when I see a well preserved one. That being said I would implore you to consider keeping it so. I would also look at the ones that had red lettering as it sounds odd and admittedly looks odd but grows on you I think and some more red with cables and maybe tape could be quite striking. Anyway just sayin.
Well thank you, merziac. I entertain all options color-wise. Schwinn yellow has interestingly never bothered me, I just haven't preferred yellow on other things like cars and such--too much of a try-hard-to-get-noticed color and my personality and sensibilities just don't jibe with that. Red decals would look perfectly fine on it as well, even if I don't want a McDondald's look--it was just the colors of the times.

The paint being as bad as it is opens up the full range of possibilities for color in my mind, but a big factor in that will be the fork. If the chrome stays decent after the repair, then all my options remain. If the chrome takes a hit and would be better painted over, then I feel my color selection is more limited as I seek to pull off a classic and high-end look. An all yellow fork, for example, would look low-end and it would bother me all the time. All black, and we're doing alright. Chrome headset and new polished center-pulls and the lack of chromed fork lugs becomes not a big deal (or not as big of a deal). I guess I could re-chrome the fork, but it will come down to cost. We shall see.
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Old 02-09-17, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
Nice bike for a build...I also agree the tube does not look cut of it appears as though it fatigued and broke....keep us posted on the progress. I like yellow and still have my P-15...black lettering.
Regards, Ben
Thank you, Ben. I will keep you and everyone else updated. It'll be slower than my normal builds, but this is no normal bike nor is it a normal state that it is in!
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Old 02-09-17, 06:27 AM
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Great score! You should enjoy your Paramount considerably. I like your plans for a build. Make it your own and ride it to your heart's content!

May I add a few observations which I don't believe anyone has noted yet?

A '67 should have the Olympic Rings seat tube decal, not the double bands of rainbow champion seat tube decal. That switch came along in '74, IIRC.

I'm surprised that no remnant of lug outlining or the other fancy pinstripes on the top tube and fork stays are visible. While these are rather fragile, I'd think that some would be visible here or there. I pictured the coppertone '66 P13 I used to own (next to the red '71 I still own) which I had repainted and was able to find a pin stripe artist who reproduced the original ones. When I received the '66 the paint was in worse shape than your '67 but I could still see this detail in many places. Again, IIRC, pinstripes and lug lining stopped in '73.



Which leads me to ask are you certain you have dated this frame correctly? Would you mind sharing the serial number?
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Old 02-09-17, 06:46 AM
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Thought this might be helpful in dating. Below are the catalog pages from 1974 in Bob Hufford's collection. The yellow one is the P13.



The orange one is the P15 (which also came in the P10).



Compared to the '67 catalog.

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Old 02-09-17, 07:15 AM
  #13  
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If it'sa 67 Paramount shouldn't it have Prugnat lugs?
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Old 02-09-17, 07:40 AM
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Check the date code on the crank.
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Old 02-09-17, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by trainman999 View Post
If it's a 67 Paramount shouldn't it have Prugnat lugs?
Prugnat lugs began in '68 and were mostly phased during '70. @cudak had/has a '70 which is built with Prugnat.


By March '71 the Nervex lugs were back.
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Old 02-09-17, 08:59 AM
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Did P13's have fender eyelets, I thought they were just on P15's and P10's?
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Old 02-09-17, 09:08 AM
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Nice score. Powder coating if done right can look really good. I used powder coat on a 1978 Trek TX 900 I'm rebuilding. The original paint job was shot and I wanted a tough paint job.
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Old 02-09-17, 09:42 AM
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I wouldn't paint it, this is coming from someone who had two Paramounts painted.

That bike has decent original paint and decals, de-rust, touch it up, buff it up and wax it. At least try that before you have it painted, nothing lost but a bit of time and effort and you might like the result.
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Old 02-09-17, 10:02 AM
  #19  
John E
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Originally Posted by St33lWh33ls View Post
I wouldn't paint it, this is coming from someone who had two Paramounts painted.

That bike has decent original paint and decals, de-rust, touch it up, buff it up and wax it. At least try that before you have it painted, nothing lost but a bit of time and effort and you might like the result.
Concur. This is coming from someone who had one Capo painted and definitely plans not to have the other painted.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Old 02-09-17, 10:12 AM
  #20  
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Excited to see how this comes together. Bummer about the hack job on the fork but hey, what's done is done. Gonna be a fine bike!
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Old 02-09-17, 10:28 AM
  #21  
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Given that the paint on the fork is going to get burnt when the steer tube is replaced, I think a repaint is in order here. A partial repaint makes no sense. I think the chrome may survive if it is protected with heat protectant welding paste etc, but I am not certain.

Sounds like that 1973 crankset may be more indicative than you thought. Seems to match the 74 catalog pic posted by pastorbobnlnh. At any rate, I can't blame you for not wanting to ride a 170. I am lanky and ride the same size frame, and don't like 170 cranks either. They just feel too small.
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Old 02-09-17, 10:35 AM
  #22  
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Nice find. I have had vintage frames both painted and powder coated. Powder coating is more durable, but you risk losing lug detail at the seat tube/top tube juncture, depends upon skill of the powder coater. Starting by cleaning/polishing to see what you have is worthwhile effort. Don
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Old 02-09-17, 10:36 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
You will probably lose the chrome on the fork crown when they replace the steer tube, but hope for the best. Perhaps whoever does it can use some heat sink or other trick to prevent excessive scorching.

RE the steer tube. I doubt anyone sawed it off. Steer tubes can bulge and break with age, sweat/corrosion, and preload from the stem wedge. Usually only seen on bikes that have seen a lot of miles, unless someone got all gorilla on the stem bolt.
Shame about the fork. I agree that this doesn't look to have been deliberately shortened. Rather, I'd suspect it was a result of riding with a loosely-adjusted headset, allowing the threaded cup to rock on the steer tube, eventually eroding the threads away and cracking.

Very careful work might be able to salvage the chrome on the crown. Boring out the old steer tube and silver-brazing a new one in place, with plenty of flux on the crown might minimize the damage, but I suspect re-plating might be needed. A good motorcycle shop should be able to suggest a decent plater, and getting a fork plated should cost much less than getting the whole frame re-plated.
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Old 02-09-17, 10:44 AM
  #24  
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JDT beat me with his post..he might have thoughts on the sleeve.

Just curious about another way to save chrome on the steerer tube....would it be possible to use an internal sleeve and cut 1/3's up from crown, bevel and do a weld/braze there? A skilled welder could do this with a good penetration weld and it would need little to no finishing and would still allow for the quill..just a thought.
Regards, Ben
Oh yeah....I would try to clean it up and put new decals on it after a touch-up on the bad spots and enjoy it. I am not a fan of major expense of Restoring, I like riding and not worrying about a nick or 3..thats just my take, others differ but
these old Paramounts have good paint and with a clean up you might be surprised.
Best, Ben
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Old 02-09-17, 11:24 AM
  #25  
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Great find. A '67 Paramount is a fairly rare bike, THE iconic American racing bike, and one I would think deserving of a proper restoration by Waterford. If it were a much more common 'bike boom' year Paramount I could see a lesser restoration.

As merziac said, red decals with the Kool Lemon looks nice.
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