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What was the best production year for Schwinn, bar none, for bike desirability?

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What was the best production year for Schwinn, bar none, for bike desirability?

Old 06-25-18, 12:03 PM
  #26  
Charles Wahl
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All this warm and fuzzy for the late 80s is a surprise to me. I'm not a Schwinn devotee by any means, but the impression I've gotten from years of participation in this forum is (or was) that there's a high regard for the "classic" Paramount from the 60s and 70s. Maybe I generally skip Tempo/Circuit/Prologue/Waterford discussions because a) the paint/decal schemes don't move me, and b) neither do 80s bikes generally with their lack of regional diversity and character; everyone trying to make a short wheelbase/no fenders Italian racer.
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Old 06-25-18, 01:15 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
All this warm and fuzzy for the late 80s is a surprise to me. I'm not a Schwinn devotee by any means, but the impression I've gotten from years of participation in this forum is (or was) that there's a high regard for the "classic" Paramount from the 60s and 70s. Maybe I generally skip Tempo/Circuit/Prologue/Waterford discussions because a) the paint/decal schemes don't move me, and b) neither do 80s bikes generally with their lack of regional diversity and character; everyone trying to make a short wheelbase/no fenders Italian racer.
You've been cheating yourself. If you enjoy a fast, responsive bike under give one a try!


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Old 06-25-18, 01:20 PM
  #28  
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I've never been a big fan of Schwinns either, but I think that blue one in post number 19 is simply awesome!

Last edited by Grand Bois; 06-25-18 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 06-25-18, 02:13 PM
  #29  
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Oh, I don't have a problem with fast, responsive bikes. Been there a bit, and appreciate them. But the photo exemplifies my feelings pretty well.
Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
You've been cheating yourself. If you enjoy a fast, responsive bike under give one a try!


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Old 06-25-18, 10:35 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
A worked at a dealer in that era and still maintain "Flamingo Caliente" is among the coolest names for a bike ever.
<fake Euro accent>
But I must have a Flamingo Superior!
</fake Euro accent>
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Old 06-25-18, 11:22 PM
  #31  
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If speed and performance = desirability, then I'd say late-'80s, particularly 1989 Schwinn is the golden year. Paramounts were golden, as always. This would be the final year of the epic three-year-sub-Paramount reign of the Tange Prestige-tubed Prolouge. Klein-like (design partner, right?) Schwinn aluminum frames (that font!!). Legacy-of-the-Peloton-lives-on with the Columbus SL-tubed Circuit. The Tenax-tubed Tempo finally got a 27.2mm seat post spec, so the tubing was certainly better than before. Captain America paint job for the Prelude. Everything else benefited from late-'80s index shifting from Shimano and (to a much smaller degree) Suntour. Geometry on these upper end Schwinns was very good and very proven, and nearly similar spec was spread across numerous models.

My experience is with a number of aforementioned examples. And below is my '87 Prologue, essentially the same as an '89 save for the year of manufacture. This is a bike you will never be disappointed in.

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Old 06-26-18, 07:20 AM
  #32  
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^ So love that paint scheme better than mine!
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Old 06-26-18, 07:28 AM
  #33  
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Seems that most of these "desireable/performance" orienated schwinns were made in Japan.

I've always liked Panasonics.
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Old 07-06-18, 10:52 PM
  #34  
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Yeah, it was basically Paramount then Pana-Schwinns then US-made Schwinns on that continuum, more or less. I'll take a Schwinn paint job and graphics scheme over a Panasonic, though. They have always looked better to me (but if anyone find a super-rad '80s/'90s Panasonic paint job, I'm happy to amend my statement!).
@jamesdak I contemplate going full Dark Side with this one and getting a 7900 Dura-Ace crankset and rear derailleur. I'm not hunting for grams, though the benefit would be noted nerd-style. Thankfully, regarding paint schemes, we ride that wonderful Prestige tubing instead of the paint job, and that's the reward. Is the red or white on your bike metallic at all? Schwinn had some suuuuuper fine metallic flake in some of their paint (like my '85 Peloton), and it always warms my heart to see it. Red/white still looks sharp, and I'd outfit a bike of that color scheme with all polished components, including polished deep-V rims just to 'throw it down' properly--I'm thinking H+Son SL42s.
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Old 07-06-18, 11:34 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
Seems that most of these "desireable/performance" orienated schwinns were made in Japan.

I've always liked Panasonics.
most? I guess you’d have to compare production numbers, but a lot of them were made in Greenville, MS.
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Old 07-07-18, 06:14 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Yeah, it was basically Paramount then Pana-Schwinns then US-made Schwinns on that continuum, more or less. I'll take a Schwinn paint job and graphics scheme over a Panasonic, though. They have always looked better to me (but if anyone find a super-rad '80s/'90s Panasonic paint job, I'm happy to amend my statement!).
@jamesdak I contemplate going full Dark Side with this one and getting a 7900 Dura-Ace crankset and rear derailleur. I'm not hunting for grams, though the benefit would be noted nerd-style. Thankfully, regarding paint schemes, we ride that wonderful Prestige tubing instead of the paint job, and that's the reward. Is the red or white on your bike metallic at all? Schwinn had some suuuuuper fine metallic flake in some of their paint (like my '85 Peloton), and it always warms my heart to see it. Red/white still looks sharp, and I'd outfit a bike of that color scheme with all polished components, including polished deep-V rims just to 'throw it down' properly--I'm thinking H+Son SL42s.
It's tough to tell but the red has a shimmer to it, sort of like a bit of pearl or something in the sunlight. I don't notice anything in the white though.
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Old 07-07-18, 06:33 PM
  #37  
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I have a '70 Paramount P-13 and an '85 Peloton. Perfomance-wise, the Peloton, made by Panasonic, blows the Paramount away. But - do you consider that a Schwinn or a re-badged Panasonic? It's a Schwinn to me but YMMV.... Regardless, for raw mystique and presence, no contest for the Paramount. It is, after all, my Grail Bike. It comes to this: I have a lot of bikes, and luck has given me custody of many top-or-near-top-of-the-line models from various manufacturers and various years. Schwinn Paramount. Peugeot PX-10. Bottecchia Professional. Colnago Master. Motobecane Le Champion. Raleigh International. In the end, there is no definitive best, either model or year, that definition exists in the expectations and needs of the individual. From my perspective, each of mine is best for the intended purpose at a given moment.

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Old 07-07-18, 10:05 PM
  #38  
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@jamesdak yeah, Schwinn has done that a lot where it's difficult to tell if it's a metallic or pearl effect in their paint. Regardless, it always looks nice, and adds to the desirability of the bike. Many companies will just have a gloss color, which looks fine, but it's not that extra level of effect. On my grey/black Prologue, the grey is more or less without metallic/pearl, but the black is very metallic.
@PilotFishBob I agree. As athletic as a '70s Paramount can be (my modernized P-15 touring included), a decade newer and a tighter wheelbase and lighter wheels and steeper geometry will certainly let the rider know of differences. And it's not that yours or my Paramounts are slouches--far from it! It's just that an '85 Peloton is a bit of a road race weapon with it's steeper geometry and lower trail. It's happy to putt about, and comfortable and trustworthy enough....but it has razor-sharp reflexes and thrives when your really accelerating or turning. I've been blessed to sample (and upgrade) various high-end models from a number of manufacturers, and I like the bikes for various reasons. Pretty much all of my nice/fun bikes have an obvious character trait that I appreciate, so it's hard to say "best" or similar. "Best All Around" is most likely my '74 Paramount P-15 (3x9 indexed downtube Dura-Ace with BLR650 calipers and Kool Stops) as it is quite fast, very comfortable with the longer wheelbase and B17 saddle, and geared for low end (28-32T combo) and top speed (53-11T combo). Fender mounts, too. "Best Fast Bike" goes to my Guerciotti with 2x10 Dura-Ace downtube shifting etc. I've had my '85 Peloton the longest of all my bikes, and though she isn't the most capable (compared to my other modern-component-equipped bikes) with her older (but nice!) 7400 pieces, she is very much at home with them and kicks butt.
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Old 07-08-18, 08:39 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Growing up in that era, all the rich kids in the neighborhood had Krate bikes. They then moved on to Honda Minitrail 50s and 70s (also collectible).
While not being a rich kid I didn't have the crate (SS Roadmaster) I saved up until I could get the Honda 70 and put many hours on that. Still have the roadmaster, but wish I had the Honda
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Old 07-08-18, 11:47 PM
  #40  
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No answers are wrong. As Chris Rock once said, "Whatever kind of music was popular and playing on the radio when you lost your virginity--that's going to be your favorite music for the rest of your life."
It would be another decade for me thanks to the Army and other poor choices, but for me 1986.




My 86 Peloton isn't very impressive, but I adore this bike and it's my primary rider. It's chromed underneath the white paint and the rear triangle is black chrome!
Light? Nope, it's the Sherman tank of bikes. But that doesn't stop us from gliding past modern carbon bikes with motors much younger than this 32-year-old frame.
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Old 07-09-18, 12:18 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The handmade in Chicago 531 Paramounts.. ?
So ... that narrows it down to 1938 - 1980somthing, I think?
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Old 07-09-18, 05:09 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post


So ... that narrows it down to 1938 - 1980somthing, I think?
Yep, since "Best" and "My Favorite" are the same....
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