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Night and day

Old 05-24-20, 07:22 PM
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Night and day

So I've had this 1969 Paramount for about two years, and it's nice but repainted and not all original parts. The ride never inspired me. I rode it in last year's Haleiwa Metric Century, which was OK except for a construction staple through the tires. Come to think of it, the tires were the worst part of the bike. They were junk. Likely the cheapest tire available that would fit.




I ordered Paselas in the 27 x 1 1/8 six months ago, but COVID and everything so I haven't had the space to mount them.

Put them on last week and my gosh this frame has life. Leaning into the turn, the bike used to be unpredictable and nervous and now it's just point-and-go. This is what the 531 frame is supposed to feel like.

Now I wanna know.

What's one change you made to a bike that completely changed your opinion of it? Like, in a good or unexpected way?

This Paramount and I are going to go see some hills this week...
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Old 05-24-20, 08:47 PM
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Good looking machine. So stealth.

Let me share this alternate cable routing for the rear brake I'm using on my own Paramount. Go under the top tube to the nds for a direct line to the caliper:



Just an option.

I can't think of one change that made a huge difference. The first time I overhauled my grocery getter, it was like ... Wo ho ho! Why did I wait so long??
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Old 05-24-20, 09:33 PM
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I'm liking the content I see here, but I have to ask -SurferRosa, what year is that Paramount of yours? Is it a repainted P13, or is it a P12 that someone put a later top tube decal on?

Me likey. A lot.

-Kurt
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Old 05-24-20, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
what year is that Paramount of yours?
Well, it's a 1960 and a repaint. That's how I roll. On the cheap! And that's really all I know about it. I think I used to know more. I blame the cat. I blame the cat for everything.
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Old 05-24-20, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Well, it's a 1960 and a repaint. That's how I roll. On the cheap! And that's really all I know about it. I think I used to know more. I blame the cat. I blame the cat for everything.
Well, when the cat makes you forget why you own it, let me know. I'm rather smitten by it. Reminds me so much of my '61 and Sheldon's blue one.

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Old 05-24-20, 10:45 PM
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I hate to do this but one of the more dramatic improvements was when I replaced a pair of Paselas!
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Old 05-24-20, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Good looking machine. So stealth.

Let me share this alternate cable routing for the rear brake I'm using on my own Paramount. Go under the top tube to the nds for a direct line to the caliper:
Oh that's awesome...thanks for the pro tip. The rear brake does feel somewhat dead, so I hope the reduction in cable length and bend will help!

That's a handsome machine you have there.
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Old 05-24-20, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
I hate to do this but one of the more dramatic improvements was when I replaced a pair of Paselas!
Aha! This I wanna hear about.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:18 AM
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The Pinarello was purchased with pro 4 tires that I ran until they wore out. Replaced them with Vittoria Corsa G+ at my usual 110 psi. Decided to try 120PSI to 125 psi the 130. Huge difference in ride quality at the higher pressure! I was shocked.
An earlier improvement was replacing the crashed 1971Motobecane Le Champion with a 1983ish Colnago Superissimo. felt like I was flying.
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Old 05-25-20, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
The Pinarello was purchased with pro 4 tires that I ran until they wore out. Replaced them with Vittoria Corsa G+ at my usual 110 psi. Decided to try 120PSI to 125 psi the 130. Huge difference in ride quality at the higher pressure! I was shocked.
An earlier improvement was replacing the crashed 1971Motobecane Le Champion with a 1983ish Colnago Superissimo. felt like I was flying.
Going up in pressure to achieve a night and day transformation - interesting!
I’m still exploring transformations from lowering tire pressure along with tubeless rim tape and latex inner tubes. 25mm “open tubular” clinchers on modern (wider) Velocity A23 rims spread out wider noticeably on my road bike compared to the DT-Swiss RR 1.1’s (think Mavic Open Pro) conventional clinchers I had been using.

​​​​​​​The Challenge Criterium & Stradas I have been running for 2 years with Vittoria latex tubes are affordable and difficult to mount. That is until you get it. Mounting them correctly is just a learning curve, after the 2nd or 3rd mount, it makes sense. I run pressures in the mid 70’s psi front and mid to high 80’s rear for my 200# self. The comfort and cornering are very tubular like. Like “Night and Day” as you say. And if they are a bit slower than rock hard tires, I don’t care. My rides consist of descending, cornering, climbing and riding chipseal with flat sections thrown in for recovery.

A neat experiment for your 27” tire Paramount that could be transformative to the ride - go with the basic Continental 27” (non-Gatorskin) tires. Such as a folding Super Sport if they make it, otherwise the wire bead is fine. But my experiment would be to use the wider size latex inner tube for 700c rims and perhaps get rid of the Velox rim tape and go with 2 layers of thin “Kapton” tubeless rim tape. This is to increase interior tube volume. Then experiment with optimum tire pressure to find your “night & day” ride. Since 27x1-1/8” tires are already like 30 mm wide they will tolerate lower pressures. The latex inner tubes soften the ride in revealing ways. Even with inexpensive tires. I have $25 TUFO Calibra tires mounted with latex tubes on Mavic Open Pro rims and they run so well that you would think they were Continental Competition tubulars the ride is that dynamic.

700c latex inner tubes would stretch to fit the slightly bigger diameter 27” rims just fine BTW. I see where Vittoria makes a 30-38mm width 700c latex inner tube which I imagine would work well. Do be prepared to pump your tires to the desired pressure before each ride, however. This little ritual is not a pain in the butt. To the contrary, it forces me to eyeball my brake pads, chain and overall bike cleanliness prior to each ride.
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Old 05-25-20, 06:45 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
So I've had this 1969 Paramount for about two years, and it's nice but repainted and not all original parts. The ride never inspired me. I rode it in last year's Haleiwa Metric Century, which was OK except for a construction staple through the tires. Come to think of it, the tires were the worst part of the bike. They were junk. Likely the cheapest tire available that would fit.




I ordered Paselas in the 27 x 1 1/8 six months ago, but COVID and everything so I haven't had the space to mount them.

Put them on last week and my gosh this frame has life. Leaning into the turn, the bike used to be unpredictable and nervous and now it's just point-and-go. This is what the 531 frame is supposed to feel like.

Now I wanna know.

What's one change you made to a bike that completely changed your opinion of it? Like, in a good or unexpected way?

This Paramount and I are going to go see some hills this week...
One if my oldest, bestest friends lives in Haleiwa.
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Old 05-25-20, 09:19 AM
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I didn't believe that tires would make such a marked difference in a bike- I had my 84 Trek 420- and was using the Cheng Shin or whatever 27" tires the bike shop had for $10. When I got a set of Paselas- that was effin magic. (autocorrect turned it into "elfin magic" which I think was really funny).

I've gotten 2 sets of Compass (now Rene Herse) tires- and it's that same sort of difference. I guess it depends on what you're looking for in your ride- I have tourers- I'm not going too fast, and I want the ride to be cushy. I'm running 35s at around 40/50 PSI.

The other thing, as mentioned above, play with your tire pressure. I was always putting in what the sidewall said was max pressure, and that characteristic in the ride wasn't exactly what I wanted.
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Old 05-25-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I didn't believe that tires would make such a marked difference in a bike- I had my 84 Trek 420- and was using the Cheng Shin or whatever 27" tires the bike shop had for $10. When I got a set of Paselas- that was effin magic. (autocorrect turned it into "elfin magic" which I think was really funny).

I've gotten 2 sets of Compass (now Rene Herse) tires- and it's that same sort of difference. I guess it depends on what you're looking for in your ride- I have tourers- I'm not going too fast, and I want the ride to be cushy. I'm running 35s at around 40/50 PSI.

The other thing, as mentioned above, play with your tire pressure. I was always putting in what the sidewall said was max pressure, and that characteristic in the ride wasn't exactly what I wanted.
Elfin magic, that's a new one. Writing it down.

Yeah I'll play with the pressure and see what feels best. I pumped them up to about 100psi (max is 105?) and they felt great. I kept up with friends on modern alu on a 25 miler yesterday
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Old 05-25-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post

What's one change you made to a bike that completely changed your opinion of it? Like, in a good or unexpected way?
I had 23C slick tyres, nerver liked the thin tyres and had a lot of flats.
Changed the tyres for 28C with urban/mixed pattern and with an extra layer of protection against punctures.
No more flats, and the tyre is more versatile in different surfaces

I'm loving it now, really changed my whole bicycle experience
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Old 05-25-20, 01:22 PM
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Lightweight rims and tubular tires.
1967. I was 15 years old and got the idea I was going to ride 80 miles down the California coast for a weekend event. A friend whose family was seriously into cycling said "You better borrow my wheels." I was thrilled at the difference. My steel-rimmed Peugeot U08 was a new bike!

After I recovered from that ride my friend introduced me to toe clips and straps, another big improvement, but not to compare with the wheels.
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Old 05-25-20, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
I hate to do this but one of the more dramatic improvements was when I replaced a pair of Paselas!
Working in the motorcycle industry I saw this kind of thing a lot. Tires degrade with age and use, slowly. So you don’t notice. No one changes from new tire to another new tire, so almost anything you put on will have a dramatically improved feel, even if you replace your old tires with the same model.

*Edit: “almost anything” I mean using a reputable brand with at least mid level performance. Changing from a supple race tire back to 9.99 Wal-mart specials won’t feel so good.

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Old 05-25-20, 02:30 PM
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Ditto, tires. And bar wrap. Made a huge difference in my appreciation of my '89 Ironman.

The bike came with a new set of Vittoria Zaffiro wire bead tires, which were just mediocre. The ride was reasonably fast but harsh at maximum pressure but sluggish and mushy feeling at a comfortable pressure. They skidded much too easily and felt skittish on fast curves. The last straw was how easily the tread cut from ordinary road debris.

After riding those tires for a few months I noticed Jenson selling unpackaged Schwalbe One V-Guards for only $15 each. Presumably an unsold bulk package, possibly intended for team training tires. I bought a pair and in retrospect wish I'd bought out the entire stock of that tire from Jenson. They were that good. That particular Schwalbe was still a bit fragile and got lots of little nicks and cuts, but never bad enough to penetrate the thin puncture shield. The ride was fantastic. Good enough for entry level racing and TT.

Those Schwalbes lasted not quite a year, around 2,500 miles, before I had to replace them due to lots of nicks and cuts. I got some Continental Ultra Sport II in 700x23 and 700x25. Cheap and really good, at any reasonable pressure range. Occasionally I try other tires (including the great looking handmade Conti Grand Prix Classic skinwalls that cost twice as much but aren't twice as good) but I usually go back to the Conti Ultra Sport II because they're outstanding values for about $15 each. I'm planning to try the new Ultra Sport III soon.

Back in 2017 when I bought the bike I was still recovering from serious back and neck injuries and the original bar tape was unbearable. It was typical bar tape, about the thickness of duct tape. I needed a lot of core work, stretching, physical therapy, the works. Meanwhile I improvised with foam rubber padding, held in place with an old inner tube, cut into strips, and stretchy cloth ace wraps for knees, etc. I used that for a few months. Eventually I switched to conventional semi-padded "cork" bar wrap (Arundel, I think?) and have used that for the past couple of years.

I'm not sure any of that stuff made me faster, but it sure made the bike more comfortable so I was "faster" over longer distances because I was comfortable.

But I won't disregard the effect of physical therapy and improving the engine. That made as much difference as the tires and bar wrap.
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Old 05-25-20, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
I'll play with the pressure and see what feels best.
I've approached required pressure on a road bike (very different than mtn/off-road) as a function of total weight (rider+bike+pack) and tire width. More weight requires more pressure. More tire width requires less pressure (but more volume). On 23mm, I'm running 100psi in back and 90-95 in front. For 25mm, I'm running 90-95psi in back and 80-85 in front. There are online calculators. I'm using 185 pounds for total weight.
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Old 05-25-20, 03:31 PM
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Another vote for tires. The Compass Rene Herse models, especially the wider ones have been a game changer for me. Of course, I have to go to my loan officer every time I want to buy a set, but if you want to upgrade the performance on a bike, tires will make the biggest difference.
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Old 05-25-20, 04:10 PM
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The '86 Miyata 710 I bought to ride in AZ had a Vittoria Zaffiro 23mm front tire (340g) with a heavy thorn-proof tube in it (a whopping 460g) and even that was filled with who knows how much Slime (and unknown extra weight), and since the back tire was gashed/flat, the only tire I could find to fit at a LBS less than $60 was a heavy-as-hell Randonneur II 28mm (490g). Needless to say I was NOT impressed with the ride. I thought a triple-butted Cr/Mo frame would have been better...

My next trip out there, I was ready - in my luggage were two pairs of Rubino Pro 150tpi - one in 25 and one in 28mm, and two light/standard tubes.. I opted for the 28s(230g) because of the rough aggregate pavement out there (the evaporates away the asphalt binder, leaving the cobble-pebble type road surface...) All-up tire/tube weights before - ~800g each wheel AFTER:: 330g/wheel. 470g saved x 2 = 940g or 2.07 POUNDS! Two pounds of rotating weight!

That two pounds was just the extra weight, but the ride quality before was stiff and wooden. With the light/supple Rubino Pros it was like a racing stallion in comparison! Now I LOVE that bike!
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Old 05-25-20, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Another vote for tires. The Compass Rene Herse models, especially the wider ones have been a game changer for me. Of course, I have to go to my loan officer every time I want to buy a set, but if you want to upgrade the performance on a bike, tires will make the biggest difference.
I'm glad you think so too.

Yes, I think they're awesome tires- but I'm relatively cautious about saying how much I do like them... lest it show as some Kool aid, Grant/Riv, I love Jan sort of thing.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I'm glad you think so too.

Yes, I think they're awesome tires- but I'm relatively cautious about saying how much I do like them... lest it some Kool aid, Grant/Riv, I love Jan sort of thing.
Well, you can do some Grant love, the 700c x 33.333 Jack Browns are, as far as I can tell, the same as the RH tires, just in a Goldilocks size that fits a lot of vintage 700c frames and still have some fender clearance. I've ridden them on the last 2 Caifornia Eroicas, as well as last year's Cino event. Well, the tread is different, but it's a micro-tread, and regardless of what Grand or Jan say, I can't tell the difference between a worn one and a new one.
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Old 05-25-20, 07:11 PM
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It's different for every bike for me, but generally:

1) Going from classic drops to a quill stem conversion where a light stem and light compact profile 31.8mm (clamp diameter) bars not only feel stiffer/stronger, but make the bike feel "surer" and greatly increase my ability to get and keep the bike rocking back and forth when out of the saddle. Changes that whole climbing/accelerating dynamic, and for the better. Noticeably.

2) Changing from a heavy wheel/tire setup to a lighter one, or a better wheel and/or tire setup, or just a wheel and tire setup that you like.

Going from a handmade wheelset (7700 hubs to Mavic CXP33s) with 24mm Conti Grand Prix tires (the old ones) to super lightweight yet strong Dura-Ace C24 (7850s, really) wheels with 25mm Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX tires gave life to my Davidson Impulse. The old wheels/tires nearly made me sell it, but even then I could 'hear' the frame telling me it was brilliant. I had classic Cinelli Criterium bars on it even. It was beautifully set up, but wasn't quite there. I was massively excited to have scored an Impulse frame, and for the deal I did. But I/it was lost.

A quill stem conversion definitely helped, as did running STI levers up top. The final addition of Di2 to match a top-level frameset, wheelset, tires, and handlebar setup was the key. New Vittoria Corsas (those lovely tan wall things, and I have two pair!) feel a little mushy compared to the older Open Corsas. Tan wall looks legit, but as long as it isn't as good, they're not going on the bike.

[ok, some more context: tan wall Vittorias on the other pair of WH-7850 wheels I had were mushy, and that wheelset could have also been not quite as strong as the newer version that I run on the Impulse, which is a tubless ready design.]

I changed from white wall (and heavy) 27" tires on old single wall rims to the Mavic MA-2 / 7400 Dura-Ace hub wheels (and light 32mm Conti tires) and that was all she wrote for 27" wheel life for my '74 Paramount. The frame, like the Davidson, yelled loudly above the din of not-as-optimal components that is was also brilliant. And now, it and the Impulse possess some very similar out-of-saddle characteristics, which only endears me to them more. Paramount's a touch slower because it's a bit bigger/longer/heavier. It runs "33mm" (30mm actual) Soma Supple Vitesse EXs and TB14s with proper length spokes on the front (soon...).
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Old 05-25-20, 07:50 PM
  #24  
Piff 
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
... with 25mm Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX tires...
​​​​​​

... New Vittoria Corsas (those lovely tan wall things, and I have two pair!) feel a little mushy compared to the older Open Corsas. Tan wall looks legit, but as long as it isn't as good, they're not going on the bike.

[ok, some more context: tan wall Vittorias on the other pair of WH-7850 wheels I had were mushy, and that wheelset could have also been not quite as strong as the newer version that I run on the Impulse, which is a tubless ready design.]
I have an opportunity to pick up some Vittoria Open Corsa SL tires on the cheap, but I'm worried about their durability. Is my anxiety deserved?
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Old 05-25-20, 08:29 PM
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Pasela Panaracer clincher tires are great rolling tires. It's the absolute definite go to tire for anything with 27" wheels. A good performing tire that will put a smile on your face. They also seem to have a resistance to going flat. Good stuff.
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