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Should I Restore This Paramount?

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Should I Restore This Paramount?

Old 07-22-20, 07:48 PM
  #26  
greatscott
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Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
I just recently sold my 1974 Paramount in the last year and it was the best bike I have ever owned. If you look at the left rear dropout you will find the serial number that will tell you more about the bike. Mine was A74149 which translates to A = January, 74 = 1974, and 149 means it is the 149th frame that was built that month. If you contact Richard Schwinn at Waterford they have most of the paramount records and for a fee will give you what they know about the bike. Roger
Waterford/Schwinn will also restore the bike for a fee of course, but it will be restored to factory original condition. That's what I would do with the bike!
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Old 07-22-20, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hailstorm_7 View Post
Hi, all. We see some crazy things come through our local bike collective, including this 1974 Schwinn Paramount. The shop manager identified the year via the serial number, which admittedly I could not find to provide at the time these photos were taken; I can add it as soon as possible. It appears to have most of the original parts, but the brake levers, brakes, and rear derailleur are non-original. To really make it gleam, the frame would likely need a repaint or powder coat and new decals. None of the rust appears too deep, and I'm hoping the chrome can clean up nicely. (Tips, anyone?)
That brings back memories of a charity ride I went on in the 70s. There was a guy there with a chrome and "gold" Paramount. The spokes and chain were the gold color. It was dazzling! I was a kid, so it was way out of my price range just for a normal Paramount.
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Old 07-22-20, 11:02 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Waterford/Schwinn will also restore the bike ... but it will be restored to factory original condition.
... which is what "restored" means or should mean.
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Old 07-22-20, 11:50 PM
  #29  
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Another vote for disassembly, cleaning, shining, re-building, and riding. At the very least make it a rider. It's already well used and repainted, so there's nothing to lose or place on a pedestal. Just enjoy it and if you like it even more, then you can go for a restoration or heavy renovation.
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Old 07-22-20, 11:55 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I'll chime in with one thing here - it is already a repaint, so there's no originality to lose if it were repainted again.

That said, my only concern would be the downtube scratches, especially if you're in a humid environment. Clear nail polish might seal it up, if you don't go for a full repaint.

-Kurt
Hmmm. Taking a second look at the pics, I'm not seeing this as a repaint? No second color under the green or anything really tell-tale, but I'm not an expert. I imagine you could order custom colors if you were ordering a Paramount frame back then.

Regardless, the patina seems right for a bike this vintage, and I'd just clean it up, wax it, and ride it as-is. Unless I had some other components I wanted to try on this frame. (I do, and I would, but I'm not the OP.)

Anyway, patina looks good on green. cf: my bike, only a couple years older

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Old 07-23-20, 12:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
Hmmm. Taking a second look at the pics, I'm not seeing this as a repaint? No second color under the green or anything really tell-tale, but I'm not an expert. I imagine you could order custom colors if you were ordering a Paramount frame back then.
None of the factory colors of the time were metalflake, and I've yet to see a mid-1970's Paramount with a factory custom color that did have with metalflake in it. Also, that paint definitely looks like it has clear in it - it'd take until 1978 before an American car came with clear, so I'd expect Schwinn to be shooting single stage in 1974.

Also, I'd expect to see the star variant of the 531 decal up at the top of the seattube next to the seat lug, not near the bottom bracket. If anything, this looks like quite a few of the 1980's-era repaints that have cropped up over the years - often with the 531 decal down there and very commonly with added braze-ons. I want to say that these are Waterford jobs - especially since a few have the later 1984+ Paramount decals that make it almost a given - but so far, there hasn't been any documentation to back that up on the non-decaled bikes.

My repainted 1982 Schwinn Superior has similar (but by no means identical) 531 decal positioning and that same glassy metallic finish with a dark base under the flake. It also has a sneaky-sneaky PDG decal:








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Old 07-23-20, 02:31 AM
  #32  
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i agree
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Old 07-23-20, 09:29 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Also, I'd expect to see the star variant of the 531 decal up at the top of the seattube next to the seat lug, not near the bottom bracket. If anything, this looks like quite a few of the 1980's-era repaints that have cropped up over the years - often with the 531 decal down there and very commonly with added braze-ons. I want to say that these are Waterford jobs - especially since a few have the later 1984+ Paramount decals that make it almost a given - but so far, there hasn't been any documentation to back that up on the non-decaled bikes.
-Kurt
From E74162, down low with stars:

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Old 07-23-20, 09:52 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Schreck83 View Post
From E74162, down low with stars:
Dammit, always those exceptions. Still, correct decal.

-Kurt
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Old 07-26-20, 11:11 AM
  #35  
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Thanks all for your thoughts and input. I suppose "Restore" should have been clarified a bit. Without question, I intend to tear this bike down; clean and polish everything; replace cables, housing, grease, etc.; and get it looking dandy. Evaporust and fresh buffing wheels are on their way. The main question was how far to go with a repaint, sourcing original parts, and finding decals. I grabbed a Nuovo Record rear derailleur from the shop to replace the one missing. (I think it was the Nuovo that was on the original build; please correct me if I'm wrong. And don't worry: I'm not getting rid of that Cyclone.) I can get a Brooks saddle and matching tape at discount, so those will make their appearance soon. One of the local frame builders gave a rough estimate for what the painter he uses would charge, and he directed me toward another guy who might be able to help.

In all, I'm really looking forward to this project, but it may take some time. I'll try and share progress photos as I can. Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 07-26-20, 11:13 AM
  #36  
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Oh, and to provide some reassurance, there is no dent in the top tube. There's a tiny ding on the top, but there is no sizeable dent or damage (besides rust) anywhere on the frame.
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Old 07-26-20, 11:50 AM
  #37  
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Hailstorm_7
Looking back at your posts I wonder whether someone changed the RD to the Cyclone to better handle that big inside ring. I don't have any experience with those models, just thought it might be relevant. You will find out when you reassemble.
I'd also vote on the side of refurb and ride. Rust treatment, clean up, and clearcoat might be spiffy. You can see that in the hot rod car world.
That green is nice..
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Old 07-26-20, 11:52 AM
  #38  
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Nice score. I have learned from experience that before I give in to my tendency to go wild with the shopping cart, to get the bike rideable first and then ride it allot and then fix it up in some cases what I thought was going to be a perfect fit doesn't actually fit or it fits but I just don't love it as much as I thought I might and sometimes I find that the bike is a gem that fits like a glove and makes me grin like a fool when I ride it, and then I can indulge my desire to get all the goodies for it. I agree with the prevailing sentiment of tear it down, clean it up deal with the rust, and then ride it!! Have fun.
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Old 07-26-20, 02:53 PM
  #39  
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The nice think about a somewhat thrashed bike is you have lots of options. The following thoughts come from someone who thinks whatever you want to do with it is fine, because it's yours. In addition to that, your frame isn't particularly rare, doesn't have any historic value that we know of, and doesn't have original paint, so there's not much potential loss in value from a refinish.

Good, solid, respectable wet-paint repaints, in general, are going to start around $350-$400. You maybe be able to find good wet paint for less, but I think $350-$400 is a reasonable ballpark. You can easily pay up to $1k and over, especially if you want to do two-color, metalflake, redo any chrome, etc. A Waterford repaint will basically be $800+.

There are some really good bicycle powder-coaters out there, but they may not be much less expensive than a good basic wet paint. Lots of cheap power coating options possibly local to you, but not everybody who tries cheap/local is satisfied with what they get, since bicycle frames are kinda tricky to paint.

If you're doing this to make yourself happy, and you want to power coat, no reason not to. Might impact resale value, you'll likely get a little more $$$ reselling a wet-paint respray. Somebody like Franklin Frames could do a very pretty wet-paint respray, with correct decals, and it'd look swell.

In terms of all the other parts, whether you rebuild period-correct or otherwise, again, whatever floats your boat. If you're not sitting on a stash of early-'70s stuff, you'll have to spend some time/$ tracking it all down. The nice thing about bikes is you can always replace things as you go along. Ride the "wrong" crank till the "right" one shows up at the right price.
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Old 07-26-20, 08:15 PM
  #40  
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If it was mine, I would wash it and regrease it to make sure it still works, and I'd repaint it. Not a fan of that color, and it's pretty beat up. But that's me. Is that the original color? I saw there are some decals on ebay. For the rest, I'd do what you are already, derust and polish.
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Old 07-26-20, 08:20 PM
  #41  
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I found this site with photos. It looks like there were a lot of chromes ones. https://www.kurtkaminer.com/TH_paramountregistry.html
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Old 07-27-20, 10:50 AM
  #42  
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OP,
Sorry to chime in again....There are a lot of votes for a complete restoration. In my mind, the first question I would ask you is how deep are your pockets, how much are you willing to spend on the bike...that will determine what you will do.
After a costly resto, you will still have a non-original albeit expensive bike that may have cost you more than finding an original high-quality original one.
It's only original once and as I mentioned in my earlier post I would clean and refurb and enjoy it unless you want to do a full restoration, and only you can answer that question.
JM2C's Ben
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Old 07-27-20, 11:27 AM
  #43  
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Back in the day...

... I owned a '73. Sold it a few years later because I was broke. Nuff said on that.

I'm 68 now and in decent shape; if something goes wrong physically I get it repaired to the full extent possible.

This bike wants to live, not be wheeled around the block to impress the kids. Tear it down, have the frame professionally repainted in whatever vintage color you like today. Get new decals. Fix anything that's broken. Cork handlebar tape, not that old cotton cr@p. New Brooks saddle. That springy 531 frame will feel like a Stradivarius on the road. It will glitter in the sun. Screw the nostalgia and just pretend it was made last week.
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Old 07-27-20, 11:39 AM
  #44  
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I would ride it for a week or so as is.

Look for obvious problems.
Adjust if necessary.

IF that passes, then get a period front brake from ebay.
Fix any other wear related problems.
Possibly redo bearings.

And just ride it.

I would love that bike!

But I would not 'restore' it, it is too far gone, would take too much work (for me).
If you have all the time and money in the world, then sure.

A comment - it does not look like a race bike, possibly it was a tourer.
That may limit resale value, again indicating ' do not spend infinite time or money on it. '

wle
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Old 07-27-20, 12:28 PM
  #45  
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I do not believe that hideous metallic green is the original color after looking at a lot of photos online. Repainting is an easy DIY. I did my first when I was 17 years old. If you want some specific instructions, check out Martin's video on Youtube. ETOE channel. All the products he uses are available in the USA. Even on Amazon.
Those paints are a bit more expensive than the hardware store brands, but the 2part primer, Montana paint, and 2 part clear coat will probably cost under $80 total. Anything else you would probably be doing anyway: new cables, bar tape, de-rusting and polishing. I recent revelation was the cost of new tires for my bike, however, they are 26". But for a 27", if you feel you need new tires, you should be able to find a brand that is reasonably inexpensive. It looks like new decals will cost $35 on ebay. I say go for white. White is always classy.
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Old 07-27-20, 02:18 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by oldlady62 View Post
I do not believe that hideous metallic green is the original color after looking at a lot of photos online.
Agreed. No way was that bike sold in that color in those years.
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Old 07-27-20, 04:55 PM
  #47  
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Anyone have a line on where I can get the decals that fit between the chrome and the paint? I have a 73 I would like to refit. Thanks. I have the main decals from ebay.
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Old 07-27-20, 06:03 PM
  #48  
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Hi folks,
I have to join the crowd suggesting; Clean, refurbish, service and RIDE. While riding you can get a feel for the bike and decide how you want to proceed. You can also look for applicable parts thru your collective, this forum and other sources. Personally, I would be reluctant to repaint it and would never powder coat this quality/type of frame. I have three bikes that have been powder coated. The first one was a mistake, but i’d trashed the paint and wanted something durable. The other two are regular riders with nice frames, but not anything special or exotic.
My philosophy is, “If you own a bike, you have to ride it regularly”. I have seven vintage and one modern bikes. They all are ridden except for an 88 50th Anniversary Edition Paramount. Not because I’m trying to preserve it, but because it’s so damn stiff!

Bottom line, preserve the history and heritage while enjoying the bike.

Cheers,

Van
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Old 07-27-20, 08:08 PM
  #49  
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Keep it!!!

If it were my grand fortune to luck into such a bike I would do the following, but I would not restore it to 100% period exact as it left the factory. My goal would be to have a top-level bike, but not be bound by an exact restoration, personalized a bit to my likes.

For me:
Paramount: check
Chrome Nervex(?) lugs: Bigger check
Chromed fork ends and seat and chain stays: Triple big check
Components: Very good already, especially the superior period correct (or soon after) Suntour Cyclone RD that makes the wide range freewheel practical: Check

What I would change:
Brakes to Weinmann centerpulls or if my bike, to my favorite, buffed centerpull Mafacs (not correct but my choice since I have a NIB set) and I would ditch the aero levers.
Add a Brooks B17 Aged honey saddle.
Use tan sidewall tires.
Paint: I WOULD repaint in gloss black. Why? I had a Fuji of that era that I had repainted in gloss black Dupont Imron. Chrome highlights and gloss black are like a tuxedo and white shirt, and are striking and classic. It looked very unique and was dressed well above its cost and quality grade.
I would also see if DT bosses could be added for a waterbottle.

That could be all be done at a cost well under a comparable modern bike, or custom steel frame, and still honor a vintage classic for routine use and not just create a museum display.

ADDED: After looking at the Waterford website, I would also check to see what a Waterford restoration service might cost. It did say they can add bosses, plus they clearcoat the decals.

IN case I have violated the C&V code of ethics, I am putting on an asbestos cloak and nomex underwear...

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Old 07-27-20, 11:25 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by jimh12345 View Post
Agreed. No way was that bike sold in that color in those years.
And @oldlady62

Maybe not but that green is not far off from Campus green that varied quite a bit during its run and was used for several years as well as on Paramount's.

Dave at River City bicycles has a fabulous pair of his and hers in it.

Some of them are at least this dark and some are much lighter, this could easily have been a painter or body shop trying to emulate it and its not that far off.

This will polish out very well despite being rough so I would try and figure out if it started out Campus Green and strongly consider it moving forward.

It is a stunning color when in nice condition.
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