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Should I Restore This Paramount?

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Should I Restore This Paramount?

Old 07-22-20, 06:50 AM
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Should I Restore This Paramount?

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?)

I don't know much about the 1974 Paramounts. I'm not looking to flip the bike; I simply appreciate having beautiful and quality vintage bikes in the corral. It could simply end up as beautiful wall art. But just in case: yes, it is my size. For those of you more familiar with Paramounts, would you say that the cost of a repaint and tracking down the missing original parts be worth it for this particular year? I realize the subjectivity of this question, so before the snarky comments fly I'm just asking what you might do if this bike fell into your hands (for free, as it did me). Any additional information about the history of the build and specific parts spec would be appreciated as well. If I'm going all out on a restore, I want to be sure I'm tracking down exactly what I need. Thanks as always.

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Old 07-22-20, 06:59 AM
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The largest rear sprocket is surprisingly large. I hope it shifts well. If it doesn't, I'd look for a different rear derailleur (if at all hilly) or a more corncobby freewheel (if not).

Maintenance as needed. I'd change the bar tape, but each to their taste. Congratulations on the bike; enjoy it!

(PS I'm not criticizing the RD. I have its brother on a Miyata, and I'm happy with it.)

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Old 07-22-20, 07:00 AM
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"Worth it" is a very subjective measure. It was one of the outstanding bikes of the era, I'd be happy to have it and lavish attention on it.
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Old 07-22-20, 07:13 AM
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You must lead a charmed life. I have been looking for a bike like that for years. I live in a rural area that is very poor when it comes to nice old bikes so nothing doing.

Definitely worth fixing up and riding! I don’t know about restoring, if it is a bike you love then probably yes. I would clean it and preserve the paint, wax the bare areas and ride it. The problem with a full restore is the cost Sometimes makes the bike too special to ride as much as it deserves to be ridden.
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Old 07-22-20, 07:16 AM
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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
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Old 07-22-20, 07:18 AM
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Restore it? No, it will be expensive and no return on the investment. Refurbish it and enjoy it? Certainly. Tear it down, treat the rust, clean EVERYTHING and locate the missing components. All the missing original components are fairly easy to source, but they aren't bargain basement priced when you do find them.
Enjoy it with the current paint job in place. At least you won't have to worry about scratching it.
I just completed a similar refurb on a '73 Paramount.
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Old 07-22-20, 07:24 AM
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Worth restoring? Sure.

This bike doesn't need a repaint and a repaint in any case will likely hurt the value. The paint is largely in remarkably good shape.

You can deal with the light rust and just use clear nail polish to protect the frame. The rust on the chrome will be easy to deal with.

You don't need to buy expensive parts to finish the bike up. Weinmann center pulls would look right on that bike; you just need to measure the reach. Your co-op likely has those brakes lying around. Hoods can be found for old brake levers. The cyclone RD shifts better than a campy so leave it. A used leather saddle will be easy to source and look light years better than the ugly plastic saddle on the bike. Cloth tape is easy to find.

The bike needs to be overhauled and the consumables replaced. Evaporust is your friend for dealing with the rust. It comes in a liquid or a gel. I put the liquid in a bucket with a lid and use it for small parts. The gel is great for the frame or for parts that won't fit into the bucket.

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Old 07-22-20, 07:43 AM
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Nice bike, love the color! Sorry but I don’t think I would powder coat a Paramount. Nothing against pc, but anything short of proper paint and decals just wouldn’t be right on that particular bike. I vote to restore it, but not cheap, you could always just clean it up, change out components at will, and just ride it. I would love to buy that bike in that color, just as is, not my size though, or one properly restored. I would not touch a powder coated one. As I said, nothing against powder coating, I have one bike that is, and it looks great, but it’s not a Paramount. Powder coating would simply devalue that bike.
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Old 07-22-20, 07:53 AM
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I'm in the clean it up, polish, and ride it camp. To paraphrase @bnewberry, if you restore it, you may not want to ride it being as pristine as it will be.
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Old 07-22-20, 08:00 AM
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Yes, it is worth the effort, but as others have said, it may be cost prohibitive to get a professional paint job. I paint bikes, that is my own bikes, if and when it is feasible. I also do a lot of touch up on bikes. I know you are looking at all of these scratches down to the steel and thinking no way is this going to look good without a total repaint. It is possible with some patience. I would start on a lesser bike to get you technique down if you are going to try touching up.

Testors metallic green looks like it will be close to the color, however, you will have to blend other colors to get closer to the original color. My first guess would be to add some black to darken it up.

Anyway, if you want to try touching it up, I'll tell you how I do it. Randy at MyTenSpeeds.com has good instructions on restoring paint and getting a bike looking good. However, the website is down right now.
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Old 07-22-20, 08:16 AM
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I agree with the "clean up and treat the rust and seal the bare metal" group. I'd stay away from powder coating, and I don't think I'd want that repainted- yet.

I would build it up with parts that I liked- "classic" or "classically inspired" parts; nothing carbon-y or black or grey swoopy stuff. IMO.

If you wanted to stay "vintage," I'd go for the eclectic mix of Suntour Cyclone/Superbe (Campagnolo has never dazzled me). If you're going to modern, a mix of Dura Ace 7700 and 7800.
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Old 07-22-20, 08:25 AM
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Nice bike!
The following suggestions only reflect my personal proclivities: Yours may differ.

Step 1. Install a front brake, any brake that fits. Inflate the tires.
Step 2. Ride it, a short ride to find out if it has any bad habits. If it handles poorly, correct frame and fork alignment, then ride it again. If you still don't like the handling, find another home for it. Other wise proceed to step 3.
Step 3. Tune it up, regrease the bearings; take it on a few nice long rides. If you still really like it proceed to step 4. Otherwise find a new home for it.
Step 4. Strip all the parts off the frame and remove the rust. My favorite method is an oxalic acid bath but you will find plenty of threads on this forum about various methods; evaporust, tin foil and WD40, brass brush, etc.
Step 5. Evaluate the results and decide whether you are happy with it the way it is or you want to spend the big bucks for a re-paint. A good painter will charge several hundred dollars. If you sell the bike you will not recoup the money that you put into a paint job.
Step 6. Collect the correct components as they become available; brake calipers, brake levers, seatpost, seat, seat binder bolt, rear derailleur, rear quick release nut, 27" rims if you wish to go that far.
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Old 07-22-20, 08:52 AM
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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.


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Old 07-22-20, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
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.
Hailstorm_7 , If you are part of a "bike collective" then you probably already have a good bike to ride so I would suggest a complete restoration given what cudak888 pointed out.

I would take my time with it and find someone who can do a professional paint job (not powder-coat). Then find the missing parts which will not be hard to do.
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Old 07-22-20, 11:19 AM
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[QUOTE=bikemig;21600777]Worth restoring? Sure.
[QUOTE=Velo Mule;21600823]
[QUOTE=The Golden Boy;21600845]

IMO All of the above is On Point. Clean/wax & refurb...Ride with a grin!
Best, Ben
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Old 07-22-20, 11:24 AM
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"Should I Restore This Paramount?" Yes.
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Old 07-22-20, 11:52 AM
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Too nice of a ride to be a "wall-hanger"

does it have 700C wheels installed? Love the green as-is.
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Old 07-22-20, 12:40 PM
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Is that a ding/dent in the middle of the top tube, drive-side? That might rule out painting.

I like the "keep the paint/patina and refurbish" option. It will still be plenty expensive in the time necessary to overhaul and polish everything and collect period-correct parts and new consumables.
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Old 07-22-20, 12:52 PM
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Heck yeah. Restore it. You'll be surprised at what a little elbow grease & a few new parts will do for that bike. Forget about paint. Just strip it down to the bare frame and polish it up. Spray a layer of clear coat laquer on it if you want to prevent rust. Soak all the parts in diesel fuel or mineral spirits. Clean everything up. Put it all back together. Install all new consumable parts & enjoy riding it. I like restoring old race bikes because they're actually simpler, easier and, less expensive to refurbish than old touring bikes or mountain bikes.
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Old 07-22-20, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by microcord
The largest rear sprocket is surprisingly large. I hope it shifts well. If it doesn't, I'd look for a different rear derailleur (if at all hilly) or a more corncobby freewheel (if not).
(PS I'm not criticizing the RD. I have its brother on a Miyata, and I'm happy with it.)
Any long-cage SunTour with the pivot at the jockey wheel can easily handle a 34T sprocket -- been there, done that.

My vote: Weinmann Vainqueur 999 centerpulls front and rear, with reproduction hoods and modern cable housings, not to mention KoolStop pads.
Keep the driveline as-is, or change sprocket and/or chainring sizes to taste.
If you are a toeclip-and-strap person, as I am, keep the pedals.

Touch up the paint.
Read the other responses -- lots of good advice in this thread.
Ride the hell out of it. That is a grail bike for many. (The longer I keep my mountain bike, the more I lust after a Paramount road bike.)

(Confession: I once passed up an opportunity to score an early 1970s 15-speed Paramount, same color, next smaller size. I help fix up donated bikes every year for a local charity to give to needy families, and someone donated said Paramount, which I dutifully greased, tuned, and otherwise prepped for some lucky recipient. I was sorely tempted to pull off the wheels and pop it into the trunk of my car in exchange for a cash donation to the cause.)
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Old 07-22-20, 02:51 PM
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I agree, clean, polish, wax, and don't repaint. However, I would add some replacement down tube and seat tube decals from a source like Velocals, and I MIGHT attempt to find a reasonably close touch up paint at an auto parts store.....
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Old 07-22-20, 04:07 PM
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Is there a question here, besides mine?
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Old 07-22-20, 05:20 PM
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"Rat Rod" treatment. Ride it like you stole it. Don't bother making anything "original."

The RD you have is already better than the one it replaced and it's what's allowing that huge freewheel, which is a boon to anyone but a racer.

My 76 with Campy side pulls has almost no tire clearance at the brake bridge and this one has tons and a drop bracket, it must have been made for center pulls
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Old 07-22-20, 05:39 PM
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[QUOTE=bikemig;21600777]Worth restoring? Sure.
[QUOTE=Velo Mule;21600823]
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy

IMO All of the above is On Point. Clean/wax & refurb...Ride with a grin!
Best, Ben
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
(looking for Torpado Super light frame/fork or for Raleigh International frame fork 58cm)

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Old 07-22-20, 05:49 PM
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@ merziac,
Yes! The question is: What are you going to do with the $25 drop bolt for the rear brake? It would fit in with my collection of drop bolts! Smiles, MH
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