Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Should I Restore This Paramount?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Should I Restore This Paramount?

Old 07-22-20, 06:50 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Hailstorm_7's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 78

Bikes: 2019 Trek Emonda SLR7 Disc, 2017 Advocate Cycles Sand County, 2016 Surly Disc Trucker, 2011 Specialized Tarmac SL3 Expert Double, 1996 Sancineto, 1989 Cinelli Corsa "Mens Sana," 1985 Peugeot PGN-10 Galibier, 1974 Schwinn Paramount

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 12 Posts
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.

Last edited by Hailstorm_7; 07-22-20 at 06:53 AM.
Hailstorm_7 is offline  
Likes For Hailstorm_7:
Old 07-22-20, 06:59 AM
Full Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 265
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 41 Posts
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.)

Last edited by microcord; 07-22-20 at 07:03 AM.
microcord is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 07:00 AM
Senior Member
ascherer's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Manhattan & Woodstock NY
Posts: 2,216

Bikes: 1987 Mercian Pro, 1985 Shogun 500, early '70s Falcon San Remo, 1972 PeugeotPX-10, 1971 Raleigh International, 1971 Peugeot PX-10, 1970 Raleigh Professional Mk1

Mentioned: 84 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 697 Post(s)
Liked 1,499 Times in 601 Posts
"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.
1987 Mercian Pro, 1985 Shogun 500, 197? Falcon San Remo, 1972 Peugeot PX-10, 1971 Peugeot PX-10, 1971 Raleigh International, 1970 Raleigh Professional Mark I
Curator/Team Mechanic: 2016 Dawes Streetfighter, 1984 Lotus Eclair, 1975 Motobecane Jubile Mixte, 1974 Raleigh Sports, 1972 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Philips Sport

ascherer is offline  
Likes For ascherer:
Old 07-22-20, 07:13 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 227
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
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.
bnewberry is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 07:16 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,644
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 376 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 103 Times in 77 Posts
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
rhenning is offline  
Likes For rhenning:
Old 07-22-20, 07:18 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,101

Bikes: See the signature....

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 525 Post(s)
Liked 129 Times in 91 Posts
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.
My bikes: '81 Trek 957, '83 Trek 720, '85 Trek 500, '85 Trek 770, '81 Merckx, '85 Centurion Cinelli, '85 Raleigh Portage, '92 RB-2, '09 Bianchi
nesteel is offline  
Likes For nesteel:
Old 07-22-20, 07:24 AM
Senior Member
bikemig's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 19,589

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 169 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5518 Post(s)
Liked 2,464 Times in 1,582 Posts
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.

Last edited by bikemig; 07-22-20 at 07:34 AM.
bikemig is online now  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 07-22-20, 07:43 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Posts: 1,634

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Supersport, 1988 Trek 400T, 1977 Trek TX900, 1982 Bianchi Champione del Mondo, 1978 Raleigh Supercourse, 1986 Trek 400 Elance, 1991 Waterford PDG OS Paramount, 1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer, 1985 Trek 670

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
Liked 777 Times in 419 Posts
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.
tkamd73 is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 07:53 AM
2-Wheeled Fool
J.Higgins's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,486

Bikes: Surly Ogre, Brompton

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1385 Post(s)
Liked 671 Times in 454 Posts
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.
J.Higgins is offline  
Likes For J.Higgins:
Old 07-22-20, 08:00 AM
Velo Mule
Senior Member
Velo Mule's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,660

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental, Cannondale M400 and Lambert, Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 598 Post(s)
Liked 586 Times in 421 Posts
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.
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 08:16 AM
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
The Golden Boy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 13,150

Bikes: 1978 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2419 Post(s)
Liked 1,119 Times in 660 Posts
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.
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 08:25 AM
Senior Member
obrentharris's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Point Reyes Station, California
Posts: 3,954

Bikes: Indeed!

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1181 Post(s)
Liked 2,103 Times in 710 Posts
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.
obrentharris is offline  
Likes For obrentharris:
Old 07-22-20, 08:52 AM
cudak888's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 27,120

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 84 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1768 Post(s)
Liked 2,343 Times in 1,296 Posts
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.


cudak888 is offline  
Likes For cudak888:
Old 07-22-20, 09:02 AM
Senior Member
branko_76's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: The Urban Shores Of Michigami
Posts: 1,703

Bikes: ........................................ .....Holdsworth "Special"..... .......Falcon "Special".......... .........Miyata 912........... ........................................

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 685 Post(s)
Liked 631 Times in 395 Posts
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.
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.
branko_76 is offline  
Likes For branko_76:
Old 07-22-20, 11:19 AM
Awaiting Parole
xiaoman1's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: City of Angels
Posts: 4,764

Bikes: A few too many

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1192 Post(s)
Liked 1,664 Times in 922 Posts
[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
xiaoman1 is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 11:24 AM
Senior Member
bertinjim's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Niagara Region, Canada
Posts: 1,379

Bikes: 1960s Bertin C37, 1973 Carre Bertin C 37, 1970s Carlton Kermesse, 1982 Peugeot PB 12

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 312 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 116 Posts
"Should I Restore This Paramount?" Yes.
bertinjim is offline  
Likes For bertinjim:
Old 07-22-20, 11:52 AM
weapons-grade bolognium
thinktubes's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 6,000

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 867 Post(s)
Liked 1,634 Times in 679 Posts
Too nice of a ride to be a "wall-hanger"

does it have 700C wheels installed? Love the green as-is.
thinktubes is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 12:40 PM
Señor Member
SurferRosa's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,142

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2576 Post(s)
Liked 3,557 Times in 1,893 Posts
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.
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 12:52 PM
Senior Member
ramzilla's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fernandina Beach FL
Posts: 3,535

Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles, Tange, Ishiwata, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 689 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 227 Posts
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.
ramzilla is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 01:01 PM
John E
feros ferio
John E's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 21,139

Bikes: 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo; 1960 Capo Sieger (2); 1962 Carlton Franco Suisse; 1970 Peugeot UO-8; 1982 Bianchi Campione d'Italia; 1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10;

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1201 Post(s)
Liked 808 Times in 555 Posts
Originally Posted by microcord View Post
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.)
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Likes For John E:
Old 07-22-20, 02:51 PM
Full Member
KenNC's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 415
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 113 Times in 63 Posts
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.....
KenNC is offline  
Likes For KenNC:
Old 07-22-20, 04:07 PM
Senior Member
merziac's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 11,065

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 219 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3465 Post(s)
Liked 3,565 Times in 2,203 Posts
Is there a question here, besides mine?
merziac is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 05:20 PM
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Darth Lefty's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,070

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2824 Post(s)
Liked 1,658 Times in 1,089 Posts
"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
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Likes For Darth Lefty:
Old 07-22-20, 05:39 PM
Senior Member
squirtdad's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 8,669

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) 80?? SR Semi-Pro 600 Arabesque

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1790 Post(s)
Liked 1,496 Times in 909 Posts
[QUOTE=bikemig;21600777]Worth restoring? Sure.
[QUOTE=Velo Mule;21600823]
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post

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 56,57 or so)

squirtdad is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 05:49 PM
Mad Honk 
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 2,011

Bikes: Schwinn Paramounts, Othon Ochsner, Masi, Faggin

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 839 Post(s)
Liked 910 Times in 617 Posts
@ 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
Mad Honk is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.