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New Project - 1974 Schwinn Paramount

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New Project - 1974 Schwinn Paramount

Old 10-25-21, 01:38 PM
  #1  
jrg1244
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New Project - 1974 Schwinn Paramount

I'm kicking off my latest project and am super excited about this one... A 1974 Schwinn Paramount in 26" frame size that I picked up on EBay. Ya, I probably paid too much and I'll probably spend too much on components, but I've admired the old Nervex lugged Paramounts for years. Now it's my time to build and ride one. The frame was painted Sierra Brown color and while the paint was in decent shape, I wanted to make this one special and have it redone. The chrome was in good shape and no dents/dings that go through the paint. I've shipped the frame off to Franklin Frames in Ohio for a fresh coat of Schwinn Lime Green and to have the chrome lugs lined. I'm hoping to have the frame back in the next few weeks and will post photos as soon as it arrives. The time has passed pretty easily as I've been reading No Hands - The Ride and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company by Judith Crown. Sad story indeed. In addition to reading, I've been digging parts out of the bin as well as hunting for the correct parts to finish it. My plan is to be 95% original with some changes to improve fit and function like freewheel range to deal with the Campy 54/44/36 crankset, change to 700c rims, and handlebars wide enough for me to be comfortable. I'm sure I'll have lots of questions as this gets going, but I'm really looking forward to it. Any tips or info about this bike is appreciated. Here's the frame in its current condition...





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Old 10-25-21, 01:50 PM
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Beautiful. I like that color but I understand your wanting to change it.
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Old 10-25-21, 02:05 PM
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@jrg1244

Welcome to the Paramount club, color me jealous, yours is my size and the brown is cool, not my favorite but another of their beautiful palette.

I have 5, including a silver one in that size that rides like a dream, you are likely to love it.

I need to read the book although I don't really need to know how sad it really was.

These are so cool, really the epitome of American bicycle success, especially during the bike boom at the high end until it wasn't, they couldn't build these fast enough.

I love them, here's the 1958 flagship, we are the same age.




And the big silver one, came with Phil hubs and BB that were a common "upgrade", I added Schwinn Approved bar cons, not a fan of the original RD but it rides great so.....

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Old 10-25-21, 02:24 PM
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I will assume it fits.
I suggest build it up, as reasonably correct as possible, I am not sure what model you have, it may have been made for 27" or tubulars (700c)
build it, try it out and if you like it, then pay the $$$ to change the color.
value will drop even if Waterford paints it.
Scratches will minimize when it is built.
You might consider looking for an English threaded mid 70's donor bike.
A Raleigh international, as an example. Or other mid 70's top tier bike that is overlooked, Bob Jackson, MKM.
buying a la carte is the most expensive way to build a bike.
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Old 10-25-21, 03:30 PM
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merziac

Thanks for the warm welcome! Your “flagship” is a beauty! Truly a special bike, I’m sure it’s a joy to ride. If you read No Hands, you’ll learn that F.W. Schwinn was at the helm when it was built. He surrounded himself with the best and brightest the company could offer and built quite a reputation as a hand’s on leader, engineer and overall bike nerd. I’d love to see some more pictures of it…. The adjustable stem is a gem, as is the saddle, I’ve never seen rails like that before. Is it a Brooks - original to the bike?

Your silver steed is very similar to what I will end up with when it’s all said and done. The rear mech looks like the Schwinn/Shimano Crane that allows for good range and chain wrap. What, may I ask, would you prefer to use in its place?
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Old 10-25-21, 03:38 PM
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@repechange
It fits - I’m very comfortable on a 65-66cm frames with about 61cm top tubes. This one fits the bill at 66cm x 62cm, and I’m thrilled to have it! The model, as far as my research can tell is P15-9, or it could have been a P10-9, either one would have the rack mounting eyelets. I have heard that the top tube cable guides indicate that this is a P15-9 Deluxe model and that P10-9s utilized top tube cable clamps to hold the rear brake cable. I’m into tourers and long rides anyways, so I’ll be happy to have the triple up front even if it is vintage campy gearing 54/44/36.

I agree about the donor bike, that’s a good idea. I’ll look around and see what I can find. If I’m unlucky, I will press ahead and build “a-la-carte” understanding that my choice may or may not be wisest. Maybe I’m an oddball, but I don’t think any of us get into vintage bikes because they’re cost effective!

Thanks for the tips and advice. It’s appreciated.

Last edited by jrg1244; 10-25-21 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 10-25-21, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jrg1244 View Post
merziac

Thanks for the warm welcome! Your “flagship” is a beauty! Truly a special bike, I’m sure it’s a joy to ride. If you read No Hands, you’ll learn that F.W. Schwinn was at the helm when it was built. He surrounded himself with the best and brightest the company could offer and built quite a reputation as a hand’s on leader, engineer and overall bike nerd. I’d love to see some more pictures of it…. The adjustable stem is a gem, as is the saddle, I’ve never seen rails like that before. Is it a Brooks - original to the bike?

Your silver steed is very similar to what I will end up with when it’s all said and done. The rear mech looks like the Schwinn/Shimano Crane that allows for good range and chain wrap. What, may I ask, would you prefer to use in its place?
Tx, the 58 was the oldest mostly original one I had ever seen for sale, couldn't get it bought fast enough while many thought I was crazy, original price was up there a bit, I could care less and ended up getting it for less, once in a lifetime bike as far as I'm considered.

Original brakes, levers, stem, SP, binder bolt, HS,wheels, hubs and FD all in great shape, much of it encased in petrified grease that I had to chisel off with popcicle sticks and tongue depressors, took my time and it turned out great.

It came with an older open nose Brooks Pro in ok shape, the saddle on it now is an Ideale flat rail, not very comfortable but correct as a upgrade/replacement for the original Brooks cool as heck and somewhat rare.

Here's what the Silver one will get at some point, I have had a couple with the Crane clone and have never liked them, maybe I don't know how or care to adjust them properly.

Many here and elsewhere think the Campy Rally doesn't work well, this bike rides and shifts flawlessly at speed, flat out downhill and under load uphill for me. To be fair, this bike was custom built from the ground up for this running gear by one of the very best in the business, his touring bikes especially are legendary.

1978 Jim Merz touring, almost completely original.





And some more of the 58

Original thread here,

1958 Schwinn Paramount P-12




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Old 10-25-21, 04:57 PM
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@jrg1244

Boulder Bicycle has the binder bolt and IMO it is imperative that these especially have the correct one, spendy but necessary if you don't have the original or it is marginal in any way.

Seatpost binder by Cinelli for classic 60's bikes - not for Cinelli

They have plenty of other stuff so look around if you go there and have not before.
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Old 10-25-21, 05:16 PM
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Well, 177.5 or 180mm cranks would be an item to look for.
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Old 10-25-21, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Well, 177.5 or 180mm cranks would be an item to look for.
And a triplizer.
@jrg1244

Stock livery?
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Old 10-25-21, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
And a triplizer.
probably going to have to get that jobbed out, there are only so many unicorns out there.
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Old 10-25-21, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
probably going to have to get that jobbed out, there are only so many unicorns out there.
Yep, don't think I've ever seen any that long.

I think Jim will do them, or Bob Freeman, might be able to find a Willow or a Red Clover.
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Old 10-27-21, 08:39 AM
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Very nice! I think 26" must be near the limit for Reynolds 531 butted tubing.

For reference: here's my absolutely mint, factory-original 1974 Paramount P-15, picked up at a yard sale for $20 some years ago:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/744886...57622822970124


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Old 10-28-21, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by spike666c View Post
Very nice! I think 26" must be near the limit for Reynolds 531 butted tubing.

For reference: here's my absolutely mint, factory-original 1974 Paramount P-15, picked up at a yard sale for $20 some years ago:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/744886...57622822970124


Awesome! I cannot believe you got that for $20... Would have been a good day to buy a lottery ticket too! The Kool Lemon color really looks great with the chrome lugs. As a matter of fact, it looks so great it's making me rethink painting mine green. So thanks for that, as vacillating is a familiar mind state for me. I see that there's no lug lining on this frame. Do you think it would add anything aesthetically to the bike? If so, what color would you use?
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Old 10-28-21, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jrg1244 View Post
Awesome! I cannot believe you got that for $20... Would have been a good day to buy a lottery ticket too! The Kool Lemon color really looks great with the chrome lugs. As a matter of fact, it looks so great it's making me rethink painting mine green. So thanks for that, as vacillating is a familiar mind state for me. I see that there's no lug lining on this frame. Do you think it would add anything aesthetically to the bike? If so, what color would you use?
The lug lining usually follows the decal color, this one has black and black lining could be cool, very stark contrast so....

Many of the yellow ones had red, another stark contrast if lugs lined the same.
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Old 10-28-21, 01:43 PM
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If I do another bike, it’s going to be one of those, in the same size, totally agree with the color change, can’t wait to see it when it comes back from paint.
Just started reading No Hands for the 2nd time, it’s a shame that the 3rd and especially the 4th generation of stewardship didn’t have the same passion as the first two.
Thanks for posting, look forward to following the build.
Tim
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Old 10-28-21, 01:57 PM
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Very nice. Looking forward to seeing the build. Plus I have a new book I need to track down, No Hands - The Ride and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company by Judith Crown.

I hope this thread gets me motivated to fix up my paramount. I have a '69 Schwinn Paramount tourist that is almost entirely original I need to rebuild.
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Old 11-02-21, 09:21 AM
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bikemig That's a beauty! Love the 3 spider crankset and thin profile arms. It makes the bike what it is, a 1960's racer. Many of the other components are interchangeable with later 70's bikes, but that crank, and the stem, are special items. Would love to see a thread sprucing it up!
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Old 11-02-21, 09:41 AM
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Right, wrong or indifferent, I've started collecting bits for my build. So far, they have been sourced from my parts bin, the local co-op and ebay. I can say I won't be buying too much more from ebay... $$$$ The goal is to build the bike as original from the factory with some tweaks to make it more comfortable, better gearing, and a bit more future-proof, as this will be a rider. I must say, hunting down the bits is almost as fun as building the bike. I have a ways to go, but have made good progress preparing to receive the freshly painted frame.

Parts Bin -
Campagnolo 1035 Record Hubs, 120mm x 100mm, 1971 date stamp, english thread


Co-op -
Campagnolo 2 bolt seat post, 27.2mm, needs to be shined up


Ebay -
Suntour Pro-Compe 14-34 5sp freewheel, gold finish, NOS, PK date code should mean November 1973


Ebay -
This one is non-negotiable, Brooks B17 Special, black with copper rivets and rails. I have a B17 shaped rear end.


Parts Bin -
Campagnolo 1014 Record clamp-on shifters. I "believe" the little integrated cable guide makes these early 70's, but not certain.


Co-op -
Campagnolo Nuovo Record 1052/1 front mech. I really have no idea how to date this. A little help maybe?


Other items to follow, as soon as I can dig them up!
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Old 11-02-21, 11:26 AM
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I love those old Paramounts, and I obviously have a sweet spot for ca. 1960 high end road bikes with ornate lugwork.

Having a high-end Schwinn mountain bike has given me new respect for the company. My only prior Schwinn was a ca. 1954 Schwinn American "middleweight" with a 2-speed Bendix coaster brake transmission controlled by something resembling a hand brake lever.

"No Hands" is a great read, and a cautionary tale to any corporation that does not keep up with market trends. Schwinn could have owned the mountain bike market, but that is the same company that resisted launching the Varsinentals when Keith Kingbay first proposed them.
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Old 11-02-21, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
"No Hands" is a great read, and a cautionary tale to any corporation that does not keep up with market trends. Schwinn could have owned the mountain bike market, but that is the same company that resisted launching the Varsinentals when Keith Kingbay first proposed them.
Agreed. They could have owned the BMX trend before it as well, but turned away intentionally. Missing these two trends, coupled with some bad supply chain decisions, cost them the company. The thing that's hard to grasp, for me at least, is that they made these decisions out of hubris. If Schwinn didn't "own" the market already, then it wasn't worth pursuing. Its a roadmap to demise.
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Old 11-02-21, 06:54 PM
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That front derailleur is a 1978 Gran Sport. I only know because I was recently looking for derailleurs for a '78 Raleigh Pro. That is a tough year to find stuff if you're looking for Campy components, as it was when they were transitioning over to the new CPSC requirements, so the bottom bracket, spindle length, front derailleur (with the front "lip" as seen with yours), and even the crank itself changed....

Check out this reference: https://lecycleur.com/campagnolo/a-c...t-derailleurs/

Nice project, I love Paramounts!
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Old 11-03-21, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 75lechamp View Post
That front derailleur is a 1978 Gran Sport. I only know because I was recently looking for derailleurs for a '78 Raleigh Pro. That is a tough year to find stuff if you're looking for Campy components, as it was when they were transitioning over to the new CPSC requirements, so the bottom bracket, spindle length, front derailleur (with the front "lip" as seen with yours), and even the crank itself changed....

Check out this reference: https://lecycleur.com/campagnolo/a-c...t-derailleurs/

Nice project, I love Paramounts!
75lechamp Ugh... You are the messenger of bad news. I know enough not to shoot you though, so don't worry. Back to the drawing board I go with the front mech. The lecycleur link is a great reference, thanks for linking it here!

Question - you still looking for one of these? I might know a guy...
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Old 11-03-21, 08:13 AM
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Ha, I know a guy as well, and I have located a couple of appropriate parts for my '78 Pro....



This is the '78 year only front derailleur, with four holes, rather than the later 3. It has the front "lip" per CPSC mandate....

To accommodate the "lip" derailleurs, Campy also changed the offset of the crankset. Note this is a 1977 (), which is the first year that they had to do this, so this is a late 1977. Note the "dome" on the inside, which is smaller than the pre-late 77 dome...
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Old 11-05-21, 10:27 AM
  #25  
jrg1244
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Falmouth, ME
Posts: 118

Bikes: 2010 Cannondale CAAD 5 Potenza 66cm, 1984 Basso Gap Nuovo Record 65cm, 1989 Cannondale ST Racing Triple 27", 1974 Schwinn Paramount Nuovo Record 26", 198? Scapin MKII 66cm Victory

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I've managed to dig up a bit more "stuff" to make this frame go again. I'm trying to get everything together before the end of the year, so I can tinker as the temperatures plummet and snow piles up. I've ordered some 700c Pacenti Brevet rims to mate with the Campy hubs, but it appears they're on backorder, without any indication of when they might ship. Must be that whole "supply chain" thing I keep hearing about on the news. Fingers crossed. Anyways, here's what's new for the build...

Campagnolo Headset - I don't have the knowledge to identify the model or year. Any help?


Schwinn Approved Le Tour GT300, Shimano Crane in disguise. Of my current 4 bikes, this is the only Shimano component among them. I guess this is the derailleur that will give me an impression of the Japanese giant's components. I may be a bit behind the curve here...


Beautifully shined up Weinmann 2.3/2.7 center pulls complete with hangers and Schwinn Approved turkey levers!


Happy Riding.
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