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1986 Paramount Garage Find

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1986 Paramount Garage Find

Old 09-20-22, 01:40 PM
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BMC_Kid
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1986 Paramount Garage Find

I bought this Paramount about 10 years ago and rode it once and it was just a bit too big at 56cm. So, it’s been hanging in my garage (climate controlled) ever since. My question pertains to the serial code and how to decipher it: 560C WK 86078




I used the guidance provided on the https://waterfordbikes.com/w/culture...amount-dating/ website. Based on the serial number it is an 86, however the code falls more in line with the guidance given for frames manufactured after mid-94. Self-Describing Serial Numbers

This system started in use during the mid- to 1994’s. It consisted of six components:
  • Size Code: The size code represented the center to top seatmast measurement, rounded to the nearest 5mm. For example, a 55cm frame had a serial number starting with 550. Mountain bikes required rounding since they were built in one or two inch size increments. Occasionally, custom frames might not have the same size as indicated by the serial number.
  • Product Code: This was not applied consistently. Up to some point in the early 90’s, it designated the fork length with forks short bikes getting an “A” progressing to large forks getting an “E”. Later, it was used to designate the kind of frame: A=Road, B=Off-Road, C=650C Road, E=Track.
  • Company Code: In the 80’s the code indicated the type of bike, where K=road bike. Later, especially after the formation of Waterford, this letter indicated the company. K was for Paramount and L was for Waterford.
  • Factory Code: A W followed to indicate a bike coming from the Waterford factory.
  • Month Code: This one letter code corresponds to the month with A=January, B=Febuary and so on. Because I is not used, September=J and December=M.
  • Year Code: This two digit code is the last two digits of the year – 96 is 1996.
  • Sequence Number: This three digit number represents the nth frame and/or fork scheduled during the month.
The C and W were not used in 86 according to the website. Can anyone decipher the serial number? I am assuming the C denotes fork length since it is not a 650C frame.




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Old 09-20-22, 01:55 PM
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Paging Patriot Paramount owners
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Old 09-20-22, 01:55 PM
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The other thing I am wondering about is if it has been repainted. I ask because the other Paramounts that I’ve seen from this period had Paramount on the top tube and this one doesn’t. The frame does have some touched up paint chips but the Dura Ace 7400 components are in almost like new condition as is the wheelset.











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Old 09-20-22, 02:14 PM
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That is a beautiful bike in great condition. IMHO the paint looks to be original.
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Old 09-20-22, 02:20 PM
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WOW! You've got the Dura Ace stem and aero seatpost too!

I don't know enough about Paramounts of the era--mine was an '86, but sold as a frameset only, made out of Columbus SLX/SPX or SL/SP, and available in single, solid colors only--with a "Paramount" decal along the top tube, like you say. Right Chainstay was chromed. Mine had a different fork crown and no Columbus stickers on the blades.

The brake shoe holders were the "next gen" 7400 versions, with solid wheel guides. 7401 brake levers, without SLR.

Was this the next level down, from the "Paramount Design Group?" Or is it from a later year perhaps?

Get the 7400 aero pedals and you'll be good to go!

Beautiful bike. A real survivor.

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Old 09-20-22, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
WOW! You've got the Dura Ace stem and aero seatpost too!

I don't know enough about Paramounts of the era--mine was an '86, but sold as a frameset only, made out of Columbus SLX/SPX or SL/SP, and available in single, solid colors only--with a "Paramount" decal along the top tube, like you say. Right Chainstay was chromed. Mine had a different fork crown and no Columbus stickers on the blades.

The brake shoe holders were the "next gen" 7400 versions, with solid wheel guides. 7401 brake levers, without SLR.

Was this the next level down, from the "Paramount Design Group?" Or is it from a later year perhaps?

Get the 7400 aero pedals and you'll be good to go!

Beautiful bike. A real survivor.
yes, it came with the aero pedals with toe clips. I removed them an installed my SPDs for the ride.
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Old 09-20-22, 03:00 PM
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Frame decodes to 560=56 cm, C is the how long the fork steerer is ( there is a typo in the website should be 84 not 94} W is the Waterford factory, K= October, 86=1986 ,
078= 78 frame that month. Yes it has been repainted it should be a solid color . the fork has been replaced with a newer one. the color scheme and decals go to 1991 and the first OS Paramounts from Japan. It looks really good. I like the red white and blue paint scheme.
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Old 09-20-22, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by trainman999 View Post
Frame decodes to 560=56 cm, C is the how long the fork steerer is ( there is a typo in the website should be 84 not 94} W is the Waterford factory, K= October, 86=1986 ,
078= 78 frame that month. Yes it has been repainted it should be a solid color . the fork has been replaced with a newer one. the color scheme and decals go to 1991 and the first OS Paramounts from Japan. It looks really good. I like the red white and blue paint scheme.
Great, thanks for setting the record straight on the code as well as paint. The info on the fork is good too, I wasn’t tracking that as something not Kosher. Are there records of what color this frame would have originally been? Or paint colors available?
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Old 09-20-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BMC_Kid View Post
Great, thanks for setting the record straight on the code as well as paint. The info on the fork is good too, I wasn’t tracking that as something not Kosher. Are there records of what color this frame would have originally been? Or paint colors available?
I would sure encourage you to revisit the fit with more determination, this is cool as ef.

And be glad you ain't me, I can't go from a 66 to a 56 no matter how deluded I get and believe me, I've tried.
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Old 09-20-22, 03:39 PM
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Here is a link to the catalougs you need the 87 one Fork may be oroginal looking at the 87 Paramount photo. https://waterfordbikes.com/w/culture/schwinn-catalogs/
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Old 09-20-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BMC_Kid View Post
Great, thanks for setting the record straight on the code as well as paint. The info on the fork is good too, I wasn’t tracking that as something not Kosher. Are there records of what color this frame would have originally been? Or paint colors available?
Mine was Electric Blue. Buddy’s was pink. Saw a yellow one in the magazine ads.
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Old 09-20-22, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I would sure encourage you to revisit the fit with more determination, this is cool as ef.

And be glad you ain't me, I can't go from a 66 to a 56 no matter how deluded I get and believe me, I've tried.
Generally, 54cm is my size, 55 sometimes as well. I know it’s been quite a while since I took it out but it just felt too big. With all the other bikes I have, it just never enticed me to try again and see if I could get it dialed in. I bought it from a guy in med school in 2006/7, up in Dallas after a ride. He was enamored with his Kestrel IIRC and asked if I would be interested in the Paramount. So on a whim I bought it off him and afterwards when I realized it was just a little too big, I thought I’d strip the components and sell off the frame and never got around to it. Early on I wondered about the paint but never concerned enough to look into it further. I suspected it was a repaint due to the decals but whoever did the work, did a pretty good job of it. Looking around tonight, I see that the Icy Hot team from that time had a a similar paint scheme but again, the decals are not correct. I did come across an 86 catalog and it looks like the available standard colors then were black, red, blue, white, and pink. I’m not sure if they might have had option of custom colors.

Edit: Yellow too.

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Old 09-20-22, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BMC_Kid View Post
I did come across an 86 catalog and it looks like the available standard colors then were black, red, blue, white, and pink. I’m not sure if they might have had option of custom colors.
I bought mine new from the factory. No custom colors that I knew about.

You got the better deal. Wonder how many Kestrels are still floating around? Haven’t seen one on this site.
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Old 09-20-22, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I bought mine new from the factory. No custom colors that I knew about.

You got the better deal. Wonder how many Kestrels are still floating around? Haven’t seen one on this site.
Yeah, I don’t think I would chance riding on one today of that vintage. Anyway, he crashed that one and bought another, then got into triathlons and the last time I saw him he was riding one of those weird looking bikes without a rear triangle, forgot what they were called.
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Old 09-20-22, 05:15 PM
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A unicycle.
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Old 09-20-22, 07:58 PM
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There are only three of us on this site (so far) that can boast of having both the Dura Ace stem—the most beautiful stem ever made—and seatpost on one bike. Maybe even less—the most beautiful quill stem ever made—with the aero seatpost. It’s an exclusive club.

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Old 09-20-22, 08:42 PM
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So I assume you're gathering information in preparation for the sale of this fine machine?
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Old 09-20-22, 08:51 PM
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Wow, nice machine. That is 56cm? I ride anywhere from 54-56, and that looks like a really tall 56cm! Maybe approach it with a 'French fit' mindset
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Old 09-20-22, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by trainman999 View Post
Frame decodes to 560=56 cm, C is the how long the fork steerer is ( there is a typo in the website should be 84 not 94} W is the Waterford factory, K= October, 86=1986 ,
078= 78 frame that month. Yes it has been repainted it should be a solid color . the fork has been replaced with a newer one. the color scheme and decals go to 1991 and the first OS Paramounts from Japan. It looks really good. I like the red white and blue paint scheme.
Wow. I own 86055. Same 56cm size. And oddly enough, it also appears to have been repainted in red, white, blue although in a different manner and with metal flake paint. Pics do not do it justice. It is currently one of my favorite rides.

56cm Paramount first ride by L Travers, on Flickr
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Old 09-21-22, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
So I assume you're gathering information in preparation for the sale of this fine machine?
Sure thing, more than likely. I don't ride it, so why not let someone else appreciate it when I don't? Trying to gather information about it, however speculative, in the full light of day.
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Old 09-21-22, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
Wow. I own 86055. Same 56cm size. And oddly enough, it also appears to have been repainted in red, white, blue although in a different manner and with metal flake paint. Pics do not do it justice. It is currently one of my favorite rides.

56cm Paramount first ride by L Travers, on Flickr
Very cool! I don't remember the popularity of red, white, and blue paint schemes. By the time I obtained my Paramount, 20 years had passed from the time it was made, so more than likely it was a full-on restoration with minimal miles before I got it.

I am not hung up on non-original paint jobs on non-collectible bikes. I'm not saying that originality does not factor into the value, even for these low to mid-priced bikes it does but I'd rather have a bike that rides well and looks good, than one that has been rode hard and put up wet but is original. Again, just how I see things, YMMV.

If I didn't already have more than enough bikes to ride/rebuild (sacrilegious, I know), I probably would just keep it and give it a custom paint job, something like this with Paramount decals...


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Old 09-21-22, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
A unicycle.
you funny!

I remember now what they were called, softrides.

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Old 09-21-22, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
There are only three of us on this site (so far) that can boast of having both the Dura Ace stem—the most beautiful stem ever made—and seatpost on one bike. Maybe even less—the most beautiful quill stem ever made—with the aero seatpost. It’s an exclusive club.
I had a bad habit of using the Shimano aero stems on just about all of my builds beginning with the original Dura Ace AX, 600 AX, and the later Dura-Ace as on the Paramount. I have a drawer devoted just to stems and must have 4-5 spares, along with matching seat posts, and the rare handlebars. I'm a bit of a pack rat.
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Old 09-21-22, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BMC_Kid View Post
I am not hung up on non-original paint jobs on non-collectible bikes. I'm not saying that originality does not factor into the value, even for these low to mid-priced bikes i
Non-collectible? Low to mid-priced??

This is a Paramount, man! Probably the nicest, highest quality ever built! Don't sell it short!
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Old 09-21-22, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Non-collectible? Low to mid-priced??

This is a Paramount, man! Probably the nicest, highest quality ever built! Don't sell it short!
Alright, settle down... poor choice of words on my part. It certainly is a collectible bike, really what bike isn't? There is a niche for anything ever made, someone that wants to collect it, same goes for Paramounts. Low to mid-price? That's subjective and relative to many variables. In my world, bikes under $1000 are lower priced to mid-priced but I certainly understand that there are others that for them, $1K might be on the high side of affordability. Same goes with me and $3000 bikes. The guys that own $5-10K bikes, see $3K as mid-range, and under $1K, low range. I look at them and too high for me, I'm out.

I should have said, collectible in the sense of those grail bikes by the master builders, those that I am sure we all know and treasure and lust after. Those are the ones that we value originality, or should I say, I would. There are some that would decide not to buy my Paramount, now that they have an understanding that it has been repainted has anon-original fork, etc., and I am OK with that. Would it bother me, obvious not but I get it.
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