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1989 Schwinn Paramount OS 66cm - I got one!

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1989 Schwinn Paramount OS 66cm - I got one!

Old 11-30-22, 12:33 AM
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RiddleOfSteel
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1989 Schwinn Paramount OS 66cm - I got one!

"I don't need any more bikes." The common refrain. But do framesets count? Those store away so neatly. Right? Right.

A few of you know this frame already because you either saw it available during the auction cycle I bid or you saw it in the previous cycle where no one bid on it. Regardless, I came across it on a Search Tempest country-wide perusing, thought the lugs looked very familiar, saw the seat stay caps, and was 99% convinced I knew what I was looking at. A claimed 2917g frame/fork/headset weight seemed accurate to a high-end frame, but also, who on the internet selling things is always accurate? I thought it was a 64cm CTT because reading is hard at 12:30 at night sometimes, even if my gut and the fisheye camera angles made the thing look like one of their 650C offerings at that time.

Well, I got the bike after winning the auction with a laughably (to me) low max bid for what I believed to be a 1989+ Paramount with the proprietary PDG lugs and Special Sauce PDG tubing, threw my tire-less Shimano RS81 wheelset on it and sure enough, it was a 700C frame. Ok, well let's just take a measurement of the seat tube... Oh, it's a freaking 66cm?!? Best accidentally incorrect reading ever. Top tube is 60.5cm, right on the money for this size of frame (per the geo chart in the catalog--74° HT and a 72.5° ST). Flipped the frame over to write down the serial number. 1989, 66cm, Waterford built. Measured the tubing diameters, yup, OS. Weight was 2920g with "some extra dirt". Sellers, a bike co-op in the midwest, weren't lying! Once cleaned up, I was looking at 2900g on the nose. For those playing at home, a 2900g frame/fork/headset weight is stupendously light for a 64cm+ frameset. The only thing lighter is the ridiculous 66cm Land Shark Road Shark I had with standard diameter Prestige tubing (2875g).

The frame's paint cleaned right up. Milky, deep gloss black. Touched up a lot of paint chips, but there were no dents to speak of.

As far as components go, there was only one groupset to build it with: Dura-Ace 9000. RS81 wheelset, latex tubes, and the largest pair of tires I could stuff into it. Innicycle headset, of course. Carbon bars and seatpost. The goal was to get an honest sub-20 lb bike ready to ride (pedals, bottle cages included). I ended up at 19.8 lbs. Goal achieved!

The only thing to do next was to see how it rode. It took a few tires to get the largest I could without getting too close to anything, and Vittoria Corsa G2 32mm tan wall tires did the trick, coming in at 28.5mm wide on the RS81 wheels/rims at ~70 PSI.

Regardless of tire, the frame's character was the same: remarkably compliant over crummy roads, no bucking over bumps, quite comfortable, perfect steering, not a barn-burner when out of the saddle, epic propulsion when in the saddle. It's a bike built for long rides, and in the saddle, it exhibits an eagerness to propel you along almost regardless of cadence. Makes sense that what is given up in throw-down-the-watts fun (a la Davidson Impulse), is gained in comfort and partnership over distance. It's the best road road bike I've ridden--not because it says Paramount, mind you--and, to me, is worthy of any nice component set you give it. It loves to run--she's a thoroughbred. Which means I need to ride it more to get more out of it, even if this all came together a number of weeks ago when it was still dry, and we are now firmly in the grasp of a rainy and very cold (NW) winter.

So I'll get the pictures rolling here. You've read enough of my standard issue novel yet again, so yeah, a very rare bird at this height. The internet must have knowledge and reference that these do exist all these years later (at the time of this writing). Maybe I'll inquire as to how many 66cm and 68cm frames were made from '89 to '93. There can't have been many!

"Let's see what iiiiiiinnnn the box!!" [definitely not a tasty Red Snapper]


Ok, so, yeah, that's a big frame. There's some hand lettering of initials on both sides of the top tube. Weird for a decal-less frame until one starts looking closer and connecting the dots. Only Special Bikes (aka $$$) get that treatment, at least from what I've seen.


Frameset cleaned, waxed, touched up, with the Innicycle headset installed. Looking very black.


PDG lugs.


Beautiful lugs and fork crown (my favorite).


Flared seat tube into the bottom bracket with offset down tube (barely) and chain stays.


Initial assembly. The seat post, stem, and tires would be switched out for ones that fit (tires) or looked (thickness, less shouty decals) better. Finally got my favorite groupset to start going on the bike, though!

Last edited by RiddleOfSteel; 11-30-22 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 11-30-22, 12:44 AM
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Fantastic score. And I see you're going for the full Knight Rider look too.

It already looks great, but definitely looking forward to the final result

-Kurt
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Old 11-30-22, 12:49 AM
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The initial build was completed with the above Continental GP4000 SII 28mm tires, with a test ride, but they rubbed the underside of the brake calipers. I changed to tan wall GP5000s in 28mm, which measured 26.5mm wide and gave decreased comfort (though only slightly) but increased hotness (great looking tire). Rode to Recycled Cycles, and stopped by the shore of Lake Union for some sunset pictures.

Aside from the crummy air quality at the time, I would have been happy to be here in this moment for a long time.


53-36 on the front, 11-28 out back. Really appreciate the 36-28t low combo for hills. Shifting to the 53t ring is totally fine--nothing to worry about.


I love gloss black paint at sunset. Especially on bikes.


No sliding down the kayak/canoe slip was done..
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Old 11-30-22, 01:06 AM
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Got the decals after not too long a wait. Velocals again. Went for the pricy 1 mil thick gloss "1986" decals (they are 50th Anniversary 1988 decals). The bike is worth it, even if there was a lot of touching up to do. I can always choose to send it to Waterford and have them repaint it with decals under the clear coat, but there's no need to do so.

Some day I'll get a decent, used DSLR camera and ride around with that and not some troubled old iPhone that struggles to take photos in almost-decent light. Sigh...apologies. This Paramount deserves a good set of photos taken of it.

John Player Special black & gold--only way to go!


Vittorias are a bit washed out in color, but they look great on this bike.


Best names/logos in the (vintage and modern) game.


Lol, no 39t here! I have hills I need to not die on.


For cost and durability's sake, yes, that's an Ultegra cassette lurking behind those dropouts. I think I picked it up at Bike Works for $10 or something. Unreal.
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Old 11-30-22, 01:16 AM
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Some parting shots, mostly to show tire clearances around various tubes, and some to show a nice angle or detail. Enjoy!

Specialized S-Works SL stem. No lighter than any other light stem, but perfect for the job--svelte with a lovely form. Also, again, the Innicycle headset, just a beautiful and critical component for those of us wishing to modernize our frames in the cleanest way possible. Worth the money. Thank you @joejack951 !


#nailedit on the decal alignment and application. Whew!


There is technically more vertical clearance available to push the tire size to a true 29mm or 30mm, but the 11-speed and newer Shimano brake calipers crowd the tire unless the frame puts the pads at the bottoms of their slots. That allows a 32mm tire without issue. Alas, not here.


I have 1mm or a hair better on either side of tires. Get the QR skewer lever nice and tight against the dropouts and you'll never have tire rub issues, even with these really light wheels and a 200 lb rider hustling it around.


More vertical clearance in the back, only limited by the chain stay clearance (unless dimpled).


A more wistful angle here. I love the Paramount font.
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Old 11-30-22, 09:23 AM
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Wow! It looks really good. Super clean, lean, and mean.
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Old 11-30-22, 09:36 AM
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Great looking bike! The paint and decals look superb and the drive has a modern twist.
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Old 11-30-22, 09:55 AM
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I don't care for black bikes. But I have to make an exception in this case. Damn. Excellent work.
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Old 11-30-22, 10:02 AM
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Your enthusiasm is infectious...well done
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Old 11-30-22, 11:43 AM
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Very nice score and build. I have a 50th anniversary Paramount made in November 1989 -- mine is 68 cm and is a Joe Bell repaint in white. I bought the frame and fork for a fraction of the paint cost -- it had not been built up after the repaint. Sort of a yin to your yang. I'll try to take a few decent pics and post them here.
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Old 11-30-22, 11:47 AM
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Well done! Knowing now that it's a 66cm has relieved my (substantial) sense of regret for not bidding on it the first time around. Happy it found a good home, can't imagine a better build.

My 89 (non-OS) 62cm paramount is currently undergoing a 7800 to superbe pro makeover. Should be fun.
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Old 11-30-22, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Also, again, the Innicycle headset, just a beautiful and critical component for those of us wishing to modernize our frames in the cleanest way possible. Worth the money. Thank you @joejack951 !

Very nice build and great use of the headset conversion. I was never a big fan of losing quill stems when building vintage bikes until I rebuilt one of bikes and decided to use the Innicycle conversion. For my build it worked out and looks great. Excellent product of a great design. Like yours, it’s black and my build used all black finish components so for me, it was a lot cheaper than trying to find a similar black finish higher quality headset for quill stems. I’m not sure if I’d ever use one again as I just love the shear elegance of a higher end quill stem.
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Old 11-30-22, 12:20 PM
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You have built some beautiful bikes BUT that one is my new favorite. Ive ridden beside a Black Paramount with 50th Anniversary bits and your bike just that nice.
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Old 11-30-22, 02:52 PM
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the cream wall gp5k TDF tires look so good on darker color frames.
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Old 11-30-22, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
I have 1mm or a hair better on either side of tires. Get the QR skewer lever nice and tight against the dropouts and you'll never have tire rub issues, even with these really light wheels and a 200 lb rider hustling it around.
I think it looks great! But 1mm tire clearance?
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Old 11-30-22, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Hobbiano View Post
I think it looks great! But 1mm tire clearance?
yeah, fair warning there. I run mine with similarly tight clearance; ended up getting a surly hurdy gurdy so that I didn't have to worry about the hub slipping forward in the DS dropout during a big climb. The first time that happened I wore away a fair share of paint and rubber before it brought me to a stop; after that I kept a close eye on it, but it still happened on occasion and gave me PTSD even when it didn't.
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Old 11-30-22, 07:38 PM
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Thank you, everyone, truly!

@smd4 you and I are opposites on this (how mutually beneficial is that??): I am a sucker for a gloss black bike, particularly of the lugged steel and silver component persuasion. I have a few colors that I just have no draw towards, but black is definitely not one of them. I also think DA 9000 is a group that needs a bike frame to be a certain color in order to complement it well, as well as not get lost in the overall composition. The previous 7900 generation even more so, in my opinion.

@JulesCW you have a 68cm one of these??? Please (like you said) take and post the photos here!! Or make your own thread. That's so cool. Even rarer than mine. I looked on the Waterford site and they estimate about 1200 Paramounts were produced for 1989. And that 1200 is theoretically split between standard tubing, OS tubing, track, short top tube, and custom offerings. Assuming equal production of all sizes (which never happens), without considering any custom builds making up that 1200 number, it's about 27 frames per size/model offered. We know the meat of the market and builds will heavily bias towards the 56-58cm sizes, with very little made in the sizes at either end of the range. I don't know if Schwinn even produced and sold a frame in every size and type it offered that year (or any other with such variety), but I think that may have likely happened. Even then, the number of 66cm and 68cm frames made must have been like a dozen or two of each, at best. Vintage-Trek's website is down, and I'm without my recordings (another sketchbook far far away at the moment), but 700-level Treks of the early to mid-'80s were made in that low of numbers, in far fewer size offerings (five total). The 19" and 25.5" offerings were paltry at about 125 a year for either. Tremendous 'bias' towards the middle offerings, as to be expected.

@pnwgopher you going Accushift Plus-era Superbe Pro? That's the good stuff right there. Had all but the crankset and brake levers (levers were nearly SP level) on an old 67cm Davidson that might be nice to have back now (regrets!). 7800 is great stuff; can't go wrong. But getting some period correct jewelry on the bike makes sense, and I find myself not minding reverting back to that on certain frames or just keeping what's original (but in great shape) on there, like with my Voyageur SP. This Paramount will 99.999999% not be having that done as I see DA 9000, the wheels, etc as that frame/bike in its best form. IF, and that's a big (and dangerous, haha) if...IF I had to put something on it, I would go full crazy person and have the bike painted a deep candy red metallic with near-black metallic decals, put essentially NOS-level Accushift Plus-era Superbe Pro with the hubs laced to mint MA40 rims, with silver seatpost/stem/bars/headset. Tan wall tires of course. I've seen nearly this exact bike, but in a much smaller size, a number of years ago. Stars in my eyes, let me tell you, even if the braking performance is nowhere near 7800/7900/9000.

@mstateglfr yeah those GP5000s are hot. Super sharp graphics. Wish they made a larger size, though as it's a "small" 28mm, at least to me (same with RH Chinook Pass 28s). Sidewalls are also fairly and surprisingly stiff and thick. It's a folding bead tire doing a pretty good impression of a wire bead tire.

@Hobbiano yup, living on The Edge here. As long as the wheels are true and the tires mounted well and "true" (no wobble when you spin them), or true enough, you can get away with it. I might have more room now that I remember it more, but there is a touch of tire or rim lateral deviation. Haven't had any issues with it so far, thankfully.
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Old 12-01-22, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
@pnwgopher you going Accushift Plus-era Superbe Pro? That's the good stuff right there. Had all but the crankset and brake levers (levers were nearly SP level) on an old 67cm Davidson that might be nice to have back now (regrets!). 7800 is great stuff; can't go wrong. But getting some period correct jewelry on the bike makes sense, and I find myself not minding reverting back to that on certain frames or just keeping what's original (but in great shape) on there, like with my Voyageur SP. This Paramount will 99.999999% not be having that done as I see DA 9000, the wheels, etc as that frame/bike in its best form. IF, and that's a big (and dangerous, haha) if...IF I had to put something on it, I would go full crazy person and have the bike painted a deep candy red metallic with near-black metallic decals, put essentially NOS-level Accushift Plus-era Superbe Pro with the hubs laced to mint MA40 rims, with silver seatpost/stem/bars/headset. Tan wall tires of course. I've seen nearly this exact bike, but in a much smaller size, a number of years ago. Stars in my eyes, let me tell you, even if the braking performance is nowhere near 7800/7900/9000.
7700/7800 on these frames looks really great, but 9000 paired with that black frame looks incredible.
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Old 12-02-22, 06:20 AM
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Fine looking rig but something about

THE RIDE
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Old 12-02-22, 07:11 AM
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Purdy.
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Old 12-02-22, 11:16 AM
  #21  
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Nice bike and nice group even though I am more partial to the dura ace 7700-7800
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Old 01-04-23, 01:48 PM
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Finally finished my (all but the brakes) superbe pro build. now... if only someone has a set of hidden spring brakes lying around that they're not using...
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Old 01-04-23, 02:21 PM
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lovely bike and nice pictures.
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Old 01-04-23, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JulesCW View Post
Very nice score and build. I have a 50th anniversary Paramount made in November 1989 -- mine is 68 cm and is a Joe Bell repaint in white. I bought the frame and fork for a fraction of the paint cost -- it had not been built up after the repaint. Sort of a yin to your yang. I'll try to take a few decent pics and post them here.
Until Julian gets his own photos (it's been rather overcast here lately, except for those days when it was 1 deg F out), I do have some shots when he brought it over to the vintage ride that I throw together in the fall....





I'm pretty sure that those are 700C wheels, and not the 26" wheels that Schwinn offered around 1990. FWIW, all of Julian's bikes look like they have 26" wheels.

Julian always shows up with some neat toys for show-and-tell.


Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-04-23, 04:28 PM
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That's a handsome bike, alright.

Congratulations!
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