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Paramount OS - 1993 - Yes, Another Paramount Question...

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Paramount OS - 1993 - Yes, Another Paramount Question...

Old 11-18-05, 03:58 PM
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yuyax
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Paramount OS - 1993 - Yes, Another Paramount Question...

Hello,

I am about to go check out a 1993 Paramount OS. Tange tubes, mix-match of Exage and 105 stuff and 650c wheels. Asking price $300.

This seems to be japanese Paramount, correct?

Does anybody know if this frame was built specifically for 650c wheels? By looking at the photos that the seller sent me, it looks like it has short reach brakes where the pads are at its lowest spot.

I was wondering if it is possible to use 700c wheels on this frame.

Thanks
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Old 11-18-05, 04:22 PM
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if it was built for 650 wheels you can't use 700c.
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Old 11-18-05, 09:38 PM
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Panasonic built back then.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:30 PM
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I'm probably getting in over my head here, but a whole lot of "stuff" was going on at Schwinn in 1993 (the biggest being Schwinn's bankruptcy with the subsequent change in management from the Schwinn family to the new owners, Zell-Chilmark). According to the excellent book, No Hands - The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company, an American Institution, the 1993 model line-up was essentially the same as the 1992 line-up.

According to the excellent Paramount history on the Waterford website https://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/d...ount/index.php, during the early 1990's, Schwinn began importing Paramount-branded bikes from Asia as part of an effort to grow Schwinn's upper-end presence. Some Paramount models, however, continued to be built at the Waterford facility. The 1992 catalog shows the "Waterford Road" made from custom-drawn Precision Butted, heat-treated True Temper OS tubing. They were available in designs for road, track, or triathlon with 700C or 26" wheels.

The Series 90, Series 70, Series 50, and Series 40 MTB frames used various Tange or Tange Prestige tube sets, and the catalog doesn't mention where they were manufactured, so they may have been by Matsu*****a (Panasonic). Likewise, the Series 2, Series 3, Series 5, and Series 7 Road bikes used Tange tube sets. There are no hints in the catalog about where they were built.

There is an interesting sidebar labled "The Case for 26" Wheels" in which Schwinn Product Manager and Cat II racer Dennis Lane says he's ridden a Series 7 prototype for the past two years and the 26" wheels are faster in every respect that 700C wheels. "Of course there's less wind resistance with 26. And they're lighter and stronger because the spokes are shorter. And the reduced gyroscopic force lets the bike change lines quicker, making it more maneuverable". There's more....

Anyway, I'm attaching some stuff from the Waterford Road pages of the '92 catalog.

To tell you more, we really need to know the model.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:50 PM
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so, let me see if i get this straight, if the paramount doesn't say PDG on the decal group, and it has a true temper sticker, it is a Waterford bike?

I have heard of '90's vintage Waterfords, but never understood how a PDG could ever be made at Waterford.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:18 AM
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Thank you for your responses.

I checked it out and decided not to buy it. Well, the bike was built for 650 wheels. Frame was lugless and in IMO, not as nice looking as a standard lug frame. The chain and seat stays just looked kind of 'clunky'.

The seller told me that the tubing was oversize Tange but I don't recall seeing any Tange stickers. The rear dropouts were chromed and stamped Tange.

That's it. The search continues...
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Old 11-19-05, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by luker
so, let me see if i get this straight, if the paramount doesn't say PDG on the decal group, and it has a true temper sticker, it is a Waterford bike?

I have heard of '90's vintage Waterfords, but never understood how a PDG could ever be made at Waterford.
Hi Luker,

I don't know, but suspect you're at least partially right. In the Paramount history on the Waterford website, there's mention that beginning in 1987, Schwinn successfully expanded the use of the PDG (Paramount Design Group) name for parts, accessories and clothing. However, as early as the early eighties when Schwinn moved Paramount production from "the cage" in the Chicago plant to the Waterford plant, Waterford made Paramounts carried the "PDG" decal set.

I hope I don't get into trouble with the copyright laws, but a brief quote should be OK, especially since I'm crediting the source. This is from the Waterford website:

"In 1990, Schwinn committed to importing a line of complete bikes under the Paramount name for the 1991 model year. The line consisted of complete bikes, both road an off-road, all of which had the "Series" designation.

All the Series Paramounts were built with chromoly except for the Series 9C, a composite Paramount built by Kestrel which, at the time was partially owned by Schwinn. By 1993, Schwinn had converted it higher-end Paramounts road to heat-treated tubing.

All of the early mountain bikes were TIG welded, though they went to lugs for the '93 and '94 model years. Excluding the composite frames, the high-end road bikes were all lug brazed.

With two very minor exceptions, all of the "Series" bikes came from Asian factories. That's why they don't have serial numbers like the Waterford-built models. The Waterfords were a couple of steps above the Asian bikes, though certain Waterford innovations, like the integrated cable guides, started at Waterford and then filtered down to the Series bikes.

Two small groups of Series bikes were built in the US. The Series 9C was a short run - under 1000 units - of composite frames built by Kestrel during 1992. Finally, when ramping up for 1994 production, Schwinn had a shortage of the top-end R80's and had Waterford Precision Cycles build them and ship them to Taiwan for painting and fabrication.

But for the handful of Waterford-built '94's, the serial numbers won't follow the standard pattern."


So, I think being a "Series" bike may be more of an indication that it wasn't built by Waterford than whether or not it had a "PDG" decal set.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:42 AM
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I have a little problem with Paramounts. They seem to follow me home, and they are so cute that I can't resist. I have three complete right now - a 73, a 50th anniv., and a NOS '91 Paramount OS mountain bike (full Suntour Greaseguard...). I'd also like to have a Match Paramount if I can ever get to a closing on eBay for one in my size...and I guess now I need a '90s Waterford Paramount. Dang.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by luker
I have a little problem with Paramounts. They seem to follow me home, and they are so cute that I can't resist. I have three complete right now - a 73, a 50th anniv., and a NOS '91 Paramount OS mountain bike (full Suntour Greaseguard...). I'd also like to have a Match Paramount if I can ever get to a closing on eBay for one in my size...and I guess now I need a '90s Waterford Paramount. Dang.
It's definitely a sickness. I just spent $700 putting new modern Campagnolo Record components on my '71 P13-9.
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Old 11-19-05, 01:05 AM
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I agree with you guys they are a disease - so I have only my 69 - but also have a Waterford 1900 and a RS22. I have had in the past serveral oppurnunities to pick up a Match Paramount which were made up here in Seattle, needless to say I was stupid and I didn't, but because they were made in Seattle I am sure I will see another what size Luker are you looking for. By the way none of us the bug like this guy in Seattle with 40 plus Paramounts.
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Old 11-19-05, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vosyer
By the way none of us the bug like this guy in Seattle with 40 plus Paramounts.
40 plus, as in more than FORTY? I wonder what his wife thinks about his obsession.

...And I thought I was in bad shape.

BTW, I'm thinking about having Waterford build me an RS-22.
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Old 11-19-05, 07:34 AM
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When I first started riding in about 1973, Paramounts, especially chrome ones, were the sine qua non among riders in the Louisville Wheelmen (now emasculated to Louisville Bicycle Club). I never had the spare change to buy one but I do have a 1992 Series 7 Pretendamount built by Panasonic. I absolutely love this bike.

I put new wheels on it this year and a Campy Centaur triple group on it last year. I will continue to ride it until I can come up with enough money that She Who Must Be Obeyed will let me spend for a titanium frame.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:31 AM
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It's definitely a sickness. I just spent $700 putting new modern Campagnolo Record components on my '71 P13-9. "


*****Warning: Drifting off thread here *****
Really? Did you use their brifters? I'm thinking about something almost the inverse of this - I just got a NOS columbus neuron frame, and I'm thinking about some combination of new and old to see just how light a modern steel bike can be without giving up on the modern things that i like (a gob of gears, aero wheels, good brakes.)

Downtube shifters are necessary to keep the weight down (and, I don't mind using them at all). Does Campy make 9 or 10 speed downtube shifters?
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Old 11-19-05, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Olebiker
I never had the spare change to buy one but I do have a 1992 Series 7 Pretendamount built by Panasonic. I absolutely love this bike.

I put new wheels on it this year and a Campy Centaur triple group on it last year. I will continue to ride it until I can come up with enough money that She Who Must Be Obeyed will let me spend for a titanium frame.
Dick,

I, for one, don't think that because a Paramount was built by Panasonic it's any less a Paramount than one built by the Wastyns, the Chicago factory cage folks, or Waterford. It's sort of like the underwear ad that says "...the quality goes in before the name goes on." Of course the different models were built with different tube sets and component groups, but all are top quality bikes.

I'm trying to convince Waterford to build me an RS-22 using the new Reynolds 953 stainless steel tube set, and think that will be my last bike.

Attached are some PDF files from the 1992 catalog describing the Series 7.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:50 AM
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Geez - I'm sold (good copywriter!). Why aren't we all riding 26"?
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Old 11-19-05, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooper
Dick,

I, for one, don't think that because a Paramount was built by Panasonic it's any less a Paramount than one built by the Wastyns, the Chicago factory cage folks, or Waterford. It's sort of like the underwear ad that says "...the quality goes in before the name goes on." Of course the different models were built with different tube sets and component groups, but all are top quality bikes.

I'm trying to convince Waterford to build me an RS-22 using the new Reynolds 953 stainless steel tube set, and think that will be my last bike.

Attached are some PDF files from the 1992 catalog describing the Series 7.

Well, if whoever owned Schwinn in a given week wants to call any 'ol bike a "Paramount", they certainly had the legal right to do so.

But, when you look at the history of Schwinn and the history of the "Paramount" name, it seems there were "Paramounts" and then there were "Lessamounts".

From around 1955 to 1980, Schwinn reserved the Paramount name for what it considered the "best" bikes made in the USA. Schwinn sought out the best tubing from Reynolds and other suppliers. Used the most expensive and labor intensive building methods. Allowed customers to tailor a Paramount to their needs ("Ya want a three speed Paramount...okay").

But, when a certain cocky, not-too-bright kid took control of Schwinn, the Paramount decal was suddenly being slapped on all sorts of products. Some of those products were very well made Panasonic bikes using the best available components and best Asian-made tubing. The worst of those products were mid-range Panasonics with a mish-mash of mediocre components, finished off with bizarre paint schemes designed to attrack the "disco" crowd, perhaps.

So, there are three types of Paramount: 1. Those built in the USA with the "build the best bike in the world" attitude. 2. Panasonics designed and built to be as good as the USA Paramounts. 3. Panasonics that probably embarrassed even the folks at Panasonic.

Does putting a decal that says "Paramount" on an Japanese-made Panasonic convert that Panasonic into a USA-made Paramount? If a waitress at Golden Corral in Spudville, Idaho puts on a nametag that says "Sophia Loren" does that convert her into a gorgeous Italian actress?

That said, I'd be happy to own ANY of the three classes of Paramounts, as long as the frame and fork have traditional lug work, and the frame and fork are painted either a "gentlemens" black, or fire engine red. And, I could be real happy with the right 1988 Panasonic as well.

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Old 11-19-05, 11:45 AM
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I don't own a paramount, but I've always kind
of wanted a chrome P10 or P13.
That said I don't think that the panasonic built
frames whether high end or mid level are paramounts.
To me a paramount is a chicago built frame.
Its like the Hetchins that were being built
in Australia, might look like a hetchins
but it wasn't.

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Old 11-19-05, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by luker
It's definitely a sickness. I just spent $700 putting new modern Campagnolo Record components on my '71 P13-9. "


*****Warning: Drifting off thread here *****
Really? Did you use their brifters? I'm thinking about something almost the inverse of this - I just got a NOS columbus neuron frame, and I'm thinking about some combination of new and old to see just how light a modern steel bike can be without giving up on the modern things that i like (a gob of gears, aero wheels, good brakes.)

Downtube shifters are necessary to keep the weight down (and, I don't mind using them at all). Does Campy make 9 or 10 speed downtube shifters?
I guess I need to get into some gory historical details. A previous owner of the bike took it to Oscar Juner, owner of American Cyclery here in San Francisco in the late seventies to have him "upgrade" the original Campagnolo Record components. Oscar had been a six day racer in the late thirties and really knew bikes, but he had his own ideas of which manufacturers had the best components, and his choice was different depending on which component he was talking about. In the late seventies, he thought Williams in England made the best cranksets and for some reason was into Sun Tour derailleurs, so when I bought the bike it had a Sun Tour V rear and Sun Tour Spirit front on it. The Williams crank arms were too short for me (165 mm) and the chainrings were set up for hillclimbing with 42 and 46 teeth (the original Campy had 49-52). The freewheel on the bike when I bought it had sprockets with 13-16-19-23 and 28 teeth instead of the original Regina 14-16-18-23-26.

Last month I went to Velo Swap here in San Francisco looking for Campy components (specifically a crankset with 172.5 mm arms and chainrings closer to the original Record Nouvo 49-52). I came home with a barely used Campy Record crankset with 172.5 mm arms and 42-53T chainrings. This was the starting point for my upgrade.

When I took the bike to the LBS to install the crank, we noticed that the rear derailleur had lost a lot of its spring, and was slow to take up chain slack, so I chose to replace it with a new Campy long cage 9 speed Centaur. Unfortunately, we had trouble adjusting the new derailleur to the old freewheel sprockets, and because I eventually wanted to get rid of the tubulars and go with clinchers, I decided to bite the bullet and put on new Campy alloy wheels with Continental 700C 25 DuraSkin clinchers. We wound up replacing the old freewheel sprockets with a Campy Veloce 9 speed cassette (13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-26). Well, as you suggest, we couldn't get the original Campy downtube shifter to move the derailleur across all nine rear sprockets, so I chose to set it up for the 14-26 sprockets and not use the 13T one.

Campy may have a downtube shifter with a larger radius to handle the 9 speed cassettes, but I'll just live with what I've got and not worry about the 13T sprocket.

Sorry I was so long-winded. Attached are photos of the new rear derailleur and cassette, and the new crankset. The LBS has the Campy front derailleur on order and we'll replace the Sun Tour Spirit front derailleur after Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-19-05, 01:18 PM
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Looks great! I've remodeled houses with much the same story...except the expense is
always at least an order of magnitude greater. You probably know the drill: paint the bathroom, the floor looks like crap; change the floor, the fixtures look like crap, etc. until you have a new bathroom. Oh, look, the hall needs paint. I never noticed that before...

I did a quick scan over the catalogs that I currently have, looks like shimano makes dt shifters, but I couldn't find any campy (other than barends). I'm still just dreaming, because I haven't gotten the frame yet.
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Old 11-19-05, 01:35 PM
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SunTour on a Paramount... now that's something I thought I would never see. The new Campy stuff looks pretty well at home on the frame now. Does the Campy 7speed downtube shifters have a friction mode and if so, would that move the derailleurs any more than the current setup? Just throwing out ideas.

Other than Panasonic, any other companies build Paramounts for Schwinn in the 90's? I met a guy on the road one day here in Dallas riding what seemed to be a mid-90's Paramount and stated it was made by someone else for Schwinn. I can't remember exactly who - Serotta maybe? 'S' something sounds right.
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Old 11-19-05, 06:04 PM
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Serotta made the titanium schwinn paramount. Another bike that I secretly lust after.
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Old 11-19-05, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by luker
Serotta made the titanium schwinn paramount. Another bike that I secretly lust after.
Yup, that's the one that this rider had. It was a deep metalic orange color. Full 9speed Dura-Ace if I remember correctly. I caught up with him and two other riders one morning as I was taking off on a 28mi loop that the LBS's rides typically follow. They passed me and I stayed a fair distance back as to not rudely suck their wheel for the first half without invitation. Keeping with their smooth steady pace was difficult without any draft but made me push myself a bit more than I normally would have solo. At my turn around spot I met up with the three again on their rest stop. The Paramount rider turned around while the other two continued on for what he told me would be a 60+ mile day. To this day that ride was the fastest I've ever done that route. The combination of trying to match their steady but smooth pace and maintaining speed with the one guy on the way back turned what would have been a boring solo ride into quite the experience.

I can most certainly see why you secretly lust after such a bike.
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Old 11-19-05, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper
Dick,

I, for one, don't think that because a Paramount was built by Panasonic it's any less a Paramount than one built by the Wastyns, the Chicago factory cage folks, or Waterford. It's sort of like the underwear ad that says "...the quality goes in before the name goes on." Of course the different models were built with different tube sets and component groups, but all are top quality bikes.
Kind of made me think of an old saying I used to hear growing up in Kentucky: Just because your cat has kittens in the oven doesn't mean you call 'em biscuits.
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Old 11-19-05, 07:17 PM
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heh - depends on what the oven temp is set to, of course.
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Old 11-26-05, 02:28 PM
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merlinextraligh
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Originally Posted by Scooper
Hi Luker,

I don't know, but suspect you're at least partially right. In the Paramount history on the Waterford website, there's mention that beginning in 1987, Schwinn successfully expanded the use of the PDG (Paramount Design Group) name for parts, accessories and clothing. However, as early as the early eighties when Schwinn moved Paramount production from "the cage" in the Chicago plant to the Waterford plant, Waterford made Paramounts carried the "PDG" decal set.

I hope I don't get into trouble with the copyright laws, but a brief quote should be OK, especially since I'm crediting the source. This is from the Waterford website:

"In 1990, Schwinn committed to importing a line of complete bikes under the Paramount name for the 1991 model year. The line consisted of complete bikes, both road an off-road, all of which had the "Series" designation.

All the Series Paramounts were built with chromoly except for the Series 9C, a composite Paramount built by Kestrel which, at the time was partially owned by Schwinn. By 1993, Schwinn had converted it higher-end Paramounts road to heat-treated tubing.

All of the early mountain bikes were TIG welded, though they went to lugs for the '93 and '94 model years. Excluding the composite frames, the high-end road bikes were all lug brazed.

With two very minor exceptions, all of the "Series" bikes came from Asian factories. That's why they don't have serial numbers like the Waterford-built models. The Waterfords were a couple of steps above the Asian bikes, though certain Waterford innovations, like the integrated cable guides, started at Waterford and then filtered down to the Series bikes.

Two small groups of Series bikes were built in the US. The Series 9C was a short run - under 1000 units - of composite frames built by Kestrel during 1992. Finally, when ramping up for 1994 production, Schwinn had a shortage of the top-end R80's and had Waterford Precision Cycles build them and ship them to Taiwan for painting and fabrication.

But for the handful of Waterford-built '94's, the serial numbers won't follow the standard pattern."


So, I think being a "Series" bike may be more of an indication that it wasn't built by Waterford than whether or not it had a "PDG" decal set.
FWIW, my 1989 Paramount OS, built by Wateford, does not have PDG on the decals. The third letter in the serial number should be W, if was built by Waterford.
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