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Ross Paragon?

Old 07-14-10, 02:07 PM
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Ross Paragon?

I grabbed this off of CL today for $15.00. I have researched it some, but can't find too much info. I know it is a higher end Ross, but it is a weird bike. The frame is full Ishawata 024 with Superbe Ders., Normandy low flange competition hubs, basic Araya 700c wheels. The frame lacks braze ons for shifters, der. cable guides on the stays and on the BB. Kinda odd for a higher end frame?. The front drop outs are forward facing. The crank is an AEROX??? Was this made by Kellog or Redcay??
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Old 07-14-10, 02:27 PM
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The Signature series was built by Redcay.
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Old 07-14-10, 04:15 PM
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That's some early Superbe, isn't it? It looks almost exactly like 1st generation Cyclone.
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Old 07-14-10, 04:19 PM
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I've seen front dropouts like that before, but never on a nice frame. I think the idea is that when you open the quick release, the wheel can't fall on your toes, which is relevant here since I can see them in the pictures... :-) Really, it's probably some adaptation of "Lawyer Lips."
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Old 07-14-10, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mudboy
The Signature series was built by Redcay.
Not really. Tom Kellogg started the Signature series in 1980 for Ross and when he left Ross in 1982 Redclay followed him. Tom started Spectrum bikes in '82 and took along with him the Ross master builder Jeff Duser in Spectrum a bit later. Spectrum was where most of the Marlin Titanium bikes were built in the late 80s. Jeff's (who had a lot to do with the execution of Signature) is exceptional. These days he is making some amazing custom lugs and integrated front racks (frames as well) for Spectrum. Tom is mainly the paint guy in the shop.

This Paragon was sold by Ross around '84-'85 (after Kellogg) in parallel with the Signature series. It was made in Taiwan (not sure by which company) and imported and originally had Suntour V components. Yours has been upgraded. Great pickup. Much better bike than most of the Gran Tour versions.
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Old 07-14-10, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE
Not really. Tom Kellogg started the Signature series in 1980 for Ross and when he left Ross in 1982 Redclay followed him. Tom started Spectrum bikes in '82 and took along with him the Ross master builder Jeff Duser in Spectrum a bit later. Spectrum was where most of the Marlin Titanium bikes were built in the late 80s. Jeff's (who had a lot to do with the execution of Signature) is exceptional. These days he is making some amazing custom lugs and integrated front racks (frames as well) for Spectrum. Tom is mainly the paint guy in the shop.

This Paragon was sold by Ross around '84-'85 (after Kellogg) in parallel with the Signature series. It was made in Taiwan (not sure by which company) and imported and originally had Suntour V components. Yours has been upgraded. Great pickup. Much better bike than most of the Gran Tour versions.
Thanks E. I read somewhere today that these were actually speced with Superbe der. Ross appeared to be all over the place with their selection of components. From what I have read they would spec mid to upper range parts on lower end frames. It was all about hitting a price point, I guess. I started cleaning it up. Looks pretty good. No dings or rust. Suprisingly light.
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Old 07-14-10, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nikkorod
Thanks E. I read somewhere today that these were actually speced with Superbe der. Ross appeared to be all over the place with their selection of components. From what I have read they would spec mid to upper range parts on lower end frames. It was all about hitting a price point, I guess. I started cleaning it up. Looks pretty good. No dings or rust. Suprisingly light.
Yeah, Ishi 024 is really nice. Trek used it for a while (in their 5xx series IIRC). Ross used to do weird things with their Gran Tour line (Super Gran Tour included) in the 70s and early 80s. All of their bikes were built with 1020 frames then in Allentown (actually right about half a mile from the Lehigh Valley international airport) and the only differentiating factor were the components. Some had 600EX arabesque on them. Not much of a Suntour shop before they started importing bikes in the mid 80s, but by then it was too late for Ross...
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Old 07-14-10, 06:24 PM
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I saw one of the Signatures once in a thrift store in Scranton, where I lived until about 2-1/2 years ago. It was outstanding, but a 19" frame. Looking back, I should have paid the $10.60 anyhow...
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Old 07-14-10, 07:04 PM
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This would make a great "around town" bike. Some upright bars and a basket/saddle bag so you could use it to go pick up beer.........
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Old 07-14-10, 07:32 PM
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Ross had some really nice bikes toward the end of their existance. They were doing well until they decided to take on a government contract that drove them to bankruptcy. It's a very sad story.
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Old 07-14-10, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by roccobike
Ross had some really nice bikes toward the end of their existance. They were doing well until they decided to take on a government contract that drove them to bankruptcy. It's a very sad story.
Very sad indeed and a very interesting one, from the inception of the company in NY, the move to Allentown and the BCA spin off later. And if you want to hear sad, you have to take a look at the still (somewhat) standing but falling apart Ross factory that has been paddlocked for several years right now because it was condemned for toxic waste violations after it moved to a different owner via bankrupsy court. Since it is local to me, and there barely is any Ross documentation out there, I have been collecting Ross resources and one of these days I will do something with it, but I would need a sabbatical to make it happen
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Old 07-14-10, 07:49 PM
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Although he hasn't posted in a a couple of years, Andy Ross is a forum member. Here is a post about the history of Ross that Andy made back in August 2005.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post1525498
Hi, my name is Andrew Ross and I am the grandson of the founder of Ross Bicycles, Albert Ross. The company was statred in 1940 as the Ross Galvanizing Works. It was located in Brooklyn, New York near the Brooklyn Navy Yards. During WWII the company had extensive contracts with the U.S. Government to coat (galvanize) the bottom of ships. When the war ended, at the suggestion of my Dad, Sherwood (Jerry), and his brother in-law Sam Wilkens, the company switched to the manufacturing of wheeled goods including bicycles, tricycles, wheel chairs, lawn mowers and roller skates.

The company moved its manufacturing plant to Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York in the 1950's and by the late 50's solely manufacured bikes and trikes and was the 3rd largest domestic producer of bicycles after Scwinn and Huffy. The compnay moved again in the early 70's to a new facility in Allentown, PA. During the two oil crises of the 1970's (1973 & 1979) the company worked around the clock in three shifts and turned out over 1 million bicycles in each of those years.


Upon my granfather's retirement in 1969 the ownership of the company was turned over in equal shares to my Dad and his sister Teddy. In 1980 my Dad bought out his sister and remained the sole owner until the company went bankrupt in 1989. The company was unable to compete with imports from the Far East made with very cheap labor. The company tried to stay afloat by shifting it's bicycle manufacturing to leased factories in Taiwan and use the Allentown facility to fulfill government contracts that it had sucessfully bidded on. Due to my Dad's lavish lifestlye he was unable to "buckle the belt" sufficiently to save the company.

The name ROSS was purchased out of Bankruptcy Court by Rand Cycle, Farmingdale, NY. My dad worked for Rand for 5 years as a consultant as part of the name deal. Rand never sunk enough money into marketing the ROSS name and although they still own it, they are not actively pursuing ROSS sales. However, they do have about 300 ROSS, Mt. Washington mountain bikes, both mens and ladies in a warehouse in New York. I purchased a few of them last year and the're dynamite low end units. Anyone interested in purchasing any or all of this inventory can contact Rand at 800-883-7677, ask for Alan Goldmeir. I can be contacted at 888-575-4433. Just as a closing note, my Dad who was for many years the President of the Bicycle Manufacturers of America (BMA) is alive and well at 85 living in South Florida and is working part-time as the pre-eminent expert witness in bicycle product liability litigation.
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Old 07-14-10, 07:57 PM
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Living in the Philly suburbs we saw a lot of Ross bikes. As a kid they never measured up to Raliegh or Schwinn. We were a Schwinn family.
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Old 07-14-10, 08:30 PM
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Just for the record, Trek used 022, on the 400's and at least some of the 500's. It's the tubing on my 510, and it was on the 412 I sold. Ross used 024 on the first Mt Hoods, and apparently this model. Both are decent, but I am guessing 022 is just a notch or two lighter maybe?,,,,BD
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Old 07-14-10, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
Just for the record, Trek used 022, on the 400's and at least some of the 500's. It's the tubing on my 510, and it was on the 412 I sold. Ross used 024 on the first Mt Hoods, and apparently this model. Both are decent, but I am guessing 022 is just a notch or two lighter maybe?,,,,BD
You are correct sir!
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Old 07-31-16, 08:12 PM
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My BIL just gifted me a Ross Paragon frame. It has the fork, the headset, the crankset, and the pedals.It looks like someone took sandpaper to the stays but other than that it's in great shape. S/N approximately 1282100143 (full of paint so not certain)

I really have no idea what to do with it.









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Old 08-01-16, 05:42 PM
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I'm very happy with my 86 (or 85?) Gran Tour, built up as an all weather, rugged use commuter, seen here sporting the Van Schotthorst Saphir stainless rim wheelset that I recently built with Continental 32mm TourRide rubber.

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Old 08-01-16, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
My BIL just gifted me a Ross Paragon frame. It has the fork, the headset, the crankset, and the pedals.It looks like someone took sandpaper to the stays but other than that it's in great shape. S/N approximately 1282100143 (full of paint so not certain)

I really have no idea what to do with it.









Arden Way to Orangevale in that many years. Didn't get around much.
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Old 08-01-16, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize
Arden Way to Orangevale in that many years. Didn't get around much.
Maybe it got here by going west?
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Old 08-01-16, 10:18 PM
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Those are some ugly forks, from the dog leg bend to the funky lawyer dropouts. I have one that I bought on the cheap. My plan is to rerake the forks a bit to both give them some curvature and to lower the trail just a bit. Then I'll rework the dropouts, perhaps even sweat them out and replace them with some standard style ones.
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Old 08-02-16, 12:12 AM
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Man, that Ishiwata 024 sticker is super pretty.
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Old 08-02-16, 05:35 AM
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i reralized that the OP's initial post goes back 6 years but I know he's still active on the forums and some of his questions went unanswered. As already noted, this was not a Reddkay or Kellog frame but a good grade, contract manufactured frame from Asia.If the OP still has the bicycle, I may be able to identify the manufacturer and year from the serial number.

Admittedly, the clamp-on shifters are strange for the era, given that it has bottle bosses and rear brake cable tunnels but it was obviously a cost concession to hit a certain price point and possibly compensated for the Superbe derailleurs which were OEM and an obvious attempt to bait customers, who often judged the bicycle solely on the rear derailleur.
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Old 08-02-16, 05:46 AM
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I parted it out and sold it. It was weird configuration as far as frame construction goes. As T-mar mentions. No braze-ons for shifter bosses, cable guides and cables stops other than the water bottle bosses and top tube guides. It was my size and I considered keeping it, but could not get past that ugly fork.
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Old 08-02-16, 07:25 AM
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Oop, I forgot to comment on the Aerox crankset, which was a lower mid-range aero model by SR, circa 1982-1985. It was OEM to the Paragon, based on the 1983 specs.
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Old 08-02-16, 08:42 AM
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Yeah, the bare frame has me thinking single speed, except I can't really hack a single speed.
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