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Permission to commit heresy?

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Permission to commit heresy?

Old 08-14-19, 05:48 PM
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Danny S
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Permission to commit heresy?

Craigslist find. Recently snagged an old Schwinn from the original owner's grandson. 1983 Superior.

Good news: 1000% original down to it's crustly old tires. Gran Sport group, headset to pedals. Brooks Competition saddle. Butted 531 tubing w/ Nervex lugs. Original warranty brochure. Still sporting factory QA inspection sticker on seat tube. A rusty time capsule.

Not so good news: A rusty time capsule. Bike was garaged for years, on a covered apartment balcony for years, exposed to exterior humidity since new. Light to moderate rust on all steel surfaces. Worst, small rust tracks under paint at a couple of frame drain holes.

Big fan of originality here. They're only original once and if this thing was in a little better shape I'd renew and preserve and call it good. However, to preserve this frameset, some paint's going to have to come off. So now I've got an excuse to spray some classic Schwinn color. Coppertone, or one of Schwinn's candy reds? The factory Blue/Grey color does nothing to highlight one of Schwinn's very last ornate Nervex lugged frames.

Your thoughts?
(I'll put up photos when post count permits)
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Old 08-14-19, 09:17 PM
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Sounds like a nice score, in spite of the rust. Congrats! 👍 Surface rust on chrome should clean up pretty well, with lots of elbow grease. Good ole sweat equity. 😉 I recently found some nice high chrome riser bars, with light surface rust, but I'm leaving the "patina" on them. 😎
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Old 08-14-19, 09:42 PM
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Welcome - would love to see a pic or two.

I have an 1981 Superior - fantastic rider!

Came to me as an almost bare frame with a replacement fork.
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Old 08-14-19, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Danny S View Post

Big fan of originality here. They're only original once and if this thing was in a little better shape I'd renew and preserve and call it good. However, to preserve this frameset, some paint's going to have to come off. So now I've got an excuse to spray some classic Schwinn color. Coppertone, or one of Schwinn's candy reds? The factory Blue/Grey color does nothing to highlight one of Schwinn's very last ornate Nervex lugged frames.
I would go a year or two earlier and paint it Pearl Orange. It's still close to original and I just plain like the color. My first Le Tour III was pearlescent orange and I've been a fan ever since.

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Old 08-14-19, 10:01 PM
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I prefer to see a good full restore and respray than to see a bike rust back into dust. It's steel, and in quality bikes it's very thin steel. It isn't rational IMHO to have the same attitude as people have about antique mahogany furniture or vintage stratocasters. Those aren't going to rust away if you leave them alone.

So have at it. A tasteful restoration is a good thing.

I vote for coppertone but I like all those old Schwinn colors.
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Old 08-14-19, 10:14 PM
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Another vote for a thorough de-rust and restore. I also agree that, patina is not always as cracked up as it seems to be. Especially when the paper thin steel tubes underneath are degrading.
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Old 08-14-19, 10:45 PM
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I had one of those orange Superior frames a while back, but unfortunately was about a foot too short to ride it. Fantastic color.
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Old 08-14-19, 10:51 PM
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Another vote for a full go through. Superiors are very uncommon, yet cool parts of Schwinn history.

I would not consider that heresy. Heresy is painting a (repaired) '74 Schwinn Paramount in satin/matte black and then outfitting it with 11-speed Campagnolo electronic shifting.

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Old 08-14-19, 10:55 PM
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I've had two. Both 1982 models.

The first one was a mint one in orange.

The second has been subject to heresey, including - apparently - a trip to the framebuilder for some shifter braze-ons, an under-the-BB cable guide, and a fork swap.

I sold the first one. Kept the second. It is better for all of its modifications and I do not regret the decision for a second. I happen to think the clunky 1980's Schwinn typeface* ruins the understated elegance of the one and only last hurrah of the second-generation Schwinn Paramount.



*Tell me, is there a typeface that has ever said "Look at us, we make athletic equipment!" more than the 1976 Schwinn downtube lettering? I can't get excited about a single Schwinn of that era - Paramounts included - thanks to it.

-Kurt
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Old 08-15-19, 05:04 AM
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Do it but we want pictures. I have an '83 Super Sport frameset that is getting a color change. It isn't rusty but the paint is FUBAR. I'm probably going to go with an automotive color, I've got it narrowed down to a few dozen now.......
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Old 08-15-19, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post

*Tell me, is there a typeface that has ever said "Look at us, we make athletic equipment!" more than the 1976 Schwinn downtube lettering? I can't get excited about a single Schwinn of that era - Paramounts included - thanks to it.

-Kurt
Being of a certain age- the big block lettering of the 70s and early 80s was what Schwinn was to me. The "air conditioner" font was really before my time.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
The second has been subject to heresey, including - apparently - a trip to the framebuilder for some shifter braze-ons, an under-the-BB cable guide, and a fork swap.

I sold the first one. Kept the second. It is better for all of its modifications and I do not regret the decision for a second.


Kurt, that bike is flat-out GORGEOUS!!! If ever a bike could be described as "better than new", that is it.

SP
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Old 08-15-19, 12:44 PM
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Whoa. Have I found the right bike forum or what!? I was all geared up to have "The WRATH of SCHWINN" dumped all over me. Wouldn't begin to argue with the purists, lean that way m'self when possible. But this bike is just a little past preserving, and it's well worth a tasteful (but gorgeous) resto-mod.

Happy to find some like minds.

All original (or period correct) components, Some glowing Schwinn color (even if not correct for 1983), sorry.. but I have to go w/ the old A/C script decals, that was just MY era. Even have the olympic seat tube decal we all put on our Sport Tourers and Le Tours back in the day. (sorry boss, don't know WHERE the decals went?!)

The only part I've pulled off to clean up so far is the seat post. After a little Evapo-Rust & brass brush work it looks NOS. Even managed to wipe away the worst of the insertion zig-zags without molesting the Campy stampings. Brooks Professional in Honey arrived yesterday. Nothing says "nice old bike" to me like a Brooks Pro.

Photos to come as soon as I'm able to post em.
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Old 08-15-19, 09:32 PM
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I love the 1983 Schwinn catalog for the moody, serious dark backgrounds and cool fonts they used on their bikes. Frame colors were really cool as well. Both font and color were pretty unique to 1983 (1982 as well to an extent). I like the '70s fonts because it was so that era, but my favorite Schwinn era is the late '80s, especially with the banner-wide block font style of the Paramounts, Prologues, and Ontare models. That's "my" generation as an early Gen-Y guy.

FYI my '74 Paramount is back to "reality" with a 3x10 Dura-Ace setup (7800 generation STIs etc but with a 7400 "tripleized" crankset) and plenty of gear range. My '87 Prologue now sports Di2 electronic shifting and it's sublime. We've had people do tribute bikes using a different company's frame, an endeavor while completely legal, is one I grumble a bit on. But hey, I don't have to explain myself a million times to confused people, so it's not my problem!
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Old 08-15-19, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Being of a certain age- the big block lettering of the 70s and early 80s was what Schwinn was to me. The "air conditioner" font was really before my time.
Both of those fonts are before my time, but I love the air-conditioner/wet noodle font. Wouldn't you know, the one bike it wasn't used on...was the Paramount


Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
Kurt, that bike is flat-out GORGEOUS!!! If ever a bike could be described as "better than new", that is it.
It's the only frame I've really taken the liberty of building as I wanted it, not as it came from the factory - or as it would have possibly been upgraded during its time. I share your sentiments...I wind up looking at it more than any of the others I have.


Originally Posted by Danny S View Post
Whoa. Have I found the right bike forum or what!? I was all geared up to have "The WRATH of SCHWINN" dumped all over me. Wouldn't begin to argue with the purists, lean that way m'self when possible. But this bike is just a little past preserving, and it's well worth a tasteful (but gorgeous) resto-mod.

Happy to find some like minds.

All original (or period correct) components, Some glowing Schwinn color (even if not correct for 1983), sorry.. but I have to go w/ the old A/C script decals, that was just MY era. Even have the olympic seat tube decal we all put on our Sport Tourers and Le Tours back in the day. (sorry boss, don't know WHERE the decals went?!)

The only part I've pulled off to clean up so far is the seat post. After a little Evapo-Rust & brass brush work it looks NOS. Even managed to wipe away the worst of the insertion zig-zags without molesting the Campy stampings. Brooks Professional in Honey arrived yesterday. Nothing says "nice old bike" to me like a Brooks Pro.

Photos to come as soon as I'm able to post em.
Repainting a mint one would be blasphemous, but if it's taken enough war wounds that a polish wouldn't help...why not? There are plenty of other orange Superiors to go around. Repainting one of the '83s might require a bit more thought, given that those things are seriously difficult to find, as are their red "Schwinn Superior" headbadges - the yellow '81-82 badges actually show up occasionally.

Absolute power to you if you plan to go with the noodle scheme. It'd be really cool to see one of these '80s models done up with the early-1960's Superior decals - though I'd definitely go with the Olympic seat mast decal over the chrome mast on those.


Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
I love the 1983 Schwinn catalog for the moody, serious dark backgrounds and cool fonts they used on their bikes. Frame colors were really cool as well. Both font and color were pretty unique to 1983 (1982 as well to an extent). I like the '70s fonts because it was so that era, but my favorite Schwinn era is the late '80s, especially with the banner-wide block font style of the Paramounts, Prologues, and Ontare models. That's "my" generation as an early Gen-Y guy.

FYI my '74 Paramount is back to "reality" with a 3x10 Dura-Ace setup (7800 generation STIs etc but with a 7400 "tripleized" crankset) and plenty of gear range. My '87 Prologue now sports Di2 electronic shifting and it's sublime. We've had people do tribute bikes using a different company's frame, an endeavor while completely legal, is one I grumble a bit on. But hey, I don't have to explain myself a million times to confused people, so it's not my problem!
1983 was a real "one-off" type year. Everything looked a little different, and that's got to be part of the mystique around the 1983 Superiors too. It's not like they were significantly different, but they're such a departure from the '81/82s - within the subset of a rather special, nostalgia-laden model to begin with - that they're a sight to see when they do show up.

I'm rather sorry to hear the Paramount is back to a conventional shifting setup. The build was a monument - not only to the possibility of EPS (or Di2) on a lugged steel classic, but a model for doing it neatly.

-Kurt
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Old 08-15-19, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
1983 was a real "one-off" type year. Everything looked a little different, and that's got to be part of the mystique around the 1983 Superiors too. It's not like they were significantly different, but they're such a departure from the '81/82s - within the subset of a rather special, nostalgia-laden model to begin with - that they're a sight to see when they do show up.

I'm rather sorry to hear the Paramount is back to a conventional shifting setup. The build was a monument - not only to the possibility of EPS (or Di2) on a lugged steel classic, but a model for doing it neatly.

-Kurt
If I could get an '83 Super Sport SP, that would be epic. There's an '83 Super Sport for sale for $325 in great shape, and ostensibly original minus the new tires etc. A great example of one that's made it well throughout the last 36 years and was given a good tune-up etc. And it's even in my size (25"/25.5").

Looking at that picture of the EPS Paramount (thank you for the compliments), I do miss that configuration. It rode and handled so well, and looked even cooler. Going 3x10 was/is part of the general consolidation effort of the fleet. I still have the necessary parts to recreate it, and am not opposed to doing so. At least with 3x10 in all-cable form, I can ride it without fear of not being able to shift at some point--I wanted a 100% rider.

The new 5-year-old battery I purchased for the Athena 11-speed system began to not hold a charge long and then wouldn't take a full charge because it 1) wasn't made under Shimano's purview 2) and thus wasn't charged at specified intervals during its tenure on the shelf for at least 3 years. From the scant forum posts regarding battery life, a Chorus V2 connects to the V1 battery/system and, at the time of that internet post, solved the battery life issue that the Athena systems had. The issue for me is not wanting to take a $260 gamble on the V2 possessing the same susceptibility as the Athena V1 battery, which was $190 new. I really want to talk to a Campagnolo expert, and maybe the company themselves, and get to the bottom of it as much as I can. So far I must be the biggest "expert" anywhere around here because I have personal experience and can use a web search with moderate ability...

The Di2 system on the Prologue works without a hitch, and the battery, at literally 5-7 years old, works fine/I trust it implicitly. Of course, when the battery worked, the Campagnolo system worked flawlessly--what a great system!
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Old 08-16-19, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Both of those fonts are before my time, but I love the air-conditioner/wet noodle font. Wouldn't you know, the one bike it wasn't used on...was the Paramount

Absolute power to you if you plan to go with the noodle scheme. It'd be really cool to see one of these '80s models done up with the early-1960's Superior decals - though I'd definitely go with the Olympic seat mast decal over the chrome mast on those.

1983 was a real "one-off" type year. Everything looked a little different, and that's got to be part of the mystique around the 1983 Superiors too. It's not like they were significantly different, but they're such a departure from the '81/82s - within the subset of a rather special, nostalgia-laden model to begin with - that they're a sight to see when they do show up.
You’re right on with the 1983 bikes. I think one of the coolest Paramount logos is the “starburst flag” logo- Like on the Edward Schwinn Paramount.

My father in law has a 92-ish Schwinn Criss Cross. I’ve toyed around with the idea of painting it Brewster Green and going all A/C font, Schwinn quality cross, and starbursts on it. Maybe throw on a ‘hat in the ring’ And conveniently leave off the “Criss Cross” name. The CC is a cool/nifty bike hampered by a crummy name and lower end components (and a unicrown fork); it would be a pretty slick bike. But not as cool as a Superior.

The Superior is a dominant bike and because it’s less well known- you can go bonkers on it and it’ll be just *slightly* more unique than a stock one!
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Old 08-16-19, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I would go a year or two earlier and paint it Pearl Orange. It's still close to original and I just plain like the color. My first Le Tour III was pearlescent orange and I've been a fan ever since.
Another big fan of pearl orange here. What a fantastic color!
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Old 08-16-19, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I would go a year or two earlier and paint it Pearl Orange. It's still close to original and I just plain like the color. My first Le Tour III was pearlescent orange and I've been a fan ever since.
Orange would certainly be the "closest to original" way to go.. would perk up the filed lugs also. KY boy living in TN for years now.. I am just SO sick of orange. Dumb, but there it is.

Black would also be an option since it looks like Schwinn warranty replacement frames were sometimes black?
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Old 08-18-19, 06:13 PM
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Brake pad wear, original tire tread, chainwheels, all look like this bike as seen very few miles. If the tinworm hadn't found the vent holes I'd be returning this one to dead stock.
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Old 08-18-19, 06:23 PM
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Seatpost is the only part I've cleaned up so far. Should have snapped a before pic. Alum against steel over enough time leaves a nasty ring of galvanic corrosion.. yech.

Hoping most bits & pieces shine up this nice.


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Old 08-18-19, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Danny S View Post
Brake pad wear, original tire tread, chainwheels, all look like this bike as seen very few miles. If the tinworm hadn't found the vent holes I'd be returning this one to dead stock.
Danny, that thing is as close to mint as one can hope to find on any average day.

Since it is an '83, I think I'll backpedal on what I've already said - this thing is way too nice to try doing-over; the chances of getting it as polished (pun not intended) as the original finish will be difficult unless you have a first-class bike painter around.

I'd say clean it up and leave it - or trade it off for something more along the lines of what you're looking for. Someone will be willing to trade their two back teeth and a fair number of appendages for it.

-Kurt
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Old 08-18-19, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Danny, that thing is as close to mint as one can hope to find on any average day.

Since it is an '83, I think I'll backpedal on what I've already said - this thing is way too nice to try doing-over; the chances of getting it as polished (pun not intended) as the original finish will be difficult unless you have a first-class bike painter around.

I'd say clean it up and leave it - or trade it off for something more along the lines of what you're looking for. Someone will be willing to trade their two back teeth and a fair number of appendages for it.

-Kurt
Schwinn tech back when "Schwinn School" meant learning how to dis & reassemble a Sturmey Archer 3-Spd coaster brake hub.. then a Machinist Mate on nuc subs.. little experience w/ powder coating motorcycle frames/wheels.. DIY zinc plating.. DIY anodizing in the garage.. painted half a dozen bike frames on my own.. way too much experience color sanding and buffing.

Not expert or talented.. just too cheap to pay somebody else. (facepalm)

Promise, I'll make this one better. Won't letcha down. Fresh paint, new decals, metal finished "as new" or with the mild patina a gentle salvaging leaves.. I'd like it to be as iconic as Pastor Bob's "Sporty"

:-)
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Old 08-18-19, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Danny S View Post
Schwinn tech back when "Schwinn School" meant learning how to dis & reassemble a Sturmey Archer 3-Spd coaster brake hub.. then a Machinist Mate on nuc subs.. little experience w/ powder coating motorcycle frames/wheels.. DIY zinc plating.. DIY anodizing in the garage.. painted half a dozen bike frames on my own.. way too much experience color sanding and buffing.

Not expert or talented.. just too cheap to pay somebody else. (facepalm)

Promise, I'll make this one better. Won't letcha down. Fresh paint, new decals, metal finished "as new" or with the mild patina a gentle salvaging leaves.. I'd like it to be as iconic as Pastor Bob's "Sporty"

:-)
Dude- if you went through Schwinn School, you know that the challenge was to disassemble a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed, S-A 3-speed with coaster brake, and a Shimano 3-speed with coaster brake, throw all the parts in a bucket and go out to lunch. Reassembly happened after lunch. Fun fun fun.

FWIW: I went to Schwinn School in 1980 and some of the skills have stayed with me.
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Old 08-19-19, 10:22 AM
  #25  
Danny S
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Refinished and anodized this crankset most recently. Not perfect, but pretty nice.

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