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NOS Paramount find!

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NOS Paramount find!

Old 02-20-22, 05:19 PM
  #1  
motochick
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NOS Paramount find!

Yesterday, I drove two hours each way to buy my husband a 1985 Centurion Elite RS (because it has nearly the same paint job as my '86 Ironman, matching bikes are cool) but I somehow ended up with two bikes. This NOS 1991 Schwinn Paramount Series 5 just jumped into the back of my truck! Seriously though, this bike looks like it just came off the showroom floor, cause it pretty much did. A hoarder guy passed away and this was one of many NOS bikes he had. I know these bikes get a bad rap for not being the real deal, but the craftsmanship on this Japanese built beauty is top notch. (too bad about the 105 components) My husband will modify it to make it suitable for our riding area and he will ride this bike until he can't make circles anymore...and the Centurion too! These pics are right after bring it home



1991 Paramount PDG Series 5 NOS

The sprockets have NOT been cleaned!

Top tier tubing, top tier Japanese builders

Gotta love the safety sticker

The cassette has NOT been cleaned

Last edited by motochick; 02-20-22 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 02-20-22, 05:38 PM
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Wow! And with Nervex looking lugs! I like.
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Old 02-20-22, 05:38 PM
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That's nice. It looks never ridden. Why do you say "too bad about the 105 components"?
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Old 02-20-22, 05:46 PM
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And no splatter paint...
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Old 02-20-22, 05:46 PM
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What a find! These may be your pre-cleaning pics but I can’t imagine it could look any better post cleaning. It’s beautiful. I’ve ridden a couple of PDG series Paramounts as well as some others from the 70s, they are all fun riders. I’m sure your husband will love it. Any idea what type of build he’ll go for. As you obviously know, the 105 components are not high end but they are still pretty nice.
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Old 02-20-22, 05:53 PM
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Nice find. Count me as one who would consider these BETTER than the Waterford Paramounts. Kept mine and sold my Waterford Paramount years ago.
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Old 02-20-22, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Hobbiano View Post
That's nice. It looks never ridden. Why do you say "too bad about the 105 components"?
A frame of this caliber should be running 600 since this was the second to the top in the Paramount line. The Series 7 should have had Dura Ace, the 105 just kinda cheapens it, IMO. And I cannot see any evidence this was ridden, as were many of the other bikes from that estate. Some were still in their original boxes. He also had boxes of brand new Schwinn brochures.
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Old 02-20-22, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
Any idea what type of build he’ll go for.
I know exactly what he is going to do with it as I am working on it as we speak. We live in a mountain area with rough roads so this will have a triple crankset, Shimano 10sp rear, and 650b x 38mm tires. He is keeping some of the 105 stuff on it as long as it works with the new setup. We both really love old, lugged steel frames but we also really love riding them so all of our bikes have this mod. (expect my two Treks that run 700c x 35mm, same idea tho) We keep all of the original parts but to be honest, we buy forever bikes, so our bikes will get ridden until we physically can't anymore.
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Old 02-20-22, 07:08 PM
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My PDG5 has full 105 on it. It is a stiff frame, and as such likes cushy tires for a smoother ride on those rough roads. Sounds like you've got that covered.
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Old 02-20-22, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by motochick View Post
A frame of this caliber should be running 600 since this was the second to the top in the Paramount line. The Series 7 should have had Dura Ace, the 105 just kinda cheapens it, IMO. And I cannot see any evidence this was ridden, as were many of the other bikes from that estate. Some were still in their original boxes. He also had boxes of brand new Schwinn brochures.
When these came out, the yen was climbing vs. the dollar faster than you could track it.

Stores in Japan that catered to US customers were putting the exchange rate in the window 2-3 times a day.

That is why the drop in levels from DA being the top tier. I had a Series 7 and it was good as the 3 “purist” Paramounts I’ve had, if not better.

Note: the Series 7 came in 700c and 650c, with the chain rings on the 650c being 54/42.
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Old 02-20-22, 07:36 PM
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Nice. Best of the overseas PDG paint jobs I think. And actually that series of 105 is basically 600 tricolor with a different finish- same performance, same long user life, same great shifting.
Plan for the rebuild sounds great, should make it easier to ride up steep hills.
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Old 02-20-22, 08:27 PM
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WOW!! That thing is amazing! I would be afraid to ride it.
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Old 02-21-22, 05:25 AM
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Nice bike. Welcome to the Club!


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Old 02-21-22, 05:48 AM
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That 105 group was the best of the 105 groups, IMHO...and I love the previous one as well which came on my Crest Cannondale...
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Old 02-21-22, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
When these came out, the yen was climbing vs. the dollar faster than you could track it.

Stores in Japan that catered to US customers were putting the exchange rate in the window 2-3 times a day.

That is why the drop in levels from DA being the top tier. I had a Series 7 and it was good as the 3 “purist” Paramounts I’ve had, if not better.

Note: the Series 7 came in 700c and 650c, with the chain rings on the 650c being 54/42.
It's unfortunate that Schwinn also spec'd a lower level of workmanship standards.
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Old 02-21-22, 07:10 AM
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Beautiful find, what a time machine. Although I, too, don't understand why 105 has fallen out of fashion all of a sudden. It is great stuff, particularly that era, and was pretty high-level spec in the day (still is!)
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Old 02-21-22, 07:50 AM
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The workmanship on my frame looks great to me and the 105 components are flawless.
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Old 02-21-22, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
It's unfortunate that Schwinn also spec'd a lower level of workmanship standards.
I'd like to see those spec sheets, both pre-Series and during, then after.
While it would not surprise me, I'd sure like to see it in Schwinn's writing.
It would add to the knowledge base, for sure.
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Old 02-21-22, 01:52 PM
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Last night we scoured through our parts bin, stole parts from three different bikes, ran mismatched tires, and my wife installed used and smelly bar tape for me to be able to ride this morning before a four day storm comes in. The bike feels amazing and I can’t wait to get all of the parts I’m going to use permanently.



First ride
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Old 02-21-22, 01:58 PM
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Spectacular! Nice find!
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Old 02-21-22, 02:55 PM
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Nice find enjoy! Have a 92 Series 5, ( purple spatter) but the frame was a bit small, even though the largest made. So, found a 91 OS Waterford Paramount frame in a larger size and traded parts. Cannot really address the ride quality cause the Waterford frame fits way better, but the quality of paint, fit and finish was way better on the Panasonic version.
Rebuilding the Series 5 for my son-in-law, using the 1055 105 components, but the purple splatter will be history, I’ll post a pic when it’s done.
Tim



1992 Series5 Paramount


1991 Waterford OS Paramount

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Old 02-21-22, 03:15 PM
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Nice going! I bought a NOS Centurion Elite RS and I think it was a 1984 or 1985. It was blue and had Cyclone derailleurs and Gran Come anodized brakes , levers, and rims that looked like a dark bronze. I paid 100 for it and had to put new tires on it as the originals were rotted. I rode it for a year and loved that bike. A guy bought it from me because I really wanted a Raleigh Competition GS that came up for sale in new condition. He gave me 300 without pause and was happy to have it . They are great bikes !

I sold it about 6 years ago but think about it every now and then.
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Old 02-21-22, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
I'd like to see those spec sheets, both pre-Series and during, then after.
While it would not surprise me, I'd sure like to see it in Schwinn's writing.
It would add to the knowledge base, for sure.
You don't need to see the spec sheets. All you have to do if compare pictures of Waterford built Paramounts with those of the subject bicycle. For instance, if you look at the junction of the rear dropouts and stays, the subject bicycle exhibits clear lines of demarcation betwee the dropouts and stays. You can see the slots cut into the stays that the dropouts plug into before they are brazed. Had this been a Waterford built Paramount, you would not be able tell where the droputs stopped and the stays started. They would look like they are one piece.

Now, this is not to say that the workmanship on these joints are poor. They are tidy and perfectly functional but built to a lower standard. They are quality, joints typical of mid-range, mass production, bicycles but not the high grade joints of a Waterford build. The difference is primarily cosmetic but these are types of details that you paid for on a high grade bicycle of the era. Schwinn was not willing to pay for the extra time and labour that it takes to fill and file these joints so they look seamless. It's one of the cost concessions that the Paramount Design Group approved to be able to offer a Paramount in the targeted sub-$1000 market.


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Old 02-21-22, 07:12 PM
  #24  
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Can't argue with T-Mar on the build appearance as I noticed the same things between my 1987 Waterford Paramount and my PDG Paramount. The other thing I can't argue about though is how the PDG was always faster on the same route than the Waterford. I really wanted to like my Waterford and it was a beautiful bike, serial #1 for 1987 and had even been back in later years to the factory to get realigned and repainted. But it was just always slower than the PDG even though the Waterford also had what would be considered a better build on it and about a 4 lb weight advantage over the PDG. It just couldn't produce the same speed for whatever reason. Heck the heavy old PDG has posted some of my best climbing segments on local climbs despite running a 42T small chainring. It just seems really good at putting my meager power into forward motion.


The Waterford in it's lightest configuration. Tried several different wheel/tire combo's trying to get more speed out of it.

This is just the better of the two in my opinion and experience. It's been through various changes too, this is the current setup.
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Old 02-21-22, 10:03 PM
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It looks like we had enough spare parts in shiny silver lying around to do it up right, sorry about the mismatched tires. We still aren't sure what color water bottle cages to get but these were in a box and they hold the bottles so for now they stay. It's a bummer we can't ride for the next 4 days do to incoming snow, but that's what ski bikes are for!!




650b conversion, triple, shimano 10sp

Pretty, shiny

10sp with style

More shiny parts
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