Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1992 Schwinn Paramount Series 3 OS

Paramount. A name revered in Schwinn history. 

Introduced in 1938, the Paramount bicycle lived up to it's name. Here's a link to the complete history written by Waterford bikes, the proud builder of most of the Paramount's. 

By the early 90's Schwinn's fortunes had changed as well as the competition and this called for a new strategy. The bike was still designed in this country, but the manufacturing was moved to Japan in order to be price competitive.

To some, this spelled the end of the Paramount of legends. While this may be, the Japanese made Paramount's were still very formidable bikes in their own right. Marc Muller, partner in Waterford Precision Cycles, who designed and built previous Paramount's, had this to say:

"National/Panasonic were willing and eager partners in this project. I spent a lot of time in their plant, and they at our corporate headquarters, overseeing the smallest details to assure the bikes were worthy of the name. While some of us had reservations about the use of the name, after spending the 80's building up the Schwinn/Paramount/PDG brand, once the decision was made to use the name everyone was on board to make the finest possible bikes at their price point. Are they Waterford Paramounts? No. Are they excellent bicycles? You bet! Don't listen to the bashers, you'll drive yourself crazy!" 
I came across this bike through someone who knew someone. It had been purchased for this someone's wife so that the two of them could ride together. Apparently, she never quite took to it and so after several rides it was put away until now.

Here is the original catalog page from the 1992 catalog:

1992 Specifications
Paramount catalog page

When I received the bike the tires were missing and the drop bars were replaced with more upright bars that I assume were to encourage the wife to give it a try. The original drive train was all Shimano RX100, however, the brakes and shifters had been replaced to make this sort of a hybrid Paramount.

On the work stand ready to be worked on

Replacement handlebars with grip shifters

One thing with this bike is that it's clear that didn't want you to forget that it's a Paramount. The name appears on each seat stay, each fork blade, the down tube, the water bottle bracket, and the chain stay. Addtionally, there were the usual stickers, etc. that seem to adorn most bikes. (See below)

Sticker on fork blades

Identifier on seat tube

Top Tube

Logo on Head Tube

Hopefully, you've figured out that you can click on these pictures and see a larger view. In fact, most will provide an even larger view when you click the second time. If you click on the logo photo you'll get a good look at the paint on this bike. It is a medium metallic blue with a red spatter finished with clear coat. At first glance, it looks beat up, but once it is out doors it's really amazing. Also, because this bike had so little use, I've been unable to find one scratch or paint chip - not one!

Here a few photos of the bike after been put through my normal cleaning process - tear apart, polish and wax frame, clean and lube all parts, polish all chrome, and reassemble and fine tune.

Non-drive side - note internal cabling on top tube

Riders viewpoint

This reminds me of a bull charging!

Standard bike pose

Note the size of the frame. It is 49 cm, the smallest for the Paramount. I acquired this bike with my daughter, Audrey, in mind. She's run a number of half marathon's this year and I think would be competitive in duathalon's as well with some training. Here husband, James, just bought a nice road bike so once I get this shipped out to her they can ride together.

According to the specifications, this bike weighs 22.5 pounds. Most steel bikes produced today, especially in the price range where this would compete, are at least as heavy if not heavier. Don't let anybody tell you this isn't a great bike!

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