[CR]Re: 58 Paramount parts

(Example: Production Builders:Pogliaghi)

From: <InchPitch@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 18:27:21 EDT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: 58 Paramount parts


So you ended up with this one? I bid on it, but really only wanted the stem and the SCHWINN Paramount headset.

You're pretty much right on with what components you think should be on this bike. First of all, if Richard didn't tell you, this is an Oscar Wastyn built Paramount. (Check the rear dropouts, you'll find that the ends of the chain and seat stays are filed to a point. This is an Oscar Wastyn trademark. In approximately 1961, SCHWINN tired of the world knowing that their premier bike was built by someone else and moved the frame construction in-house. At this point, the chain and seat stay ends were filed to a nice round shape.) (I can send pics of both if you'd like.)

Serial # 915 indeed seems to be about 1958, but records are sketchy for this time period. By 1959, serial numbering sequences had changed to an alphabetical letter followed by two numerical digits. A10-A99, B10-B99, etc. So it is certain that your frame predates this.

As for components, much that is on the bike is correct and rare, much is very wrong. The Paramount headset is correct and very rare. By 1960, SCHWINN had substituted CAMPAGNOLO as standard equipment. The beautiful and rare SCHWINN Paramount double adjustable stem, I suppose, could have been a special order piece, but I've never seen one on a road bike. It certainly wasn't standard. I can't tell from the photo, but do the bars have a center sleeve engraved, "M. Kint/A. Schotte," on the left, and, "S. Maes/V. Steenbergen," on the right? If so, they are TITAN brand bars, made in Belgium. TITAN bars and stem were standard in 1960, (And were until the switch to CINELLI.) and probably were in 1958.

The chrome seat post should be engraved with the SCHWINN script logo. If not, it is not the correct Paramount seat post. Saddle is wrong, it should be a BROOKS B-17. Paramounts came with B-17 saddles from the inception in 1938 til, I think 1962, when the UNICA-NITOR plastic saddle was offered as an option.

The cranks are wrong, wrong, wrong. They should be STRONGLIGHT 3-pin, steel cottered with  47-50, or 49-52 chainrings. The CAMPAGNOLO Gran Sport front derailleur would only handle a 3 tooth jump. Early CAMPAGNOLO 151 cranks might have been an option, but it is doubtful, as they were only introduced in 1958. And, as you suggested, if you could find a set, would cost a bundle. The STRONGLIGHT steel cranks are readily available at a modest price. Check with John Barron at VELOSTUF, <A HREF="www.velostuf.com"> http://www.velostuf.com</A>. Pedals should be LYOTARD "Berthet" platform pedals. They continued as standard pedals on both the road and track Paramounts through the 60's.

The brakes should be nothing else but a set of WEINMANN 999. As you suggest, the early models with the embossed lettering. The levers should not have the built in quick release. QR's at this time were mounted on the headset and seatlug cable-hanger. WEINMANN 999 were still the standard brake as late as 1973, with CAMPAGNOLO as a $50.00, extra-cost option. BTW, on these early frames, SCHWINN used the long-reach "750" brakes. They do occasionally show up on eBay.

I find the hubs suspicious. CAMPAGNOLO had not introduced the round-hole Gran Sport hubs at this time. They should be the large flange oval-hole hubs. To be absolutely correct, these should be the early versions that are not marked, "Record."

Rims should be WEINMANN. Cluster should be a REGINA 14-24 5-speed, and chain should be REGINA.

I think that's about it. Are there no decals on the seat tube? There should be the SCHWINN "Hat-In-The-Ring" decal approximately centered on the seat tube. And, most probably, a SCHWINN "Quality" red and gold decal at the top of the seat tube. Also, and this gets "iffy," as the exact date of the changeover from chrome-moly to REYNOLDS 531 tubing is hard to pin down, there should (might?) be a round gold and black AS Chrome Moly decal at the bottom of the seat tube. If the frame is REYNOLDS, this decal would have been omitted. By 1960, the REYNOLDS 531 decal had found its way to the top of the seat tube.

If you would like, I can send photos of my 1960 road Paramount and my 1962 track Paramount, (my actual bike!) to illustrate some of the differences in frame construction from Oscar Wastyn built frames to the in-house built frames. I can also scan the 1960 catalog pages and send them to you, if you like. The graphics had changed, but the bike, with the exception of the CAMPAGNOLO headset, was the same.

Oh yes, re: the serial number. I'm not sure when they started doing this, but most bikes of this era also have the serial number stamped on the steering tube. This, of course, was to insure that the frame and its specific fork traveled through the construction process together. Of course, you can't see it without removing the forks, but if you ever have them off, look and see if its there.

You've got a great basis for a restoration project. And fortunately, most of the hardest to find parts are still there. ENJOY!

Hope this helps,

Bill Curtis