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Wanna help me build up the Paramount?(6 posts)

Wanna help me build up the Paramount?Humma Hah
Jun 18, 2002 2:02 PM
The '74 Paramount arrived in good shape. Couple of chips in the paint, otherwise it is nearly perfect, even the decals. The decals are SO good, in fact, I gotta wonder if somebody like CyclArt replaced them (the UPS facility where the bike was shipped was in San Marcos). The paint under them is undamaged, so maybe they're actually original?

The frame, with Campy headset, forks, and a Shimano BB bearing and spindle, tips the digital scale at 3.667 kg, a fair amount of that flawless chrome. Not bad, guess lighter is available, but its so much lighter than the cruiser I'll have to keep looking down to see if I've still got a bike under me.

Should I keep it?

I took it down to my LBS to show it off and start picking parts for it. Dropout spacing is 120 mm, typical of the 70's. They'll build me a new rear wheel, we're thinking 32-spoke, aluminum clincher rims (700 c seems to fit fine, with room for 28 mm tires). I'm considering a new Surly flip-flop hub. I'll find something compatible for the front once the rear is taken care of.

I could use some help in the BB/crank department. I'd like to go vintage Campy there, a track crankset with 170 mm cranks or a little smaller). The shell seems to be 68 mm diameter, and the spindle presently in it is 112 mm. If I can't find vintage Campy to fit, new will have to do.

The seat tube looks to fit about a 26 mm seatpost, but I'd love to hear if anyone knows the correct size. I'm probably going to need something that allows quite a bit of adjustment. Anyone know what fits and want to suggest something I can tweak for comfort?

Seat: I think this bike rates a Brooks, although it could probably stand a bargain-bin saddle for the first few weeks. Something comfy for long road rides, and darn the weight. The cruiser has a seat with springs, which I love. Any recommendations?

Stem and bars I'm not initially picky about. I'll get something cheap that works as a starting point, try it out, and have some idea which way to go to work out the fit issues.

Uh ... brakes ... I dunno, never have owned any good ones. The frame won't accept modern brakes, so I'm guessing calipers, probably center-pulls, or if there's nothing to anchor the cable to, side-pulls. Brand? Levers? Cables (all external)?
re: Wanna help me build up the Paramount?Walter
Jun 18, 2002 8:11 PM
I ran to Sheldon Brown to look at his seatpost data base but didn't find definitive answers. A 90s Paramount and Waterfords use a 27.4. I'd be surprised if a bike your vintage uses anything bigger than a 27.2 and your guess of 26 may well be right.

You'll need "long reach" brakes. Alot of them on eBay and Shimano has some modern dual pivots in long reach. They require some mods to mount them on an older bike though. Again check out SB. Follow his links to brakes and go from there. Brakes are one area where I'll forsake my retro urges. "Correct" brakes would be older Campy NR. They'll bolt right in. The older ones attach to frame or forks with nuts, not recessed allen heads. Those are what you want. Use stainless cables and Kool Stop pads and you'll be ok. If you're fixed only a rear brake is not necessary as the rear wheel will unweight when stopping a fixie, even with the assistance of a front brake. If you go fixed/free on a flip flop then you'll want both brakes.

Campy Pista is the instinctive crank choice and don't go over 170mm. Pricey though. You can get a more common Campy crank and just mount a single chainwheel. Mount it on the inside of the spider to help with getting a straight chainline. Fixies have little tolerance for angled chainlines and a chain coming off a gear just about guarantees a crash. Your 120mm DOs will make the chainline pretty easy though.
If this helps any , I just had my 73 Schwinn ...Djudd
Jun 18, 2002 9:00 PM
seat post sized it is a 26.6. Check "" lots of good track stuff and a Balto. shop Marathon Express is very good with fixie items. There is a mechanic named Pinky at the Pro Shop in Georgetown that is great for advise.
Definitely High Flange Hubs....rwbadley
Jun 19, 2002 10:11 PM
You can find some nice Campy high flange track hubs or wheels on e-bay. I am using a set, but the rear is not track hub, I just spun on a 17, and remember not to track skid with it.

You will need a long reach brake, you probably could just use the single front, skip the rear. I'll try to get a photo of my fixie up in a day or two. It's a late sixties French frame that I am still not sure of the mfr. I believe it may have been an MBK team bike. Maybe one of you will recognize it.

You really have a lot of options on this, as the bar and brake combination can be set up any way you like. You really don't need to limit yourself to drop bars.

What fun! I love building up a new bike!
Jun 19, 2002 1:34 AM
firstly its your bike so however you build it is fine and correct...but since your asking for opinions....

regarding hubs....if you can stretch the budget to phil hubs then they will be somewhat more aesthetically pleasing....or perhaps a campy high flange front road hub and a whatever flip flop rear...this way should you build a rear wheel for a freewheel later on its just a metter of building it on a campy rear hub and youll still yhave a matching set.

cranks: a campy track crankset will cost some fair coin....also most track cranks of that era or certainly just before used a 151bcd chainring with a smallest possible tooth of 44T. having sold a few of these track chainrings recently i can vouch for how expensive a newchainring in a smaller size to fit will be. come replacement time youll even be wary of paying $100+ for a 48 tooth pista ring to fit. a pista crankset will also be considerable cost later on should you think of truning it into a road crankset - whilst now you are definate on building as a fixed/free dont discount that at sometime you may change your mind. for that reason i would suggest using a road crankset with one chainring - a lot better than having to dish out a new bottom bracket, cranks and chainrings, and chain later on. fitting the smaller ring on the outer side should still give a good chainline with modern flip/flop hubs (roughly 42mm). new bottom brackets are pricey, forget about a titanium spindle.....phil wood also make a bottom brakcet with the special offset for NR/SR cranks.
i also think your bb may not be wide enough for using campy cranks but ill check.

my guess is that the seat post diameter needed is a 26.6 or 26.8 - a unqualified hunch tells me 26.8 but using a smaller 26.6 is pretty cool and close enough to pass. i know of a few options (new $10 or $20) in the 26.6 size that could suit - so just holler. or you can also get a new simplex for about $30 - it looks the part and is better for adjustment than a nuovo record item (as well as a lot cheaper. unless its pristine (read pricey) dont bother with a crappy seat post.

saddle - many options but a brooks would look nice. ill know in a week or so what saddles i have left over from fixing and rebuilding my mates rides and if you need a rider ill let you know.

i wouldn't waste time or money later on just for authenticity - nitto make them new and are great for the price - more importantly they look the part. a few different sources for these as well.

bearing in mind that you will be using 700c wheels you will need medium to long reach brakes. im also with the school of thought that using modern brakes is vital as i ride in traffic and feel better about the slightly better stopping power. howerver they look ugly. this could be an area that woll cost more than you maybe prepared to spend as older brakes in the style needed (centre pull or caliper) that are in top condition or new will cost. new calipers by shimano and older style levers maybe the way to go. before you decide let us know and we can all hunt for better prices for you. with regards to brakes for a fixed/free get both front and back as its cheaper than adding one later.

but its your bike - take your time and think it through. building a few bikes i realised its much better to start it the way you want it as swapping and upgrading actually costs more than it first seems.

hope to be of help.
I might have a coupla tidbits....Kurt H
Jun 19, 2002 1:18 PM
Drop me a line at the address below. I may have a couple of parts that will fit the bill.
Kurt H.