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I'm riding the Paramount ...(19 posts)

I'm riding the Paramount ...Humma Hah
Apr 13, 2003 10:21 AM
... and Gawd is it sweet! This is the first roadbike I've ever been on that was totally comfortable. Its actually more comfortable in the drops than on the hoods (I think I have the brakes mounted a little too low). I also believe this is the first roadbike I've ever been on that actually FITS me, particularly in top tube length.

It handles like a dream, particularly at speed. It tracks a line as nicely as the cruiser, and definitely has old-Schwinn handling, in spite of the ultra-short wheelbase. I find most modern roadbikes to be a bit twitchy, but this one is smooth as glass and almost reads my mind.

The weight came in at a sturdy 23 pounds, still around 20-pounds lighter than the cruiser. The Paramount's saddle is the one from the cruiser, and old Schwinn SoftSeat Plus, heavier than strictly proper, but comfortable. The cruiser, in exchange, got the Brooks B73, about 37.4 ounces of in-your-face chromed springs and cowhide that bumped it up to a riding weight of 44 pounds.

On the ride in to work today, the Paramount averaged 2.5 mph faster than the cruiser does on a good day.

I've got the SPD pedals on it at the moment. I like 'em and they work very naturally, a sure sign of good seat to pedal fit.

I even bought my first set of tights ... not only will the chainring eat my usual slacks worn for commuting, that short-coupled design will also suck pants cuffs into the spokes.
This was love at first sight ...Humma Hah
Apr 13, 2003 10:25 AM
... the headtube was the first thing about this bike to catch my eye. A classic Schwinn headbadge set between a pair of chromed Nervux lugs and what turned out to be a Campagnolo headset? What's not to like?

And silver's the color I always thought a bike should be.
And here's what set the hook ...Humma Hah
Apr 13, 2003 10:31 AM
... all the usual formulae said that I should be riding a 56 cm. This bike is a 56 cm. But there seemed to be something peculiar about the seatpost. The only straight tube on the cruiser is the seatpost. The only curved one on this rare short-coupled frame ...

You just know I HAD to have it. I paid more for it on e-bay than anyone else on the planet was willing to, with one sniping collector coming within $5 of my max bid. My biggest worry was that I would build it up and then discover that the fit was not good.

What a delight to discover it is spot-on PERFECT for me!
Absolutely beautiful. Great job Humma!Dave Hickey
Apr 13, 2003 1:05 PM
I like those cranks:-)
They're sweet, thanks ...Humma Hah
Apr 13, 2003 1:07 PM
... went on and gave me a perfect chainline with no problem!
She's sweet.look271
Apr 13, 2003 5:29 PM
Nice job.
Yummy stuff!Tig
Apr 16, 2003 6:16 PM
Like most of us, I grew up on Schwinn's and will always have a soft spot in my heart for the classics. You've done a wonderful job on this one! Very nice, and oh so original in a world of modern cookie cutter bikes.

You'd love my boss's collection of classic Schwinn's. He's a second generation LBS owner (3 shops total at present) and has several classics (some in excellent condition, some awaiting work) in his collection. Even the store manager at my store has a fully restored Orange Crate Stingray. ...Aaaahhhh!
The huge interest in Phantoms always fascinated me ...Humma Hah
Apr 17, 2003 6:01 AM
$2500 for that cherry bike actually sounds a tad cheap. Interesting that the '53 Phantom wreck (I'm that vintage) can still fetch $1100, while the '31 Excelsior (aka Autobike), is a grand less than the Phantom.

I paid $450 plus $50 shipping for the '74 Paramount's frame. Does have perfect chrome, flawless decals, and very good original paint. I wonder what such a frame from 1938 would go for?

Old Schwinns are GOLD!
re: I'm riding the Paramount ...moschika
Apr 13, 2003 11:50 AM
it's good to hear this dream finally come true for you Humma Hah. very sweet looking bike. looks you have set up as a singlespeed or fixey.
Exactly, ss or fixed ...Humma Hah
Apr 13, 2003 1:08 PM
... with a flip-flop hub, until I can make up my mind!
Nifty bike, but...peter1
Apr 13, 2003 6:09 PM
OK, I'll bite. Why is the seat angled downward? Is that a nod to the preferred track position (only possible for those under 30 or with a rubber spine!)?
Comfort ...Humma Hah
Apr 13, 2003 7:52 PM
... I've got a slight medical problem that makes me want to avoid pressure down there. I did the first ride down the alley with the seat level (the attitude I used on the cruiser), and as soon as I got into the drops, I knew it needed adjustment down. BTW, I'll turn 50 in a couple of months and my spine has a touch of arthritis. The seat is not all that high relative to the bars, compared to how some here ride.

This position rests my weight on my arse cheeks instead of my crotch. How you guys stand anything else is beyond me.

This saddle is padded like an overstuffed easy chair, and has a pair of springs in the rear, but it is a roadbike seat, not a cruiser seat. I've used it for years and it's my usual saddle for centuries and longer.
Comfort ...peter1
Apr 14, 2003 7:05 PM
Whatever works best for you. I find that a downturned saddle puts too much pressure on my ulnar nerves, and my hands get numb. But OTOH, if it's upturned too much, other things go numb.

Still, that curved seat tube is the greatest! Much cooler than the cut-outs that are the norm now.
I'm riding with a full toolkit for now ...Humma Hah
Apr 15, 2003 5:54 AM
I'm still in fine-tuning mode. The seatpost is creeping up a few mm per ride, and once I have that set the seat may level back out a tad. The handlebars will probably rotate up a little, too. Everything affects everything else, so I'm kinda sneaking up on it from the standpoint of comfy on short rides.
well done!tarwheel
Apr 14, 2003 5:44 AM
Congratulations. After riding the cruiser for so long, you'll be a speed demon on the Paramount. I know you like the silver color scheme. It looks great and the frame is really unique. Can you still buy the old Campy cable guides for frames without braze-ons?
I dunno ...Humma Hah
Apr 14, 2003 6:42 AM
... I'm sure I'll pick up some bits like cable guides over the years. It would be nice to eliminate the cable ties, but they're not so bad for now.

The bike has a few minor paint scars where various brackets were removed in a former life, including two on the top tube that carried a brake cable and possibly also a pump. All I really need is a few to guide the rear brake cable.

Purists would say, once I switch it to fixed, that I could eliminate the rear brake and cable. Which leaves one minor problem ... without a rear brake, what would I do for a hood to rest on on one side? I think I'll retain the rear brake.
beautiful! nmLeroy
Apr 14, 2003 1:43 PM
Apr 15, 2003 2:50 PM
Thanks for the pics, that's one interesting, great-looking bike you have. Glad it fits you so well, may you have many happy miles on it!

Any special reason for putting the Specialized tires on backwards?

If you ever have to ride it with long pants on, just put a rubber band around the cuff. I do that while riding my mt bike around campus with jeans on, and have never once had a problem of ripping them or getting them dirty.

Have fun!

I have pants-leg straps, but ...Humma Hah
Apr 15, 2003 3:56 PM
... you have to do it to both pants legs on this bike. Very freddish-looking. I don't mind doing it on the MTB when commuting on it, but this bike is just too stylish for that.

The rear wheel is a flip-flop, and will probably be reversed to the fixed-gear side within the week. The oversized tire (32mm) is a temporary measure until I de-cruiser my riding habits.

The front wheel is a work in progress, and will probably have the 27" rim and old spokes replaced with a 700c rim soon. The front hub is a high-flange Campagnolo. Frankly, I didn't pay much attention when I mounted it.