Mike B’s on the Road
Life Beyond 75
We’ve sold out the 75th Paramounts and are building the final handful, yet interest continues in the Paramaounts built by Waterford. We’ve put in place the post-75th Paramounts. They still have stainless steel custom lugs and come made to measure. For more information, visit: schwinnparamount.net.
July Factory Ride
Come Join us for our July Factory Ride with the KR Bike Club and Chicago Cycling Club as we head up to Eagle and back. This ride will be on the hilly side through some of the loveliest terrain arround. Factory tour at 8am. We roll at 8:45. For more information, visit waterforbikes.com.
Let the Pageant Begin
Paramount 75th Pageant
For the past couple of months we’ve been building, shooting and shipping a number of the 75th’s. Let’s take a look at some of the frames going out the door:
|This Paramount Air 75th is dubbed the “Swiss Miss”. If you’ve been following our Facebook page, you’ve seen that this bike has been on the road in Switzerland (which didn’t have quite the winter we had).|
|This masterpiece, for Jeff in the Chicago area, features one of the most popular colors in Waterford history, Blue Flame, itself a variation on Schwinn’s famous Sky Blue of the 1960′s.|
|This Paramount Air/Stainless shows off Waterford’s take on Schwinn’s Radiant Coppertone, one of the coolest stylings of Paramount’s first golden era. Also, note the stay tip masking.|
|Black is indeed beautiful and never out of style, as shown here with Joe W’s stealth frame.|
Old News but Good News
By now many people following the 75th project have seen a photo or two of the bike we affectionately call Number 1. It goes to one of our closest customers, Bob F., who will add it to his already extensive collection of Paramounts, Waterfords, and other fine bikes.
|Peter DiAntoni shot the frame some weeks back and included in the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation’s Fall magazine issue which you can order from their on-line store. Peter is also editor of Milwaukee-based COG Magazine. He plans a feature on Number 1 in an upcoming issue.|
In the mean time, our friends at Schwinn spirited Number 1 to their Madison headquarters, which sports a nice photo studio with equally nice photographers. They put together some nice work showing Number 1, built up and ready to serve its owner. Click the photo below to visit our Flickr page showing lots of photos from the very start of the project:
Number 1 made an appearance at the Philly Bike Show as well, where champion road racer turned promoter Jack Simes III shared his story and aspirations at our continuing series of Paramount History Seminars.
Happily, Number 1 is now in the rider’s hands. The weather here in the Midwest has been a bit brisk for Bob’s taste, but I’m sure he’ll be on it as soon as he can.
Stay tuned for photos of more 75th Anniversary Paramounts as we complete them.
Ready for Prime Time
|With Bob’s frame and fork complete, it’s time to put it all together with a Shimano Dura-Ace DI 2 drivetrain and Dura-Ace brakes and levers. Adam Kerr, one of our builders, also works as the stud mechankc at one of our area bike shops, Antioch Schwinn Cyclery, where be brought it in for assembly. Here’s Bob’s bike, just about built, in the workstand.|
|Here’s a close-up of the DI2 rear derailleur. You can see the stainless steel wiring ports coming out of the chainstays. On the dropout, you can see the distinctive Paramount compass points.|
|The Paramount 75th seat cluster includes the flat cap stay tip with Paramount compass points engraved on them. Below is the completed bike, show with pride in the shop.|
Quiet but Busy
The quiet was caused by the week we spent in Las Vegas for Interbike, the bicycle industry’s annual trade show. We commuted to the show every day by bike, but, outside of direct show activities, stayed off the strip the entire time. Peter DiAntoni, famed photographer and publisher of Cog Magazine graced our humble factory on Friday to shoot this bike. It will show up in the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation’s magazine and who knows where else. He’ll make an already beautiful bike even prettier.
Brazing Up Bike Number 1
Our torches have finally started transforming tubes, lugs and other bits into the first of 25 75th Anniversary Paramounts. The lugs had been fabricated weeks ago (each lugset is individually crafted for each order). Shown below are some of the features of this project bike:
|Here are the headlugs brazed up and ready for polish. You can see the nice little side points plus the Paramount compass points in the rear view. On the front, you can see the Nervex flourish on the top and bottom front center of the lug. Click to see a higher res photo.|
|The seat cluster has side-tack stays with the classic Paramount flat caps. With few minor exceptions, the flat caps have been a Paramount standard going all the way back to 1938. This time we engraved compass points on the flat cap.|
|The 75th’s will sport our specially created Artisan stainless steel dropouts. They include the Paramount compass points (oriented square on the built-up frame).|
Number 1 went to our polisher today. More on this later in the week.
75th Decals and Styling
|So how will the styling come together? This time around, we’re borrowing heavily from the classic 60′s styling. You will see a seat tube panel complete with world champ stripes and a modernized down tube decal with the Schwinn starburst.|
To complete the effect we re-released the original Schwinn Paramount headbadge. We proudly proclaim both Schwinn and Paramount, but without the billboard look. Click on the image above to see the styling page.
|The decals finally arrived! Here they are in the bag.|
The 75th Headbadge
|Our philosophy is not just to pay homage to the past, but use the past to define advances that will hopefully make this edition as memorable as the original. On the surface, our headbadge looks like an exception to that rule. We actually went back to the original design introduced in 1938, a simple round badge with the iconic Paramount compass points. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. You can see a comparison of the old vs. the new badges here. If you look closely, you’ll be able to figure out which one is which.|
We are fortunate that the company that had built those badges prior to WWII is still in business and still thriving as a family owned manufacturer in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Metallics Inc. President Doug Dale was able to dig through his old tooling to help us get going. In 1988 the Paramount headbadge tooling had been converted to making “Schwinn Quality” badges. So we started with this and transitioned it back to producing Paramount badges.
A couple of things are new about the badges. One is the crisper compass points. The second is that it is made out of stainless steel instead of plated brass.
More importantly, it’s a reminder of a mark that to this day stands the test of time. We are proud to make it a part of the Paramount once more.