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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:03 am 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:18 pm
Posts: 2373
Location: California
For the fifth look into the Bicycle Garage i offer a 1974 Schwinn Paramount P-13 9 professional road racing bicycle.

I am very sentimental about the Schwinn Paramount, it is the quintessential American racing bicycle going back to the early 20th century. It is not well known but bike racing, in particular the brutal 6-day races, were bigger than baseball in the 1890s and 1900s. New York's Madison Square Garden was so named because of the madison races and Schwinn was there.

This bike frame is the culmination of years of development by the elite Schwinn lightweight team that made the Paramount at the Chicago factory from about 1959 until production was moved to Waterford in the early 1980s. By 1974 the Paramount was a sleek modern machine with a touch of the old world in the chromed Nervex lugs. The Paramount, like the Raleigh Professional, was the choice of amateur and professional racers alike and as a result Schwinn sold thousands of them. All Chicago Paramounts are collectible but this one is special because it is painted the rare and desired coppertone. The color was not popular at the time but since then it has taken on a cult like following. A Sting-Ray in coppertone will fetch hundreds of dollars more than a similar bike with a common paint. And the paint on this Paramount is almost flawless and absolutely original. The decals are another matter as the original owner chose not to have the Schwinn name on the down tube but just the Paramount. Still this is how the bike came to me and so it will stay. A sad story, the largest flaw to this bike was made by me! After I built it up (yes it is complete now) I took it out for a spin but did not affix the rear wheel properly and made a huge burn on the inside of the chain stay. Doh, I hate that.


One last note of historical interest, many Paramounts made at the Chicago factory were brazed by women. Schwinn employed two women as frame builders which, if I am not mistaken is somewhat unprecedented.


enjoy the pics


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74 Paramount 1 web.jpg
74 Paramount 1 web.jpg [ 166.17 KiB | Viewed 332 times ]
74 Paramount 4 web.jpg
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74 Paramount 5 web.jpg
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74 Paramount 7 web.jpg
74 Paramount 7 web.jpg [ 115.92 KiB | Viewed 332 times ]
74 Paramount 8 web.jpg
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:16 pm
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Location: NOTTINGHAM
Very very nice Indeed, the lustre is extremely appealing and although not one of my favoured colours, it works really well in this example. Be interested to see the completed bike. Good spot of history there to in regard to Madison Square Garden.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 343
Gorgeous frame. Super iconic in the States. But I'm a little surprised by the rear brake cable stops under the top tube. That type of braze-on normally only appeared much later I thought. The Paramounts back in the early 1970s had three braze-ons on the top of the top tube, and the rear brake cable outer was run complete from the brake lever all the way to the rear brake caliper. Any ideas about that?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:45 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Location: California
Good observation American Friend, when I first saw this frame I thought that it was in fact an older bike. A quick look the 74 catalog confirms that they are standard but on the P15 touring model. Since most Paramounts were custom ordered (I have an original order form) Schwinn would let buyers choose their own configurations so this may explain the discrepancy.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:08 am 
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 9:15 pm
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Oh, you're right. Really nice frame you've got there. I lusted after a new Paramount track bike in the late 1960s to race at Kissena but could only afford a secondhand Jack Taylor... :D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8247
Location: Cumbria
Rear stays don't get much thinner than that :) very Mercian like :)

The TT cable braze on's are to correct date, just needed to use callipers which pulled at the left side on the rear like Campag........no cheap Weinmann's LOL

Shaun


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