Dave’s Paramount makeover and more

I’ll give you the background to this restoration as accurately as I can. In 1966, Dave bought a new, white, 24″ Schwinn Paramount (serial E605, 5th frame built in May 1966). It was gorgeous and he rode it very little because it didn’t really fit him. I blame the bike shop salesperson for that. Soon after the purchase, the bike was put into storage and didn’t see the light of day for 40+ years. In January of this year, our shop acquired an orange 22″ Schwinn Paramount (serial F631, 31st frame built in June 1966) from our friend Bob. Dave came to our shop with hopes of altering his original frame but then saw the orange Paramount that was his size. It was decided that the orange frame and fork would be restored to be the white Paramount that would fit him like a glove. Some changes needed to be made though: the frame needed chromed head lugs, the seat stay bridge needed to be moved for 700c medium reach brakes, the fork also had to be filled and redrilled for 700c medium reach brakes, and water bottle bosses needed to be added. So after many weeks of waiting for the chrome plater, I was recently able to complete this frame. Special thanks to Bob for aligning the planets for Dave and to Peter Weigle (who recently did a similar restoration/renovation) for tips on lug lining and antiquing the clearcoat. I have another one coming up as well so check back here soon (see the blue Paramount in the last pic).

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I was also busy in the shop doing other repaints and repairs including a dropout replacement on a carbon, aluminum and steel Lemond Zurich. Not the easiest of replacements but the operation was a success.

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The other paint jobs being done here include a Bianchi touring repaint. Let me just say that I have a love for brown bikes. So what about a bike with three different earthy shades? Well, the bike is almost organic at that point. Here’s Deb’s Bianchi, re-aligned and repainted.

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And finally I did a repaint on a D’Arienzo/Basso. I am told that Basso built the bikes for D’arienzo (which would explain the Basso pantograph on the bottom bracket). So we went with some Basso decals on Armando’s pursuit bike. Armando was the lucky winner of the Circle A paint job raffle prize at last year’s bike swap at Providence Bicycle. I also did some carving and added stainless faces to the dropouts that another builder had replaced. Here’s the finished product.

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Still in the hopper is Ralph’s 953 frame and Matt’s single speed. Materials have been shipped and I’ll be trading in the paint gun for a torch and file for awhile. In some sadder news, I recently dropped my Canon digital SLR and broke my favorite lens. Hopefully I can get a new lens before my next blog post. You’ll want to see these next few bikes.

But to end on a happier note, Nathan got his stolen bike back! Props to Andy for spotting it and taking action.

This, that, and the other thing

My latest work coming out of the shop is a fillet brazed cyclocross frame for our friend Nathan (different from the Nathan of a couple weeks ago). The frame is a mix of Dedacciai Zero (main tubes), True Temper OX Platinum (seat tube), and Columbus Zona (s-bend seat stays). Sounds like a mutt but it looks great. I did internal cable routing on the top tube for the rear brake and derailleur. Nathan used to paint for Independent Fabrications and then Circle A so he’ll be taking it over from here. Expect to see pictures of his frame as well as our friend Jay’s bike that I built 6 months (!) ago. He is also a master painter and will be finishing his bike soon. Right, Jay?

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Another project that has been in the works is a restoration on a 1950’s Raleigh Sports for our new friend Will. This bike has a lot of history as it was/is his father’s bike. Will has been bringing every part of this bike back to life from the bottom bracket to the dynamo hub. The chrome was pitted and the paint was nearly non-existent. With the decals in hand, I was able to blast down to the metal on the frame, fork, fenders, and chain guard. The resulting bike is entirely different from when it came into the shop. Here are the pictures of what it became.

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Other projects happening right now include Ralph’s lugged Reynolds 953 bike that will start as soon as the tubing arrives. In the meantime I can carve the lugs and fork crown and be ready to build when the time comes.


Coming up is a restoration/renovation of a 1966 Schwinn Paramount. Also, a single speed for Matt, various frame repairs, and more paint work. Stay tuned!