Paramount or Phoenix?

The “after” picture.

I’ve had to make some decisions about this Paramount frame. The paint had bare metal showing in far too many large spots; to keep the tubing protected I really needed to touch it up or re-spray. Well, the touchup was a much, MUCH bigger job than a simple “touch up” and I came to realize that a re-paint was the only truly viable option. (I know, I know… I’m the poster child for the “It’s only original once” philosophy.)

Frankly, the original paint didn’t look like it had been well crafted, and it was exceptionally sloppy in and around the lug work. The chromed lugs are only in average condition and it would be especially difficult to justify the expense of a Waterford re-paint on my teacher salary.

So the plan began as a “temporary” re-spray of the frame to prevent any corrosion from affecting the tubing in those various spots where bare metal was exposed.  I began, innocently enough, sanding down around those exposed areas to feather the paint edges. Next thing I know, the frame is getting primed and I’m examining the coating for imperfections in the surface before wet sanding. Following that I will topcoat the etch primer with a computer color-matched Zinc Yellow.

I hate repainting a frame – no matter what, it’s never as good and it’s never quite like the original. However, given the choice between originality and saving the integrity of the frame I figured the new paint was the better of two evils. I did successfully mask off the seat tube graphic to keep the original intact.

The frame gets a new coating of color and new graphics applied to the down tube; the Reynolds decal has also been replaced. I recreated those graphics in Adobe Illustrator CS6 and worked with a local printing firm to generate replacement decals.

Although the original plan was that the paint would be a temporary pre-emptive measure, I found myself taking extra care with the prep and spray, and I’m extremely happy with the way the “temporary” repaint looks. I thought to myself, what the hell, let’s find out how durable “temporary” turns out to be. Purely from an aesthetics point of view, the new paint and graphics look pretty darned good.

And the final build, which is decidedly NOT period correct in any way whatsoever is comprised of the following:

  • S/N: K7226
  • 23 inch frame
  • New paint and decals (2012)
  • Campy Athena 53/39 crankset (ca. 90’s)
  • Shimano 105 RD (ca. 80’s)
  • Campy shifters (ca. mid-60’s)
  • Shimano 60 FD (ca. late 70’s)
  • Shimano 105 brake levers (ca. 80’s)
  • Dia-Compe center pull calipers (ca. late 70’s)
  • SR seat pin (ca. 80’s)
  • Selle Italia Turbo Bernard Hinault saddle (ca. 1984)
  • Cinelli stem and bars (new logo, ca. 80’s)
  • Bontrager bar wrap (2011)
  • Maxxis tires (2008)
  • Shimano 105 hubs laced to anodized Wolber Super Champion rims (700c) spaced to five speed… (ca. 80’s)
  • Lyotard pedals (date?)


…Hmmm. Five decades and God knows how many nationalities represented already. I guess I probably should have gone with Zeus Criterium RD just to give the Spaniards a nod. In whatever form, this Paramount is tiny bit like a Phoenix arising from the ashes.


8 thoughts on “Paramount or Phoenix?

  1. Very impressive results, Mark! I am pleased with the way this has turned out. I wouldn’t beat yourself up over the respray. Sometimes, there are no other options. At least you kept the seat tube graphic in tact. I tip my had to your nod to decades gone by.
    The results of this project have come together much faster than I anticipated. Perhaps the chilly fall weather has you indoors more often with more time to dedicate to the transformation? Unfortunately, grad school now (temporarily) dominates my life instead of restorations so watching yours come together is a real treat.
    Again, excellent work and a project to be proud of. Now, what is the final group set shaping up to look like? Care to share or give your loyal followers a hint?

    • I’m thinking maybe Zeus Criterium. But for the moment, I’m really needing to locate some top tube cable housing clips for a 1″ tube. I ordered a set of three Dia-Compe, but they arrived and were too large (not to mention they weren’t even Dia-Compe but some other company altogether… ideally these would wind up matching the kit, but I’m not going to get anal about clips.)

  2. starostneradost says:

    This looks wonderful – much better than the original. The yellow colour and the chrome go together very well. The Paramount will become a very nice and capable bicycle, it seems.

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