FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Answer

(See below for more questions.)

Repair & Restoration

Is it worth it to restore my old Paramount, Raleigh or other classic road bike?

To repaint or not to repaint? That is the question.

There are lots reasons to restore your bike - mostly to remind you of all the great experiences you had with it - and to continue enjoy and expressing your pride in your bike.

Only in rare cases does a restoration lead to quick financial gain. This happens occasionally when a bike of specific historical value can be brought back to its original glory.

For non-historically significant bicycles such as many Schwinn Paramounts from the 1960-1970, values have typically grown, typically double or more the original retail price today. To get this increase, bikes should have their original components except for perhaps tires.

Repainting adds cost to the bike in today\'s dollars, often cutting into the overall gain. For example, a typical good condition, original component late sixties Paramount fetches $1200 or so in the market today. The cost of a restoration, with pinstriping and masking around chrome Nervex lugs runs almost $600, leaving little for financial gain.

Here are some rules of thumbs and suggestions when considering restoring and upgrading your old bike:

  • Repaint for your pleasure not for the market.
  • Save your old parts. Even though you might want to upgrade to newer components, the old stuff is increasing in value, often at a faster rate than the frame. This is particularly true when upgrading from steel, threaded forks to composite threadless forks.
  • If you want to upgrade to current components, the only real frame change you need to make is to spread the dropouts to 130mm rear spacing from the 120mm or 126mm spacings used in the past. We recommend moving the brake bridge at this time to avoid creating a curve in the rear stays.
  • Adding cable stops will not have a big impact on value since cable stops were an option during the 1960-1980 period. Water bottle bosses and downtube shift bosses did not come on the market until the late 1970\'s. It will make your bike a more obvious restoration. As long as you are not defiling a historically significant frame - like on of the ones used in the Olympics, you will not meaningfully change the value of the bike.
  • The Velorotica section of the Waterford web site has information on Paramount history, decals from the various periods and other useful information.
  • Waterford also has access to many decal styles for Raleigh as well as high-end Italian labels like Bianchi, Colnago and De Rosa. We also have some historically important colors such as Bianchi Celeste Green.
Interest in road bike history is clearly growing and learning the history surrounding the many fine bikes built decades ago can add to the fun of owning them.

Question List

Choosing Your Waterford

Do you want a racing bike, recreational bike or both?
What kind of maintenance does my Waterford need?
How big a tire do you want to fit on your bike?
How do you go about choosing your Waterford?
What if my seatpost slips during rides?
How versatile do you want your bike?
What kind of handling do you want?
What do I need to do to prevent rust and corrosion?
Why do we measure our seat tubes 'center to top'?
What do you want to carry?
How big a load do you want to carry?
If I'm a 180 pound rider, why does it matter whether my load is 15 pounds or 25 pounds?

Geometry and Fit

How does Waterford perform factory fittings?
What is toe-clip overlap and why do we avoid it?
My Fit Kit recommends a 538mm top tube. Nobody offers stock geometries in these sizes. What's my best fit?
Can't you just build a bike based on Fit Kit® measurements?
Why are your seat angles so steep on small frame sizes?
Why is there toe clip overlap on track geometries?
Why does Waterford recommend 650C or 26" wheels on selected sizes?
Why does Waterford sometimes recommend 650C or 26" wheels?
What if I want to change from a steel fork to a carbon fork or vica versa?

Materials & Construction

Retrofitting S&S Couplers?
What makes Waterford's Tubesets so Special?
Why Steel?
How much do color choices affect durability?
Lugs vs. TIG - Which is best?

Paints and Finish

How do I apply touch-up paint?
Why don't we Chrome Plate all Waterfords?
How do color choices affect durability?
Why not internal cable routing?
Why not clearcoat only?
What's wrong with a matte finish?
Why can't I just give you a paint code to select custom paint?
Choosing a Finish

Upgrading Your Waterford

What kind of composite fork can I install on my Waterford?

General Information

Where do I find my serial number?
What does my serial number mean?
What is the difference between Gunnar and Waterford
What is the difference between 14-, 22- and 33-Series models?

Assembly & Care

What common dimensions are there for Waterfords - threading, bolts etc.?
My head tube is somewhat out of round. What kind of problem is it?
Which clamp diameter should I use to for my front derailleur
Clamp-on or braze-on front derailleurs.
What kind of care do I have to give my Waterford to prevent rust from forming?
How do I prevent my composite (carbon fiber) seatpost from slipping?
How long a seatpost do I need?
How do I get a good fit when installing downtube shift adapters?
How do I apply touch-up paint?
How do I apply replacement decals?
How do I remove my chainstay protector?
Should I use my Waterford on my Windtrainer?
Why did we go from 27.4mm to 27.2mm seatposts?
Why don't we install dropout adjusters on bikes that have adjuster holes?
I have an older model 1400 or 2400 off-road frame. What kind of front deraileur do I need?
What if I want to install a 1" for on a 1 1/8" head tube frame?
Threading: What is it for eyelets, rack mounts and so on?

Repair & Restoration

Why can't I just have Waterford touch up my frame instead of completely repainting it?
Is it worth it to restore my old Paramount, Raleigh or other classic road bike?
Can Waterford spread my dropouts on my old bike?
What does it take to retrofit my bike with S&S Couplers?
Will Waterford put its decals on a Paramount restoration?
Can I change the geometry on my existing frame?
I have a dent in my top tube, should I be concerned?
I have a chrome Paramount with damage to the chrome. Can you re-chrome it for me?

Warranty

Does the Waterford Warranty Extend to Used or EBay Frames and Forks?
What constitutes normal wear and tear for warranty purposes.

Troubleshooting

What do I do for a stuck seatpost or bottom bracket?
What should I do to prevent high-speed wobble and shimmy on my bike?
What do I do about brake chatter or shudder?
How do I reduce brake squealing?
How do I prevent my rear wheel from pulling under heavy climbing or sprinting?
What if I experience chain suck on my Off-Road frame.

Log in and Using this Web Site

Does my Waterford Login connect me to the Forum?

Paramount

What's the fork threading on the 1960's Paramounts
What do the markings mean found on the bottom bracket of Paramounts from the 50's to the 70's?