FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


(See below for more questions.)

Materials & Construction

What makes Waterford's Tubesets so Special?

Over the years, Waterford has developed a broad palette of custom tubes to use in its bikes.

Alloys: When Waterford started, the best steel tubing around was Reynolds 753 - the heat treated version of their famous 531 tubing. Not long afterwards, Waterford started working with various companies bringing a whole new category of steel alloys to the market - air hardening steels. Today, True Temper's OX Platinum and Reynolds' 853 stand at the forefront of heat treated air-hardening steels. The heat treating increases the strength of the steel by over 50%. Unlike the older generation of high-strength alloys, air-hardening steels keep all their strength at the weld-zone - even when the welding process (such as TIG welding) takes the material up to high temperatures. The development of air-hardening steels opens up the door to using TIG welding for lightweight steel designs.

Dimensions: Waterford now uses two system of tubing -

> Waterford OS: Developed a decade ago, OS first appeared as the Schwinn Paramount OS. The original OS tubeset stretched steels to new levels of performance by increasing the outside diameters (downtubes are 1 1/4 in. instead of 1 1/8 in.) while thinning the walls. The result was a bike with the same stiffness as earlier bikes but at a lower weight. The OS standard includes oversized chainstays and a seatmast flared at the bottom bracket to stiffen the bottom bracket, the area of the bike where stiffness is key.

> S3: Thanks to air-hardening designs as well as improved tube manufacturing, the S3 tubeset takes the OS concept to new levels - 1 1/2 in. (38mm) instead of the OS 1 1/4 in., resulting in a dramatic lightening of the tubeset while enhancing bottom bracket stiffness and maintaining a durable structure.

Exquisite Seatstays: We taper our seatstays at both ends of our road racing tubesets. The small diameter at each end improves rider comfort which the stiffer center section of the stays insure more positive braking.

We Like Round tubes: Every structural engineering book will tell you that the round tube is the strongest structure for its weight. And we've found that the forces acting on the bicycle frame are too varied to give advantage to forces in one direction and not the others.

The ovalization on the S3 downtube serves to provide a fit with today's head tube and bottom bracket designs. Changing the head tube and bottom bracket to fit a round version of the S3 tube would add more weight than what could be additionally removed from the downtube itself.

Not just a tubeset, it is a tubing system. We build frames using a palette of several top and downtubes to let us control strength and stiffness throughout the range of sizes.

What's more, we can mix in tubes to achieve special objectives. For example, sprinters might benefit from installing our "heavy" downtube. The greater strength of this tubeset insures the responsiveness they need for that final dash to the finish.

Free of gimmicks - just solid engineering: Waterford Custom Tubing. No other builder has put this much thought and effort into a tubeset completely dedicated to the rider.

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?
Wouldn't clearcoat over bare metal work?
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?

Buying / Selling a Waterford

How can I sell my Waterford?


Can I order a 1 inch steerer disc brake fork?
How can I get a disc brake fork with the ride of my classic steel rim brake fork


Does Waterford provide Warranty Coverage?


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?


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?