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Aluminium frames might be corrosion resistant, but they’ll inevitably fail due to fatigue cracking. A properly maintained set of quality wheels will last ~30,000 miles before the rims wear out. Quality tyres and chains are usually good for at least 3,000 miles, cassettes are good for 10-12,000 miles if the chain is replaced before it stretches. Personally, I think its a very good thing that the market is so sensitive to the demands of consumers.

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F. Goodrich bicycles, sold in tire stores, Schwinn eliminated the practice of producing private label bicycles in 1950, insisting that the Schwinn brand and guarantee appear on all products. In exchange for ensuring the presence of the Schwinn name, distributors retained the right to distribute Schwinn bikes to any hardware store, toy store, or bicycle shop that ordered them. W. Schwinn tasked a new team to plan future business strategy, consisting of marketing supervisor Ray Burch, general schwinn beach cruiser manager Bill Stoeffhaas, and design supervisor Al Fritz. Schwinn was soon sponsoring a bicycle racing team headed by Emil Wastyn, who designed the team bikes, and the company competed in six-day racing across the United States with riders such as Jerry Rodman and Russell Allen. In 1938, Frank W. Schwinn officially introduced the Paramount series. Developed from experiences gained in racing, Schwinn established Paramount as their answer to high-end, professional competition bicycles.

In 1957, Frank was put in charge of building the Paramounts from scratch. He worked with Frank Brilando to develop processes for using silver solder instead of brass as the brazing material of choice. Silver solder meant a real revolution in frame building since it allowed brazers to use much lower temperatures than they needed for brass brazing. This kept more of the basic strength in the tubing and prevented other mishaps. Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the USA, Pacific Cycle has locations in Illinois, California, Toronto (Canada), Poole (UK) and Shanghai (China). Our culture is as fun and lively as the lifestyle brands we represent where innovative ideas are welcomed and customer satisfaction is our top priority.

P-12 – This was the old designator for the Paramount Racer – now becoming the P10. P-13 – Road Racing Paramount – designed for competition, this model came with tubulars and Campy schwinn dealers sidepulls stock. P-14 – Track – Full Campy track components including wide flange hubs and tubular tired wheels. P-15 – Deluxe Paramount with 15 speeds (triple front chainrings).

It’s hard to think of other markets where the premium is as large as it is in the high end bike industry. There are hallmarks of bike appeal (say, fat tires, or suspension), which will attract buyers. If those features are poorly engineered and manufactured, they lower the overall value of the bike. Companies like Oculus and Tesla have wisely chosen the opposite strategy, producing a premium product that gives the best possible experience.

Joe Magnani developed the component side of the Paramount, working on race wheel building, Campagnolo derailleur systems and other top of the line equipment. Joe had quite a glorious history in racing including a stint in Europe before World War II. The Paramounts received the best of everything, including hand sprayed paint and the delicate pinstriping of Frank’s father, Joe Brilando and Adam Smith. As mountain biking evolved to more general street use, mountain bikes also became highly subject to the same dynamic which had affected earlier classes of bikes. Usually, I ride a bike for a couple years, and then some part of the frame cracks. Disappointingly, this almost never happens to the cheap department store “mountain” bikes.

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The functional parts are reduced to minimum viable cost (and quality). I was never the bicyclist my brother became (long rides into the Colorado foothills, long commutes from one side of Denver to another), but in my junior high days, I regularly rode my bicycle to school, perhaps a three mile round trip. For that distance and the very level terrain, a heavy Schwinn was just fine. It seems like the so called quality biking companies were not clear on what kind of company they wanted to be. Perhaps they should not have reduced their prices but increased the quality of their bikes and advertised those qualities.

Lug making in the 70’s had undergone a similar revolution with the introduction of investment casting technology. Investment castings are so precise that they drastically reduce the amount of filing and polishing required to complete a bike. Moreover, the casting can be designed to support a fully mitered tube all the way to where it meets the adjoining tube. This allows a smaller lug to be built that provides better structural support than a larger lug without the full tubing support. Investment castings lacked the ornate look of the Nervex lugs but they were cleaner and lighter. Founded in 1974 in a Southern California garage, Mongoose has always been an aggressive brand with products that push the limits of what a rider can do.