Steel is Real

I tend to love it when an old steel frame comes through the bicycle shop door. I became enamoured with them during the Bridgestone years. I think I had a RB-? and at the local mountain bike races we did in Lafayette, Indiana I fell in love with the XO series. I have wanted one since.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. My uncle called and wanted to know if I would like to have his old XO. Not sure which one or the year, 92 or 93, but I said yes. Yes, please!

In the next few weeks I should have it arriving at my door.

Back to the shop.

Around the time of the call with the XO an old Peugeot mountain bike graced our doors. And I had the priveldge of getting it back up to speed.


I overhauled it, put new tires on, and my co-worker found an old generator that worked to hook up to the lights still on the bike. It turned out quite well.


I took the pictures with the wheel spinning so the lights would show up.

This bike was purchased in Europe by a serviceman who rode it all over while there. He wanted to get it back up and running to ride around. There was some nostalgia going on.

Just this past week we had another similar situation. A European Bridgestone Wild West was brought in for some fine tuning. I believe the man was also stationed over there at the time. We chatted a bit about Bridgestone’s. I think he was surprosed anyone even knew what it was.

Which brings me to a future post. We have a road bike museum developing in part of out store. You should start to see those posts mixed in with the rest.

Hope that it’s nice, sunny weather to ride where you’re at!

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Today It Was a Suburban

This Schwinn came in yesterday for new tires. They were so dry rotted that the nubs left on them could cut you.

  
We got to talking about the color, chestnut, which a couple of us had had in the Varsity variety. The Suburban still looks good, a few nicks and chips here and there. Besides the tires, a little lube, some polish, the only other problem was a stripped rear axle. I dug up one from a donor wheel that  it’s rim had seen better days. She’s good to go now!

  

Waterford…still realizing the best Schwinn had to offer.

As I walked into the shop earlier this week, I was immersed in some memories from the past again. The former parent of what would become Waterford was Schwinn Bicycles. The real deal. Made in Chicago. I could go on.

This Waterford was dropped off for a tuneup. A few years old. And steel!

So, as we set the wayback machine…we hit the mid 2000’s and my old shop, Koehlingers, in Indiana. Working at our West location ( I spent most of my time earlier at our North store), I worked day in and day out with a gal named Kathy. The gal rides her bike! A lot! In the I don’t know how many years of serving the area, she built up a reputation to be the best bike fitter in the Tri-State area. One thing most didn’t know is she had some of the most amazing marketing ideas for a bike shop.

She always had the coolest bikes. Two that I remember were her Waterfords. Both were road bikes, one being more touring geometry and the other more race, at least I think that’s how they were?! And they were truly beautiful bikes. Steel. Handmade. I’ve heard the ride was amazing.

Apparently, she knew Richard Schwinn fairly well. That fact alone puts her into the supercool realm.

Paramounts in the early 1970’s were built by Richard Schwinn and his crew . Handmade in the USA. Sweet bikes. Our Maplecrest location had the Anniversary black frameset with gold covered stays and fork. Again, beautiful.

A little later in time we get dumped into the Taiwanese Paramounts from Schwinn. I had one.

NOTE: I am not delving into any memory of anything under the Paramount name today. Not the same.

So, Schwinn was sold in 1993 and Richard started Waterford Precision Bicycles with Marc Muller in the old Schwinn Paramount factory in Waterford, Wisconsin.

You can click on some of the links above for more info. If you are a retro grouch and believe steel is real, you may want to seek out your nearest Waterford dealer and throw a leg over.