Tying bikes and fly rods together, and commenting on Schwinn Paramounts:
Waterford frames were a work of art. Silver soldered Reynolds tubing, and great lug work. Schwinn began importing frames from Japan, and labeled them "Paramount". I was a bit conflicted over this, but the Japanese frames were fine for the price point. Seeing them hang side by side (something we only did with framesets, not complete bikes), was like parking a Pinto next to a Ferrari. The Waterford was superior in all ways visually, and physically. In the mid 1990's, a Waterford-built Paramount frameset sold for more than a complete Japanese Paramount bicycle. I rode a Japanese Paramount....
There is a Winston dealer not far from me, and Vapors and green
Winstons look like different beasts to me. I can see a Vapor and think that's nice, but when I see a USA Winston, I think SWEET!!!
. A year or so ago, I started a thread about affording premium gear. Essentially, a Winston BIIx is $2/day for one year. Most people can find a way to set aside $2/day in savings, especially if you drink, smoke, visit Starbucks, or snack often. When the day arrives that you've saved the necessary funds, it'll be quite a thrill to finally take possession of a fine piece of equipment.
: Affording Premium Gear Thread:How to Buy That Premium Rod or Reel W/O Pain
I started that after several posters complained about wanting premium gear, but not wanting to spend the $$$, or simply not having the cash.
It can be done.
Waterford Bikes is alive and well BTW. Schwinn retired the Paramount in 1994, and the Waterford employees bought
the operation. I remember when the Schwinn rep called to say that the Waterford-made frameset were being blown out for $200 each in 1994, and I ordered
one in my size (61cm), as well as several others. I then changed my mind, and cancelled the 61cm frame, and then changed it again. They said all the frames
were dark red, and I hadn't seen one in that color. I cancelled mine again, and the frames arrived two days later. WOW!!! It was a beautiful deep candy apple
red, and I called to buy one for myself. Of course they were all long gone by then. Our retail on Waterford Paramounts was around $1,100-$1,200 depending,
and wholesale was about $600. It was one of the bikes we actually had a nice margin on. An Asian-made mountain bike that sold for $550 (average price point)
netted us about $150 after all was said and done. Our money was made on high-end bikes, water bottles, tubes, chains, and service. Service kept us in the black handily.