Mid-week C&V: Schwinn Paramount...

Women-specific bikes are not quite so obvious these days, but there was a time when a steeply sloping top tube was a dead give away. 

As Schwinn's top of the line model, the Paramount could be built up anyway you wanted. The previous owner of this one took the Campy path. Unfortunately, so the story goes, she was having some shifting problems and took the bike into her local bike shop (LBS) where an unscrupulous employee convinced her that the shifters and rear derailleur needed to be replaced. The mix of Shimano 105 and 600 replacement bits while good, and perhaps equal from a performance standpoint, leave something to be desired from a classic standpoint. Ah well, not much to be done about it now. The crankset is still Campy, as is the front derailleur, and the headset. The bars and stem are Cinelli; the lugs at the headset are a nice touch, and the fork crown is pretty regal looking. The brakes are period correct Schwinn, so may have been original to the bike. I have seen the same on ebay dated to 1974, which seems about right. Though the original owner might have been taken during the component exchange, she clearly had some pride in ownership, because this one is in good shape.

As seen at the Velo.