Schwinn Model 974 Aluminum Road Bike Question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by rdarnold, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. rdarnold

    rdarnold New Member

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    I recently purchased a used Schwinn model 974 Aluminum road bike and I am trying to figure out just what I have. It appears to be vintage 1994 with an 8 speed 105 STI setup. The frame looks identical to a Klein Quantum of the same vintage and the label on the frame says that it was designed by the paramount design group and that it was built under license from patent number... I looked up the patent number and it is Gary Klein's patent for inventing the aluminum bike. Did Schwinn buy some OEM Klein frames at one point in their history. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Don't think Klein invented the aluminum frame,but he was the first with oversize tubes. If it was' built under license', that does not imply Schwinn bought them from Klein.Done a google search on the Schwinn 974?
     
  3. rdarnold

    rdarnold New Member

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    Yes,
    I have done a Google search and a Yahoo search etc. No such bike or model number appears anywhere. Your right, Klein's patent is for "welded" aluminum bikes with oversize tubing. The earlier glued aluminum frames by Trek and Vitus etc. were around earlier. I wonder if C'dale pays royalties to Klein? Thanks for the help.
     
  4. Goulet

    Goulet New Member

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    I have a Schwinn 974 Aluminum, but it's vinatage is 1991. It came stock w/Ultegra (obviously no STI that year). For what it is worth, the owner of the Schwinn store I bought it at in '91 told me that it was a hand made, USA built frame. Most lower end Schwinns were made overseas, and the next year the last US schwinn factory closed (the factory at which this was made), and all production has since been overseas. Again, this is what I was told, but the guy had sold Schwinns for a long time and gave great customer support. Come to think of it, the guy did sell Kleins as well, but I think the 974 is all Schwinn.
    Does your 974 have a seat post clamp? Mine has an expander bolt in the seat post which sucks, I've never been able to find a replacement.
     
  5. rdarnold

    rdarnold New Member

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    :) Thanks for the reply. My 974 could also be 1991 vintage. The STI could have been an upgrade that was added later. I have the same seatpost with the internal clamp. I was told that a seat post clamp could be used if a one inch slot was cut into the top of the seat tube. I won't try that unless the internal seat post clamp fails. I still think the frame is a Klein. If you will look at a 1991 Klein Quantum frame you will recognize your bike. I found a few on ebay that had good photos. The frame is incredibely stiff and still seems to have a lot of life left in it. It doesn't appear that Schwinn sold very many of these, since you and I seem to be the only current owners of this model.
    Thanks for the information.
     
  6. Goulet

    Goulet New Member

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    I will definately go check out some pictures- I've always wanted a Klein! Yeah, the bike is stiff- the thing is a rocket. I hope you get as much enjoyment with it as I have had with mine- I'm sure it will last you awhile. It has a lifetime guarantee on the frame, but you may have to be the original owner. Maybe we'll find a few more out there- I remember being at the Lotto Classic Criterium in Sacramento in '91 or '92 and seeing several people racing on the 974. I've had a few other bikes since I bought this one, but I won't get rid of it- no matter how much my wife bugs me about it!
     
  7. bccurran

    bccurran New Member

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    You're lucky you got hold of one with STI. I have a 754 with the old Suntour setup. Anyway, Bicycling magazine loved the frame when it came out. Call it a desperation move by Schwinn. Facing bankruptcy it looks like they raided the Paramount bins and put Schwinn decals on the frames. You have the weird seatpost, right? Don't bother asking Schwinn for manuals, though. They have nothing pre-bankruptcy.
     
  8. GLHNSLHT2

    GLHNSLHT2 New Member

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    When I bought my 564 in 1991 the owners of the shop told me they were all clearance priced ($330 vs. $499) because Schwinn was discontinuing them. My 564 came with Exage Sport LX components. To the guy above, he is correct, the bike is a rocket. Unfortunately mine was stolen out of my HS bike cage even under lock and cable when they opened it a period before school let out less than a year after I got it. I finally found another to buy although it's a little worse for wear and the black and silver instead of the beautiful scarlet red and white but oh well, It's the frame, handlebars, seat post and bio-pace chain rings I really want. Awesome climbing bike and with the right tires cornered like it was on rails. I can't wait to have my 2nd.

    Anyone know the difference between the 564, 754, and 974??? Was it just the components on the bike? The only 974 I ever saw was a much taller frame than my 23" frame was. And I didn't get a close look at it as the guy was riding the other way than I was.

    Later
     
  9. bccurran

    bccurran New Member

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    It's the components. What a shame that this bike saw the light of day only as the company was fading away. Still a great frame.
     
  10. rah_56601

    rah_56601 New Member

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    I raced on this frame for several seasons. It was made by the Schwinn Paramount Group from the Klein patent. It is a quick, forgiving ride that should give years of great service. I was given mine by Ted Schwinn and wish I would never have sold it.
     
  11. stif

    stif New Member

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    i also have a 974
    its a beutifull blue


    paramount frams (late model) were hand made i was told


    my dad had a red paramount when i was in high school15 years ago

    he bought the 974 as a second bike and was building it up
    he perchased the frame only for 600$
    put on a sake fork
    dura ace head set
    dura ace brakes
    dura ace front derailer ( never did get the back one)

    a suntoure seat post

    i need a few things to get the bike on the road

    but its basically frame and brakes and has been sitting in a closet for 15 years,

    ill have my camera tommorrow ill post some pictures

    i think my dad said it uses 700c wheels?
    not sure what that means , im not a bike person , but i at least want to finish the bike for him cause hes getting old
     
  12. bccurran

    bccurran New Member

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    What is the rear spacing on that 8 speed STI?
     
  13. EdPed

    EdPed New Member

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    I also have a Schwinn 974. I purchased it new 8 Sep. 89'. I had to order it from the factory. I paid $1346.52 for it. I have the original sales receipt and owner's manual. The bike is a pretty blue and still has the original tires on it.The Dealer told me I'd like it as it road like a steel framed bike. It's rock steady and handles very well. Rides a little stiff. My bike has shimano 600 components and I ordered it with Mavic rims. The bike has the bolt through the seat post. It has a 7-speed freewheel. I had the Lemond Aero(?) bars with horseshoe mounted on it. I road the bike for a few hundred miles and then parked it in the spare bedroom until a couple of months ago. Been riding it a little but seem to have new bike fever. Thought about placing the 974 on ebay but have no idea what it's worth. I think I'd probably miss it. It's been part of my life for 16 years.
     
  14. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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    I have a 594 with 500 EX that I bought in 91. Still a great ride. And yes it has a quill seatpost.
     
  15. stif

    stif New Member

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    dont ,
    or else youll never get another like it
    [​IMG]
     
  16. walrus2

    walrus2 New Member

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    It's a Schwinn, designed by the paramount design group using what they call a "Klein weld" that gives it the smoothness, as compared to the cheep "Next" frame welds which are ugly in comparison.
     
  17. mefleming

    mefleming New Member

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    I own a 974. I don't think it has more than 100 miles on it. I traded my 764 (think that is what the next model down was) for the 974 and have just never ridden it much. I think maybe I should get back on the saddle. When I grew up everyone I raced with owned a 974. I just couldn't afford it so I choose the model down and picked it up in 1990 at a schwinn dealer in Oregon that gave me a great deal. Anyone know if this is still a good bike to go ride, or is it something that is better left hanging in a garage and I should buy a new one. What if I show up to the local cycling club and ride this 974, would people look at me strange.
     
  18. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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    Wow, a 6 1/2 year old thread - complete with dead people.
     
  19. neopop71

    neopop71 New Member

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    Hello,

    In looking up more info on my 1989 Schwinn 974 I happened onto this thread, I know the above poster referenced an old thread with dead people, but I do have some info I can share with you regarding your 974.

    I tried to attach a 1989 Schwinn spec sheet for their aluminum line. As far as Schwinn's hierarchy of the sport bikes in the '88 catalog seems to be Avion (later renamed Ontare and finally renamed the 974), Circuit, Tempo, Premis, Prelude, LeTour, Traveler, and World Sport. The Voyageur was in it's own category as a touring bike, and the Paramount and Prologue were in their own category as racing bikes sold as frame sets only. The Premis disappeared in the '89 catalog and the Paramount Design Group aluminum line is officially introduced as the 974, 754, and 564. Gary Klein was reported to have gone to the new Greenville factory to help educate the select group of welders who were going to be building Schwinn "Aluminum" race series (I can't verify this info regarding Gary). Schwinn built a new factory in Greenville, Mississippi, all the higher end American frames were being built there. It was a money pit, Schwinn couldn't compete with Asia's cheap labor and price point, and the plant closed in 1991. That officially ended "Schwinn" as we know it.

    The important thing to remember about the 974 are the forged seat stay yoke, the forged rear drop outs, and the chroming details... these aspects of the 974 were expensive, labor intensive, and not "mass production" in design. The 974 was not assembled in Greenville, it was assembled by PDG in Waterford, Wisconsin. When the employees of PDG bought the facility from Schwinn and preserved the essence of the "Paramount" and "Schwinn" names by starting Waterford Cycles. The President of Waterford Cycles is Richard Schwinn, so there is a direct lineage to the famed glory days when Schwinn was America. The point I'm trying to make (with my wordiness, sorry) is your 974 is basically an aluminum Paramount race bike without the lugs of their steel frames. Your 974 is every bit as good as anything available today (that is crafted in metal). In 1989 the 974 frame and fork sold for $600.00 and complete with the Shimano 600 (Ultegra) grouppo was $1,000.00. That year a Paramount painted (not chrome) frame and fork set sold for $700.00, compare that to my Schwinn Circuit (top steel frame bike available) with the same 600 grouppo sold for $900.00. The 974 sat higher than the lugged Columbus SL Schwinn Circuit but just below a lugged Columbus Paramount. The 974 represents the best and most cutting edge in Schwinn's development and (for me) it was their last gasp effort to remind the world what Schwinn achieved over the years. These days, you could certainly get a high tech carbon bike that weighs 15 pounds, spend thousands of dollars, but you will not have a road-worthy safe bike twenty years from now like your 974. Your 974 was crafted with materials that do not have "safe age" factor, carbon ages and looses its integrity, simply put that old carbon frames are not safe. Just look up catastrophic failures involving carbon fiber bicycles... you'll be more than happy to throw a led over your 974! I hope this helps. Unless you are ready to buy a Paramount or a Klein Quantum, ride your 974, and be happy with that great trade!

    My 974 was stolen but I found the tweaker that stole it and I recovered my baby. I ended up customizing it because the scumbag had messed up the paint etc.. I have some pics and a description of the build over on Velospace.org, here is a link:

    http://velospace.org/node/28328

    I'm proud of the build, just as I'm stoked/proud to have my 974 back! I also have a 1989 Circuit, Schwinn's top-of-the-line Coulmbus SL steel race frame that was made in Greenville... I love steel road bikes... but it's nowhere near the rocket the 974 is, not ever close! I think you pulled an awesome trade, came out way ahead on the deal, and you should ride the 974 for another twenty years!

    Happy New Year!

    -DON-
     
  20. neopop71

    neopop71 New Member

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    Well, the 1989 attachment didn't go through, email me and I can send you the pdf file.

    -DON-
     
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