Bicycle Mechanics - Replacing a Frame on an old Road Bike
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05-10-09, 11:15 AM
I have a late 80's Centurion Road bike that I bent the frame on during a crash. It's been sitting in the corner for years, since I can't bear to part with it.
This week, at Performance Bike, I noticed a frameset on sale for 99 bucks. Would this be a good idea to purchase and try to swap parts onto? Have standard sizes for components changed so that it wouldn't work... or would this be a buy it/ try it project? (I'm looking for a general answer...., as I guess my next step otherwise would be to measure everything and try and find out what would match on this frame).
I'm not looking for the world's best road bike at the moment- just one to add to my current 29er hybrid type that has gotten me riding again.
05-10-09, 11:19 AM
Hard to go wrong at $99. Can you do all the work yourself? Some bike shops get annoyed when people bring mail-order frames to be built up.
05-10-09, 12:12 PM
Your centurion may have some JIS parts, like the headset, thrown in with mostly English standard parts, so for the most part you'll be good. Is the Performance frame steel or aluminum? If steel, you can drop the 126mm rear spaced wheel you have in there and bend a little. If aluminum, you may have some issues.
The Performance frame you are interested in is aluminum. The wheel spacing is likely 130mm and cannot be changed, you need steel for that. Your old wheels are 126mm. Are they 27" or 700c? Long or short reach brakes? The headset appears integrated, you'll need a new one. The seat tube is 31.8, your s is 28.6. A New FD also.
You see where this is going.... you'll need some new parts.... maybe more than you bargained for. But, for $99, you can get some cheap parts to put on it too, so consider that. You may be better off searching ebay for a period specific frame like yours. Everything will fit.
05-10-09, 08:39 PM
I agree 100% with Garthr. It would be a different answer if your Centurion was fully Campy NR equipped, but I don't think that creature exists. It's cheaper to buy another old bike.
Joshua A.C. New
05-10-09, 11:27 PM
I dunno. If the wheels are 700c and the brakes are short-reach (unlikely, both, given the vintage), then this could work out.
You didn't link to the stuff you're talking about, though (either the Performance frame or your model of bike), and I don't see a frame at that price, so I'm just guessing..
The thing is, bikes have gotten better and better about standards for the last couple of decades.
That said, I've built bikes I've been proud of out of used stuff for $350 before, so it might be worth a shot, replacing the parts that won't work as you go. Keep your eyes on Ebay, take your time and don't force any threads, and you might find you've done that, too.
While I'm not the OP.....this is the only frame that was $99. Was. It's Monday.... so now it's $150. LOL
Performance/Nashbar can change prices on a dime.
Of course.... we forgot to mention you'll need a fork!
Back to the original post though..... you said your frame is bent. How , Where....ect.? There are frame builders all over this country that can repair steel frames quite easily. That's the beauty of steel. Is it like these Centurions?
If so.... it's lugged.... which makes it do-able. Depending on what and where it need fixing.... it may need new paint. If you really like the frame and parts it may be worth looking into this. You won't find new bikes like this anymore.
05-11-09, 07:31 AM
Thanks for all the input! The old bike was an entry level Lemans RS, so the components were not fancy at all. The damage consists of both frame tubes going into the headstock being mushroomed about two inches from it. It's changed the geometry of everything badly. Oddly, the fork was not damaged, as I believe I landed on the frame on the first forward flip...
The frame at PB was the aluminum one. I skipped the link without thinking...opps.
As for skills, I should have no problem doing anything on a bike. I started learning how to fix things as a child of about 8 by working on my bike, and after years of auro repairs/ hot rodding and the like, I am taking the next step by becoming an A & P aircraft mechanic. I guess I just need an excuse to buy tools...;<>!
That said, the PB frame looked like a cheap way to get my hands on a road bike again, as things are tight until I finish school. Sounds like too many small issues to make it worth it all. I'll bite the bullet and wait until I can spare some cash...and ride what I currently have.
Unless I am mistaken that frame has tange 2 db tubes and is imho worth saving unless the frame is mangled. If you don't want it, send it my way. I'd be proud to put it back into a rider. If it is the right size I will even pay the shipping.
Your frame would need a new top tube and down tube, and an alignment. (without seeing it of course). A frame builder here in Ohio, for instance, would likely charge about $75 per tube, plus $30 for alignment. You could get it powdercoated by someone pretty cheaply... under $100. You'd be set up for under $280. More than the frame is worth..... but then again.... there are --no more-- of these frames these days.
Lugged steel frames are no longer made on the cheap.
Start looking for a vintage frame set, you should be able to find something decent for the same/less than that Performance frame. Consider putting a WTB: vintage steel frame in your local Craigs List bicycles for sale section.
I picked up a nice Lemans 12 frameset with bars, seat post, crankset, and brakes for $20 a few weeks ago on my local Craigs List.
Yes, it's Tange 2 tubing !
05-11-09, 11:40 AM
Bottom bracket threading is probably the same - 68mm British ISO 1.37"x24tpi, with drive side left threaded.
Your wheels and brakes are probably compatible (700C and short reach). That shift was made early/mid-80s. As someone else mentioned, new road bikes are 130mm rear dropout spacing. Your Centurion is probably 126mm but you can easily space out the rear hub to 130mm and redish the wheel.
You may need a different diameter seatpost. Many Japanese bikes of that era used thicker steel and seat posts around 26.6 or 26.8mm. Dont know about the Centurion LeMans, though.
Forks/headtubes have changed. Your Centurion is probably 1" threaded and the Performance is 1 1/8" threadless - i.e. you will need a new headset. The fork may also need a longer recessed brake nut. Actually, just looked at the site and it's just a frame so you'd need to buy a fork, too.
A lot of new road bikes are set up for STI shifters and don't have shifter bosses on the down tube. I cannot tell from the specs or photo what the Performance frame has.
And as Garthr said, the front derailer clamp on your Centurion is almost certainly 28.6mm and the Performance needs 31.8mm.
If you really love the Centurion then get it fixed.
Otherwise, sell off the parts. You might be surprised at what you can get for them.
05-12-09, 12:15 AM
Yes, it's Tange 2 tubing !
This looks exactly like the bike I have (except for the differing handlebars). I did love the way it rode way back when, and the idea of being able to replace the damaged tubes sounds good. I have to stuff to paint it at home (and access to a paint booth if needed), and could have the paints color-matched easily and make it even cheaper to do.
There is actually a frame-builder about 5 miles away, so I plan on dropping in and seeing what he would charge for the repairs. (I think the wife may insist I get all the parts labeled "Jeep" rolling in the same direction under their own power before embarking on yet another project!).
I think I remember seeing a place that reproduces decals for bikes...anybody got a link for that?
This has been a great thread, thanks to everybodies input- I love learning things I don't know!
Check over on C&V for decals. That's an on-going issue with restos so they're up on the latest.
Joshua A.C. New
05-12-09, 11:55 PM
... and today that frame's $89.99!
05-26-09, 03:58 PM
Final update- I did some research on acceptable methods of repair for tubing used in aircraft, and found information on cold bending out dents as acceptable. I figure the bike isn't an airplane, so I went at it with a body hammer; tapping away for a couple of hours. In the end, the frame came out so clean few people would be able to find the former damage. There was no evidence of cracking on the tubing, so it should be safe enough. I color matched the paint with modeling enamels and my airbrush and the results are acceptable.
In looking at the rest of the bike, I found a badly bent front wheel and replaced it. The bottom bracket was trashed, so it has been replaced with a modern sealed set-up and the pedals were worn out and also replaced with something newer. Everything else has been cleaned up and properly adjusted.
Final result, the bike rides like a dream, and for little money I not only have a road bike, I have the one I was missing for so long!
05-26-09, 04:28 PM
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