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  1. #1
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    Centurion Serial Number Database

    While dating some Centurion models for a forum member, I noticed what I believe to be a series sequence in the format. Based on this, I was able to predict the model years, which were verified using info on the components, tubing and graphics. Due to the small sample size this could all be co-incidence, but I'd like explore the matter further. Therfore, it would be greatly appreciated if Centurion (and Diamondback) owners would summit their serial numbers, including the year (if known), model name, tubing, major compnents and if possible, pictures. You can post it here or send it to me via the forum e-mail or private message sytem. Thank-you in advance for your assistance.

    Refer to post #62 for the results of the analysis - T-Mar.
    Last edited by T-Mar; 01-05-08 at 08:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    I'll go find the one on my early 80's Sport DLX for you in a few when I take it for a ride. I'll edit this post when I get all the info collected for you.

    EDIT:

    As promised data on my Centurion Sport DLX

    Year: early 80's guestimate from parts and ebay auction
    Model: Sport DLX
    Serial: Y6F3481
    Tubing: Tange Infinity main-triangle. HiTen fork and stays.
    Seat tube diameter: 26.6
    Derailleurs (F/R): Suntour AR / ARII with friction stem shifters
    Brakes: Dia-Compe N500 with Diacompe levers
    Wheels: Alloy rims, sealed hubs, 6-speed freehwheel.

    Anything else?
    Last edited by cuda2k; 02-02-06 at 03:24 PM.
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  3. #3
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    T-Mar,

    I always check out road bikes when I see them in thrift stores, garage sales etc.

    I know you are interested in bike details for Centurion, Diamond Back and Nishiki, so I will try to check serial numbers and components on any I see. Are there others you are gathering as well?

    I will probably not be able to provide many, but if a few people do the same thing, you can expand your data points quickly.
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  4. #4
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    I have Centurion Accordo. yea I know low end.

    The year: I don't know.

    Frame: Steel Tange Infinity

    Fork: Blade steel

    The rear and front Der: Shimano SIS

    Color: From front to back-- White fork and head tube, fades to bright red, to the seat post, then fades back to white on the rear triangle.

    Johnny

    PS S/N in your pm box. I will take a pic later.
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  5. #5
    bum bike chajmahal's Avatar
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    EDITS:

    I have 4 Centurions. I'll start with the one sitting behind my desk and edit this later with the other 3. All LeMans variants from craigslist and thrift stores. (Meaning, I'm not the original owner so some of this stuff may not be OEM but considering the low miles, they should be.)

    Model: 1986? Centurion Le Mans RS
    SN: N6H6452
    Tubing: Tange 2 Cr-mo double butted
    Fork: Tange Mangaloy 2001
    Derailers: Shimano Light Action
    Shifters: Shimano Light Action
    Hubs: Suzue
    Cranks: Sugino GP 130
    Color: red and white
    6 spd
    Guessing it's an 86 based on component dates of 85 and 86. Plus the 6 at the beginning of the SN.

    Model: 1985? Centurion Le Mans RS
    SN: N5N5896
    Tubing: Tange 2 Cr-mo double butted
    Fork: Tange Mangaloy 2001
    Derailers: Shimano Light Action
    Shifters: Shimano Light Action
    Hubs: Suzue
    Cranks: Sugino GLP
    Color: Red and White
    6 spd
    Guessing it's an 85 based on part codes from 85 and serial number. Bike has original chain, cassette, Centurion saddle, pleather bar tape, original cables and housing and brake hoods in excellent condition. Paint is perfect except for a couple of nicjs.

    Model: 1978? Centurion Le Mans
    SN: TA79583
    Tubing: High Tensile Ultralight
    Fork: High Tensile Ultralight
    Derailers: Suntour Cyclone
    Shifters: Suntour stem Powershifters
    Hubs: Sunshine, steel rims
    Cranks: SR Apex
    Color: red
    5 spd
    Guessing it's a 78 based on part numbers. My daily commuter. Needs paint. Dropouts are stamped.

    Model: 1977? Centurion Super Le Mans
    SN: TA75591
    Tubing: High Tensile Ultralight
    Fork: High Tensile Ultralight
    Derailers: Suntour SL in front, Suntour V-GT LUXE rear
    Shifters: Suntour bar end shifters
    Hubs: alloy, alloy rims
    Cranks: SR Apex
    Color: blue
    6 spd (ultra spacing?)
    Dropouts are forged. I recall some parts had codes in 76 or 77.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by chajmahal; 02-06-06 at 11:49 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member raverson's Avatar
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    1987 Centurion Master originally purchased 3/26/88 for $655. Serial # N6P3145
    Tange #1 tubes with cromo fork
    Shimano 600 6 speed that I changed to 7 speed
    Crank FC-6207
    Fr Der FC-6207
    R Der FC-6208
    Brk Br-6208

    I also have an 89 or 90? Master Serial #N7S5694
    Tange #1 tubes with cromo fork
    All components Shimano 600 #6400 7 speed
    Last edited by raverson; 06-06-08 at 10:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AGuinness's Avatar
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    1981 Univega Gran Premio, 1987 Centurion "Dave Scott" Ironman Expert
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    Dave Scott Ironman Expert
    - — - — - — -
    I have a 1988 book that notes a suggested retail price of $550 in early 1987; the Shimano 105 SIS group is mentioned as being relatively new, and so I assume the bike is an '87. The color scheme is as follows: Head tube and seat tube are white, everything else is red. It's a very sexy bike, I promise to take pictures as soon as I can.
    - — - — - — -
    Serial #: N7A6521
    Tange #1 Double-Butted Cr-Mo
    Complete Shimano 105 group (indexed shifting, biopace chainrings)
    Wolber "Super Champion" Alpine rims
    Nitto handlebars and stem
    Suede Vetta saddle
    Sugino seat post
    - — - — - — -
    Original tires were Panaracer Tecnova's
    Last edited by AGuinness; 09-09-06 at 11:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    T-Mar,
    Here is another Centurion for your database:

    1989 "Dave Scott" Ironman Expert
    Serial Number N9E5876
    56 cm frame w/white to blue-grey fade
    Full Suntour GPX gruppo
    Araya "Super Hard" 700c alloy wheels
    Last edited by Old School; 02-04-06 at 12:21 PM.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  9. #9
    Fritz M richardmasoner's Avatar
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    S/N 80105492

    1986'ish or so. Might be 85 or 87, I don't remember when I bought it exactly.
    Centurion Accordo
    105 equipped when new, though that's all gone now -- it's a fixie today.
    Still has the original white-fade-to-red paint job and the groovy 80s decals.
    There's about 30,000 miles on the frame.

  10. #10
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    People, thank-you VERY much for putting your time and effort into this. Here are comments and questions on your particular models:

    Cuda2k: Your bicycle is a perfect match with my 1985 specs. However, it could also be 1984 or 1986, for which I don't have specs. Almost certainly not 1987 or later, as it would have had an Accushift derailleur in place of AR and not pre-1984 by virtue of the Inifinity tubing. Most likely it is 1986 based on my current understanding of the serial numbers. Would you mind checking date codes on major components? What is the4 paint scheme? TIA.

    Gojohnnygo: SIS indicates 1986 or later. This is the first first Centurion serial number I've seen without alpha caharacters. I do have Accordo specs for 19886, 1987 & 1989, so if you can check the brands and model for the frame, forks, cranks, brakes and hubs, I should be able to narrow down the year. TIA.

    Chajmahal: The 1 st Lemans RS is a perfect match with the 1986 model, except for the forks, which were spec'd as CrMo. Interestingly, Mangaloy forks were spec'd for 1987, but the other components had changed. So I'm thinking this is a 1986 model with transition on the forks.

    The 2nd LeMans RS may also be a 1986 model, but built in late 1985. I'm basing this on the 1985 specs, which called for SunTour Seven derailleurs. I'd be interested in knowing the paint schemes on these two models. TIA

    The red LeMans has components typical of the late 1970s. My guess would be 1977 to 1979. I'm assuming the date codes were 77 and/or 78? Is it all red, or is the headtube a contrasting color? The Cyclone derailleurs seem a bit high end considering a hi-tensile frame and other components. I do have 1979 LeMans specs which are similar to yours, but spec SunTour Vx.

    No serial number on the blue LeMans?

    Raverson: The components of the earlier Master indicate a 1986 or 1987 model. The 1988 model used the 6400 series Shimano 600 Ultegra, so I'm assuming it was old stock when purchased. Based on the serial number, it's probably 1987.

    The latter Master is 1988 or 1989. If it was 1990, it would have been labelled as a Diamondback. We can distinguish 1988 and 1989 based on the paint scheme. Both fade to white, but the 1988 should have a smoke finish (I've seen grey and purple) while a 1989 should have a marble color (I've only seen blue ). Which is it? TIA

    AGuinness: Positively a 1987 expert. Shimano 105 SIS made it's debut in 1987 and the 1988 Expert used a fade paint scheme.

    Old School: Postively a 1989 Expert. This was the only year to use GPX.

    Richardmasoner. Hmm, another alpha free serial number! I've never seen an Accordo with Shimano 105. Fade paint suggest 1988 or 1989, but the 1989 was spec'd with Exage, so 1988 seems the choice by process of elimination.

    Dgregory57: I'm willing to tackle the serial number format for any brand, providing the members can supply enough data. The other brands I've been working on are Bianchi, Miyata, Nishiki and Sekine. We already have the codes for many of the big brands such as Raleigh and Schwinn, so I've been placing my emphasis on the more common of the 2nd tier brands.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    T-Mar,
    Thanks for your research -- great sleuthing! I also found "89 A" on the back of my GPX crank...so it definitely confirms your conclusion that mine is a 1989.
    Last edited by Old School; 02-04-06 at 04:46 PM.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  12. #12
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    T-Mar, Orginal color was a dark blue, slightly darker than the repainted color. Block lettering, white or silver (or combo). I gave the derailleurs away, crank is a Sugino No.6 52/42 double, crankrings non-removable. The crank has a few markings, the best I can see on the arms reads: "S 170 GC 6" on the non-drive side and "S 170 GC 2" on the drive side.

    Brakes are at a friends house atm and will try to get him to check them soon. Seatpost is stamped 'MORY' and the saddle is a Vetta 'Made in Italy' and had 'Centurion Anatomic' on each side.
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  13. #13
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Not sure about what you need? I'm new to this vintage stuff. I will try to help.

    Frame and fork: Steel Tange Infinity double butted tappered tubing. Made in Taiwan-Designed in the USA. I'm not sure about the model.

    Cranks, Brakes,Der and Hubs all say SIS.

    The front hub has this engaved on it- 87-39 KK?

    On the cranks left side 350 170 M. right side ag 350 Shimano made in japan.

    It's as 6 speed double.

    The seat: like cuda2k seat, it's a vetta Centurion Anatomic.
    Sick BubbleGum

  14. #14
    Fritz M richardmasoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    Richardmasoner. Hmm, another alpha free serial number! I've never seen an Accordo with Shimano 105. Fade paint suggest 1988 or 1989, but the 1989 was spec'd with Exage, so 1988 seems the choice by process of elimination.
    I'm going by memory on the components so I could be wrong about the 105. I remember it had Biopace chainrings and downtube shifters that could convert from friction to indexed shifting. I seem to recall 105 being the low-end back in the late 80s -- Sora and Tiagra didn't exist back then.

    I didn't think Centurion still existed as a brand in 89 -- When did they change the name of the company to Diamondback?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardmasoner
    I'm going by memory on the components so I could be wrong about the 105. I remember it had Biopace chainrings and downtube shifters that could convert from friction to indexed shifting. I seem to recall 105 being the low-end back in the late 80s -- Sora and Tiagra didn't exist back then.

    I didn't think Centurion still existed as a brand in 89 -- When did they change the name of the company to Diamondback?
    1990 was the first model year for Diamondback road bicycles. BioPace came out in 1983. Shimano 105 was lower, mid-range group when it first appeared in 1983 but gradually moved slightly upscale with increasing features. Until 1989, the Ironman Expert was typically the 105 model in the Centurion lineup. Shimano Light Action SIS derailleurs were a step lower and would be the most likely candidates on an Accordo. Exage was their successor. Both would have had shifters that could be switched from SIS to friction.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gojohnnygo.
    Not sure about what you need? I'm new to this vintage stuff. I will try to help.

    Frame and fork: Steel Tange Infinity double butted tappered tubing. Made in Taiwan-Designed in the USA. I'm not sure about the model.

    Cranks, Brakes,Der and Hubs all say SIS.

    The front hub has this engaved on it- 87-39 KK?

    On the cranks left side 350 170 M. right side ag 350 Shimano made in japan.

    It's as 6 speed double.

    The seat: like cuda2k seat, it's a vetta Centurion Anatomic.
    Thank-you, it helps quite a bit. The hub would appear to be from week 39 of 1987. The 350 designation of the crank would indicate Exage Trail, which was manufactured in 1988. The Vetta saddle indicates it's no later than 1988. All indications point towards a 1988 models.

  17. #17
    Senior Member raverson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raverson
    1987 Centurion Master originally purchased 3/26/88 for $655. Serial # N6P3145
    Tange #1 tubes with cromo fork
    Shimano 600 6 speed that I changed to 7 speed
    Crank FC-6207
    Fr Der FC-6207
    R Der FC-6208
    Brk Br-6208

    I also have an 89 or 90? Master Serial #N7S5694
    Tange #1 tubes with cromo fork
    All components Shimano 600 #6400 7 speed

    T-Mar, here are pics of the Centurion Masters and also the LeMans. You had asked about the LeMans fork blade, it is cromoly steel.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by raverson; 06-06-08 at 10:10 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by raverson
    T-Mar, here are pics of the Centurion Masters and also the LeMans. You had asked about the LeMans fork blade, it is cromoly steel.
    Thank-you, the pics do help.

    The green/white Master is 1986 or 1987. Based on my current understanding of the serial numbers, the frame was built in 1986, but it was fairly late in the year, so it's probably a 1987 model. This would also be more appropriate for a 1988 purchase date. The LBS would have been more likely to have a left over 1987 Master than a 1986 Master.

    The Master, with the purple smoke finish that fades to white, is definitely a 1988 model. This is my 2nd favourite of the all Centurion finishes. My favourite is the pink with yellow seat and head tubes. Just kidding, it's the blue marble marble that fades to white. In the very late 1980s Centurion was very avante-garde with their paint schemes. In my opinion, during this period Centurion had the most attractive paint schemes of all the Japanese bicycles.

    The LeMans is a 1989 model.

  19. #19
    Fritz M richardmasoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    Until 1989, the Ironman Expert was typically the 105 model in the Centurion lineup. Shimano Light Action SIS derailleurs were a step lower and would be the most likely candidates on an Accordo.
    To confuse things even more, I just dug through my box of old bike parts. My derailer says "SHIMANO 600" on it. I got this off of my Centurion Accordo, but there's a fair chance that I changed the components on this bike.

    RFM

  20. #20
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    Here is mine

    Model: Centurion Cavaletto (I know but it was free)
    SN: N5E0563
    Tubing: 1.2mm gauge lightweight
    Fork: Tange High Tensile
    Derailers: Unnamed Shimano
    Shifters: Unnamed Shimano
    Hubs: Suzue
    Rims: Steel
    Cranks: Sugino Stamped steel
    Brakes: Dia-Compe
    Color: Silver with blue accents
    Guessing it's a 83 based on part numbers

  21. #21
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    The Shimano 105 groups cost less than the Ultegra 600 group during the 1987 to 1989 period. But, it may have been Shimano's best group. Shimano introduced indexing in 1985-86 with Dura-Ace, and it worked reasonably well. Then indexing was put on Ultegra 600 in 1986-87, and it worked even better.

    But, around 1987-88, all the "kinks" had been worked out, and the "improved" indexing was put on the 105 group. That group also got Shimano's best ever brakes, the SLR system. The 105 SLR brakes of around 1988 were so good, some folks replaced their 1986 era Dura-Ace brakes with the 1988 105 brakes. Finally, around 1989, Dura Ace was "upgraded" to shift and brake as well as the 1988 Shimano 105 group.

    So, if your Centurion has a 105 group, you have a terrific bike. I have owned Centurions with both Ultegra and the 105 groups, and liked both. But, the 105 was the better of the two.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    While dating some Centurion models for a forum member, I noticed what I believe to be a series sequence in the format. Based on this, I was able to predict the model years, which were verified using info on the components, tubing and graphics. Due to the small sample size this could all be co-incidence, but I'd like explore the matter further. ..... Thank-you in advance for your assistance.
    Here is the info on my Centurion ProTour 15.
    Purchased new in fall 1985, salesman said it had been "in the shop for a while". Paid $325
    Serial # on BB = N404053
    Color = brass/bronze-ish
    Main triangle = Champion #2, butted Tange tubing
    Suntour components

    I'm not sure if it is an 1983, '84 or '85.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybeard
    Here is mine

    Model: Centurion Cavaletto (I know but it was free)
    SN: N5E0563
    Tubing: 1.2mm gauge lightweight
    Fork: Tange High Tensile
    Derailers: Unnamed Shimano
    Shifters: Unnamed Shimano
    Hubs: Suzue
    Rims: Steel
    Cranks: Sugino Stamped steel
    Brakes: Dia-Compe
    Color: Silver with blue accents
    Guessing it's a 83 based on part numbers
    Thank-you for the submission. It would appear to be a 1985 based on the serial number. The components are also a good match with the 1985 specs, if we assume the those Shimano components are from the Z-series.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood
    Here is the info on my Centurion ProTour 15.
    Purchased new in fall 1985, salesman said it had been "in the shop for a while". Paid $325
    Serial # on BB = N404053
    Color = brass/bronze-ish
    Main triangle = Champion #2, butted Tange tubing
    Suntour components

    I'm not sure if it is an 1983, '84 or '85.
    This one could be a 1984 or a 1985. I doubt it's 1983. You got a good deal, as the 1983 retailed for $465 US and presumibly a 1984 or 1985 would have cost more. The question is, was the LBS clearing their 1984 or 1985 models? I do have specs and pic for the 1983 & an ad for the 1984, but nothing on the 1985 model. However, we can try to narrow things down, based on what I do know about these models. Are the tires/rims, 27" or 700C. Are the shift levers mounted on the top or side of the down tube or bar end? Is the head tube a contrasting color to the frame? Is there internal wiring for a generator? What model is the rear derailleur? TIA.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    This one could be a 1984 or a 1985. I doubt it's 1983. You got a good deal, as the 1983 retailed for $465 US and presumibly a 1984 or 1985 would have cost more. The question is, was the LBS clearing their 1984 or 1985 models? I do have specs and pic for the 1983 & an ad for the 1984, but nothing on the 1985 model. However, we can try to narrow things down, based on what I do know about these models. Are the tires/rims, 27" or 700C. Are the shift levers mounted on the top or side of the down tube or bar end? Is the head tube a contrasting color to the frame? Is there internal wiring for a generator? What model is the rear derailleur? TIA.
    Wheels are 27" - Araya rims on Suzue (?) hubs
    Shift levers are mounted on top of DT = Suntour Symmetric (trim the FD as you shift RD)
    HT is a lighter and contrasting color that kinda matches the decals
    Internal wiring = Yes
    RD = replaced many years ago, Suntour but model unknown

    Chromed right chainstay, chrome on top of seatstays at seat cluster.
    Some have written that this indicates the entire frame is chromed under the paint but I am skeptical.
    Had natural cork colored tape that really suited the paint.
    I'm guessing 84 model, 85 is possible.

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