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Old 03-04-07, 02:21 PM   #1
mindlesswacko
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89/90?? Centurion road bike

I bought a Centurion bike from a friend last fall, and have recently been trying to figure out its history.

I read Ashley Wright's article (posted on sheldonbrown.com) about Centurion:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/centurion/index.html
Ashley says the company stopped making the Centurion mark in 1990. I'm guessing that my frame is one of the last that was made, since it has a more modern seatstay setup (see pics at link below), and vertical dropouts.

I have posted detail pics at:
http://s14.photobucket.com/albums/a3...20road%20bike/

Does anyone have more info/ideas on this frame? Thanks!
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Old 03-04-07, 03:23 PM   #2
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Do you have a serial number? Have you tried dating the components through the Trek website?

http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm

It's certainly a later vintage--no Miami Vice colour scheme on that bike! Very low key.

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Old 03-04-07, 03:54 PM   #3
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unfortunately, the previous owner rebuilt it at some point, and I'm not sure which components are original. I suppose the bb is, if I ever get the urge to take it apart. From the brakes, I got feb 1991; front derailleur, june 1990; and rear derailleur june 1997 (obviously not original). the crankset is also not original.

yes, this makes it all that much harder!
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Old 03-04-07, 03:56 PM   #4
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serial: 91H0038

looking at that serial, it would seem that the bike is a 1991. However, this seems to contradict Ashley Wright's statement (at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/centurion/index.html):

"Some time in 1990 WSI dropped the Centurion name, using the Diamondback trade name instead for both its mountain and road bike lines."
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Old 03-04-07, 03:59 PM   #5
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Is there metal under that paint?

From the looks of those lugs, I'm thinking Carbon Fiber....

If the brakes are original, they are the only dual pivots I have seen on a Centurion. Not that I have seen that many, but my 1989 Ironman Mster has 600/ultegra and they were single pivot (to be replaced with some dual pivots), and it was only a year or so before the name died away and it is the top of the Ironman line for Centurion...

I think you may have the most expensive Centurion they made.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:20 PM   #6
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That appears to be the Ironman Carbon that is mentioned in Ashley's article, just not equipped like one. I have seen several bare frames sell on ebay, but never a complete DA model that he claims they were equipped from the factory. Yours may have been reconstructed with a bare frame and parts available. The 80's steel Centurions had a serial number on the bottom bracket like A9####, where A indicated January (or some Japanese date code - I had an N on one) and the 9 was for 1989.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:21 PM   #7
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well, my understanding is that lugs doesn't automatically mean the frame material isn't steel. And, since I've never seen any reference to carbon fiber Centurions, I'm skeptical to think the material's anything other than steel.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindlesswacko
well, my understanding is that lugs doesn't automatically mean the frame material isn't steel. And, since I've never seen any reference to carbon fiber Centurions, I'm skeptical to think the material's anything other than steel.
While true that lugged doesn't mean non-steel, my lugged steel Centurion's lugs looks nothing like that.

I still say it looks like either lugged carbon fiber or maybe aluminum... But I have never heard of a bonded aluminum Centurion either.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:27 PM   #9
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speaking of the serial number...that's another odd thing. The serial is not on the bb shell as everyone says about Centurion. It is found on the left side rear dropout.

on the carbon fiber thing: I didn't notice Ashley's mention of carbon earlier, but I do now see that in the article. This is possible, since it doesn't seem as if the frame is painted at all, and the seatpost is an old Dura-Ace, which might be original.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:31 PM   #10
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now i'm really curious. I've looked more closely at the lugs, and it looks as if the tubes are glued into the lugs, which would point in the direction of carbon or aluminum. And, again, I'm not seeing any sign of paint upon closer inspection.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindlesswacko
speaking of the serial number...that's another odd thing. The serial is not on the bb as everyone says about Centurion. It is found on the left side rear dropout.
Since Centurion was an importer and not a manufacturer, they could have contracted this bike from a different builder. And from the looks of the pic of the BB, the BB would not have been good for engraving a serial number on that bike.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:39 PM   #12
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You need to read Ashley's page again - he does mention a Carbon bike
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Old 03-04-07, 04:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindlesswacko
And, again, I'm not seeing any sign of paint upon closer inspection.
I think we have a winner!!!

For a 25 year old bike, if it were painted, the metal underneath would more than likely show through on a spot or two... and if it doesn't even look like paint, then I think you have an early example of a carbon fiber bike.

Unfortunately a quick google search doesn't turn up any images, but I did stumble across a reference to a carbon Centurion in the 1990 RAAM...

Good luck on digging up more info.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
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You need to read Ashley's page again - he does mention a Carbon bike
yea i found it. thanks.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:48 PM   #15
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Those lugs are definitely very different from anything I've seen, and I've got an 1987? Centurion.

I don't know what this means, but I've never seen what would appear to be bottom bracket measurements on the bottom bracket, either!

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Old 03-04-07, 05:32 PM   #16
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That's a carbon Centurion. My brother had one that he purchased in 1989 or 1990 as a frameset. Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Old 03-04-07, 05:35 PM   #17
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All right, now the tough question.

How much was it?



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Old 03-04-07, 05:48 PM   #18
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All right, now the tough question.

How much was it?



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how much did I pay for mine? or how much did monogodo's bro pay?

i paid $120 for the complete bike, with a set of Neuvation wheels, and two new saddles: a Terry Butterfly ti, and a Selle Italia XO (my friend said, "that saddle is a women's so you can have this one too", and just gave me the Selle).
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Old 03-04-07, 06:11 PM   #19
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anyone have any idea what the model name was?
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Old 03-05-07, 07:09 AM   #20
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My brother just happened to call me just after I posted earlier. He got his in 1989 as a closeout 1989 model. He says they only made them in 1988 & 1989. His developed a high-speed wobble, so it was replaced under warranty with a steel MTB frame (by his choice).

As for how much he paid, again, I've no idea. We worked for a Centurion/Diamondback dealer at the time, so I'm sure he got it for cost + 10%, which couldn't have been a whole lot, knowing what he made at the time.

I believe it was the Centurion Ironman Carbon, but I'm not positive.
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Old 03-05-07, 07:30 PM   #21
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so...

how do i figure out what parts came on it originally? monogodo said it was originally outfitted with Dura-Ace. But, what model number would that be, and where might I be able to find components from that time if I wanted to restore it to its former glory? A big question is the wheelset. Any ideas there?
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Old 03-05-07, 09:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindlesswacko
monogodo said it was originally outfitted with Dura-Ace.
No I didn't.

Ashley Wright did in the article you linked to in your first post, though.
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Old 03-05-07, 10:27 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by monogodo
No I didn't.

Ashley Wright did in the article you linked to in your first post, though.
oh good call. confusing myself. anyway, still wanna figure out what it was outfitted with!!
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Old 03-06-07, 04:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindlesswacko
anyone have any idea what the model name was?

I'm not sure. My Ironman Expert was $780 in 1988 with 105 components and it was a steel frame. The Masters at the time had 600 components and was about $100-$150 more. your carbon model had to be well over $1K...... $1200 possibly?
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Old 03-06-07, 04:39 PM   #25
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My mistake. I would say possibly $1,200 with 105 or 600 components. More like $1500 with Dura Ace.
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