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Thread: 1980s Centurion

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    1980s Centurion

    I don't know much about this bike, but it looks great and I'm considering getting it. Plus it fits me according to the "inseam x 0.67" formula (79.67cm x 0.67 = 53.3789cm) I know I should actually try it out and not just rely on that measurement alone, but is this a good value? ie for the condition the bike is in and what any of you know about the model.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

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    oops I just realized i didnt link or give any of that important info...
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/304334461.html
    $180. its probably a good 30 minute drive for me if that makes any difference.

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    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Price seems a bit steep to me, but then it is the SF market, which unfortunately inflates prices. The Accordo was near the bottom of the pecking order for Centurion (see here), but that doesn't mean it's not a well built frame. However, it will likely have a heavier grade of steel.

    On the plus side, it does look super clean. Repacked hubs and new tires/tubes are good. But it might also require a bottom bracket repacking, brake pads, and perhaps new cables and housing for optimal performance. My guess is that the foam bar grips will also start crumbling, or feel nasty, meaning you'll want some new bar tape.

    Some of the SF guys on here might be able to tell you if they think this is a good deal. Maybe one of them is actually the seller!

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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I don't know the tubing sticker, but I would say that unless it is chrome-moly, or some other steel alloy other than high-ten or high carbon steel, I would bypass at that price.
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    I sold these 3 Centurion Ironman models last year - better quality frame and better components, for (from top) $150, $175, and $225.see post #82
    IMO, $180 is too high for that model.

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    Senior Member raverson's Avatar
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    I agree with JYB, that seems a little steep for an Accordo. Unless it was pristine or you had some unusual attachment to that particular model or color.

    I have bought two Dave Scott Ironman's on ebay in the last couple of years. Paid $80 for a '86 and $170 for a '89. Both were picked up to avoid shipping, and both have nice Shimano 600 complete groups. I also bought an '88 LeMans with Exage Sport for $53.

    I sold a '89 with Suntour GPX group last year on CL to a guy from SF because it was a 50cm frame. It sold in about an hour at $165
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    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    The posting's been deleted, so apparently someone thought it was worth it .

    It's spring, and it's in the Bay Area. What more can I say?

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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill
    The posting's been deleted, so apparently someone thought it was worth it .

    It's spring, and it's in the Bay Area. What more can I say?

    East Hill
    I am beginning to wonder whether we are causing people to avoid buying bikes that would suit them very well based on the fact that many of us here will wait however long it takes to get a bike since we already have bikes.

    There is no doubt that the Centurion from this thread is worth more than any new $180 bike if it is in good shape, as it appears...
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    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    I am beginning to wonder whether we are causing people to avoid buying bikes that would suit them very well based on the fact that many of us here will wait however long it takes to get a bike since we already have bikes.

    There is no doubt that the Centurion from this thread is worth more than any new $180 bike if it is in good shape, as it appears...
    It does take some patience to find a bargain. But I read the OP's other thread, and having set a budget of $150, I think it would pay off to wait. This bike was at the high end of that budget, and it still would need work. The problem with vintage bikes, even if they appear very clean, is that they do need at least a minor reconditioning. I think the OP would eventually be way over $180.

    The thing that isn't often apparent on this forum to newcomers is that 1) most vintage fans here do their own wrenching, which saves an enormous amount of money, 2) many here have stockpiles of parts, or are very resourceful at finding inexpensive used parts.

    I think the OP would be much better served finding something at the $50 or lower pricepoint, and expecting to pay at least $100 to get it into rideable condition. And that price does not include bikeshop labor, which would drive the cost up even more.

    Roflmar, if you have the time, try some Thrift stores, yardsales, etc. It will be very difficult to find bargains on SF CL. There is this thread on C&V started by Braingel that might help as a companion in your search.

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I've got an '85 Centurion Accordo. It has Tange Infinity tubing (although I believe some of the earlier Accordo's may have used Infinity in the main triangle only, with high-ten stays). The Accordo's are nothing fancy, but they're decent '80's road bikes-
    Last edited by well biked; 04-02-07 at 07:58 AM.

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    I used to have two accordos: a mid/late 80s with infinity and 7 spd indexed shifting, and an earlier model (~80s) with Champion #1 converted to a fixed gear. (Paid about 100 for each). No complaints on the ride quality of either and the infinity model really soaked up bumps. I would not have paid over 150 for either though, but they were the 3rd and 4th bikes so I can afford to be patient.

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    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schiavonec
    I would not have paid over 150 for either though, but they were the 3rd and 4th bikes so I can afford to be patient.
    This is an extremely good point! I know I probably overpaid for my first bike (although I got it for less than the advertised price), but as I've gone along I have tended to be a bit more sparing of my dollars, simply because I CAN afford to look for a better deal.

    If it's something rare or unusual, then we would all be willing to put up a few more units of our local currency. But for someone's first bike, it may very well be a good thing to mention that what we would be willing to pay may be significantly lower than the person asking.

    I'll try to keep that in mind next time.

    East Hill
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    Prodigal road guy MajorA's Avatar
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    Some good points on price advice to people who are just looking for a good first bike ... head down to the local big box sports store, and see what $150 or $200 will get you. While those of us who are tuned into the price structure may raise an eyebrow if a 1985-88 Universal Japanese Bike breaks $150, for somebody who's looking to get into road riding, if the bike is on "hop on and ride" condition, that's a pretty good deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkYardBike
    I think the OP would be much better served finding something at the $50 or lower pricepoint, and expecting to pay at least $100 to get it into rideable condition. And that price does not include bikeshop labor, which would drive the cost up even more.

    Roflmar, if you have the time, try some Thrift stores, yardsales, etc. It will be very difficult to find bargains on SF CL. There is this thread on C&V started by Braingel that might help as a companion in your search.
    Thanks! I've considered getting something really drab and then fixing it up, but I was afraid I didn't have the experience necessary. However, I've decided I want something that's ready-to-ride and that once I've gotten into road biking a little more I could go from there.

    I have been staking out yard sales and will be sure to keep doing that, but in the meantime the only thing I have is CL. I realize now that I've chosen a pretty bad time to be looking for bike deals, heh. But thanks for all the help and the link. I've also decided to up my original price range to something like $200 - $250. It just seems like there are more options at that range.

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    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    I am beginning to wonder whether we are causing people to avoid buying bikes that would suit them very well based on the fact that many of us here will wait however long it takes to get a bike since we already have bikes.
    Yup. Not only that, but people outside of this market will be hard pressed to accurately put a value on a given bike/model for this market. A clean Centurion Accordo that might go begging at $20 in, say, Forgan, OK, will fetch at least $120-$140 here.

    FORGET what bikes go for in other parts of the country/world, SF is it's own beast and right now spring is in the air. Any road bike in ready-to-ride condition will sell all day long at $150. Exceptions might be dept store Huffy's, Free Spirits, etc., but known Japanese labels, no matter how low on the totem pole will sell quickly if rideable and presentable. That's just the way it is.

    The OP needs to know what he's looking for and must not hesitate to pull thre trigger if he finds something of interest. There are a lot of eyes on CL right now, and decent bikes can sell within minutes of posting.

    That being said - I live in the East Bay and have a few bikes in my shed that might be of interest. What size are you (the OP) looking for? Maybe I can help, and if not, I can certainly help refurbing any bike in disrepair that you might come across.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Also, I don't know about the bay area, but I find a few potential deals by searching eBay for complete bikes and fromes in my size within 150 miles (so local pickup is an option) The more reasonable bikes for me are usually over 100 miles away, but for someone not wanting to ship, or with an expensive shipping cost, you could get a deal on a local pick up.

    I have actually bypassed a couple of Chrome moly framed complete bikes in the past couple of weeks that went in the $50 range, nothing exceptional, but if I didn't already have a couple of projects I would have jumped. I did get my Ironman for $115 that way. I got Corky (a hand built 531 framed bike) plus a huffy boat anchor that way for $65. I got a Raleigh MT-500 to turn into a cruiser for $50 that way. Corky needed lots of work, the mountain bike needed a new fork, the Ironman needed the tires pumped up.

    If you try this in the Bay Area maybe you'll find a good deal out in the Central Valley somewhere. Someone in Stockton has surely got to sell a bike once in a while, or is the market as bad out there too?
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    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman
    ntry/world, SF is it's own beast and right now spring is in the air. Any road bike in ready-to-ride condition will sell all day long at $150.
    I completely agree with this. But how ride ready is that bike, really? I think it's important for Roflmar to know that even a $150 bike like this will likely need some attention. Sure, the BB might spin, but with 25 year old grease, if ridden on long, it'll destroy the cups. Of course, a used BB in good condition is not that hard to find cheap, or free, but the OP will be be paying for repair service. Same with the headset. And I have yet to find a 25 year old bike in original condition that didn't need new cables and housing. Sure, they may work, but not very well. Simple repair, and cheap, if you know how to do it. My guess is that it also needs new brake pads and bar tape.

    Very few vintage bikes are sold truly ride ready. Personally, I think Roflmar should factor reconditioning costs into the budget. The price paid for a vintage lightweight is usually for the frameset, and for the components if they are high end. So if Roflmar finds a nicer bike in the newly stated budget range of $200-$250, he/she will likely find a better frameset, but the same need for reconditioning.

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    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Here is how the bike Gods work: they will make you over-pay for your first bike. Not negotiable. You will over-pay. So just do it. You will pay too much for a lame bike. But then once you have made your sacrifice you will then find two bikes that are much better for MUCH less money.

    I will have the courage to admit my first purchase was a rusty Continental for $50. Now, I would pay no more than $5 for it, and would probably pass even for that. But, that pleased the Gods because I then found a Nishiki International in solid shape for $30. And then a nice old Trek in beautiful shape for about the same money. I think that that Continental might be my second most expensive bike I have ever bought.

    By the way, anyone want to buy an already broken-in, classic Schwinn Continental? The Gods would be very impressed if you paid more than $50 for it. But, I might take $5. Come on, you know you want it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman
    That being said - I live in the East Bay and have a few bikes in my shed that might be of interest. What size are you (the OP) looking for? Maybe I can help, and if not, I can certainly help refurbing any bike in disrepair that you might come across.
    Hi bigbossman, you actually gave me advice before on a few bikes I was looking at. All help is much appreciated.
    I'm looking for a 53-54cm size bike. Theres a 54cm Nishiki Olympic the owner says is from the 80s up on CL right now for $150. I gave him a call and might look at it today. He's only a few minutes from where I live so I might be able to jump on it. Otherwise, like you said, it'll probably be gone in a few hours.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/304872345.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa
    Here is how the bike Gods work: they will make you over-pay for your first bike. Not negotiable. You will over-pay. So just do it. You will pay too much for a lame bike. But then once you have made your sacrifice you will then find two bikes that are much better for MUCH less money.
    hahaha! the way my search has been going so far and the way the market has shifted here in the Bay Area ever since the weather started improving I'm sure this is not far from the truth.

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    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roflmar
    Hi bigbossman, you actually gave me advice before on a few bikes I was looking at. All help is much appreciated.
    I'm looking for a 53-54cm size bike. Theres a 54cm Nishiki Olympic the owner says is from the 80s up on CL right now for $150. I gave him a call and might look at it today. He's only a few minutes from where I live so I might be able to jump on it. Otherwise, like you said, it'll probably be gone in a few hours.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/304872345.html
    Oh yeah, I remember! Like I said, feel free to bring over whatever you end up with, and we can inspect and overhaul as necessary.

    If that one's clean and fits you, you might as well buy it and get it over with.......
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

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    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman
    Oh yeah, I remember! Like I said, feel free to bring over whatever you end up with, and we can inspect and overhaul as necessary.

    If that one's clean and fits you, you might as well buy it and get it over with.......
    If you can wait, I'v got a 712 Miyata that I'm finishing up. I think it's your size. Just a shameless plug.
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

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    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mhendricks
    If you can wait, I'v got a 712 Miyata that I'm finishing up. I think it's your size. Just a shameless plug.
    If you buy Mike's bike, you won't have to worry about whether it's clean and rideable. I've seen what he does - first class work.

    I take it you missed out on that little white Trek 1400 in Mtn View a while back?
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mhendricks
    If you can wait, I'v got a 712 Miyata that I'm finishing up. I think it's your size. Just a shameless plug.
    thanks for the offer! but, i'm going to go check out that Nishiki right now. i mean literally right now, haha. the person who's selling it is a 15 minute walk away from me. i'll let you know if i end up not buying it and still need a bike. i DO have a friend who's in the market for a road bike as well. he's a little taller than i am though, so he'd maybe be more suited for a 56cm frame.

    and bigbossman: i did miss out on that trek1400. someone ended up offering more than what the seller was asking =P. i was ready to give up a saturday to drive out to mountain view also.

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    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    I'd definitely opt for the Miyata.

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