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  1. #1
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    1986 Centurion Facet, any thoughts?

    I bought this bike used during my senior year in high school for $200 (1988) and rode it hard through college, including the occasional century, and then with grad school and a family; it then sat in the garage for the next 10 years. I recently dusted it off and took a closer look. It is all aluminum 7000 series tubing with Tange aluminum fork, Suntour Superbe Pro drivetrain and Gran Royal Comp brakes. I hear it was the first all aluminum bike produced by Centurion.The frame is near immaculate, but the drivetrain components need a major clean-up. It is bright yellow with black forks.

    Has anybody else seen another Facet, or know the desirability of this bike? My research has only produced references to the other Centurion models (Iron Man, Accordo, etc.).

    It still looks sharp and amazingly, weighs under 20 lbs.

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    this is the Yellow bike with a black fork? I was my favorite bike and the lightest, smothest riding bike I ever owned, although not a racer like my Trek 2000. I loved that bike and it was stolen from me. I upgraded the groupo to a Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 series. Otherwise, it weighted in at about 17 pounds.

    It you ever choose to sell it, email me.

    BTW - they only sold it for one year. It was a very thin tube of Aluminum.

    Ruben Safir

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    The Facet's claim to fame is that it was was the one of the first welded frame to use 7000 series aluminum. Thus aluminum is stronger than the more common 6061, but much more difficult to weld. Most of the other manufacturers using this aluminum bonded it using adhesives. The exception ws Miyata, who produced a model called Omnium, which looks suspiociously like the Facet and may be Centurion's supplier for this model. The Tange fork on the facet is 6061 aluminum, as it provides a slightly softer ride.

    The Facet's tubes are slifghtly oversize to increase rigidity with minimal effect on weight. The frames were more flexy than a typical butted, steel frame, but not as flexy as an aluminum Vitus. The geometry was geared towards triathlons and fast club rides, with a slightly longer wheelbase and slacker angles than race bicycles of the era. It was stable and comfortable. Still, it was capable of being raced and was used by the women's team (Texas-Metros?) sponsored by Centurion.

    The bicycle originally came with SunTour Sprint, so it sounds like we may have another upgrade. Weight was 22 lbs, but Superbe Pro should knock that down a bit, though I can't imagine getting it down to 17 lbs. Original cost was $700 US.

    On the downside, as mentioned by the the previous poster, it and the Omnium were only offered for one year. It would appear that either sales were poor and/or there were problems.

    I wouldn't consider this is a collectible or particularly desirable bicycle, though it is very nice. The prime interest would be for its SunTour Superbe Pro drivetrain.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    The Facet's claim to fame is that it was was the one of the first welded frame to use 7000 series aluminum. Thus aluminum is stronger than the more common 6061, but much more difficult to weld. Most of the other manufacturers using this aluminum bonded it using adhesives. The exception ws Miyata, who produced a model called Omnium, which looks suspiociously like the Facet and may be Centurion's supplier for this model. The Tange fork on the facet is 6061 aluminum, as it provides a slightly softer ride.

    The Facet's tubes are slifghtly oversize to increase rigidity with minimal effect on weight. The frames were more flexy than a typical butted, steel frame, but not as flexy as an aluminum Vitus. The geometry was geared towards triathlons and fast club rides, with a slightly longer wheelbase and slacker angles than race bicycles of the era. It was stable and comfortable. Still, it was capable of being raced and was used by the women's team (Texas-Metros?) sponsored by Centurion.

    The bicycle originally came with SunTour Sprint, so it sounds like we may have another upgrade. Weight was 22 lbs, but Superbe Pro should knock that down a bit, though I can't imagine getting it down to 17 lbs. Original cost was $700 US.
    I put Mavic Rims with sew ups on it, preplaced the group with dura-ace which weights a lot less, changed the petals to RX-40's and it wieghed on the scale 17 poubs 1.4 ounces. It was a soft ride and I loved it. It was like riding with shocks and I could see the bottom bracket assembly give on the downstroke causing the bike to have a natural rythm when riding on the straight flats of Brooklyn and Long Island. It was a great ride for the Mountauk Century

    On the downside, as mentioned by the the previous poster, it and the Omnium were only offered for one year. It would appear that either sales were poor and/or there were problems.

    I wouldn't consider this is a collectible or particularly desirable bicycle, though it is very nice. The prime interest would be for its SunTour Superbe Pro drivetrain.[/QUOTE]

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    The Facet's claim to fame is that it was was the one of the first welded frame to use 7000 series aluminum. Thus aluminum is stronger than the more common 6061, but much more difficult to weld. Most of the other manufacturers using this aluminum bonded it using adhesives. The exception ws Miyata, who produced a model called Omnium, which looks suspiociously like the Facet and may be Centurion's supplier for this model. The Tange fork on the facet is 6061 aluminum, as it provides a slightly softer ride.

    The Facet's tubes are slifghtly oversize to increase rigidity with minimal effect on weight. The frames were more flexy than a typical butted, steel frame, but not as flexy as an aluminum Vitus. The geometry was geared towards triathlons and fast club rides, with a slightly longer wheelbase and slacker angles than race bicycles of the era. It was stable and comfortable. Still, it was capable of being raced and was used by the women's team (Texas-Metros?) sponsored by Centurion.

    The bicycle originally came with SunTour Sprint, so it sounds like we may have another upgrade. Weight was 22 lbs, but Superbe Pro should knock that down a bit, though I can't imagine getting it down to 17 lbs. Original cost was $700 US.
    I put Mavic Rims with sew ups on it, preplaced the group with dura-ace which weights a lot less, changed the petals to RX-40's and it wieghed on the scale 17 poubs 1.4 ounces. It was a soft ride and I loved it. It was like riding with shocks and I could see the bottom bracket assembly give on the downstroke causing the bike to have a natural rythm when riding on the straight flats of Brooklyn and Long Island. It was a great ride for the Mountauk Century
    On the downside, as mentioned by the the previous poster, it and the Omnium were only offered for one year. It would appear that either sales were poor and/or there were problems.

    I wouldn't consider this is a collectible or particularly desirable bicycle, though it is very nice. The prime interest would be for its SunTour Superbe Pro drivetrain.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    I wouldn't consider this is a collectible or particularly desirable bicycle, though it is very nice. The prime interest would be for its SunTour Superbe Pro drivetrain.

    Its interesting that you consider it as a collector would. I have no idea what drives the collectability of a bike up but I really wasn't found of the suntour group. I would think that the bike, as it was sold for only one year, would actually be of interest. It was certainly of interest to the theives who stole my bike and for a decade I viewed any yellow bike with suspicion.

    Ruben
    Last edited by mrbrklyn; 10-25-07 at 06:22 PM.

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    I seem to remember the Facet frame with the Centurion Women's team (Madonna Harris, Marianne Berglund, etc.) in the '86 Coors Classic. It was the yellow aluminum frame. I was riding my '83 Centurion Elite 12 at the time and seriously considered getting one.

  8. #8
    WNG
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    The Suntour Superbe Pro group has significance in that it was the last premium race group from the original Suntour Japan before it went bankrupt and parted out to the Taiwanese and SR. The sauce got diluted after that.

    Suntour held the world patent for slant parallelogram chain deflection mechanism...the best design. And what would be the final ingredient to making SIS a precise reality for Shimano and the rest of the manufacturers after the patent expired.

    Suntour was a small company compared to Shimano's juggernaut. But they turned out some finely crafted pieces with genuine innovation.
    Their Superbe Pro brakes are IMHO the best looking standard sidepulls ever made.
    With the internal tension springs, the set has very clean lines and looks good from all angles and don't look dated. The WinnerPro freewheels were superior to everything from Europe and Shimano.
    The rear derailleur was a thing of beauty too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point View Post
    I seem to remember the Facet frame with the Centurion Women's team (Madonna Harris, Marianne Berglund, etc.) in the '86 Coors Classic. It was the yellow aluminum frame. I was riding my '83 Centurion Elite 12 at the time and seriously considered getting one.
    I was at that race and I still have the tee shirt. I remember bringing my bikes. My girlfriend was in the army and stationed in Colorado Springs at the time. I have that Elite as well, or maybe it was the '84 RS.

    Ruben

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    The Suntour Superbe Pro group has significance in that it was the last premium race group from the original Suntour Japan before it went bankrupt and parted out to the Taiwanese and SR. The sauce got diluted after that.

    Suntour held the world patent for slant parallelogram chain deflection mechanism...the best design. And what would be the final ingredient to making SIS a precise reality for Shimano and the rest of the manufacturers after the patent expired.

    Suntour was a small company compared to Shimano's juggernaut. But they turned out some finely crafted pieces with genuine innovation.
    Their Superbe Pro brakes are IMHO the best looking standard sidepulls ever made.
    With the internal tension springs, the set has very clean lines and looks good from all angles and don't look dated. The WinnerPro freewheels were superior to everything from Europe and Shimano.
    The rear derailleur was a thing of beauty too.
    Do you have pictures. I replaced the suntuor crank with Dura-Ace and the wheel axels as well. I remember that. It rode like a dream.

    Ruben

  11. #11
    WNG
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    sorry I don't...ebay may be a good source to try for pics. A few vintage archive sites had old Suntour catalogs displayed too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    Its interesting that you consider it as a collector would....
    Well, the original poster did ask if anyone knew of "the desirability of the bike". This requires a totally objective and impartial view.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    Do you have pictures....
    Are you looking for pictures of the bicycle or the Superbe pro components? If the latter, which ones?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    Well, the original poster did ask if anyone knew of "the desirability of the bike". This requires a totally objective and impartial view.



    Are you looking for pictures of the bicycle or the Superbe pro components? If the latter, which ones?
    I'd like photo's of the bike I found photo's of the crack et al. The thing it, even now as I ride my bikes,
    the suntour parts, IMO, aren't of the quality of the Shimano, especially the SuperBe crank and the brakes as compared to Dura_Ace. Also, FWIW, I've snapped two Cyclone Derailers on the body. Granted that they were rode to death, but sill I never had that happen with any of my Shimano derailers.

    Ruben

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    I'd like photo's of the bike...
    Here's one, but I had to cscan and compress it from the print of an old analog photo, so the quality leaves something to be desired.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    Here's one, but I had to cscan and compress it from the print of an old analog photo, so the quality leaves something to be desired.
    That's IT. The old brakes I think went over in the traditional way, but Yes. I loved that bike! See how thin the tubing is. It gave big time on the ride, making incredibly smooth straights. And it few. It was really the fastest ride I had. I'm sure the bike was taken off the market because it was just too thin.

    It was a TIG welded frame. and the bike was gorgeous, Tiger Yellow and Black.

    Ruben

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    wasn't there a braze on for the pump on the headset tube?

    Ruben

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    That's IT.... See how thin the tubing is. It gave big time on the ride, making incredibly smooth straights. And it few. It was really the fastest ride I had. I'm sure the bike was taken off the market because it was just too thin....wasn't there a braze on for the pump on the headset tube?
    In comparison to other aluminum models of the era, the tubes were of average size. The tubes were small only in comparison to Cannondale and Klein. The majority of bicycles at the time were steel and the Facet was decidedly rotund compared to them.

    You obviously prefer a resilient ride quality. The Facet definitely offered that with it's slightly flexy frame. Almost invariably, the demise of a model relates to poor sales. My personal opinion is that the Facet just suffered from an identity crisis that appealed to very few consumers. It was aluminum but was relatively heavy and flexy, which was not a desirable combination. It had a sports/touring ride, but the components and gearing suggested racing. Worst of all, it spec'd a SunTour friction group in year that Shimano had trickled down SIS to bikes costing 1/2 as much. A nice bicycle, but it's niche was too small to survive.

    A pump peg may have been added later in the year, but there definitely wasn't any on the early production.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    In comparison to other aluminum models of the era, the tubes were of average size. The tubes were small only in comparison to Cannondale and Klein. The majority of bicycles at the time were steel and the Facet was decidedly rotund compared to them.

    You obviously prefer a resilient ride quality. The Facet definitely offered that with it's slightly flexy frame. Almost invariably, the demise of a model relates to poor sales. My personal opinion is that the Facet just suffered from an identity crisis that appealed to very few consumers. It was aluminum but was relatively heavy and flexy, which was not a desirable combination. It had a sports/touring ride, but the components and gearing suggested racing. Worst of all, it spec'd a SunTour friction group in year that Shimano had trickled down SIS to bikes costing 1/2 as much. A nice bicycle, but it's niche was too small to survive.

    A pump peg may have been added later in the year, but there definitely wasn't any on the early production.
    The Aluminum bikes available that year where essentially the Trek, KLeins and Cannondale. The tubes were thinner than those and the bike was actually lighter than a Trek. It wasn't a racing frame, no doubt. But for most peoples needs I think that is OK. At $800 it was $1200 less than a racing bike. However ultimately it was very soft and many riders at that time were socked into frame stiffness, especially that like Canandale. I had a Cannandale as well and it was like riding on cement bike. My teeth clattered after riding it.

    I think what really caused it to stop being sold, however, was the Ironman line which replaced it in the price range for Centoriun. If they would have marketed as a Triathon Bike in the forst place, it would have likely sold better....and I say that having no idea of its sales figurers.

    Ruben

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    The Aluminum bikes available that year where essentially the Trek, KLeins and Cannondale. The tubes were thinner than those and the bike was actually lighter than a Trek. It wasn't a racing frame, no doubt. But for most peoples needs I think that is OK. At $800 it was $1200 less than a racing bike. However ultimately it was very soft and many riders at that time were socked into frame stiffness, especially that like Canandale. I had a Cannandale as well and it was like riding on cement bike. My teeth clattered after riding it.

    I think what really caused it to stop being sold, however, was the Ironman line which replaced it in the price range for Centoriun. If they would have marketed as a Triathon Bike in the forst place, it would have likely sold better....and I say that having no idea of its sales figurers.

    Ruben
    The Trek's tubes were just slightly larger than the Facet but far closer to the Facet than a Cannondale or Klein. Of the 1986 models, Alan, Kettler and Vitus had aluminum frames with traditional size tubes. Centurion, Mangusta, Miyata Raleigh and Trek used slightly oversize tubes.

    Weight wise, the Facet frame was heaviest of the Cannondale, Klein or Trek.

    The Cannondale ride quality may not be to your liking, but they obviously did a very good job at determining the public's needs, as they sold them by the tens of thousands each year and are still in business.

    Your Ironman theory is easily displaced as the Ironman line appeared a year before the Facet.

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    . In 1987 the economy Ironman Expert Dave Scott model, with its Shimano 105 groupset, appeared and the "Master" designation was added to the original Ironman Dave Scott to distinguish it from the "Expert." The frames of both models were identical, featuring the same Tange #1 tubing, itself renamed from Champion #1. At about this time, a TIG-welded fork crown replaced the more graceful, semi-sloped investment cast fork crowns of the Comp TA and the earlier Ironman models. My 1988 Expert weighs about 21lbs.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From http://sheldonbrown.com/centurion/index.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    . In 1987 the economy Ironman Expert Dave Scott model, with its Shimano 105 groupset, appeared and the "Master" designation was added to the original Ironman Dave Scott to distinguish it from the "Expert." The frames of both models were identical, featuring the same Tange #1 tubing, itself renamed from Champion #1. At about this time, a TIG-welded fork crown replaced the more graceful, semi-sloped investment cast fork crowns of the Comp TA and the earlier Ironman models. My 1988 Expert weighs about 21lbs.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From http://sheldonbrown.com/centurion/index.html
    I know that article better than anybody. I worked closely with the author and provided most of the research.

    From the same article, in fact the preceding sentence, "The Ironman Dave Scott model name replaced Comp TA in 1985 ". In 1987 they added a second Ironman model and used the supplemental names Expert and Master to distinguish between the two, but the original Ironman model dates to 1985.

    In fact, Centurion had a triathlon model in 1984, the Comp TA, but changed the name to Ironman in 1985, due to copyright infringement on the B.F. Goodrich's tire of the same name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    I know that article better than anybody. I worked closely with the author and provided most of the research.

    From the same article, in fact the preceding sentence, "The Ironman Dave Scott model name replaced Comp TA in 1985 ". In 1987 they added a second Ironman model and used the supplemental names Expert and Master to distinguish between the two, but the original Ironman model dates to 1985.

    In fact, Centurion had a triathlon model in 1984, the Comp TA, but changed the name to Ironman in 1985, due to copyright infringement on the B.F. Goodrich's tire of the same name.
    Aside from the article, I was a primary witness to the events. The sales reps from WSI made it clear that the new Ironmans were replacing the Facet within that market niche and that both bikes couldn't survive the price and market range. They thought about just adopting the Facet instead, but several factors worked against it as opposed the newer Ironman designs including problems guaranteeing supply of components and frames.


    Ruben

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    Recent Centurion Facet sighting

    Saw a Centurion Facet in a local thrift shop today just like the one seen in a picture posted in an earlier in this thread. The price for it is high in my opinion: $198. But if I can get it on one of their 50% off days I think it will be somewhat reasonably priced at $99. The only reason I'm still interested in it, in spite of its high price, is because the frame size fits me. I'm 5' 6" and it's hard for me to find used frames that fit me. And this frame is just perfect for me. Should break down and pay it now or try to wait until it's 50% off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
    Condition of all the consumables may answer this question. Does it need new tires, brake pads, cables/housings, freewheel, rings & bar tape? What about general maintenance items like bearings? Do the stem and seatpost come out?
    To be honest, I'm primarily concerned with the frame, and to an extent the wheels, as I have spare components. Those two appear to be in good condition. But to answer your question all other parts appear to be good. It has Suntour components for the brakes, cranks, and derailleurs. Bar wrap is good. But brake pads may need to be replaced soon. I didn't check to see if either the stem or seat post could be removed. But as the bicycle looks to be in good to very good condition (for its age) I suspect that I won't have too much trouble with either.
    Last edited by kcycrs; 10-12-08 at 06:26 PM.

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    I need a bigger one than this...PM and email sent. 600 tricolor, but I kept the 165mm Suntour Sprint cranks.
    Now belongs to an ever-smiling cutie sister of a fellow friend and BF member....

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

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