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Old 06-30-09, 06:59 PM   #1
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A not so special but somewhat interesting Centurian

Ok I know it's not a top tier Centurian. but I am curious about this one. I have heard that there were some made with the cottered cranks but never actually saw one til I was given this bike.
I have posted a bunch of pics including one of the serial number. I hope some can id the year and also catch the one really weird thing that is on the the bike...




















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Old 06-30-09, 07:13 PM   #2
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Nice FD.
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Old 06-30-09, 07:23 PM   #3
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I didnt realize they had early ones made in Taiwan.
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Old 06-30-09, 07:36 PM   #4
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I'm wondering if that's a cousin to the Raleigh's made in Taiwan. I've converted a couple Rapides into single speeds... but it sure screams 70's to me. I like those lugs.
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Old 07-01-09, 08:15 PM   #5
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I'm thinking 70's too.. Has anyone cracked the serials for early Centurians? I would really love to nail down the year. Guess I'm gonna look at the components for a date.
I don't why the Suntour/Shimano derail mix but I read on Sheldon's page that early models were known to mix some parts...
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Old 07-01-09, 08:51 PM   #6
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I have a cottered crank Centurion in my garage ready for sale on craigslist. Looks a lot like yours. The wierd thing on mine is the front derailer. You pull the lever back to drop it into the low sprocket. Everything is Suntour on the bike, with the exception of the Dia-Compe brakes. Not a bad bike to ride around.

Oh yeah, I broke one of the crank cotters. Had a spare on another crankset- anyone know where I can get replacements?
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Old 07-02-09, 08:54 AM   #7
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From what I have been able to piece together, my understanding is that Centurion was another 'manufacturer' that did more buying and importing than actual manufacturing. I don't think they actually owned a factory. Like Alpha (Lotus/Windsor bikes), they bought runs of bikes made by whomever, equipped and painted to spec.

Oh, and some Suntour model front deralleurs (Sprit, Comp, etc.) are reverse typical - high normal. Requires cable tension to pull them onto the low chainring.
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Old 07-02-09, 06:32 PM   #8
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Oh, and some Suntour model front deralleurs (Sprit, Comp, etc.) are reverse typical - high normal. Requires cable tension to pull them onto the low chainring.


Understand and agree with all of your post untill this part....what does this highlighted section have to do with this thread?
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Old 07-02-09, 07:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by soonerbills View Post
Oh, and some Suntour model front deralleurs (Sprit, Comp, etc.) are reverse typical - high normal. Requires cable tension to pull them onto the low chainring.


Understand and agree with all of your post untill this part....what does this highlighted section have to do with this thread?
The gentleman was responding to my post above in regards to my Centurion.
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Old 07-02-09, 10:11 PM   #10
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Sorry Fibber!! I guess sometimes I read but don't comprehend
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Old 07-03-09, 04:41 AM   #11
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Those head badges were used through 1983. Not sure of the first year for them, but they go back to around 1978, near as I can tell. Mid-1970s used the "north star" headbadge. Personally, my guess is 1980. The best way to determine the age would be to check the two letter date code on the back on the rear derailleur and compare it to the charts here; http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm . You can increase your confidence level by checking out the date codes on other components, but not the front derailleur, which is a obvious replacement!

Please report the results, so that I can add your bicycle to my Centurion Serial Number database. It's the first Custom that has shown up!
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Old 07-03-09, 08:33 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info T-MAR !
I'll check the derail...1980 eh? I woulda thunk '70ish.
But I'm getting to really like the looks and it's another frame that fits my short legs
I'll need to decide whether to upgrade or restore. One day I'll actually finish some of these projects.
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Old 07-04-09, 10:16 AM   #13
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Ok' I pulled the rear derail. I don't think it was ever removed before. The dropout had marks from the hanger and they look like it never was moved or adjusted. After cleaning (it surprisingly cleaned up really nice) I found the date code stamp on the rear parallel leg. It appears that they are a T then L
which according to the VintageTrek page shows the date as December of 1977 if I'm reading it right.
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Old 07-05-09, 01:34 PM   #14
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Had to post a picture of my Centurion. at 56 cm, it's a little small for me, but rides nice.[/IMG]
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Old 07-06-09, 05:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soonerbills View Post
Ok' I pulled the rear derail. I don't think it was ever removed before. The dropout had marks from the hanger and they look like it never was moved or adjusted. After cleaning (it surprisingly cleaned up really nice) I found the date code stamp on the rear parallel leg. It appears that they are a T then L
which according to the VintageTrek page shows the date as December of 1977 if I'm reading it right.
The problem with component dating is that they can sometimes be replaced or the bicycle manufacturer may not have rotated their stock, resulting in a component that is a couple of years old being installed on a frame. However, in this case the derailleur makes it no older than a 1978 model and this is certainly in the range for the head badge. If you want to increase your confidence in the dating, you'll have to explore the codes on some other components.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Merkel View Post
Had to post a picture of my Centurion. at 56 cm, it's a little small for me, but rides .
OK, now this looks like one of the boom era Centurion LeMans. It appears to have the North Star headbadge and those Raleighesque decals. I'd put this one around the early to mid-1970s and would appreciate the serial number and any component date codes.
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Old 07-06-09, 09:58 AM   #16
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Sorry Fibber!! I guess sometimes I read but don't comprehend
Hey, no problem! I couldn't remember why I had made that comment either, and had to re-read the string to put it into context. Old man - short memory....
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