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  1. #1
    Member ToddBS's Avatar
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    88 Centurion Sport DLX geometry question

    I have one of these bikes. It was actually my first "real" bike that I bought back when it was new. From 1992 to just a month ago it sat in a storage room in my grandparents' house. I was flabbergasted to find that the tubes even still hold air! Don't worry, I'll be replacing them anyway. The SIS needs a bit of adjusting, but it still shifts like a champ in friction. What a "find". Can't believe I let this thing languish for so long.

    Anyway, my question is on the geometry of the bike. I really like how it feels and I've been wanting something to start doing some club rides with and hopefully even some brevet riding later in the year. Before I go through the hassle of mounting one up, has anyone tried a rando style handlebar bag on this bike? Just from eyeballing it, it seems to be a pretty low trail front end. I don't plan on mounting any panniers on it, just a rando style front rack (will need p clamps). I also have a silver hupe to use for a saddle bag but I don't think I'll really even need that.

    And... anyone know of a way to keep the awesome blue/white fade paint job and get rid of the awful 80s random-geometric-shape sticker scheme?
    Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. -Douglas Adams

  2. #2
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Fit to the drops it currently has. Ride it a few times. Swap in the rando's, and raise the stem 1cm, slide the saddle back 1cm when you do. You'll be 99% to where you want to be, and the geometry is fine. The bike's geometry is close enough to touring that a little lift on the stem, a little back on the saddle, and your rando's will likely feel pretty good.

    Rando bars are not about your arms, they're about your butt, just my opinion.

    The 80's art deco decals are part of the bike's panache. They are clear-coated onto the frame, so any attempt to remove them has to go through the clear coat. You could conceivably scrub them down with 0000 steel wool and rubbing compound, through the clear, very gradually, in about 24 hours of work, and if you don't damage the paint, you can clear back over it. Your chances are pretty slim of being able to do that.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
    You will not believe how fast I used to be...

    1979 Centurion Semi Pro
    1982 Lotus Classique
    1986 De Rosa Professional SLX
    1987 D'Arienzo (Basso)
    1995 Hot Tubes TT
    1998 Kestrel KM 40 Airfoil
    1998 Trek Y-Foil
    2006 Cinelli XLR8R-2
    2011 Eddy Merckx EMX3
    2014 Wraith "Hustle" (best value in a steel frame today, IMO)

  3. #3
    Member ToddBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    Fit to the drops it currently has. Ride it a few times. Swap in the rando's, and raise the stem 1cm, slide the saddle back 1cm when you do. You'll be 99% to where you want to be, and the geometry is fine. The bike's geometry is close enough to touring that a little lift on the stem, a little back on the saddle, and your rando's will likely feel pretty good.

    Rando bars are not about your arms, they're about your butt, just my opinion.
    I probably will try the rando bars on it at some point. What about the bag though? Mounting up the front rack is a PITA and I'd rather not have to deal with it if I know it's just going to make the front wheel flop all over. I guess I may have to give it the old college try.

    The 80's art deco decals are part of the bike's panache. They are clear-coated onto the frame, so any attempt to remove them has to go through the clear coat. You could conceivably scrub them down with 0000 steel wool and rubbing compound, through the clear, very gradually, in about 24 hours of work, and if you don't damage the paint, you can clear back over it. Your chances are pretty slim of being able to do that.
    Yeah, I was mostly just trying (and failing) to be funny.
    Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. -Douglas Adams

  4. #4
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    Don't agree on your wanting to erase the graphics. They may seem funky but some find those paint schemes appealing. I believe that it's mid-level, Tange infinity or perhaps #5 or 8 ?... you can see that. Fairly good tubeset.

    You state 1988; I suppose that it has 700c wheels. I have a similar bike, dif. year and model (not important). Can't give you the frame angles. My bike and others like it (providing they were 700 whs. with corresponding geom.) were fairly quick handling but at the same time were good on the decents. Top tube was OK too (not short). All the afformentioned is based on my personal observations. Based on 700 wh. geom.
    I agree on the fr.end & like the forks (the radius) that they used.

    I don't have data on the Cents, another member or two quite likely will, so a ser.# should come in handy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I don't have the exact specs any more, but the 88 Ironman was .5 degree "quicker" than the Lemans RS and Lemans, and it was noticeable. The Accordo and Sport DLX may well have shared the Lemans geometry, because by 1988, Centurion wasn't exactly spec'ing a wide variety of frames.

    In 1989, the geometry on the Ironman went even "quicker" still, but the other bikes didn't seem to change at all.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
    You will not believe how fast I used to be...

    1979 Centurion Semi Pro
    1982 Lotus Classique
    1986 De Rosa Professional SLX
    1987 D'Arienzo (Basso)
    1995 Hot Tubes TT
    1998 Kestrel KM 40 Airfoil
    1998 Trek Y-Foil
    2006 Cinelli XLR8R-2
    2011 Eddy Merckx EMX3
    2014 Wraith "Hustle" (best value in a steel frame today, IMO)

  6. #6
    Member ToddBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    I don't have the exact specs any more, but the 88 Ironman was .5 degree "quicker" than the Lemans RS and Lemans, and it was noticeable. The Accordo and Sport DLX may well have shared the Lemans geometry, because by 1988, Centurion wasn't exactly spec'ing a wide variety of frames.

    In 1989, the geometry on the Ironman went even "quicker" still, but the other bikes didn't seem to change at all.
    It's definitely the steepest headtube angle of any bike I own. And yes, it's visibly so, such that you don't even need to have another bike next to it. You can look at bike A in one room then go look at the Centurion in another room and still recognize that it's a steeper angle.
    Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. -Douglas Adams

  7. #7
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    One thing the OP does not mention is the frame size. Many manufacturers increase the head angle as the frame size increases, so if it is a very large frame it is possible the head angle would be steeper.

    The Sport DLX was a recreational sports mode and typically had relatively conservative angles. Circa 1988, Centurion spec'd their sports recreational models with 73 degree, parallel angles, for a 23" frame. This is a full degree degree shallower than their competition frames of the period, such as the Ironman models.

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