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  1. #1
    Newbie jon.alvarez's Avatar
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    New Wheels for a Centurion Ironman Info

    I left my bike (not sure on the year, its a Red/white david scott) at my friends house for about a week, and when i picked it up today, the wheels and tires were gone The only thing i know is that the wheels were Wolber. I whent online to figure out how much its going to cost me to get new gear, but i have no idea what i need to look for (specs, gears, sizing) especially the rearwheel. Can you help me with a little info, and a good online store?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    I think you've got a 7sp setup on that, maybe 6sp. if it's indexed, check how many index positions and that'll tell you what size freewheel or cassette you need. If it's a 7sp, you can probably buy a newer 700c wheelset and put a 7sp cassette on it (may need a spacer). If it's 8sp then you can definitely get something like a Open Pro / Ultegra or Open Sport / 105 wheelset on eBay for a reasonable cost. There are a lot of centurion experts around that can tell you exactly what the originals were but here are some options for you.

    1) recent production 700c wheelset, 130mm spacing, 7 or 8sp Shimano compatible cassette: may be a little tight getting wheel in, but shouldn't be much trouble.

    2) period correct 700c wheelset, 126mm spacing (likely, I'll let someone else confirm), with a 7 (6??) sp freewheel or cassette depending on the wheels.

    3) Upgrade the shifters or go up to an STI setup with 8 or 9sp wheels and cassette. Same likely tight fit as option #1. Just need to make sure your shifters and cassette match speeds (and both shimano)

  3. #3
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums, sorry about your troubles.

    wheels for that may be tough since first we need to figure out howmany speeds you need. can you post a few pics? do you know if the bike was a 7spd? are the derailleurs shimano?
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Kanegon's Avatar
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    Most Centurions from that era, including the Ironman, were spec'ed with 126mm spacing, good for 6 or 7 speed freewheels. It's tough finding 126 wheelsets in good shape, but they show up from time to time. Those Wolbers would be Alpines, I've got a set. if you find them used, make sure the eyelets aren't too corroded, they can fail catastrophically. Look behind the rim tape. A lot of guys know more than me about these, sure they'll pop up soon enough. Great bikes!
    Last edited by Kanegon; 02-17-12 at 06:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    If your Ironman is red/white, and the wheels are OEM and were Wolbers, it's an '87 Expert, running 105 with a UG freehub and 6-speed cassette.

    You can replace them with lots of different wheelsets, running either 6-sp freewheels or 6-sp UG freehubs and cassettes. You can probably also make do with an 8/9/10 Shimano freehub set, running a UG cassette and spacing it, but that's hit or miss.

    The options in a freewheel rear are much wider, mainly because there just are not a lot of 6-sp UG freehubs/cassettes out there.

    Personally if it's just a wheelset you need, lowest price/best variety option is a 6-sp freewheel set.
    Look for 105/600 tricolor/DA freewheel hubs on a wheelset, then get find a 6-sp freewheel for it.
    Probably the cheapest option, too. Used 6-sp wheelset, with a 6-sp freewheel or add one.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by RobbieTunes; 02-18-12 at 02:15 PM.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
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    i'm going to garner hate on this, but i'll say it anyway: forget getting vintage, and try to find a modern rim with a sealed bearing hub. freewheel or cassette, doesn't matter. you'll have a better time shifting with a ramped freewheel/cassette, and it should be cheaper than finding a vintage freewheel, unless you're willing to scrounge around.

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    Depending on your pickiness, I have a set of 126mm spaced wheels. They are Shimano 600 tricolor hubs with a 7-sp freehub and UG casette.

    The wheels are mismatched, Mavic MA-40 rear and Araya CTL-370 front. The wheels themselves look pretty close, but the sticker mismatch is a dead give away.

    If you need shifters for 7-sp indexed, I have the set of 600 tricolor that came with it. I even have the rest of the group if you are wanting to just upgrade the bike to 600.

  8. #8
    Learning to Roll hamanu23's Avatar
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    hmm I thought the iron mans were 650b...

  9. #9
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon.alvarez View Post
    I left my bike (not sure on the year, its a Red/white david scott) at my friends house for about a week, and when i picked it up today, the wheels and tires were gone The only thing i know is that the wheels were Wolber. I whent online to figure out how much its going to cost me to get new gear, but i have no idea what i need to look for (specs, gears, sizing) especially the rearwheel. Can you help me with a little info, and a good online store?


    Thanks!
    I think your "Friend" owes you your wheels and tires back.. Barring that he owes you an explanation as to why you wheels have turned up missing after a week in his care.

    If all else fails then shop for replacements or go to town and modernize. If it's an '87 then it has to be early SIS 6 speed. Like others have pointed out you can run newer wheels; however, your rear triangle might need to be re-indexed from 126 to 130mm, you might need a new chain, and you might have to switch from indexing to friction shifting on your D/T shifters if youre trying to do things on the cheap. If you want to go 8/9/10 Speed then your going to have you add a set of brifters or bar-end shifters as once you get up past 7 speeds friction shifting gets a little touchy.

    When I upgraded my '88 Sirrus I had a set of 8 speed ultegra hubbed wheels on hand from a newer bike and I picked up a set of NOS Ultegra 8 speed D/T shifters. Doing 8 speed is a good upgrade as NOS D/T shifter are available and the cogs aren't ridiculously thin.
    Last edited by Sirrus Rider; 02-18-12 at 11:38 AM.
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  10. #10
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preynmantis View Post
    Depending on your pickiness, I have a set of 126mm spaced wheels. They are Shimano 600 tricolor hubs with a 7-sp freehub and UG casette.

    The wheels are mismatched, Mavic MA-40 rear and Araya CTL-370 front. The wheels themselves look pretty close, but the sticker mismatch is a dead give away.

    If you need shifters for 7-sp indexed, I have the set of 600 tricolor that came with it. I even have the rest of the group if you are wanting to just upgrade the bike to 600.
    Unless the bike had been upgraded to 7 I'm betting it's a 6 speed. I got my Sirrus in '88 and right at that time 6 speed was common. So if that Centurion was from the year before '87 it's likely the same 1055 model 105 groupset.
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamanu23 View Post
    hmm I thought the iron mans were 650b...
    ......oh, good one.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
    You will not believe how fast I used to be...

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  12. #12
    Senior Member doorunrun's Avatar
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    I recently bought a '87 Expert and I'm happy to say it was practically stock with a 6 speed freewheel with 105 group. In my case the front rim is the original Wobler Alpine, but the rear is a semi-aero Matrix requiring a longer presta valve. They are both "bronze" anodized and I think it's pretty hard to find that color now. When I first got the bike I thought I'd hunt down a matching rim to the Wobler, but it looks to me you're choices are few and far between. The bike rides fine and the differences between the two rims is not a big deal to me.
    Bicycling helps us slow down and enjoy the moment, wherever we are

  13. #13
    Newbie jon.alvarez's Avatar
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    Firt of all thanks a mallion for the responses! You guys really know your bikes, i feel slightly inundated with all the information.

    Ive been looking around on ebay for something that will work, i dont really care if it is vintage or not (noticed it is more expensive for the old stuff). I did some triathlons a couple of years ago, but ended up hurting my knee. I mainly use it to get around so i dont really need anything fancy/costly.
    Ive been looking around ebay and everything is more expensive than what i actually paid for the bike... am i better off just getting an old bike of craigs list and taking the wheels?

  14. #14
    Newbie jon.alvarez's Avatar
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  15. #15
    Senior Member doorunrun's Avatar
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    The easy one is the white aero wheelset. That would be a no; the hub spacing is too wide for the 126mm Centurion's rear dropout. But you might want to read up on cold setting a bike frame.

    The Phil-Hub-Mavic item looks pretty attractive. But realize the rims are for tubular tires not clinchers most of us are familiar with changing. Tubulars seem to be preferred for racing, not so much for just "getting around."

    I paid $80 for the Centurion I bought and then spent about $200 getting it on the road. The Centurion is a great bike! You should be able to get some inexpensive wheels. Ask around at the LBS's in your area. Good luck!

  16. #16
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I'd be surprised if the Phils/Mavics go for under $100. I'd pay that for them.
    I think I'd sit on local CL for a while, look for some wheels that take a freewheel.

    I disagree with those that say the new ones are too wide at 130mm.
    It's a snug fit, but they'll work without cold-setting. The issue then is a cassette.
    If you get those, you'll need to find a way to build a 6-sp cassette that works with that type of freehub.

    If you want to work in friction, you can get any cassette that fits on the hub.
    Last edited by RobbieTunes; 02-22-12 at 07:21 PM.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
    You will not believe how fast I used to be...

    1979 Centurion Semi Pro
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  17. #17
    Senior Member CMC SanDiego's Avatar
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    I've got a Centurion Ironman Expert, it came with 105 components and the gold Araya rims. I've since upgraded to 8 speed. Here's one of the wheels

    and the bike as it was when I bought it.

    I've still got the wheelset kicking around in my shop if you're interested in them I'd let the set go for $75 (and I'm local, I could arrange to meet you)
    Give me a call at 619-five 04-three five 18.

  18. #18
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    I converted my '87 to a 7 speed cassette with bar end shifters. No problem with spacing and cable stops fit right on.
    I m not a fan of D/T shifters.
    Treks, 79-710, 83-500,600, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930, 91-1000, 92-1000, 93-930, 95-930, 96-930, 1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  19. #19
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Looks like CMC San Diego has the answer. Excellent wheels. They were not original to that bike, but they were on the '85 Ironman and the '84 Comp TA, and tend to hold true a bit better.

    Beautiful Ironman, by the way, CMC...
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
    You will not believe how fast I used to be...

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  20. #20
    Newbie jon.alvarez's Avatar
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    Sounds good, Ill give you a call this weekend!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kanegon's Avatar
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    I need a set too. Have had three strikes so far trying to get a decent 126mm for my Facet.

    Strike 1: Roval aero wheel it came with, neat but thumpy rim and tubular to boot. (just prefer clincher)

    Strike 2: Specialized hub + MA40 off eBay. Taco'ed on fourth ride, eyelet failure due to corrosion. They were shiny on the rim side, but totally f#%!<ed under the tape. Ugh. Chronicled here.



    Strike 3: A set with Wolber Alpines and 105s I got for the price of shipping from a fellow member. Same issue again, except there seems to be a bit more life left in these eyelets. I scraped the eyelets with an awl to make sure there was enough steel left. A few looked dangerously thin on the rear rim, but I'm taking my chances cause it's perfect otherwise perfect. The front wheel had two eyelets that were perforated. No go, I'm not that crazy!

    Strike 4: Got a set of Matrix with Campy front and Avocet rear off eBay to replace the above. Think the Avocet was a record copy, but for some reason this one is spaced to 120 instead of 126 as stated by seller. Early sealed hub design (Mk2?), where am I going to find a replacement axle and proper spacers?


    Note the shorter Avocet hub on L vs. Specialized on R.

    OK, four strikes... Just saying I've had terrible luck with this. Seriously contemplating rebuilding the 105s with Wolber GTX2s, but don't have a truing stand. They'll cost $100, (I'd just get new nipples and do the poorman's rim swap.) I'd kill for a 32h with a 126 Superbe or Sprint hub. HELP!
    Last edited by Kanegon; 02-25-12 at 05:35 PM.

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