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Old 05-15-06, 09:18 PM   #1
Cavedog
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17 year old bike Cavaletto Centurion

I've got this old bike in my garage. The frame looks good, perfect in fact. The cables are shot, and the wheels have some rust flecks on the inside, and there is a broken spoke on the rear wheel on the cassette side. I'm not a wrench. Is it going to be worth it to fix this steel beast, with new 700C wheels/tires, and cables? And will I be able to find parts to get the brakes to work? I can probably do the cables, but how much will the wheels cost? I think the guy bought it and rode it a dozen times before he hung it up.
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Old 05-15-06, 09:35 PM   #2
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You got a pic? What kind of bike is it? I mean, if it's a Huffy, prolly not.

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Old 05-15-06, 09:56 PM   #3
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I have bought (sold, traded) about a dozen road bikes from the 1980's. If you find one from that era that is in good shape, it makes an enjoyable bike to ride. BUT, they are only a "good deal" if you leave them as original as possible.

Just have your shop put some grease where grease is needed, replace the shifting and brake cables if necessary, adjust the shifters and brakes, replace the broken spokes, and true the wheels. Get some new 27 inch tires (Continental and Bontrager have some nice ones). Depending on how much work your shop does, you will spend about $100 or less to get the bike running as good as new. But, don't spend anymore than that.

There are LOTS of '80's bikes available that are in good riding condition. So it is not a good use of your money to spend a ton of dough on a bike with problems. (Unless it is a "Made in USA" Paramount, or something of that quality).

If you attempt the so-called "upgrade" process, with new wheels, new shifters, etc., etc., you can easily spend a bunch of money. And, it will not ride a bit better than if you had spend just $100 or so. Newer components don't make a bike "better". Just more expensive.
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Old 05-15-06, 10:51 PM   #4
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Centurions are decent bikes...if the frame material was good quality and the wheels don't start breaking spokes on you as they're really old. Not worth adding parts onto the bike unless you were going to do that anyway with a new bike (such as putting Easton wheels on, etc.). Also you have to deal with downtube shifters, annoying yet humble.
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Old 05-16-06, 06:36 PM   #5
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Some of us ride older bikes with new wheels for safety and peace of mind.
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Old 05-17-06, 08:17 PM   #6
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I have an old Cavaletto. The bike is from Centurion's lower end, so the frame is made of "gas pipe" steel. In other words, it's heavy. I wouldn't drop too much money into it, but it would make a great beater bike.

BTW, make sure the wheels aren't 27". I know mine has 27" and not 700C wheels, and the two sizes are not interchangable. Recabling is not difficult, it just takes some time. Sheldon Brown has some good info on his website (www.sheldonbrown.com) on installing cables.
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Old 05-17-06, 09:42 PM   #7
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BTW, make sure the wheels aren't 27". I know mine has 27" and not 700C wheels, and the two sizes are not interchangable.
Uh there is no inherent flaw(s) to 27" wheels.
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Old 05-18-06, 08:18 AM   #8
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Uh there is no inherent flaw(s) to 27" wheels.
I think he was responding to the OPs statement about buying some 700C wheels and tires.

I hope he was just making sure that the OP knew that the wheels are not direct replacements... even though it will work sometimes.
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Old 05-18-06, 02:13 PM   #9
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I was under the impression that 27 inch wheels are no longer in production, and hence, not readily available. I was thinking this would be a workhorse bike. Put some panniers/rear baskets on it so I could tote grocerys (read beer) home, and or for errands. I do not want to put any more money into this thing than I have to. I'm married with children, so I'm not out to look spiffy or turn heads. I don't like leaving my main bike outside stores and such, even if I do lock it up. I have zero dollars in this thng.

It would also be perfect for me to learn some wrenching skills, since when I mess up, I am not left with shanks mare for alternative transport.

The main thing is the wheels. I can probably handle the cables without a problem, but switching the gears onto another wheel is going to be a sharp learning curve.
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Old 05-19-06, 09:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dgregory57
I think he was responding to the OPs statement about buying some 700C wheels and tires.

I hope he was just making sure that the OP knew that the wheels are not direct replacements... even though it will work sometimes.

Indeed. Sorry my post was unclear.

27" wheels/tires are still in production. They aren't as abundent as 700C these days, but you can still find them without too much of a search. Just pick up some 27" tires (if new ones are needed), and replace the spoke. It doesn't sound like you need a whole new wheelset.

Btw, if you are dead set on going to new 700C wheels, you might have a problem with brake reach. Going from 27" to 700C you will need to drop the pads down about 4mm to hit the rim of a 700C wheel. If your current calipers won't allow that adjustment long reach calipers would be needed.
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Old 05-23-06, 09:55 AM   #11
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i have a 700c wheel on the front and the original 27" rear wheel on my centurion, it works just fine as long as the brakes be adjusted to fit.
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