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Centurion Super le Mans

Old 03-22-21, 09:43 PM
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Albion 
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Centurion Super le Mans

So . . . I answered an ad on CL, a guy selling an old Winchester that looked as though someone had added a nice wheelset. When I saw it, the wheels weren't that good but I was invited to look at his collection - he is in the process of "thinning the herd'. I found myself buying a Centurion Super le Mans for $100 that has hardly seen any wear. I just wanted it for the lovely alloy components (although the seatpost is a bit naff) and immediately thought to look for a smaller frame to suit. But is it worth more in one piece? eBay prices are all over the place - and, of course, those are what sellers are asking but not necessarily getting. Here are some photos, the first is where I got it, watched by an anxious wifey as I descended a stepladder with a bike in one hand. I would really value your opinion on the value (it's OK to tell me I was nuts to get it) and what would be the best approach - fit the groupset and wheelset to my bare '86 Team Fuji frame? Look for a smaller Centurion frame and swap everything over? Sell it and start again?



Came down from there with a bike in one mitt . . .


Frame too big for me.


I love that chainguard ring. And the crank caps are both there, and unmolested.


Suntour V-GT RD


Comes with headstock badge - and brifters. But not aeros. Not sure about the foam . . .

Last edited by Albion; 03-22-21 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:08 PM
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SurferRosa
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All I know is, you got the skewer lever on the wrong side of the rear hub. It goes on the non-drive side. It's the front skewer lever that goes on the drive side.
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Old 03-26-21, 06:05 AM
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For $100, you got a really great deal on that bike. That would go for $200 or more in a good market like a college town. If it was mine, I'd put new tires, tubes, rim tape, handlebar wrap on it. Re-pack all the ball bearings & sell it for $300.
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Old 03-26-21, 08:46 AM
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You are the first to reply!

Hi Ramzilla, thank you so much for your thoughts - I really appreciate it! I am lucky indeed to have found the bike in such unused - and un-ravaged - condition. The day after finding the Super le Mans (which is no newer than 1978) a sorry mess of a moldering wreck came up. But the frame was good, and for $20 not beyond recovery. It even had a little sticker "Designed by Mitchell" who was the co-founder of Centurion. So now I have to decide.

By the way, the Great T-Mar dated the old frame for me, at 1974. I also found a good website for old Centurion bikes here: Vintage Centurion Bicycles. And Sheldon Brown's site has a contribution from one of his successors here: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/centurion.html
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Old 04-02-21, 10:59 PM
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I bought a new silver Centurian Super LeMans in 1976. Got a rear derail upgrade to the then new Cyclone derail when I bought it. Rode the heck out of it, and it won a campus relay race twice, with a seat adjustment, it was used for two of the four legs. Out the door in 1976, it was under $200. My son converted it to a fixed gear and rode it at the same college.

My wife bought a Motobecane before I was dating her, that was way too small of framed. I told her to take it back since they sold her the wrong size. The dealer agreed it was the wrong size and gave her a Super LeMans for a replacement. Hers was blue and we still have both of them. I'm going to restore my silver one at some point. I wouldn't be afraid to tour on it. The suntour components have been very reliable, as have the bikes in general.

The quality and detailing are impressive for a bike in this price range. The hand painted lug highlighting, and the black cloth bar taping was very nice.

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Old 04-03-21, 08:00 AM
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Hi Lakerat, thanks for much for the reminiscence - and notes on the quality. How great that father and son rode the same bike - and to the same college. If you get round to restoring the Super I would definitely appreciate a couple of photos.
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