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Centurion, probably Lemans 10, is it worth $100?

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Centurion, probably Lemans 10, is it worth $100?

Old 12-19-11, 10:06 PM
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Centurion, probably Lemans 10, is it worth $100?

here's a bike in my neighborhood, looks like the left brake is shot, is it really worth $100?

https://spokane.craigslist.org/bik/2761442855.html

I've tried to contact the seller, should hear from them soon...
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Old 12-19-11, 10:10 PM
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Based on what I can see, no. "Safety" brake levers and stem shifters indicate a low end bike. Based on the lack of information I can only assume it needs a complete overhaul (bearings, cables, etc.) plus whatever is broken. I'd look elsewhere, maybe buy it if you can get it for $50 and it has no serious issues.

Edit: when looking at used bikes on craigslist, I always assume the worst but hope for the best. Unless this bike was less than a 10 minute drive from my house I would not bother at that price. Too little info in the ad for me to waste my time going any further than that.

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Old 12-19-11, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Based on what I can see, no. "Safety" brake levers and stem shifters indicate a low end bike. Based on the lack of information I can only assume it needs a complete overhaul (bearings, cables, etc.) plus whatever is broken. I'd look elsewhere, maybe buy it if you can get it for $50 and it has no serious issues.
I see what you mean. I'll not offer more than $50. I assume it's probably pretty heavy (PG tubing?) anyway...thanks!
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Old 12-19-11, 10:56 PM
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Can't tell from those pictures. A lot of bikes back then came with turkey levers and stem shifters. Many of them were not very good, others were pretty decent. Aluminum wheels are a plus. Better pics from the drive side plus some info on the tubing would be very helpful. A lot of the low end stuff back then came with steel rims. Of course, the wheels could have been an upgrade. Who knows.

Example, mid 1970s Nishiki International came with turkey levers and stem shifters. Yet it was a pretty decent bike. Nice Suntour Vx RD, alloy rims, cromoly frame, alloy stem, seat post and handlebars. But even an International, in that condition, would not be worth $100.


Seller is asking for best offer, and wants to sell quick. Bike obviously needs some TLC. Could be worth an offer. Paint looks good, which is always a plus.

Last edited by wrk101; 12-19-11 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 12-19-11, 11:03 PM
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Starting at $50 sounds good. Are you looking for basic transportation, or a bike to build up for fun fast riding, or...? Are you handy and can you take on a project?

That Centurion badge indicates a late 70s bike. Which doesn't mean it's bad, but the same model bike from the mid 80s, say, would have been lighter and had better components. From what little can be seen, at least, condition looks okay. Are wheels really alloy (aluminum)? That is easy to tell, the rims will be shiny if they are chromed steel, and will make the bike noticeably heavy. Alloy rims = a good start. Check them for round by spinning them while holding the bike up, judged against the brake pads. You don't expect perfection, and in fact quite a bit can be 'trued,' but it's a bargaining point. Way out of round, or broken spokes should be a HUGE discount...though you can likely pick up a usable wheel cheaply enough at a co-op if there's one in your area. Look for dents, look for things that aren't straight on the bike. Spot rust is usually not a big deal though it can be ugly. If you can loosen the seatpost binder bolt, make sure the seatpost slides up and down in its tube. It should be tight, but not stuck. Brakes should obviously stop the bike, but if not it may just be a matter of adjustment or new pads. Derailleurs are often off adjustment and can easily be fixed if they're not shifting right. (Okay, sometimes that 'easy fix' takes a good bit of fiddling for us amateurs.)

It could be that this bike is in great shape, but even so it's an oldie and very few of these bikes have had regular maintenance, so it is almost certain to need some work. If you can do that yourself that's one thing, if you would have to take it to a shop, that's another. For sure, the bike is not something you're going to kick yourself over if you pass on it.

Most important question about this or any bike you're looking at though is...does it fit you?
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Last edited by Chicago Al; 12-19-11 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 12-19-11, 11:32 PM
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It might just turn out to be a flip. I can do just about all the work, including cottered cranks. It appears to be my size, hopefully around 60cm, so it can be my all around town bike. If it's super heavy, it will be either parted out or fixed up for sale in summer. I'll post any pictures I can if it becomes mine.

Thanks all for the feedback, will use it most definitely.
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Old 12-20-11, 04:59 AM
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Flipping the Centurion will not be very profitable if you pay $50 just to purchase the bike, in my opinion, but that is only my opinion and determining Vintage Bicycle Value is a tricky business, as best.

You might want to consider the bicycle's Quality when thinking about purchase. Bicycle Quality is a big issue when it comes to vintage road bicycles, and, though I mean no offense, the Le Mans is close to entry level quality, at best.
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Old 12-20-11, 05:33 AM
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Those are not the best angles for pictures! I can tell very little excpet that it needs work. The big question is how? That will require a visit.

Given the head badge, it should be a mid to late 1970s model. The stem shifters indicate it is probaly an entry level model. I can tell if the cranks are cottered or cotterless, but they look thick enough that they may be cotterless. The rims could be dirty steel or aluminum. However, the front hub does appear to be aluminum and it does appear to have a skewer. The tires at least appear to be relatively new.

As for a the model, the LeMans is the obvious choice, however given the discernible features, could also be a Sport or Super LeMans. A Super LeManss would have a butted, hi-tensile frame.

I don't know the Spokane market, but I wouldn't think it would be hot, at least not at this time of year. Given that you can do the work and are considering a rider, it may be worth the price if there are only minor issues. If you do get the bicycle, I would appreciate if you get add pics and info to my Centurion Serial Number Database thread. The pre-1980 Centurion do not surface that often, especially with OEM components. The data could be valuable in decrypting the early serial number format.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:11 AM
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As a flip? Forget it. Even at $50, there is no margin in this bike.
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Old 12-20-11, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Flipping the Centurion will not be very profitable if you pay $50 just to purchase the bike, in my opinion, but that is only my opinion and determining Vintage Bicycle Value is a tricky business, as best.

You might want to consider the bicycle's Quality when thinking about purchase. Bicycle Quality is a big issue when it comes to vintage road bicycles, and, though I mean no offense, the Le Mans is close to entry level quality, at best.
Oh, I agree! It gives me something constructive to do. Besides, the low end bikes are really reasonable. For instance, I got a bike frame and cottered crankset for $15. It's a very weird brand, Numano, but, it's quite cool looking. Once I get it built up, it should be one of a kind. It makes it worth it to me to create "moving art".
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Old 12-20-11, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Those are not the best angles for pictures! I can tell very little excpet that it needs work. The big question is how? That will require a visit.

Given the head badge, it should be a mid to late 1970s model. The stem shifters indicate it is probaly an entry level model. I can tell if the cranks are cottered or cotterless, but they look thick enough that they may be cotterless. The rims could be dirty steel or aluminum. However, the front hub does appear to be aluminum and it does appear to have a skewer. The tires at least appear to be relatively new.

As for a the model, the LeMans is the obvious choice, however given the discernible features, could also be a Sport or Super LeMans. A Super LeManss would have a butted, hi-tensile frame.

I don't know the Spokane market, but I wouldn't think it would be hot, at least not at this time of year. Given that you can do the work and are considering a rider, it may be worth the price if there are only minor issues. If you do get the bicycle, I would appreciate if you get add pics and info to my Centurion Serial Number Database thread. The pre-1980 Centurion do not surface that often, especially with OEM components. The data could be valuable in decrypting the early serial number format.
Affirmative, willco... BTW, I have another frame, Lemans, with the same kind of head-badge. I see a faint "number" at the top of the seat tube. Reads something like "M006", it also has "21" twice on the BB shell, one is flip-flopped from the other.
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Old 12-20-11, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
As a flip? Forget it. Even at $50, there is no margin in this bike.
I guess the only way to get margin on a low-end is to get it for free!
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Old 12-20-11, 12:36 PM
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I actually got that model bike up free last winter. It took 2 weeks on Craig's List just to find someone (me) to haul it off. I cleaned it up and upgraded it and gave it to a friend. Poor shifters and a claw rear derailleur were a couple of drawbacks. Mine had a cheap steel crank, but not cottered.
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Old 12-20-11, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bent-not-broken View Post
I actually got that model bike up free last winter. It took 2 weeks on Craig's List just to find someone (me) to haul it off. I cleaned it up and upgraded it and gave it to a friend. Poor shifters and a claw rear derailleur were a couple of drawbacks. Mine had a cheap steel crank, but not cottered.
Mine came with a nice sun royal crankset... beat steel wheels, stem shifters of pain (suntour powershifters), and very very very low end components. Currently it's dressed up with a very nice cyclone groupset, but truth be told it's gonna probably go back to being a coaster brake single speed, since that conversion made the bike a joy to ride.

OP even as pretty as yours is, good luck unloading it. If it's your size they do make pretty sweet rides if your not going for performance high end.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by anixi View Post
I guess the only way to get margin on a low-end is to get it for free!
Not really. Some low end bikes, even if obtained for free, just don't bring enough rehabbed to cover parts, consumables, and time. Include in the "time" estimate the time spent finding the bike, and the time spent marketing it. Better to aim higher: cromoly frame, alloy rims, down tube shifters, etc. It takes just as much time and money to rehab a bottom end bike as it does to rehab a mid-grade bike. The trick is finding a neglected mid-grade bike at an attractive (cheap) price.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Not really. Some low end bikes, even if obtained for free, just don't bring enough rehabbed to cover parts, consumables, and time. Include in the "time" estimate the time spent finding the bike, and the time spent marketing it. Better to aim higher: cromoly frame, alloy rims, down tube shifters, etc. It takes just as much time and money to rehab a bottom end bike as it does to rehab a mid-grade bike. The trick is finding a neglected mid-grade bike at an attractive (cheap) price.
That's the problem in Ea. Wa. , more white trash, OOPS! I mean underprivileged regular salt-of-the-earth types here than you shake a willow branch at. Those mid-to-high level bikes just don't get much turnover.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:44 PM
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Surely there must be some people in your area willing to put down $100-$200 for a used road bike. How big is your town? Even in lowly Platteville where I go to school (population 10,000) I have managed to break the $300 barrier a few times selling used bikes.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by anixi View Post
That's the problem in Ea. Wa. , more white trash, OOPS! I mean underprivileged regular salt-of-the-earth types here than you shake a willow branch at. Those mid-to-high level bikes just don't get much turnover.
I have always been surprised some of the places where I have found the nicest bikes. I'll hit the garage sales in the rich neighborhoods, and it is not unusual to find all Walmart bikes. They might have a Mercedes in the driveway, but they have a garage full of BSO. Meanwhile, in some of the not so great areas, I have sometimes found the best bikes.

Some of my rationale goes like this: people that are not good with money sometimes waste it on nice toys, meanwhile, the rich folks just get the basic bike that meets their needs. Kind of like where I used to live in PA. You would see fancy 4x4 pickup trucks sitting in front of a row house (we are not talking Philly). People literally spent more on their truck than their home.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:07 PM
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You know, this town is a bit of a mid-sized (200,000) dump. One new resident told my chiropractor that she'd never seen a town with such a high percentage of the population being low class losers (PWT). She's from Houston, I think. That should tell you a lot about my local customer base.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:10 PM
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BTW, I got back in touch with the Centurion guy, he lives about an hour away, and, I just picked up another low-end fixer anyway. This thread could probably just die now...
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Old 12-21-11, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Not really. Some low end bikes, even if obtained for free, just don't bring enough rehabbed to cover parts, consumables, and time. Include in the "time" estimate the time spent finding the bike, and the time spent marketing it. Better to aim higher: cromoly frame, alloy rims, down tube shifters, etc. It takes just as much time and money to rehab a bottom end bike as it does to rehab a mid-grade bike. The trick is finding a neglected mid-grade bike at an attractive (cheap) price.
+1 I have found that bikes with a finished value of less than $200 usually just aren't worth while for flipping. Also the bigger than average frame size would mean this bike will take longer to sell at decent price.
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