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Introduction and my first vintage road bike!

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Introduction and my first vintage road bike!

Old 12-09-16, 09:07 PM
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AustinFitz
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Introduction, and my first vintage road bike! ('84 Centurion Elite GT build log)

Hello all!
I've been lurking around for a little while doing research on older road bikes trying to decide if they're something I'd like to get into. I'm no stranger to vintage bicycles though. I've been into vintage bmx bikes as a hobby for the past couple of years. I've always loved the way old steel lugged road bikes look, and have had an increasing urge to find a cheap vintage bike and rescue it.
I figured I would start with something cheap and easy for my first bike. Then if it was something I really enjoyed I would start hunting more desirable bikes like I do with bmx.
I'm not big into racing, so I wasn't dead set on a race bike although I do find them beautiful! After keeping an eye on Craigslist and similar apps I found what I think is exactly the kind of starter bike I was looking for!!!
A neglected, but unmolested 1984 Centurion Elite GT 15! I brought her home for $50. Needs a complete overhaul as far as maintenance goes, but that's one of the fun parts for me.
After doing some research on the bike I think an entry level touring bike is perfect for what I want to be doing as far as riding goes. If it works out well, I'll be in search of a Pro Tour 15 next

Anyway, here she is!

Last edited by AustinFitz; 12-13-20 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 12-09-16, 10:05 PM
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Welcome. Very nice bike. It looks to be in great condition. Should be a lot of fun fixing that up.
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Old 12-10-16, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Whitlatch View Post
Welcome. Very nice bike. It looks to be in great condition. Should be a lot of fun fixing that up.
Thank you! I'm really excited about it. So much so that I didn't even take any pics of my own before tearing it down lol. That pic is actually from the "For Sale" ad. Already being a bike guy, I definitely would have photographed the drive side of the bike had it been me. At the moment it's all apart except for the cranks and BB (waiting on a puller tool and BB spanner to come in)

One reason I'm so excited to get it riding is the fact that there is a 27.5 mile long paved bike path that goes through 3 of the neighboring cities near me, and I've always wanted to ride it from start to finish and back, but not on a 20" bmx lol.
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Old 12-10-16, 12:58 AM
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Wow, great find! She looks to be a geat rider. She has cantilevers and 27" rims, but she might be able to squeeze 700c rims on for a bit more room for tires.
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Old 12-10-16, 01:07 AM
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Great catch, especially for $50. Don't feel you have to change much (or anything) on that bike except maybe tires, grease, cables as needed. Maybe this thing isn't quite up the standard of a Pro Tour, but it's not off by much. What's the tube set decal say?

Couple of interesting things right off the bat, state-of-the-art (1984) rack, custom made to fit that frame. Can't really do a lot better at any price today. The shifters look they are Suntour Symetric, another state of the art innovation for the early 1980s that sort of became moot when indexing took over, although they could have combined the two had they wanted to. Google it if you don't know what their angle is.

But SHAME, SHAME, SHAME befalls upon your head for not taking many closeup, drive side pix before disassembly! This is your final warning!!!
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Old 12-10-16, 01:33 AM
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Welcome, @AustinFitz! Nice bike you brought along, and a great catch. Probably all the bike you'll ever need, so you're done now.
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Old 12-10-16, 01:46 AM
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nice!

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Old 12-10-16, 02:31 AM
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Thanks guys! I had to go lay it all out and get a couple of pics of it to post. Terrible lighting, and my phone camera isn't so great indoors, but it's what I can do for now. I haven't actually cleaned anything yet. Just took it apart so far. Also, here's a link to the specs. Mine is the 23" version.

https://www.vintage-centurion.com/Centurion%20Elite-GT
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Old 12-10-16, 04:40 AM
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Welcome to C&V.

Nice score.

A great way to get started.
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Old 12-10-16, 06:44 AM
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Welcome!

You will find it more fun than expected and dont have to race. Solo is fun but also check out your LBS for group rides once you get up and running. There are usually 2-3 levels from going slow, taking it in and maybe doing a social stop, to a brisk pace and doing some hills. All are fun!

My bmx urge is satisfied by fixed gear. So pick one of those up too. Haha
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Old 12-10-16, 07:36 AM
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For $50.00 this is one of the big scores I've seen, aside from the few gifts or feebies that happen. Another Centurion bike makes its debut here, hopefully not the last time you post about it.

Oh, almost forgot, Welcome Aboard the C&V Forum.

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Old 12-10-16, 07:47 AM
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Nice find of a classic '80s touring machine. Looks like it has an Avocet women's saddle (W1, W2, etc.).
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Old 12-10-16, 08:53 AM
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Good choice! And a classy rear rack into the bargain.
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Old 12-10-16, 10:27 AM
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I like it -- thanks for posting, and welcome to the C&V nuthouse.
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Old 12-10-16, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AustinFitz View Post
Thank you! I'm really excited about it. So much so that I didn't even take any pics of my own before tearing it down lol. That pic is actually from the "For Sale" ad. Already being a bike guy, I definitely would have photographed the drive side of the bike had it been me. At the moment it's all apart except for the cranks and BB (waiting on a puller tool and BB spanner to come in)

One reason I'm so excited to get it riding is the fact that there is a 27.5 mile long paved bike path that goes through 3 of the neighboring cities near me, and I've always wanted to ride it from start to finish and back, but not on a 20" bmx lol.
I was about to full-on unload on you for posting a non-drive side shot.

Welcome and congratulations on the bike score! That bike looks really sweet. The frame itself is really really good- the parts that are on there are really, really good. I don't know if you totally know how much of a grand bike you've kind of stumbled in to, or if this was a calculated shot and great luck!

When you have a day to kill, check out the https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ing-bikes.html thread. Beautiful bikes, all the glorious upgrades, all the really cool ideas to steal from and lust after...

Without seeing the drive side, if it's catalog stock, the rear Mountech derailleur has proven to be problematic for many people- There's loads of awesome Suntour touring rear derailleurs that would go great on there. But most of the components on that bike are first and second tier stuff.

The stock wheels are also really nice- it makes the choice of changing to 700c a little harder. When you have really nice hubs and really nice rims, the affordable modern option are a step or 3 down in quality. Most of my bikes are still with 27" wheels. Really nice 27" wheels.

And for tires- don't let people tell you there's no 27" tires available: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ce-thread.html

Again Welcome! And good luck!
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Old 12-10-16, 10:52 AM
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Perfect starter bike! And now let the sickness begin.
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Old 12-10-16, 10:58 AM
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Nice Score, an 1984 Elite GT for $50.00 thats a deal and shes in great shape. Welcome to the Centurion Owners Club!
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Old 12-10-16, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
For $50.00 this is one of the big scores I've seen, aside from the few gifts or feebies that happen. Another Centurion bike makes its debut here, hopefully not the last time you post about it.

Oh, almost forgot, Welcome Aboard the C&V Forum.

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Old 12-10-16, 11:33 AM
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That is a fine first C&V. Enjoy it, and welcome to the "aaaaaaigh! gotta post these pics!" side of the BF experience.
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Old 12-10-16, 11:53 AM
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Welcome aboard. I'm not fully up on the brand but many here are. Though can see right away you've got a real gem especially for little cost. Everything about it is right in the classic sense. Lugged steel with extra braze-ons, cantilever's, Sugino triple, nice rack set-up, etc.. That 40 spoke rear is pretty cool too. Though I'd immediately rid of that side stand.

No doubt you'll get more into and appreciate it while servicing. Plenty of guidance with fellow forum members. Enjoy the C&V ride!
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Old 12-10-16, 12:18 PM
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Welcome aboard AustinFitz , nice score . Over haul and maintenance is a hoot for me too , plus you get to buy tools . I noticed in that Centurion advertisement that Jetboy posted that a head lamp and a dynamo was a option . Man if you could come up with that set up your awesome bike would be over the top .
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Old 12-10-16, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Welcome, @AustinFitz! Nice bike you brought along, and a great catch. Probably all the bike you'll ever need, so you're done now.
It's the only bike most of us need, but somehow I keep collecting more...

Warning to @AustinFitz, hang around here too much, there's a good chance you'll get infected with the n+1 disease...

First time buyer luck, really great find and great price! Ride it like you stole it!
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Old 12-10-16, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by swen0171 View Post
Perfect starter bike!
That's not a "starter" bike. That's a quality bike any way you look at it.
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Old 12-10-16, 02:02 PM
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Welcome and nice find!!!
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Old 12-10-16, 05:16 PM
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Wow! Thanks for the warm welcome guys! I have a feeling that this is going to go about like bmx has for me... Start off wanting to fix up a nice vintage rider, then a year later you're considering renting a storage unit because you don't have room for your 20+ bicycles at home without putting some outside, and that's not an acceptable option

I posted a bunch of pics, and a link to a list of the factory specs last night, but it said they needed to be approved by a moderator first, so hopefully that post will show up soon.

Until then, yeah it seems to be almost entirely original. Front and rear derailleurs are both Suntour Mountech, shifters are Suntour Symmetric, Sugino RT crankset, SR bars and stem, the tube set decal says "Tange 900 cr-mo double butted tubes", Suzue sealed tech hubs laced to 27" Araya rims. 36 spokes in front, and 40 out back, and the internal frame wiring for the generator is still in place.

I don't plan to change a whole lot on it. At least not at first. The saddle will definitely go (it's petrified anyway and as stated looks to be a women's saddle), the kickstand won't be going back on, and I'll probably ditch the foam bar wrap for something a little nicer too. Oh, and tires of course. These are pretty roached.

I'll definitely be posting more though. This seems to be a pretty cool little community! I do have a LBS that hosts leisurely rides on the bike path I was talking about, and I definitely intend to go check them out once this old girl is roadworthy. I've been trying to come up with a name for it. I don't normally name my bikes, but for some odd reason I feel this bike needs one.

Last edited by AustinFitz; 12-10-16 at 05:30 PM.
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