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Centurion Professional or Semi Pro information needed

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Centurion Professional or Semi Pro information needed

Old 04-14-18, 05:36 PM
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Centurion Professional or Semi Pro information needed

Hello,
I would like to ask the Centurion experts if any of the early or late Centurion Professionals or Semi-Pros ever originally came with Campagnolo HS RD or CS.
I have seen a few at some of the swaps but not sure they were original...I thought all Japanese components.
Trying to do some research on the net and could not find anything concrete.
Thanks, Ben
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Old 04-14-18, 05:59 PM
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There were some Professionals, very early on, that were manufactured by Acer-Mex and were essentially rebranded Windsor Professionals.

I've read that there was some coordination between Cinelli and Acer-Mex on building Cinelli-like bicycles in Mexico. However those stories appear murky and range from official collaboration to stave off the Japanese, a defection involving a long-time Cinelli employee, to no connection at all.

My understanding is these early Acer-Mex built Professionals had Columbus frames with Campy dropouts/fork ends and Campy equipment.
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Old 04-14-18, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
There were some Professionals, very early on, that were manufactured by Acer-Mex and were essentially rebranded Windsor Professionals.

I've read that there was some coordination between Cinelli and Acer-Mex on building Cinelli-like bicycles in Mexico. However those stories appear murky and range from official collaboration to stave off the Japanese, a defection involving a long-time Cinelli employee, to no connection at all.

My understanding is these early Acer-Mex built Professionals had Columbus frames with Campy dropouts/fork ends and Campy equipment.
Thanks,
The ones I have seen have the steel campy RD with Shimano drops and old Tange tubing stickers..who knew, any others have comments/thoughts?
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Old 04-14-18, 06:49 PM
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I bought a Semi-Pro that lacked the specific model decal, and had a full Dura-Ace 1st-gen gruppo right down to the hubs and all.

Never did find out the story on it. It's more like a touring bike geometry-wise, not particularly light, yet is a favorite ride when low gearing isn't required.

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Old 04-14-18, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I bought a Semi-Pro that lacked the specific model decal, and had a full Dura-Ace 1st-gen gruppo right down to the hubs and all.

Never did find out the story on it. It's more like a touring bike geometry-wise, not particularly light, yet is a favorite ride when low gearing isn't required.
Very nice...DA 1st gen...what year is your bike?
Ben
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Old 04-14-18, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
Hello,
I would like to ask the Centurion experts if any of the early or late Centurion Professionals or Semi-Pros ever came with Campagnolo HS RD or CS.
I have seen a few at some of the swaps but not sure they were original...I thought all Japanese components.
Trying to do some research on the net and could not find anything concrete.
Thanks, Ben
As far as I know, the Semi Pro has always been Japanese, and came stock with Tange/Suntour/Sugino bits. The Professional from 78 or so onward, was also Japanese, and came with similar, but very slightly nicer Japanese bits. The early, 72 through maybe 74 Professional models were essentially rebadged Windsor Profesionals, and came with Columbus tubing, and pretty much full Campagnolo Record / Nuovo Record bits.


This is for the US. Germany and Austrailia also imported Centurion bikes, with some differences. (Their pros had differing chrome amounts, and sometimes came with Suntour Superbe)
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Old 04-14-18, 07:58 PM
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Here is my 1976 Centurion Semi Pro all shined up before the 2018 Eroica coastal route.
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Old 04-15-18, 08:45 AM
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+1, very early Centurion Professionals were built by Acer-Mex and came equipped with Camapagnolo (Nuovo) Record and Universal brakes. When production was moved to Miki in Japan, the component mix was SunTour/Sugino/Dia-Compe. As noted, this was for US market models. I've seen European Centurion Professionals with Campagnolo components but cannot vouch for their originality. Also, like many pro level models of the day, it's possible that these were also offered as framesets which would be built with customer selected components.

The Miki built frames look similar to the Acer-Mex versions but there are differences. The easiest way to tell, without appearing obtrusive, is to check the dropouts. The Acer-Mex models used Campagnolo, while the Miki used SunTour or Shimano and sometimes vertical versions. The Acer-Mex will typically have the serial number stamped on the seat lug or upper seat tube while the Miki versions have it stamped on the BB shell, which often has four large "petal" cutouts.

I've never seen an Acer-Mex Semi-Pro. They've all been Miki sourced and a SunTour/Sugino/Dia-Compe component mix.
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Old 04-15-18, 03:16 PM
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T-Mar,
As always you are a wealth of information...A few more questions for you, you mentioned Miki as the Japanese builder and I am curious about your comment regarding the differences between Acer and Miki....please elaborate a bit more if you please.
Did Miki only make the Semi-Pro, what is the difference between the Semi and the Pro, components, geometry, tubing etc.?
Thanks very much, Ben

Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
+1, very early Centurion Professionals were built by Acer-Mex and came equipped with Camapagnolo (Nuovo) Record and Universal brakes. When production was moved to Miki in Japan, the component mix was SunTour/Sugino/Dia-Compe. As noted, this was for US market models. I've seen European Centurion Professionals with Campagnolo components but cannot vouch for their originality. Also, like many pro level models of the day, it's possible that these were also offered as framesets which would be built with customer selected components.

The Miki built frames look similar to the Acer-Mex versions but there are differences. The easiest way to tell, without appearing obtrusive, is to check the dropouts. The Acer-Mex models used Campagnolo, while the Miki used SunTour or Shimano and sometimes vertical versions. The Acer-Mex will typically have the serial number stamped on the seat lug or upper seat tube while the Miki versions have it stamped on the BB shell, which often has four large "petal" cutouts.

I've never seen an Acer-Mex Semi-Pro. They've all been Miki sourced and a SunTour/Sugino/Dia-Compe component mix.
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Old 04-15-18, 04:27 PM
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A Professional/Semi-Pro comparison snapshot from a catalog that is either 1977 or 1978. There is a known 1979 catalog out there, that doesn't have the Professional listed anymore.

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Old 04-15-18, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Here is my 1976 Centurion Semi Pro all shined up before the 2018 Eroica coastal route.

Your 1976 SemiPro
My 75-ish Semipro


Mine = Falck tubing, chrome head lugs+fork crown, chrome socks/rear dropout, no braze-ons, ovalized chainstays dimpled for clearance, 27inch wheels. I need a better pic of mine.


edit: mine is an AcerMex Carabela - and you are right = not lightweight.

Looking at @Vintage_Cyclist chart, yours may be a much higher quality tubeset. Also noticed different lugset on yours, so even more differences.
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Old 04-15-18, 04:35 PM
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Based on the distribution of serial numbers in my database, Miki was WSI's prime Japanese source for the upper end models during the late 1970s. These models included the Professional, Semi-Pro,Pro Tour and Super Elite. Basically this covered the models with CrMo tubesets, with the excpetion of the Elite (I don't have any Elite from this period in the database, so I can't say if they were Miki builtor not). However, Miki also appear to have been alternate source for the hi-tensile models in an emergency situation, as there is the odd LeMans with a Miki serial number.

Circa 1979, WSI started transferring manufacture of the high end models to a new source, though Miki still had significant volume in 1980. However, after that they still appear to have used in emergencies, as the odd mid-1980s Turbo has surfaced with a Miki serial number.

In terms of frame, the Miki built Centurion Professional is a clone of the Acer-Mex built Centurion Professional and Windsor Profesional, which itself is a Cinelli copy. The head frame builder at Acer-Mex was Remo Vecchi, an ex-Cinelli employee who simply replicated what he had been doing in Italy for over two decades. This is why the Windsor Profesional looks so much like a Cinelli. When Mitch Weiner was looking for a high end model for his Centurion brand, he approached Acer-Mex, who built the very early Centurion Pros based on the Windsor model. When production was transferred to Miki in Japan, they simply continued the established frame aesthetics but used Japanese sources for the tubing, dropouts and lugset.

Regarding Pro versus Semi-Pro, the main distinction is the seat stay attachment to the seat lug. The Pro used the Cinelli style fastback arrangement, while the Semi-Pro used a British wrap-over style. Component specs could vary from year but they were typically quite similar with the major difference being tubular wheels on the Professional and wired-on wheelsets on the Semi-Pro.

Last edited by T-Mar; 04-15-18 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 04-18-18, 11:39 AM
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Great info guys! as always T-Mar your insight is inspiring.

One of these days i will get the chance to get a pro or semi pro.
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Old 04-18-18, 11:46 AM
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CDMurphy, that is stunning. For the sake of more pictures, here is one I used to own. This has moved on to a happy home in Virginia.
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Old 02-02-21, 09:13 AM
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centurion catalogue vintage centurion contact info?

Originally Posted by inkandsilver View Post
CDMurphy, that is stunning. For the sake of more pictures, here is one I used to own. This has moved on to a happy home in Virginia.
Hello, anybody have contact info for the vintage centurion webmaster? webmaster@vintage-centurion.com as listed on website just gets returned undeliverable message. Thankyou in advance.
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Old 02-02-21, 12:12 PM
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Here is a 25" Semi-Pro that was posted for sale last summer....

eBay / CraigsList finds - "Are you looking for one of these!?" Part II
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Old 02-02-21, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by suntour123 View Post
Hello, anybody have contact info for the vintage centurion webmaster? webmaster@vintage-centurion.com as listed on website just gets returned undeliverable message. Thankyou in advance.
I believe you are looking for fleslider

By @‘ing him, we should get his attention.
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