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Centurion experts

Old 01-31-19, 06:46 AM
  #1  
cdaniels
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Centurion experts

Has anyone heard of the Centurion Turbo TT? Can someone please tell me about them? Were they sold frame only or with a groupset? I just bought one but can only find information one one bike online and it doesn't really say anything about them other than how that guy put his together.

Thanks for any help you can give
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Old 01-31-19, 07:31 AM
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Welcome to the forums. The Centurion brand has different owners in different countires and the models can vary drastically. The Turbo TT I've seen appear to be European models from the very late 1980s to early 1990s designed by the German owner of the brand. The serial number should provide details as to the manufacturer and age. Sorry, I don't have any European literature to confirm component specs.
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Old 01-31-19, 08:26 AM
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You may be curious because there is a guy in Greece selling these frames (not the fork). From the pictures, it appears to use the 83/84 Turbo decals, and the font style from the early 80's. Tange decals indicate Japanese construction, and the lower frame decal just says "Japan" instead of "Designed in.....made in Japan," The components are Sante, but it's interesting that the wheels are Mavic. Interesting shifter/brake lever setup.




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Old 01-31-19, 08:40 AM
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In an '87 interview world champion triathlete Dave Scott stated he was looking forward to using a "funny bike" (TT bike). At the time he was still sponsored by Centurion. However, the aero bars came out that year and made funny bikes virtually obsolete and Dave never used funny bikes. However there's a possibility they were in the works then sold only in the European market. I don't believe they were the German company versions.
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Old 01-31-19, 08:43 AM
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The forks look like late 80s.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:13 AM
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We've seen this before on the paint thread.
The frame from Greece for sale on the bay has:
The seat tube decal running the wrong way.
The lugs look like from the Expert.
Curiously there's fender tabs for the rear.
Those drop outs aren't on any Centurion we've seen except maybe @seypat Asian version.
The cable guides are completely different than other Centurions.
@fleslider can probably add more.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:21 AM
  #7  
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@cdaniels you've purchased one from eebay and have taken delivery?
I'm interested in one. I have enough time trial bikes but need/want a beater. I'd make it a single speed. I already have an extra centurion fork.
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Old 01-31-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
We've seen this before on the paint thread.
The frame from Greece for sale on the bay has:

The seat tube decal running the wrong way. - Um, there's a right way? It reads left to right when horizontally viewed, but of course horizontal can be 2 ways, too. I'm not sure the custom frames ridden by the pro's were decaled any way other than how the builder / painter wanted them. Was it the Ironman Carbon that had the ST "CENTURION" decal? That may have been the only one, and that placement may have been related to the Carbons being ridden by the pros.

The lugs look like from the Expert. - The BB lugs are squared off, not pointed. Just like @seypat's Dave Scott signature model, Asian market.

Curiously there's fender tabs for the rear. Those drop outs aren't on any Centurion we've seen except maybe @seypat Asian version. - Those are Shimano SFR dropouts, and they're similar to @seypat's Dave Scott, but the dropout is more compact. The tube ends are, however, squared off like his.

The cable guides are completely different than other Centurions. -They are single-loop cable guides, vs. other Centurions that had double-loop cable guides. The Prestige had single-loop cable guides. The BB shell cable guides are the same as on the Ironman and Comp TA, braze-on tubes.

@fleslider can probably add more.
I'm fairly satisfied it's a Centurion from WSI, and Japanese-made. For whom, and by whom, who knows?
Y8C4620 is an example serial #

The paint quality is the same high-end that the Centurions from Japan had. The white is not a bright white, more of an eggshell. While the photographed lighting may show a different color, the magenta/fuscia/whatever seems to be the same as the Miami Vice.

The font on the DT and ST have the "ENTURI" letters joined together, unlike the Comp TA but like the 85 Ironman and the Prestige. However, the letters are edged like the Turbo and Comp TA letters, not shaded like the 85 Ironman and Prestige letters. The decal at the base of the seat tube just says "Japan."

That fork doesn't look quite like the unicrown of the later 80's and doesn't appear to have the same petite slope as the Turbos or the Comp TA's, etc. It's 650c, and the seller does not appear to have the forks to match his frames.
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Old 01-31-19, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
@cdaniels you've purchased one from eebay and have taken delivery?
I'm interested in one. I have enough time trial bikes but need/want a beater. I'd make it a single speed. I already have an extra centurion fork.
I wonder how much of a difference the 650c fork makes vs. the 700c.
Like you, I have a spare Ironman fork (Purple Haze, 700c for 56cm).
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Old 01-31-19, 02:11 PM
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The serial number format is consistent with Yamaguchi and if so, indicates 1988, which would be appropriate given the funny bike configuration, dual water bottles, unicrown fork and even the Santé, though I notice it's sporting a 600 Ultegra headset. WSI very rarely used Yamaguchi and, as previously noted, the decals are era inappropriate. Finally, KHS actually had a Turbo model prior Centurion's, and WSI discontinued the Turbo in late 1984 apparently as a result of trademark infringement action. So, relaunching a Turbo model in 1988 would be improbable. Nothing adds up to this being a WSI Centurion.
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Old 01-31-19, 08:17 PM
  #11  
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Heres a Turbo spec sheet I found:

http://www.vintage-centurion.com/models/competition/turbo.shtml

Couple of years ago I came across this one at a local shop, asking $175. I should have bought it. I thought it was too small for me, and I had a Raleigh project going, so I told a friend, and he snapped it up. It seems to be a nice machine. I think the TT model has sew-up or tubular tires, where the normal Turbo had clinchers. I think it was a one year model. Nice bike. The friend who bought it, is older, and has stopped riding. I've been thinking about asking him about it, but I don't need any more bikes. On second thought the size might be close enough. Sorry for the bad picture.
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Old 01-31-19, 08:56 PM
  #12  
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The "funny bike" in question is in no way a Turbo. Having had 2 Turbos and now having one of those funny bike frame sitting here, of that I have no doubt.

As far as it being anything similar to a WSI US-market Turbo, just no way.

Per @T-Mar, the serial number pegs it to a time when WSI was shutting down their vendor's production of Centurions for the US market. I have no idea what they were doing in other markets.

The frame appears to use the same BB shell as the Asian market Dave Scott that @seypat owns. The dropouts are Shimano SFR, which I've not seen on a Centurion. The paint and finish are very consistent with the specs that WSI ordered for at least their '86-'89 models. The decals are consistent with a font scheme used by '84-'85 Centurions, but are trimmed a bit differently, kind of a mix of the '84 and '85 font. The lugs elsewhere are quite similar. As we all know, lugs are lugs, in many cases, and one batch can be slightly different than another.

Whoever made it, it is clear that the intent to, at the very least, mimic the characteristics of a WSI Centurion is there. Those of us who've handled multiple nice Centurion and Ironman frames would likely agree, given the chance to hold it and examine it. Doesn't mean it wasn't mimicking a Shogun or Bridgestone or Panasonic of the same era.

With apparently none of the OEM 650c forks for this frame around, I'll make do with a Zunow 650c fork, stripped and painted to match, with the panto logos on the fork crown filled in. Wouldn't want anyone accusing me of repainting a Zunow to look like a Centurion.

Unless I see evidence otherwise, I'll stick to my opinion that there is some connection to WSI in this frame. Its very similar, so if it wasn't spec'd, maybe permission was granted, and maybe just tolerated. Don't really know, don't really care. I can't see why someone would create multiple frames, paint them so well, add the decals, clear over them, then take the time and trouble to add the Tange decals, and the "Japan" logo on the frame, that uses the same script-type font as the Centurion WSI lower ST decals, with no connection. Perhaps there's a bigger Centurion flake than me, hiding and building in a small frame shop in Europe, only coming out 30 years later to fool us all with this frame. Yeah, that's it.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Those were beautiful bikes in OEM kit, and several I know were outfitted with Superbe Pro, for some reason. I saw one that was completely stripped of paint, and the chrome work was very good, even in the places that were intended to be painted.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:12 PM
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Robbie in respect of the bottom bracket shell it looks like the expert, I see no difference. However I'm not sure or remember what seypats looks like.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Robbie in respect of the bottom bracket shell it looks like the expert, I see no difference. However I'm not sure or remember what seypats looks like.
Like this?...I never really paid much attention to the lugs. Still don't.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:28 PM
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Just looked. Yeah, seypats are just like the U.S. experts.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:57 PM
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The funny bikes look interesting for short time trials but seem like they'd be exhausting to ride over distance, confined to one position with a lot of pressure on the hands. And at least in the 1986 Ironman triathlon it didn't seem to help the Brad and Chris Hinshaw. Dave Scott seemed to fare better on a conventional drop bar bike (was that the last year before aero bars?).


For that matter I never could see the advantage of the bullhorn TT bike configuration, especially the widely spaced bullhorns. While Laurent Fignon's loss to Greg LeMond in the final stage time trial is occasionally described as a "tragedy," it's hard to sympathize over a tactical error. Fignon chose to ride a bullhorn bar TT bike with disc wheels, but without the aero helmet he'd worn in previous TTs. Even riding with his hands closer to the center of the bar near the stem might have helped a little to overcome the disadvantage to LeMond's then-controversial aero bars. But in reality he'd probably have been better off with a conventional drop bar. I suppose the "tragedy" was applied retroactively because Fignon had a saddle sore and later died of cancer, but it's still a tactical error, not a tragedy.

Anyway, it would be fun to ride a funny bike for a short distance. I can think of a couple of 6 mile shorty time trial segments I ride often where it might be fun to try. But I can't imagine riding one much farther, let alone the full triathlon distance. Even the fittest rider would have dead hands and wobbly elbows after 100 miles.
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Old 02-01-19, 04:48 AM
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If Lemond hadn't used an aero helmet in that last TT he still would have one. Lemond kept looking or keeping his head down and really defeating the purpose of the aero helmet he was wearing, it was more like a sail. But for sure the aero bars helped him Win.
Dave Scott said in an interview he was looking forward to using one on short courses but felt using them in a long course would be a mistake, one a lot of his competitors made.
Yes '86 was the year before aero bars. In '87 all the triathletes were using them. It took 2 years before Greg used them. As we know cycling was/is steeped in tradition and triathletes the exact opposite. Nutrition, training, and especially equipment, triathletes were willing to try anything. Some of it just happened to work. Also I said this once, and a BF member was offended, when I said triathlon is like Nascar. He said NO IT'S NOT, IT'S NOTHING LIKE Nascar. I didn't mean the actual racing but rather the stuff they use will eventually turn up on regular cyclist bikes, (so more like a testing ground). Due to a certain cyclist from Texas now the lines are more blurred as he was a former triathlete and wasn't concerned with bucking tradition and trained differently...now tour winners train and prepare that way.

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Old 02-01-19, 03:43 PM
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Were I to build a funny bike,
I'd do it for fun and for a 9.1 mile TT I am aware of in the summer.
25-27 minutes of pain, I can handle, if I can look cool doing it.
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Old 02-01-19, 06:06 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys but it seems that a lot of you are focusing on the photos at the beginning of the post. That is not mine I only have a frame and forks. It is also not the one from Greece, mine came from England. If it was a fake I would think it would have been made from an old frame. This one is new, never used. If I look down the seat tube or head tube there is no rust, corrosion or signs of previous paint. There also are no scrapes inside the tubing from parts being installed. I'm not saying it is the real deal if there even were any. But possibly built by someone else and rebadged just like when Murray bought frames from Serotta for the 7-11 team. But by no means is this a hack job by someone trying to pass it off as something its not. In the end it is a very nice frame that has never been used and it is extremely light weight. I do plan on riding it though. I will be fitting a Shimano tricolor groupset. I have a set of Campagnolo record 700/650 tubular wheels to go on it. I know they are not Japanese but I have them on hand.
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Old 02-01-19, 06:13 PM
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I tried to post pictures of mine but the site will not let me post pictures yet as I have not been a member long enough. It is identical to the one from Greece only with a fork.
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Old 02-01-19, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cdaniels View Post
I tried to post pictures of mine but the site will not let me post pictures yet as I have not been a member long enough.
Make three more posts today and you'll be able to post your pics tomorrow.
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Old 02-01-19, 06:29 PM
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Will do, thanks

hey theres one
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Old 02-01-19, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Were I to build a funny bike,
I'd do it for fun and for a 9.1 mile TT I am aware of in the summer.
25-27 minutes of pain, I can handle, if I can look cool doing it.
Yup, kinda what I had in mind. But first I'd need to be able to do one of my two favorite 6 mile TT routes completely in the drops on my stock Ironman. Usually I can last 3-5 minutes before the neck says nope.

Realistically, it ain't ever gonna happen. I'd better reconsider my phobia of aero bars.
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Old 02-02-19, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'd better reconsider my phobia of aero bars.
​​​​​​​Don't worry help is on its way...Monday.
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