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Centurion LeMans - what year?

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Centurion LeMans - what year?

Old 08-02-19, 10:04 AM
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t1k
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Centurion LeMans - what year?

Hi everyone.

I stumbled upon this bike on local CL. The seller wants 60 backs (Canadian ~ 45US ) but doesn't provide much information about the bike.
I did a bit of research and it looks like a LeMans model from 1970s with hi-tense tubing frame. Is that correct?

Can you please help me to find out more information about the bike specs?

The seller claims that the bike is in working condition and all the components are stock. Do you think it worth the asking price?


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Old 08-02-19, 11:49 AM
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Not much help but it looks older than my '83 LeMans 12. Mine was free but I wouldn't take $50 for it. They are nice riding bikes.
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Old 08-02-19, 01:16 PM
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I had a lemans with a paint scheme like that (pic here), and it was a '74. Component date codes can help determine year.

It was a nice bike after I fully overhauled it. Sold it for over $300.
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Old 08-02-19, 01:21 PM
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If it has alloy rims, I'd grab it.

https://vintage-centurion.com/literat...on_Catalog.pdf
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Old 08-02-19, 02:05 PM
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I've got a few more pics.
The bike frame is 23" which is about my size. The wheel hubs on the pictures look rusted but the specs 1972 LeMans's specs say it comes with alloy hubs. The owner claims that there's no rust on the frame.




Last edited by t1k; 08-02-19 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I had a lemans with a paint scheme like that (pic here), and it was a '74. Component date codes can help determine year.

It was a nice bike after I fully overhauled it. Sold it for over $300.
Was it heavy? Do you remember what kind of tubing it had?
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Old 08-02-19, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by t1k View Post
Was it heavy? Do you remember what kind of tubing it had?
These aren't lightweights. It was probably hi-ten tubing. It was a small frame, so not too heavy for a lower-mid level bike.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:06 PM
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that isn't rust on the hubs. Grease and grime, aged to perfection. Should scrub right off.
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Old 08-03-19, 08:18 AM
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Looks an awful lot like my 72 but in a different color, I do love the way it rides but the frame/fork weigh quite a bit, the components are very low end as well.. and the first thing I did was ditch that hatchet of a saddle. I think I paid $10(US) and don't regret it, I say if you need a beater go for it.
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Old 08-03-19, 07:35 PM
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i am not sure there is a bad centurion- its not like they had bad bikes built. lower end sure, but they all are decent rides.
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Old 08-04-19, 08:18 AM
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The subject bicycle is from the early 1970s. At, the time, it would have been considered an upper entry level model. With a hi-tensile frame and steel rims these were quite heavy but well made and durable. As suggested, that is probably not rust on the hubs but aged lubricant and dirt. Unless it's been regularly serviced, which is doubtful, it probably needs a complete overhaul and many consumables. Unless you have the tools and can do the work your self, this adds up very quickly. In such cases, the better approach is to pay more for a bicycle that has been regularly serviced and is ready to ride.

Regarding the catalogue, it is almost certainly not 1972 as claimed, as the pictured bicycles used hex nuts on the hubs. Very early Centurion are typically seen with wingnuts and manufacturers didn't start removing them until after the CPSC's proposed bicycle regulations, which weren't in place for the 1972 model year.
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Old 08-04-19, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The subject bicycle is from the early 1970s. ...

Regarding the catalogue, it is almost certainly not 1972 as claimed, as the pictured bicycles used hex nuts on the hubs. Very early Centurion are typically seen with wingnuts and manufacturers didn't start removing them until after the CPSC's proposed bicycle regulations, which weren't in place for the 1972 model year.
So, as the Centurion Legend is told, the first output of bicycles to become Centurions were Japan made bicycles, destined to be Raleigh Grand Prix'es (as the legend goes, the Japan built bicycles were thought to be made too nicely, and the Raleigh Biggest Minds thought people would come to think that the Japan stuff was better than the home grown versions, so they passed on them, leaving the WSI distributors an opportunity they couldn't resist). Could this bicycle be one of those, from the Legend?
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Old 08-04-19, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The subject bicycle is from the early 1970s. At, the time, it would have been considered an upper entry level model. With a hi-tensile frame and steel rims these were quite heavy but well made and durable. As suggested, that is probably not rust on the hubs but aged lubricant and dirt. Unless it's been regularly serviced, which is doubtful, it probably needs a complete overhaul and many consumables. Unless you have the tools and can do the work your self, this adds up very quickly. In such cases, the better approach is to pay more for a bicycle that has been regularly serviced and is ready to ride.

Regarding the catalogue, it is almost certainly not 1972 as claimed, as the pictured bicycles used hex nuts on the hubs. Very early Centurion are typically seen with wingnuts and manufacturers didn't start removing them until after the CPSC's proposed bicycle regulations, which weren't in place for the 1972 model year.
Thank you for the great insights Tom.
Unfortunately, the bike was sold. I was hesitating for too long.
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