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1978 (ish) Centurion Pro-Tour

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1978 (ish) Centurion Pro-Tour

Old 08-16-20, 04:28 PM
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mongol777
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1978 (ish) Centurion Pro-Tour

Was looking for one for a while. Local ad popped about couple of weeks ago and I kept going back to it. Looked very clean, original owner and while size is smaller vs what I prefer- completely rideable.
This morning exchanged couple of emails with the seller, very nice guy, he bought it in 1978 and toured France. Fun fact - my Miyata 1000's owner also toured on it in Europe.
Late morning I decided I am going to pass and posted in "are you looking for one of this". Couple of hours later revisited the ad and noticed that complete luggage was also included plus second saddle. Asked for pic, seller oblidged and I puleld the trigger.
Bike needs some work as its been sitting for a while - better tires, hubs, headset and BB clean and repack, check spoke tension, etc.
Cosmetically - I'd like to replace tt cable guides with silver one, replace housing with brown one, Brooks B17 narrow in brown and matching leather tape (or Newbaums brown+shellac), Nitto Noodles in ~46-48 and Nitto technomic stem (I like my bars high). Will also clean and wax the frame. Have all the parts, just need the time.
Rack and panniers will go to my Riv Roadini in orange (frame is in the mail) - as luck would have it I am building it with dark green housing and tape so panniers and bags would be a great match.

Without further delay - pictures, as bought, took them in a hurry when stopped on a sideroad for a quick spin on the way home. I will resurrect this thread at some point in the future, probably late fall, when bike is rebuilt.
Bike feels great and I think I actually prefer it to my Miyata but too early to say for sure.
Link to full album https://imgur.com/a/XPUnHYu , will start posting pics here as well

Last edited by mongol777; 08-16-20 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 08-16-20, 04:35 PM
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Old 08-16-20, 04:37 PM
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Old 08-16-20, 04:38 PM
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Old 08-16-20, 04:49 PM
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For my Brooks saddles I apply whatever treatment I have on hand. The two saddles I got have what feels like suede tops. What is your go to treatment for suede saddles? The model I believe is Y.F.C Professional Super Soft King

Last edited by mongol777; 08-16-20 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 08-16-20, 05:56 PM
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That's a nice bike. More than a few companies in Japan did braze-on centerpulls for their domestic bikes but the Pro Tour was the only bike I know of featuring the braze-ons on an export model.

I think the bike would look a lot better with black saddle and cotton bar tape. The contemporary Brooks brown color is so unnatural looking to me. The honey color is even worse, and the Brooks leather bar tape not only ugly but also clunky, difficult to wrap, and uncomfortable. All my opinion of course :-)
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Old 08-16-20, 06:04 PM
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The complete package! From bike to accessories! What a tremendous find. How small er it for you
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Old 08-16-20, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
That's a nice bike. More than a few companies in Japan did braze-on centerpulls for their domestic bikes but the Pro Tour was the only bike I know of featuring the braze-ons on an export model.

I think the bike would look a lot better with black saddle and cotton bar tape. The contemporary Brooks brown color is so unnatural looking to me. The honey color is even worse, and the Brooks leather bar tape not only ugly but also clunky, difficult to wrap, and uncomfortable. All my opinion of course :-)
Good point, I think really dark brown or black saddle. The leather tape I have is not brooks, no idea what the brand is - bought so long ago that I don't remember, it is soft and pliable.
I just have so many bikes with black/black combo that I am looking for something different. Two stock saddles are dark brown and actually quite comfy. So may be keep one and do newbaum dark brown tape+shellac.
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Old 08-16-20, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
The complete package! From bike to accessories! What a tremendous find. How small er it for you
Well, so far so good. I usually prefer 56-58 tt (actual) and this one has shortish tt but I think it will work with 100mm Nitto and Noodles. I just did test fit and it feels great. Reach is short which is totally fine, I have a bike or two with racish fit and the rest are more upright which I really enjoy and ride most of the time. Stretched and lows are reserved for quick weekday mornings spins and rollers in winter.

What stopped me at first is that seller measure tt ctc at 54cm and change. But turns out it is not a big deal and bike feels good so far.
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Old 08-16-20, 06:23 PM
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Also - paging @T-Mar, serial number and batch (?) above in case you are collecting Centurion's data as well
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Old 08-16-20, 07:14 PM
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So original wheelset is in excellent condition but I do not have any decent tires in 27 1/4. But I do have at least 3 spare 700c wheelsets and God knows how many tires.
Great news - calipers have enough reach, front and rear. Tire in the picture is mounted on H+Son TB14 with tubes and measure actual 37mm at the casing + knobs at ~40-43 PSI. Don't mind cartridge pads - was just checking if they fit.
I think actual 40mm should fit as well and fenders would be easy go with 35-38mm actual smooth tire. Not worried about fenders as I have several rainy/dirty weather bikes.
All of it makes me very happy as I am neck deep in Roadini build and these news would allow me to do quick and dirty build with 700c, 2x9 (will keep 52/36 in the front for now and I have couple of 9s cassettes, 11-34 and 11-36, will see how RD handles it). Of course all original parts will be properly boxed on the remote chance that I will decide to sell this bike in distant future.

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Old 08-16-20, 07:14 PM
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In the second picture clearance did not translate from real life, it is quite good actually plenty of space between tire and crown/fork baldes
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Old 08-16-20, 07:28 PM
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Great find lots of great bits - those zip tie top tube cable guides are killing me though
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Old 08-16-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Great find lots of great bits - those zip tie top tube cable guides are killing me though
they are stock dia compe plastic cable guides. Regardless - they will be replaced by chrome metal ones.
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Old 08-16-20, 08:22 PM
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I found the same model bike last November, and it's become my everyday ride for training, off-road exploring, club rides and errands.

These are good for those who prefer their touring bike to be on the sporting side.
I absolutely love the brakes even with their original pads, smooth, quiet and most of all powerful.

Beware of the stainless spokes on Centurions of this vintage, they will all start snapping one at a time, every other ride, in the rear wheel at relatively very low mileage. Same as mid-70's Nishikis.

Great find especially with all of those goodies.

Mine had been discarded but was still in usable shape:
BEFORE:



AFTER:

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Old 08-16-20, 08:28 PM
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Beautiful. In my mind the inclusion of the reference manuals is extra special.
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Old 08-16-20, 08:48 PM
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Sweet bike- that's about as top of the line as they get in 1978!!!

Also, sweet wagon! I had a 2001 5 series wagon- I miss that car.
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Old 08-17-20, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I found the same model bike last November, and it's become my everyday ride for training, off-road exploring, club rides and errands.

These are good for those who prefer their touring bike to be on the sporting side.
I absolutely love the brakes even with their original pads, smooth, quiet and most of all powerful.

Beware of the stainless spokes on Centurions of this vintage, they will all start snapping one at a time, every other ride, in the rear wheel at relatively very low mileage. Same as mid-70's Nishikis.

Great find especially with all of those goodies.

Mine had been discarded but was still in usable shape:
BEFORE:



AFTER:

Looking great! Got mine with the same purpose in mind so we'll see how my build will shape up.
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Old 08-17-20, 06:21 AM
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I have 2 Pro-Tours, an 81 and an 83.
I love yours as I prefer the Stud-mounted centerpulls over the cantilevers.

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Old 08-17-20, 04:27 PM
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I always suspected that the ones with brazed-on centerpulls and without chromed lugs were 76-78.

I'm still loving my '77 in silver, which I believe is one size larger than the OP's.

Mine came in similar shape with a rotted-through Kashimax saddle and handlebars flipped upside down.

I slowly made changes over the last 9 years or so, taking it with me as I went to and fro. Current build is 2x8 with brifters, rear spread to 135 mm, with the original crank and Cyclone FD. Dynamo lighting. RD is SunXCD, which I got a good deal on. I'll probably go back to barcons and play with the setup a bit. I may even try an upright bar!


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Old 08-29-20, 05:18 PM
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Finished rebuild to suit my riding needs from this bike:
Wheelset is now 700c, I laced Ultegra 6800 hubs to H+Son TB14, 32H
Tires are Challenge Strada Bianca, 700x30, measure almost 32
9speed cassete, I think 12-36
Nitto Technomic 100mm and Nitto Noodles, 48cm. Tape is Newbaum and I think I will stop using it. I recently discovered GreenTips tape (just used it on Roadini) and OMG, it is actually enjoyable to apply (does not kink), feels luxurios and softer vs Newbaum. I will post pics in Roadini thread when my saddle is here. Time will show how durable it is but so far so good.
New Dia-Compe cable guides




Barcons are NOS, got them couple of years ago (I left old handlebar setup completely as is should I decide to return it back to original specs)
VO fenders, Brooks Campium C17, TRP levers, new cartridge pads and I change BB to UN55

Frame does not have a spec of rust, very clean inside. Couple of issues I found:
- Headset was missing one spacer so top nut did not have enough thread to preload. Added spacer and that fixed it
- Crank, crank bolts and both cups were fingertight. Checked thoroughly - no damage.

I think whoever last worked on that bike either forgot or did not know how to torque properly.

It is very smooth rider and I really like braze on centerpulls, lots of modulation and very assured strong braking.
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Old 08-29-20, 06:57 PM
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@mongol777, nice bike!

Did you mean Green Grips, instead of Greentips? I searched and that's what I came up with. Looks like nice stuff - lots of colors and different weights. Thanks for the mention. I'll have to try it out.
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Old 08-29-20, 07:34 PM
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Beautiful bike and those green karrimor bags are the bomb. I have a green karrimor saddlebag. I dunno if the company is still in business but it made good gear.
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Old 08-30-20, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
@mongol777, nice bike!

Did you mean Green Grips, instead of Greentips? I searched and that's what I came up with. Looks like nice stuff - lots of colors and different weights. Thanks for the mention. I'll have to try it out.
Thank you!
And yes, Green Grips! https://green-grips.com/
I went for 2 longish rides today - first on Roadini with Green Grips tape, ~50km and on Centurion after, ~30km - I am done with Newbaum tape. Green Grips one is smooth, soft and does not feel rough to bare hands. And no need for shellac (for me personally). The glue line is narrow and in the middle vs very wide Newbaums and it allows for much easier application. To get that level of comfort on Newbaum - usually takes me 2-3 coats of shellac and I prefer non shellaced feel.
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