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Help ID today's yard sale find

Old 08-06-22, 01:30 PM
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Oldsledz
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Help ID today's yard sale find

I got this bike eat a yard sale today, the only decal on it is on the chain stay and says Stay-TuffThe detailers , shifter and brakes are Exage sport. crank and hubs are 105 , 650 C Araya rims. Can anyone tell me what the bike is?







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Old 08-06-22, 01:56 PM
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@Oldsledz

Stay-tuff is the clear protector, looks like a repaint, small, nice bike.

No idea on brand, s/n pic?
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Old 08-06-22, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
@Oldsledz

Stay-tuff is the clear protector, looks like a repaint, small, nice bike.

No idea on brand, s/n pic?
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Old 08-06-22, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldsledz View Post
So not my wheelhouse, standard Asian I think, if you google, it should come up.
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Old 08-06-22, 03:47 PM
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The first letter "N" might be an abbreviation of the manufacturer's name, such as Norco.
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Old 08-06-22, 09:22 PM
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Format seems to match the N(1) format in the Asian Serial Number Guide - Asian Serial Number Guide . So possibly Centurion or Shogun, built the 19th fortnight of 1987 (so likely a 1988 model). But who among the Asians built bikes with both 650C wheels at that time?
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Old 08-07-22, 08:01 AM
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It looks more than a little “frankenbike”-ish to me. Not an expert but wondering if Exage components would be paired with 105 components? Chrome (steel?) stem looks out step/time with rest of the setup. Saddle and pedals look “low end”. Would have thought the wheelset would would have been 27x1/8”or 700c. Also, the drive side “nuts” of the QR skewers don’t match. Agree that it’s a repaint and think that it looks pretty good! Set up to fit the rider, it’s possible that it could be a nice ride. Might get some “stink eye” looks from bike snobs tho. I have a “frankenbike” build starting from a Raleigh Technium USA 420 frame. Components are total mis-match from stuff in the parts box, EBay & a Co-op. It’s one of my favorite rides!
Would be nice for the OP to determine the origin of the frame. I’d start with the Asian serial number “sticky”, match up the format to see what the frame “isn’t”, then start narrowing things down by features (lugs, dropouts, seat stays, etc.). Nice rainy day project .
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Old 08-07-22, 08:08 AM
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Are the front and rear dropouts stamped with a manufacturer?
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Old 08-07-22, 09:50 AM
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I think it's a given that component-wise, it's a frankenbike; indeed, that's a mix of components (and quality levels) that would never appear on a retail built bike.

The frame is built for 650Cs, so 700Cs (and esp. 27s) wouldn't fit.

There might also be a clue on the steerer tube.
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Old 08-07-22, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
I think it's a given that component-wise, it's a frankenbike; indeed, that's a mix of components (and quality levels) that would never appear on a retail built bike.

The frame is built for 650Cs, so 700Cs (and esp. 27s) wouldn't fit.

There might also be a clue on the steerer tube.
What specifically designates the frame as being built for 650b wheels? There seems to be quite a bit of space (even with the axle stops in the dropouts) between the tire tread and the back side of the crossmember (fender mount?) just behind the BB . Looks like a 700c could easily fit in there. Brake pads are secured at what looks like max reach and the slots might even have been “filed” to give a bit more reach. Just wonderin’ .
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Old 08-07-22, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sovende View Post
What specifically designates the frame as being built for 650b wheels? There seems to be quite a bit of space (even with the axle stops in the dropouts) between the tire tread and the back side of the crossmember (fender mount?) just behind the BB . Looks like a 700c could easily fit in there. Brake pads are secured at what looks like max reach and the slots might even have been “filed” to give a bit more reach. Just wonderin’ .
No, the wheels on this bike are 650C not 650B. They are a completely different size. 650C wheels are wonderful for small frames and in the era this was built, narrow tires were standard. Terry has 650C X 28 tires for sale on her website (well except she doesn't own the company anymore). There is no way 700C wheels will work on this frame so don't try unless the process is educational.

I have built a number of 650C custom frames for small people during my career. They are a great option except for tire availability and the recent trend to go with wider tires. For a small person this is a great bike and will ride better than modern small 700C wheel bikes. A whole lot of compromises have to be made to make big wheels work for smaller people.
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Old 08-07-22, 11:22 AM
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^^^^^^ Beat me to it. 650C is a full 25mm smaller in radius than 700C. There isn't anywhere near that between the tire and the brake bridge or fork crown.

Another visual cue of the "scale" of this bike is to notice how fat the frame tubes look, and how big the large chainring looks. That's only because of the scale. Given it has an SR Laprade seat post, I'd bet that tubing is in the same range of diameters of most full-size road bikes; it just appears fatter because the tubes are all pretty short. And that's a 52-tooth chainring, that looks "oversize" on such a small frame.

A shot of the bike next to, or in front of, a small or medium sized 700C-based road bike, would put it in perspective.
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Old 08-07-22, 11:32 AM
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Well, having 650C wheels must narrow down the possible builders by quite a bit. Custom?
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Old 08-07-22, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Format seems to match the N(1) format in the Asian Serial Number Guide - Asian Serial Number Guide . So possibly Centurion or Shogun, built the 19th fortnight of 1987 (so likely a 1988 model). But who among the Asians built bikes with both 650C wheels at that time?
My guess is a Centurion Le Mans, which came with 650C wheels (in smaller sizes) and Shimano Exage. The 105 bits, bars, repaint probably all happened around the same time.
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Old 08-07-22, 12:48 PM
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Thank you everyone for the help with figuring out what this bike started life as. it is a 1988 Centurion Le Mans , I found this one for sale on line , the serial numbers are 6 apart.
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Old 08-07-22, 01:00 PM
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Was this level of Centurion made in Taiwanese factories? Or am I thinking of another marquee (I know KHS is Taiwanese).
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Old 08-07-22, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldsledz View Post
I found this one for sale on line , the serial numbers are 6 apart.
That's kooky!!!! But awesome!!!
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Old 08-07-22, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Were this level of Centurion made in Taiwanese factories? Or am I thinking of another marquee (I know KHS is Taiwanese).
It'd be right on the "cusp" of the Japan -> Taiwan transition. I've seen '86s marked Japan, and I faintly recall seeing an '89 on the 'Bay (can't find it now) indicating Taiwan. Unfortunately not enough information of this kind on the vintage-centurion web site.
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Old 08-07-22, 04:49 PM
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My solid guess was based on having had one in the past. It was a nice, tight little bike that (for a smaller rider) seemed to perform as well as the full sized Le Mans, which aren't far off from an Ironman.

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Old 08-07-22, 07:57 PM
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^^^^^^^ billytwosheds , do you remember what the "Made in....." decal said?
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Old 08-07-22, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^^^^ billytwosheds , do you remember what the "Made in....." decal said?
I want to say Japan...but can't be sure. Will loop back if I find more photos in my archive.
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Old 08-08-22, 06:37 AM
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My 1988 Centurion LeMans is marked "Made in Japan/Designed in the U.S.A." I bought it for $35 as a Clunker Challenge entry last year and fell in love with it. I know it's supposed to be a mid-level bike with parts selection reflecting meeting a price point, AND it has a mismatched rear wheel and lots of scars and rust - but somebody forgot to tell it that, and it rides like a much more expensive machine. I need to take some new pictures now that I have re-wrapped the bars with some salvaged original white bar tape from a contemporary Accordo and fitted it with 25 mm blackwall tires.
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Old 08-08-22, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldsledz View Post
Thank you everyone for the help with figuring out what this bike started life as. it is a 1988 Centurion Le Mans , I found this one for sale on line , the serial numbers are 6 apart.
Amazing coincidence
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Old 08-08-22, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^^^^ billytwosheds , do you remember what the "Made in....." decal said?
700c Lemans were made in Japan, as far as I know. There was a gap without the Lemans (Elites instead) and then a return.

650C, not sure. I’ve not seen the solid blue except on older Centurions.
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Old 08-08-22, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
My 1988 Centurion LeMans is marked "Made in Japan/Designed in the U.S.A." I bought it for $35 as a Clunker Challenge entry last year and fell in love with it. I know it's supposed to be a mid-level bike with parts selection reflecting meeting a price point, AND it has a mismatched rear wheel and lots of scars and rust - but somebody forgot to tell it that, and it rides like a much more expensive machine. I need to take some new pictures now that I have re-wrapped the bars with some salvaged original white bar tape from a contemporary Accordo and fitted it with 25 mm blackwall tires.
Lemans RS Tange 2 was 2.2 oz heavier than the Ironman Tange 1 (58cm) but $200-$250 cheaper. Amateur go-fast approach was to sell the wheelset, use the savings and wheel money to get lighter, better wheels and Look pedals, go racing. Still save enough to offer a beer to the Ironman guys after.
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