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Centurion Pro Tour

Old 05-09-23, 12:23 PM
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Centurion Pro Tour

How rare are the Pro-Tours with center pull braze ons? Iím looking at a 76 or 77 frame for sale.
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Old 05-09-23, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx
How rare are the Pro-Tours with center pull braze ons? Iím looking at a 76 or 77 frame for sale.
Fairly rare, as in only 3-4 come up for sale a year, often less than that. I've looked for one on-and-off over the past few years and haven't seen one in my size (53, common size) show up on eBay in long time (i.e. years). The cantilever brake versions are much more common and there's usually a few for sale at any given time.
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Old 05-09-23, 12:48 PM
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Not a huge number available and the secret has been out for over a decade on these frames. Few production bikes were made with centerpull braze on posts. 8 years ago or so I remember seeing one pop up on the San Diego craigslist for about an hour or two before it was claimed. This was when vintage touring bikes were pretty hot on the market.
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Old 05-09-23, 12:57 PM
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There is a modern Canadian brand doing this in 650 b I think
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Old 05-09-23, 01:01 PM
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https://www.cyclestoussaint.com/
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Old 05-09-23, 02:36 PM
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I can't be 100% sure, but the only production bike with brazed on centerpull posts from BITD that I know of was the Pro Tour. Another outstanding feature is the vertical dropouts. The workmanship was outstanding on these, fully chromed and painted over, you'll never worry about rust. The paint, polished chrome lugs, pinstriping, etc. are outstanding. The one thing I wished was different would be slightly longer "legs" so that fenders would fit over wider tires. You can put 700c wheels on these if you swap out the brakes with slightly longer ones. I used MAFAC RAIDs on mine, but I think longer MAFAC Competitions or 2000's would work as well. The stock DC brakes are a bit short for 700c.

Since this thread is lacking pictures, here's a well-worn one of mine from a short tour a few years ago.
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Old 05-09-23, 03:30 PM
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There was one on CL Santa Barbara way for months and months at a good price--maybe $150-200? Somebody on here picked it up on the way back from EroicaCA.
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Old 05-09-23, 05:26 PM
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There were two variations on these that are apparent to me.

I have a '77 that, as I recall, was built in late 76. I've had this bike for almost 14 years. Mine has chromed socks, but un-chromed lugs, no pinstriping, and is not chromed under the paint. That's in contrast to the chromed-lug variety from a year or so later.

Mine is a double-chainringed variety, and I have no problems with 700c wheels and the OEM brakes playing nicely. I've gone through a few sets of pads, so small adjustments have never been a problem. The rims I've used have been around 25 mm outside width (several CR-18's, which are usually around 23 mm). For a super narrow rim, maybe the rear wouldn't reach. The fork crown on mine is not drilled all the way through. It's only drilled on the rear, and it's tapped for a screw. Clearly intended for a Blackburn wrap-around rack of the time, I later mounted my dynamo headlight to the NDS brake post. It can make mounting non-period things a small challenge unless you're willing to drill through the fork crown (I'm not).
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Old 05-10-23, 11:19 AM
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In light of the demise or at least absence of Vintage Centurion site, I'll take the liberty of copying something I wrote in a different thread that I presumed to be true.
Since I (peruano) have an earlier bike (78/79 ecotone) with center pull brakes and braze-on posts, I may have extra clearance as you suggest. Its the Pro-Tour 15 that got the cantilever upgrade.and might suffer the limitation you point out. The vintage Centurion site does a great job of letting you determine what features were offered on what years. There were three basic flavors of Pro-Tours. If I recall correctly, Prior to 79 (double crank and braze-one center pulls); 79-82 (triple crank and braze-on center pulls), and 83 on (with canti brakes and a triple crank). All Tange 2 frames. I can't recall about all of them having vertical dropouts but I'd guess that is the case.
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Old 05-10-23, 12:46 PM
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All I can say is they're great! I have blue 77 and love the ride, love the vertical dropouts. The compact double was years ahead of its time. Lovely bike. Responsive yet comfortable.
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Old 05-10-23, 06:58 PM
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Well, I bought the frame today. I have most everything to build it up except a crankset. I figure this should help me sell off some of my lugged 90ís Trek MTB frames that have been sitting for the last year in the garage.

Dorky, but this is a birth year model for me.

From the looks of it, someone already cleaned up the brakes as they are spotless and it has new koolstop pads. Why it was donated to the Coop, I have no idea.

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Old 05-10-23, 08:09 PM
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It looks great! Same generation as my silver one.

It looks like someone already replaced the original top tube rear brake cable clips. Mine came with 2 loose black plastic ones, and I replaced with 3 stainless Dia-Compe clips.

I actually cold-set my rear triangle to 135 mm (from the stock 120) just before I moved to Europe almost ten years ago. I've been abusing a cheap rear hybrid 8-speed cassette hub that whole time, trips, tours...
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Old 05-10-23, 08:33 PM
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That's really clean looking!

Keep posting pix as you build it up.
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Old 05-11-23, 07:11 AM
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I had A '79 Pro Tour that appeared to be almost NOS and only rode it about a hundred miles before someone ran a stop sign and then ran right into me on it. It was my first nice vintage road bicycle, and I was pretty bummed to lose it. I concur with the others in stating that it was really a wonderfully finished frame.

The seatpost, handlebars, stem, crankset and fenders live on with my '79 Mercian Campionissimo.

-Gregory


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Old 05-11-23, 07:42 AM
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I had 2, traded my 83 frame and fork and pits for a real nice tandem. Still have my 81 in storage in Pa.
Here are a few pictures for ideas to help you decide how to build it
My 81 has been both a drop bar and flat bar bike. The 81 has been both a double and a triple.

Half step + granny with 10 speed rear.

Flat bar with SL-R780/BL-R780 shifters and brakes levers

10 speed brifters and drop bars



My 83 was just a drop bar bike with a double crankset.
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Old 05-11-23, 08:35 AM
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Here's my obligatory comment that folks seeking vintage frames with brazed-on center pull brakes should consider looking at Yahoo JP auctions and Mercari, both of which folks in the USA can shop via Buyee.com. These types of bikes are much more common in Japan, where they are typically referred to as "sportif" style (borrowing a French term). Bridgestone made them as part of their Eurasia, Atlantis, and Diamond lines, spanning the mid-1970s through the 1980s. Eurasias can often before found under $600 for a complete bike or $100-200 for a frameset. More info on them here. Beyond Bridgestone, there were many high-end custom frames of this type made in the 70s by Toei, Zunow, 3Rensho, Vivalo, Holks, Gan Well, Cherubim, Shinkin Pegasus, and others. I forget which factory made the Centurion Pro-tours for export to the USA, but I have also seen the same frames sold domestically in Japan under other brand names.

I had a Pro-Tour about a decade ago that I stripped down to the chrome, converted to 650B and built up as a townie. Article is located here.

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Old 05-11-23, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Catnap
Here's my obligatory comment that folks seeking vintage frames with brazed-on center pull brakes should consider looking at Yahoo JP auctions and Mercari, both of which folks in the USA can shop via Buyee.com. These types of bikes are much more common in Japan, where they are typically referred to as "sportif" style (borrowing a French term). Bridgestone made them as part of their Eurasia, Atlantis, and Diamond lines, spanning the mid-1970s through the 1980s. Eurasias can often before found under $600 for a complete bike or $100-200 for a frameset. More info on them here. Beyond Bridgestone, there were many high-end custom frames of this type made in the 70s by Toei, Zunow, 3Rensho, Vivalo, Holks, Gan Well, Cherubim, Shinkin Pegasus, and others. I forget which factory made the Centurion Pro-tours for export to the USA, but I have also seen the same frames sold domestically in Japan under other brand names.

I had a Pro-Tour about a decade ago that I stripped down to the chrome, converted to 650B and built up as a townie. Article is located here.
Damn I didn't really need to know about Yahoo Japan auctions, I have many non-bike things on my to-do list, but golly there are some beautiful rides on there...
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Old 05-11-23, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx
Well, I bought the frame today. I have most everything to build it up except a crankset. I figure this should help me sell off some of my lugged 90ís Trek MTB frames that have been sitting for the last year in the garage.

Dorky, but this is a birth year model for me.

From the looks of it, someone already cleaned up the brakes as they are spotless and it has new koolstop pads. Why it was donated to the Coop, I have no idea.

I have that exact frame, down to the size! You're going to enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-11-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx
Well, I bought the frame today. I have most everything to build it up except a crankset. I figure this should help me sell off some of my lugged 90ís Trek MTB frames that have been sitting for the last year in the garage.

Dorky, but this is a birth year model for me.

From the looks of it, someone already cleaned up the brakes as they are spotless and it has new koolstop pads. Why it was donated to the Coop, I have no idea.

Awesome score!!!
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Old 05-11-23, 03:11 PM
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Here's my time capsule from 1980. Even has the original saddle and customer-requested turkey levers on the original Gran Compe brake levers.

Normally I hate to buy a trailer-queen (to avoid any hesitation in using it), but it took me years to find one in my size. Now I'm too scared to put any miles on it, go figure.


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Old 05-12-23, 11:27 AM
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I picked up a clean older set of Mavic G40 rims with Shimano 600 hubs, now I just need a crankset. I donít recall the exact sizes, but it is a 6 speed.

Any recommendations for a crank set? Iíve been looking for the original compact double, but Iím game for any suggestions.
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Old 05-13-23, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx
Any recommendations for a crank set? Iíve been looking for the original compact double, but Iím game for any suggestions.
Would depend on chainring size and budget.
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Old 05-13-23, 10:44 AM
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Lbxpdx let us know brand (maybe top 3) and something will probably pop up. I seem to be rich with cranksets and Iím in purge mode.
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Old 05-13-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames
Lbxpdx let us know brand (maybe top 3) and something will probably pop up. I seem to be rich with cranksets and Iím in purge mode.
Im thinking Iíd like to stick with a nice old double. On my 85 Voyageur, Iím almost always in the half step. Sugino or the likes.
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